Bottomless Belly Button (Paperback)

Bottomless Belly Button Cover Image
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Description


This is a reprint of the graphic novel that launched Dash Shaw as a major young cartooning talent: Official Selection, 2009 Festival International de la Bande Dessinée de Angouleme; named one of Publishers Weekly's 2008 "Best Books of the Year: Comics."


Bottomless Belly Button is a graphic novel comedy-drama that follows the dysfunctional adventures of the Loony Family. When the parents announce their divorce, the family comes together at their beach house for a week. Dennis, the eldest son, is having marriage troubles of his own, and searches for clues, trap doors, and secret tunnels. Claire, the middle child, is a single mother with a troubled 16-year-old daughter, Jill. The youngest child, Peter, is a hack filmmaker suffering from paralyzing insecurities who establishes an unorthodox romance with a mysterious day care counselor at the beach.

About the Author


Dash Shaw lives in Richmond, VA. He was a 2010 Sundance Labs fellow and a 2014–2015 Cullman Center fellow at the New York Public Library. A cartoonist, animator, and illustrator, he was born in Los Angeles and attended the School of Visual Arts.

Praise For…


Shaw's online and bound comics inhabit surreal spaces both cerebral and emotional, leaping from zombie love stories to futuristic set pieces without resorting to predictability...It's probably safe to say he has arrived.

Reads almost like a John Updike novel... [Dash Shaw] really utilizes the medium to its fullest capacity.
— Benn Ray on WYPR Baltimore public radio

Bottomless Belly Button is a wonderful book that I strongly recommend for every comic fan... Dash Shaw is a name to remember.

— Laurent De Maertelaer

Formally inventive and emotionally acute, Bottomless Belly Button indeed proves to be… as fascinating and affecting a depiction of family ties as Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections or Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums.

— Ed Park

Using Peanuts-like comic strips in addition to pie charts, letters, and floor plans, Shaw draws an honest, meditative 720-page portrait of a multigenerational middle-class family...


In the insular comics community, Shaw has made a name for himself (and a good one it is) by willfully eschewing the mainstream to follow his own decidedly original and peculiar muse.

Bottomless Belly Button reaches so high and executes so much of what it does so well that it shames you into reconsidering every other book you may have praised recently. ...A work this humongous, this idiosyncratic and this almost totally devoid of pretension... is sort of a miracle. If there are better books this year, it will be a very good year.

— Tom Spurgeon

Dash Shaw brilliantly weaves the multiple story lines together to create a funny/tragic tale of a family at the brink of falling apart. I like Dash's intelligently-restrained creativity with the comic medium... I was mesmerized through the entire book.

Shaw draws the story of this family reunion with rare attention to detail, the lives of every family member young and old are explored with his nuanced pen. From the elegant cover to the closing panel, this is a powerful emotional story, and one I will recommend as an example of the heights graphic novels can attain.

Cartoonist Dash Shaw displays the kind of ambition that comics could use more of in his graphic novel Bottomless Belly Button... Design-wise, Bottomless Belly Button is frequently stunning, as Shaw conveys shared memories and states of mind in a few poignant, impressionistic panels.


Bottomless Belly Button—720 pages of knotty family drama, emotional teen angst, lyrical passages about nature, good jokes, bad parenting, architectural schematics, rudimentary codes, and explicit sex—has become the graphic novel of the year, combining youthful exuberance, sage storytelling, and visual experimentation.


Dash Shaw's mammoth new graphic novel is a sweeping tapestry of a family in crisis. It's sad, it's thoughtful, it's dirty and funny and hesitant and right in your face... Bottomless Belly Button even further establishes his credentials as a cartoonist you should be paying attention to. You find a lot of him inside his new book, but you'll find even more of yourself.

— Alan David Doane

A clear candidate for book of the year.

Starred Review. Stunningly conceived and executed... Masterfully using the comics medium to juggle all the different characters, weaving their stories together seamlessly, Shaw allows the Loonys' emotions to play out naturally without forced resolutions, leaving a wistful hopefulness that feels just as conflicted and confusing as every family is.

Kaleidoscopic... Shaw has a deft touch... Like the very best illustrated fiction, Shaw's work moves between pathos and humor, between the fantastic and the familiar.

Easily the best graphic novel of the year so far... a triumph of the form that is going to echo in my mind for quite some time. Bottomless Belly Button is a book that made me laugh, think, smile, and finally, over a ten-page sequence at the end, weep like I’ve not in a very, very long time... Dash Shaw may be an artist and storyteller of the highest caliber, but his work here is refreshingly free of facade or ironic distance. Recommended very, very highly. In fact, this may be the Great American Graphic Novel I’d been waiting so long for.

— Kevin Church

[Dash Shaw] seems to have managed to cross [the] strict border between painstakingly planned genius and slapdash brilliance... It's enough to make a grown-up reviewer swoon.

Engrossing... very compelling.

One of my favorite books of the year.
— "Pop Candy"

Shaw's dysfunctional-family epic is so funny and engrossing we'd expect Oprah to pick it, but for all the graphic frog sex.
— "The Top Ten Graphic Novels of the Year: #2"

A genuine masterpiece.

This book came from out of nowhere to great critical acclaim, and it pushed young Mr. Shaw in the spotlight as one of the most exciting new cartoonists in the field. ... This haunting story of a dysfunctional family twists and turns and stuck with me long after I read it.
— "Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2009"

[A] family drama filled with neurosis, romance, mystery, comedy, fond memories, bad parenting, teen angst and sexual awakening. The book is big but not overwhelming, and sad with out being tragic. This is a graphic novel of the tallest order, from one of the most unique voices in the medium today.
— Steve Ponzo

An utterly brilliant young cartoonist who has, in a few short years, advanced from the academic experiments of his earlier work... into a formalist genius whose skills encompass both a natural gift for color and a feel for subtle, indirect characterization. Bottomless Belly Button is a daring, daunting work.

— Ed Howard
Product Details
ISBN: 9781560979159
ISBN-10: 1560979151
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018
Pages: 720
Language: English