Read A Body Beneath: Collecting Issues of the Comic Book Series "Lose" by Michael DeForge Online


A Body Beneath collects issues two through five of Michael DeForge's multi-award winning anthology Lose. DeForge's singular vision reveals the menace in the mundane, the humor in the horrific. He has crafted a phantasmagoria of stories that feature a spider-infested pet horse head, post-apocalyptic dogs dealing with existential angst, the romantic undertones of a hired hitA Body Beneath collects issues two through five of Michael DeForge's multi-award winning anthology Lose. DeForge's singular vision reveals the menace in the mundane, the humor in the horrific. He has crafted a phantasmagoria of stories that feature a spider-infested pet horse head, post-apocalyptic dogs dealing with existential angst, the romantic undertones of a hired hit, and more.Michael DeForge was born in Ottawa, Ontario. He currently lives and works in Toronto as a cartoonist, commercial illustrator, and as an effects, props, and character designer for the hit Cartoon Network program Adventure Time....

Title : A Body Beneath: Collecting Issues of the Comic Book Series "Lose"
Author :
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ISBN : 9781927668078
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 152 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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A Body Beneath: Collecting Issues of the Comic Book Series "Lose" Reviews

  • Eisnein
    2019-01-14 08:39

    Life is Disgusting(OR Life is the Filth, Death is the Janitor :-P)'A Body Beneath' collects issues 2 - 5 of Michael DeForge's comic 'Lose', with the first issue deliberately omitted by the artist due to harsh self-criticism (a trait that puts him in good company... R. Crumb, Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware have all suffered from paralyzing self-doubt, a temporary weakness that is usually overcome by a deep-seated misanthropy). While I think the constant reassessment that existing in a super-position of humility and narcissism is integral to the rapid evolution of Deforge's storytelling, I don't agree with the dismissal of his earlier work (yes, there will be a bit of dry, pretentious-sounding blather -- you have been warned). I like the fucked-up, hyper-detailed mess of writhing lines that used to define his style... but I also like where his art is at now.His style has become leaner and simpler, and yeah, it's a sign he's maturing, growing more confident. Simplicity isn't easy. "Looking at the oldest work in this collection is already a little mortifying," he remarks in the introductory story, 'Context'. He mentions 'Dogs 2070' and 'It's Chip' as specific examples of 'sloppy writing' and 'lousy try-hard drawing'. But I still think the intricately detailed art that he's moved away from in his most recent work -- 'Ant Colony', 'First Year Healthy' and the upcoming 'Big Kids' -- is far from pointless. 'It's Chip', from 'A Body Beneath':The microscopic parasites, bacterial infections and horrific transformations that are recurring motifs are expressed vividly in the dripping, writhing details of 'It's Chip' and 'Dogs 2070' (see below). A disgust with the functions and failures of the human body, a revulsion that violently rejects ideas of beauty or divine authorship when confronted with organic processes -- birth, predation, digestion, infection and decomposition -- no other cartoonist has been able to communicate this existential horror so effectively, with the possible exception of Renee French.Wallowing in it -- 'It's Chip' and 'Dogs 2070':This 150-or-so page volume released by Koyama makes it clear why critics get crazy and start firing off hyperbole like a Gatling gun, praising this young artist (really truly young-ish, not yet 30... for Cartoonists and Novelists, young means under 45). His style of storytelling has very few precedents, and the line-work is surprisingly anomalous; his closest stylistic relatives are fellow Canadians Jesse Jacobs, Luke Ramsey, Dsve Cooper, Julie Doucet and Marc Bell... Bell in particular. There's also hints that the early work of Renee French -- collected in the Oni book 'Marbles In My Underpants' -- was influential to a certain extent. DeForge is one of the most prolific cartoonists working today, with 'A Body Beneath' coming just a few months after 'Ant Colony', which was a beautiful, disgusting and occasionally poignant work. His Cronenberg-like obsession with bodily functions and failures, disease and decomposition, is also on display in 'Very Casual', which collects the stories that have appeared outside the pages of 'Lose', like 'The Spotting Deer', and his strip 'Titters' (which appears in 'The Believer' on its excellent comic page, alongside Charles Burns and Matt Furie).'Lose' has been DeForge's primary creative outlet, however, and while 'Very Casual' and 'Ant Colony' are both brilliant, 'A Body Beneath' is probably the best place to start for anyone new to the art of Michael Deforge. Considering that his career began in earnest just five years ago, the fact thay he now has two collections published by Koyama and a hardcover graphic novel published by Drawn and Quarterly is very impressive. Sequential Art, particularly for writer-artists who work without deadlines (for the most part), can be a slow, laborious, and isolating profession. Many cartoonists end up working and reworking pages, scrapping stories partway through, or (as was the case for 'Lose' No.1) disavowing entire issues and pretending -- or wishing -- they didn't exist. DeForge has weathered the insecurities well, to become one of the most important artist of his generation.From 'First Year Healthy':More Art-book Reviews More Comic-book Reviews More Novel ReviewsA Mysterious Review Related to the Book in Question, But Written By A Friend Instead andYet Another Mysterious Review Related to the Book in Question, But Written By A Friend Instead

  • Jan Philipzig
    2018-12-29 09:06

    Wow! I had read good things about Michael DeForge’s one-man anthology Lose, but I did not expect to stumble upon the most exciting alternative comic-book series since Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library. Issues 2-5 are now collected in A Body Beneath, with the first issue unfortunately missing because it is, in the words of DeForge himself, “a very bad comic book.” Needless to say, I find that hard to believe. To be sure, DeForge is still in the process of developing his creative voice throughout A Body Beneath, but even the earliest strips collected here are fascinating in weird, unexpected, subversive, disturbing, and often quite funny ways. One of these early efforts, “Dog 2070,” shows some Chris Ware influence, other strips bring to mind the fearless, taboo-breaking spirit of Chester Brown’s Yummy Fur or the sharp, closely-observed, revealing wit of Daniel Clowes’ Eightball (as well as Eightball's initial juxtaposition of satire and surrealism). Seriously, if you have any interest at all in alternative comics, you owe it to yourself to check out the extremely talented Michael DeForge.

  • Forrest
    2019-01-22 02:42

    "Striking, funny, disturbing, beautiful, original" claims the blurb on the back cover. Well, yes and no. DeForge himself admits that the earlier works included here (and the even earlier works not included) were weaker material. But, at first, I was disinclined to agree. I really enjoyed the comic "It's Chip," with its morbid and surreal exploration of bullying and acceptance . . . of a sort (Important safety tip: do NOT read this to your child, or they will come out as warped as my children did after reading Dante's Inferno to them at a young age . . . unless you, like me, prefer warped children who grow up into warped adults. "Welcome to the fold, kid!"). But, like most collections of short stories - whether text or graphic - things get "uneven," as they tactfully say, as it goes along. That's not to say that any of the stories are really bad, none of them are. But with many, I had the same feeling I had when reading Clowes' The Death-Ray: "What's the hype? Why all the aloofness? You really think you're cool and condescending, don't you?" Truth is: I'm not a hipster. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I tended to like the shorter to mid-length pieces in this collection, but one of the longer ones stood out: "Living Outdoors," a psychedelic trip through, among other things, psychedelic trips. But the work also explores the complexity of relationships and associated emotions. It's the kind of story that sticks in the cranium after the end in a way that many of the other stories didn't.My favorite, though, was "Recent Hires," the tale of a self-abusing worm of a man who goes to desperate measures to elicit sympathy from women he likes. A strange, pitiful, very funny tale that is one of the more "straightforward" comics of the bunch. Still evocatively drawn, but with a tighter plot than most of the other pieces in the volume.As I've said earlier, there are no poor pieces in the volume. Just a couple that I found really boring. I'm sure I was missing the point. I just don't get the hipster "vibe". Maybe I'm a hipster because of that. I'm not cool enough to know.

  • David Schaafsma
    2018-12-24 05:56

    This is a collection of most of DeForge's Lose comics. These are decidedly alternative comics, weird, sometimes puzzling, as one would expect from alt-comics, but they are rarely disturbing. There's real warmth and humor that run through most of these short stories. I had read one of these volumes before, and I liked his work in it but hadn't completely figured out what I thought of the guy. That's sort of the nature of alt-comics, I think. You have to see if you can "get" the work on some level, and sometimes it takes time. Alt comics {and/or art comics} create a completely different world, sometimes surreal. Odd. Much of this is coming of age and always surprising, and I guess I would say usually surreal.In this beautifully done collection, you get to see patterns, though as he says himself, they are individual volumes that don't really connect with each other in any obvious ways. I found myself increasingly liking this work, and am now completely a fan. Great stuff in the tradition of Jim Woodring, Crumb, so many doing alternative and art comics, but he is really interesting.Read first in November 2014 and again in April 2015.

  • First Second Books
    2019-01-12 02:57

    One of the oft-mentioned benefits of reading is: it puts the reader into another person’s shoes. When reading Michael DeForge’s books, I always am reminded that some people have very, very different shoes. The inside of his brain must be a fascinating place to be – and it’s an engrossing experience to realize that your mind works so differently than someone else’s.

  • Andrew
    2019-01-22 05:46

    A mixed bag of short comics from DeForge's one-man anthology series "Lose." The early stories are a little rough in terms of both art and storytelling, but DeForge's maturation is clear by the end of the book, as he moves away from shaggy dog stories to create more emotionally rich and visually inventive comics.

  • Mel
    2019-01-20 08:04

    Well, this weirdness was brilliant. I will definitely be seeking out more Michael DeForge. A lot more. 5 stars and best reads pile. Great stuff.

  • Blanka Rota
    2019-01-24 07:38

    Like all of DeForge work I love this strange book

  • Callum McAllister
    2019-01-08 07:05

    That was incredibly weird but I loved it.

  • Derek Royal
    2019-01-07 07:44

    DeForge's Lose has been one of those series that I've been meaning to check out for awhile, so I'm glad that A Body Beneath was released last year, making it easy for me to get caught up. My experience with DeForge has been occasional anthologies or selected stories here and there, but this was a much more satisfying experience, taking in his writing all at once. In his introduction to the book, the author wonders whether or not reading everything in one volume like this is the best way to take in his comics. I'm not certain that it's the best way, but I do know that A Body Beneath worked for me. He's done work for Drawn and Quarterly, but DeForge is one of the artist (along with Jesse Jacobs) that define Koyama Press best for me.

  • Cole Ott
    2018-12-27 08:05

    This collection's a bit of a mixed bag, but it's interesting to watch Deforge's progression over the course of the book. The older stories (as he himself admits) are a bit rough, but by issues 4 and 5 he really hits his stride. "Recent Hires" was definitely the standout for me.

  • Leif
    2019-01-07 07:43

    My third of three back-to-back encounters with DeForge, this was the one where I found more signs of "normality" while DeForge was also clearly wrestling with his own desires and goals, having admitted to scrapping the entire first volume of "Lose" as it was, by his own account, terrible. Clearly there's a restless picking away at wounds happening here that is, in turn, reflected in the types of stories and figures being composed. The narratives are delicate and grotesque in DeForge's characteristic style, but the figures feel more solid, grounded in their situations. Narratives end abruptly, which is frustrating to one type of reading, but the diversity here is beginning to be a strength and not, as in earlier works, a telling weakness of purpose. That said, I began to lose interest toward the end of the collection as I found the later work less and less compelling: the line between the fascinatingly esoteric and the self-absorption of meaninglessness was (to my eyes) being crossed, although others will of course have different opinions.There are more than a few homages in DeForge's work to the canon of comic books and graphic novels. Within that tradition, it's clear that he's writing himself in, albeit in a very self-deprecating Canadian way.

  • Jessica
    2019-01-16 08:02

    Weird and wonderful. DeForge combines fascinating art with funny stories and dreamlike scenarios to create worlds that are familiar yet oh so strange. Like reality. I love his work and am entertained and inspired by what he does.

  • Hollowspine
    2019-01-15 10:52

    Lose /looz/verb1. be deprived of or cease to have or retain (something).2. become unable to find (something or someone.)3. fail to win (a game or contest).4. earn less (money) than one is spending or has spent.A Body Beneath collects DeForge's series of short comics, Lose #2-5. As one might expect many of the comics explore themes of loss. All with Deforge's...and here I pause once again. I was going to say grotesque, but then felt it couldn't encompass what I meant, since although I was disturbed, I was also drawn into the artwork. So I went back to the dictionary and found a wikipedia entry that helpfully said, "grotesque may also refer to something that simultaneously invokes in an audience a feeling of uncomfortable bizarreness as well as empathic pity."So, it turns out grotesque is the right term, in fact it conveys how I feel very well. As much as as I was disturbed by the events of Dogs 2070, I also empathized with and pitied the characters, even now I recall the feelings of peace during the gliding scene, only to be struck down in the midst of reverie by the cruel indignities of life. Or to suggest one's weird brother is a psycho only the receive a face fungus in return and even later discover that one's new best friend only wants to lay eggs in one's face and take over the world. Sigh.I also really enjoyed the portrait of Canadian Royals. Sometimes I too feel as if I'm wearing a huge constrictive outfit which I cannot, under strict rules, take off. I'm sure we all feel that way at times. When I looked up the meaning of the word "Lose" I was reminded of the things I lost, the times I failed and the drain of resources and time I can never get back. Luckily, A Body Beneath, though occasionally echoing those thoughts was not a loss, but a gain.

  • Monique
    2018-12-24 10:01

    2017 Review:Back in 2014 I had given this book 2 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, but rereading it it feels like a solid 3. Yeah it's weird and it's rough and some of the comics are more interesting than others, but I still really enjoyed it. The disturbing psychology of the many characters was engaging. The art style changes a lot, but I felt like I was watching an artist grow and experiment. Still hard to recommend unless you are either a fan of Deforge or really into weird, indie titles. (Of which I am both)2014 Review:This was an interesting collection of DeForge's older work, specifically his Lose comics. It was a mixed bag. Some of it was interesting, a lot of it was really weird, even for DeForge. Not really recommended unless you are already a fan and might be interested in his older stuff.

  • Vince Coleman
    2019-01-12 09:08

    Wow, ya'll, WOW. This book is INSANE and awesome and amazing. If you've ever read Daniel Clowes' "Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron" or any of Jim Woodring's "Frank" stuff and wondered where to go from there to get more weird, surreal stuff packed with an amazing amount of sensitivity and soul, THIS IS IT. Visually entrancing. Each surreal situation and psychedelic experience is laced with a surprising amount of warm concern for the human experience. My only complaint is that a few of the stories have text that is a bit small and hard to read for my taste, but that is a reproduction level problem, not something inherently wrong with the artist's work (plus, it's only like that for a few stories). Overall, the book is amazing.

  • Jim
    2019-01-21 03:38

    A cool collection of this great cartoonist's earlier work. This is definitely a little uneven, but it's got some awesome stuff in it. Get everything else by DeForge first and then read this once you've already been converted to adoring fan status.

  • Derek
    2019-01-07 07:08

    Animated by the part of the mind that brought us hairy palms, by the baby spiders that crawl into our mouths while we sleep.

  • Gareth Schweitzer
    2019-01-03 05:50

    A range of fantastic drawing and some lovely story telling.

  • Liz Yerby
    2019-01-05 09:02

    Lots a rad weirdness

  • Lindsay
    2018-12-25 09:57

    I really liked the later issues, but some of the earlier stuff seemed to drag on a bit. Still, reliably confoundingly weird. Woot!

  • Lara
    2019-01-12 04:55

    Gleefully, horribly absurd, creepy, and funny.

  • Bek
    2019-01-14 06:43

    Holy misogyny Batman! It gets one star for the horse head (and some other parts) being super creepy and one star for the illustrations.

  • Dru
    2018-12-26 08:48

    any review short of: "THIS IS REALLY GOOD COMIX", will probably not do this book any justice. Deforge is great and this is a perfect example of his beautiful art and crazy storytelling.

  • Aharon
    2018-12-28 06:04

    You don't have to get into my car; you can walk if you like, it's up to you. But do get out of my dreams.

  • Zane McDaniel
    2018-12-28 02:39

    Dog 2070 wowwwwwwwwww

  • Maureen
    2019-01-10 06:52

    I love Michael DeForge but this wasn't my favorite.

  • Veronica
    2018-12-30 06:51

    awesome and surreal.