Goddess Head by Dash Shaw
I never know quite where to start with something like this. Dash has put together a book of short pieces, and if you're seen anything the man has done over the years you know that he's in a league of his own. I'm sure he's made a few crappy comics in his day (who hasn't?), but I've yet to see one. From the bombastic introduction to the quiet, silent, repetitive day in the life of a young woman, it's like you've been taken, blindfolded, into the woods, spun around a few times and left on your own. That's not a bad thing, just a chance for you to discover everything for yourself, but if you're left behind nobody is going to help you out. Stories in here include Goddess Head (a casual breakup turns into a heartbreaking tragedy, and you're never going to see a more honest depiction of loss from a banana), Always Seek the Truth. Devote Your Life to Truth. (a convoluted and brief murder mystery with the perfect ending), Teach Me the Guitar (involving a dank basement, young children and a backwards message), Time Travel (juxtaposing two pairs traveling in crates, one talking about their future and one (after fucking) talking about their pasts), Heart-Shaped Holding Cell (about a small female prison in South Uganda, why they got there and how they communicate), Operation: Smile (a mildly whimsical tale that ends in terror and confusion), and Echo & Narcissus (the one piece that mostly went over my head, but with striking enough visuals that it'll probably stay with me anyway). There's also an afterward by Tom Hart, which says what I'm going for but puts it all together to make sense. Errors in interpretation are mine alone, as always, and for anyone who's in this comics business for the sheer variety of voices out there, Dash is a necessary part of your bookshelf. A quick look around his website should convince you of that.