Touted by Fantagraphics as Dash Shaw’s “most taut book to date”, Doctors looks to be stripped down in both size and style from last year’s extravagant 340-pager, New School. While it highlights the artist’s emphatic line again, it appears to have stepped back a little from the kaleidoscopic swirl of overlaid colours and textures that defined much of his earlier work (although the use of flat-coloured backgrounds keeps things from being too black and white).
The publisher’s blurb offers a “part science-fiction thriller, part family drama, part morality play for the 21st century”, indicating how little genre boundaries mean to a restless experimenter like Shaw. Asking deep questions about big issues of life, death and identity, the story revolves around the Charon, a medical device that allows people to enter the memory of the recently deceased and bring them back to life – at a terrible price.
Doctors is another thought-provoking and much talked-about work from a substantial talent already described by Chris Ware as “something of a genius”.