a predilection for Tina

artist: Dave Cooper
series: Ripple
publisher: Fantagraphics
publish date:
language: English
pages: 96:

This is a breakthrough graphic novel for Cooper, creator of the wildly surreal and critically-acclaimed books Crumple and Suckle. Unlike those works, Ripple is a highly realistic story in both subject matter and drawing style. Martin is a floundering painter desperately attempting to pursue his fine-art inclinations rather than toiling in the world of commercial art. He hires a homely model, Tina, to pose for a series of "erotic" paintings that he hopes will be his breakthrough into the gallery world. Over time, their relationship evolves from a tenuous working relationship to a confused sexual entanglement. Martin's initial repulsion for Tina slowly turns to attraction, causing him to re-evaluate his own notions of beauty and sexuality. Tina's motives in working for Martin are slowly turned upside-down as well, leading towards the book's inevitable, explosive ending. Throughout it all, Ripple is a complex love story poked and prodded from all angles, from Martin and Tina's physical and emotional feelings toward each other, Martin's dishonesty to himself, Tina's self-loathing, and everything in between. Sad, funny, and often uncomfortably titillating, Ripple is a remarkably introspective graphic novel, rendered with kinetic realism in a pen technique that calls to mind a more controlled Edward Sorel and Jules Feiffer.

"Whenever Dave Cooper publishes a new book, I would be surprised if 90 percent of the other artists working in the comics field aren't embarrassed and intimidated by his imagination, originality, and drawing ability." – Geoff Darrow

"Easily the best new book of the year." – Seth

"Beautifully produced and designed and is easily one of the best comics of the year." – Chris Oliveros, publisher, Drawn & Quarterly

"Ripple is a very sad love story — depressing even — but what makes it a joy to read is Cooper's contagious delight in turning his perceptions into evocative blobs and sausages." – Rain Taxi

"[Ripple] is by no means a love affair you'd want to get close to, but fascinating to watch it crumble from afar." – Guardian

"You simply must get it, you must." – Bizarre

Available titles in this series: