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  • Words: Ben Newman
  • Art: Ben Newman
  • Colors: Ben Newman
  • Publisher: Nobrow Press
  • Price: $11.00
  • Release Date: Mar 28, 2012

Ben Newman leads his audience into a loop of wonder in Ouroboros.

NoBrow recently unveiled its new 17X23 line of books, one of which is Ben Newman’s Ouroboros, a bizarre journey into a world of mermaids and monstrous monkeys from outer space. The craziness begins when our unlikely hero discovers a tree grown in what appears to be the shape of a man. He removes its eyes and uses them as his own, and through them a strange new world emerges. When a beautiful mermaid is burnt to ash by the lightning bolt blast of an alien monkey’s pistol, ape arms are lopped off and fists shatter glass and jaws, which leads to a final confrontation with a super simian-being and an ending that brings everything full circle, just like the title indicates.

Confession: This is the first time I’ve ever “read” a book told entirely with pictures and without a single word to latch onto except the title, and I could not put this fun, moving book down, a testament to Newman’s visual style of storytelling. The illustrations throughout Ouroboros are extremely colorful and playful, even when the story itself is at its most violent. There’s one truly memorable scene in which our hero, shackled and seeing red, gnaws off his own arm to free himself from the enemy’s clutches after they brutally beat his heart into a shapeless, lifeless pulp. After that, all hell breaks loose, and we ultimately find that we ourselves are trapped in this violent, circular world.

At once humorous and violent, honest and surprisingly poignant, Ben Newman’s Ouroboros is a book worth picking up.

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