In this follow-up to his acclaimed graphic novel, "Ninja"--which was reviewed in such diverse sources as "The New York Times, Art Review" and "The Comics Journal"--the co-founder of the legendary Providence underground art and music space, Fort Thunder, gives us an immersive, frenetic reading experience. Originally drawn in 1996 over the pages of a Japanese book catalogue, Brian Chippendale's monumental 350-page graphic novel, "Maggots," is reproduced here in a facsimile edition, with every nick and tear in tact. The line work--incredibly dense because Chippendale needed to cover up the Japanese catalogue--nearly vibrates off every page. As for the story, it concerns a group of characters who live in a place called Fort Thunder and wander around discovering little holes in their universe, battle a capitalist landlord, eat peanut butter sandwiches and embark on adventures somewhere between dirt punk and epic, cosmic science fiction.
Chippendale's drawings are much like his famed drumming for the noise rock band Lightning Bolt: propulsive, soulful and chaotic. But, like his best songs, "Maggots" opens up into beautiful visual passages, vistas of temples and flowers--all drawn in scorching black marks that tell a story in their own abstractions. This book has several built-in cult followings.