Saturday, July 5, 2014


B+F is a delightful reading experience. It is an oversized, wordless story about a woman and a dog making their way through a primordial world. Along the way, they encounter exotic landscapes and creatures. There are an adorable and puckish skeleton puppy, horrific mole-creatures, and exotic and teeming mini-animals that defy description. And the artwork, as you can see below, is beautiful, colorful, and evocative.

I know many educators might shy away from this book because of the nudity of the female character, but there is nothing prurient about her in the visuals or her actions. She just does not wear any clothes, just like the dog does not either. I found myself completely taken up in their adventures, and there is much here to thrill, delight, frighten, and bewilder readers of all ages. I should also say I was shocked at how everything resolved. I cannot rightly say that I enjoyed the ending, but I also loved it. I felt it was an incredible, moving, and thought-provoking book as well as an admirable narrative achievement.
Those mole critters are up to no good.
Author/artist Gregory Benton has been making comics since the early 1990s for a diverse bunch of publishers including Nickelodeon, Vertigo, Entertainment Weekly, Disney, Tower Records, DC Comics, and World War 3 Illustrated. Benton speaks more about his career and work on this book in this interview.

This book won the 2013 MoCCA Award of Excellence, and it has received great reviews. Publishers Weekly wrote that the story might be a "bit insubstantial, both in terms of length and in character and thematic development, "but that "the artwork is absolutely beautiful, with breathtaking treatment of light." Larry Vossler commented that "B+F caught me completely off-guard with it's alien charm but it also made me heavily uneasy; and I really like that." Patrick Hess called it "an achievement in using art in the purest sense of the word to take the reader on a journey of wonder and reflection."

B+F was published by AdHouse Books, who provide a preview here.

I met Gregory Benton at this year's HeroesCon, and I totally gushed about his work to him. He was a great guy to talk to, and he drew this beautiful dédicace for me.
It is too good for me not to share. Thank you, Gregory!

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