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Super Stroppy

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Since it hit stores in mid-June, Marc Bell's first full-length graphic novella, Stroppy, has been earning praise from critics and fan alike, who are captivated by its densely detailed, bright coloured pages and story full of hilarious mishaps. The book debuted at the extra-special TCAF 2015, and then traveled the west coast on a joint North American tour with Anders Nilsen. Here we've collected some of the finest words of recognition Stroppy has received, as well as the interviews Marc has given on its creation, as inspired by his own 'annual blog post'

"[Stroppy is] a posthippie fantasia, filled with high-minded ideals about labour and art, but orchestrated with gleeful, low brow verve." The Globe and Mail

"Bell's return to comics is at once satisfying and exasperating, in a good way: certainly a reading experience like no other." AV Club

"Bell’s protagonists can seem just as easily plagued by anxiety as they can be blessed by a divine nonchalance...Stroppy is filled to the brim with odd, off-kilter dialogue and jokes, impossibly elaborate machines and bizarre creatures that look more like layers of sediment than living beings." The Comics Journal 

"Although Marc Bell has been publishing comics for a couple of decades, longer narratives like Stroppy are welcome rarities. Bell’s imagery is strong, full of the visual echoes of an auteur like Jim Woodring...There’s an aplomb to the way he lays out his events, recalling Tony Millionaire’s (Sock Monkey) ability to push a plot forward like a game of exquisite corpse...this work is designed for the relaxed and the amused, providing an experience akin to floating on a lazy river." Paste

"You can’t dip into Marc Bell’s comics. You have to immerse yourself. There’s a depth to his wild and crazy imagery that demands you pay attention, let your eye take in the rubbery detail, its strangeness and cartoony density. The result is something that owes something to the underground comix of the 1960s, the world creation of animated cartoons and Bell’s own vision of the world which might be best summed up as savage, acid-flavoured whimsy." Herald Scotland

"[Stroppy's] panels are densely packed with fantastical, misshapen hodgepodge characters who regularly bring the laughs." NOW Magazine
 
"Stroppy is an allegory of class struggle that questions and critiques social mobility, meritocracy and economic privilege, all while telling a story that also pokes fun at taste and authorship in the music industry...The absurd plot, while fascinating, comes secondary to Bell's visual metaphors and his colourful, engaging full-page scenes, composed of jittery black lines, minute details and kinetic energy. It's a pleasure to take in, and the jokes, though subtle, are often as biting as they are clever." Exclaim!
 
"[Stroppy] will reward multiple readings. Pay close attention and you’ll find riffs on the likes of Gowan, the Canadian singer from the 1980s, as well as sitcom actor Alan Thicke and President’s Choice products...Recommended for readers who want a diversion from the usual graphic-novel fare." London Free Press
 
 
So that's what the critics have to say, but what about Marc himself?
 

Still haven't read Stroppy? (Why not?) Start with checking out a preview right here!