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"Fantastic Deep Space Romances with the Stars of Art Nihilism"
Front cover of the paperback edition of the graphic novel "BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Fantastic Deep Space Romances with the Stars of Art Nihilism" by Joy Rip
Fairy Tales By Monsters For Monsters
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Graphic Novel About Art, Nihilism, Art Nihilism

“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Fantastic Deep Space Romances with the Stars of Art Nihilism” – an original graphic novel by Joy Rip – is a totally new and different retelling of the famous fairy tale set deep in outer space. In this surprising total reinvention of the classic, Joy Rip spins a haunting graphic tale ripped from the seamy side of the art world and its players.

Unlike the fairy tale, this graphic novel is more true-to-life, less heroic. There is no noble savage. There is no majestic, magnificent- looking beast to sympathize with. Why should there be anything to make the real cruelty, terrors and horrors of the world easier to stomach? This is not a children's book. This is a fairy tale for adults, those entering adulthood or those in a sad hurry to grow up. The world this graphic novel paints will be brutally familiar. Not because it resembles the familiar fairy tale, but because it chillingly resembles our own.


"Beauty is nothing other than the promise of happiness." ~ Stendhal


“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST." Don't let the well-known title fool you. This new graphic novel borrows nothing from the old children's tale beyond the title. This is a completely new telling of the age-old encounter and fight between the beautiful and the horrific. For one, this account of the ancient story about the struggle between beauty and ugliness does not necessarily have a happy ending.


Before man understood the difference between good versus evil, he understood the crucial difference between pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, the happy ending versus the unhappy ending. It is the age-old difference between triumph and tragedy, success and failure, life and death.

Before man understood the difference between right vs. wrong, man knew what he liked and did not like.  And that one primal piece of knowledge makes all the difference in the world. For what causes us pleasure and pain determines what we like and do not like. What causes us pleasure and pain determines how we see the world.

So what's wrong with this picture? What don't you like about it? What doesn't make sense? What does? What would? How would you describe it? How would you explain it? How would you paint your picture of this or any world? What would you change?

• Yes, what would you change if you could change the world?

• What would you change if you could only change your world?

• Is there a difference?

The story of beauty versus ugliness is even older than the story of good versus evil. It is no accident that one of the most powerful passages in the New Testament is The Beatitudes that begin the Sermon On the Mount. Like the Book of Job from the Old Testament, all moral tales are about moral beauty, such as the beauty of faith or grace. And it is never merely the story of how Beauty struggles with the ugliness of sin but rather how Beauty struggles with horror. How we act in the face of our own terror and horror at life's ugly pain and suffering is much more revealing than any story about sin. Thus if you must tell a story about sin, make it a horror story. Horror is a more hauntingly primal tale, a more powerful story. Tales it tells about beauty have more power to hunt, haunt, and hold.

Illusionist turned horrorist Joy Rip has this bit of dramaturgic advice for anyone attempting to paint a picture of this or any other world... and for all the world's would-be storytellers who desire to craft a beautiful tale. Forget the happy ending. Abandon your empty promises of heaven. Open a portal to hell and push your heroine Beauty through it. The tales she'll bring back with her will be far more compelling and memorable than anything you can imagine. That is, if she makes it back alive.


Beauty and the Beast... is not merely the story of how a girl named Beauty deals with horror; it is the story of how we use beauty to deal with all life's horrors. It is the story of how we use beautiful illusions to handle the horror of being ugly or the horror of being treated ugly by our fellow man and by life. How man uses beauty to cope with the horror of his own life is the essence of the primal scene. Whether that primal scene be innocence wrestling with the truth or bodies wrestling in bed, Joy Rip's graphic novel practices what the old fairy tale preaches about the possibility of transforming the beastly into the beautiful. But it does so only on its own terms, as it paints how we deal with life's horrors... through art.

“Beauty and the Beast” – an original graphic novel by Joy Rip is based on the true story of an up-and-coming artist brutally murdered by a disillusioned fan. At its heart this graphic novel is about the world’s replacement of religious culture by man-made culture such as art (and science, technology), and the further displacement of both religious and artistic culture by celebrity culture. If it is all indeed heading towards the global domination of culture by a worldwide celebrity culture, then is it long before everyone makes a mad power grab for the public eye? Will everyone play their part in updating that archetypal mythology of the lone priests in the woods stalking one another to the death for dominance, everyone becoming rival global celebrities competing to the death for ever greater wealth, power and fame? All anyone knows is it is ancient. It is happening everywhere. And it has been going on for a long time.

Beast spoke to Beauty. “A knack for becoming famous is the only real ability an artist needs to become successful in this brave new world. For fame can exist without talent. And talent can exist without fame. But in an attention economy, where everyone/everything competes for attention, and where capitalizing on attention is the name of the game, fame will always be far more important than talent." Beast paused... "The most important talent to possess is the gift for getting noticed, attracting attention, achieving fame."

Art, nihilism, and art nihilism are central themes of this graphic novel by Joy Rip. What is the meaning and importance of art? What is the nature of success in the art world when face-to-face with art nihilism? What is the nature of any sort of success in life when confronted by the bigger picture of nihilism in general? "Fame is a bullet with your name on it..." portends a message on a stark white art gallery wall. Fame is an empty promise. Life is brief. Death is long. Unless... immortality is no fairy tale. Take a look at this unusual and surprising comic book epic by Joy Rip about a chance encounter between a girl named Beauty and an ugly artist called the Beast... and see for yourself!

Grady Harp (LA, CA): Amazon's Top Reviewer of the arts reviews the paperback edition of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
"Both talented in graphic art and gifted in contemporary philosophy Joy Rip rips out some concepts and thoughts that merit our pondering. This is one powerful little graphic novel!"
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Graphic novelist Joy Rip's author bio
"What is Art?" wondered Beauty.
"Lipstick on a pig," smiled Beast.

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