An uncanny and eye-opening journey into a mysterious building, adapted from a short story by Jeff VanderMeer
To the west: trees. To the east: a mall. North: fast food. South: darkness. And at the centre is The Building, an office building wherein several factions vie for dominance. Inside, the walls are infiltrated with vines, a mischief of mice learn to speak English, and something eerie happens once a month on the fifth floor. In Secret Life, Theo Ellsworth uses a deep-layered style to interpret Nebula award-winning author Jeff VanderMeer’s short story. What emerges is a mind-bending narrative that defamiliarizes the mundanity of office work and makes the arcane rituals of The Building home.
“Secret Life captures the dark pulsing horror of office life with a bizarre honesty found only in bad dreams and good nightmares. An engrossing, unsettling, beautiful work.” — Patrick McHale, Over the Garden Wall
Theo Ellsworth is a self-taught artist living in Montana. His previously published comics include Capacity, The Understanding Monster, Sleeper Car, and An Exorcism. The New York Times once called his work, ‘imagination at firehose intensity’. He has been the recipient of the Lynd Ward Honor Book Prize and an Artist Innovation Award. He loves creative collaboration, cooking, and making family folk art with his kids. He is constantly making invisible performance art in his head that no one will ever see.
Jeff VanderMeer is the author of Dead Astronauts, Borne and The Southern Reach Trilogy, the first volume of which, Annihilation, won the Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award and was adapted into a movie by Alex Garland starring Natalie Portman. VanderMeer speaks and writes frequently about issues relating to climate change. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, Ann VanderMeer, and their cats, plants, and bird feeders.