In a project teaming two rising stars of indie comics, Fantagraphics has acquired BTTM FDRS by Ezra Claytan Daniels and Ben Passmore. The new graphic novel combines satire and horror in a quirky exploration of urban gentrification and race. The book will be published in summer 2019.

In BTTM FDRS, Darla, a young, hip black fashion designer, looking for cheap rent moves into a hulking building in the now-gentrifying former Chicago working class neighborhood where she grew up. Accompanied by her white, style-crazy childhood buddy Cynthia, the two discover a deadly new kind of creeping (and creepy) urban blight.

The book is written by Claytan Daniels, creator of Upgrade Soul (Lion Forge), a probing work of graphic science-fiction that was awarded the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity. BTTM FDRS is drawn by Passmore, hailed for Your Black Friend (Silver Sprocket), a sly broadside on bohemian racial cluelessness, as well as other socially focused comics.

Passmore said the book,combines my love for David Cronenberg style monsters and anti-gentrification.” Claytan Daniels said, “Writing BTTM FDRS was a very therapeutic way to work through my feelings about issues like cultural appropriation, gentrification, and representation.”

Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds said he has been “a fan of both Ezra’s and Ben’s work for a while and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them. It’s a great book by two great creators who I feel are just entering their storytelling prime.”