So, the characteristics of the Indie Graphic Novel are that it 1) is a black-and-white thing 2) that uses “clever” stylistic tricks to tell a story 3) about a dude who can best be described as not precisely a younger version of the author, and 4) how he meets this girl that changes his life. And sure enough, Dash Shaw’s Bottomless Belly Button is an Indie Graphic Novel.
And while I began this post intending it to only be about Bottomless Belly Button, it occurs to me that I might as well get maximum value for my effort by noting: Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim vols 1 and 2 are also Indie Graphic Novels. The main difference between O’Malley and Shaw is that the latter would appeal to college-aged art majors and the former to college-aged CS majors. Also, the latter’s protagonist has a frog head, while the former’s has some kind of hideously malformed bobble-head doll head. Other than that, basically the same thing.