February 26, 2015 by Julian Voloj
Earlier this week, Benjamin Melendez, the protagonist in the upcoming graphic novel “Ghetto Brother” visited NBM.
Benjy is very excited that his life story is now going to reach a wide audience, telling the story of the Hoe Avenue Peace Meeting and how young people decided to go a non-violent path instead of seeking revenge and continuing the circle of violence.
Terry Nantier presented Benjy with an advance reading copy of the book. The official book presentation will take place in April during this year’s MoCCA Festival.
February 24, 2015 by Jeff Whitman
April will be a big month for NBM! We are releasing GHETTO BROTHER- Warrior to Peacemaker, by Julian Voloj and Claudia Ahlering. Ghetto Brother tells the story of Benjy Melendez who brought a truce to the gangs of New York in the 70s.
GHETTO BROTHER- Warrior to Peacemaker
Julian Voloj, Claudia Ahlering
Introduction by Jeff Chang, author of “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation”
An engrossing and counter view of one of the most dangerous elements of American urban history, this graphic novel tells the true story of Benjy Melendez, a Bronx legend, son of Puerto-Rican immigrants, who founded, at the end of the 1960s, the notorious Ghetto Brothers gang. From the seemingly bombed-out ravages of his neighborhood, wracked by drugs, poverty, and violence, he managed to extract an incredibly positive energy from this riot ridden era: his multiracial gang promoted peace rather than violence. After initiating a gang truce, the Ghetto Brothers held weekly concerts on the streets or in abandoned buildings, which fostered the emergence of hip-hop. Melendez also began to reclaim his Jewish roots after learning about his family’s dramatic crypto-Jewish background.
6×9, 128pp., black and white paperback: $12.99;
Diamond Order Code: FEB151507
For previews and more, visit our website.
On a similar note, available now is Ryan Inzana’s JOHNNY JIHAD. Publisher’s Weekly called the book “starkly engaging and powerful. A bold fictional investigation into the roots of political fanaticism.”
John Sendel is a typical disillusioned teenager. The kind that snap and would start shooting at their school. He is part of a generation reared by television in the nineties with absentee or loveless parents, cynical, and willing to wield the impetuousness of youth in a self-destructive manner. But Johnny stumbles onto fundamentalist Islam through his friend Salim, and finds a new outlet to channel his rebellious angst. He cannot but admire these people with an actual purpose in life and something to believe in. The facets of Johnny’s humdrum existence in suburbia begin to fade, his life now has a purpose: jihad. However, the deeper he gets enmeshed, the more frightening the road becomes with no possibility of return. When the CIA gets hold of him, things take an ugly turn. Based on true facts of training camps run in the U.S. and inspired by the stories of John Walker Lindh and others… Chillingly real and hotly topical.
6×9, 96pp., B&W trade pb.: $9.95
Diamond Order Code: STAR18763
For more information and previews, click here.
Head over to your favorite comic book store now to place your order in February’s Diamond Previews magazine!
February 21, 2015 by Julian Voloj
Did you know that this year there will be Ghetto Brother editions published in Brazil, France, Germany, and Spain? Don’t worry, you can get yours here at NBM. But it’s interesting what others think about this truly American tale. In Germany, “puls” named the graphic novel best new release in the category ‘non fiction’. Very honored.
February 19, 2015 by Margreet de Heer
I guess I should prepare for e-fame now!
Fortunately, animators Jaltoid made this handy survival guide – watch it, it’s hilarious!
February 19, 2015 by Julian Voloj
Caz was the frontman of the hip hop pioneers The Cold Crush Brothers and is probably best (un-)known for rhymes he didn’t even perform – the verses that Big Bank Hank ‘borrowed’ for Sugarhill Gang’s 1979 single “Rapper’s Delight.” The Cold Crush Brothers’ first manager was Joseph Mpa, who back in 1971 (then as a representative of the Black Panther Party) approached Benjamin Melendez to discuss gang violence and, according to Melendez, “planted the seed” that led to the Hoe Avenue Peace Meeting.
Photographer Joe Conzo became friends with the Cold Crush Brothers while attending high school. As their official photographer, he documented the early days of hip hop. His collection can be found in the Cornell Hip Hop Collection. Conzo was also an early supporter of the graphic novel, offering his photographs of the South Bronx as inspiration for the illustrations, giving the book a very realistic feeling. Another connection is Joe’s grandmother Evelina Antonetty, the founder of the United Bronx Parents, who gave Benjamin Melendez his first job.
Original Joe Conzo photograph and illustration by Claudia Ahlering.
February 18, 2015 by Julian Voloj
JOMIX — Jewish Comics; Art & Derivation
Tuesday, March 10, 2015│6:00-7:30pm
Karen Green, Graphic Novel Librarian, Columbia University .
Joel Silverstein and Richard McBee, Exhibit Curators, Jewish Art Salon.
Location: UJA-Federation of New York, 130 East 59th, Street Seventh-Floor Gallery, New York City
About the Exhibit
From the invention of Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster to the graphic novel “Maus” by Art Spiegelman, Jewish artists and writers have served an essential and indispensable role in the comics and graphic novel industry. This exhibition boasts a roster of cutting edge creators, reinvestigating traditional genres like superhero, political satire, romance, horror, science fiction and confessionals through a Jewish lens. Join us for a look at how these contemporary Jewish artists use the comics medium as a way to express and address their own Jewish identity and cultural experience while also examining the complex relationship of art, identity and culture within the Jewish community at large. More information here.
The exhibition will feature artwork from “Ghetto Brother” by Julian Voloj and Claudia Ahlering.
February 18, 2015 by Julian Voloj
Marranos‘ (Spanish: [maˈranos]) were originally Jews living in the Iberian Peninsula who converted or were forced to convert to Christianity, some of whom may have continued to practice Judaism in secret.
Read more about Ghetto Brother here.
February 15, 2015 by Julian Voloj
“The gang truce back in the early seventies with Brother Benjy, with the Ghetto Brothers, Black Spades, the Savage Skulls, the Savage Nomads, Seven Immortals, the Reapers, Turbans, with all the major street organizations, was powerful. It was the time to put down the weapons against each other and try to organize… It was deep. It was powerful… We were all in the same game.”
Hip Hop Pioneer, Founder of the Universal Zulu Nation, Participant in the 1971 Hoe Avenue Peace Meeting
Author Julian Voloj with Afrika Bambaataa, photograph by Joe Conzo
February 13, 2015 by Julian Voloj
-4 Fahrenheit meaning -20 Celsius meaning, man, it’s cold today, NYC!
February 13, 2015 by Margreet de Heer
This comic about Friday the Thirteenth was made in 2007 for children’s magazine Jippo. I wrote the script, and Belgian colleague Floris De Smedt made the drawings – and added so much fun to it by coming up with all kinds of things happening in the background!