NBM

The Big Kahn gets The Big Press

August 12, 2009 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases, Reviews

First off: Booklist, an influential review of books:
Kleid’s second graphic novel observes the fallout of a 40-year deception. At Rabbi David Kahn’s funeral, a Gentile asks to see his brother one more time. His brother? Just so, for the rabbi wasn’t a Jew. He came to Judaism as a young crook working a con but, falling in love and marrying into it, stayed to become a revered spiritual leader. His family is devastated, none more than elder son Avi, a sincere young rabbi presumed to be David’s successor-but no longer, which shakes his faith. Equally affected is David’s daughter, Lea, who has been in full rebellion against her upbringing (she is first seen here assuaging her grief by shtupping in a synagogue closet while Avi delivers the eulogy) but now reacts with self-doubt. This is an unusually rich work. Every character is well realized. Each panel’s composition, perspective, and placement within the continuity, and also the transitions between scenes, are done with care. Unfortunately, Cinquegrani’s figural skills don’t match the excellence of story and visual conceptualization. Nevertheless, a not-to-be-missed original graphic novel. -Ray Olson
And then from Graphic Novel Reporter:
Kleid’s script is a wonder, with its pitch-perfect ear for dialogue. Paired with Nicolas Cinquegrani’s richly textured shades and overtones, it not only captures New Jersey well—it also fully delivers on the premise of the story. When the no-good brother bursts in, disrupting everything and causing chaos at the scene, the emotions he provokes in the family and in the crowd are so nicely executed that they feel completely real—Cinquegrani’s work bringing the panels to life right along with the script, which is at times funny and then heartbreaking.
 
The Big Kahn is an adventurous step for Kleid, author of Brownsville and the webcomic Action, Ohio. Like Brownsville, it’s a Jewish story set out east, but it’s so simply executed (and subtly ambitious) that it sneaks up on you more easily and more casually than you expect. Its great strength lies in that. I loved the story and was glad to be able to read it in graphic novel form. — John Hogan
See MORE on the book including preview pages.
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