The latest on Greg Houston’s recent GN Elephant Man comes from Sequential Tart:
“As a broad parody of Superman, I thought this first issue was spot on. I thought the humor in Elephant Man was great, the writing is definitely the comic’s strongest asset. The over-the-top dialogue was outstanding, particularly the rants of Handsome Dirk. All the characters are ludicrously drawn and really matched well with the humor. My favorite side characters were the Big Hair Tough Girls.”
Grade: 7 out of 10.
The Gutter Geek blog at The Comics Journal says:
“In the end, the book is little more than an extended Kurtzman-and-Elder-era-Mad magazine spoof on superhero comics, but who needs more than that. And Houston’s line work, which crackles with just a little bit of genuine crazy on top of the rigorously enforced wackiness, is a frenetic and occasionally grotesque delight. Houston suggests on the cover that this might well be the first in a series. I suspect he is joking, but I will confess I am kind of hoping he means it.”
Rob Clough, elsewhere at The Comics Journal said:
“There isn’t much that’s subtle about Greg Houston’s new comic from NBM, Elephant Man #1, and I don’t think the artist would have it any other way.”
But he regretted that: “I would have preferred more time being spent on the oddities of Baltimore, like The Big Hair Tough Girls. These ass-kicking donut shop workers are exactly the sort of thing Houston does best: a loving caricature of something ridiculous and unpleasant. The Ralph Steadman/Bill Plympton/Mort Drucker qualities to his line remained in full effect, as the reader was rewarded on page after page with funny & gross drawings. This is a comic to be looked at more than to be read, other than for conceptual context.”
…and he’s tweeting and blogging about it.
It’s quite fascinating as he goes back to where he went at the start of the Afghan War back in 2001. He reported on that in one of our bestselling books To Afghanistan & Back. This hybrid of comics and articles that he wrote for the Village Voice was also the first ‘instant graphic novel’ as we rushed it out to print within months beginning 2002. It’s gone on to sell over 20,000 copies.
Ted just had to see for himself what was really going on, especially with our country frantically waving our flags at the time and blood-thristy for revenge. What he brought back was sobering. He predicted clearly back then that this was far from over. I knew this would make a great bit of comics journalism and had Ted bring it into comics.
Well, he’s back at it again and tweeting about it as well as blogging. Live from the middle of Taliban hell. The guy’s nuts. But count on him to tell you a different point of view. Subscribe to it.
Also, this time he got a miraculous amount of funding for it through the amazing Kickstarter site (link here goes straight to Ted’s page there). No paper or magazine would pay for this highly dangerous assignment in these nobody-has-money-internet-days, so quite a few people contributed to it through Kickstarter…
Literally, the internet taketh away and then giveth back.
Well, on this one at least…
From ComicMix, picked up by the big site IMDb:
“Privacy Activism is a non-profit company designed to make people aware and give them knowledge and tools to determine how much they want to share or to protect. To educate the younger masses, they created Carabella, a hip, blue-skinned college-aged woman and have used her in several outreach programs. For her third appearance, she has been turned over to master graphic novelists, Gerard Jones and Mark Badger, for Networked: Carabella on the Run.
There are some strong messages here and plenty of food for thought. Presenting this information embedded within an entertaining graphic novel was a great approach. With luck, we’ll be seeing Carabella again.”School Library Journal was not so complimentary, calling it possibly heavy-handed but did allow: “For classes that are exploring the topic of privacy, Carabella and her college-age buddies can offer students a valuable lesson. A Teachers’ Guide is offered at PrivacyActivism to assist.”
Robert Haines had some very nice things to say about THE BROADCAST over at the Joe Shuster Awards website yesterday. While not a review, he did say that, “Noel has created moody, evocative pages which capture the spirit of the story.” I couldn’t agree more. I keep telling people his art in THE BROADCAST is like an old black-and-white movie on the page. In fact, I’m thinking Noel should be a shoe-in for next year’s Shuster Award. I’m a little biased, of course, but you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who’s doing better work than Noel has done on this book…
Also, and perhaps most importantly, Haines reminded readers that comic shops are ordering indie books less and less, but that readers CAN order the book from their local shop and have it in just a few weeks. Of course, you can also pre-order it through the NBM site and have it delivered to your doorstep.
My friend and fellow Indiana-based writer Bob Freeman had some very nice things to say in his review of THE BROADCAST this morning, saying “This is what you hope for when you dip into the indie market. Smart. Riveting. Complex. Compelling, First and foremost, The Broadcast is a solid literary work…..this should be an instant classic.”
Click here to read the entire review.
Starting today and running through September 30th we’re going to be running our first promotional campaign on Twitter, to celebrate cartoonist Brooke A. Allen‘s A HOME FOR MR. EASTER.
To participate, please tweet about this book @NBMPUB, and be sure to use the Hash Tag #READMREASTER
And if for some reason you haven’t read A HOME FOR MR. EASTER yet, now is your chance to get it at 20% off at the NBM site through August 31st (or call us at 800-886-1223, M-F 9-6 ET, mention code EAS for the discount)
The contest is simple, the top three people promoting the book will each win a copy of a NBM published book of their choice and the person who promotes the book in the most interesting way (including reviews, blog entries, etc.) will win an original sketch from Brooke.
Viva la comics!
Stefan Blitz, social media publicist
What they’re saying of Elephant Man , Greg Houston’s latest:
“Come for the art, stay for the derangement, and release most notions of “plotting.”
“Cheerfully grotesque. Has its sweetly offensive moments.”
Bill Sherman, Blogcritics and picked up by the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
And this one just in!
“I can see it now: “I am not an animal! I am a superhero!”
You’d think turning John Merrick — aka the severely deformed, so-called Elephant Man — into a comic-book character would be tasteless. And in Greg Houston’s ELEPHANT MAN, it certainly is. But it’s also fairly hilarious, so consider some slack cut.”
Rod Lott, Bookgasm
So we’ve gone through all the motions. Script, layouts, artwork, a new script. After all that, this is what the final result looks like:
For me this moment is always somewhat bittersweet.
There’s nothing better than seeing your story come together. At the same time, this is when I have to lock it in and move on to the next scene. No more scripting, no more notes for Noel. This is the point where I have to let go and be happy with the work we’ve done. Probably the most difficult step of all.
THE BROADCAST should hit shelves in comic stores next week, but you can still pre-order through the NBM website.
So I’d rather read an adventure story which is what Networked is, but it has some “issues” in it. If you’d like to see what the issues are check out the Wall Street Journal. Me I’m having issues with all the talk of issues…
The Mark half