I posted a bit before about some of the real life things and people in SOL, and here is more. On page 146 Matt and Lee go into ‘Page One’ books. This is a real place, in the ‘Times Square’ part of Hong Kong. It’s an excellent bookshop, with a sizeable graphic novel and manga section. The illustrated version of Proust that Lee looks at is actually published by NBM, and I really did find that in the shop there. On the shelves next to it is ‘Hagakure’, which is a historical manga written by me and also drawn by SOL artist, Chie Kutsuwada. Just my little joke, sticking that in, as it hand not been published yet. Then underneath that is the book ‘As you like it’, which Chie Kutsuwada adapted from our pal Shakespeare, who knew how to knock em out!
On page 147, they go past ‘Chung King Mansions’, an infamous big block full of little, cheap hotels in the Tsim Sha Tsui part of HK. You may have heard of it from the film 1994 ‘Chungking Express’ by Wong Kar-Wai. I stayed there for 3 nights on one occasion, before a friend told me it was a very dangerous place, and several people had been murdered there. I didn’t know this at the time, and thought it was probably a bit exaggerated. But upon checking it out later I found that it does indeed have a rather unsavory character, and not just because of the cheap curries served there!
A Danish tourist was killed in the mansions in 1988 due to a fire and no safety exit. And an Indian lady was murdered in 1995. Later than year more than 40 people were arrested or drug trafficking and illegal entry. On the other hand, it has recently been estimated to play host to people from more than 120 countries and to be a key example of ‘globalization in action’.
As to my experience I found the curries that Indian’s serve on the ground floor to be delicious, and the big mix of people there was kind of interesting. Even though the rooms are VERY basic and small, I was treated well by the old Chinese owner, who even gave me a packet of biscuits for free (for no other apparent reason than kindness). Hence the bit in SOL where Lee says to Matt: “Lucky you – free biscuits and you didn’t get murdered.”
Well, we were going to highlight some other books this time but NO! Geary’s Sacco & Vanzetti hogs everyone’s attention! This time with a great review from the influential Kirkus Reviews, putting it in with “The 13 Can’t Miss Graphic Novels of 2011”. Calling him ‘legendary,’ they quote him about the book and state:
“Chalk one more up for the history books and another great contribution to the country’s wealth of graphic lit.”
Here’s another review:
“He researches diligently, then lays out the facts and theories with maps, diagrams, and deadpan narration, easily sucking in the true-crime buff. ”
Paste magazine giving it a 7. They also reviewed our collection of Little Nothings 1-3:
“Even nerds like me, who frequently love European comics, approach Continental cartoonists deemed “the next great hope” with some reluctance. Surely, their work will be too New Yorker cartoony, too elliptical, too… French. Lewis Trondheim is nothing of the sort, and his Little Nothings series, newly issued in a three-volume set by NBM/ComicsLit, is the sort of book you might want to keep in your bathroom, to dip into from time to time. Think American Elf with a lot less whining.”
On the Story of Lee, Voya, the leading teen librarian review publication says:
“There is much here to like. Lee is quite sympathetic and her straightforward romance with Matt is sweet and believable. Readers will look forward to the next volume in this gentle series.”
Just wanted to drop in and let everyone know I’ll be set up in Artist Alley at this weekend’s Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. I’ll be there on Friday and Saturday with copies of The Broadcast for sale along with some of my other writing — including my first work on a mainstream superhero book, a story in this year’s Batman 80-Page Giant. I hope everyone who goes takes a few minutes to stop by and say “hi.”
For those who can’t make Chicago, I’ll be signing books on Wednesday at Comics Cubed in Kokomo, IN from 4-7pm. If your local I’d love to see you there!
“Geary’s linear black and white illustrations, full of straight lines and right angles, are especially helpful in lending order to the confusing and often contradictory facts. His use of maps also helps explain the events, both of the killing and the worldwide response. Geary, a cartoonist with the soul of a historian, reaches no easy conclusions, but gives readers the tools to draw their own.”
“Geary, with his coolly detailed and wry visual style, does his usual superb job laying out both the facts of the case and the distinct world in which it all occurs.”