Neil Kleid

Let Slip the Dogs of War

June 14, 2009 by  


So, with THE BIG KAHN a month from dropping in your hot little hands, I thought I’d duck in here and tease my third NBM book a little, currently titled “AMERICAN CAESAR.”

It’s interesting; BIG KAHN was written before BROWNSVILLE, my first book, and CAESAR was actually penned even before that, but as both a stage play and graphic novel. At the time, I was involved in a local theatre troupe on the Upper East Side where we took the Bard’s more popular works (as well as a few Chekovs and Dickens…es) and reimagined them for various genres and time periods, much like many film versions of old Will’s plays and passages. We set “Midsummmer Night’s Dream” in Central Park, “Macbeth” in Peron’s Argentina, “Romeo and Juliet” in a trailer park, “Merchant of Venice” in 1945 Poland, and “Merry Wives of Windsor” in a seventies-Three’s Company style suburban sitcom. Oh, we also did a mafia version of “Julius Caesar,” my favorite Shakespearean play, in which I portrayed a Silvio Dantesque mob capo who survives the gunplay and helps icepick Cicero in a strip club. Classy.

But I’d always wanted to do Caesar a different way—to me, the intrigue, backstabbing, ambition and greed of the Roman Senate always set me in the mind of Gordon Gecko, Wall Street, the end of the 1980s/beginning of the Nineties and all that corporate America represents. Julius—I’m sorry, JULIAN—Caesar, captain of industry, backstabbed by the bloodthirsty young executives desperate to climb the corporate ladder. How could I resist?

But a play or a comic? Tread the boards or fill the panels? In the end, I wrote it both ways.

In 2005, I was fortunate to hook up with another production company that wanted to workshop the play and after three months of sets, planning, costumes and rehearsals, AMERICAN CAESAR ran for a week at the Second Stage theatre to good reviews.

But a lot of the play had to be edited for technical reasons: on stage, we could only shatter a window so many times. We couldn’t use the technical morays involved with the presentation of Caesar’s ghost. And truthfully, the director cut out alot of my story for her own vision, casting aside scenes and conversations that wouldn’t play on stage that might on paper.

And so, to Rome.

Presently, I’m working through my second redraft of the 128 page graphic novel and while we’re making offers to a few artists, we’re stilling casting about for my collaborator. We’re hoping to have this one out next year, but it truly depends on timing, schedules and the like… but here’s a quick peek at a page:

Page 44 (5 PANELS)

PANEL ONE
Caesar turns to the table, explaining his position.

CAESAR:    MALCOLM SILVER MISHANDLED DECIUS SOFTWARE; ROME LOST A FORTY-FIVE MILLION   DOLLAR COMPANY TO MICROSOFT AND THOUSANDS OF JOBS WITH IT.

CAESAR:    IT WAS A BUSINESS DECISION, MICHAEL, AND HAD TO BE MADE.

DAVIS (OP):    THE DEADLINE WAS TIGHT, JULIAN, AND THEIR BUDGET WAS –

PANEL TWO
Caesar turns to Davis and BREUER, who are pleading. He points a finger, adamant. Cassius has his head down, staring at his lap.

CAESAR:    NONE OF MY CONCERN. THAT’S SOMETHING HE SHOULD HAVE CONSIDERED.

CAESAR:    I WON’T BE SWAYED ON THIS. KEEP IT UP, MICHAEL, AND YOU’LL JOIN YOUR BROTHER AT THE UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE.

PANEL THREE

Close on a pissed Silver, hands cleched, white-knuckled.
SILVER:    AND IS THAT THE SORT OF TYRANNY WE SHOULD EXPECT FROM NOW ON?

CAESAR (OP):    TYRANNY?

PANEL FOUR
Caesar leans in to Silver, getting in his face. Silver rises a little – they are facing off with one another.

CAESAR:    THAT’S LEADERSHIP! MAKING HARD DECISIONS IS NO EASY TASK, BUT I MAKE THEM FOR THE SAKE OF THE COMPANY. HOW ELSE WILL ROME SURVIVE?

SILVER:    SO LET’S BE CLEAR. THE POLICY IS ZERO TOLERANCE? FAIL, CHEAT, STEAL AND YOU’RE OUT?

PANEL FIVE
Caesar pulls away, collecting himself.

CAESAR:    ABSOLUTELY. EXCEPTIONS LEAD TO PRECEDENTS AND THAT LEADS TO ANARCHY. ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY; YOU CAN BE DAMN SURE I WON’T LET IT FALL IN A WEEK.

DAVIS (OP):        BUT JULIAN, SURELY YOU –

CAESAR:        I SAID ENOUGH, DAVIS.

Gripping, no?

Neil Kleid’s AMERICAN CAESAR. Coming from NBM Publishing in the near future.

Cry havoc.


shane white

Too Much Thinking Going On

June 13, 2009 by  


This was my first attempt at coloring Things Undone. It was a test page synopsis that I made up on the fly. I wanted to see how whacked out, relaxed and anachronistic I could color it without any hard and fast rules. While fun, it also seemed like it would still take longer than I wanted to spend on it.
All told it didn’t really add much to the story.

Okay I’ll admit…it was just too damn time-consuming!

=s=


Ted Rall

The Asterisk President

June 13, 2009 by  



Terry

Ladies & gents: Greg Houston, master of the grotesque

June 12, 2009 by  


This fall, I’m quite excited to introduce another absolutely mind boggling talent comin’ outta nowhere: Greg Houston of Vatican Hustle, coming in October.

Lock up your virgin daughter! Close the window shutters tight! We’ve just got him set up to start blogging here.

When I read his comics, every once in a while I check the mirror to make sure I ain’t gettin’ so ugly myself…

So, drum roll please… Greg Houston should be in here soon.


NBM

ForeWord on The Big Kahn

June 9, 2009 by  


Bright and early, ForeWord, the magazine covering small press for the nation’s libraries, weighs in with  a review of The Big Kahn:

“A story about belief and truth—in gods, marriages, and selves. An interesting addition to all high school, community, and church libraries. Excellent for book clubs and study groups as well.”

And look for articles and interviews coming up in various publications such as HEEB magazine. Buzz at MoCCA as the authors signed a special preview was building!


Ted Rall

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

June 8, 2009 by  



Ted Rall

Scott & Ted’s Excellent Radio Show

June 8, 2009 by  


Conservative editorial cartoonist Scott Stantis and I are teaming up this coming Thursday and Friday morning for three hours of morning drive talk radio each morning–in Birmingham, Alabama. This is a one-time thing, not the beginning of a regular show.

Topics will include national and international news, local stuff, and social/pop culture.

When: 6-9 am Central time
Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12

If you’re in Birmingham, Alabama, check out the show at <a href=”http://www.wapi1070.com”>1070 AM WAPI</a>. There’s also a link (on the upper righthand corner) to LISTEN LIVE online.


Ted Rall

Patience

June 6, 2009 by  



shane white

Color Can Overstate Its Welcome

June 6, 2009 by  


How am I going to color this thing?

THINGS UNDONE was conceived while I was neck deep in coloring =THE OVERMAN=. Considering this was a labor of love I really wanted to have an easier project that I could rip through in no time that would be a lot of fun. I’m not a comic book colorist, I can’t crank out a page a day. I’m more like a painter who has to deliberate on all the possibilities.

I’m a big fan of printing processes from days of old. I like the way things looked whether it be in old magazines, illustrated books or even packaging. Oftentimes I take my direction from such ephemera when it comes to the overall look and feel of a project. I try to distill down how it can help give the atmosphere of a by-gone era through printing if not artistic style. Sometimes I succeed and even if I don’t at least it looks interesting to me and not typical of what’s out there.

It’s about the layers for me.  Usually at first glance people will judge a book or anything by the way it looks or feels. If I can provide richness that’s worth drilling down to I hope that in some ways people my not realize what they’re responding to, especially if it’s a whole cohesive package. I think it was David Mazzuchelli’s Rubber Blanket books that really appealed to me early one. Just the quality of the packaging as well as how he and Richmond Lewis treated the art really felt special.

By the way I updated my website to reflect my latest book, THINGS UNDONE which will be out in August.

=s=


NBM

Ain’t It Cool News on Arlene’s Heart and First TIme

June 5, 2009 by  


“I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t agree that Frances’ art is something to be cherished, enveloped in, and appreciated. Art lovers and fable lovers, seek ARLENE’S HEART out.”

“This isn’t your typical comic-spank fare. It’s a delicate dissection of sex in graphic form. These private moments are written and drawn by some extremely talented creators. From the first time one has sex, to the first menage a trois, to the first trip to a sex shop, the first use of a sex doll, to an x-rated sketch story by the one and only Dave McKean: these stories handle these intimate moments with maturity, showing that even sex stories can have some heft to them. Focusing mainly on the emotional impact of these virginal experiences, FIRST TIME offers a glimpse of the sadness, the joy, the pain, the ugliness, and sometimes the beauty of taking the leap into the unknown for the first time, and that unquestionable regret that no matter how good or bad that experience it was, you can never take that first moment back. ”
(to see First Time, go to our Eurotica site, you must be over 18)

So says AICN…