November 30, 2009 by Jesse Lonergan
I don’t really do caricatures of people, so I was a little nervous about drawing Turkmenbashy in Joe and Azat. I suppose that Turkmenistan being the out of the way country that it is I could probably draw just about anything and most people in the U.S. wouldn’t question it, but I knew that at least some people who had been to Turkmenistan were going to see it and I didn’t want them saying, “You totally botched the bashy.”
So I kept things simple and I think it turned out all right. I also always liked Ted Rall’s drawings of Bush which weren’t the most accurate, but definitely gave you a clear impression of what Ted thought of him. So my Turkmenbashy is just a little bit cross eyed even though he wasn’t in real life.
November 30, 2009 by NBM
First off, for The Big Khan, a rave from Tony Isabella of Comics Buyers Guide:
“Riveting. The emotions that drive this graphic novel make it a genuine page-turner with a satisfying conclusion. With admiration for Kleid’s riveting story and Cinquegrani’s deft realization of the characters and locations with which he has brought that story to life, The Big Kahn earns the full five out of five Tonys. It’s a masterpiece.”
“Much of the strength in this remarkable account comes from Pablo G Callejo’s artwork. The Spanish artist keenly captures the look and feel of New York City during the go-go Reagan years. His people are wonderfully varied and his attention to detail is excellent, from clothing to color. His artwork is ideally suited for this cautionary tale and made reading it a lot easier.
This is an important work in that it lays bare a man’s life and shows how easily things can go awry and why society needs safety nets.”
“Geary provides a nice overview of the case as well as sketching in some background about early Hollywood, and he has the dramatist’s instinct for maintaining the reader’s interest by carefully timing the release of crucial information.
Each chapter of Famous Players is introduced by a “Stars of the Photoplay” image of a famous actor of the day, one of which has a notable connection with Taylor. Gloria Swanson’s greatest creation, Norma Desmond, was named after William Desmond Taylor and Mabel Normand. The name was aptly chosen, as Desmond’s fictional life in Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard encompasses the glory days of the silents while coming to a conclusion even more lurid than anything in either Taylor’s or Normand’s careers.”
And by the way, Famous Players just shipped its paperback edition at $9.95, in time for Xmas!
“What’s the art look like? It’s kind of Ralph Steadman-y. Nice and messy and whorl-y. I like it a lot.
Do you recommend it? Yes. Blaxploitation parodies are definitely played out, but Houston has an alternative enough edge to his work that this book is visually and structurally interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing more work by him.”
They also reviewed Things Undone by Shane White and while they liked the art, thought it came up short, alas.
November 28, 2009 by Neil Kleid
Howdy! The holiday season is upon us and as you race through your Black Fridays, Gloomy Back-to-Work Sundays and the like looking for that perfect gift to stuff yer stockings or brighten your menorah, might I suggest the perfect gift?
Yes, that’s right! Pick up a copy of my latest graphic novel, THE BIG KAHN (with Nicolas Cinquegrani for NBM Publishing) and give your friend, family member, boss or lover the gift of sequential drama.
And if you’re in the New York/New Jersey area, personalize your gift by joining me at Jim Hanley’s Universe in Manhattan on December 3rd from 6PM to 8PM for their End of the Year Spectacular Blow Out signing! I’ll be signing copies of THE BIG KAHN, BROWNSVILLE and more with my pals Stuart Moore, Fred Van Lente, David Gallaher & Steve Ellis, each incredible talents whose books would make great gifts, as well.
Jim Hanley’s is located at:
4 West 33rd St.,
New York, New York
(opposite The Empire State Building)
If you’re not in the area and can’t make the signing, please consider THE BIG KAHN as a holiday for friends and family, as well. It’s a drama about loss, lies, belief and renewal and a graphic exploration of a family secret so well-hidden, even the family didn’t know about it until it was too late. Check out previews and reviews of both KAHN and my first book, BROWNSVILLE, at the NBM site.
New interviews and reviews can be found at the following links:
Thanks for considering the book… and looking forward to seeing you at Jim Hanley’s on the 3rd!
November 28, 2009 by shane white
While you’re coming out of your slumber you might find reading THINGS UNDONE to be the pause that refreshes.
Sacramento News & Review said:
“Want to see a zombie? Look inside your self. In short, White has turned horror graphic novels back on their heads by pointing out exactly who is the monster in this tale. Very well done.”
November 25, 2009 by NBM
The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art will host Ted Rall presenting his new book The Year of Loving Dangerously, his graphic memoir on a fateful year where the main issue became basic survival… in a very unusual way. The book is beautifully painted by Pablo (Bluesman) Callejo, a first for Ted to just write.
He will talk in person about that year, what it meant to him and the not easy process of bringing this all back up. You can see from recent posts that it’s already garnering great reviews.
So, if you’re in nyc Thursday Dec. 3, come meet Ted Rall and get him to sign some books by him that MoCCA will have which we’ve donated to them to help them raise money.
November 24, 2009 by NBM
While saying this may fall short of a must-read, Michael Lorah at Newsarama says:
“Rall does a fine job laying out the story, weaving his year of dangerous love with flashbacks that explain his predicament. It’s an impressive balancing act, and he makes it work. The dialogue is convincing, and most of the women are presented as realized, if perhaps needy, young ladies.
If you’re a fan of comic memoirs, yet maybe a little sick of socially inept, nebbish autobio, Rall provides an effective antidote. “
November 24, 2009 by NBM
“You can’t get enough of these characters from page to page; you want to read what other sick shit the Holiest of Holies has gotten himself into lately. You want to see the Boss Karate Black Guy Jones tap some tail and kick some fat ass. Houston’s art is just as exaggerated and over-the-top as his stories, and every character receives the royal and perverted treatment. Tits are huge, wrinkles and saggy jowls are pronounced and packages are spared no expense. Jones’ outfit of platform heels, pin-striped bell bottoms and UFO style afro alone helps make the book massively amusing.”
“Through White’s impeccable dark humor asnd expressive cartoon-styled art, Rick Watts lives the grand collection of life’s little disasters that are instantly recognizable in our own lives. *** 1/2″
Karen O’Brien, Comics Buyers Guide
November 24, 2009 by Jesse Lonergan
I was an English teacher and Turkmenistan and before every class I heard the sacred oath chanted by students. Starting from the very lowest grades they new it by heart. It was kind of like the pledge of allegiance, only…
My beloved motherland,
My beloved homeland,
You are always with me
In my thoughts and in my heart.
For the slightest evil against you
Let my hand be lost.
For the slightest slander about you
Let my tongue be lost.
At the moment of my betrayal
To my motherland,
To her sacred banner,
To Saparmurat Turkmenbashy the Great
Let my breath stop.
… it’s a little bit more grim than the pledge of allegiance.
Check out Joe and Azat for more about Turkmenistan.
And check out these photos of the pit of hell (one of Turkmenistan’s most bizarre tourist attractions) by John Bradley.
November 23, 2009 by NBM
“Say what you will about political lightning rod Ted Rall: the man’s not afraid of coming off like a dick. Callejo’s painted art, a far cry from the proto-punk stylings Rall uses on his political cartoons, captures the milieu wonderfully and even manages to convey the varying degrees of dismay Rall’s young self feels over the way his life is going.
November 23, 2009 by shane white
I had a dream last night that Werner Herzog had hired me for a film he was doing. I was over at a friend’s house discussing why we couldn’t start our film in the North Atlantic Ocean, because we didn’t have shark fins and we’d probably die of hypothermia. Werner happen to be there at the moment for some reason.
It wasn’t clear whether I was going to be his Production Designer, Art Director, Actor or all three. We were immediately flying to Germany…or was it an Asian country? At any rate the whole production crew were going to live in one big house during the entire shoot.
I remember having to share a room with several other people, and started thinking about my wife back in the states. For whatever reason I couldn’t find my cell found which made it worse.
We were all in a main room discussing what the project direction was going to be when Werner decided to get a group photo of us. There was a guy there filming a “behind-the-scenes” documentary from Werner’s film company as well.
So we group around this massive couch, and Werner sets up an old bakelight radio and it starts playing some German Opera or something. “We should have a little music for this,” he says in his easy comforting manner.
“Besides, the look on your faces make me out to be Charon or something.”
There’s these little girls playing on a shelf right next to him. The shelf was covered with Chinese porcelain tea services and they started to rattle and shimmy under their weight. He pays them no mind. But my focus is on them and he wants everyone to focus into the 4 x 5 camera he’s working with. I could feel the tension building.
Then out of the blue he picks up a tea-cup a small one at first and points to me, “I want you to sob at the drop of this tea cup. No, wait let me get a larger one so you can really cry.” I look at him and say, “I’ll try, how long do I have?”
“Now.” All eyes were on me, and I couldn’t quite drop-in to the scene fast enough. The cup didn’t break the first time either, so that didn’t help, especially when he said, “Wait, start over.”