September 8, 2009 by Neil Kleid
Two more BIG KAHN bits for your scoresheets – first, a decent little interview went up at Jazma Online.
“Jazma: Why write about the Jewish faith?
Neil: Write what you know, basically. Honestly, I think one of the things that drags me back to Jewish comics might be that I’m the one of the few out there doing it. See… you know the comics industry, right? That insecure medium that flies into a tizzy anytime someone mentions comics on television, in movies, etcetera? The victimized, oppressed literature that’s been looking for respect for so long that it clings to moments when the ‘mainstream’ acknowledges its existence, pointing and shouting and thrilled when someone makes a Justice League reference on the news or drops Doctor Doom’s name in a novel or flashes a Hellboy poster in a movie? Remember comics? Judaism is the religious equivalent of the comic book industry. We puff our chests out with pride and make sure everyone knows when the X-Files features a golem lore or some sitcom has a ‘very special Passover episode’ or Ben Grimm turns out to be a Yid. Jews are never the action heroes—we’re Bruce Willis’ lawyers, Indiana Jones’ accountants and sometimes, if Adam Sandler is having a good day, we’re comedic relief.”
HEEB Magazine, the great little magazine I did a one page comic for way back when, just posted a nice little review with one minor quibble. A quibble, I’ll add, I don’t necessarily agree with but I’ll let you, Attractive Reader, decide for yourself.
“The book presents an interesting look at a variety of important spiritual questions, and treats the religiousity—and religion—of its characters much more believably than any other comic we’ve seen (and everybody who keeps kosher will particularly appreciate the scene in the supermarket).”
September 8, 2009 by Ted Rall
So here’s the scoop on my upcoming graphic novel, er, graphic memoir. Some basic details:
Writing: Ted Rall
Artwork: Pablo G. Callejo
Introduction: Xaviera Hollander, author of The Happy Hooker
Cover Design: Mikhaela B. Reid
Length: 128 pages
Publication Date: Oct. 15, 2009
If You Want Them First: Buy From Me at Small Press Expo in Maryland in late September
This takes place in 1984-85, when I was expelled, dumped, arrested, fired and evicted. When the economy goes sour, or when your luck turns bad, these things can happen. Young, confused, and broke, I wound up on the mean streets of Reagan-era New York with eight bucks in my pocket and very few options…well, none. So I made do.
I’ve already posted some samples pages of artwork here, and will do a few more in the coming days and weeks, but to see the whole thing together is truly remarkable. I’m very excited about this book, albeit a bit scared because I’ve exposed so much of my personal life. I’m usually a very private person, for obvious reasons.
Anyway, I do hope you’ll buy it. My plea especially goes to those who read my comics and columns online…in the Internet age, books are literally the ONLY way artists like me get paid. If you don’t buy this book, it’ll make it harder for me to put out more books in the future. Besides, it’s really good. Alison Bechdel thinks so!
September 5, 2009 by Neil Kleid
As THE BIG KAHN starts shipping to major bookstores and via Amazon, we picked up a great review from the Onion A.V. Club on Friday, garnering an A minus!
“Kleid’s story is intimate and mature about relationships, both interpersonal and between people and their beliefs, and he resists any urge to underline or spell out what’s going on in his characters’ lives; Cinquegrani’s facial expressions and the characters’ actions do all the talking. This is a beautifully meditative story, and readers don’t have to be Jewish (or pretend to be Jewish) to get absorbed…”
The good people at Comic Bulletin’s Line of Fire Reviews also had this to say:
“This story moves in unexpected directions in a quiet and real-feeling way. This is not a sensationalistic story that might appear on a cable network; instead, Kleid allows the characters sufficient time and space to move in their own interesting directions. The art by Nicolas Cinquegrani is appropriately quiet and thoughtful. He seems at home with this story–never striving to make events seem larger than they are. This is a quiet family drama, and Cinquegrani works hard to keep things quiet.”
Good stuff! Keep yer eyes to this space for an October signing if you live in the Bergen County, NJ area… also some good news for you Miami residents come November.
September 2, 2009 by shane white
Imagine that, I found another zombie lurking in my sketchbooks. Of course this doesn’t even remotely resemble THINGS UNDONE. Word on the street is it’ll be in comic shops in a few weeks. With the typhoons in Taiwan and the hurricanes off every coast I’m sure navigating the oceans is wreaking havoc on shipping.
Trust me it’ll be worth the wait.
If not I’ll beat ten baby seals until I change your mind! It helps that I live near a zoo too.
September 1, 2009 by Terry
Ted Rall’s book on his trip to Afganistan right in the middle of the war after 9/11 turns out to be dead-on these many years later.
Ted predicted things wouldn’t be so easy and that the Taliban was hardly wiped out. Afghanistan has historically been the doom of empires from the UK to Russia and alas, the loathsome Taliban just keeps coming back to haunt us in a similar fashion. Now we hear the Obama administration is mulling over sending in more troops, that things aren’t going well. Most interestingly, that the elections may have been marred by extensive fraud which shines a very dim light on the US propped-up government of Hamid Karzai.
I didn’t want to hear it back then but I gotta admit, Ted was right. We hadn’t heard the last word from this quagmire and being involved is like sinking in quick sand.
If you didn’t read his To Afghanistan & Back, you’ll find it fascinating and ever so relevant today. He rushed out there bravely in the middle of the war zone and had the balls, when we all were bloodthirsty for revenge and waving the flag, to denounce what he saw as the uselessness of this action and uncover its absurdities.
It’s a collection of articles he sent in to the Village Voice and chapters in comics showing his adventure and what he saw. We’ve sold over 20,000 copies making this one of our best-selling books and it’s his best, I think… until maybe now when he’s about to bring out Year of Loving Dangerously which has NO politics and is about a tormented part of his life as painted by Pablo (Bluesman) Callejo.
As this is about to come out, a good time to check out a significant previous book of his.
August 31, 2009 by Jesse Lonergan
I was in Northampton, MA, this weekend at this little club/bar called The Basement where they play an awesome mix of music. Seventies funk, girl groups, Studio One reggae, doo wop, Del Shannon, great stuff. One of the songs they played while I was there was Popcorn by Hot Butter, which almost immediately brought me back to Turkmenistan. Only the Popcorn that I heard in Turkmenistan was not the Hot Butter version, but the Crazy Frog version and I must have heard it a million times. I would wake up every morning during the three months of training to my neighbor blasting it while he washed his car (yes, he washed his car every day).
There was also Gasolina by Daddy Yankee.
Axel F also by Crazy Frog.
And Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira which was always always always played in the discos.
If there were soundtracks for comic books these songs would be all over Joe and Azat. The book’s coming out soon, just a few days before SPX down in Bethesda. I’ll be there with it, if you’re in the area stop by and say hello and check out the new book. I’ll also probably have some mini-comics with me, too.
If you can’t make it to SPX check out my blog.
August 31, 2009 by NBM
Phil Yeh keeps touring! Here’s where you can catch him and believe us when we say he is quite entertaining:
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 11:00-4:00
Booksigning and mural
Hi De Ho Comics & Books with Pictures
525 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica CA 90401-2409
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Booksigning and mural
16344 Beach Blvd
Westminster CA 92683
Saturday & Sunday, September 26-27, 2009
Mural Event and Book Signing
Kidsfaire Family Expo
Alameda County Fairgrounds
Saturday & Sunday, October 3-4, 2009
Mural Event and Book Signing
Kidsfaire Family Expo
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, CA
Wednesday-Sunday, October 14-18, 2009
Frankfurt Book Fair
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Mural event & booksigning
The Saenz Building, 10th & “D” St.
San Bernardino, CA
Saturday, December 5, 2009
“Cars & Guitars” Mural event & booksigning
Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
August 27, 2009 by NBM
You may have heard, we are starting to make our graphic novels available on iPhone through the newly launched company Panelfly (or on iTunes here). We’ve seen their app in action, it’s smooth, it’s fast, it’s supercool, presents the comics well.
So we’ve got books by authors we’re publishing new stuff from this season: Rick Geary’s acclaimed Lindbergh Child, Neil Kleid’s Brownsville, Shane White’s North Country, Jesse Lonergan’s Flower & Fade, Naomi Nowak’s Unholy Kinship. We plan on having Ted Rall up next, Richard Moore’s Boneyard and more as we go! Stay tuned.
We also plan to go with other such companies and not just mobile, we’ll have announcements soon on that.
Just another way to enjoy our good stuff. Go check it out!
August 26, 2009 by NBM
Mijeong, a Korean manhwa, got a couple of reviews recently:
“very thought provoking. It touches on some serious issues and treats them with respect”
The Feminist Review
“The stories in Mijeong work like poetry, evoking senses, feelings, that neither the words nor the images alone accomplish. Breathtaking artwork.”
New City (Chicago alt. paper)
August 26, 2009 by Neil Kleid
Greg McElhatton gives THE BIG KAHN a kickass review here.
“The Big Kahn is easily Kleid’s best work to date as a writer; it’s clever and gripping, and there are a couple of turns in the story as it heads towards the conclusion that genuinely surprised me even as they still made sense. This feels in many ways like a turning point in Kleid’s career, and I know I’m not the only one who is eager to see whatever Kleid’s next project is based off of the strength of this graphic novel. It’s a strong slice-of-life story that makes you think, and I’m happy with that. Highly recommended.”