September 14, 2009 by Jesse Lonergan
I’m going to try and make some sense, though I’ve had a hard time explaining this in the past.
I think of drawing comics as playing a game. It’s sort of like Scrabble. You have these pieces and they’re worth a certain amount of points, and you want to get as much out of those pieces as possible. You also need to match up your awesome word with what’s already on the board. Only with comics all this stuff is in the my head and the rules are really flexible.
The panels I like the most are the panels where this gamesmanship is most evident. This panel is an example. Narratively, two separate panels side by side one showing children playing video games, one showing soldiers playing video games would have worked just fine. But with these panels the boys and the soldiers’ bodies become one, the children morphing into the soldiers.
And in the reality of Turkmenistan these boys playing the video games will soon be soldiers as service in the army is mandatory.
Does anybody see that when they read the comic? Do they even notice this morphing or do their eyes just move right across the page reading the text, seeing the faces of the boys and the combat boots of the soldiers and moving on? I don’t know, but I still enjoy playing the game and it’s a lot more interesting than two standard panels side by side.
Joe and Azat is coming soon. SPX will be the grand unveiling.
But you can check out my blog right now.
September 10, 2009 by NBM
NBM in November has the next issue of Sizzle #44 whose main feature will be the return of the VERY popular, beautifully painted KRISTINA, Queen of Vampires. This is an erotic vampire series. The first two graphic novels from Eurotica, our erotic comics imprint, have sold tremendously well and show no signs of abating even during these hard times.
Well here’s the 3rd episode starting to serialize in Sizzle, Eurotica’s quarterly magazine which itself has maintained quite well over the years.
Besides Kristina, Sizzle 44 will feature Omaha the Cat Dancer, Kevin Taylor’s much anticipated finale of Girl, Second Coming, Baldazzini’s Casa Howhard and more. See more in our Eurotica site, click on the ‘coming in November’ banner.
Make sure to place your order with your local comics shop!
Unfortunately, the next chapter of the adaptation of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past had to be cancelled for now. We may reprogram this for later. Sorry for any disappointment.
September 9, 2009 by Jesse Lonergan
Some of the characters in Joe and Azat are based on real people, but Azat’s older brother Merdan (the one in control of the motorcycle) really came out of nowhere. He showed up in one of the early versions of the story as a rather unimportant background character, but he quickly asserted himself. He became one of the most fun characters to write because he was so hotheaded and reckless. His temper is always ready to explode. He drinks too much and when he drinks he gets violent and claims he’s the Turkmen Chuck Norris. A great character to throw into any scene.
Joe and Azat is coming soon. I should be getting my copies sometime the week before SPX, and if you’re in the D.C. area you should check me and the book out.
September 9, 2009 by shane white
I’m watching crows eat lychee nuts in a tree outside my studio window. What’s that have to do with THINGS UNDONE?
Nothing…but at least you can order the book online until…oh I don’t know…next week when it’ll be available in comic shops! You know I almost made the book green. I even went through a few other permutations as well:
I tend to do a lot of experimenting until I get it just right. That’s the luxury to developing work on your own time. I think in the end I’m happy that I went with the orange and black. Let me know if you’re happy too.
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.