June 22, 2009 by Jesse Lonergan
It seems that a lot of people think that my comics are one hundred percent true. I remember being shocked when one of my friends said she assumed that all the stories in my comics actually happened to me. A number of people after reading my first book Flower and Fade asked me if I was still in touch with Erika, the main female character in the book.
When I first heard these comments I got annoyed. I wanted to say all of it was fiction and that I made all of it up, but that really isn’t true. There are an awful lot of things that have actually happened to me in my comics. For example, In my new book Joe and Azat, the events shown above actually happened. I was riding in a taxi through the desert when the taxi driver stepped out of the car, popped the hood and opened the radiator cap to have boiling coolant explode in his face. That happened. The driver’s name was Dowlet. The car was a brand new BMW.
But I can’t say that the book is one hundred percent true either. There are many real incidents in the book, but the plot is entirely fictional. I take pieces of my life, little memories, anecdotes, people, and events and then I throw them into a blender and they get all mixed up and twisted around. Real events get bent around, warped and reshaped. Fictional endings and beginnings get added. Facts that are irrelevant to the story get cut. Three real people get mashed together into one character. Events get reordered for the sake of the story. New events are made up because narratively they should have happened.
It’s all a jumbled mess by the end, and sometimes when I’m looking at a comic I’ve done I’m not sure if what I wrote is factual or not. It all feels true by the end.
Hopefully, people don’t get too hung up on the reality of the book and they just enjoy the story.
Anyway, Joe and Azat should be coming out in September before SPX. Check it out. And check out my blog for more comics that I’m not sure actually happened or not.
June 22, 2009 by Ted Rall
June 22, 2009 by NBM
Teacher Librarian magazine reviewed a couple historically based graphic novels of ours saying for Bluesman:
“A moody masterpiece of fiction that is all the more compelling because every word of it could be true. [Uses] a broad visual palette that matches its dramatic variety of emotions.”
And on Rick Geary’s “The Lindbergh Child“:
“The master of historical nonfiction in graphic novels contributes one of his best efforts. Simultaneously factual and poignant.”
June 22, 2009 by NBM
The French woman writer who composed the delicious stories found in First Time is interviewed by the site Sequential Tart. A fun and funny inside look at the process that reunites a number of artists including Dave McKean.
June 21, 2009 by Ted Rall
My next animated editorial cartoon tackles the autoerotic asphyxiation crisis. Michael Hutchence. David Carradine. Who will be next?
June 19, 2009 by NBM
Three reviews of note have appeared recently:
“This is an outstanding Dungeons and Dragons parody that serves as a stand-alone story. Readers will be entertained, even those unaccustomed to comic fantasy fiction. These anthropomorphic characters are well drawn, and the snappy dialogue is craftily paired with Boulet’s stunning imagery.“
School Library Journal on Dungeon Zenith vol.3
“Geary fathoms what makes comics such an ideal form for true crime lovers. I know there are true crime readers out there who like to be disciplined by their authors, who like to be told who done it and why, and I suppose such readers won’t appreciate Geary’s adamant refusal to direct our conclusions. But Geary understands that the real pleasure of reading history, criminal cases, and comics is that we aren’t rendered passive. And he recognizes that the discomfit we feel from not knowing all the answers can be assuaged only by knowing more, always more. Geary’s mastery—as both artist and storyteller—is allowing us to feel comfortable in our uncertainty by describing it with precise detail. In this way, his slender books written in formulaic style brilliantly capture not only the historical moments he records within their own pages, but our own. “
Publishers Weekly on Mijeong
June 19, 2009 by shane white
This was something I considered as well something a little more broad to evoke atmosphere. Color shifts and temperature changes would have been fun and kept things simple, but in the end I decided to go with this:
Next week I’ll get back to talking about character development for THINGS UNDONE.
June 19, 2009 by Ted Rall
June 15, 2009 by NBM
Marc Mason at Comics Waiting Room has just reviewed two of our recent books:
“MIJEONG is a stunning Korean manhwa. The ending packs a powerful one-two punch and sticks with you far beyond when you put the book down. Each tale in the book has at least some merit to it, as even the weaker ones are accompanied by Byung-Jun’s stunning artistic talents- this is an amazing looking book. This is a versatile and talented creator and I’d be interested in seeing more of his work.”
“Even more visually stunning is ARLENE’S HEART by Victoria Frances. Frances’ artwork is astonishing to behold- there were countless pages that I couldn’t help but wonder how they’d look framed and on a wall. Quite an unusual reading experience.”
June 15, 2009 by Jesse Lonergan
One of the things I always get asked when I tell people my new book is about Turkmenistan is if Turkmenistan is a Muslim country. It borders on Iran and Afghanistan and like both those countries the majority of Turkmen would claim to be Muslim. Unlike those two countries Turkmenistan was under Soviet rule for most of the twentieth century. There was a strong Russian influence and as a result almost all the men I knew drank. One evening I was drinking vodka with cubes of pork fat for chasers. I asked the men around me whether they were Muslim and they all said yes. I then asked them about the vodka and the pork and they waved their hands and said they were “modern Muslims.”
So Islam really doesn’t come up too often in my book. In fact it’s only mentioned once in the whole story. In this panel and the one that immediately follows it.