MoCCA: Mr. Easter a sell-out!

Saturday was a busy day at the MoCCA Fest last weekend, definitely an upbeat event with many who came ready to buy.

One of the hits was the premiere of A Home for Mr. Easter, Brooke A. Allen‘s debut graphic novel. It sold out by mid-afternoon of that day. We had to go back to the office to scrounge for more copies for Sunday! The book was also a featured give-away at the MoCCA after-party which was packed that evening.

This wasn’t the only book that sold well. Greg Houston’s Vatican Hustle also sold out  that day which meant having to cancel his appearance on Sunday… Ted Rall sold all of his books and so did Neil Kleid and Nicolas Cinquegrani of The Big Khan.

Nice to see such enthusiasm and also nice to see this show pulled off without any hitches we were aware of, in a venue with a comfortable temperature level (last year’s was sweltering).

Top ten lists

We’re making a few:

Mijeong, a manhwa, made Popcultureshock‘s list of best of 2009:

“Wholly unlike most of the other English-translated manhwa hitting the shelves these days, this volume is a hidden gem, with glimpses of true brilliance that promise a great future for the artist.”

SFSite put The Big Kahn in theirs:

“Kleid’s story reads like something Philip Roth, or perhaps Nathan Englander, would write if they worked in comics.”

The Comics Waiting Room placed our Little Nothings vol.2 in theirs:

“I consider Trondheim to be the best living comics creator in the world right now, and this is him working at his purest form.”

Speaking of Trondheim. John Seven at Reverse Direction puts the Dungeon series in the decade’s best.

A bevy of reviews

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.”

Comic Mix on Rall’s Year of Loving Dangerously:

“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.”

Susan Boslough of Playbackstl, provides an interesting insight on Rick Geary’s Famous Players:

“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!

Seattle’s The Stranger on Vatican Hustle by Greg Houston:

“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.

The Big Kahn gets The Big Press

First off: Booklist, an influential review of books:
Kleid’s second graphic novel observes the fallout of a 40-year deception. At Rabbi David Kahn’s funeral, a Gentile asks to see his brother one more time. His brother? Just so, for the rabbi wasn’t a Jew. He came to Judaism as a young crook working a con but, falling in love and marrying into it, stayed to become a revered spiritual leader. His family is devastated, none more than elder son Avi, a sincere young rabbi presumed to be David’s successor-but no longer, which shakes his faith. Equally affected is David’s daughter, Lea, who has been in full rebellion against her upbringing (she is first seen here assuaging her grief by shtupping in a synagogue closet while Avi delivers the eulogy) but now reacts with self-doubt. This is an unusually rich work. Every character is well realized. Each panel’s composition, perspective, and placement within the continuity, and also the transitions between scenes, are done with care. Unfortunately, Cinquegrani’s figural skills don’t match the excellence of story and visual conceptualization. Nevertheless, a not-to-be-missed original graphic novel. -Ray Olson
And then from Graphic Novel Reporter:
Kleid’s script is a wonder, with its pitch-perfect ear for dialogue. Paired with Nicolas Cinquegrani’s richly textured shades and overtones, it not only captures New Jersey well—it also fully delivers on the premise of the story. When the no-good brother bursts in, disrupting everything and causing chaos at the scene, the emotions he provokes in the family and in the crowd are so nicely executed that they feel completely real—Cinquegrani’s work bringing the panels to life right along with the script, which is at times funny and then heartbreaking.
 
The Big Kahn is an adventurous step for Kleid, author of Brownsville and the webcomic Action, Ohio. Like Brownsville, it’s a Jewish story set out east, but it’s so simply executed (and subtly ambitious) that it sneaks up on you more easily and more casually than you expect. Its great strength lies in that. I loved the story and was glad to be able to read it in graphic novel form. — John Hogan
See MORE on the book including preview pages.

The Big Kahn is now in stores!

One of our best and most anticipated books this season, The Big Kahn, is now out and available in stores. Buzz was mounting in San Diego for it as we premiered it there.

As soon as Neil presented this concept to me, I knew we had a winner. But at first, like most people, I thought it would be a comedy. What, a Rabbi who wasn’t Jewish? Turned out to be a grifter? But when Neil explained to me this was serious and I read on more about his concept, I was even more intrigued. It’s a funny premise alright, but what Neil does with it is fascinating. It becomes a story on the nature of faith and with all the different characters in it, reacting in a wide variety of ways, it’s just a great read, his best work so far. I fell in love with it, I hope you do too.

Big Kahn on USA Today Popcandy blog

Why I like it: Sometimes, the best information I get at Comic-Con comes from just strolling around and chatting with people. While wandering the convention floor, I started hearing buzz about Kleid’s new graphic novel, a tale that begins at a rabbi’s funeral. Rabbi Kahn’s grieving family is shocked to learn that the man they love wasn’t who they thought he was — and each family member reacts in a very specific, yet different, way. I almost missed my subway stop because I was so engrossed in this book, which weaves issues of family, faith and morality. (There’s also a glossary in the back, if you’re not too familiar with Jewish culture.) And though it touches on some heavy themes, it has lighter (and even sexier!) moments, too.
Why you’ll like it: Because you love Catch Me If You Can and stories about con men. Because, even though you have enough family drama at home, you still can’t get enough of it.

as seen here