28 December 2005

Birth of A Nation

Premise: What would happen if East St. Louis decided to secede from the United States of America?

This is a scathingly funny and thought-provoking graphic novel that skewers race relations, foreign policy, and the fractious nature of the African-American community. It asks tough questions and does not provide easy answers. Filmmaker Reginald Hudlin ("House Party", "Boomerang" ) drew upon his experiences growing up in East St. Louis while co-writing this book with "Boondocks" creator and noted raconteur Aaron McGruder. The infinitely talented Kyle Baker tones down his exaggerated style a notch and delivers some of the best art of his career.

Recommended for: Fans of The Boondocks or The Daily Show.
Not Recommended for: habitual listeners of conservative talk radio.

24 December 2005

We'll call it a Holiday vacation...

My computer died a few weeks ago, and my access to the net has been limited, so the updates haven't been as regular as I'd like them to be. I apologize and will update when I can.

07 December 2005


This graphic novel features numerous comic-book creators telling personal anecdotes, ranging from the humorous (legendary cartoonist Sergio Aragones illustrates the time he met Richard Nixon), to the unsettling (Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba recall an encounter with a gang during their trip to Paris). Some of the stories are poignant (revered creator Will Eisner talks about his first professional rejection), some are cute (Bill Morrison's remembers his childhood obsession with Batman), and some are educational (Matt Wagner depicts his method of making Chicken Parmesan); but all of them are entertaining, and make for a fascinating look into the minds of various comic-book creators.

(This book was originally published in 2003. A sequel is forthcoming; check here for details.)

Recommended For: people who enjoy hearing people tell personal anecdotes at parties; people who listen to the audio commentaries or watch the "making-of" featurettes on DVDs.

Not Recommended For: people who read comics purely for their escapism value.