Appearing at TCAF: Julian Voloj


This weekend, is TCAF,  The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, a celebration of comics and graphic novels and their creators.  The two-day exhibition and vendor fair features hundreds of comics creators from around the world.

NBM Publishing will be on hand with several of our creators, including Julian Voloj.

A German-born photographer and writer and, Julian Voloj explores aspects of identity and heritage in his work. In 2003 Julian Voloj was awarded with the Second Prize at the Washington Post Annual Photography Contest. Voloj’s photos appeared in various newspapers and magazines such as the New York Post, PresenTense Magazine, and the Brooklynite. In 2007, Voloj was commissioned by the Forward for the book A Living Lens, a book that Jonathan Safran Foer called “not only an amazing book, but an invaluable artifact and a work of art.” His photographs were shown in various venues in the US and Europe.

Now living in New York, Julian is attending TCAF in support of his graphic novel Ghetto Brother. The book was done in collaboration with illustrator Claudia Aherling.

Julian will be doing two special events as listed below:

Ghetto Brother: Reading & Conversation with author Julian Voloj
Thursday May 7th, 2015
7:30pm – 9:30pm
@ COBA Collective Of Black Artists, Daniels Spectrum 585 Dundas St E, Suite 130
Free Event, Register to Guarantee Seating:

Join graphic novelist Julian Voloj as he discusses his engrossing and counter view of one of the most dangerous elements of American urban history. Ghetto Brother tells the true story of Benjy Melendez, a Bronx legend, son of Puerto-Rican immigrants, who founded, at the end of the 1960s, the notorious Ghetto Brothers gang. Melendez also began to reclaim his Jewish roots after learning about his family’s dramatic crypto-Jewish background. From the seemingly bombed-out ravages of his neighborhood, wracked by drugs, poverty, and violence, he managed to extract an incredibly positive energy from this riot ridden era: his multiracial gang promoted peace rather than violence. After initiating a gang truce, the Ghetto Brothers held weekly concerts on the streets or in abandoned buildings, which fostered the emergence of hip-hop.

Presented in partnership with the Miles Nadal JCC, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, and Be’chol Lashon.

On Saturday, May 9th, Julian will be speaking at the Toronto Reference Library, Learning Centre 1  at 789 Yonge Street from 3:00-4:00.

From Gangs to Hip Hop: The Story of Ghetto Brother
A look into the background of the fascinating non-fiction graphic novel Ghetto Brother, which tells the story of the 1971 gang truce that paved the way to the emergence of hip hop in the South Bronx. This is also the story of Benjy Melendez, a Puerto Rican immigrant and founder of the notorious gang “Ghetto Brothers” who, in environment dominated by drugs, poverty, and violence, promoted peace, not revenge, and after learning about his Crypto-Jewish background, reclaimed his roots. Photojournalist Julian Voloj explains how he unearthed the story and what source material was used to make this stranger-than-fiction tale as authentic as possible.
Introduction by Terry Nantier


For more details visit

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