Here’s a fun essay I wrote for Graphic NYC about the movie ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA and how it influenced my book, BROWNSVILLE.
“Brownsville, the graphic novel I created for NBM Publishing with Jake Allen, counts influences from mafia films and novels, history and transcripts, and comic book creators ranging from Will Eisner and Jack Kirby to Alan Moore and Harvey Pekar. But Leone’s epic tale of friends, love, crime and time gets pride of place as the second great influence and inspiration behind the book, sharing the spot with Cohen’s book.”
Have a read and immerse yourself in one of the finest mob films ever made.
It’s the fifth night of Chanukah, so from our yet-to-actually-be shoveled (whew!) relocated home office in New Jersey, Team Kleid wants to wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season.
Thanks for supporting THE BIG KAHN in 2009, and here’s looking to a brand new year filled with health, happiness, success and sequential excellence.
Howdy! The holiday season is upon us and as you race through your Black Fridays, Gloomy Back-to-Work Sundays and the like looking for that perfect gift to stuff yer stockings or brighten your menorah, might I suggest the perfect gift?
Yes, that’s right! Pick up a copy of my latest graphic novel, THE BIG KAHN (with Nicolas Cinquegrani for NBM Publishing) and give your friend, family member, boss or lover the gift of sequential drama.
And if you’re in the New York/New Jersey area, personalize your gift by joining me at Jim Hanley’s Universe in Manhattan on December 3rd from 6PM to 8PM for their End of the Year Spectacular Blow Out signing! I’ll be signing copies of THE BIG KAHN, BROWNSVILLE and more with my pals Stuart Moore, Fred Van Lente, David Gallaher & Steve Ellis, each incredible talents whose books would make great gifts, as well.
Jim Hanley’s is located at:
4 West 33rd St.,
New York, New York
(opposite The Empire State Building)
If you’re not in the area and can’t make the signing, please consider THE BIG KAHN as a holiday for friends and family, as well. It’s a drama about loss, lies, belief and renewal and a graphic exploration of a family secret so well-hidden, even the family didn’t know about it until it was too late. Check out previews and reviews of both KAHN and my first book, BROWNSVILLE, at the NBM site.
New interviews and reviews can be found at the following links:
The Daily Oklahoman
This Week in New York
Now Read This!
Thanks for considering the book… and looking forward to seeing you at Jim Hanley’s on the 3rd!
Yes, it’s true — next weekend I will be flown out as a guest of this year’s Miami International Book Fair to take part in their Comix Galaxy programming, presenting THE BIG KAHN (despite the website calling it ‘Great Kahn’) alongside Eisner-nominated cartoonist Brian Fies on Sunday, November 15th at 1:30PM and then signing books following our talk. I will also be teaching an exclusive minicomics class at Miami-Dade College on Friday, November 13th, and will be walking around the Fair saying hello to friends and checking out the amazing lineup of authors.
The fair takes place November 8-15, with the street fair starting on the 13th. There’s a pretty impressive list of participants including Al Gore, Iggy Pop, Rich Cohen (I’m gonna try and talk Jew gangsters with him!), Jonathan Lethem, John Hodgman and graphic novelists like Josh Neufeld, Dan Goldman, Josh Dysart, Carol Tyler, James Sturm, Jimmy Gownley, Bob Sikoryak, David Small and more. If you’re in the area, please come by and check it out.
Okay, that header wasn’t so family friendly. But THE BIG KAHN is, and we got a great review at Bookgasm.
“THE BIG KAHN is a complete change of pace from the graphic novels that populate most shelves, and should be looked upon as a fresh voice in the way a story like this could be told.”
There’s also a great little interview with Nico here. Check it out!
Have a read, why doncha?
Hey, New Jersey—I’ll be signing copies of THE BIG KAHN (among other selected comics I may have perpetrated random acts of sequential violence) at A&S Comics and Cards in my hometown of Teaneck, New Jersey this Sunday, October 25th, at 12PM.
A&S is graciously opening their doors for me to sign a limited number of copies of the THE BIG KAHN, my graphic novel with Nicolas Cinquegrani about a rabbi who dies and at his funeral his family and congregation discover he was conning them: he isn’t even Jewish. The book has been called “a beautifully meditative story” by the Onion, a “rich and meaningful exploration” by Heeb Magazine, “Gripping” by Publisher’s Weekly and Whitney Matheson from USA Today said ” I almost missed my subway stop because I was so engrossed in this book.”
Swing by on Sunday, October 25th to pick up and talk about comics, get stuff signed, get something sketched and generally have a great old time.
A&S Comics & Cards is located at 563 Cedar Lane, Teaneck NJ. The phone number for directions is 201-801-0500
Greg Burgas at Comic Book Resources’ “Comics Should be Good” blog claims that THE BIG KAHN is “definitely in consideration for best graphic novel of the year.”
He also says that “I enjoyed Brownsville, Kleid’s last book, but thought there was room for improvement. With The Big Kahn, he’s made a big leap in mastery of the craft. It’s a powerful comic that makes you think about faith and family and hypocrisy.”
Mastery of the craft. You heard it here first, sports fans.
As you might know, THE BIG KAHN hits non-comics book stores this Sunday, September 20th, and keep your eyes peeled here for a pretty high profile review to honor it’s release…
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).”
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.
Greg McElhatton gives THE BIG KAHN a kickass review here.
“The Big Kahn is easily Kleid’s best work to date as a writer; it’s clever and gripping, and there are a couple of turns in the story as it heads towards the conclusion that genuinely surprised me even as they still made sense. This feels in many ways like a turning point in Kleid’s career, and I know I’m not the only one who is eager to see whatever Kleid’s next project is based off of the strength of this graphic novel. It’s a strong slice-of-life story that makes you think, and I’m happy with that. Highly recommended.”