More reviews for The Big Kahn:
“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.”
“Well written, well drawn, with characters you can understand and sympathize with. Grade: 8/10”
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
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
on the book including preview pages.
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.
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
“The gags are funny and well-designed, with a freewheeling spirit that’s held up well over the past century.”
So says The Onion on Bringing Up Father, our Forever Nuts latest collection, out in stores now.
Sequential Tart also says of it:
“I began to appreciate the inventiveness of the comic, despite always following the same basic situation. Clashes between classes as a source of humor has always been around, and is still around today. That the strip was able to find endless variations of this impressed me.
The drawing of the comic also impressed me. It didn’t strike me immediately, but it is a sophisticated, well-drawn comic that obviously entertained folks for quite a long time. I was also was surprised by realizing that while Jiggs is the butt of the jokes of the strip, you really get the impression it is the high society that is the target…”
Xaviera Hollander, author of the best-selling “The Happy Hooker” (which sold 16 million copies) and helped to revolutionzie attitudes on sex, has provided the introduction to Ted Rall’s forthcoming The Year of Loving Dangerously (shipping in October and being solicited in comics stores now).
Mentioning her own experience running a brothel in New York in the seventies and being proud of it she says:
“Ted didn’t take money for sex, but in Manhattan a place to spend the night is the next best thing to cash—and that’s what he wanted, and consistently got, for over a year until he landed back on his feet. His is an unusual story for its honesty. But I’m willing to bet it’s anything but uncommon in its frequency.
“What makes “The Year of Loving Dangerously” interesting is that, unlike the work of many cartoonists, he is not a shoe-gazer. He is not socially awkward, writing about his inability to get a date, much less get laid on a Saturday night. Like my attitude as “The Happy Hooker,” Ted didn’t feel wallow in self-pity. To the contrary, he embraced life and sex, even when they came about in less than conventional ways. He loved and respected women and loved every minute of his sexual adventures. He was not a cad. He was a lover. The fact that he did it to survive doesn’t change that.
“The Year of Loving Dangerously” may be the first sex-positive book written by a typical, well-adjusted, heterosexual American man.”
See the previews.