Here’s what the critics are saying:
Be sure to check out a fantastic interview with Rick conducted at the Huffington Post where he discusses Louise Brooks and his work.
“This Louise Brooks adventure is supposed to just be a little detour from Mr. Geary’s ongoing work on his Treasury of Murder true crime series. However, there’s definitely a case to be made for more Louise Brooks adventures.”
– Comics Grinder
“It is without question that Geary is the modern master of real-life murder cartooning…Louise Brooks: Detective is a breezy summer detective fiction.”
– Trouble With Comics
“Gorgeous black and white watercolor illustrations enhance this inspiring true story…a fascinating examination of the events that led to the emergence of Hip Hop. It’s also a personal story of survival, loss, oppression, and reclaiming one’s heritage.”
– Foreword Reviews
“Excellent for both teens and adults interested in urban issues, this account shows how difficult it can be to bring about social change and how unexpected positive outcomes can result.”
– Library Journal
“As with all works of this type, many will argue about what should or should not have been included. That’s part of the fun! However, as in earlier editions, the book serves as a subjective but entertaining introduction to this increasingly influential medium and will remain an effective starting reference for the general reader. Librarians serving graphic novels fans will find this short guide to be a useful readers’ advisory tool.”
– Library Journal
On Saturday, the Edgar Allan Poe Visitors Center will host “Women in Comics”, a group exhibition curated by Ray Felix (Bronx Heroes) and Regine Sawyer (Lockett Down Productions). The exhibition will also feature artwork from “Ghetto Brother” illustrated by Claudia Ahlering (see photo).
When? Saturday, August 1, 2015, 1 PM
Where? Poe Park Visitor Center, 2640 Grand Concourse, The Bronx
Who? The Women in Comics Collective began in May, 2012. It’s mission is to educate about the role and merit of women working in the comic book industries by highlighting their artistic endeavors. The collective has over 50 members and organizes art exhibitions and a panel series that has been hosted at venues such as the Schomburg Center for Black Culture and Research, the Bronx Museum, the Bronx Library Center, and most recently at Comic Con in San Diego.
For more information about the exhibition and related events, please visit their Facebook page.
Ghetto Brother is the true story of Benjy Melendez, son of Puerto-Rican immigrants, who founded, at the end of the 1960s, the notorious Ghetto Brothers gang. 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. Melendez also began to reclaim his Jewish roots after learning about his family’s dramatic crypto-Jewish background.
Here’s what the critics are saying:
“Ghetto Brother is a brisk, compact work highlighting an overlooked, yet pivotal, part of the history of both a genre and a city.”
– Rolling Stone
“Absorbing—a true testament to the power of faith in goodwill.”
“A gripping story that feels like a history lesson but a lot more than that.”
“A fascinating, largely unknown story that’s told in a compelling, unexpected way.”
“Matter-of-fact and informative.”
“Written by Julian Voloj and illustrated by Claudia Ahlering, Ghetto Brother resists tropes that are common in comics and biographical storytelling for a first person visually guided narrative that gives a personal account of seeing the world change in real time…The universe is cyclical but in hip hop, it starts with Benjy Melendez. Ghetto Brother is it’s comic origin story, one about a true superhero that continues to replay itself, from the inception point to infinity.”
“An unusual piece of literature in that a medium usually reserved for fantastical tales and superheroes is now being used as a vehicle for the telling of a true story.”
“This wonderful book shows us that Jews come in a wide variety of ethnicities.”
Today, ROLLING STONE featured GHETTO BROTHER- our new graphic novel written by Julian Voloj with art by Claudia Ahlering. The graphic novel profiles Benjy Melendez, leader of the Ghetto Brothers who united the gangs of New York in the historic Hoe Avenue Peace Summit.
In the Rolling Stone article , “New Graphic Novel Details How NYC Gangs’ Treaty Formed Hip-Hop,” reviewer Jason Newman details the work of Melendez, not just as presented in the graphic novel, but his influence in the hip-hop community.
Even if you have read GHETTO BROTHER, the article will serve as a good companion piece to the graphic novel.
Read the full article here.
Previews and ordering information are available on our website.
If you read “Ghetto Brother” you know that after the gang truce came the music. The Ghetto Brothers were one of the first gangs to invite others to their turf to peacefully party together.
A year after the Hoe Avenue Peace Meeting, also thanks to the media attention the GBs were getting back then, Benjy and his brothers recorded an album, “Fuerza/Power” — listen to the sampler here.
This Saturday, Benjy will be honored in the Bronx — and the Ghetto Brothers will give a free concert! If you’re in New York, you don’t want to miss this (and yes, we’ll be selling copies of the graphic novel there as well).
Benjy and I had a great time at the Book Con. So many people came over and wanted to hear Benjy’s story and get their copy of Ghetto Brother signed (for pictures from the event, visit our Facebook page.) A “nice young lady” (Benjy’s words) introduced herself as Sara and said she wanted to get a copy signed for her friend John. Well, John, that was John Leguizamo, known for “Ghetto Klown” (on HBO, on Broadway, and soon as a graphic novel) — and Sara was the great comedian Sara Benincasa.
So Benjy and I had a brief conversation with John — and guess what, he not only loved the book, but he also heard about the story of the Hoe Avenue Peace Meeting before. We can only say, thank you, Sara.
This weekend in New York City is BookCon, the ultimate celebration of books, where your favorite stories come to life.
Storytelling and pop culture collide as both consumers and brands experience the origin of the story in all its forms by interacting with the authors, publishers, celebrities and creators of content that influence everything we read, hear and see.
The show features interactive, forward thinking content including Q+A’s with the hottest talent, autographing sessions, storytelling podcasts, special screenings, literary quiz shows and so much more.
Appearing throughout the show is writer Julian Voloj who will be signing copies of his book, the powerful GHETTO BROTHER: WARRIOR TO PEACEMAKER along with the colorful subject of the book, Benjy Melendez.
An engrossing and counter view of one of the most dangerous elements of American urban history, this graphic novel tells the true story of Benjy Melendez, son of Puerto-Rican immigrants, who founded, at the end of the 1960s, the notorious Ghetto Brothers gang. 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. Melendez also began to reclaim his Jewish roots after learning about his family’s dramatic crypto-Jewish background.
Signing Schedule, Booth 3065
Julian and Benjy will be appearing at the NBM Table throughout the weekend.
11:00 – 12:00 Julian Voloj
2:00 – 3:00 Julian Voloj
4:00 – 5:00 Julian Voloj
11:00-12:00 Julian Voloj and Benjy Melendez
1:00-2:00 Julian Voloj and Benjy Melendez