10 Years Later: The Year of Loving Dangerously Paperback Edition

THE YEAR OF LOVING DANGEROUSLY

In 2009 NBM published my first and only collaboration with another creator, THE YEAR OF LOVING DANGEROUSLY. I wrote the story—my story—and Pablo G. Callejo, the Spanish genius behind BLUESMAN, drew the artwork. I was really happy with the way it turned out. Despite never having visited New York before, much less during the 1980s, Pablo managed to channel what NYC felt like during the bad old days of the Reagan era.

YEAR OF LOVING is about my year (really a year and a half, closer to two) that followed my expulsion from Columbia University for both academic and disciplinary reasons. In short order I lost my girlfriend, a place to live and my job. With only a few buck in my pocket I got ready to face the reality of homelessness in Manhattan.

Until I lucked into a place to stay with a woman who picked me up.

YEAR OF LOVING did OK. But it was, I think, ahead of its time. Besides, the economy was terrible. With 500,000+ Americans losing their job every month, not a lot of consumers were picking up graphic novels. Personally, I think the 6×9 trim size of the hardback didn’t do Pablo’s artwork justice.

The new paperback coming out in April 2019 fixes the size problem: at 8.5×11 the artwork really shines and you can easily read it. The #MeToo movement puts this story into a textured context (I’ll blog about that next time); here’s a story about a man relying on the kindness of women rather than the clichéed opposite scenario in which men wield their power over women. And of course the paperback is  more affordable and the economy doesn’t suck as badly.

More on the book.

NBM April 2019 Releases

Here are upcoming titles, now being solicited in comics stores through Diamond Previews for a April 2019 release.

NEW!

The Story of Lee Complete Set
By Sean Michael Wilson, Chie Kutsuwada, Nami Tamura, Piarelle

0-3Specially priced set of 3 volumes with the complete story. Matt, an ex-pat from Scotland in Hong Kong, meets Lee a local Chinese girl. They fall in love but her family is resistant to this foreigner. Matt eventually brings Lee back to study in Scotland and meet his family and friends. Can the pressures on both sides, and the cultural differences be surmounted? They both find how difficult this can be.
5x 7 ½, 448pp, B&W, set of 3 pb, $29.99 (normally $36);  ISBN 978168112214452999; DIAMOND CODE: FEB191875
PREVIEWS

The Year of Loving Dangerously
By Ted Rall, Pablo Callejo

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Now in paperback! It’s New York City in the 1980s and Ted Rall is in college. Everything is fine before his pranks, lack of focus and restlessness get him expelled. Unable to find a job and rejected by his parents, he considers suicide. By happenstance he finds comfort in the arms of many women as he bed-hops around the five boroughs. It’s better than homelessness, but the psychic toll of selling himself and his affection was higher than he imagined.
Both acidly funny and brutally honest, Rall, a cartoonist both beloved and reviled for his edgy politics, pours out his guts in this remembrance of this most difficult chapter in his life.
8 ½ x 11″, 124pp, full color trade pb., $17.99; ISBN 978168112215151799; DIAMOND CODE: FEB191880
PREVIEWS

AVAILABLE AGAIN!

Silk Road to Ruin

By Ted Rall


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Part graphic novel travelog, part tongue-in-cheek travel guide, here are the adventures of caustic cartoonist Rall in the wild and wooly central Asian countries, a powder keg sitting on tomorrow’s oil… Combines articles with comics chapters relating his experiences retracing the old legendary Silk Road starting with the sublime history of China and ending in the absurdity of the petty dictatorships of the “The ‘Stans” where Rall had the temerity -or was it blustery stupidity?- to go back, including once with a group of listeners to his radio show, on a dare. It’s exotic adventure, satire and a fun way to find out more about a part of the world that looms in importance with its immense reserves of oil…
6×9, 304pp., B&W trade pb, $19.99; ISBN 97815616388575199; DIAMOND CODE: FEB191877
PREVIEWS

To Afghanistan and Back
By Ted Rall


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The World’s first “Instant Graphic Novel”!

When U.S. bombs started raining on the Taliban, Rall didn’t just watch it on TV–he jumped on a plane straight to the war zone to get the real story for himself. But the only cartoonist to go to Afghanistan got more than he bargained for, way more than his previous gut-wrenching trip deep up the legendary Silk Road. Within days of arriving, armed men were hunting down journalists to murder and rob them. Waving funnies didn’t help.

From the gruesome spectacle of a Taliban prisoner blowing himself up with grenades to the hilarious image of mujahideen lining up for shaves and DVD porn a day after joining the Northern Alliance, you can count on Rall for a decidedly different take on this gritty war. To Afghanistan and Back, features as its centerpiece a 50-page graphic novel travelogue of his experience as a cartoonist and war correspondent. It also includes Rall’s articles, cartoons and photos as filed from the front for the Village Voice and syndicated throughout America.
6×9, 112pp., B&W, clothbound, $15.95; HC ISBN: 978156163325851595
Paperback $12.99; PB ISBN: 978156163359351299;  DIAMOND CODE: FEB191878 (SC); FEB191879 (HC)
PREVIEWS

Billie Holiday
By José Muñoz, Carlos Sampayo

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Born in Philadelphia in 1915, and dead too early in New York in 1959, Billie Holiday became a legendary jazz singer, even mythical. With her voice even now managing to touch so many people, we follow a reporter on the trail of the artist on behalf of a New York daily. Beyond the public scandals that marred the life of the star (alcohol, drugs, violence…), he seeks to restore the truth, revisiting the memory of Billie.

Through this investigation, Muñoz and Sampayo trace, through the undertones of racism, and in the wake of the blues, the slow drift of a singer who expressed the deepest emotions in jazz.
By internationally renowned Argentine artists, featuring Muñoz’ strikingly raw heavy blacks, this is not just a biography but a spell-binding art book tribute.

9×12, 80pp., B&W hc, gold stamped black and red cover $19.99; ISBN:978168112093551999; DIAMOND CODE: FEB191876
PREVIEWS

NBM Graphic Novels Announces Upcoming Release Schedule

imageNBM Graphic Novels is proud to announce the release schedule through Summer 2019, including brand new biographies of Albert Einstein by Manuel Garcia Iglesias and Marwan Kahil, and The Rolling Stones by Ceka and various artists. In addition, we’ll have new volumes of Zombillenium by Arthur de Pins, The Story of Lee by Sean Michael Wilson and Piarelle, and The Silent Invasion by Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock, as well as a new release by Margreet de Heer.

In addition, we’re reprinting the first two installments of Zombillenium; Gretchen and Human Resources into a single volume, as well as a complete set of The Story of Lee and a revised paperback edition of The Year of Loving Dangerously by Ted Rall and Pablo Callejo

FEBRUARY 2019

THE STORY OF LEE Vol. 3
By Sean Michael Wilson and Piarelle

story3cover

In the final volume of The Story of Lee, our two main characters, Lee and Matt continue their studies and their relationship in the UK. With growing confidence Lee asserts herself more and Matt finds that he needs to change or challenge. Change to be more the way she likes, or challenge her ideas and risk upsetting their relationship.

Meanwhile, a Chinese student becomes a rival to Lee’s attentions and Matt finds himself in both financial and existential trouble. Against the backdrop of increasing societal turmoil back in Hong Kong Lee’s father gets sick and she has a big decision to make: go back home to help, or pursue an independent life in the UK?

5x 7 ½, 128pp., B&W paperback, $11.99; e-book, $7.99; ISBN 978-1-68112-195-6

MARCH 2019

THE ROLLING STONES IN COMICS!
By Ceka and Various Artists.

9781681121987

When the Rolling Stones hit the scene in the 60’s, it was to play Rhythm & Blues, nothing more. They are far from imagining that they are not just going to change music but also become the mouthpiece of a changing world. Sticking their tongue out at the establishment with their brilliant music and hard-hitting lyrics, they achieve planetary-wide success. With Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in the lead, these rebels have become, over fifty years, not just music, but a whole attitude! Through twenty-one stories in comics accompanied by biographical texts and a rich iconography, this book makes you relive, in a totally new way, the incredible epic of one of the biggest rock bands ever.

192pp., 7×10, full color HC, $24.99, e-books $16.99; ISBN 9781681121987

APRIL 2019

THE STORY OF LEE: Complete Set
By Sean Michael Wilson, Chie Kutsuwada, Nami Tamura, and Piarelle

9781681122144

Matt, an ex-pat from Scotland in Hong Kong, meets Lee, a local Chinese girl. They fall in love but her family is resistant to this foreigner. Matt eventually brings Lee back to study in Scotland and meet his family and friends. Can the pressures on both sides, and the cultural differences be surmounted? They both find how difficult this can be.

5x 7 ½, 448pp, B&W, set of 3 tpb, $29.99 (normally $36); ISBN 9781681122144


THE YEAR OF LOVING DANGEROUSLY

By Ted Rall and Pablo Callejo

9781681122151

It’s New York City in the 1980s and Ted Rall is in college. Everything is fine before his pranks, lack of focus and restlessness get him expelled. Unable to find a job and rejected by his parents, he considers suicide. By happenstance he finds comfort in the arms of many women as he bed-hops around the five boroughs. It’s better than homelessness, but the psychic toll of selling himself and his affection was higher than he imagined.

Both acidly funny and brutally honest, Rall, a cartoonist both beloved and reviled for his edgy politics, pours out his guts in this remembrance of this most difficult chapter in his life. Revised paperback edition.

8 ½ x 11″, 124pp, full color trade pb., $17.99; ebook: 9.99; ISBN 9781681122151

MAY 2019

THE SILENT INVASION VOL. 2: THE GREAT FEAR
By Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock

9781681122069

The paranoia and conspiracy theories continue! Beleaguered reporter Matt Sinkage’s quest to discover the truth behind an apparent, government-backed alien invasion of earth leads him to investigate a quasi-religious UFO cult based in an idyllic small American community. Then the sudden death of a prominent politician paves the way for Senator Harrison Callahan to seek the Presidency of the United States. But Sinkage, believing that Callahan is an alien pawn, is determined to stop him at all costs.

7×10, 160pp., B&W trade pb., $16.99, e-books: $9.99; ISBN 9781681122069

JUNE 2019

LOVE: A DISCOVERY IN COMICS
By Margreet de Heer

9781681122106

Love is a many-splendored thing, as comic artist Margreet de Heer has found out through several relationships and her marriage to fellow artist Yiri.

How to describe it? Is love passion, stability, friendship, or all of the above? In this comics exploration, the author investigates different aspects of love: is there really such a thing as finding The One? What happens in the brain when we fall in love? How can we keep long-term love? What to do about a broken heart? Margreet herself seems to have found her ideal partner in Yiri, but after so many years of marriage, how about that Seven Year Itch?

This book deals with many aspects of love, sex and relationships in a light-hearted, playful and often thought-provoking manner and is a fun and informative read for anyone who is in love or planning to be.

128pp., 8×8, full color HC, $18.99; ISBN 9781681122106; ebook: 9.99

JULY 2019

ZOMBILLENIUM 4: AIR GIRL
By Arthur de Pins

9781681122199

Zombillenium Park has never been better: its popularity has peaked following demonic reforms by Behemoth, who then decides to play his property in a very special competition … A witches’ Sabbath!

Gretchen, Aurelian and Von Bloodt, meanwhile, have set up an underground escape network in order to offer the damned the chance for reconversion, far from the nine circles of Hell, a dangerous secret operation not appreciated by the park’s board of directors. Determined to clean this out, they hire the services of a formidable enchantress who will turn into an arch-rival of Gretchen. Underground as in the air, the fight promises to be epic!

The resistance is organized in this fourth volume of Zombillenium, the monstrous bestselling and award-winning series by Arthur de Pins, eagerly awaited by fans after a long hiatus! What are Gretchen’s true intentions? Will the undead succeed in asserting their rights? Who will be the future happy owner of the Zombillenium Park? Not to be missed!

9×12, 48pp, color HC, $16.99, 9.99 ebook; HC: 9781681122199

 

ZOMBILLENIUM VOLS. 1-2: GRETCHEN/HUMAN RESOURCES
By Arthur de Pins

zombcover1_2

Francis von Bloodt, vampire, a good family man, manages the theme park Zombillenium.

They don’t just hire anyone, at Zombillenium: mere mortals need not apply, the park works only with genuine werewolves, vampires and zombies. This is what Aurelian gets to discover as, burnt out, deceived by his wife, he finally gets ‘hired’ in spite of himself in this strange business. Gretchen, a plucky trainee witch, helps him get around…

In the second chapter, Tempers are flaring around Zombillenium, the monster amusement park run by monsters. When one hires only the dead (or witches!) in a region where unemployment is in the double digits, one must expect some friction. But things get particularly ugly when the park’s security is breached from two sides: activists and a very strange visitor, mom to two peculiar sons the head of the park seems to remember from somewhere… Gretchen and Aurelian do their best to help save a precarious explosive situation!

All presented in De Pins’ trademark tongue-in-cheek jubilant black humor and stunning art, combining volumes 1 and 2.

9×12, 96pp., color HC, $19.99; ISBN 9781681122236

AUGUST 2019

ALBERT EINSTEIN, THE POETRY OF REAL
By Manuel Garcia Iglesias and Marwan Kahil

9781681122021

When he’s five years old, Albert Einstein’s father offers him a compass that triggers in him an irrepressible need to understand the laws of the universe. At first a simple employee of the Swiss Patent Office in Bern, the young Einstein published in 1905 a series of scientific articles that question everything that was thought to be known in the world of physics. His theory, summed up by the formula E = mc2, opens to humanity the doors of the power of the atom… Legendary Genius, but also a great humanist, he lives through the first half of the 20th century, with all its horrors and contradictions, in the service of science, but distraught by what man’s madness is capable of doing with it.

128pp., B&W HC, 6×9, $19.99, ebooks $13.99; ISBN 9781681122021

 

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“That’s truly what LOVING DANGEROUSLY is…literature.”

So says Ain’t It Cool News reviewing Ted Rall and Pablo Callejo’s Year of Loving Dangerously:

“When a book like LOVING DANGEROUSLY does come along, I have to read it twice because I am so taken aback by the fact honest-to-God literature is being produced in graphic novel format.

And that’s truly what LOVING DANGEROUSLY is…literature. Not only am I hooked in for the rest of this trilogy, but I’m intrigued to traverse Rall’s other titles to see how the temperance of age and the stark differences of today’s world would be viewed through his eyes.”

Year of Loving Dangerously still gets reactions.

The Year of Loving Dangerously is just the second book I’ve read of Ted Rall’s, the first being his account of his travels along the Silk Road in Silk Road to Ruin. I quite enjoyed the latter, how he combined his memories of the trip with accurate descriptions of the people and political climes of the countries he visited along the Silk Road. This book didn’t disappoint, either. A graphic memoir that presents this one particular year, a year of many hardships to Ted Rall, realistically and often humorously, it shows what a person can do if he or she doesn’t give up when faced with a seemingly insurmountable roadblock. Though Rall considered suicide at one point in the book, he fortunately toughed it out and carried on. This story gives hope to us all.”

So says Curled Up with a Good Book

The next one, from Andrew Wheeler, is more nuanced:

“Rall’s story of the summer of 1984 is worthy of a graphic novel.” He starts to say but: “It does have a tendency to come across as bragging. But Rall’s dialogue and narration keep the story flowing, and Callejo (artist of Bluesman) draws a lot of very attractive women in and out of bed with the young Ted Rall. I still have the feeling that Rall is telling this story in a very slanted way — that he’s very carefully chosen how to present this time in his life to make himself look as glamorous and positive as possible — but it’s a very readable graphic memoir that will make all men close to Rall’s age either remember their own youth fondly or wish fervently that they’d been more “active” back in the day.”
The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

And there have been some much more scathing reviews of late on that note of Rall just showing off, including Rob Clough on The Comics Journal’s site where the art was also criticized which surprises us:

“A book that was all over the place: frequently entertaining, often baffling and contradicting itself at any number of turns.  If only it had been Rall’s own hand depicting these events, then this messiness might have held a greater appeal.”

 Most love the art but some just can’t get into the more realistic style Callejo chose, apparently. Also, interesting that all women who reviewed this, and there were many, didn’t see Rall as bragging, in fact they admired his survival skills!

Ted Rall gets interviewed + more reviews for ‘Year of Loving Dangerously’

 

First, let’s point you to a fun interview on Smith Magazine’s site with Ted Rall on his recent Year of Loving Dangerously.

Greg McElhatton of Read About Comics sees Rall’s book as a bit of an exercise in self-justification but still grants that “This is the kind of glimpse into someone’s life that readers rarely get,” and especially raves about artist Pablo Callejo’s work on this:

“a treat from start to finish; he draws his characters with an innocent look, thanks to rounded faces and clean lines. Callejo draws the young Rall in a way that makes him both recognizably the cartoonist (for those who have seen or met him), but without feeling stiff, posed, or light boxed off of existing photographs. I think it’s Callejo’s art style that actually makes the book slightly more likable; Rall’s narration may not ever come across as warm, but his alter-ego on the page does in places.”

And Sequential Tart picks up on this about Callejo:

“a marvel to behold. Callejo is surely an artist to watch and this book specifically demonstrates how versatile an artist he is. How easy it would have been for Callejo, like so many other comic book artists, to make all of the women Ted sleeps with pictorial copies of each other. The fact that there were so many characters, and I never confused any of them and I always recognized the recurring ones, is a great artistic accomplishment.

Rall is obviously an excellent writer. And the book is very funny at times, so don’t let the serious premise scare you away. I enjoyed this graphic novel immensely and have been encouraged to check out more of Rall’s books. Read this book with an open mind and eye for detail and I think you will enjoy it just as much. 9 out of 10.”

JOE & AZAT visit Publishers Weekly and RALL on Booklist

Ted Rall and Pablo Callejo’s The Year of Loving Dangerously just keeps getting the accolades, the latest from Booklist:

“He was more interested in well-stocked refrigerators than impending sexual adventures. Realistically illustrated in soft colors by Callejo, of Bluesman (2004–06) fame, and maximally unbuttoned in some places, Rall’s sympathetic account of his life on the edge encourages identifying with a situation so desperate that his outrageous choices seem necessary.”

And Publishers Weekly thought Jesse Lonergan’s Joe & Azat equally charming:

“Lonergan follows his graphic novel, Flower & Fade, with this charming and engrossing study of a friendship that transcends cultural borders. A simply illustrated charmer that grips readers from its opening pages and remains on the mind well after it has been read and absorbed.”

‘A gorgeous whirlwind of a memoir’, Publishers Weekly interviews Rall

Sasha Watson, a well known author in her own right, calls Ted Rall and Pablo Callejo’s The Year of Loving Dangerously ‘a gorgeous whirlwind of a memoir’ and does a great interview of Rall in Publishers Weekly’s Comics Week.

And don’t forget, Ted appears at MoCCA Thursday evening at 7PM to talk about and then sign this book!

A bevy of reviews

First off, for The Big Khan, a rave from Tony Isabella of Comics Buyers Guide:

“Riveting. The emotions that drive this graphic novel make it a genuine page-turner with a satisfying conclusion. With admiration for Kleid’s riveting story and Cinquegrani’s deft realization of the characters and locations with which he has brought that story to life, The Big Kahn earns the full five out of five Tonys. It’s a masterpiece.”

Comic Mix on Rall’s Year of Loving Dangerously:

“Much of the strength in this remarkable account comes from Pablo G Callejo’s artwork. The Spanish artist keenly captures the look and feel of New York City during the go-go Reagan years. His people are wonderfully varied and his attention to detail is excellent, from clothing to color. His artwork is ideally suited for this cautionary tale and made reading it a lot easier.
This is an important work in that it lays bare a man’s life and shows how easily things can go awry and why society needs safety nets.”

Susan Boslough of Playbackstl, provides an interesting insight on Rick Geary’s Famous Players:

“Geary provides a nice overview of the case as well as sketching in some background about early Hollywood, and he has the dramatist’s instinct for maintaining the reader’s interest by carefully timing the release of crucial information.
Each chapter of Famous Players is introduced by a “Stars of the Photoplay” image of a famous actor of the day, one of which has a notable connection with Taylor. Gloria Swanson’s greatest creation, Norma Desmond, was named after William Desmond Taylor and Mabel Normand. The name was aptly chosen, as Desmond’s fictional life in Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard encompasses the glory days of the silents while coming to a conclusion even more lurid than anything in either Taylor’s or Normand’s careers.”

And by the way, Famous Players just shipped its paperback edition at $9.95, in time for Xmas!

Seattle’s The Stranger on Vatican Hustle by Greg Houston:

“What’s the art look like? It’s kind of Ralph Steadman-y. Nice and messy and whorl-y. I like it a lot.
Do you recommend it? Yes. Blaxploitation parodies are definitely played out, but Houston has an alternative enough edge to his work that this book is visually and structurally interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing more work by him.”

They also reviewed Things Undone by Shane White and while they liked the art, thought it came up short, alas.

Rall’s Year starting to get reaction

“Say what you will about political lightning rod Ted Rall: the man’s not afraid of coming off like a dick. Callejo’s painted art, a far cry from the proto-punk stylings Rall uses on his political cartoons, captures the milieu wonderfully and even manages to convey the varying degrees of dismay Rall’s young self feels over the way his life is going.

He keeps the political proselytizing to a minimum. Though it wouldn’t be true to his character to avoid anti-Reaganomics rants altogether, Rall doesn’t shy from taking his own level of responsibility: “None of them could have fucked me up if I hadn’t let them,” he says early of his — and with that admission, I found myself liking the dickish Rall more than I initially expected to. Year of Loving Dangerously is a strong addition to the growing field of graphic memoirs.”

“This is a very honest, very open story, that does not ask for your pity but instead just tells things like they were. Ted is not always such an upright guy, and not even always very likable, but he seems very realistic because of these flaws. Most of us have had times in our life where we felt like we would do just about anything to survive, but we usually don’t admit to the lengths we have actually gone too.
I loved the 80’s references.
An interesting life story and it translated well to graphic form.”

Paperback Reader

“Undoubtedly one of the most amazing graphic books I have ever read. Ted Rall is not a gigolo. He is not a player in the sense he gets off on fucking a lot of women and duping them into thinking he cares. He is a man who loves life, loves women, loves freedom, and loves not sleeping on the streets. The sex scenes are sensual without being overwhelmingly steamy, and each character is draped in loving detail, giving them depth and personality. Naturally Rall’s narrative is easy to get caught up in, but the graphic story itself would have lacked the extra emotional punch without Callejo’s simply beautiful artwork.

Some people will skim this book and mutter to themselves about how little he had to complain about, considering how much tail he was getting. Some will not believe a single word or panel they lay their eyes on. Some will fall in love with his unpredictable and free-roaming life style. Yet what all who read this memoir SHOULD see is a narrative of a man, admittedly smarter than the average bear, but still just a man, who found himself in an unbelievable situation.

Inspirational, intensely erotic and at times heart-wrenching, this is truly a memoir which cannot be passed up.”

Avril Brown of Comics Waiting Room (and wethinks Ted will want to meet her after this)