‘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!

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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)

Welcome, Pablo Callejo

oop, a bit late here, as it’s already a few posts down, but a warm welcome to Pablo Callejo, whose art graces Ted’s latest Year of Loving Dangerously.

Of course, you might already know him for his work with Rob Vollmar on Bluesman and the Castaways.

Always wondrous stuff.

And hopefully he’ll talk for both he and Ted who *grumblmumbl* hardly participates here even if I resort to pointing a gun at him!!!

Ted?… You there?

groan

Xaviera Hollander does intro for Rall’s new book

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.