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.”

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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.”

Chicago’s Redeye interviews Rall: he was dead on about Afghanistan in 2001

A very important interview just up on Chicago’s Redeye site Chicago Now. It zeroes in on the fact that Ted Rall called it early back in 2001 as can be seen in his ‘instant graphic novel’ we published in 2002 To Afghanistan & Back. Basically he already said it then: ‘we lost this war.’

You’ll remember we all thought we had just won it.

This book is ever more relevant today, check it out. He risked his life going there to see the war with his own eyes, not trusting the news.

And for you Californians, note Ted Rall will be appearing at the D.G. Wills Bookstore, 7461 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, Ca. 92037 (858)456-1800
Friday December 11 at 7PM

‘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 at MoCCA Dec. 3rd

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art will host Ted Rall presenting his new book The Year of Loving Dangerously, his graphic memoir on a fateful year where the main issue became basic survival… in a very unusual way. The book is beautifully painted by Pablo (Bluesman) Callejo, a first for Ted to just write.

He will talk in person about that year, what it meant to him and the not easy process of bringing this all back up. You can see from recent posts that it’s already garnering great reviews.

So, if you’re in nyc Thursday Dec. 3, come meet Ted Rall and get him to sign some books by him that MoCCA will have which we’ve donated to them to help them raise money.

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)