Greetings NBMers!

THE YEAR OF LOVING DANGEROUSLY

I’m not new to NBM but I am new to the new and improved NBM blog so an introduction is in order. Below is some biographical information. I’ll be chiming in now and again about my latest project for NBM, the revised, bigger paperback edition of THE YEAR OF LOVING DANGEROUSLY, my “graphic memoir” about surviving post-Ivy League homelessness in 1980s New York City.

Ted Rall’s Bio

Editorial Cartoonist Ted Rall became nationally known for his work during the 1990s, when he brought the multiple-panel format of newspaper comics to the political cartoon format. Rall helped modernize political cartooning, inspiring a younger generation of alternative-weekly artists with a more direct, less metaphorical approach to satire before moving on to publishing his work in major daily newspapers including The New York Times, where he became its most reprinted cartoonist.

Born in Massachusetts and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Rall left in order to attend Columbia University in New York, which became his home and inspiration for his gritty urban style. New York was where Rall met pop artist Keith Haring; it was Haring who suggested that Rall take his political cartoons directly to the people by posting them on subway entrances and other public spaces in order to attract attention and find readers. Within a few years, his cartoons were published in weekly newspapers such as NY Weekly and The Village Voice, as well as across the United States and Canada.

Rall’s work was signed for syndication in 1991. He has been with Universal Press Syndicate (now called Andrews McMeel Syndication) since 1996.

Rall’s cartoons have appeared in hundreds of publications around the world, including Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek, Esquire, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and smaller papers like the Des Moines Register and Dayton Daily News. Today he is one of the most widely syndicated U.S. political cartoonists, as well as a nationally syndicated opinion columnist.

Rall is also a graphic novelist, having won prizes for his works of comix journalism such as “To Afghanistan and Back,” the result of his on-the-ground cartoons and essays filed from the front lines of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 as an unembedded reporter living with local families, and his series of cartoon biographies “Snowden” and “Bernie,” about the NSA whistleblower and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. “Bernie” was a New York Times bestseller.

As an editor, Rall has worked to elevate and promote cartooning. He edited the three-volume “Attitude” book anthology, which defined the “alternative” genre of modern political cartooning that followed the donkeys-and-elephants era. He edited round-ups of comics for sites like The Daily Beast and is now the Cartoon Editor at Forbes.com. As Editor of Acquisitions and Development for United Media, Rall worked to diversify daily comics, signing more women and people of color into syndication than any other executive in history.

Rall’s most recent book is a graphic novel-format biography of Pope Francis.

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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

“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.”

MoCCA: Mr. Easter a sell-out!

Saturday was a busy day at the MoCCA Fest last weekend, definitely an upbeat event with many who came ready to buy.

One of the hits was the premiere of A Home for Mr. Easter, Brooke A. Allen‘s debut graphic novel. It sold out by mid-afternoon of that day. We had to go back to the office to scrounge for more copies for Sunday! The book was also a featured give-away at the MoCCA after-party which was packed that evening.

This wasn’t the only book that sold well. Greg Houston’s Vatican Hustle also sold out  that day which meant having to cancel his appearance on Sunday… Ted Rall sold all of his books and so did Neil Kleid and Nicolas Cinquegrani of The Big Khan.

Nice to see such enthusiasm and also nice to see this show pulled off without any hitches we were aware of, in a venue with a comfortable temperature level (last year’s was sweltering).

Newsarama on Rall’s Year

While saying this may fall short of a must-read, Michael Lorah at Newsarama says:

“Rall does a fine job laying out the story, weaving his year of dangerous love with flashbacks that explain his predicament. It’s an impressive balancing act, and he makes it work. The dialogue is convincing, and most of the women are presented as realized, if perhaps needy, young ladies.

If you’re a fan of comic memoirs, yet maybe a little sick of socially inept, nebbish autobio, Rall provides an effective antidote. “

APE: catch Ted RALL and Shane WHITE

 

If you’re going to the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco the weekend of October 17th, then make sure to stop by the NBM table to meet Ted RALL selling his last few premier copies of The Year of Loving Dangerously (book due in stores mid-Nov.) as well as Shane WHITE signing his just released Things Undone.

Both will have other books of theirs, of course, as well as a smattering of our recent titles to sell! Better yet, credit cards accepted. So there, now you gotta go.