Paul Buhle is busy these days with various comics projects. He is truly a friend to cartoonists. And, as we find out in this interview, there’s a good story behind that. In fact, there’s plenty to talk about when you engage in a conversation with Paul Buhle. Today, his latest book, co-edited with David Berger, is out and avaiable, “Bohemians: A Graphic History,” a 304-page comics anthology that explores the world of bohemians in America from about 1850 to 1950 (my review here). It is published by Verso Books and you can find it here.
Paul Buhle retired a few years ago from Brown University where he lectured on History and American Civilization. He has written and edited numerous books on labor, culture, and radicalism. Now, Mr. Buhle finds a good portion of his time devoted to editing books that tell their stories through comics.
“Where Bohemia Began,” art by Summer McClinton, script by Paul Buhle
“Good morning, Bohemians!” So, the jubilant cry would have been heard in Paris, circa 1853. It can still be heard today from down the street where I live in Seattle and all across the globe. I am a bohemian. I’ve always identified as such as a writer, artist, and cartoonist. But what does it really mean and how did this concept come to be? In the new comics anthology, “Bohemians: A Graphic History,” edited by Paul Buhle and David Berger, we get a full history. These short works are created by some of today’s most accomplished cartoonists, who also happen to be some of the best examples you will find of contemporary bohemians.
“How I Made the World,” is an intriguing title, don’t you think? It happens to be the title for a series of comics about Liz, a college student and writer who expresses herself in true epic glory, like any young person should. Now, this is most assuredly a SERIES, not a ONE-SHOT. There may have been a bit of confusion regarding this since the Diamond Previews catalog, the monthly bible for all comics retailers and regular comics buyers, has given the “one-shot” label to this series. Okay, now that we have that cleared up, here is an interview with the creators. It was a pleasure to get to chat for a bit with Liz and Randy.
“How I Made The World” is a Xeric Award-winning comic that follows the misadventures of Liz, a college student and aspiring writer. From her vantage point, just about everything in her life is epic. And so we begin in this first issue with not just a midterm art project deadline on the horizon. No, this is fodder for our first big story, “The Monster.”
Joel Craig loves a challenge. He is pursuing three of them: acting, nursing, and cartooning. Yes, if you’re serious about each of these professions, they can all take a lot out of you. And they can all definitely give back to you. WELCOME TO NURSING HELL0, Joel Craig’s recently released graphic memoir, is a very funny and insightful collection of comics. You can read my review here. He’s in the thick of it, living and working in Los Angeles and navigating a busy life.
VINCENT is an inviting look at Vincent Van Gogh, the epitome of the tortured artist. In this new graphic novel by Dutch illustrator Barbara Stok, we have a new look at this icon. Published by SelfMadeHero, as part of their exciting new Art Masters series, we find in these 144 pages another way to appreciate Van Gogh’s life and art and even get some clarity regarding the myth surrounding Van Gogh. The most infamous moment during his life is, of course, the cutting off of part of his ear. Popular belief has it as his strange way of proving his love for a local woman. However, we find here that is not the case.
In conjunction with the release of “A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York,” the graphic novel by Liana Finck, a panel on comics will be held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on April 23. The panel, “Jews, Comics, and the City,” will include three cartoonists, Liana Finck, Miriam Katin, and Eli Valley. The panel will be moderated by Tahneer Oksman of Marymount Manhattan College.
Sequart, short for Sequart Research & Literacy Organization, is a highly regarded resource for all things comics. When they have a project, we comics folk listen. Right now, it’s all about SHE MAKES COMICS, a documentary film about the untold history of women in comic books, celebrating female creators and fans alike. Support this exciting project at Kickstarter. At this writing, the funding goal has not quite been reached so every bit helps. Visit the project here.
Freestyle Love Supreme at Joe’s Pub. (photo credit: Kevin Yatarola)
Pivot, Participant Media’s cable network presents an original special, an evening with the hip-hop improv group, FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME on Saturday, March 8 at 10PM ET/PT. The all-new half-hour special brings a national audience into New York City’s celebrated venue, Joe’s Pub, to experience the eponymous improv troupe’s uber-buzzy, high-energy live show from award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail, the creators of the Tony and Grammy award-winning musical, “In The Heights.” This first-time ever TV special will be taped in front of a live audience just two days prior to premiere. More details here.
It is an honor to get to interview the talented creators of Freestyle Love Supreme: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, and Anthony Veneziale. As Lin-Manuel says, Freestyle Love Supreme was taking shape at the same time that all three of them were working together on “In The Heights.” Freestyle was Anthony’s brainchild and he and Lin-Manuel were having fun with it. Then Thomas Kail came along and helped give shape to what has become an ongoing performance that has won over audiences. It’s all about participation as the audience provides the topics for the show.
Dubbed by The New York Times as “Masters in the art of Freestyle rhyme,” Freestyle Love Supreme uses rap to spin audience suggestions into fully-realized musical numbers. In addition to Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Freestyle Love Supreme” also stars Utkarsh Ambudkar, Anthony Veneziale, Chris Sullivan, Bill Sherman, Chris Jackson and Arthur Lewis. The show is created by Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale.
Pivot TV is all about its audience as it has fully demonstrated with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s popular “Hit Record.” You can now add to that, this original special from Freestyle Love Supreme.
Just click the link below to listen to the podcast interview:
Visit Freestyle Love Supreme here and Pivot TV here. And watch the Freestyle Love Supreme special on Saturday, March 8 at 10PM ET/PT.