Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Year Of Loving Dangerously

Ted Rall has been cartooning and writing and drawing graphic novels since about 1986. Rall's graphic novels are of the autobiographical, nonfiction, graphic novel journalism variety, with a few of his best being My War With Brian (an encounter with a bully in school in which he ends up fighting fire with fire), To Afganistan and Back and Silk Road to Ruin (these latter two feature Ted Rall putting on his Joe Sacco hat and going to the countries the graphic novels are about and getting into the thick of things). Rall's single panel comics appear in many outlets such as Time, Fortune, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. He's long been a very controversial cartoonist, and while I don't always agree with his views (such as the ones he has about President Obama or Art Spiegleman's cartooning abilities), I admire the way he puts himself out there. Toc check out some of Rall's panel comic cartoons go here: http://rall.com/

Ted Rall's new graphic novel, The Year Of Loving Dangerously, was just released two weeks ago by NBM and clocks in at about 130 full color pages, wonderfully illustrated by Pablo G. Callejo. The Year Of Loving Dangerously is a memoir of Rall's New York experience during 1984, in which he was expelled from his senior year of college (and the specifics of how that happened is beyond crazy), loses the love of his life, and becomes homeless. He "solves" his homeless problem by getting into a series of sexual relationships with women which gives him a roof over his head for any given day / night depending on which girlfriend he's with. While The Year Of Loving Dangerously may read to some as Rall being a braggart of his sexual prowess and or ability to seduce women, ultimately Rall shows that that year wasn't always as glamorous as it sounds on a surface level and that sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. The Year Of Living Dangerously is definitely entertaining on a vicarious level and also a great snap shot of New York City circa 1984.

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