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Archives - September 2009

Interview: Adam Rapp, author of Ball Peen Hammer

Sep 29, 2009

One of the most buzzed about books of the fall, Ball Peen Hammer, also contains some of the most stylized artwork. The graphic novel, a postapocalyptic tale of people forced to do nightmarish things in order to survive, is written by playwright Adam Rapp (see an interview with Rapp here) and is as mesmerizing as it is disturbing. We talked to George about how he came to work on this powerful new book.

Interview: Adam Rapp, author of Ball Peen Hammer

Sep 29, 2009

Adam Rapp is a creator of all trades. He’s made a name for himself writing books for kids (such as Missing the Piano and The Buffalo Tree), he’s written a novel for adults (The Year of Endless Sorrows), he’s written and directed for TV and film, he’s written more than a dozen plays (including Members Only, Kindness, and The Metal Children), and he’s played in a couple different bands. But now he’s releasing his first graphic novel, the riveting and quite disturbing Ball Peen Hammer. The tool in the title might seem innocuous at first, but as used in the story—set in a postapocalyptic world where humans hide wherever they can and try to stave off disease and starvation—it takes on a whole new, disturbing meaning. Here’s what Rapp had to say about his work.

Interview: Gerard Way, author of The Umbrella Academy: Dallas

Sep 16, 2009

Thirty-one-year-old comic author (and sometimes artist) Gerard Way traces his professional comics work back to college, but it wasn’t until 2007 that his name was stamped prominently on one. That’s when he became the creator of the Dark Horse series Umbrella Academy, the first trade paperback collection of which, Apocalypse Suite (read the review here), was released in 2008. And silencing critics who might have thought Way was just another celebrity making a weak attempt at crossing from one medium to another, the author’s quirky superhero series picked up the Eisner Award last year for Best Finite Series/Limited Series, as well as three Harvey Award nominations, of which it won Best New Series.

Interview: Dwight Jon Zimmerman, author of The Vietnam War: A Graphic History

Sep 15, 2009

Early on in The Vietnam War: A Graphic History, writer Dwight Jon Zimmerman describes Vietnam as “ten thousand days of thunder that traumatized a nation.” Even more than three decades later, it’s obvious that is on exaggeration. This war, this event, traumatized our nation, both uniting and dividing it, sending it somewhere it had never been before. With a remarkably thorough way of explaining the entire scope of the war, Zimmerman has tackled a seemingly insurmountable project and made it so much more than a simple comic retelling of Vietnam. It’s a history lesson that truly teaches the depth of its subject. GraphicNovelReporter talked with Zimmerman about this massive undertaking.

Interview: David Small, author of Stitches: A Memoir

Sep 8, 2009

David Small’s bracing new memoir, Stitches, is a shocker. The talk of last spring’s BookExpo America convention, it has been generating buzz for months, most notably for its unsentimental, no-holds-barred approach to Small’s youth as the son of a distant mother and a radiologist father. The youngest of two children, Small had problems with each of his family members, all of whom isolated themselves in some way, and all of whom caused Small some kind of turmoil. His brother teased and taunted him, and his mother withdrew into her own world (and made it clear, one way after another, that she was incapable of loving her child in the way most mothers do). But it was his father who did the most lasting damage. His ongoing radiology treatments performed on his son—done to “cure” him of sicknesses he faced—perhaps caused the cancerous growth that had to be removed, along with one of Small’s vocal cords, at the age of 14.

Interview: Laurie Faria Stolarz, author of Black is for Beginnings

Sep 8, 2009

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the acclaimed author of such young adult books as Bleed, Project 17, and the Touch series. In this interview, Stolarz explains what inspired her to create her latest work, Black Is for Beginnings, as a graphic novel companion to her Blue Is for Nightmares series and discusses how she was able to transition easily between the two formats. She also describes how her upbringing in Salem, Massachusetts, influenced her writing and research on the paranormal subjects in her work and reveals how she stays current on what’s important to her teen audiences.