Portrait by Ken Plume Copyright 2006
First up from my Comic Con stash is The Lone and Level Sand by A. David Lewis, mpMann, and Jennifer Rodgers. I read the book in it’s first printing, which was softcover, black and white, and published by ADL’s Caption Box comics. I enjoyed it in that form, but, I felt the grayscale art wasn’t quite right, and the lettering wasn’t top notch.
This new version by Archaia Studio Press is positively breath-taking. The colors make the art pop, the production is amazing, the redone lettering and general book design makes the book the complete package it always deserved to be.
The book is a thoroughly researched retelling of the story of Moses and the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, as seen in that one Charlton Heston movie. The big difference is that the book is told from a historical perspective, and more importantly, from Pharoah’s point of view. It comes of as an even-handed portrait of a man who while certainly a villain, had quite a bit more going on then was ever really addressed in that big leather bound scroll they kept up in the daius until trotting it around the shul on Saturday mornings.
Probably the biggest suprise for me about the book and it’s reception is how little flack ADL got for doing the angle he did. Despite the thoughtful and delicate way he handles what to just about 2/3rds of the world would be blasphemy, the knee jerk reaction (and this even to my lapsed Jewish self) is “What the fuck do I need to feel bad for Pharoah for?” Well, you don’t. He obviously had a choice and he made the wrong one.
The use of religious mysticism versus practical logic is pretty brilliant and reminiscent of the work done in Age of Bronze, another thoroughly researched look at a time period best known for portrayal in an Epic Poem or two.
Anyways, LaLS is really a wonderful piece of literature that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves, so, do yourself (and my buddy ADL) a favor and pick it up. It’s dirt cheap on Amazon and it’s thus far my favorite Graphic Novel of the year.
Oh, and it’s up for a Harvey Award or two, so make sure to vote for it if you’re eligible to vote. (And while you’re at it…. there’s this other obscure indie book up for… eh, forget it. Just vote for Bendis or Brubaker and break my little heart.)
Lone and Level Sands. Go. Buy it.
I keep meaning to take pictures but I’m forgetful. Have some pictures from tonight’s Random House Panel up by morning, in theory. Things are well, if you’re reading this, and at the con, don’t forget my panel tonight at 6pm.
Originally uploaded by Joshua Hale Fialkov.
We’ve kept fighting through self-publishing and Speakeasy and that weird unpublished limbo we spent several months in. But we never gave up, and we owe that to you guys. And it’s worked – Elk’s Run has tallied seven Harvey Nominations and is being collected by Random House.
But here comes July 28th, the deadline for Harvey final ballots – and we come to you all once again, hat in hand. Your votes count and can help make the difference for us.
You can download your ballot here: harveyawards.org/, the information for submissions is contained therein. We’d also like to recommend the excellent work of all of our supporters who are also nominated, including Brian Michael Bendis, Brian K. Vaughan, and A. David Lewis. It’s an honor to be nominated alongside you guys.
See you in San Diego,
What a weekend. I wrote for around 30 hours this weekend. Mostly stuff nobody’ll ever see which is… strange. But, I’m definitely back in the zone, and am cranking stuff out at an alarming rate. The week before Comic-Con is always highly productive, if only to make up for the weeks afterwards where I’m too dead to do anything but sleep.
And I recorded two songs somehow during all of that. And saw Pirates of the Caribbean. Jebus. I need a vacation.
I had this strange dream about me and a few friends hanging out outside an abandoned building and being chased by a slasher villain who’s weapon of choice was something akin to the Flying Guillotine mixed with a giant fucking bear trap. I’m still unclear on what it meant, but I’m happy to take Freudian/Jungian analysis.