Published February 15, 2012
Cambridge Book Review , CBR Press , Literature , Short Story , Writing
Tags: Graphic Classics, Langston Hughes, Rob Thomas, Rosebud, The Capital Times, Tom Pomplun, W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston
W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes in illustrated form on the cover of African-American Classics.
Congratulations to editor Tom Pomplun, whose Graphic Classics Vol. 22, African-American Classics, receives a glowing full-page review by critic Rob Thomas in The Capital Times (week of Feb. 15-21). Thomas writes:
The 22 pieces in this terrific collection, all by African-American illustrators, bring to life short stories and poems by America’s earliest African-American writers, some famous, others largely lost to the shifting winds of time and brought back to life here. As a collection of fine writing and illustrating, as well as a window into the mind of the African-American artist of generations ago, the collection is indispensable.
Tom Pomplun was for ten years the graphic designer for Rosebud magazine before launching Graphic Classics. I had the pleasure of reviewing Graphic Classics: Mark Twain (2004) and Graphic Classics: O. Henry (2005) in Cambridge Book Review. (Tom also designed the memorable cover for Walk Awhile in My Autism, published in 2005 by CBR Press and still selling briskly.)
Book critic Stephanie Bedford in The Capital Times (week of Jan. 4-10) pens some wonderfully trenchant remarks about Rod Clark’s Redshift: Greenstreem (now a CBR Press ebook):
Cambridge’s CBR Press has just reissued the short, punchy and funny sci-fi “micro-novel” Redshift: Greenstreem by Cambridge resident Rod Clark. First published in 2000, it’s an unapologetically geeky piece of futuristic sci-fi set in 2093 Los Angeles, in a world where what we quaintly refer to as “the 99 percent” have been enslaved by debt and inflation. These consumer drones inhabit “Redshift,” an area where their whimsical desires, fanned by a constant stream of advertising, can be transformed against their will into binding agreements to purchase. Redshift presents a satirically exaggerated dystopia, but one that pointedly resembles our own here and now. Wonky appendices hark back to other sci-fi classics like 1984 and A Clockwork Orange, but Redshift is more intent—if only slightly—on tickling your funnybone than giving you nightmares.