Saturday, February 27, 2010
My good buddy, Devin Clark, has a hilarious new animated television show coming out on Comedy Central in a few weeks on March 17th called, Ugly Americans. Check out the site here. It's better to go read about the show or look at some of the videos provided instead of having me explain it. I helped Devin execute a couple of the posters, based on his sketches, specifically the demon one, to promote the show. Right now they're all over Manhattan. Congrats, Devin.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
In episode 96 of the 11 O'Clock Comics podcast the guys talk about my comic books, NIGHT BUSINESS and GANGSTA RAP POSSE. You can check it out here. It's about two-thirds of the way into the program that they start talking about TRADITIONAL COMICS. Pretty awesome to hear these guys try to make sense of the books. Thanks, guys, for devoting some time on your podcast to discuss my stuff. Word.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Tucker Stone interviewed me for his column, This Ship Is Totally Sinking, over on Comixology. Check it out here. Tucker and I really delved into the earth from which grows Night Business and Gangsta Rap Posse. We had a really deep convo about comics, art, process, Rambo, superheroes, art comix and other stupid stuff, and he represented it well in the piece and somehow made a lot of my ranting make some sense. Here's one of his astute observations:
The mistake with Night Business--if there is one--might be in Benjamin's commitment to telling the truth. (He admits that his few attempts to "play the role" depicted in his author photos has never really panned out.) But after finding out how much thought has gone into its creation, there's a temptation to want to praise Night Business with caveats, to focus one's attention on how much work has been put in to create an end result that's so base, so raw. Because it can't just be an exploitation comic, right? It's got to have a bigger point, it's got to be a critical take on art comics, a rebuke to independent angst, a reclamation of sleazy action, or else it's just a comic about dead strippers and badasses who wear pleated pants. It's got to be faked, or it doesn't count.Or:
So what is this, then? Another chunk of writing fired out in praise of low art, another "you should really watch Gamer" missive to add to the Kael/Klosterman school of trash worship? Maybe it is. But it's worth questioning whether anybody really does trash anymore without winking, it's worth asking if, in comics' obsessive desire to spend the last decade moving towards a mainstream audience, they've left behind the immediate pleasures that used to be their stock and trade. Comics seem to be selling in more places. They've gotten more attention. But are they dangerous? Are they still taking chances? Or has the ground--the same ground that once gave former unknowns like Ware, Seth, Spiegelman something to create against, to innovate and attack--become fallow?Thanks to Tucker.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
My good buddy Patrick Hosmer, who's a real whiz with all things motion graphics, video production, directing and video editing, is the guy I strong-armed into helping me achieve my dream of having a low-budg, grainy internets commercial for my comic-book publishing company, TRADITIONAL COMICS. You should absolutely check out Patrick's blog, Mister, and his blog post which is a behind-the-scenes director's commentary on the production of the commercial. It also includes my storyboard sketches, behind-the-scenes photos, and a photo of our Woman Hand and Woman Voice actress, the lovely Angie Sullivan. Check it out here.
Monday, February 8, 2010
VICE gives TRADITIONAL COMICS and the recent TC Internets Commercial some love on their website. Check it out here. Nick Gazin gives NIGHT BUSINESS an apt and wonderful description:
There are hyper-detailed torture sequences and serial killings, and everyone’s anatomy is kinda stiff and way overrendered with all kinds of awesome shading. All the guy characters look like action figures you would have killed to have owned when you were little, and all the girl characters/strippers look like drawings of sexy ladies you would have made to impress your friends and convince your enemies that you’re not gay.
Here is the first internets video advertisement for the independent, comic-book publishing company, TRADITIONAL COMICS.
· Direction, editing and animation provided by the multi-talented, virtuoso, Patrick Hosmer.
· The aggressively mid-tempo, radio-friendly background rock n' roll music was provided by George Michael Jackson of The Naked Heroes.
· Animator and maestro Dan Meth provided the logo jingle.
· The lovely Angie Sullivan provided the sessy female voiceover and hand-modeled.
And I, Benjamin Marra, publisher of TRADITIONAL COMICS, acted as producer.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Nick Gazin, who interviewed me a while back for the VICE website (the interviewed was entitled Shiny As Hell, check it out here), featured NIGHT BUSINESS, ISSUE 3 on his Comic-Book Witch Hunt #8. Here's what he had to say:
Ben Marra’s back with another Night Business. The guy who protects strippers has been kidnapped and is being tortured in a warehouse. Once his kidnappers have ripped out his last fingernail his rage and drug-filled blood allow him to break free of his bonds and waste all of his enemies. Meanwhile the mysterious stripper-killer is still prowling the streets and a mysterious lingerie-wearing vigilante saves some would-be rape victims. This thing is an explosion of unsexy sex and super-sexy violence. If you don’t know Ben Marra then you should. Idiot.Nick is right. If you don't know me, you should, idiot.
Check out the full rundown here.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
If you live in the LA area you should stop by Sammy Harkham's book store, FAMILY. Issues of NIGHT BUSINESS can be found there and ISSUE 3 just arrived at the store. There's a mention about it on the FAMILY blog right here, with some kind words to say about the issue:
One of the best comic series around-strippers, vice cops, serial killers, guidos, all mix it up in the pre-giuliani era New York. Like Douglas Sirk directing an Abel Ferrara script or something.Thanks to Sammy.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Sean T. Collins has reviewed Night Business, Issue 3, over on his site Attention Deficit Disorderly Too Flat, right here. Sean is what I consider a real understander of Night Business; its nuances and subtleties. Some choice quotes from his review include:
I don't have the first two issues in front of me, but my impression is that this is the strongest yet on several levels. The insistent, grandiose stupidity of the writing reaches a delirious pitch here ...And:
I'm all about seeking pleasure in comics these days, and this comic gets me off but good.As always, thank you, Sean. Your words are greatly appreciated.