Friday, December 23, 2011


GANGSTA RAP POSSE, ISSUE 2, comes in at number eight on Tucker Stones Best-of-2011 list over at Comixology. Here's what Tucker had to say:
While Benjamin Marra's reputation precedes him enough that the general tone of his work is unlikely to surprise, his experiments in how he exercises that work seem ever-developing. 2011 saw the guy showing up everywhere, but it was in the gray newsprint pages of Gangsta Rap Posse where the most hits landed. One of those long sought after "perfect comics", GRP #2 didn't hold back from a single transgresion, delivering page after page of shadowless violence. More celebration than revelation, Marra's brazen willingness to prize his own taste above all else bore fruit once again. If more cartoonists were as in touch with what their hands want to create, making these lists would be a whole lot harder.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

GANGSTA RAP POSSE Rounds Out Timothy Callahan's Best Of 2011 List

Over at Comic Book Resources Timothy Callahan begins his Best of 2011 list in the latest installment of his column When Words Collide. GANGSTA RAP POSSE makes the list coming in at #30. This is what Tim said about the issue:

A couple of years after Marra's Traditional Comics published the first issue of this series in which an N.W.A-like rap group lives the life it rhymes about, he returns with issue #2, using a more streamlined pen-and-ink style to depict the violence and debauchery of his mythical "heroes."

The thrill of this book is not just in its witty satire of politics and hip-hop poses, but in the glee in which the story unfolds. A book like this makes all other macho action comics seem like soft-focus Lifetime movies in comparison.

Check out the list #11 to 30 here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Matt Seneca On The Brooklyn Comics And Graphics Fest, Reviews Elf Booklets 1-4

Matt Seneca writes an impassioned report on this past weekend's Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest. He includes several reviews of books he found including my four Elf Booklets, zines of drawings I made, employing Raymond Pettibon's aesthetics, inspired by the movie "American Psycho." Here's a few highlights from the review:
Ben Marra has been the single most important artist of action comics going for a few years now, and the new issue of his slashers 'n' strippers series Night Business that came out at the Fest only strengthens his case as the modern era's heir to the comics-about-fighting throne. Much as his work outclasses Avatar and outguns Marvel, though, Marra has an equally strong affinity for the avant-garde, and his truly bizarre quasi-adaptation of everyone's favorite Christian Bale movie (what) shows off the more uncompromising side of what's already a rock hard aesthetic.
But the real story here is Marra's art, which is far and away the best work of his career. Free of the demands placed on it by story, Marra's compositional sense runs absolutely wild, filtering everything from Kirby to classical painting to Black Flag gig flyers into a stark, streamlined, utterly arresting whole. These pictures seem almost mathematically calculated to haunt the eyes they meet: whether it's the sublimely balanced blacks and whites or the point-of-impact axe to neck shots, something here is bound to stick in the mind long after the 'zines are put away.

Here are some highlights from the 'zines:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Fest

This year's Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Fest is happening this Saturday, December 3rd, from noon to 9 PM at the Our Lady of Carmel Church. Entry is FREE. It's a great collection of comic books, art books, art prints and other random ephemera. It's possibly my favorite comic show of the year. This year I'll have the following comic books debuting and goods to offer:


Check out the fourth installment to the epic, dramatic, saga of urban crime, violence, sex and street justice. Price: $3


Due to popular demand and many requests, I've reprinted GANGSTA RAP POSSE, ISSUE 1, for a SECOND PRINTING. Price: $2

The first four booklets of my illustrations based on the movie AMERICAN PSYCHO are premiering at the Fest. They're small (~4" x 5.5") 'zine-type experiments on a Raymond Pettibon approach to drafting with brush and ink, or brush pen in this case. Limited to 24 editions each. Price: $1 EACH

Michael DeForge and I collaborate on a 6-page CyberPunk story, FAUNAMANCER DOMINATION: ASCENDANCY, for this issue. I may not have copies at my table but there will be plenty lying around the Fest I'm sure. Price: FREE

They're supposed to arrive Friday so I'll have them for Saturday. One is of the NIGHT BUSINESS, ISSUE 1, cover art and the other is the TRADITIONAL COMICS logo. Both black ink on white t-shirts. Price: $15

The rest of the issues of NIGHT BUSINESS, GANGSTA RAP POSSE, THE INCREDIBLY FANTASTIC ADVENTURES OF MAUREEN DOWD and THE NAKED HEROES, will naturally be available as well. Price: $1-$3

I'll be at Table 24 in the Downstairs area. Here's where my table is on the map:

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Secrets revealed!! Discover who is behind The Slasher!! Find out if Johnny survived the warehouse explosion! Discover Pimp Donny's evil designs for Krystal! The Rider continues to wage her bloody war on street crime single-handedly ... or with some help!? Steve, left to watch over Glitz Glam Entertainment, is presented with shocking information! An issue not to be missed!!!

Order your copy today at WWW.TRADITIONALCOMICS.COM!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

DOMY Monster Show

My piece for the recent Monster Show at DOMY Books.

Your Wednesday Sequence Interview

Matt Seneca (who's one of my favorite writers/critics/observers/perceivers of the comic book medium) interviews me for his brilliant weekly column Your Wednesday Sequence over at Robot 6. Check it out here. We talk about my comic-book storytelling methods, page-layout philosophies, and the influence of King Kirby on the way I think about organizing narrative information from panel-to-panel. I could talk about that stuff forever so it was a thrill to answer Matt's thoughtful questions. Thanks, Matt.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Demon The Whiskey Down Album Artwork

Above is the album artwork I created for The Naked Heroes new album, Demon The Whiskey Down which officially released today. You can download the album for free on their website here. Even though the music couldn't be more down-home, Budweiser-swilling, parking-lot, trans-am-T-top, full-throated, red-blooded American Rock 'n Roll, George (lead vocals, guitar) and I thought doing something kind of Proggy artwise would be an interesting choice. I was also influenced by the imagery and Cenebites in the movie Hellbound: Hellraiser II. It was the first digital painting I've ever created. I also made a short, 8-page comic that was inserted into the limited-edition 12-inch vinyl release of the album. The comic cover art is below.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


On last night's season premiere of the third season of HBO's Bored to Death, NIGHT BUSINESS, ISSUE 1, made a brief cameo appearance, opposite Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Because you demanded it! The most outrageous and notorious rap group in the world is back!! And this issue raises the stakes!!! The boys elude assassination attempts by corrupt police Lieutenants and the Mayor of Los Angeles. They take on a neo-Nazi punk rock band and their fans. But worst of all Harold Smithsonion, the lethal leader of the 70s funk band, Funk Congress International, and his former bass-player-turned-CIA-assassin, Snoozy Koblins, want GANGSTA RAP POSSE deader than disco for sampling their hit songs without permission or payment!! Still GANGSTA RAP POSSE finds the time to cause a ruckus, spray some bullets around the cityscape, turn Nazi-punk-band groupies to their flava and satisfy the wives of Omnicom's board of directors!! Just another day in the life of GANGSTA RAP POSSE!!
(Sorry kids, this one's too cool for you).

Product details:
Full-color, matte covers
24 b&w interior pages
6" x 9" pamphlet

Order yours today!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

SPX 2011

This weekend I'll be at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD, at table H9 along with a couple of bros from Mammal. On Saturday I'll be a part of the panel entitled "Excruciating Detail," moderated by comic critic extraordinaire Sean T. Collins, along with Johnny Ryan, Tom Neely and Lisa Hanawalt. At the table I'll have a new print and new surprise comic for sale as well as copies of Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies. If you're in the DC metro area, be sure to swing by!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DC-FiftyToo! Jack Kirby's The New Gods

Large image above

Here's my contribution to the DC Fifty-Too! blog, curated by Jon Morris. Jon asked everyone "If DC approached you and offered you any DC property - past or present - of your choice to be your own new ongoing part of the DC Universe, what would the cover to the first issue look like?" Every day leading up to the DC relaunch/pseudo-reboot more covers will be posted, so keep checking back!

Above are the various stages for creating the image: pencils, inks, colors and the final image with the logos. The top image is slightly larger so you can see the detail.

I was really happy to see, when Jon invited me to participate, no one had chosen The New Gods yet. It's one of my all-time favorite comics, along with the rest of Kirby's Fourth World books. It was a dream to draw these characters.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies Collection Signing

This Wednesday I'll be signing copies of the Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies collection with several of the other creator contributors.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The TWISTED SAVAGE DRAGON FUNNIES oversize, 144-page collection comes out today with stories by Tom Scioli, Jim Rugg, Zack Soto, myself and many, many other fine and twisted comic creators. Michel Fiffe organized, edited and midwifed the whole thing and deserves thunderous applause. Swing over and support your local comic shop by picking up a copy!