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: