Saturday, June 5, 2010
Book Review of The Knight Life: Chivalry Ain't Dead by Keith Knight, Gentleman Cartoonist
The contest for copies of Keith Knight's The Knight Life: Chivalry Ain't' Dead is open! Contest ends on June 30, so sign up now!
The Knight Life is a hilariously twisted view of life through the eyes and pen of its creator, community-oriented urban hipster and award-winning cartoonist Keith Knight. The Knight Life deftly blends political insight and neurotic humor in a uniquely fluid and dynamic style, offering a comic strip that's fresh, sharp, topical and funny. Designed for daily newspapers, The Knight Life follows Knight's long-running, 2007 Harvey Award-winning weekly comic strip "The K Chronicles," which appears on salon.com.
An unabashedly provocative political and social satire, The Knight Life tackles contemporary issues like consumer culture, bacon, the media, race, family and everything else, gently mocking the minutiae of daily life with self-deprecating humor, honesty and goofiness-a combination that's perfect for the comics. And The Knight Life's energetic style reminds readers that comics can look funny as well as read funny. The result is accessible yet edgy, compassionate and political-and never preachy. Cartoonist and comic historian R.C. Harvey said, "The Knight Life is undeniably the best new laugh- and thought-provoker on the comics page. Not since Calvin and Hobbes has there been so novel an entertainment in the funnies."
It's been a while since I've read comic strips, and The Knight Life reminds me why I used to check the daily for the latest gem. Keith Knight's "autobiographical comic strip" pulls together everyday things and left me shaking my head, tabbing pages, and sharing the chuckles.
In one strip, Keith dubs himself the "Chucklehead of Cheap," the "Friar of Frugality," -- and it so reminded me of someone that I know! Keith touches on immigration, gifting (re-gifting), weirdos on the bus, hoarding plastic bags, Trapper Keeper notebooks, Barack Obama, bi-racial relationships, Trader Joe's 2 buck chuck, taco trucks, junk mail, real estate, and bookcrossing's way of releasing books into the world and tracking them as they travel around the world. The "Life's Little Victories" series speak to me.
The Knight Life: Chivalry Ain't Dead is a hilarious introduction to Keith Knight's witty comic strip. I'm glad to have found it!
ISBN-10: 0446548669 - Paperback $17.99
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 9, 2010), 224 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
About the Author:
Keith Knight was born and raised in the Boston area. Weaned on a steady diet of Star Wars, hip-hop, racism and Warner Bros. cartoons, Knight started drawing comics in grade school. After graduating from college with a degree in graphic design, Knight drove out to San Francisco in the early 90s. It was in the Bay Area where Knight developed his trademark cartooning style that has been described as a cross between Calvin & Hobbes and underground comix.
Knight is part of a new generation of talented young African-American artists who infuse their work with urgency, edge, humor, satire, politics and race. His art has appeared in various publications worldwide, including the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon.com, Ebony, ESPN the Magazine, L.A. Weekly, MAD Magazine, and the Funny Times. Knight won the 2007 Harvey Award and the 2006, 2007 & 2008 Glyph Awards for Best Comic Strip. His comic musings on race have garnered accolades and stirred controversies, prompting CNN to tap him to grade America on its progress concerning issues of race.
"Keef" has a 2-year old and has not read anything beyond little kiddie books in a long time. But he does have time for comics! He recommends: Ruben Bolling's "Tom the Dancing Bug", Steve Notley's "Bob the Angry Flower", Kate Beaton's "Hark, a Vagrant!", Harvey Pekar's "American Splendor", Amy Martin's "Bachelor Girl", Alison Bechdel's "Fun Home"…and way more.
Check out Keith Knight's website at http://www.knightlifecomic.com/
Thanks so much to Anna, Grand Central, and Hatchette Book Group for this review opportunity!