Rolling along with the Fall line-up for comics, here’s another September release, Hang Dai Studios has teamed with Alternative Comics to release their fall schedule, which includes three titles Beef with Tomato by Dean Haspiel, Smoke by Gregory Benton, and Schmuck by Seth Kushner and an all-star line-up of cartoonists. It’s a powerhouse line-up of talent, each book with its own distinctive voice born of living life on the streets of New York City. Here’s an exclusive preview of “Snow Dope” a cool story to chill out these heated summer days that’s a meditation on self medication, as Haspiel braves the elements for simple human contact. We also caught up with Haspiel for some insight on the making of the story:
Why is this comic of importance to you personally?
I tend to hopscotch between the comix aisles and polarize readers with my work. I know this because my friends have told me so! I don’t know why but it seems that a lot of folks who read superheroes don’t necessarily read memoir and vice versa, and I want to help bridge that gap. I had hoped to blur those lines in my Vertigo collaborations with Jonathan Ames on The Alcoholic, Inverna Lockpez on Cuba: My Revolution, and with Harvey Pekar on The Quitter, but my style tends to skate the fringes and, perhaps, the market wasn’t ready to pick up what I was laying down. I’d like to think that fans of my current genre work on comix like The Fox will be interested in my personal comix and get a hold of BEEF WITH TOMATO. Half the reason my studio mate, Gregory Benton (along with the late Seth Kushner) and I originally launched Hang Dai Editions was so we could put our money where our mouths are and publish signature works that could appeal to a more diverse and willing readership.
I’m a died-in-wool believer in sharing stories. More important than money, stories is our universal commerce. Were benevolent aliens to land in Prospect Park today, we wouldn’t be throwing gold at each other, we’d be huddled around a fire trading stories; the very currency of community. BEEF WITH TOMATO is a book meant to honor a NYC that no longer exists while helping spark a conversational flame between you and me.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.