Synopses & Reviews
Dan P. Moore's first graphic novel Mark Twain Was Right charts the course of the 2001 Cincinnati Riots, the largest urban unrest (the first in the 21st century) since the 1992 LA Riots. Moore's book is an engaging work of journalismas-narrative-comic, tracing the riot's genesis from the senseless police killing of a 19-year-old black man to the man's funeral six days later. What results is a tumultuous cocktail of nonviolent civil disobedience, frustration-fueled looting, and further police violence. Interviews with people of varying perspectivesactivists, community leaders, a looter, bystanders, etcweave a tale of inner-city community coming together. Here we witness a city boiling over, and all the political grossness, interpersonal rallying, and rampant destruction that entails. At 96 pages,Mark Twain Was Right is an important chapter of American history, a story often overlooked and generally misreported, a piece of our lineage that must not be forgotten.
"Keith Rosson's art runs back and forth between illustrative and abstract, politically charged and romantic, outrageous and endearing; but always bold and electrifying. Always striking, whether or not he's depicting some sort of mess. While his work has caught me via the covers of Razorcake, Heartattack, and a bunch of records and posters, it also beautifully co-exists with his very real and raw prose, found in the long-running and always engaging Avow zine." Cristy C. Road, author of Indestructible and Bad Habits
"Keith Rosson's writing exposes the invisibility of the day-to-day right under our skin, right in front of our eyes. Like the body's circulatory system, working in secret, mysterious but essential, Keith not only keeps the pulse of people often overlooked, but sustains the ache and beauty of everyday existence in his writing." Todd Taylor, Razorcake
"Rosson's work is like existential, very funny faxes sent directly from the most honest, haunted recesses of the soul." James Boice, author of MVP and NoVA
"In the fly-by-night world of zines, longevity is an admirable trait. Keith Rosson's Avow, started in 1995 and still going strong at issue #23, is one such long-running and much-admired DIY venture." Sheila Ashdown, Powells.com
(read the entire Powells.com review
Second edition out now! This 288-page tome collects the entirety of Avow zine issues #11 through 16 and selected entries from the first 10 issues, as well. This revised edition features a new cover and intro, full-page bleeds, and an Avow scrapbook.
Avow is a collection of artwork and stories with a few nods graphically to Aaron Cometbus, and a lot of original ink drawings. Rosson's stories cut into the darker side of life growing up in a small coastal fishing town and the mischief that ensues. He reminisces about the days when demo tapes were commonplace and CD-Rs were non-existent, puts a good spin on his tales of figuring out how to obtain his next meal, and learns a lot from society, the hardcore community, and college that he employs into the analysis in his writing. While relentlessly self deprecating, Keith is a great storyteller and does a good job of deeply probing his brain to share these stories.
In the format of a graphic novel and using journalism as a narrative, the story of the 2001 Cincinnati riots—the largest urban unrest since the 1992 Los Angeles riots—is charted in this visual history. The book traces the riot's genesis from the police killing of a 19-year-old African American man to his funeral six days later. What resulted from the killing was a tumultuous cocktail of nonviolent civil disobedience, frustration-fueled looting, and police violence. Told from a series of varying perspectives—activists, community leaders, and bystanders—this is a tale of an inner-city community coming together. An overlooked yet crucial piece of American history is retold in a contemporary format with an engaging narrative.
About the Author
Dan P. Moore is a comic book author who has published A Guide to Relationships During a Recession and One of Those Beautiful Days. He is an organizer at the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, which helps low-wage and immigrant workers defend their work rights. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.