“Haspiel wears his feelings for his city on his sleeve without apology or illusion. He loves the place, warts and all, unable to deny its deep, lasting impact on his development as an artist and his maturation into the man he is today. He casts an unflinching eye on the city’s triumphs and tragedies alike, often discovering through his graphic documentation a corresponding truth about his own character.”
“Nothing is as it seems in Haspiel’s experiences of the Big Apple. Large, seemingly menacing black men turn out to be healthcare aides for the physically challenged; hard-ass gangsta-wannabes show genuine human concern for an elderly woman struck down in traffic; a local waterfront dive reveals itself to be a rich repository of strange, beautiful stories told by strange, beautiful people.
Haspiel unveils his city’s wondrous eclecticism. His New York is infused with a hard-boiled magical realism. He refuses to turn a blind eye to his hometown’s shortcomings but can’t ignore its singular gritty charm and steadfast heart. There’s magic in these streets and Haspiel teaches us how to see it.”
“And although the observant reader will find elements of both Jack Kirby and Will Eisner in Haspiel’s style, he never loses his own artistic voice. His art is robust and brash and powerful, like the King’s best work, but filtered through an Eisnerian lens of emotional nuance and refined technique.
It’s a finely tuned balancing act between spectacle and substance that perhaps gives readers their clearest, most unimpeded glimpse into the mind of the artist. There are few creators working today whose artistic style embodies who they are as people so completely.”
“Genuine, visually stunning, insightful – these are all adjectives that aptly describe Beef with Tomato. However, the real power of Haspiel’s graphic memoir is its ability to resonate with readers on a deeply emotional level, encouraging them to consider their connections with their own hometowns in a new light, and maybe even celebrate their magic just a little bit.”