SMOKE: A Publishers Weekly starred review!


Gregory Benton’s SMOKE has garnered a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

“This follow-up to Benton’s Society of Illustrators Award–winning B+F follows a tragic day in the lives of two young workers on an industrial tobacco farm, careening between reality and their nicotine-induced hallucinations. The pair fall rapidly into a shared hallucination, in which they meet a gigantic dog who serves as a benevolent spectre of death…”

Read the full review here.

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Hang Dai at Locust Moon Comics Festival 2015


Hang Dai studios mates, Gregory Benton, Christa Cassano and Dean Haspiel are special guests at the Locust Moon Comics Festival 2015 this Halloween. We will be sitting at table 21, selling/signing copies of our latest comix, graphic novels and prints. We will also be available for commissions.

Dean will be taking part in a panel:
12:00pm – 1:00pm: DRAWING ON LIFE
Craig Thompson, Dean Haspiel, Andrea Tsurumi, moderator Kelly Phillips.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31 – Halloween!
11am – 6pm
@ The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104

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Make Comics Culture: An Evening With Hang Dai Editions Closes A Circle

GreenlightHDE(Josh Neufeld, Dean Haspiel & Gregory Benton at Greenlight Bookstore)

Really nice essay about Hang Dai, our event at Greenlight Bookstore, and closing a circle by the incomparable Hannah Means-Shannon.


“I’ve known these guys for a few years and yet the things they said about their perception of comics and creative choices were things I had never heard before, proving that the combination of people can bring out new elements in any panel situation.

Some of the highlights included:

-The process by which a creator who is both writer and artist may compose or write a comic then hand it off to the artist “who happens to be me”, according to Neufeld and Haspiel. In this they seem to act as two different personas.

-Haspiel perceives himself to be a character in his Billy Dogma works, but presents the “story as the comment” on his character and is “willing to be the villain” to serve the story.

-Haspiel might not have created autobio comics had he not felt competitive with Neufeld from a young age, who worked in the genre.

-While Neufeld thinks that “quiet stories” are the hardest to do well in autobio comics, but something to strive for, Haspiel creates comics already in frenetic motion and feels the comic has to “earn” the quiet moment, which is, however, also his ultimate goal, and “what the story is about” really.

-Haspiel’s creative endgame lately has been to move toward a more dynamic and fluid style that can move more quickly to keep up with the speed of reading comics. “I want you to feel the comic more than ogle the craft”, he said.”

-Creating the Hang Dai Editions imprint has meant that all business aspects have been under the control of the creators and the experience makes them more likely to use Kickstarters in the future.

-The studio atmosphere has contributed to the productivity of these creators since it creates a positive “tension” when members wish they could do what they see the other members doing and it urges them to try new things and find solutions in their own creative process.

“While it will always come down to individual personality and knowing one’s best working methods, nevertheless, there is a lot to be said about operating in studio groups when it comes to independent and freelance comic creation. There’s plenty to learn from one another, as well as plenty to celebrate when banding together helps further a creator-owned imprint like Hang Dai Editions.”

Read the entire essay here:

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Gregory Benton’s SMOKE trailer

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An evening with HANG DAI Editions at Greenlight Bookstore


Thursday, October 22, 7:30 PM
An Evening with HANG DAI Editions
Moderated by Josh Neufeld
Beef with Tomato by Dean Haspiel
Smoke by Gregory Benton
Schmuck by Seth Kushner
Visual presentation and discussion
Greenlight Bookstore
686 Fulton street, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Greenlight welcomes Dean Haspiel and Gregory Benton to present their new titles, and salutes the late Seth Kushner, at this evening showcasing the newest books from HANG DAI with a visual presentation and discussion moderated by Josh Neufeld.

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NY Daily News: Dean Haspiel on ‘Beef With Tomato’ and Brooklyn


Reporter Cesar Bustamante, Jr. interviewed Dean Haspiel about his graphic novel, BEEF WITH TOMATO, for The NY Daily News.


“It’s funny because when I was first walking down the street in Carroll Gardens I would see the old Italians, they would be eyeballing me. I think they looked at me and thought I was some kind of rich yuppie. Because they wouldn’t know I was a struggling cartoonist. I just looked like some white guy invading their neighborhood.

It took many years before I didn’t feel alienated by the neighborhood because the neighborhood was thick with history.”

“Working with Harvey Pekar was a learning experience of what to do and what not to do in autobio comics. What I really loved about Harvey Pekar’s writing was his ability to observe and listen to other people’s talking, how they talk and what they say and how that can possibly turn into a story, no matter how mundane the event is. He was very good at highlighting the quotidian aspects of life.

I think a lot of autobio comics do that because they can’t compete with the superhero comics because of the action and fantasy. But luckily or unluckily I happen to have a lot of things that happened to me or made myself available to, like riding a bike and getting hit by a car.”

“I’m kind of a boisterous character and I get involved. I think a lot of writers don’t tend to get involved so that’s where I think my comics are different in term of autobio comics. Also I don’t use my platform to rant and rave. I let the story be my commentary in a way.”

“New York City is the most heartbreaking city in the world. I think people go to Paris to fall in love, they must go to New York to break their hearts.

As a true blue New Yorker, I have fully invested my life and my energies and my soul into this city as it hopefully has to me.

But the older I get, and the more I work as an artist in the city… I’m standing in a building right now in Gowanus that we have been given maybe a year or two left that we can work here and then we’re going to be kicked out so that developers can turn this into expensive office buildings or another CVS, another bank. It’s already happened next door to us. People have been given one month’s notice after making this area cool with its art.

But that seems to happen over and over and over again. That speaks also to the heartbreak, the innate heartbreak one experiences in New York City.”

“Have you ever broken up with someone or they broke up who you, the writing was on the wall but you kept trying over and over again to make it work. I guess this is my shattered woo, my broken woo to try to make it work still with New York City before I bite the bullet and leave.

The city is what you make it so I can’t blame this inanimate object on what’s been happening but I can still fight and try. I do love the city, whenever I visit any other place in the world, anytime I come back to New York it still feels like home. I don’t want to abandon it. It’s hard to abandon.

In a way living in New York City is a relationship between a person and the landscape. And I know enough New Yorkers that have left and not come back because maybe they’re afraid to come back. They’ve found a better quality of life outside of New York City.

We’re not talking about rich New Yorkers. We’re talking about the artists, the working class and those kinds of folks.

I always complain that I live in New York City but I can’t enjoy it’s virtues because I ride my bike from my studio to my home, back and forth seven days a week. Occasionally I might dip outside and do something in the city but I can’t afford it. I’m working too hard to pay my rent.

Apparently, there are other ways to live that’s not like this and I need to consider alternative lifestyles so that maybe I won’t be breaking my back just to suffer for this city and the city is not suffering for me.”

Read the entire interview here:

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Publisher’s Weekly reviews Dean Haspiel’s BEEF WITH TOMATO


“Haspiel creates a sympathetic yet magnetic protagonist in this complete collection of his Street Code comics and essays, which tell the semiautobiographical story of one man’s experience leaving Manhattan behind for Carroll Gardens in Brookyn. Whether it’s hanging out with an exhibitionist, getting wrecked by car doors while riding his bike, or taking on a Greek mobster at a Chinese food buffet, the protagonist leads one of those peculiar lives that graphic novels seem destined to present. The impact of 9/11 on New Yorkers is a recurring theme, and Haspiel covers it with sorrow and respect. Haspiel’s art is wonderfully immersive in establishing a sense of place, and he has a keen eye for balancing the humorous, the tragic, and the mundane. The book also features a series of essays that further showcase Haspiel’s ability to tell a great story.”

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News 12 BK interviews Dean Haspiel


Reporter Esha Ray of News 12 Brooklyn interviewed Dean Haspiel about his new graphic novel, BEEF WITH TOMATO, and his upcoming webcomic series, THE RED HOOK, at his Gowanus, Brooklyn studio, Hang Dai.

“A veteran Brooklyn cartoonist is creating a new comic series centered around the borough in an alternate universe.

Dean Haspiel is the co-creator of a series that will feature heroes like “Red Hook,” “Brooklynite” and “The Purple Heart.”

The 18-year borough resident says Brooklyn is a part of the city that doesn’t get much attention in comic books.

Batman and Superman live in Gotham…”

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Gregory Benton at Escape Pod Comics


Gregory Benton will be signing at Escape Pod Comics, scribbling mini-Picassos inside copies SMOKE, B+F, and more!

Thursday, October 21st, 2015
Starting at 5:00pm

Escape Pod Comics
302 Main St, Huntington, New York 11743

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Gowanus Open Studios, featuring Dean Haspiel


Dean Haspiel is participating in Gowanus Open Studios this weekend (Oct 17 & 18) from Noon – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday. Despite chronic back pain, Dean was planning on working anyway. So, he figured he’d keep the Hang Dai Studios door open for people to ogle cartoonists in their natural habitat like a petting zoo. Dean will have prints and copies of some of his books for sale, including a brand new Billy Dogma SLAM print. And, he will be available for quick commissions. The warehouse he works in will feature over twenty other artists, including painter Jen Ferguson. Hang Dai is also hosting artist Krista Dragomer.

Hang Dai Studios is located at 112 2nd avenue at the corner of 10th street in Gowanus, Brooklyn. We’re on the 2nd floor in Room #30.

Gowanus Open Studios:

Dean Haspiel’s Artsicle profile:

Dean will also be reading/performing Friday night. Here is the info:

ADDICTED: Music Video Launch & Salon
hosted by Salina Sias & Matt Mailer
Friday, October 16, 7pm
Halyards, 406 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11215

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