The Brooklyn Paper interviews Dean Haspiel about BEEF WITH TOMATO

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Colin Mixson interviewed Dean Haspiel about his graphic novel, BEEF WITH TOMATO, for The Brooklyn Paper in the article “Escape from Manhattan! Carroll Gardens cartoonist draws tale of finding a home in Brooklyn.” Photographs by Stefano Giovannini. Big Ups to Bill Roundy.


“I was age 30, and I said, ‘I know everything I need to know about New York, I’m a Manhattani­te,’ and then I moved to Brooklyn and confronted the real concept of community,” Haspiel explained.

“It’s my love letter to Brooklyn,” he said. “It’s, warts and all, to expose the things that are really cool and f—– up about it.”

“The old Italians in the neighborhood I moved into looked at me like I was some kind of yuppie,” Haspiel explained. “I don’t have anything against yuppies, I’m just not one of them.”

“It’s funny, because, as I get older, I’m starting to get those inklings of ‘Get off my lawn,’ ” he said. “But it has gentrified a lot more and I get it. Neighborhoods like to be neighborhoods, and quarantine. It creates a sense of safety.”

“I can’t tell you what a New York story is, you have to live in it and it becomes that,” he said. “I’m shrugging off the rigors of Manhattan, while trying to embrace the history of Brooklyn.”

Read the entire article here:

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Hang Dai at Comic Arts Brooklyn 2015


Gregory Benton, Josh Neufeld, and Dean Haspiel will be selling & signing their books and prints at Table U39, at Comic Arts Brooklyn 2015.

Saturday NOV 7, 2015
Comic Arts Brooklyn: Book Sales & Signings
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
12 Havemeyer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
11 AM – 7 PM

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Broken Frontier reviews BEEF WITH TOMATO



“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.”

Read the entire review:

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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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