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Review: Basquiat

Basquiat

When one thinks of genius, often it’s associated with the great minds like Aristotle and Socrates. Most often we reserve this title to people who have changed thought in the literal sense. Few seem to use it for art. Mozart was a genius. His music has transcended time and space. It still affects people the same way as when his pieces were first played. You can even look at Leonardo Da Vinci’s murals, and be in awe for hours at how majestic his pieces were.

One such artist whose pieces are still talked about is the wunderkind, Jean-Michel Basquiat. A man whose brilliance as a street artist was more than enough for the mainstream art world to take notice and whose art inspired a new generation of artists. As for his story, outside of a biopic starring a then unknown Jeffrey Wright, whose life was marred by vultures at every corner, looking to take a bite of his light. In Paolo Parisi’s Basquiat, we get a more concise telling of his life and ultimately, his demise.

The graphic novel opens with Mr. Gerard Basquiat, Jean-Michel’s father’s door being knocked on by the NYPD who is there to ask him to identify Jean-Michel’s body, as he has just overdosed on drugs. His father, Gerard’s first memories is not when Jean-Michel was a newborn, but when his marriage fell apart, and when he got to really know his children, especially Jean-Michel. We see that he was an avid artist from a young age, often drawing, everything, from novels to comic books, to people. An accident when he was a child, truly expanded his mind, as a doctor gave him a copy of Gray’s Anatomy. It was a book that showed him endless possibilities.

The graphic novel takes his through the highs and lows of Basquit’s life. From his running away to his first television appearance and his eventual discovery by the world that lead to his fame. There’s also an exploration of the disparity between how black artists and white artists are seen by the world at large leading to race trumping aesthetic.

With the highs, there’s the lows as well such as his contentious relationship with Andy Warhol and the eventual consumption of drugs and heavy partying that would take his life.

Overall, an engrossing chronicle of one of the world’s most celebrated artists, one gone too soon. The story by Paolo Parisi is heartbreaking, epic and intense. The art by Parisi is very much in the spirit of its subject, giving the reader a surreal kaleidoscopic vision. Altogether, a biography of an artist whose story has not been given justice until now with Parisi’s deft hands and vision.

Story: Paolo Parisi Art: Paolo Parisi
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: AmazonKindleBookshopTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week. It’s the second week of new comics after the shutdown and that also means the return of Marvel!

Alienated #3 (BOOM! Studios) – The first two issues of this series has been amazing as three kids discover an alien and all the trouble the spins out from that.

Basquiat (Lawrence King Publishing) – Learn about this amazing artist. – Read our review.

Dead Day #1

Dead Day #1 (AfterShock) – The dead are able to come back for just one night. The idea of this “annual macabre holiday” is really interesting and unique and we want to see where this series goes.

Disaster, Inc. #1 (AfterShock) – A new series from writer Joe Harris and artist Sebastian Piriz takes us on a tour of some of the worst places on earth while digging up trouble. The concept of disaster tourism is a new one for comics and we’re excited to check this one out. – Check out our exclusive preview.

Fun Fun Fun World (Oni Press) – Creator Yehudi Mercado knocks it out of the park with his comics and we expect no less. The Devastorm 5 is an alien warship whose prime directive is to seek out planets to invade and conquer in tribute to the almighty Alien Queen. The only problem is that the crew of the Devastorm 5 is the worst in the fleet. It sounds like a really fun fun fun idea.

King of Nowhere #2 (BOOM! Studios) – Now an honorary citizen of Nowhere, Denis joins one of the locals on a doomed-to-fail money-making scheme at the outskirts of town, while John Doe’s mysterious killer continues to leave bodies in his wake… We’re excited to dive back into this intriguing series.

My Video Game Ate My Homework (DC Comics) – Part of DC’s line of graphic novels for young readers, this is also one of the few that are original properties. Every one of their “kids” graphic novels have been top notch so far and we’d expect nothing less of this one.

Rogue Planet #1 (Oni Press) – A new sci-fi series from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Andy MacDonald about a salvage vessel tracking a planet with no star system to call its own.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1 (Marvel) – Doctor Aphra is the best addition to the Star Wars universe in quite a while. A mix of Indiana Jones and pure chaos we’re always excited for her adventures. – Read the review of this first issue.

Venom #25 (Marvel) – It’s the end of “Venom Island” but an over-sized issue has us expecting something big for this series which has become really tied into Marvel’s bigger picture.

Review: Basquiat

Basquiat

When one thinks of genius, often it’s associated with the great minds like Aristotle and Socrates. Most often we reserve this title to people who have changed thought in the literal sense. Few seem to use it for art. Mozart was a genius. His music has transcended time and space. It still affects people the same way as when his pieces were first played. You can even look at Leonardo Da Vinci’s murals, and be in awe for hours at how majestic his pieces were.

One such artist whose pieces are still talked about is the wunderkind, Jean-Michel Basquiat. A man whose brilliance as a street artist was more than enough for the mainstream art world to take notice and whose art inspired a new generation of artists. As for his story, outside of a biopic starring a then unknown Jeffrey Wright, whose life was marred by vultures at every corner, looking to take a bite of his light. In Paolo Parisi’s Basquiat, we get a more concise telling of his life and ultimately, his demise.

The graphic novel opens with Mr. Gerard Basquiat, Jean-Michel’s father’s door being knocked on by the NYPD who is there to ask him to identify Jean-Michel’s body, as he has just overdosed on drugs. His father, Gerard’s first memories is not when Jean-Michel was a newborn, but when his marriage fell apart, and when he got to really know his children, especially Jean-Michel. We see that he was an avid artist from a young age, often drawing, everything, from novels to comic books, to people. An accident when he was a child, truly expanded his mind, as a doctor gave him a copy of Gray’s Anatomy. It was a book that showed him endless possibilities.

The graphic novel takes his through the highs and lows of Basquit’s life. From his running away to his first television appearance and his eventual discovery by the world that lead to his fame. There’s also an exploration of the disparity between how black artists and white artists are seen by the world at large leading to race trumping aesthetic.

With the highs, there’s the lows as well such as his contentious relationship with Andy Warhol and the eventual consumption of drugs and heavy partying that would take his life.

Overall, an engrossing chronicle of one of the world’s most celebrated artists, one gone too soon. The story by Paolo Parisi is heartbreaking, epic and intense. The art by Parisi is very much in the spirit of its subject, giving the reader a surreal kaleidoscopic vision. Altogether, a biography of an artist whose story has not been given justice until now with Parisi’s deft hands and vision.

Story: Paolo Parisi Art: Paolo Parisi
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy