Benjamin Marra’s ‘American Psycho’ Comics Now Available As Broadsheet Newspaper [Preview]
One of the standout releases of last year’s Brooklyn Comics + Graphics Festival was a characteristically striking series of self-published zines from Benjamin Marra (The Incredibly Fantastic Adventures of Maureen Dowd) based on the filmed version of Bret Easton Ellis’ infamous novel, American Psycho. Rendered in Marra’s distinctive high-contrast style, each image recreates a moment from director Mary Harron’s cult favorite film in such a way as to eclipse that movie’s sneering sexuality and ultraviolence and express something closer to the existential dread of Ellis’ original 1980s work about a Wall Street serial killer.
Naturally, Marra’s zines, formally titled Elf Booklets: Drawings Inspired by the Motion Picture “American Psycho,” sold out, but the cartoonist has teamed with Portland, Oregon’s venerable Floating World Comics store to reproduce the work as a limited edition broadsheet newspaper measuring 15″ x 22″. Proprietor Jason Leivian shared some of Marra’s artwork and talked to ComicsAlliance about the project.”Benjamin Marra is one of the hardest working indie comics creators I know,” Leivian told CA. “So professional and pure. Each project he does is a step up from the last. His art is always action packed, the humor and dialogue are refined like a diamond, compressed like a bunch of old comics buried under heavy boxes of VHS.”
Leivian worked with Marra previously on the Diamond anthology, also in newspaper format, which ceased publication with issue #6. “But even then I knew it was probably gonna be like a fake Jay-Z retirement, cause I love newsprint so much,” he said. “I saw Ben at the Brooklyn Fest last December and picked up his American Psycho Elf Booklets. I knew they’d be perfect for this new project. The art is so geometric and crisp.”
CA contributor Matt Seneca agreed, praising Marra’s American Psycho work in his in-depth report from last year’s Brooklyn Comics + Graphic Festival:
Free of the demands placed on it by story, Marra’s compositional sense runs absolutely wild, filtering everything from Kirby to classical painting to Black Flag gig flyers into a stark, streamlined, utterly arresting whole. These pictures seem almost mathematically calculated to haunt the eyes they meet: whether it’s the sublimely balanced blacks and whites or the point-of-impact axe to neck shots, something here is bound to stick in the mind long after the zines are put away.
Available to order now, Floating World’s American Psycho broadsheet project is the first of several “solo jams” Leivian has planned. Other creators lined up include Aidan Koch, Johnny Negron and Derek Ballard, all “printed as huge as possible.” Marra’s comic can also be picked up this week at Floating World’s Benjamin Marra art show, Dread Paths Dread.
Click here for more Benjamin Marra, including some original work for Comics Alliance.