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The countercultures that came to define bohemia spanned the Atlantic, encompassing Walt Whitman's Brooklyn and the Folies Bergère of Josephine Baker, Gertrude Stein's salons and the Manhattan clubs where Dizzy Gillespie made his name. Edited by Paul Buhle and David Berger, Bohemians is the graphic history of this movement and its illustrious figures. The stories collected here revisit the utopian ideas behind millennial communities, the rise of Greenwich Village and Harlem, the multiracial and radical jazz and dance worlds, and the West Coast, Southern, and Midwest bohemias of America, among other radical scenes.
Drawn by an all-star cast of comic artists, Bohemians is a broad and entertaining account of the rebel impulse in American cultural history. Featuring work by Spain Rodriguez, Sharon Rudahl, Peter Kuper, Sabrina Jones, David Lasky, Afua Richardson, Lance Tooks, Milton Knight, and more.
The ebook edition is expanded from the paperback edition, and includes additional chapters on the swing music scene, La Boheme and midwest bohemians, as well as expanded material on the Greenwich Village intellectuals, Walt Whitman and Harlem jazz club Minton's Playhouse.
“Successfully honing their lives into intense, occasionally densely worded comics, this anthology proves the assertion, quoted here, by Modern Quarterly editor VF Calverton, that 'the cartoon speaks a language that is direct, pithy and dramatic.'”
“This collection of marvelously drawn stories pays tribute to the free thinkers who’ve moved against society’s grain and turned their backs on convention. Engaging, informative, and inspiring.”
“Words become graphic and the graphics bring Bohemia alive in this wonderful history by Buhle and Berger. There is nothing worse than being severed from one’s own roots, as demonstrated by decades of identity movements, there is nothing worse than being stripped of one’s heritage, unless it’s the theft of identity by thieving oppressors. This graphic anthology beautifully reconstructs the roots of America’s counter-culture from the lost stories of men and women, blacks and whites, gay and straight who were the original refuseniks of Bohemia. I can’t wait for more.”
“Disaffected wealth looking for fun, imaginative outsiders wanting a voice, reaching across and within ideology, dreams, expression and desires. Great intro to an American century of influences, individuals and scenes producing ideas for the future to engage.”
“Once again, Paul Buhle has assembled a stellar group of writers and cartoonists to illuminate a subject often ignored by the wider pop-obsessed culture. The stories in Bohemians: A Graphic History bristle with real-life energy and detail, bringing this slice of history to vibrant life. The tale of Yosl Cutler’s radical Yiddish puppets by Joel Schechter (featuring Spain Rodriguez’s last published work, with an assist by Jay Kinney), is worth the price of admission alone.”
“Delightful, witty, and informative, Bohemians is a bar-raising performance in the genre of graphic histories… a comic-art volume that narrates a complicated story of race, sex, and rebellion with great aplomb to provide portraits that are candid and humane.”
“A terrific appraisal of culture’s gypsies, tramps and thieves, worthy of the editors’ judgment: “Obituaries for bohemia have, in short, always been premature.””
“Both a visual treat and an edifying look at alternative culture.”