From one Brooklynite to another–award winning writer Jonathan Ames (whose new Starz show, Blunt Talk premiers in only 2 days on August 22nd starring Patrick Stewart), has written the introduction to the graphic novel Schmuck, which features the work of 22 indie cartoonists to tell the semi-autobio tale of Seth Kushner's quest for love. It's ribald, romantic, and strangely heroic for all its self-declared schmuckiness.
The book has recently been given a "first look" online, along with the wide release of Ames' introduction (which previously appeared on The Nerdist during the campaign last year) since its Kickstarter responsibilities are about to be fulfilled and the collection is coming to print distribution through Hang Dai Editions and Alternative Comics this autumn. Friends and family are teaming together to bring the Kickstarter to conclusion and the book to print since losing Seth to Leukemia in May, and they have certainly seen the project through for him.
…Schmuck is also very funny and honest and brave, and I happily gobbled up each tale, often thinking of some version of "But for the grace of God go I."
But, sadly and truthfully, since perhaps there is no God, it is where I have sometimes gone and still go. So I thank Seth Kushner for having the balls to create Schmuck, for sharing this dark corner of his mind and for allowing some of us out there to feel less alone as we cower in our own dark corners.
I guess that's the happy ending as it were, which is only fitting for a book called Schmuck and which is why, in case you didn't notice, I also said that Seth had balls to write it, because I hope that most people are aware of the fact that the earliest definition of this Yiddish word schmuck, though it's a source of some debate, is penis, and that to call yourself a schmuck is not quite like saying that you are a cock but that you are an idiot penis.
So there you have it. Even Jonathan Ames salutes Seth Kushner's bravery in making a schmuck of himself in public via a graphic novel for the good of humanity. Or something like that.
Here's a selection of images as first looks for the book. First there's the Kickstarter cover:
You'll find Schmuck debuting at SPX and Baltimore Comic Con, and will arrive in shops on September 15th. Please also note that all proceeds for the book go to Seth's wife Terra and young son Jackson for their continued support. You can find their Gofundme page right here.