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Ghetto Klown: A Graphic Novel by John…
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Ghetto Klown: A Graphic Novel (original 2015; edition 2015)

by John Leguizamo (Author), Christa Cassano (Illustrator), Shamus Beyale (Illustrator), Billi Kid (Cover artist)

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293622,759 (3.89)None
"Ghetto Klown is autobiographical dynamite-this is Leguizamo at his scathing, honest, moving, comedic best. Among the finest portraits of an artist as a young wounded talented man as I've read." -Junot Díaz "My main Johnny Legs has done it again. Ghetto Klown as a graphic novel? DOPENESS." -Spike LeeIn Ghetto Klown, celebrated performer John Leguizamo lays bare his early years in blue-collar Queens, his salvation through acting and writing, and his colorful career trajectory. He brings us onto the sets of his films opposite stars such as Al Pacino and Patrick Swayze and with directors such as Baz Luhrmann and Brian De Palma, while also opening up about his offstage life in love and marriage. In this candid graphic novel memoir, Leguizamo offers a strong message of moving beyond self-doubt-and beyond the doubters-to claim some happiness. Originally staged on Broadway in 2011, Ghetto Klown won Leguizamo Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards before being adapted into an HBO special. Now, teaming up with artists Christa Cassano and Shamus Beyale, Leguizamo shares his life story in this vibrant, funny, and moving adaptation.… (more)

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In this adaptation of his autobiographical stage play, John Leguizamo paints himself as quite the ass. He does such a good job of making himself look so bad for so long in the book that I couldn't buy the speedy turnaround he claims in the end.

Anyhow, everything is just all exaggerated and hyper for comic effect, and it probably works well in a live format (I have not seen the show upon which this is based though I do enjoy Leguizamo as an actor), but it didn't do much for me on the page. There are lots of celebrity cameos at least, including Steven Seagal, Al Pacino, and Patrick Swayze. ( )
  villemezbrown | Oct 17, 2020 |
I have maintained an intense fondness for Leguizamo ever since A Pyromaniac's Love Story -- a film that everyone else in the world seems to have forgotten, even as it is one of the top three movies I scour any sale of used dvds for. Still, I knew almost nothing about him personally until watching Latin History for Morons. This graphic novel had been calling to me from the library shelves for a while.

Of course, this isn't exactly a memoir, it's a graphic novelization of his Broadway show, Ghetto Klown. And it has all the strengths and weaknesses of such -- bumping and rocketing through some amazing anecdotes, even as I'd lie to occasionally pump the brakes and get some more context. Fair warning -- you'll probably want to at least gently strangle just about everyone in his life except his grandpa and Teeny. (And Wesley Snipes, I guess?) His humor really comes across throughout -- and the art (while sometimes a bit uneven) adds a gritty reality to everything.

Some interesting insights into a complicated person. Recommended to all Leguizamo fans. ( )
  greeniezona | Jan 20, 2020 |
I'm already a fan of Leguizamo, but I'm a bigger fan now. This is greatness!!! ( )
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Leguizamoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beyale, ShamusIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Cassano, ChristaIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To Justine
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Wassup? I'm gonna give you a piece of my soul.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Graphic novel adaptation of the one-man stage show, John Leguizamo's Ghetto Klown (staged 2011, recorded 2014), written by and starring John Leguizamo.
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"Ghetto Klown is autobiographical dynamite-this is Leguizamo at his scathing, honest, moving, comedic best. Among the finest portraits of an artist as a young wounded talented man as I've read." -Junot Díaz "My main Johnny Legs has done it again. Ghetto Klown as a graphic novel? DOPENESS." -Spike LeeIn Ghetto Klown, celebrated performer John Leguizamo lays bare his early years in blue-collar Queens, his salvation through acting and writing, and his colorful career trajectory. He brings us onto the sets of his films opposite stars such as Al Pacino and Patrick Swayze and with directors such as Baz Luhrmann and Brian De Palma, while also opening up about his offstage life in love and marriage. In this candid graphic novel memoir, Leguizamo offers a strong message of moving beyond self-doubt-and beyond the doubters-to claim some happiness. Originally staged on Broadway in 2011, Ghetto Klown won Leguizamo Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards before being adapted into an HBO special. Now, teaming up with artists Christa Cassano and Shamus Beyale, Leguizamo shares his life story in this vibrant, funny, and moving adaptation.

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