‘The Day the Klan Came To Town’ – Interview with Bill Campbell

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I’m here this week with publisher and author Bill Campbell who has a new graphic novel that’s doing some crowd fundraising called The Day the Klan Came to Town. The book is a collaboration with artist Bizhan Khodabandeh and will be published later this year at PM Press (pre-order from PM Press at this link).

In the book – Bill tells the story of the time that the KKK came to Carnegie, Pennsylvania it’s as their Kickstarter describes it a “fictionalized, graphic retelling of a KKK riot that occurred in Carnegie, PA in 1923 and the resistance to it.”

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a review copy and it truly is an excellent book that any comic book reader or fan of history books will enjoy. Bill Campbell takes an incredible amount of research and information on the KKK and his hometown at the time and builds a narrative arc that will keep everyone reading. While the book is a fictionalized retelling of Karnegie Day (yes, the Klan spelled it with a K) it sticks with the facts on the Klan and immigrants of the Pittsburg region. The Klan wasn’t just there for African Americans but Catholics, Italians, Armenians, and any immigrants that weren’t seen as ‘white’ by them.

Bill Campbell is a native of Pittsburgh and an alumnus of Northwestern University. Throughout his varied and illustrious career, he has done everything from assembling Christmas toys in Cleveland; loading trucks, bookkeeping, and being an AmeriCorps volunteer in Atlanta; coordinating an elementary school literacy program in D.C. to teaching English as a second language in the Czech Republic. He’s also the former publisher of the independent magazine, Contraband, and the music trade magazine, CD Revolutions.

Bill came out with Sunshine Patriots, a semi-satirical, military sf novel, back in 2004. My Booty Novel, which he likes to call “fluff for nerds,” came out in 2007. His new book, Pop Culture: Politics, Puns, and “Poohbutt” from a Liberal Stay-at-Home Dad was released in September, 2010.

Find more on Bill Campbell’s work at Rosarium Press – http://rosariumpublishing.com 

Bizhan Khodabandeh is a visual communicator who moves freely across the professional boundaries as designer, illustrator, artist and activist. His works vary from small graphic art projects to major public campaigns. Khodabandeh is particularly fascinated by how art and design can be a catalyst for social change.

He has received numerous international and national awards for his work, including: a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators for comics, a silver medal from the International Design Awards, a finalist in the Cross-Cultural Design Competition, and best in show through the American Institute of Graphic Arts. He has received recognition for his work as both an illustrator and designer through various institutions such as: The Society of Illustrators, The American Institute of Graphic Arts, Creativity International, the International Design Awards, Adbusters, and Creative Quarterly. Khodabandeh has had work featured in publications such as Print, Creativity International, Adbusters, Comic Bastards among others.

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