Ghetto Klown

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NUMBER OF PAGES

185

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

October 2015

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In 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.

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

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REVIEWS

Black

•Underground Reviews

Insightful and brought to frantic life by Cassano and Beyale. If you like Leguizamo, you'll like this.

Booklist

•Literary review magazine

Though Leguizamo has matured, this insightful and engaging memoir still offers plenty of youthful edginess.

Graphic Novel Reporter

•Comics review site

The real treat, however, is how Christa Cassano and Shamus Beyale, two Brooklyn-based artists, are able to bring Leguizamo’s words to life. He is overly descriptive in his narrative, and even acted out many of the scenes depicted within this graphic novel on the stage. Yet Cassano and Beyale seem to have been a fly on the wall when these events actually happened, because their depictions are so vibrant and real that even Leguizamo is impressed by their innate ability to translate his memories onto the page.