Sunday, March 2, 2008

Prepare To Be Hazed!

Two years ago you were GROUNDED. Now…prepare to be HAZED!

On Wednesday, March 5, the comic world changes forever. On that day, HAZED, my masterwork, will be unleashed upon a largely unsuspecting public. Expect rioting to ensue.

A satiric graphic novel about sororities and eating disorders illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez, some have compared it to the films “Heathers” and “Mean Girls”. I find these comparisons to be shamefully inadequate. My work is incomparable.

Just where did this work of genius come from, you might ask? As many of you know, I attended Duke University as an undergraduate. Duke is known the home of the greatest college basketball program of all time, as well as the most infamous lacrosse team. It is also known as the “Harvard of the South”, on par with or better than many Ivy League schools.

But from the minute I set foot on campus, I found myself asking the following question: how is it that the some of the smartest women in the country, who have so much going for them besides their looks, decide to revolve their entire identity around their sexual desirability the second a frat boy asked looked their way?

HAZED is my politically incorrect answer to that question, in comic book form. I know I’m going to take a lot of hits on this, a male writer not just writing about issues like date rape and eating, but writing about them in an over-the-top comedy. But, as one reviewer put it, I’m not making fun of these issues; I’m making fun of the “people and societal pressures behind them.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Keep that in mind when you’re reading about girls circling each other’s fat, or purging so often that their dorm drains are clogged with vomit. Also keep this in mind: when I set out to write this book years ago, I used a lot of artistic license. I took the worst urban legends about sorority life and exaggerated them further. And yet sadly, often my imagination was matched, if not exceeded, by stories told to me by sorority sisters. Nothing hurts so much as the truth.

All hyperbole aside, this is a boundary pushing book. At the same time, I’d like to think it’s also hysterically funny, not least of which because of Robbi’s art. I think his cartoonish characters help soften the darkness of my writing, while at the same time he pushed the comedy to the very edge of good taste (Robbi’s favorite three words: abortion sight gag). This is “Animal House” with girls. How could that NOT be fun?

I hope you all will pick up the book this week. Whether you are repulsed, convulsing on the floor with laughter, or both, I’d love to hear what you think (there’s a comment’s section here, as well as a Mark Sable message board). I’m ready for anything. I hope you are.

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