THE BIG KAHN
Neil KLEID, Nicolas CINQUEGRANI
Rabbi David Kahn has lived a forty-year lie: he is not, nor has he ever been, Jewish. When at his funeral, the “rabbi’s” grifter brother reveals the truth, it forces the Kahn family to struggle with grief and betrayal as their congregation examines their every move and question their very faith. His son, Rabbi Avi Kahn, the heir apparent, spirals down in an affair with his rebellious sister Lea’s non-Jewish roommate. Lea rethinks the religion she’s run from, strong enough to alter her father’s life, while Eli the youngest Kahn inherits his father’s long-forgotten legacy. Somehow, with the help of the uncle he never knew and his slowly re-awakening sister, he attempts to return faith and order to his family and community and reinstate his father’s good name. Neil Kleid, Xeric Award winning author of Ninety Candles and NBM’s Brownsville, and illustrator Nicolas Cinquegrani offer a drama about loss, lies, belief and renewal in this dramatic graphic exploration of a family secret so well-hidden, it questions the very nature of faith.
"The emotions that drive this graphic novel make it a genuine page-turner with a satisfying conclusion. With admiration for Kleid’s riveting story and Cinquegrani’s deft realization of the characters and locations with which he has brought that story to life, The Big Kahn earns the full five out of five Tonys. It’s a masterpiece.”
-Tony Isabella, Comics Buyers Guide
"Easily Kleid’s best work to date as a writer; it’s clever and gripping. Highly recommended.”-Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics
"Kleid's done some good comics work in the past, but The Big Kahn is his new gold standard. Neil Kleid's The Big Kahn is going to make some Best Of 2009 lists, and it deserves to do so. This book is a moving testament to family and faith, set in a Jewish backdrop but not requiring any knowledge of that religion. Kleid handles the complications of family with a caring and intelligent touch, giving closure without providing easy or pat answers. The Big Kahn is a good, good comic, and you should read it."
"Gripping." -Publishers Weekly
"This is an unusually rich work. Every character is well realized. Each panel’s composition, perspective, and placement within the continuity, and also the transitions between scenes, are done with care. A not-to-be-missed original graphic novel." -Booklist
"One of Hottest Graphic Novels for Summer. Kleid’s script is a wonder, with its pitch-perfect ear for dialogue. It’s so simply executed (and subtly ambitious) that it sneaks up on you more easily and more casually than you expect. Its great strength lies in that. I loved the story."
-John Hogan, The Graphic Novel Reporter
“A story about belief and truthin gods, marriages, and selves. An interesting addition to all high school, community, and church libraries. Excellent for book clubs and study groups as well.” -ForeWord
"This is a beautifully meditative story, and readers don’t have to be Jewish (or pretend to be Jewish) to get absorbed…A-.”
"A rich and meaningful exploration of the kinds of questions that make this book perfect reading after shul on Rosh Hashanah (and if you read it instead of going to shul, we won’t tell)."
Comic Book Resources interviews Kleid on this book
And a great interview with Publishers Weekly
6 x9, 176 pp., trade pb., B&W with color cover, $13.95