Author Bill Campbell and illustrator Bizhan Khodabandeh join us for a virtual release of The Day the Klan Came to Town, a graphic novel presenting a fictionalized account of the 1923 riot that resulted from an armed Klan march through the immigrant community of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
“Sound familiar?: An invading hate group, a corrupt police force, and ineffectual government force a diverse cross-section of town residents to fight back. Through the use of comics, intensive research, and their vivid imaginations, Campbell and Khodabandeh bring to life the infamous ‘Karnegie Day’ riot of August 25, 1923. Carnegie’s largely Catholic townspeople resist internal resentments and infighting to band together against the Klan. Throughout the narrative we get a sense of the town’s history and the immigrants who settled there—ironically many of them fleeing persecution in their home countries. This nearly-century-old story is echoed in today’s movements for social change.—Josh Neufeld, author of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge
Bill Campbell is the author of Sunshine Patriots; My Booty Novel; Pop Culture: Politics, Puns, “Poohbutt” from a Liberal Stay-at-Home Dad; Koontown Killing Kaper; and Baaaad Muthaz. Along with Edward Austin Hall, he coedited the groundbreaking anthology Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond. He has also coedited Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany; APB: Artists against Police Brutality (for which he won a Glyph Pioneer/Lifetime Achievement Award); and Future Fiction: New Dimensions of International Fantasy and Science Fiction. His latest anthology is a two-volume collection with over one hundred science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories from around the world, Sunspot Jungle: The Ever Expanding Universe of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Campbell lives in Washington, DC, where he spends his time with his family and helms Rosarium Publishing.
Bizhan Khodabandeh is a visual communicator who moves freely across the professional boundaries as designer, illustrator, artist, and activist. He has received numerous national and international awards for his work, including a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators (SI) for comics. His co-created books Kitty Meow Meow, written by his child, and The Little Red Fish, written by James Moffitt, have also been recognized by the SI. His work has been included in anthologies such as: New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei, APB, Sunspot Jungle, and Once Upon a Time Machine Vol 2. Currently Khodabandeh teaches full-time at VCU’s Robertson School of Media & Culture and freelances under the name Mended Arrow.
Content Warning: This event may include discussion of violence.