Real Deal Comix: "More Rage per Page, More Slaughter for Your Dollar"

Every now and then, someone sends me an email or something complaining about the name GhettoManga, usually suggesting that in creating a magazine and blog with Ghetto in the name I am holding black people back or otherwise sullying our collective image. Since they have probably never bothered to read GhettoManga, they are probably assuming that its contents are more like what you would find in any issue of the long-running ultra-violent underground comix magazine Real Deal...
Stussy - Real Deal from Stussy on Vimeo.
I never push back on people who are offended by the name GhettoManga. I guess at some point I should write a few words explaining why I chose that name, and why I insist on not changing it, but suffice to say that if the name bothers you that much, GhettoManga probably isn't for you. So I said all that because those emails immediately came to mind when I stumbled across the Real Deal Magazine website today. Real Deal is crude, rude and in the raw. It reminds me of the glory days of the underground comix movement (with its indie superstars like R. Crumb) and even the mainstream success of the much-reviled Rob Liefeld. I love the idea of regular people making comics with no regard for what the industry has trained people to like and purchase in large quantities. They make what they make, and that's that. On the Real Deal blog, publisher and producer, Lawrence "Raw Dawg" Hubbard writes:
People who are normal don't read Real Deal Comix.  In fact, people who are normal don't deserve Real Deal ComixReal Deal is for special people. Like the type of people in the state prison nearest you. 

Real Deal Comix caters to the best readers around, so we advertise in the city dump and also near the cheap bars and hotels in your town.
I can hear your wheels turning. If you know me personally or follow my work, you already know I'm not super thuggish or street. I'm pretty conservative, as hip hoppers go.  A sort of nerd ambassador to the streets, and vice versa. I'm a college-educated, kind-of conscious art dude that doesn't smoke or drink, so what am I doing celebrating a crudely-drawn, id-soaked, ghetto-glorifying, street mag like Real Deal?
It's pretty simple really. I believe in balance. I believe variety is what makes the underground awesome in ways that mainstream isn't. I think there is an audience out there that wants Real Deal, and I think they deserve to have it, whether mainstream publishers want to take the financial risk to give it to them or not. Sometimes people come to me looking for something like Real Deal, and I'm glad I can direct them to it. I'm just as happy to direct people who hate Real Deal and what it is about to other things that will suit their tastes and interests. We are spoiled by mainstream media. When it gives us what we want (or trains us to want what it's giving us), it works fine. But unfortunately, the mainstream has a tendency to favor the biggest audiences and disregard the niches. But when individual artists make what they want to make without regard for the "hot trends" it leads to endless, glorious variety. That's the beauty of the underground, there really is something for everyone.
Anyways, if you think Real Deal might be for you, click here to check it out.


Samax Amen draws all kinds of stuff for fun and profit. Whenever possible, he makes it awesome. CLICK HERE to buy a copy of his artbook SPONTANEOUS Volume 1. He's thinking about doing another one soon, so stay tuned...

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Album art by GhettoManga

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