A few months ago I collaborated with Brice Hall on a two-page story for Heady Mental magazine, a great anthology of short comic stories put together by the talented and tireless Sam Noir of the Comic Book Embassy. Now it’s available for viewing online!
Brice is an absolutely amazing artist–take a look at his work on his website,
Here’s a sample image from our collaboration, “Silent Scream.” Think, “Buster Keaton meets Alien.”
I came home to a great surprise yesterday: copies of my latest book, sent from Sterling Publishing! I was about to go out to meet my mom and brother at a Chinese restaurant, so I brought some books along for them. When we were ready to order dinner, one of the staff in the restaurant saw the cover of my book and became really excited and talkative. It seems she was convinced that the book was about how to play blackjack, and she loved to gamble. She was very friendly and happy, and offered a lot of advice about gambling, but I don’t think she believed us when we told her the book wasn’t about blackjack.
Here are a few links for buying the book:
I noticed the other week that a book I wrote several years ago would be available soon. The Ultimate Book of Family Card Games offers “over 50 games in all, organized by type and difficulty, and complete with instructions, rules, strategies, color illustrations, and a brief note on each one’s origins.”
I finished writing the book five or six years ago (I think). It’s a weird feeling to try to recall what I was thinking and where I was when this project was happening. I remember that I enjoyed researching and writing it. I’m very happy to see that it’s available now.
Here’s the latest book review I wrote for PopMatters.com. It’s a review of a coffee table book that celebrates Mad Magazine‘s sixtieth anniversary.
I liked it. It’s a big glossy hardcover that gives a mostly visual overview of the entire magazine’s run so far, and it includes 12 poster-sized prints that they call “the soul of MAD.”
I tried to write the review in a Mad-ish style. I hope it’s funny. Here’s an excerpt:
I first discovered MAD in the ‘70s, and my most memorable image was an Al Jaffee illustration explaining how to perform a particular magic trick that presented the illusion of squeezing blood from a stone (spoiler: it involves hiding shards of broken glass in your palm). Read more…
I just received a positive review about Counterfeit Skin!
The review should be on the Kirkus Reviews website soon (I’ll post the link as soon as I get it).
Update (Dec. 18): Here it is!
In the meantime, here it is in full:
Ho’s debut collection of poems touches on the universal themes of childhood, the passage of time and memories of place.
This three-part collection of poems moves back and forth on a timeline between adulthood and past memory, tying the poems together with recurrent household images and a voice of irony and hope. The author uses images involving animals, from crows to cats to kitchen insects, in several poems, inviting readers to explore the delicate perspective of a nonhuman species.
For example, in the poem “Memory Palace,” Ho describes a shotgun’s “[t]rigger clicking…with the easy tension of our cat / When she leaps from the roof to go walking.” Later in the same poem, the speaker leaps off a pier into icy New Year’s Eve water, “[u]nder the watchful black eyes of a rooftop cat.” Ho wields these feline images precisely, creating a sense of objectivity, as well as innocence, in a poem that hints at suicide with violent images—knuckles, cheekbones, shotguns and broken mirrors.
Ho frequently intensifies poems by juxtaposing everyday images, contrasting soft with hard and light with dark. The theme of alcoholism saturates all three sections, as well, but it’s blended with the humor of adult life, from visits to tattoo parlors to strolls through Pacific cities. The author uses concrete images loaded with metaphors while treading lightly on the topic of substance abuse.
In “Walking in Seattle,” Ho describes a “blurred fragment” of a mother’s finger filling a photograph and “parallel lines in the concrete / underfoot like tightrope wires.” Ho’s subtle sensibilities with rhyme and alliteration are evident as he delicately portrays the innocence of the poem’s young speaker: “my flat paddle / steps in cheap sneakers, the tune / my brother hums from some cartoon.”
A rich collection of poetic images from a debut author.
Several months ago, during the winter, I took a poetry workshop with Barrelhouse Magazine. I enjoyed it immensely and among the outcomes was the opportunity to have a full-length poetry manuscript evaluated and worked on. This book is the result.
Here’s the book jacket blurb:
Meditative, playful and strange, the poems in Counterfeit Skin blend three distinct identities.
There are observational poems, deeply aware of lineage and history, friendship and family, travel and inhabitance, and the struggle to be a self tugged in many directions. Then there are poems by an often awestruck lover, who spurs the imagination on to confess love as a cephalopod but also fears what’s unsayable in love, what love forgets to say until it’s too late. Finally, there are poems that marvel at peculiar cultural artifacts, from kung fu and cartoons, to comic books, magic shops and post cards.
Acclaimed author of We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough, poet Mike Young describes this collection as a book with “a great core heart…a surprising heart, the way the personal/historic concerns emerge as something directed at a lover, the way they get an urgency from a self not just trying to understand itself for its own sake but to be able to cast out toward another.”
The book is available as a paperback (it’s large-format, a little bigger than a comic book), and also as an e-book for the Kindle.