Beat L.A. Available Now, the Sad, Welcome End of our Project

The End.

The End.

So Beat L.A.‘s finally published.

For those who might be interested but didn’t know what to think about it, here’s a little breakdown from its Goodreads page:

Set in a downtown Los Angeles where gentrification seeks to displace the homeless, where loft dwellers walk their little dogs past dark alleyways from which the sickly sweet smell of something else wafts, Beat L.A. follows bicycle-jockeying police officer David Richter and cynical, unfulfilled patrolmen Brand and Reese in their Crown Vic. From the murky byways of the hard cityscape, they slam face-to-fist against a crack smoking lawyer, a one-armed crazed prophet, a hidden homeless enclave, a musclebound woman enforcer, a preacher with more than the Gospel on his mind, the devious Genghis Rabbit, mystic gangbangers, cartel funded property shenanigans, pandering politicians, and some big time development hanky-panky.

As a bonus in Beat L.A. is “A to Z,” a prose short story that bridges the Bicycle Cop Dave and Brand & Reese stories, as well as an interview with Beat’s two writers, Gary Phillips and Tony Chavira.

One corner of me is grateful that this book is finally done. Another, across from that corner, is overwhelmed that so many people are out there had enough faith in it (or us) to fund it.

Yet another was shocked with awe that Florida publishers Down & Out Books took on publishing, marketing and distributing responsibilities.

But the center of me, the largest part of my emotional floor plan, is a little sad that this project has ended. Sure, there’s still a little marketing/wining/bits of dining still involved in the process of advertising the graphic novel, but–for the most part–the hard part’s completely done. An artist/actress friend of mine, Hillary Bauman, once tried to describe to me the warm, nostalgic depression that arrives once a project finalizes and I distinctly remember brushing her off with a laugh and unsaid gestures implying that those depressed at a project’s successful completion must, likely, feel regret–in many ways–about the project’s execution.

But no, that was wrong and wrongheaded of me. I feel it, down, just a little, just enough to feel that there’s still one more thing I can do, one more word I can write or one more drawings Mani and I can go back or forth on, just one more email to send to the printers or just one more phone call or meet-up with Gary and Nathan to confirm that we’re on some sort of track to get the book completed.

No, it’s done now. All of that work, done, forever. And I know I need to move on. And I will of course. But at the moment, maybe I need to feel down and done.

Time to absorb the exciting, dramatic conclusion, the long promised death (or rebirth) of my project, from nothingness to this, a page on Unrated (thus far, anyway).

I’ll get over it. I have three other things I’m working on at the moment.

Still, if Beat L.A. could have a proper funeral, its life would seem to have more meaning. All it needs are a few eulogies. If you have the chance, I’d love to get your unbiased, thoughtful review of the final book. It would mean the world.