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Al Capone


Based on truth, lies, myths, and rumors, this is the story of the greatest gangster of all time: Al Capone. Family man, community leader, industrious smuggler, or vicious killer? You decide.

Born into a poor Italian family in Brooklyn in 1899, little Alphonse didn’t have a lot of options, so he’d have to get creative in order to make a name for himself. A bit of cards, some enforcing, maybe a little protection are a great start. A man’s gotta provide for his family, capisce? But, when prohibition starts up in 1920, Al Capone will discover his golden ticket to untold fame and fortune.

Now, nobody’ll ever forget the name Capone.

“An impressive book, one that is worth rereading and revisiting.” – Forces of Geek

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"This stylish page-turner will pique the interest of classic true crime buffs."
Publishers Weekly

"A very readable and distinctive biography of man whose legend continues to fascinate."
Slings & Arrows

"A solid introduction to scarface and his rise and fall."
Graphic Policy

Additional information











Swann Meralli, Author
Swann Meralli is from Lyon, France. He studied civil engineering at the National Institute of Applied Sciences. In parallel with his studies, Meralli cultivated a strong interest in cinema. He has written several comics and graphic novels; for his first work, L'Homme, he teamed up with the cartoonist Ulric. Meralli wrote the graphic novel Algériennes: The Forgotten Women of the Algerian Revolution with Zac Deloupy, which highlights the role of women in the Algerian War of Independence. In 2020, he joined forces with Clément Rizzo for The Association of African Women. He has also collaborated, with Léah Touitou, with the periodical Les Rues de Lyon for the story Cavales in 2019.
PF Radice, Artist
Pierre-Francois Radice spent his childhood daydreaming with his head in the mountains. He then joined the Émile Cohl school, where he now teaches sculpture. He’s often in the kitchen as well as drawing for La Pâtisserie en BD and La Cuisine en BD published by Casterman.
Sarah C Hess
May 28, 2024

5.0 out of 5 stars gore and glamor

This book was a great use of the graphic novel medium. The pictures and text worked together to demonstrate the grit and gore of the gangster era of America. They also frequently contrasted each other to allow for the perspective of Capone, and contradictory histories to share a story where the full truth will never be fully known. This allows the reader to decide for themselves how they will feel about a character who was powerful, brutal, but who may have had a better side as well. Art Deco illustrations share the glamor of the era but other panels are sketched in a way that shares the seedy side of this same coin. Black Panel also crafts beautiful solid books that are worth the investment in a physical copy.

The Great Bear
April 25, 2024

4.0 out of 5 stars Well done! Great read!

i wasn't too sure what to expect when this book arrived on my doorstep. First off, totally surprised at the size of the book. I was expecting something smaller than a 8x11 book. However, the size is perfect for the artwork! Might even be cooler if it was printed a little larger to fit Capone's personality but then the book would be a bit more pricey. The story was engaging and grabbed me from the start. Only put it down briefly to use the restroom. That's how much I wanted to finish this book! Anyone ever seen the HBO show Boardwalk Empire? I felt a lot of remnants from that storytelling in this graphic novel as it was just as interesting as that show. The perceptive of Capone telling his own version of events with actual facts being illustration was an unique feature as well and help twists his perception of a guy just trying to get by verses THE TRUTH. Loved it! Could definitely see a teacher using this book in a history class somewhere to help students learn more about the most prominent gangster in history. This comic also hit home more for me as well since I currently reside in Illinois and have lived in Downtown Chicago for a brief time. Certain locations portrayed in the graphic novel flashed before my memory as I was enthralled in the big foot art style of PF Radice. Would definitely recommend this read to any and all who may be interested in seeing Meralli's interpretation of Capone based on his own thoughts and other works. Check it out!

David Gonzales
April 12, 2024

5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and entertaining

The book is an engrossing read for anyone interested in true crime stories. The writer does a great job of placing you within the inner psyche of Capone, with believable dialog. Mostly told from a first person perspective, the story plays with the idea that Capone is an unreliable narrator of his own story; this is juxtaposed with events that play out differently based on research the writer has gathered. As for the art itself, at first it seems a bit innocent, and light hearted with very rounded figures and stylized designs, but then it really delivers some gore that is very deftly illustrated with interesting panel layouts and gritty textures. The whole book feels like you stepped into some back room in the the prohibition era, filled with smoke and the grimy reality of the time period. The bold black shading that looks like it was made with charcoal really lends itself to this smoky atmospheric world the illustrator has created. I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but I would highly recommend this anyone who is looking for something interesting to read in graphic novel form.

Luke Coolbear
April 6, 2024

5.0 out of 5 stars Hear Al Capone's story, in his own words

Al Capone was undoubtedly a powerful man in Chicago. To hear him tell it, he wasn't a bad guy. But read this book and be your own judge. A very insightful look into a historical figure. Stylistically drawn, and well paced, this book will have you binging the whole story in one sitting.

S. Karstetter
March 20, 2024

5.0 out of 5 stars Really great graphic novel!

This was a very entertaining graphic novel written from Al Capone's perspective. Even though it is his perspective the artwork showed the user what was actually happening and how the narrative doesn't match reality. Great artwork makes this an enjoyable read.

Hunter van Lierop
March 20, 2024

4.0 out of 5 stars All the Crime & Cannoli

Had the pleasure of reading this remarkable book that gave us a different look into one the world of one of the most notorious mobsters in American History. The “unreliable” narrator aspect is my favorite part, all being told in a seemingly “private” confessional with his mother. The way he explains it to her is great especially when we get to see how the panels depict his choice in words. Overall it’s a great read with a dynamic artstyle accompanied with comforting colors and great paneling.

March 19, 2024

5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read for true crime and comic nerds

This was a lot of fun to read. Just the right combination of grit and gangster to make a compelling graphic novel. The way the imagery and dialogue play off each other was also really well done.

March 19, 2024

5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Perspective

The graphic novel is told from the point of view of Al Capone himself, writing to his mother from his prison cell. The story is created from a mixture of true life stories and myths, and Al Capone himself chooses to downplay his own crimes and paint himself as the good guy to his mother. This is in contrast to what the gritty illustrations themselves show the reader. That said, the drawings are stunning and I enjoyed the mixture of the crisp Art Deco graphics and the sketchy crayon-style character art. Overall, this is a fun read, especially for anyone with an interest in true crime and/or American history!

William Kraut
November 18, 2023

5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest gangster of all time

The book utilizes a common device: it is told in the first person, as Alphonso Capone- on his way to Alcatraz prison-, attempts to justify his life to his mother. This allows the reader to make Capone the hero of the story, and sympathize with him, and at the same time judge him as the vicious murderous thug he is portrayed as being. We get to watch Capone invent or improve all the ways a thug can become a crime boss: intimidation, violence, buying crooked politicians, etc. while the voice-over has Capone claiming his innocence and victimization. Violence, in particular, was a major part of Al Capone's life, apparently. As a warning to the reader, the book doesn't stint on showing the pitched battles he was involved in, along with beatings, gangland slayings (including, of course, the Saint Valentine's day massacre), and more. The illustrator Pierre-Francois Radice, uses a Brutalist style to convey these events. It is very effective, but it's not "cartoon violence" so I suggest this is not a book for children. About the artwork: kudos to M. Radice for excellent pictorial story-telling. There are full-page and two-page spreads that are brilliant: a scene-setting view of Brooklyn in 1899 with the Brooklyn Bridge being built in the background; a meeting of Chicago crime bosses, with Capone getting angry at the way the Italian mob is being treated; an overhead view of the squalid Alcatraz prison cell where Capone lived for more than a decade; Capone at his height as the King of Chicago contemplating his city from an Art Deco stuffed penthouse. This is a terrific book. Excellent writing, excellent illustrations. If your collection includes graphic novels, consider including Capone.

Joshua Walker
November 18, 2023

5.0 out of 5 stars Had me at "Based on truth, lies, myths, and rumors..."

The teaser on the back of the book grabbed me right away: "Based on truth, lies, myths, and rumors..." The bold, vintage-style graphics reminded me of children's classics like Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel and the original Curious George books, but darker -- much, much darker! Plenty of blood and even a bit of nudity! My favorite, though, is that the story is told in the voice of Al Capone himself. The setup is that ol' Scarface is telling his mother the truth about his life, and it works so well, especially when the violence that we see contradicts what Capone tells his dear mama. It made me want to rewatch some of the classic gangster films, scroll through old photo archives of Chicago, and learn more about the organizzazione. A fun read for a weekend afternoon!

November 9, 2023

4.0 out of 5 stars Great gift

I gave this to my husband because he's a fan of true crime and has an extensive manga collection. He enjoyed reading it and the hardcover seems to be good quality so is a great addition to his collection.

J. Turnof
November 7, 2023

5.0 out of 5 stars This was GREAT

I loved this book. The art was fantastic. The story felt real. I loved it. If you can, read it and enjoy it!

October 14, 2023

5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and Beautifully Rendered

A fantastic treatment of America's most legendary gangster. Capone narrates his own life here, unreliable narration and all, and it's all treated in such an inventive way. Meanwhile, I could get lost in PF Radice's beautifully drawn cityscapes for hours. The cartoonish nature of the illustrations effectively contrasts with the violence and despair that defined Capone's life. Well worth adding to your collection. I imagine I'll be pulling this one down off the shelf a lot in the future.

Al Capone

(4 customer reviews)