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All Talk

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Rahim is a suburban kid like any other, a “good kid.” Chilling with his boys, hearing the legends of “Immortal Al,” the greatest gangster who ever lived, it’s hard not to get stars in his eyes. Rahim starts dreaming of becoming a kingpin, idolizing his local gangsters in the hopes of climbing their ranks. But his friends laugh: they say he’s all talk, no action. Until one day, he sees an opportunity to prove himself… but how far will he take it before there’s no turning back?

A modern, urban graphic novel exploring the toxic nature of “street cred” and the role it plays in the lives of vulnerable young men.

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"Deliberately understated, and more powerful for that"
Slings & Arrows

"A meditation on tragedy"
The Comics Journal

"An intriguing graphic novel about gangs and toxic masculinity"
Graphic Policy

Additional information

Format

,

Pages

120

Color/B&W

Color

Language

English

Rating

Mature

Bartosz Sztybor, Author
Bartosz Sztybor was born in 1984 in the most dangerous neighborhood of Warsaw, Poland. As a kid, he dreamed of becoming a gangsta rapper but eventually became a writer instead. All Talk is based on his time living in Kreuzberg, Berlin, a multicultural district with many Turkish and African immigrants. He writes comics, films, and TV series (Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Netflix) and works as a Comic Book & Animation Narrative Director at CD PROJEKT RED, creator of award-winning games like The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077. He also writes The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 for DarkHorse Comics and has received multiple awards for Best Short Comic from the Łódź International Comics Festival (MFK). In France, his comics are published by Sarbacane, Paquet, Ankama, and Europe Comics, and in the USA, by Boom! Studios and Dark Horse Comics. His films have won numerous awards around the world. Although he loves writing, he dreams of becoming a gangsta rapper one day.
Akeussel, Artist
Akeussel is a comic book artist and illustrator originally from Nantes, France. Since completing his studies in visual arts, he has participated in several self-published projects and even some animation. It was through social media that he met the Polish screenwriter Bartosz Sztybor, with whom he collaborated on his first graphic novel, All Talk.
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S. Karstetter
December 1, 2023

5.0 out of 5 stars Artwork and story are top-notch

All Talk is a wonderfully written graphic novel that gives a glimpse at what it means when someone wants to be part of the gang life. The artwork of this novel is unique and powerful and is perfectly matched with the story telling. I enjoyed reading this novel and look forward future works by Bartosz Sztybor.

amazon
Luke Coolbear
July 1, 2023

4.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the abstract art fool you.

An illustrated graphic novel based in Berlin. The story follows Rahim, a young kid aspiring to rise in the ranks of his local street gang. It unfolds like a Greek tragedy. The theme is that bad intentions lead to bad actions that affect more than just the person choosing the actions. Very simply drawn, and and almost cartoonist, it contrasts the very serious, adult and dark story it tells. Not very plot heavy, but straight forward in telling its cautionary tale.

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john edgar
June 24, 2023

4.0 out of 5 stars Art and Story That Surprises You The More Time You Spend With It

I was given "All Talk" as a gift, so the first impression I got was from the cover art. I had no idea of the story or plot. I had no buy-in except for the clean lines, the muted colors, and the unique styling of the characters. The artwork was simplistically beautiful, and the coloring only added depth and intrigue to the clean linework. I was pleasantly surprised by the story as it unfolded while I was reading. I have read several "urban novels" and always find them enjoyable slices of life. When I first began "all talk," that was what I expected, a slice-of-life story. I shouldn't have been surprised (although I was) when the author did with this graphic novel what all good "urban novel" authors do... he used a slice-of-life picture to teach a life lesson that cuts to our cores. "All Talk" is worth your time to read. If you share it with others, it might even be the catalyst to get you and them considering all the talk going on in your lives.

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zach
June 16, 2023

3.0 out of 5 stars All Talk says a lot

The artwork is especially incredibly expressive. It pairs well with the story revolving around the pressure to make the right choices as well as the consequences of making the wrong ones.

amazon
Nadine
June 13, 2023

5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson in ego and the streets

All Talk is a graphic novel with a funky illustration style set in the neighborhoods of Berlin. It focuses on the dynamics between its gang affiliated errand-boy protagonist, Rahim, his nemesis, Ego, and the leader of their gang, Wood. Rahim wants to be a great gangster like the legendary Immortal Al, whose dying words were (allegedly) "You can shoot me, but you can't shut me up." Similarly, Rahim spends much of his time plotting with his friends to get revenge on Ego, who has Wood's favor, talking up all kinds of ways to set him up. Undeterred by how Immortal Al's career as a gangster ended in violent death, and motivated in part by the rumors about how his late father had a poor reputation, Rahim is sensitive about things said about his father, his friends, and himself. Rahim's insecurities and hot-headed attitude lead him down a path of self-destruction. Eventually Rahim is given the chance to make a splash and impress Wood, but his recklessness comes at a higher price than he originally planned for. This novel revolves around themes of gang life, narcissism, self-determination, loss of loved ones and revenge. I think this book is an important lesson for kids to stay away from gangs and avoid glamorizing a life of crime. This book has some mature content such as scenes of violence, drug use, cursing, and sex, so I would rate it appropriate for readers aged 16 and up.

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Jason
June 12, 2023

4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Tale

This is a dark tale that illustrates the bleak realities of gang life. The young characters are completely ego-driven and throw caution to the wind and logic out the window. Just when things seem to be looking up, it all comes crashing down due to bad choices and putting trust in the wrong people. Illustrated in a fun, loose style, the visuals contradict the cold, inevitable turn of events.

amazon
Adam
May 17, 2023

4.0 out of 5 stars Great read!

Really fantastic read. Great twists and turns. A little choppy at times, but other than that very good. It’s nice to see a healthy dose of reality mixed into fiction.

5.0 out of 5 stars An education

As a middle-aged white guy, this is NOT the kind of graphic novel I normally buy and read. When offered a copy for free and asked to review it if I wished, however, I jumped at the chance. I hoped the book would give me a glimpse into, and a better understanding of, a world that is far from my own. ALL TALK did just that, offering me an education about why some young people do things that seem completely illogical to me and my peers. This is not a "fun" read, but it's not all dark and gloomy either. From it, both my compassion and understanding toward urban street youth have deepened. A couple of images and turns of phrase are the only clues that it has been translated from French. Otherwise, the story could easily be set in Detroit, Memphis, St. Louis, Birmingham, or the like. Worth the read. Worth sharing with a young person enamored by the idea of "gangsta life".

amazon
Chase
May 8, 2023

4.0 out of 5 stars A hard look at generational violence on the streets of Paris

I went into reading "ALL TALK" knowing nothing about it besides the cute character designs and brilliant use of color. Wow! What a roller coaster ride of emotions. First, the stories of non-white characters in France are something rarely depicted in American media, so I knew I was in for a unique experience from the beginning. The colorful art style took me by surprise. What might have started out as a light-hearted "slice of life" of a poor city kid, went out the window as the story progressed. And the well-defined characters added a lot to that. From the legendary Immortal Al, to the up-and-comer Era, they all resonate with our hero Rahim who wants nothing more than to prove himself to the local drug runners. The world of gang culture and trying to prove one's self leads to a tragic conclusion that you'll have to read for yourself. Check out this book. You won't regret it!

4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing art, Unique style, Good story

I'm obsessed with the art style. The uniquely stylized characters, the beautiful color palette--it's all great. The story is pretty good too. Great comic overall.

4.0 out of 5 stars “It’s a great story.”

This story isn’t for everyone and I say this as someone who likes 99% of the things I read. Urban Crime Drama is a genre not many can properly pull off but I think Sztybor sticks the landing quite nicely. The characters are well developed and the pacing is great. The only thing that can knock a few points off would be the art, it’s not for everyone, it’s subjective. I enjoyed it but I know it will turn some people away. 8.5/10

5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting

I read this in one sitting. This was a no-frills, gritty, and emotional story.

All Talk

(7 customer reviews)

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