So, I’m gong to write a graphic novel, I’ve never written one before but the idea has been brewing in the back of my mind for years. I own several graphic novel’s, Sin City by Frank Miller, Cairo by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by M.K. Perker and DMZ written and artwork by Brain Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. Being a child of the 60’s I collected comics books as most kids did and we would barter and trade the comics like baseball cards. At that time comic books weren’t without their critics, conservative and religious parents called them “the ten-cent plague”, it was so bad that some of my friends would leave their comics at my house in a separate box with their name written in crayon. My collection ranged from Amazing Adventures, SilverSurfer and even Uncle Scrooge. The artwork of these comics kept me in engaged as I dealt with the reading disability of dyslexia and attention deficit disorder (ADD). While thumbing through colored pages of eye candy, my ADD would settle and eventually I would scan the panels of narration and the dialogue balloons of the characters and read. In many ways the comics became my visual aid to keep me reading – even if they weren’t the leather-bound classics, I was reading.
In 1966 the social fabric of American culture changed with civil rights, anti-war demonstrations and the Beatles. I left my beloved comics in a cardboard box on the floor of my closet as I grew into adolescents and started watching TV. My attention and imagination was capture by an NBC television show called Star Trek. In an interview with Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, he is quoted as saying, “I have no belief that STAR TREK depicts the actual future, it depicts us, now, things we need to understand about that”. Real issues of Racism, Sexism, Militarism and Peace were disguised in his science fiction teleplay and broadcasted to the American public – which I can only now appreciate Gene’s boldness and forward thinking. As my hair grew to shoulder length wearing puka beards and flashing the peace sign from my Volkswagen bus, I joined the counter-culture and gave financial support in buying R Crumb’s comics at the local head-shop. My favorites are Zap Comix’s, Keep on Trucking’ and Mr. Natural. Crumb’s comics were filled with wonderful countercultural values of gratuitous sex, drugs, and violence.
So, as I start this project I bring with me a more mature attitude, experiences and a growing sense of awareness of how our world is changing. As Gene would say and I’m paraphrasing here, “not to depicting the actual future, but depicts us now and things we need to understand”.
Beirut L.A. Journal Entry, July 14, 2025,
After 17 years in the Middle East covering the war in Israel and North Africa, I have come home to an America that I know longer recognize. Ever since the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court back in 2010, a shadow government by Multi-National Corporations now controls America and all media outlets. The First Amendment no longer protects journalists and I can be arrested for having a camera in public – all as a result of the Patriot Act. The take over was insidious as the public was distracted with non-news, pop culture and celebrity gossip. There are riots, refugees, vigilantes, a serious water shortages, genetic food that is making people sick and private armies protecting pockets of wealthy communities from the rest of society — none of which is being reported. I have come home to Beirut L. A. – Vito De La Luca
The Lazarus Report is Vito’s public moniker and news service. Much like a graffiti artist, Vito uses any means to get his reporting out to the public. Needless to say, Vito’s life depends on his anonymity. As a result of leaking real news to the public by bloggers, journalists and photojournalists, Corporate America a.k.a. SG (Shadow Government) is out to censure Vito and others like him permanently. Empowered by the Patriot Act and the Clear and Present Danger doctrine, SG’s private security detail is the US Enforcement Bureau, a.k.a. Black Fly. The street name comes from the use of drones, quadcopters, stealth helicopters and close circuit camera. Beyond Black Fly perks and pay rate, handsome bonuses are given to those who find dissidents and eliminate them and the truth.
Beirut L.A. Trailer Beirut L.A coming in 2015. Stay Tune !