Just because an artist is described as “in-your-face” doesn't mean he's actually going to physically get in your face. So relax, because when Melvin Van Peebles presents and signs the graphic novel version of his memoir Confessions of a Ex-Doofus Itchyfooted Mutha, he's there to connect and communicate with his audience, not freak out and otherwise burn the place down. Actor/director Van Peebles exposed a greater audience of moviegoers to the black experience with iconoclastic films Watermelon Man (1970) and the baldly autobiographical Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971). So pervasive is his creative spirit that Confessions became a movie last year; it wouldn't be surprising if it came out next as a stage play, a webcast and a Flip-It Book. Confessions is a larger part of the greater puzzle that is the creative psyche of Melvin Van Peebles, another piece of which reveals itself as he holds forth this evening.

Thu., Sept. 3, 9:30 p.m., 2009

LA Weekly