Bustle gives Persia Blues a shout out

Bustle is a popular news, entertainment, lifestyle, and fashion site for young women.

In an article titled Wonder Woman In ‘BvS’ Is A Huge Step, But Not Enough, KT Hawbaker-Krohn argues that while Wonder Woman’s live-action debut is a great start, “There are so few woman superheroes seen in movies and on TV, and practically none who aren’t white, straight, and cisgender.” So she goes on to give Hollywood “17 amazing women superheroes who deserve their own time on-screen.”

Minoo Shirazi, the protagonist of our own Persia Blues graphic novels, makes the list! And she’s in good company, alongside Batwoman, Martha Washington, Black Orchid, and many other great female characters.

Thanks KT, we couldn’t agree more!

Talking Persia Blues and more on the Comics Alternative podcast

Derek Royal from the The Comics Alternative podcast conducts an insightful and lengthy interview with yours truly and artist Brent Bowman about Persia Blues vol. 2.

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I’ll let Derek tell you a bit about what to expect:

“Dara and Brent discuss the challenges in balancing the two narrative threads and the process they use when creating the comic. The two originally met through the comics collective, PANEL, based out of Columbus, OH — in fact, much of the story in the second volume of Persia Blues takes place at OSU — and, as they discuss with Derek, their close proximity contributes to the book’s development. Along the way, Brent and Dara share their thoughts on writing from woman’s perspective, contemporary representations of Middle-Eastern figures, and the kind of reception Persia Blues has received within the Iranian American community.”

Click the link above to listen to our talk, and be sure to check out all the other great interviews and reviews at The Comics Alternative.

Win a signed and sketched copy of Persia Blues vol. 2

Haven’t bought your copy of Persia Blues vol. 2 yet? Would you like the chance to win a copy, signed by both myself and artist Brent Bowman? What if I told you it will also contain an original sketch by Brent? And that there are no strings attached?

Well, here’s your chance:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Persia Blues, Volume 2 by Dara Naraghi

Persia Blues, Volume 2

by Dara Naraghi

Giveaway ends January 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Dara & Brent on PVDcast

Have you ever wondered how the writers and artists of the books you read sound like? Of course not. But that didn’t stop us from sitting down with John Orlando for his PVDcast podcast! Brent Bowman and I talk about Persia Blues vol. 2, our process for collaborating together, sources of inspiration, what took so long on my part to complete the script for the second book, and much more.

Head on over to the home of the PVDcast to hear our episode.

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“I’m joined on this edition of the PVDcast by the creative team behind Persia Blues Vol. 2: Love & War. Dara Naraghi and Brent Bowman are the two guys responsible for this critically acclaimed graphic novel. (You may recall that Dara joined me back on episode 17 to discuss the first installment of Persia Blues). We talk about their creative collaboration, their influences, their relationship with publisher, NBM and many other topics. A must listen for any aspiring creative people!”

And while you’re there, be sure to check out John’s archive of great interviews with creative types of all sorts, from writers and artists to wrestlers and movie critics.

Belt magazine on Persia Blues

Belt Magazine is an online publication with a focus on life and culture in the “rust belt.” Since 2013, they’ve featured essays, longform journalism, op-eds, and reviews of works by creators from the industrial Midwest. And they just ran a nice article on Persia Blues, entitled Graphically Persian in Ohio: Novel Adventures from Columbus Artists. Here’s a snippet of what they had to say about Brent Bowman’s art in the book:

This combination noir and penny-dreadful background is apparent in the pages of Persia Blues, which alternates visual styles: ancient Persia is dark and moody, as if the story is coming to us from a great distance full of smudged shadow and deep recesses of sky; modern Iran is primarily depicted in line drawings with brightly lit, page-white backgrounds, as if we are watching reality TV.

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I like the author’s theory as to the central mystery of the book’s dual settings. I won’t say whether he’s on the right track or not, but give it a read and see if you agree. Or do you have your own theories?

S.P.A.C.E. Prize winner Persia Blues returns with volume 2

I, along with co-creator and artist Brent Bowman, were honored to have Persia Blues vol. 1 win the 2014 S.P.A.C.E. Prize for best graphic novel at the Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo. And I’m even happier to announce that the long-awaited second volume of the trilogy is hitting the shelves in a week or so!

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In case you hadn’t had a chance to check out the solicitations, here’s what you can expect in volume 2:

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Minoo Shirazi’s mysterious double life continues to unfold across 2,000 years of history in the second installment of the Persia Blues series.

In the fantastical world of ancient Persia, the shock of discovering a piece of her past is overshadowed by the imminent invasion of Ahriman’s armies. Only by finding the empire’s champion, Rostam, can she hope to turn back the tide of evil.

While in the modern world, Minoo’s life unfolds in Iran and America – where she has recently begun her graduate studies – as she deals with her stern father, dying mother, lost brother, and new American boyfriend. Across myths and modern realities, we delve deeper into the truth of Minoo’s life.

In the upcoming days and weeks, I’ll share some of the sketches and process behind this volume, as well as other fun stories. But in the meantime, here’s a tease of a few pages of art:

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Check back soon for more on the world(s) of Persia Blues.

Persia Blues wins 2014 SPACE prize for Best Graphic Novel

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I’m thrilled to announce that Persia Blues, my graphic novel with artist Brent Bowman, published by NBM, has won the 2014 SPACE Prize in the graphic novel category!

As in previous years, the winners were picked by two rotating judges and the registered SPACE 2014 exhibitors themselves. I’d like to extend my congratulations to the winners in the other categories, as well as all the nominees.

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This book has been a true labor of love for me, and Brent and I have poured a lot of our time and energy into its creation. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, in creating Persia Blues, I wanted to showcase a little of Iran’s rich culture, from cuisine to architecture to literature, and also give readers a sense of its thousands of years of history and tradition. But more importantly, I wanted to tell a very human story, featuring a smart, capable, complex protagonist.

We will have an art display at this year’s S.P.A.C.E., showcasing original art from the upcoming vol. 2 of the book. The show takes place in Columbus, Ohio on April 11 & 12, 2015. So if you’re in our neck of the woods, drop on by the show and say hi.

Now coming up on its 16th year, S.P.A.C.E. (Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo) is the Midwest’s longest running exhibition of small press, creator owned, and art comics. It’s also Columbus’ only locally owned and operated comics show. Sponsored by Back Porch Comics.

Persia Blues nominated for 2014 S.P.A.C.E. Prize

I’m thrilled to announce that Persia Blues, my graphic novel with artist Brent Bowman and published by NBM, is a finalist for the 2014 S.P.A.C.E. Prize in the graphic novel category!

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Here’s a brief note about the show, and a look at the other finalists:

Now coming up on it’s 16th year, S.P.A.C.E. (Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo) is the Midwest’s longest running exhibition of small press,creator owned and art comics. And Columbus’ only locally owned and operated comics show. Sponsored by Back Porch Comics.

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The winners will be picked from three voting bodies in each category: two rotating judges and the registered SPACE 2014 Exhibitors themselves.

Winners will be announced at next year’s SPACE, which takes place in Columbus, Ohio on April 11 & 12, 2015. Brent and I are hard at work on vol. 2, and I’ll be sharing some new art soon, right here on the NBM blog.

Persia Blues signing at the Buckeye Book Fair

On Saturday, November 2, I will be one of the many guests at the 26th Annual Buckeye Book Fair in Wooster, Ohio (near Cleveland). My artist partner in crime Brent Bowman will also be on hand to sign copies of Persia Blues, plus a killer print he’s made just for the show.

“Celebrates Ohio’s Influence in Literature

The annual Buckeye Book Fair is a full day event featuring nearly 100 Ohio authors and illustrators who meet with readers and autograph copies of their latest works. Thousands of attendees from all over Ohio come to mingle, shop for books, and celebrate the joys of reading and writing.”

The show runs from 9:30 – 4:00. If you’re in Ohio or nearby, we hope you can make

Persia Blues: Images From Iran, part 2

(View part 1 here)

As I mentioned in the previous post in this series, some of the pictures I took on my last trip to Iran served as both reference and inspiration for artist Brent Bowman while creating our Persia Blues graphic novel. Here’s a set taken at the Military Museum, on the former grounds of the Shah’s palaces, all of which now serve as museums.

We’ll start with a couple of examples of historical military uniforms, I believe from the Achaemenid period:

And some banners and iconography, including the Standard of Cyrus the Great (the blue square banner in the back):

And of course ancient weapons, including swords, battle axes, spears, maces, and clubs:

Next: more pictures from the Nation Palace Museum, Green Museum, and others.