Adapting Shakespeare for Comics

January 13, 2013 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases

As I suggested in the post announcing Family Ties, I really struggled with Shakespeare in school which meant writing an update of King Lear was a bit intimidating. So much so, in fact, that before starting, I bought a book called No Fear Shakespeare.
These books are great. I wish they’d been around when I was in high school. If so, I probably would have gotten an A in my AP literature class instead of… well… the embarrassing grade I actually brought home.
Anyway, these No Fear books are different than the yellow Cliff Notes booklets you may remember. As readers flip through the book, they can either read the original play on the left hand page or the “plain English” translation on the right. It’s a great way to read Shakespeare if you can convince yourself to use that right hand page as little as possible. In the end, the play wasn’t nearly as difficult as I remembered. And after several read-throughs, I sat down to begin planning the adaptation.
And this is where the trouble began…
While I was intent on leaving the plot and character arcs largely intact, I had a really hard time deciding how I was going to update the setting and the circumstances. After all, Lear deals with a family fighting over an aging king’s kingdom. While family issues are timeless, how was I going to write a modern re-telling that made sense? Some of the family infighting revolves around control of knights — not exactly something that translates to modern times easily.
For a while, I considered writing Family Ties as a superhero book. Yes, another superhero title for the comic book shelf. In the end, that felt like a cop-out. I liked the idea — still like it, actually — but I didn’t like that it was the easy way out. I wasn’t going to write it because I was dying to write a creator-owned superhero book — I was going to write it because it was an easy way to explain away some of the problems I was having. That didn’t seem like the best thing to do.
But then, my wife and I were watching a documentary about organized crime and inspiration struck. Amazingly, the hierarchy in a crime family is almost an exact parallel to the family dynamic in Lear. And while I wasn’t dying to do my own superhero book, I looooove gangster movies and have always wanted do a crime book of my own. Not only that, I knew I wanted to do another book with Noel, and his art is a great fit for a crime book. (Tumor, anyone?)
So after months of hitting my head against the wall, the details quickly began falling into place.
Lear became a crime boss.
His madness became dementia.
His kingdom became a criminal empire.
His knights became the soldiers in his crew.
His power-hungry daughters became captains within the organization.
His idealistic son became a young man hoping to make a life for himself outside of the family business.
Just like that, I finally had an answer for all those people who continued to ask, “I loved Broadcast, man. What’s next?”

What’s Next?

January 6, 2013 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases

“I loved Broadcast, man. What’s next?”
I’ve heard that from comic fans a lot over the last few years.
Response to that first book was more than I ever could have hoped for. Reviews were great, fans enjoyed the work — Noel and I were thrilled. But as I started to hear that question again and again — I’ll admit, my nerves began getting the best of me. The Broadcast was my first published work. Noel had already developed a following of his own, but I was a relative unknown. Readers went into that book without any preconceived notions about me. But with a follow-up? A follow-up to a critical success? That would be different. That would bring something I hadn’t had on the first book: expectations. And expectations can be a very scary thing.
So that’s probably why it’s taken this new project some time to come to fruition. Noel and I have been busy, of course. He illustrated a brilliant comic called Foster. I wrote a short Batman piece for DC and published a kids’ series on Amazon’s kindle called The Librarian. We even did a short together in Dark Horse’s Once Upon a Time Machine anthology. That said, we were both knew eventually we were going to collaborate on another full-length graphic novel — we just wanted to make sure this new project was a worthy follow-up to the first.
Family Ties is about an aging Alaskan crime boss with dementia who is looking to secure his family’s future by dividing his empire amongst his three heirs. His cold-hearted daughters jump at the chance to take their spot at the head of the table, but his idealistic son refuses the inheritance. Fueled by his anger, the old man disowns his son only to realize he’s made a tragic mistake when his daughters use their newfound power and influence against him.
Sound familiar? It should — it is a retelling of William Shakespeare’s classic, King Lear.
In school, I struggled with Shakespeare like most kids — probably more than most, actually — but King Lear always resonated with me as a timeless story that was ripe for an update. Family issues are just as common today, after all.
Noel and I are still finishing up, but I’m going to do my best to get in here and post about the production of Family Ties; the struggles that come from trying to adapt Shakespeare; and how a family tragedy helped inform the book when, strangely enough, a member of my family was diagnosed with dementia shortly after I began writing the book.
In the meantime, if you enjoyed The Broadcast, I hope you’ll take a few minutes this week to tell your local comics retailer about Family Ties. It’s available in January’s Previews and is spotlighted on page 320.

Kokomo Con / Podcast Interviews

October 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Author Appearances, Events, NBM Blog

This weekend I’ll be making an appearance at the Kokomo Con.

This is a great little con with a lot of indie creators. It’s only the con’s second year, but it is a great time. I can’t speak too highly of it. I know the guys who put it together and it is well worth a few hours drive if you are in the Midwest and can make it. I’ll be there for most of the day and will be appearing on a panel at noon on the writing and publishing of comics!

For those that can’t make it, and I realize that will probably be the majority of you, I recently a couple podcasts interviews that were a whole lot of fun. We talked about a wide range of topics. The guys on the Bizarre Podcast are huge fans of The Broadcast and we spent a great deal of time talking about the making of that book. Then, over on the It’s All Up To You, I got a chance to discuss some of my other work too and the uphill battle of trying to make it in the comics industry. You can listen to either online at the above links or do a search and download them via iTunes. Both interviews are pretty long but well worth the time if you want a little behind-the-scenes glimpse.

Hope to see some of you this weekend!!

Chicago Comic Con & Comics Cubed

August 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Author Appearances, Events, NBM Blog

Just wanted to drop in and let everyone know I’ll be set up in Artist Alley at this weekend’s Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. I’ll be there on Friday and Saturday with copies of The Broadcast for sale along with some of my other writing — including my first work on a mainstream superhero book, a story in this year’s Batman 80-Page Giant. I hope everyone who goes takes a few minutes to stop by and say “hi.”

For those who can’t make Chicago, I’ll be signing books on Wednesday at Comics Cubed in Kokomo, IN from 4-7pm. If your local I’d love to see you there!

The Broadcast’s Noel Tuazon @ TCAF This Weekend

May 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Author Appearances, Events, NBM Blog

I just wanted to drop in and let everyone know Noel will be attending this weekend’s Toronto Comics Art Festival and will have copies of The Broadcast available along with some of his other work (Tumor, Ribstallments and Bacon Poussein).

Noel doesn’t do a lot of convention appearances. This is a great opportunity to meet the man who played such a vital role in bringing The Broadcast to life.

So stop by, pick up a signed book and grab a piece of art. And, oh . . . don’t forget to congratulate him on the recent Eisner nomination!! It was very well deserved!

Win A Signed Copy of The Broadcast

April 25, 2011 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

So I have a few copies of The Broadcast laying around and thought I would give them away to a few luck readers over at Good Reads.

For those that aren’t aware, Good Reads is a social community like Facebook — but for readers. Members are able to talk with friends, participate in book clubs, trade books, interact with authors and much, much more. I’m new to the site, but I’ve already fallen in love. If you’re any kind of reader, the site is definitely worth a look.

Anyway, as I said, I’m giving away a signed copy of The Broadcast to three randomly chosen fans over there and all you have to do is let me know you’re interested. I’ve already had more than three hundred people enter, but everyone’s got an equal chance so the more the merrier.

If you’re already a Good Reads member all you have to do is click the “Enter to Win” link below…

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Broadcast by Eric Hobbs

The Broadcast

by Eric Hobbs

Giveaway ends May 22, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

If not, I highly suggest giving the site a try. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

LINK: Win a Signed Copy of THE BROADCAST

October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases

So it’s been almost a month — have you picked up a copy of THE BROADCAST? If not, now is the time. Reviews have been incredible  and the book is starting to disappear from shelves as word-of-mouth spreads.

Meanwhile, Johanna at Comics Worth Reading is giving away a signed copy of the book this week and winning it couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is visit her site, read this post and leave a comment describing your favorite Halloween costume. That’s it. It’s that easy.

Incidentally, if you aren’t a regular reader of Johanna’s site — you should be. It’s a great break from the typical PR machine that is comics news. I’ll be doing an interview with her later this week so keep your eyes open for that too.

My Interview With Graphic Novel Reporter

October 20, 2010 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases

So I just finished up an interview with John Hogan over at GraphicNovelReporter.com.

I’m a pretty big fan of the GNR site so it’s nice to have an interview up on the main page. John’s intro is great, calling THE BROADCAST a “vividly entertaining and harrowing book” and he asked some really great questions. Perhaps most interestingly, he gave me a chance to re-examine some of the ideas I originally had for THE BROADCAST. Let’s just say that it could have been a VERY different book.

Wired on H.G. Wells (and THE BROADCAST)

September 21, 2010 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases

Wired put a piece on their website today in honor of H.G. Wells birthday and we were mentioned.

It’s a nice little article, not only showcasing some of Wells’ most beloved work but the books, movies and television series that his work has influenced. While this isn’t a feature on our book by any means, it’s cool for me on a couple fronts. First, I’m a regular reader of Wired magazine, so being mentioned briefly on that site is pretty cool for me. And second, it’s nice to see THE BROADCAST listed alongside LOST and Jeff Lemire’s THE NOBODY. The writing of H.G. Wells may have influenced them, but those two works have been a huge influence on me.

Also of note, THE BROADCAST is now listed as “In Stock” on the Amazon website. Be sure to grab a copy the next time you’re making an order there. If you’ve already picked up a copy and enjoyed it — well, we would greatly appreciate it if you took a few minutes to stop by Amazon and give us a review.

The book hits comic shelves this week. I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks.

The Fabler Interviews BROADCAST Artist Noel Tuazon

September 8, 2010 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases

Noel just did a great little interview over on The Fabler in promotion of our new book together, THE BROADCAST. Not only does he offer some great insight into his process, but he also does an extremely good job selling this book.

On an additional note, the books are in! I just got my copies, and they look fantastic. You’re going to love it. They’ll be hitting shelves soon, but if you’re in the area we’ll be premiering the book at this weekend’s SPX. I’ll be there to meet fans and sign copies. Hope to see you there.

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