Dutch History part 5

October 24, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

And we continue the history of Holland – specifically, the life of William I, the first King, who found himself pretty down and out under Napoleon’s rule, until…

dutch-history5

 

This comic is part of a travelling exhibition, initiated by Museum Meermanno. The exhibition consists of ten panels, telling the history of William I in comics (by me) and adjoining texts (by Marc Kleijnen). The exhibition can now be seen for free in the library of Eygelshoven.

 

 

Death of a Cat and a Character

October 9, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

Two weeks ago our beautiful sweet Siamese Boris died. We miss him greatly, not just as a pet but as a friend who always seemed so tuned in to our moods and feelings. He was almost eighteen and had a great life and a good death – yet this does not make the sadness any less, only “cleaner” perhaps, since there are no regrets.

Apart from all the “usual” mourning, I have an additional, specific problem. Boris was also a character in our books – a mostly silent one but still part of most of our backgrounds. (I blogged about the cats in my books two years ago, here).

Boris in ‘Philosophy – a Discovery in Comics’

 

We’re about halfway working on our next book and of course Boris has made his appearance. So what do I do, do I keep drawing him? Or do I just drop him from my pictures? Do I need to address his absence in any way, and how can I do that without distracting from the theme of the book? (which is World Power, something most cats have little interest in)

After pondering it for a while, I came up with this solution, in the first panel of a chapter in which I discuss the progress of the book with my brother:

That’s Yiri holding Boris’ picture next to what I call my “deity drawer”, a small cupboard for incense, some god statuettes and assorted spiritual books. It’s also the place where I put pictures of the dearly departed. (The deity drawer is featured in my book about Religion)

So there.

It is addressed. Boris gets his place among the legendary mortal supporting comics characters.

And we will have to face the problems of the world without him from now on – quite literally in our lives but also in our books.

Sleep well, dear Boris, you will live on in our hearts.

boris

Dutch History part 4

September 7, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

Here’s the continuation of a bit of Dutch history in comics – the story of Holland’s first King, William I.

This was probably his lowest point: exiled from The Netherlands, having to negotiate with Napoleon and England for a bit of compensation of his losses…

This panel and nine others are still on tour throughout The Netherlands. Check the site of Museum Meermanno to see if they come to a library near you.

Global Power and the Game of Monopoly

August 27, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases

Yiri and I are working hard on our next book and have just decided to call it Global Power: a Discovery in Comics, rather than World Domination: a Discovery in Comics. There’s a subtle difference there.

I’m so excited about it and really in a nice work flow right now. But the thing is, it won’t be out for at least a year – it’s scheduled for Fall 2015 in The Netherlands, and Who Knows When, if at all, in the States. So marketing-wise there’s no point in talking about it yet.

But I’m so excited about it!

Last week, I had the idea of putting in a scene between Yiri and me playing a game of Monopoly – but I wasn’t at all sure how well known the game really is. So I posted the question on my Facebook page and was swamped with reactions like “Really?! You don’t know how popular Monopoly is???”.

So no trouble there.

Here are two pages of the end result. There is a third page as well, but I’ll leave that for later. Ha, how’s that for a cliffhanger, marketing-wise…?

True story

August 16, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

This happened today.

The Foundation of Political Thought

August 2, 2014 by  
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The second part of our Oxford Experience, the deliciously enjoyable Summer school in Christ Church, Oxford’s biggest college, was devoted to the course The Foundation of Political Thought, by Dr. James Panton, who looks like a Scottish motorbike-riding construction worker and talks like Socrates.

It was an intense, fast-paced course in which we consecutively looked at the philosophers Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, Hegel, Karl Marx, Durkheim and Weber. Instead of taking notes, I made cartoons, and this is the result:

A little of our previous course on The Beatles still lingered…:

Here’s one Yiri made:

Marx introduced the Capitalist figure of Mr. Moneybags in his writings – the same name that was given to the little Monopoly-guy not long after:

The course was very inspirational and has given me a lot to think about working on my next book, World Domination – a Discovery in Comics.

Intrigued by the Oxford Experience? Check out the program for next year – applications start in September.

Feel free to share these cartoons on the Net and in educational presentations – just don’t remove my name from them. Thanks!

A Week in the Life…

July 26, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

Last week, Yiri and I attended The Oxford Experience again – a Summer course in Christ Church, Oxford. For five days, we were immersed in an analysis of The Beatles, their music, lyrics and cultural significance. This course was taught by dr. Rikky Rooksby, a true Renaissance Man, who is both schooled as a lecturer on English Literature and an accomplished musician and composer.

Of course I could not help myself doodling – and here are some of the results of my experiments with a blue biro pen:

And here are a few sketches I did of our teacher, Rikky Rooksby:

(It was very hot all week)

(…so hot in fact, that our teacher took off his shoes, which inspired this Abbey Road reference:)

 

It was an awesome experience! A Splendid Time was guearanteed for all.

If you’d like to go on a bit of a special holiday next year, why not consider The Oxford Experience? It’s not cheap, but well worth the money, since you’ll come away with unique memories of staying at a centuries old college, enjoying three meals a day in the beautiful Hall, and being taught by knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers. As well as meeting many fellow students from all over the world. You might even meet me there, since I’ll definitely be back!

Dutch History part 3

July 18, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

School’s out, but I’m continuing my history lessons to you folks: here’s the next scene in the thrilling life of William I, Holland’s first king. In a previous post, we saw him fleeing to England; now we take a look at his military career:

This panel and nine others are still on tour throughout The Netherlands. Check the site of Museum Meermanno to see if they come to a library near you.

 

 

De Heer DeSigns

July 5, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

A few weeks ago I joined Spoonflower, a site where you can upload your own designs and order them as fabrics and wallpaper. Since then I’ve been having a lot of fun thinking about tiled patterns, color schemes and original themes. This is what my store on Spoonflower currently looks like:

spoonflower

I started out looking for illustrations in my archives that lend themselves for this kind of purpose, and came up with a Burlesque fabric – I drew these models in Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art School which I blogged about here – that came out like this:

burlesque

 

And some whimsical English Country Houses I drew in Oxford that came out like this:

country-houses

And I even made a wallpaper plastered full with the Scientific Method as I drew it in my book ‘Science: a Discovery in Comics’ – that came out like this:

scientific-method

But the most fun I had was coming up with new designs. Spoonflower has weekly design contests with different themes, and this is what I came up with for the current one, ‘Fishing Lures‘. If you like it and want to vote for it, please click the image and it will take you to the contest page with all the al-luring (haha) designs:

fishing-lures

Next week’s theme is ‘Rhinoceroses’. I drew nine rhinoceroses on  wheels, and it came out like this:

rhinos_on_bikes

After that, the theme is ‘Herb Garden’. I really pulled out all the stops for this one, especially considering that I have no green fingers whatsoever:

herbgarden

I liked it so much, I also made it into a tea towel, which looks like this:

herbgarden_teatowel

If you consider buying any of these, please note that not all designs are up for sale yet (I need to see the swatches first to colorproof them). But keep an eye on my Spoonflower shop for new stuff being added! There’s a lot already, and definitely more to come!

 

The Last Link

June 21, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

Since 2010 I got to make comics for student magazine H/Link, periodical of the The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Alas, the paper is folding now – the magazine will continue in cyberspace, but no longer with my comic.

So it’s time to look back at four years of student life and the woes and fortunes of Fenneke, Dave, Fatima, George and their teacher Johan.

This was the first comic, which appeared in the autumn of 2010:

hlink01-start

 

Student Dave was the most carefree of the lot – he devoted most of his time to his sports:

hlink03-determination

While Fatima tended to be daunted a bit by the demands of the educational system:

hlink32_anxiety

Fenneke and international student George found out they had special interest in each other (this strip I have posted earlier this year in my Valentine blog):

hlink15_valentine

And their somewhat disillusioned teacher Johan struggled through classes as well:

hlink16_wordfeud

It was great fun to come up with new stories for this cast, and often the editor of H/Link tipped me on issues that were going at school.

Such as communication troubles at the helpdesk:

hlink05-secretariaat

 

The installation of new printers and the influx of new students after another school had been discredited:

hlink11_paniek

 

The new canteen:

 

hlink27_kantine

The scandal of the USB-fraud:

hlink25_usb

And the evacuation after a power outage:

hlink33_ontruiming

The cast grew into older years and welcomed new students:

hlink30_bsa

And even George adapted nicely to this foreign environment:

hlink37_dutchcustoms

It’s kind of fitting that the strip ran for four years, just as long as their studies would have taken them. So I ended the run of the H/Link-strip with their graduation and farewell:

hlink38_final

Thanks H/Link and The Hague University! It has been a pleasure. And goodbye for now, Fenneke, Dave, George, Fatima and Johan! Who knows, they’ll pop up in another incarnation some day…

…and yes, that last panel is a hommage to Calvin & Hobbes character Miss Wormwood:

wormwood

 

 

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