2014!

December 30, 2013 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

Merry Christmas – have some Easter Eggs!

December 21, 2013 by  
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An Easter egg is: “an intentional inside joke, hidden message, or feature in a work such as a computer program, movie, book, or crossword.” I have hidden a few easter eggs in my books, and today, as we’re approaching Christmas, I’ll reveal some of them to you.

When you open Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics, the first thing you see is the endsheets (only in the US edition!). I have laid them out in a grid and filled them with pictures from the book:

But… wait a second! These are not ALL from the inside of the book! One of these is not like the others! It’s actually not even drawn by me! Can you tell which one it is?

It’s this:

This is Emma Ringelberg, who assisted me on the lettering of the english version. She’s a comic artist herself and makes really nice stuff, check out her blog.

On page 67 of Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics starts the chapter on Free Will, with an autobiographical scene about my time in America when I was a student. It opens with this picture:

Does that ring a bell with some of you who are autobiographical comics hoarders, like me? It should, because I drew it with this panel in mind:

That’s Joe Matt, in his famous debut album Peepshow. I love his work.

Just one page further, page 68, is a dialogue between Yiri and me about Fate and Free Will:

Never have philosophical issues about Fate been better drawn in comics than by Bill Watterson in Calvin & Hobbes. I had this strip in mind when I drew mine, and had to stop myself from using the exact same phrasing “Too bad you were fated to do that”. That would just have been too obvious.

In Science: a Discovery in Comics you’ll find this scene of a fierce debate pro and con Darwin’s theory of Evolution, that took place in Oxford in 1860, and was attended by a crowd of interested people, eager to see sparks fly:

One of the people in the crowd is none other than Redmond O’Hanlon, the great novelist/adventurer who so much regrets not having been born in the nineteenth century.

(At the moment he’s back on Dutch TV with a superb series on 19th centuries heroes of his)

That’s all for now folks!

Have a happy holiday!

Philosophy and Science in Korea

December 17, 2013 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases

In a few months, Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics and Science: a Discovery in Comics will be published in South Korea. I’m very thrilled about this! It’s really strange to see my work translated into a language I can’t read at all. I love the Korean letters, they look really mysterious and elegant:

The publisher is still deciding on what covers to use. Every culture is different, I’m learning more and more that what “works” for a Western market does not necessarily translate somewhere else. I can see that maybe the image on the Philosophy cover of an open brain may be seen by some as a pretty gruesome picture! So I’m happy to help in coming up with another design. This is the proposal I made for the Korean publisher today – the upper one is Philosophy, the next Religion and the bottom one is Science.

They’ll be deciding on it later. I’ll let y’all know how it turns out!

Science: Happy Birthday, Ada Lovelace!

December 10, 2013 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

Today 198 years ago Ada Lovelace was born – an exceptionally bright woman who became the first ever computer programmer. She led a short but interesting and in the end rather tragic life, which I’d like to commemorate with this comic:

This page is actually NOT from my book Science: a Discovery in Comics, but from a small booklet I made about seven famous friendships – of which that between Ada and Charles Babbage was an important one.

But Ada Lovelace IS mentioned in my Science book, in the chapter about women scientists. By now, she is a role model for female scientists everywhere, and  even has her own celebratory day in October, Ada Lovelace Day.

Happy birthday, Ada! We who are all seated behind our computers today, salute you!

 

‘t Is the Season…

December 1, 2013 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

Festivities are in the air – here in Holland we have no less than TWO this month. On the 5th of December, we celebrate Sinterklaas, the white-bearded saint from Spain, who visits our country with his army of Black Petes to shower the children with lavish gifts.

Here’s a comic I did in 2006, combining Sint and the political climate that year:

 

A year before, I made this one for girls magazine Yes:

And as soon as Sint leaves, we’ll be getting trees in to prepare for Christmas, which is always fun.

Season’s greetings, everyone!

And don’t forget: Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics and Science: a Discovery in Comics make excellent X-mas gifts!

You can order them here!

Science: Happy Evolution Day!

November 24, 2013 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases

It’s Evolution Day – the anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species! Today, 154 years ago, Darwin’s work finally appeared in print, more than twenty years after he returned from his famous journey with The Beagle.

To celebrate, here are two pages from my book Science: a Discovery in Comics:

Want to read more?

Buy Science: a Discovery in Comics at your nearest comics-/book-store or online!

(Or check it out at your library, I hear the book has hit many libraries by now)

The End of a Comic

November 11, 2013 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

It’s part of a comic artist’s life that assignments come and go. Last year, I was asked by magazine Open Deur to make a comic for their back page. It was a bit of an experiment for them, for the run of one year. And now the year is over and they decided to discontinue the comic.

Open Deur is a Dutch magazine that’s given out for free in churches. It has a very liberal and open character (hence the name: Open Door) and every issue has a special theme – sometimes very biblical, at other times more general. The editors gave me free range, and I took the opportunity to make the comic into a bit of an experimental place for myself. In ten issues, I have drawn very different things. I drew a Sandbox Dialogue, a comic featuring God and also did some full page illustrations. But what kept coming up were the adventures of a nameless family: father, mother and son.

Here’s the mother and son in a story about the bible book of Esther:

And here’s one about Freedom, that did not get published in the end since the back page was needed for something else:

I liked how these characters “worked”.

Maybe they’ll pop up in a later comic, you never know. But for now, it’s the end for this particular comics run.

On to the next assignment!

Press & Praise for Science

November 4, 2013 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases, Reviews

Science: a Discovery in Comics has been out for two months now, and has received a few really good reviews:

 

Marc Mason in the Comics Waiting Room:

“Absolutely terrific.”

“Her art is simple and straight-forward, and she always chooses function over form: everything works to service the lessons she is trying to impart. When people ask me about how comics can serve a purpose in the classroom, this is precisely the kind of book I use to demonstrate that very thing.”

Win Wiacek on ComicsReview.co.uk:

“A truly sharp and witty book.”
“Clear, concise, appropriately challenging and informatively funny, Science – A Discovery in Comics is a wonder of unpretentious, exuberant graphic craft and a timeless book we can all enjoy.”

 —

Mark Squirek in the New York Journal of Books:

“Science: A Discovery in Comics is a book that will inspire both five year olds and their grandparents as they laugh along in discovery.”

Rob McMonigal on PanelPatter.com:

“I can’t recommend this one highly enough, both for younger readers and adults who enjoy overviews of expansive subjects.”

Martha Thomases on ComicMix.com:

“If you have a curious kid in your household, you could do worse than get her this book. Even if that kid is 60 years old.”

 —

There have also been three great interviews:

 

Needless to say, I’m over the moon with all these positive reviews and interviews!

Go buy my book! That many reporters can’t be wrong!

Stella’s Stuffed Toys

October 28, 2013 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

Sometimes I come across an old comic I made that makes me giggle. This one about Stella, which appeared in 2007 in magazine Flo’, still makes me laugh. I hope I captured something Calvin&Hobbes-y in there:

Win a signed copy of Science

October 18, 2013 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, New Releases

Are you on Goodreads? Then enter this giveaway for a chance to win one of three signed copies of Science: a Discovery in Comics.

Just click on this picture and it will take you there:

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