Review Round-Up: ALL STAR, DOG BUTTS AND LOVE, ZOMBILLENIUM, “genuinely original and very entertaining”

November 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Reviews

Here’s what critics have been saying about our releases:

All Star by Jesse Lonergan

Nominated for the 2015 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

“I really enjoy the clean and simple lines of All Star’s art. Lonergan doesn’t spend time showing off how great he is by taking attention away from the story. Every line, every shadow, and every face servers a purpose and that purpose is to tell a story. And, the story is a thing of beauty.”

The Outhousers

Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. Cartoons by Jim Benton

“The pieces in question range from single-panel gags to short sequential pieces, but the thing they share in common is the level of intelligence and cleverness on display. He is consistently darkly funny, often touching a chord with a tough truth at the heart of the cartoon…It’s a damn-near perfect encapsulation of the entitlement generation. The whole book is worth your time.”

Comics Waiting Room

“The humor is a mix of subtle and in your face, is frequently laugh out loud funny and often surprising.”

Pop Culture Guy

“It was marvelously entertaining, because Benton is obviously insane, or insanely creative…genuinely original and very entertaining, which was a welcome surprise.”

–  San Angelo Standard-Times

Zombillenium, vol.2 Human Resources by Arthur De Pins

“Fiendishly delightful, twisted, surprising, and even a little tragic.”

Midwest Book Review

“I love this series! A comedy paranormal spoof with a serious plot makes it total fun!”

It’s All Comic To Me 

Review Round-Up: FAMILY TIES – AN ALASKAN CRIME DRAMA, a “lovingly-crafted update”

November 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Reviews

Hoping to secure a future for his children, an aging Alaskan crime boss looks to retire and divide his empire amongst his three heirs. But when his idealistic son refuses the inheritance, the old man disowns him. This turns out to be a fatal mistake when he sees his cold-blooded daughters use their new-found power and influence against him. Inspired by the classic play King Lear, Family Ties is The Godfather mashed up with  Shakespearean tragedy in this epic tale of betrayal and loss.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

“This lovingly-crafted update of a Shakespeare classic is worth the read.”

Graphic Novel Reporter

“The real star of this production is Tuazon, whose fragile linework competes bold swaths of inky grays to create just the right atmosphere for this murky tale of hubris and denial.”

guttergeek

“What we have in Family Ties is a story that leaves you feeling raw and uncomfortable, wondering if perhaps your own relationships are similarly problematic or unresolved…We may not have grown up in a malfunctioning crime family, but we have all had our shares of brokenness.”

Comics Alternative

“A very solid read…worth checking out.”

Things I Like

Family Ties is mostly a visual feast (or at least a good meal) though doesn’t quite sound as rich. But then nothing sounds as rich as Shakespeare.”

– Comics Bulletin

“Murder, betrayal, and revenge abound in this dark and violent parable, highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of Shakespearean drama and gritty crime stories alike.”

Midwest Book Review

Review Round-Up: THE LOUVRE COLLECTIONS, “beautiful work” and “gorgeous”

November 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Reviews

NBM’s ComicsLit imprint has been publishing the remarkable series of graphic novels commissioned by the Louvre calling upon different prominent artists to make up a story around the fabled museum. 

Here are some recent reviews:

Glacial Period by Nicolas De Crecy

 

“The author seems to be asking: what is art? Is there some art that is universally accepted and some culturally defined? Does art have any intrinsic value? There is some farce inside, the book does not take itself too seriously.”

San Francisco Book Review / Another Universe

“The book…fits together with the dreamlike logic and sense of the absurd de Crecy brings to everything he does. It’s preposterous, but feels right somehow.”

–  San Angelo Standard-Times

“While off to a slow start, this book ends on a fascinating, if absurd, note. The art has a nice amount of detail, combined with soft lines and colors.”

Sequential Tart

“Of the Louvre books NBM has published… this seemed to me to be the best, working perfectly well as a story in its own right while also being about the museum and the works it contains.”

Robot 6

 

Phantoms of The Louvre by Enki Bilal 

“Look, I could spend a lot of breath telling you how amazing this stuff is, but honestly: why? It’s Enki-friggin’-Bilal drawing and writing about the greatest museum on Earth! What the hell else do you want from comics? Unless your taste resides solely in your mouth, you need this like you need oxygen.”

Comics Waiting Room

“This would be a must for folks who are already fans of Enki Bilal, and…art lovers (will) appreciate some extra depth and meaning to works of art in an unusual way.”

Sequential Tart

“Now, some purists will resent a modern artist like Bilal using classic works as, essentially, his canvas. To which I say: Phooey. Bilal is doing what artists have always done, which is to stand on the shoulders of giants to push forward into the new and unknown. And when it results in beautiful work like this, I can’t entertain the argument.”

–  San Angelo Standard-Times

“It is gorgeous — in design, in recording select pieces of the Louvre’s collection, in Bilal’s super-imposition of ghosts upon them — and a supremely interesting springboard to watch a creator with Bilal’s imagination and abilities dive off of repeatedly.”

Robot 6

“Bilal’s art proves suitably unsettling: this is not a “touristy” consideration of fine art masterworks, but the work of a politically engaged artist. Each painting catches the feel of the original work while adding its own ironic spin, resulting in the most unique and thought-provoking “Louvre Edition” to date.”

Seattle Post Intelligencer

 

The Sky Over the Louvre by  Bernar Yslaire & Jean-Claude Carreire

“This is a strange tale that becomes stranger and stranger… This book is a wonderful resource for better appreciating the forces at play just as the Louvre was getting under way.”

Comics Grinder

Review Round-Up: Patrick Atangan’s INVINCIBLE DAYS, “a powerful read”

November 11, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

From Patrick Atangan, the author of the Yellow Jar and Silk Tapestry comes Invincible Days, a collection of short stories forms a singular narrative that reveals the tiny moments when you realize you are at the precious end-days of youth.  Atangan creates an intricate mosaic from his own childhood memories as well as those gathered from friends and family. Bittersweet, joyful and reflective, these are the type of marking moments that best define us as adults.

Be sure to check out his interview with Broken Frontier and here’s what the critics are saying:

 

“An elegant and unexpectedly somber work that successfully transforms deeply personal moments into a meaningful exploration of the universal feelings of coming-of-age.”

Booklist

“The art in this book is absolutely awesome…Invincible Days is amazing!”

Sequential Tart

“Atangan’s unflinching gaze and attention to emotional detail afford him an acute sensitivity to the highs and lows of life…Invincible Days is a testament to the refinement of Atangan’s skills as an artist and his fearlessness as a storyteller.”

Broken Frontier

“While many of the stories here are familiar, the unusual presentation forces readers to take a step back from their universality”

Publisher’s Weekly

Invincible Days” is a powerful read and readers should spontaneously experience their emotions as they read without any spoilers.

Comics Alternative

“Nostalgic to anyone who remembers the complexities of being a child.”

It’s All Comic To Me

Review Round-up: Hubert & Kerascoet’s BEAUTY, “A spectacle of comics achievement”

November 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Reviews

 

From Hubert & Kerascoet, the team behind Miss Don’t Touch Me, comes Beauty, an engrossing tale for grown-ups on the nature of beauty, both fascinating and corrupting.

When Coddie unintentionally delivers a fairy from a spell that held her prisoner, she does not realize how poisoned the wish is she gets in return. From repulsive and stinking of fish she becomes perceived as magnetically beautiful, which does not help her in her village. A young local lord saves her but soon it becomes apparent her destiny may be far greater…

Here’s what people are saying…

“Beautifully illustrated with Kerascoët’s magical, dreamy, richly coloured art, Beauty is set to be one of 2014’s comic highlights.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“Kerascoet’s work on this book is a spectacle of comics achievement I’m betting I will not see again for a long time.”

Coverless Reviews

“Kerascoët and writer/colorist Hubert deliver an epic, if cynical, graphic novel meditating on the pettiness of human (and fairy) nature, and how lust and jealousy make the world go round.”

Robot 6

And a review for their previous book, Miss Don’t Touch Me.

“Set in the Paris of the 1930s, alternating between the glitzy and the very gritty, this dark and disturbing tale is both a fantastic noir and a tense exploration of various societal themes like class, inequality, political corruption, and most of all the staggering depravity of the elite. Inspired by racy classics like The Story of O, but somehow much more readable, this smart coming-of-age shocker is irresistible.”

– Publisher’s Weekly http://www.publishersweekly.com/images/star3.gif STARRED REVIEW

Shakespeare Gets Mobbed Up In FAMILY TIES

August 22, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, Reviews

If there’s any doubt to the continuing influence and power of Shakespeare’s work, the Alaskan crime story would do little to sway that argument.  In Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon’s Family Ties, King Lear is reimagined against the backdrop of a crime family dealing with the patriarch’s onset dementia.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

“A superb graphic novel that should appeal to students of Elizabethan drama and of grandiosely brutal gangster stories.”

Seattle P-I

“The real star of this production is Tuazon, whose fragile linework competes bold swaths of inky grays to create just the right atmosphere for this murky tale of hubris and denial.”

Guttergeek

 

“A  very solid read, and worth checking out.”

Things I Like

 

“And in great tragic fashion, there is no neat and satisfying conclusion to this story. The narrative threads are roughly cut, similar to Tuazon’s renderings, and we’re left with a drama without any “real” ending. The ambiguity, though, is all part of the narrative’s unsettling tone and feeds into its dark realism. What we have in Family Ties is a story that leaves you feeling raw and uncomfortable, wondering if perhaps your own relationships are similarly problematic or unresolved.”

Comics Alternative

 

“Highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of Shakespearean drama and gritty crime stories alike.”

Midwest Book Review

 

The best part about Family Ties, and the reason I’d recommend it, is the art, by Noel Tuazon, all black and white. And gray. Lots of gray. His figures and objects are mostly minimalist sketches, and the “coloring” is various shades of gray watercolor, which I, in my non-art history background, associate with traditional Chinese and Japanese nature paintings. Meaning that the story is just automatically moody and exotic-looking.

Comics Bulletin

“A great concept — a version of King Lear set among a crime family in Alaska, with the aging boss father facing dementia and two ambitious daughters.”

Comics Worth Reading

DOG BUTTS AND LOVE. AND STUFF LIKE THAT. AND CATS. AND REVIEWS.

August 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Reviews

Cartoonist Jim Benton (best known for It’s Happy Bunny) released his first collection of web cartoons, Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. through NBM.  And based on the reactions from some of the critics out there, you’re missing out if you don’t check it out.

 

“Each page of his Dog Butts … features a different comic, some simple one-panel cartoons, some multi-panel gag strips. The art styles employed are so incredibly different that many of them look like they’re the works of different cartoonists, with Benton affecting different design styles, different lines, different color schemes, different lettering and even different types of jokes throughout.

There are a few that aren’t even jokes, but look like greeting cards, and read as heartwarming, if saccharine, affirmative statements. Some are dark and twisted the way some of the most memorable Perry Bible Fellowship cartoons were. Sometimes he works blue. Sometimes he presents work tame enough that it could appear on a newspaper comics page. Other times he presents perfect, wordless one-panel gags that look like better-drawn installments of Gary Larson’s Far Side.

Everything about the book is all over the map except, perhaps, for its level of quality.”

Robot 6

“The pieces in question range from single-panel gags to short sequential pieces, but the thing they share in common is the level of intelligence and cleverness on display. He is consistently darkly funny, often touching a chord with a tough truth at the heart of the cartoon…The whole book is worth your time.”

Comics Waiting Room

“From the sketchy to the hyper detailed to the super cartoony, Benton is a master at his craft…It’s silly and ridiculous and entirely enjoyable!

Coverless

“I found myself mentally comparing it to the great gag cartoonist books of my youth…As a jokester, Benton is as capable of coming up with a silly boob joke as he is a darkly comic riff on existential angst.”

Seattle P-I

 

Rick Geary’s MADISON SQUARE TRAGEDY Has Critics Smiling

August 18, 2014 by  
Filed under NBM Blog, Reviews

Nominated as a 2014 Great Graphic Novel for Teens from The Young Adult Library Services Association of the ALA

“I really enjoy Rick Geary’s non-fiction comics about true crimes. His 2013 effort is the story of how architect Stanford White was shot in the face. Geary illustrates his books with maps, house cutaways, evidence shots, and explores every lead…even if such leads prove to be false, Geary explains their reason for not being possible/credible. Geary’s books are a great gateway for non-comic readers who think comics are all capes & cowl *BAM* *POW* to see that there truly are other genres of stories waiting out them in the pages of comics.”

– David Petersen (Mouseguard) naming Madison Square Tragedy to his Best of the Year list.

“Geary’s tale is a ripe one, and his evocation of an era where Victorian mores clashed with more modern ideas is wittily crafted..As is par for this series, Geary’s black-and-white art relishes period detail as it maintains a largely detached view on the people involved… As in other volumes in this magnificent graphic series, Geary’s interest is as much in the reactions to the horrendous crimes depicted as in the criminal acts themselves. In so doing, he tells us much about the Good Olde Days that it’d be best not to forget.”

Blog Critics

“Usual brilliant Geary art par excellance, needs no further description.  I’d read a phone book illustrated by the man!  My only complaint?  The long wait till Geary’s next book!”

It’s All Comic To Me

 

 

 

JIM BENTON at SDCC!

July 25, 2014 by  
Filed under Author Appearances, NBM Blog

Jim signs a copy of Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. at Booth 1714 for a fan.

RICK GEARY At SDCC!

July 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Author Appearances

Rick shows off a copy of Lovers’ Lane: The Hall-Mills Mystery at Booth 1714.

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