Ain’t It Cool News and more on The Broadcast

“The tension grows to a peak when a storm knocks out the power right in the middle of the radio broadcast. Paranoia and bedlam follow, but as Sartre said, “hell is other people,” not Martians.
The characters are well developed. You get a feeling of their pasts, without the use of too many flashbacks. There is plenty of mystery and suspense involved, which is slowly unraveled with remarkable pacing.
For some radio stations, it is a Halloween tradition to re-play Orson Welles’ WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast. If a station near you doesn’t play it, try picking up this comic. It’s just as good.”

Ain’t It Cool News reviewing The Broadcast.

“Hobbs plays the high-concept straight and dramatic, and Noel Tuazon’s striking, slightly sketchy black-and-white artwork gives the endeavor a classy, literate look. It’s an elegant exploration of the idea that in every war—even those that aren’t real—the most powerful stories are the ones about how the big, historical, abstract events affect people.”

Says Las Vegas Weekly giving it: **** (4 stars)

LINK: Win a Signed Copy of THE BROADCAST

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.

more reviews of the week:

As usual, the writing is well-tooled and funny, with just the right touch of absurdity. The guest artists have a deft hand, though they don’t stray far from the usual Dungeon style. A good continuation of a worthwhile series.” 
Booklist on the latest Dungeon, Monstres vol.3

And here’s Newsarama on The Broadcast:

A taut thriller of betrayal and fear. Eric Hobbs does a fine job crafting a scenario ripe for paranoia and backstabbing.  Playing the characters off one another in various ways, he explores the bonds that tie them together and the fears that wedge them apart effectively.a slightly flawed, but promising step in the development of its creators, both of whom should merit watching in the future. “

My Interview With Graphic Novel Reporter

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.

Two views on The Broadcast

“Hobbs’ brilliant, character-driven script weaves a tight psychological thriller that at once feels both intimate and epic. Although, on the surface, Tuazon’s raw, cartoony style may seem like a mismatch for Hobbs’ tight, sophisticated script, the contrast in artistic sensibilities only underscores the intense emotions lurking beneath the plot’s surface. Tuazon’s use of ink washes and inspired panel construction lends an air of atmospheric claustrophobia that truly helps the book achieve its distinct feeling of epic intimacy. Having experienced his art, it’s hard to imagine a “cleaner” artist achieving Tuazon’s depth of atmosphere and expressiveness within the confines of Hobbs’ plot.

A deceptively simple, exquisitely crafted OGN, The Broadcast is a tightly scripted, beautifully rendered self-contained tale, that doesn’t require prior knowledge of the characters and setting to be carried away by the story. Hobbs and Tuazon have realized in their efforts a shining example that sometimes less is more – even when there’s more lurking beneath the surface of the story than meets the eye.”

Broken Frontier

Not everyone agrees on Tuazon’s art, alas Booklist says:

“Writer Hobbs has a sure hand with characterization and adroitly sustains the suspense. Unfortunately, his story is not well served by Tuazon’s artwork. While his layouts propel the narrative effectively, the actual illustrations more resemble sketches than finished drawings and the lack of clarity often makes it difficult to distinguish between characters or follow the action, which diminishes the impact of what is otherwise a taut, socially conscious parable.”

One might get that first impression, but in fact, as Broken Frontier so expressively expains, Tuazon’s art, which may need some getting used to, fits, in that its very sketchiness adds to the confusion and immediacy, a little like a hand held camera on a running camera-man makes the experience all the more unsettling…

We agree to disagree, Booklist!

Good Signings

Some book signings are good because customers are lined up out the door and the store owner sells enough copies to pay the rent for the month. Others are good because interesting people show up and have time to talk. More salon than signing, they’re good reminders of why we do the work.

We signed copies of Networked at Leef Smith’s Mission Comics and Art in San Francisco a few days ago. We weren’t expecting a big crowd, not on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon with the Giants in the playoffs, not the day after the Mission District had spent itself on the literary bacchanal of LitCrawl. But the people who came carved out the time to sit around and talk: people connected to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, a student of Mark’s at the Academy of Art, the publisher of an arts magazine who grew up on Gerry’s comics for DC and Malibu, a young comics artist showing his sketchbook, a video game designer, and a local writer and journalist named Sona Avakian who may or may not write about us for the SF Examiner.

Leef’s store is an airy and nicely lit space, an art gallery as well as a comics shop, one of the nicest places to sit around and talk in the Mission District as an Indian summer afternoon turned to evening. We talked about art and superheroes and social networks and privacy laws and old comic book artists and generational changes and Guatemala and Chad and digital drawings and nonprofits versus for-profits and Cleveland sports and elections and video games. Leef sold a few copies of Networked and gave away some free comics. Mark did a pen and ink drawing of Batman. Gerry signed some old copies of Guy Gardner. Then some of us went for Indian food and learned that the Giants had come from behind in the ninth inning to win game three.

And that, as much as sales figures and lines out the door, is reason enough to write and draw.

We’ll be doing another signing on Saturday the 16th, at Dr. Comics and Mr. Games in Oakland. No idea who’ll show up or what we’ll talk about, but we’re looking forward.

More opinions on Geary’s Axe-Man, The Broadcast, Networked

Tony Isabella loooves Geary’s latest The Axe-Man of New Orleans:

“He takes his readers back to that time, draws us into the fearful moments of the spree, and leaves us more than a little unsettled afterwards. THE FULL FIVE TONYS!”

in the Comics Buyers Guide. And here’s Sequential Tart piping in on it:

“To die for! If you’re a comics reader and a fan of the true crime genre, this book belongs on your shelf. Prepare to be horrified and amused when you add this graphic novel to your treasury of murder.”

“Well done!”

Says Comic Book Resources of The Broadcast. Sequential tart on this same book:

“Very compelling. Grade 7 out of 10.”

“If you’re a fan of techno-thrillers, you’ll enjoy this read. It’s refreshing to see a fast-paced adventure with some real ideas behind it.”

Comics Worth Reading about Networked.

Back from Frankfurt with some new exciting news

Got back yesterday. In this direction, the jetlag is a lot better to deal with, you just stay up longer the day you return. Hey, even managed to go see The Social Network with my daughter Sylvia in town on mid-semester break. An ironic movie: an anti-social person made the world’s most popular social network.
Anyway, Frankfurt was fun and productive, with fewer appointments than last year but still: I can tell you we’ve got a new David B lined up where we’re going to take a quite different approach to how we present it than what we’ve been doing. Also the next Louvre book will look quite different! Basically, we’re seeing we don’t need to be married to the 6×9 format as much as we were so we’re going to open things up!
Also, we’re seeing a need for our books to reflect what we publish: beautiful quality comics you want to have physically and keep proudly in your library. For those who’d rather not spend so much, we’ll be multiplying our efforts on the E-book side.
In the other direction, The Broadcast and Networked got a good reception from foreign pubs so some sales look likely.
And as for Papercutz: the big news is we just signed for GARFIELD! New comics based on the new show on Cartoon Network.

Mark Badger & Gerard Jones signings

We’ll be doing two signings for Networked: Carabella on the Run. The first, Sunday Oct. 10 from 5:00-8:00 PM, is at Mission Comics and Art in San Francisco. Mission is a relatively new entry in the retail community, a combination comics shop and art gallery right off Valencia Street, the main hipster artery of Northern California, and it’s already becoming well known for its music gigs, art openings and literary readings. Check them out here: http://www.missioncomicsandart.com/

Six days later, from 2:00-5:00 PM on Saturday Oct. 16, we’ll be across the bay at Dr. Comics and Mr. Games in Oakland. In some ways Dr. Comics is the opposite of Mission, a venerable citizen of the quiet, classy Piedmont neighborhood that sells not comics and cutting-edge art but comics and board games. But it’s legendary for its comprehensive selection and that great rarity in comics shops, a pleasant and helpful staff. You can read people raving about them on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/dr-comics-and-mr-games-oakland

We’re looking forward to doing both—and hope to see you at one or the other!