Converted

We convinced a sceptic critic on comics. The kind of review we LOVE to see, this one on the Sky Over the Louvre. First, setting the background on this book of Robespierre commissioning David to create a new Supreme Being:

“If you want the full account, you need to read a comic book.
 
Excuse me: a graphic novel.
 
Another surprise: This one has A-list credentials. 
 
The sponsor is the Louvre. The artist is the esteemed French cartoonist Bernar Yslaire. The writer is Jean-Claude Carrière, the favorite collaborator of Luis Buñuel; he wrote the screenplays for “Belle de Jour,” “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” and “That Obscure Object of Desire,” among others.
 
But still…a graphic novel?
 
If you’re Old School like me, you haven’t jumped into this craze. At best, you think it’s a good idea for wired kids who grew up on comics and don’t have the attention span for real books. But for adults, a reasonable response to graphic novels would be: well….why?

“The Sky Over The Louvre” provokes a different response. Interest, for one. Understanding — even mastery — of a fascinating historical/art episode, for another. A powerful and enjoyable esthetic experience, for a third. And then, just to be shallow, there’s the cool factor — on a coffee table, this book makes you look good.
Was I self-conscious reading this book? Not once.
 
Did I get a better sense of David and Robespierre? Yes, and quickly.
 
Was I grateful for the art history lesson? Yes, and also for the way the paintings in this book are accurately copied and for two pages of artistic references.
More smart, beautiful hardcover comic books for grownups, please.”

Jesse Kornbluth, Head Butler. and picked up by the Huffington Post.

YES!YES! This is what we live for here! Another convert to our art form!

Makes my day. Keeps me going as I have for *gasp* 35 years.

Miami Herald and Publishers Weekly reviews

“Kerascoet depicts action and emotion beautifully and elegantly, with great feeling and boundless humor.”

Richard Pachter, The Miami Herald on Miss Don’t Touch Me 2.

“It’s an old setup done effectively and believably. If anything, the story feels too true to life as Hong Kong, Korea, China, and Japan all have no shortage of aimless 20-something foreign men, many of them making ends meet teaching English and enjoying the occasional tryst with a local girl. Wilson and Kutsuwada’s story tells such a tale from the girl’s perspective, faithfully reproducing real Hong Kong locales and name dropping a variety of cool bands along the way. The artwork, particularly the characters, is crisp and expressive, and the story faithfully reproduces a believable slice of life, despite the neat wrapup at the end, even if the story doesn’t dig that deeply.”

Publishers Weekly on The Story of Lee.

“An appealing cross-cultural love story.”

 
 
Story of Lee handles its appealing cross-cultural love story with a deft sweetness.”
Says Bill Sherman of Blogcritics, also on Seattle Post Intelligencer
Salvatore gets a “Highly recommended!” from Sequential Tart with a grade of 8/10.
And yet another review for The Broadcast from Rob Clough over at The Comics Journal. Interestingly, he went in the opposite direction of most. While he was not entirely bowled over by Eric Hobbs’ characterizations, he enthuses over artist Tuazon’s rendition:

“Tuazon’s scribbly, scratchy line is the book’s secret weapon.  He transforms what is otherwise a conventional narrative into a story viewed through a driving rainstorm or distorted sheet of glass.  Everyone is a little fuzzy and instinct, even as he has an uncanny way of providing just enough identifiers for the reader to quickly decode each scene and immediately understand what’s happening and who’s acting.  I’m usually not a huge fan of greyscaling, but Tuazon finds an ideal balance between light and dark.  Tuazon captures both the naturalism of the setting and its characters as well as the expressionistic nature of the human conflict.  In the hands of a lesser artist, The Broadcast might have been trite and too on-the-nose.  Thanks to Tuazon, it has a raw and visceral energy that raises the stakes for the reader.”

“Outrageous plot twists and offbeat characters”: Library Journal on Miss Don’t Touch Me; press roundup

“The plot fairly gallops in this naughty adult soap opera; snappy dialog keeps up the pace. Richly detailed full-color art offers both humor and pathos, creating engaging characters and a strong sense of place. [Those] who like outrageous plot twists and offbeat characters should enjoy this romp.”

The Library Journal on Miss Don’t Touch Me 2.

Salvatore by De Crecy elicits a fun Siskel & Ebert like exchange between two critics over at Manga Critic (just excerpting here):

“I think my strongest impression of Salvatore is that it makes me a little anxious, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most of Joann Sfar’s work – Klezmer, The Rabbi’s Cat, Vampire Loves – and Taiyo Matsumoto’s comics – TekkonKinkreet and Gogo Monster – also have that effect. I suspect the anxiety partly comes from how visually dense de Crécy’s comics tend to be, sort of dragging your eye in a bunch of different directions at once, and how morally vague his characters and their situations are.

Almost every adjective I could come up with to describe the lines sounds very unflattering (e.g. “spidery,” “shaky”), but I actually find de Crécy’s work quite beautiful in its idiosyncracies.

I’m on the fence about Salvatore, in part because I find it a little over-scripted; de Crécy has a very strong urge to narrate, even though he’s a terrific visual storyteller. The scene in which the sow catapults down the snowy mountain, lands on top of a plane, then sails back down to Earth is just the sort of wordless (or largely wordless) sequence that I wish de Crécy did more of; it’s a gorgeous bit of visual choreography that nicely underscores what a space cadet Amandine really is.”

Manga Worth Reading, a part of Comics Worth Reading, has an exclusive preview of The Story of Lee. And Jazma Online has this interview of Sean, the writer.

“Delightfully audacious and risque”

“If you like fictional worlds you can really get lost in, you owe it to yourself to check out Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim’s Dungeon.”

Says Playback:stl on the occasion of Dungeon Monstres #3

Miss Don’t Touch Me gets a few raves:

“The art, much like in the first volume, is wonderful – a bit more refined and tighter, but still retaining a charming cartoony look to it. Kerascoët moves easily from the artful and artificial world of the Pompadour to the squalor of the streets to the hothouse environment of the upper crust, and the details are tremendous.”

Comic Book Resources in a review that is particularly insightful and well thought out. Definitely go read this one!

“Delightfully audacious and risqué sequel. A compelling saga full of secrets, this engagingly sophisticated confection from writer/colorist Hubert, illustrated with irrepressible panache by Kerascoet (artistic collaborators Marie Pommepuy and Sébastien Cosset) will further delight the wide variety of grown-up readers who made the first book such a popular and critical success.”

Now Read This!

Meanwhile on Salvatore by De Crecy:

“Thematically brilliant and visually stunning, De Crécy elevates the genre of funny animal comics far past general public perception. Self-deprecating, razor-sharp, and at times truly laugh-out-loud funny, Salvatore: Transports of Love is one of my favorite books offered by NBM in the last few months.

The funny thing about it is that if De Crécy chose to cast humans in the main roles, Salvatore wouldn’t work nearly so well. The story of a love-besotted, fondue-slurping hermit-mechanic, who builds the ultimate mode of transportation to drive, sail, and soar across the world to his beloved wouldn’t resonate the same way if the protagonist was Ben Stiller or Seth Rogen. The plot’s just too ludicrous. What better way to make the medicine go down than by couching it in an innocuous world of grotesquely cute talking animals?”

The Broken Frontier

Yowza, it’s raves like these that remind us what we toil for!

Story of Lee: Young Women Should Eat this One Up.

On Elephant Man by Greg Houston, while Robot 6 on CBR thought it “a bit too self-aware and a bit too in love with how “zany” it is,” Chris Mautner also went on to say: “Still, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh several times and the plot is a lot tighter than [Vatican] Hustle‘s. For those who don’t get easily offended and don’t mind yet another collection of smart-ass jokes about superheroes, Elephant Man will suit you fine.”

The Story of Lee is a pretty strong outing. I am not sure about the crossover appeal, but young women should eat this one up.”

So says cxPulp. And there’s a great article on Sean, the writer of this, in Multiverse #1.

On Miss Don’t Touch Me Vol.2:
“There’s no real reason why a comic soap opera about a virgin dominatrix should be this good, but Hubert’s clever scripts and Kerascoet’s absolutely gorgeous artwork elevate the basic elements in very unexpected ways — a real treasure!”

Worcester Magazine who also reviews Salvatore 1, calling it “An alluring mix of subtle whimsy and over-the-top shenanigans.”

A great article on Sean Michael Wilson and more…

Find out about Sean Michael Wilson, the author of our Story of Lee and editor of Ax:Alternative Manga, and Scotsman writing manga in Japan, in a great article in the paper The Scotsman.

“It’s always awesome to see Dungeon come out. Dungeon Monstres Vol. 3: Heartbreaker is one of the better duo piece graphic novels I have read in a long time. Great quality stuff and a good . Definitely entertaining. 8 out 10″

Sequential Tart

“The best kind of grown-up fable. You will believe a pig can fly. . .”
Bill Sherman, Blogcritics On Salvatore 

USA Today on Salvatore: “I LOVE THIS BOOK!”

“Late last night I started a new graphic novel. To my surprise, I couldn’t fall asleep until I found out whether the short talking pig [sic, actually a dog] was able to build his giant love-mobile and the shady goth cat had a change of heart.

A near-perfect book.

I was delighted by the art, which has been compared to Bill Plympton but reminded me of another French export: 2003’s Oscar-nominated The Triplets of Belleville.

I can think of nothing better than another late night filled with pigs in overalls and bulls wearing AC/DC T-shirts. As soon as I can pre-order Vol. 2, I’m on it.”

Whitney Matheson, USA Today ‘Pop Candy’ on our brand new Salvatore.

And on this same book the Cleveland Plain Dealer chimes in calling it ‘delightful.’

reactions to Story of Lee, Salvatore and The Broadcast

For Salvatore:

“This fun, heartfelt and blithe book is a joy to read and one of the best and most imaginative books NBM has published in recent years.”

Comics Waiting Room

“it’s a solidly entertaining, quiet story of possible love and family entanglements.”

Says Antick Musings of our brand new Story of Lee by Sean Michael Wison and Chie Kutsuwada. In stores now.

“A gripping and original story” says School Library Journal of The Broadcast, although it was less sanguine about the art which some get and some …don’t.