Our art director: 20 years of some pretty fine books

Yesterday evening we celebrated our art director’s 20 years with us! Martin Satryb came to us from Tower Records NYC and since then we’ve been working together as quite a good team. I think we can truly say we’ve put out some pretty fine books!

So we took him to his favorite: the famous classic steakhouse Delmonico’s. He died and went to heaven over a succulent 20 ouncer.

Thank you Martin for such loyal service over more than half of NBM’s history and now all of sister co. Papercutz’ history, from all of us!

Martin dinner 2015

In the picture from left you see Jim Salicrup, my co-founder at Papercutz and editor-in-chief, Michael Petranek, our former associate editor, now at Scholastic -he and Martin would throw stuff at each other- Jeff Whitman, my assistant at NBM and Papercutz production coordinator/marketing ass’t., Bethany Bryan, associate ed. at Papercutz, Sven Larsen, marketing VP, Papercutz, Tony Shenton, legendary comics store rep who started with us even longer ago than Martin, Martin, me and Marc Minoustchine (hey, the M in NBM) who’s joining our team.

Terry Nantier

Religion: a Discovery in Comics – Walking on Eggshells

When the idea came up to draw a graphic novel about religion, I figured it would be easy. After all, I’m a relative expert, with loads of study and personal experience on the subject. It seemed a matter of “just getting everything on paper”.

But when I started, I suddenly felt paralyzed. What would people say? Religion is not as neutral as Philosophy or Science – everyone seems to have a passionate opinion about it, good or bad. How was I going to make a book that would not offend, infuriate or upset people?

When I pondered this one night, just before falling asleep (when the best ideas come) I got the image of walking on eggshells – a wonderful visual that would work very well in a comic! It is fun to look at, and in this way I could address my own concerns as well of those of others.

eggshells

After drawing this, I felt free to find my own voice on the subject. I would draw all the general information on the five main world religions, and also weave in my own “spiritual path”. I sincerely belief that religion is very personal, and we can’t really say anything useful about it without specifying what it means to us personally.

personal

This approach proved to be the key for me – and I happily delved into drawing, less afraid of breaking an occasional egg here and there.

There are eggs breaking on the following subjects:

– treating religion as something “personal”

– treating judaism, christianity and islam as fellow religions, instead of enemies

– criticism on christianity

– the matter of depicting Muhammad in islam

– expressing my sympathies for hinduism

– depicting buddhism in a Western, popularized way

– (lack of) women in religion

Curious about what kind of omelette I made with all these broken eggs…? Find out in September, when the book comes out!

Religion: a Discovery in Comics – win a signed copy

RELIGION: A DISCOVERY IN COMICS is coming in September and you can be one of the first to own a signed copy! Just enter the Giveaway on Goodreads.com and keep your fingers crossed.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Religion by Margreet de Heer

Religion

by Margreet de Heer

Giveaway ends September 21, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

If you’re not signed up to Goodreads this might be a moment to consider it: it’s a great site where you can keep track of what you read, connect with other readers and discover new books.

Review Round-Up! STREET VIEW, DUNGEON, 101 OUTSTANDING GRAPHIC NOVELS & More!

STREET VIEW

Bleeding Cool has named Street View as their pick for the Eisner Award for Best Publication Design stating that, “This book, like a jellyfish, has no spine. And I think it’s such a unique book because of it! Two different stories sandwiched together by two hard covers, spread out like a painted accordion, definitely provides a different reading experience. While I can foresee complications if not handled properly, I think the design is superb, and Rabate knew what he was doing while presenting it as a “wordless play.””

101 OUTSTANDING GRAPHIC NOVELS

 

“An invaluable reference for creating personal graphic novel reading lists.”

Midwest Book Review

“The selections feel pretty representative of what you can find out there and there were quite a few I was not familiar with before.”

Sequential Tart

“Considering the staggering amount of collected comic art out there, this ongoing project deserves to be recognized.”

Blog Critics

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

 

Bleeding Cool has named Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. as their pick for the Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication stating that, “I first became aware of Benton’s comics through Reddit, where he would constantly be upvoted to the front page with his latest comics. From there I eagerly awaited every update, and kept myself amused by browsing his archives. To have a collection of his best works available in one collection is a huge victory for humanity, for he has a talent for illustrating some truly laugh out loud stuff that tickles everyone’s funny bones. The fact he doesn’t rely on one style of illustration keeps things fresh, and makes him a chameleon in comics.”

 

DUNGEON: TWILIGHT V. 4, THE END OF DUNGEON

“As with many of the Dungeon volumes, the two stories are illustrated by separate artists: Alfred and Mazan, neither of which was familiar to this reader. Their cartoony styles are close enough to not be distracting, though Mazan displays a slightly lighter hand. In a series like this, you need to be capable of drawing small comic character moments and fully-stuffed bloody battle sequences, and both artists are up to the task. Twisted heroic fantasy and funny animals – what’s not to like?”

Blog Critics

GHETTO BROTHER Review Round-Up: “A Comic Origin Story, One About a True Superhero”

 

Ghetto Brother is the true story of Benjy Melendez, son of Puerto-Rican immigrants, who founded, at the end of the 1960s, the notorious Ghetto Brothers gang. From the seemingly bombed-out ravages of his neighborhood, wracked by drugs, poverty, and violence, he managed to extract an incredibly positive energy from this riot ridden era: his multiracial gang promoted peace rather than violence. After initiating a gang truce, the Ghetto Brothers held weekly concerts on the streets or in abandoned buildings, which fostered the emergence of hip-hop. Melendez also began to reclaim his Jewish roots after learning about his family’s dramatic crypto-Jewish background.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

Ghetto Brother is a brisk, compact work highlighting an overlooked, yet pivotal, part of the history of both a genre and a city.”

Rolling Stone

 

“Absorbing—a true testament to the power of faith in goodwill.”

 

“A  gripping story that feels like a history lesson but a lot more than that.”

 

“A fascinating, largely unknown story that’s told in a compelling, unexpected way.”

 

“Matter-of-fact and informative.”

 

“Written by Julian Voloj and illustrated by Claudia Ahlering, Ghetto Brother resists tropes that are common in comics and biographical storytelling for a first person visually guided narrative that gives a personal account of seeing the world change in real time…The universe is cyclical but in hip hop, it starts with Benjy Melendez. Ghetto Brother is it’s comic origin story, one about a true superhero that continues to replay itself, from the inception point to infinity.”

 

 

“An unusual piece of literature in that a medium usually reserved for fantastical tales and superheroes is now being used as a vehicle for the telling of a true story.”

 

“This wonderful book shows us that Jews come in a wide variety of ethnicities.”

Story of Lee volume 2 almost ready.

We are putting the finishing touches to volume 2 of our series with NBM, THE STORY OF LEE, in which she continues her life by moving from Hong Kong to Scotland with boyfriend Matt. Of course with various ups and downs in the process. This is a realistic romance!

The Story of Lee is not an autobiographical book but it draws upon a lot of personal experiences of mine, such as attending Edinburgh University, and places from my childhood.

Out Nov from the lovely NBM!

LEE

MATT

Also, to celebrate the launch of another book of mine today, July 7th, I wrote this outline of the basic steps of writing a comic, since most people have no idea of even these basic aspects.

Notice that this focuses on just the writing aspect of comics. Which is, of course, in no way to suggest that the art aspect is of lesser importance! And, indeed, with some clever people who can do both the words and the art the process maybe be very different from what I outline here:

https://www.northatlanticbooks.com/…/how-to-write-a-manga-…/

Also Available in September: More from de Heer and get your WAR FIX!

NBM’s September selections in this month’s Diamond Previews continue in the tradition of publishing quality educational graphic novels with gripping (and real) subject matter. Also being solicited are other examples of our educational side and our true war stories depicting the perils of war.

Margreet de Heer’s RELIGION: A DISCOVERY IN COMICS is not her first graphic novel with us! We have previously released two others in her “Discovery in Comics” series to great acclaim. These two titles are available now from to order from your local comic shop or bookstore. We have had lots of feedback from parents, educators, and students alike who have used the books as a great tool to introduce difficult concepts. The approachable access to the text makes this series very readable for high schoolers and struggling students.

SCIENCE- A Discovery in Comics

SCIENCE- A Discovery in Comics
Margreet de Heer

Science: dull or hard to understand? Not if you read this book! The creators of ‘Philosophy – a Discovery in Comics’ take on a new challenge, and explain the different scientific disciplines in clear, colorful chapters.
Who exclaimed “Eureka” and why?
Why did Galileo get into a fight with the Church?
What happens when you have your DNA tested?
All these questions and more are answered in a chronological journey from ancient times to modern Quantum Theory, with creators Margreet and Yiri as your witty guides.
A great comic book for anyone who wants to learn in a fun way the bigger framework of science, or brush up on what they learned in school.

8×8, 192pp., full color hardcover, $19.99,

ISBN 9781561637508

Diamond Order Code: MAY131196

Philosophy- A Discovery in Comics

PHILOSOPHY- A Discovery in Comics
Margreet de Heer

A fun introduction in comics to deep thinking and the history of Philosophy!
What is Thinking? And how does our thinking set us apart from other animals?
Now that we’re thinking, what is Reality? Is there an objective reality or are there numerous subjective realities? And do we move in it with a free will or is everything predestined?
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Erasmus, Descartes, Spinoza, Nietzsche: just a few philosophers who have pondered these questions.
Comic artist Margreet de Heer and her husband Yiri travel through the history of Western Philosophy and draw a colorful picture of all these questions.

8×8, 120pp., full color hardcover, $16.99,

ISBN 9781561636983

Diamond Order Code: MAY121212

For more information, preview pages, or to place your order, visit our website!

As a companion for September’s WALKING WOUNDED, David Axe, a journalist who covered the War in Iraq, presented his story in WAR FIX, illustrated by Steve Olexa. The dark story is presented in black and white–but it is sometimes consumed by the darkness, much like the protagonist himself. Upon release, the book made lots of waves, winding up in the 2008 Best American Comics compilation! Click here for preview pages and ordering information!

WAR FIX
Steve OLEXA & David AXE
War can be addictive. So testifies journalist David Axe who’s been there, in the middle of the action in Iraq. The high is potent no matter how much you know how dangerous it is… Here’s Axe’s journal of dealing with his addiction, the high, the sheer excitement of being in there, in the battle, the cost to his life, never mind the threat. A new form of visceral self-analyzing comics journalism starts with this book… An allegory for the US? A graphic novel sure to fascinate with a talented artist to watch for!

6×9, 96pp., B&W, jacketed hardcover, $15.95,
ISBN 9781561634637

Diamond Order Code: FEB063184

Order now from our website or from your favorite comic store!

LOUISE BROOKS: DETECTIVE Review Round-Up: “An Oddball and Delightful Book.”

Taking a break from his Treasury of Murder series, Rick Geary’s latest, Louise Brooks: Detective chronicles a fictional adventure of the actress returning to her home town of Wichita, where she becomes intrigued by a murder involving a friend, a famous reclusive writer and a shady beau. Not before she gets herself in great danger will she emerge with the solution the police fail to grasp!

Here’s what the critics are saying:

“A delightful bit of whimsy, a vividly created world in which a master at depicting history in comics creates an alternate history all his own.”

Comics Bulletin

“As slim a volume as it is, and as fast as it moves, it’s remarkably full, with few if any pages or panels wasted, much of them devoted to either telling bits of Brooks’ biography or parts of the murder case, even if many of them don’t seem relevant at the time. In an impressive feat, Geary is able to tie up everything by the final page, drawing together seemingly disconnected elements in ways that are surprising but immensely satisfying. ”

Comic Book Resources

“A more mature Nancy Drew story, but with the heroine a bit more cynical.”

Sequential Tart

“Highly recommended, especially for fans of the detective genre!”

Midwest Book Review

“While this intriguing and gripping story is the perfect read to start the Summer as the murder takes place in a placid June in Burden, it’s also a must for all the Louise Brooks (and crime) fans out there.”

Irenebrination

“Geary’s visual treatment of his protagonist is done lovingly while his handling of the good people of Kansas, innocents and suspects alike, frequently shows his caricaturist’s eye. In lesser hands, the latter approach might have undercut this old-fashioned melodrama, though Geary is too assured a storyteller to bobble his material.”

Blog Critics

National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month; Walking Wounded

Did you know that June is National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month? About 5.2 million Americans have PTSD during the course of a given year, and about 30% of men and women who have spent time in war zones experience PTSD. I began working on “Walking Wounded” many years ago, in 2007, when this subject matter was far from being well reported. Things have changed a little bit since then but there is still a very long way to go, especially when it comes to military personnel, male and female If you are currently experiencing a crisis please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1.800.273.8255, and press 1.