Tribute to Benjy Melendez

If you read “Ghetto Brother” you know that after the gang truce came the music. The Ghetto Brothers were one of the first gangs to invite others to their turf to peacefully party together.

A year after the Hoe Avenue Peace Meeting, also thanks to the media attention the GBs were getting back then, Benjy and his brothers recorded an album, “Fuerza/Power” — listen to the sampler here.

This Saturday, Benjy will be honored in the Bronx — and the Ghetto Brothers will give a free concert! If you’re in New York, you don’t want to miss this (and yes, we’ll be selling copies of the graphic novel there as well).

June 13 Flyer

Ghetto Brother meets Ghetto Klown

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Benjy and I had a great time at the Book Con. So many people came over and wanted to hear Benjy’s story and get their copy of Ghetto Brother signed (for pictures from the event, visit our Facebook page.) A “nice young lady” (Benjy’s words) introduced herself as Sara and said she wanted to get a copy signed for her friend John. Well, John, that was John Leguizamo, known for “Ghetto Klown” (on HBO, on Broadway, and soon as a graphic novel) — and Sara was the great comedian Sara Benincasa.

So Benjy and I had a brief conversation with John — and guess what, he not only loved the book, but he also heard about the story of the Hoe Avenue Peace Meeting before. We can only say, thank you, Sara.

 

Beauty gets Best Graphic Novel in revived Firecracker Awards

As we mentioned earlier, the Firecrackers Awards for the best in indie lit are back, thanks to the CLMP, Community for Literary Magazines and Presses, and tonight they gave out their awards at the very cool powerHouse Arena in DUMBO.

We’re happy to say Beauty got best GN! Rain Taxi editor Eric Lorberer gave it to publisher Terry Nantier with some very nice words about NBM’s quality publishing over the years.

Here’s their funky (scary?) MakerBot trophy:
Firecracker Award best GN 2015

 

 

NBM Announces BookCon Signing Schedule

 

This weekend in New York City is BookCon, the ultimate celebration of books, where your favorite stories come to life.

Storytelling and pop culture collide as both consumers and brands experience the origin of the story in all its forms by interacting with the authors, publishers, celebrities and creators of content that influence everything we read, hear and see.

The show features interactive, forward thinking content including Q+A’s with the hottest talent, autographing sessions, storytelling podcasts, special screenings, literary quiz shows and so much more.

Appearing throughout the show is writer Julian Voloj who will be signing copies of his book, the powerful GHETTO BROTHER: WARRIOR TO PEACEMAKER along with the colorful subject of the book, Benjy Melendez.

 

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An engrossing and counter view of one of the most dangerous elements of American urban history, this graphic novel tells 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.

Signing Schedule, Booth 3065

Julian and Benjy will be appearing at the NBM Table throughout the weekend.

SATURDAY

11:00 – 12:00 Julian Voloj
2:00 – 3:00 Julian Voloj
4:00 – 5:00 Julian Voloj

SUNDAY

11:00-12:00 Julian Voloj and Benjy Melendez
1:00-2:00 Julian Voloj and Benjy Melendez

 

For more details, visit thebookcon.com

 

High Spirits

It’s Pentecost Sunday today, the Christian feast of the descent of the Holy Spirit – but what does that even mean? Here’s a comic I did a few years ago (for Dutch spiritual magazine Speling) about what spirit and inspiration means to me:

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pentecost2

pentecost3

 

In my upcoming book Religion: a Discovery in Comics I list what I think is the core of each world religion – for Christianity I chose the holy communion as significant ritual. But personally, in the eclectic way I experience my own spirituality, I feel much more for this feast that celebrates inspiration, exhilaration and communication.

 

Comics Uniting Nations

NBM are one of the partners in this interesting new project on a grand scale:

Comics Uniting Nations – is a humanitarian effort to use comics to spread international awareness of the United Nations’ upcoming Global Goals for Sustainable Development. A series of comics to educate people everywhere about the United Nations’ Global Goals and inspire them to become heroes for change!’

Myself (Sean Michael Wilson) and Michiru Morikawa (the artist on a book for NBM coming in 2016, called ‘Breaking the 10’) are involved in that project, as the team on UN goal 7, which is focused on renewable energy.

UN comics screenshot

They have a kickstarter drive, so check it out. This is yet another good use of the comics medium for promoting education and social issues. NBM are supplying some of the goodies involved in that:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/readingwithpictures/comics-uniting-nations

Seth Kushner 1973-2015

Yesterday I got the terrible news that Seth Kushner has died. He was a inspiring photographer, creative comic book writer, and most importantly, a very kind person. There are hundreds of beautiful tributes on this Facebook page, and elsewhere like here or here.

I met Seth and Christopher Irving when they were working on Leaping Tall Buildings, a beautiful coffee table book about comic book creators. “It’s funny, but Seth’s immortalizing all of these creators in photo form helped immortalize him in our hearts, minds, and the greater scope of comics history,” Chris writes here.

Like so many others, we went from strangers to friends. Seth was someone you could feel close to easily.

When I think of Seth, I think of the artistic legacy he leaves behind. Being a parent, I also think about his wife and son. His final Facebook post is a reminder of what is really important.

If you can, make a donation to Kushner’s family through GoFundMe to help.

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Rick Geary To Premiere LOUISE BROOKS: DETECTIVE At Denver Comic Con

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For the past two decades, NBM Publishing has released Rick Geary’s The Treasury of Victorian Murder and Treasury of XXth Century Murder series.  Over the years he’s chronicled such iconic true crimes as Jack the Ripper, the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the lives of Sacco and Vanzetti.

This weekend (May 23-25), Rick will be attending Denver Comic Con and will be premiering his latest book, Louise Brooks, Detective.

Stepping away for a bit from his growing and impressive body of work in the Treasury of Murder true crime series, Geary creates a fictional story around a favorite actress: Louise Brooks. Spun around her actual brief meteoric career as a smoldering film actress who popularized bangs, Geary fantasizes about her coming back 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!
http://nbmpub.com/mystery/louis_press/louisecover_72.jpg

Be sure to check out the book and meet Rick, who will be exhibiting at TABLE H-32

Also available in July: catching up on Zombillenium

With the upcoming release of ZOMBILLENIUM VOLUME 3: “Control Freaks”, it is a great time to revisit the horror theme park! Zombillenium is a theme park run by all of Hell’s creatures, from a witch intern to a newly cursed demon, and all the mummies, vampires, zombie unions, and ghosts in between. Renowned French author and animator, Arthur de Pins, created this stylized world that looks straight out of a sophisticated animated film.

 

De  Pins is working on an animated adaptation of the series right now but recently paired up with the band, Skip the Use, for a four minute animated short featuring the Zombillenium characters. Watch here!

 

Take a look at the Zombillenium theme site and don’t forget to buckle your seatbelt!

Ready to sell your soul? Volumes 1 and 2 are available now!

Zombiellennium Vol.1: Gretchen

ZOMBILLENIUM 
Vol. 1: Gretchen
Arthur de Pins
Francis von Bloodt, vampire, a good family man, manages the theme park Zombillenium. They don’t just hire anyone, at Zombillenium: mere mortals need not apply, the park works only with genuine werewolves, vampires and zombies. This is what Aurelian gets to discover as, burnt out, deceived by his wife, he finally gets hired in spite of himself in this strange business. Gretchen, a plucky trainee witch, helps him get around…

9×12, 48 pp., full color hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 9781561637348

Previews

Diamond Order Code: APR131181

Zombillenium, vol.2

ZOMBILLENIUM 
Vol. 2: Human Resources
Arthur De Pins
Tempers are flaring around Zombillenium, the monster amusement park run by monsters. When one hires only the dead (or witches!) in a region where unemployment is in the double digits, one must expect some friction. But things get particularly ugly when the park’s security is breached from two sides: activists and a very strange visitor, mom to two peculiar sons the head of the park seems to remember from somewhere… Gretchen and Aurelian do their best to help save a precarious explosive situation! All presented in De Pins’ trademark tongue-in-cheek jubilant black humor and stunning art.
9×12, 48pp. full color hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 9781561638505

Previews

Diamond Order Code: MAY141483

 

Order now from our NBM website or at your favorite comic book store!

TCAF was great!

Last weekend, Yiri and I attended the famous Torontonian comics festival TCAF on our first ever trip to Canada, and we had a blast! I drew a few webcomics about our first days, and our stay in the wonderful Church/Wellesley-district:

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TCAF has so many great names and wonderful events, I felt a bit humbled at the start of it all…

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…but then this happened:

tcaf

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We loved the whole experience! And now we’re back on the European side of the pond, and back to working on the approaching publications of no less than two books: the Dutch Wereldheerschappij in Beeld and the english Religion: a Discovery in Comics. Both will appear in October 2015!