Stefan Blitz

NBM Review Round-Up!

January 14, 2013 by  


Here we are, back again, with some recent reviews of various NBM titles.

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet: The Rise of the Graphic Novel

“A a perfect book for anyone trying to wrap her or his head around the field of comics, a quick and smart overview of the field that spans both decades and genres. Whether you’re developing a syllabus, improving your library’s collection, or just trying to get a better sense of the field and the good stuff you might have missed, Rise is well worth a read, and worth keeping around afterwards for reference.”

– Boing Boing

Abelard

“If the cartoon images of birds and bears–and the addition of the word “magical” to the book’s front cover–give the impression that Abelard is a children’s fantasy, be assured that it isn’t. Think of it more as an anthropomorphic piece of magical realism in the manner of Joanne Harris’ Chocolat, a reflection on hope and dreams that may surprise you by just how affecting it is.”

– Blog Critics

“(Abelard) starts off feeling somewhat quaint and unassuming, and by the time you realize where it is heading, it is far too late to stem the tide of heartache that the book makes you feel…A book very much worth your time and money. This is a high-quality piece of work.”

– Comics Waiting Room

Philosophy – A Discovery in Comics by Margreet de Heer

 ”Congenial, bare-bones introduction to Western philosophy…this shrewd, engaging graphic primer is very ingratiating.”

– Book List Online

Lover’s Lane: The Hall-Mills Mystery

 One of Robot 6′s favorite comics of 2012!

“I love a good mystery, I love history, and I love Rick Geary’s quasi-documentary style of presenting historical mysteries.”

– Robot 6

“A really weird graphic novel.”

Portland Book Review


Eric Hobbs

Adapting Shakespeare for Comics

January 13, 2013 by  


As I suggested in the post announcing Family Ties, I really struggled with Shakespeare in school which meant writing an update of King Lear was a bit intimidating. So much so, in fact, that before starting, I bought a book called No Fear Shakespeare.
These books are great. I wish they’d been around when I was in high school. If so, I probably would have gotten an A in my AP literature class instead of… well… the embarrassing grade I actually brought home.
Anyway, these No Fear books are different than the yellow Cliff Notes booklets you may remember. As readers flip through the book, they can either read the original play on the left hand page or the “plain English” translation on the right. It’s a great way to read Shakespeare if you can convince yourself to use that right hand page as little as possible. In the end, the play wasn’t nearly as difficult as I remembered. And after several read-throughs, I sat down to begin planning the adaptation.
And this is where the trouble began…
While I was intent on leaving the plot and character arcs largely intact, I had a really hard time deciding how I was going to update the setting and the circumstances. After all, Lear deals with a family fighting over an aging king’s kingdom. While family issues are timeless, how was I going to write a modern re-telling that made sense? Some of the family infighting revolves around control of knights — not exactly something that translates to modern times easily.
For a while, I considered writing Family Ties as a superhero book. Yes, another superhero title for the comic book shelf. In the end, that felt like a cop-out. I liked the idea — still like it, actually — but I didn’t like that it was the easy way out. I wasn’t going to write it because I was dying to write a creator-owned superhero book — I was going to write it because it was an easy way to explain away some of the problems I was having. That didn’t seem like the best thing to do.
But then, my wife and I were watching a documentary about organized crime and inspiration struck. Amazingly, the hierarchy in a crime family is almost an exact parallel to the family dynamic in Lear. And while I wasn’t dying to do my own superhero book, I looooove gangster movies and have always wanted do a crime book of my own. Not only that, I knew I wanted to do another book with Noel, and his art is a great fit for a crime book. (Tumor, anyone?)
So after months of hitting my head against the wall, the details quickly began falling into place.
Lear became a crime boss.
His madness became dementia.
His kingdom became a criminal empire.
His knights became the soldiers in his crew.
His power-hungry daughters became captains within the organization.
His idealistic son became a young man hoping to make a life for himself outside of the family business.
Just like that, I finally had an answer for all those people who continued to ask, “I loved Broadcast, man. What’s next?”

Margreet de Heer

Animation

January 12, 2013 by  


The New Year already brought exciting new plans, prospects and projects – including the intended publication of my next book at NBM in September: ‘Science: a Discovery in Science’. This calls for a new wave of Promotion when the time comes, and this time we’ll include some YouTube videos about the book. I could just video myself, but this seems a great opportunity to make an animation.

I’ve been wanting to learn animation but never got the time and besides, it’s my brother’s expertise. I have two brothers and we equally divided the Visual Media: Paul does documentary, Maarten does animation and I do comics. We never really ventured onto each others territory, but now I’m planning to. And who knows, maybe my brothers will start making graphic novels now.

I’m way at the beginning of this project, and this is the first thing I drew:

 

Now I just need to get it moving.

About ten years ago, I did a little bit of animation when I learned how to make animated GIFs – now an almost obsolete format but I hope it still runs on this blog. This is what I made:

It was for a site called animationbattle.com, and the characters getting their ass kicked were made by other animators – I even think two of them were made by my brothers. I don’t remember who “won” the animationbattle, but I definitely plan on making my comeback now!


Eric Hobbs

What’s Next?

January 6, 2013 by  


“I loved Broadcast, man. What’s next?”
I’ve heard that from comic fans a lot over the last few years.
Response to that first book was more than I ever could have hoped for. Reviews were great, fans enjoyed the work — Noel and I were thrilled. But as I started to hear that question again and again — I’ll admit, my nerves began getting the best of me. The Broadcast was my first published work. Noel had already developed a following of his own, but I was a relative unknown. Readers went into that book without any preconceived notions about me. But with a follow-up? A follow-up to a critical success? That would be different. That would bring something I hadn’t had on the first book: expectations. And expectations can be a very scary thing.
So that’s probably why it’s taken this new project some time to come to fruition. Noel and I have been busy, of course. He illustrated a brilliant comic called Foster. I wrote a short Batman piece for DC and published a kids’ series on Amazon’s kindle called The Librarian. We even did a short together in Dark Horse’s Once Upon a Time Machine anthology. That said, we were both knew eventually we were going to collaborate on another full-length graphic novel – we just wanted to make sure this new project was a worthy follow-up to the first.
Family Ties is about an aging Alaskan crime boss with dementia who is looking to secure his family’s future by dividing his empire amongst his three heirs. His cold-hearted daughters jump at the chance to take their spot at the head of the table, but his idealistic son refuses the inheritance. Fueled by his anger, the old man disowns his son only to realize he’s made a tragic mistake when his daughters use their newfound power and influence against him.
Sound familiar? It should — it is a retelling of William Shakespeare’s classic, King Lear.
In school, I struggled with Shakespeare like most kids — probably more than most, actually — but King Lear always resonated with me as a timeless story that was ripe for an update. Family issues are just as common today, after all.
Noel and I are still finishing up, but I’m going to do my best to get in here and post about the production of Family Ties; the struggles that come from trying to adapt Shakespeare; and how a family tragedy helped inform the book when, strangely enough, a member of my family was diagnosed with dementia shortly after I began writing the book.
In the meantime, if you enjoyed The Broadcast, I hope you’ll take a few minutes this week to tell your local comics retailer about Family Ties. It’s available in January’s Previews and is spotlighted on page 320.

Margreet de Heer

Happy New Year!

December 22, 2012 by  


This time we celebrate the New Year before Christmas!

 

Happy Holidays to everyone!


Stefan Blitz

NBM Review Round-Up!

December 20, 2012 by  


It’s not too late to get some of our fantastic books to give away as holiday gifts (or buy one or two for yourself, you deserve it!).

Here’s what the critics are saying about some of our recent titles.

Abelard

“A beautifully crafted piece of storytelling from Hautiére that tugs mercilessly at the heartstrings but doesn’t ever fall into sentimental or sickly sweet. If anything, by the end, we’re assaulted by the brutality of the story. And Dillies’ artwork is quite beautiful, his charming characters almost deliberately at odds with some of the themes and actions of the tale, yet never feeling wrong. His stylised colours perfectly suited to detailing all the wonders, all the misery, all the dreams Abelard finds along his journey.”

The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log

A poignant, droll, and heartbreaking “funny animals” tale for grown-ups, with breathtaking art.”

Karen GreenBoing Boing Annual “Return of the Best Damn Comics of the Year” List

 

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet: The Rise of the Graphic Novel

“A wonderful primer for both educators who need to familiarize themselves with the medium as well as those who have been reading comics faithfully for 50+ years. Like the best of historians, Mr. Weiner manages to logically connect seemingly disparate ideas and occurrences into one cohesive story, fitting a lot of important notes into one place, and he never belabors any of them. His timeline, (always important to a comic fan and reader!) is impeccable and brilliantly concise.”

New York Journal of Books

 

Stargazing Dog

“Stargazing Dog is a beautiful, poignant work on love and death and I dare you to not to cry while reading it.”

– Stuff & Nonsense

 

Taxes, The Tea Party and Those Revolting Rebels

“Stan Mack uses succinct language, humor, and clean and energetic black and white cartoons to turn a complex history into an accessible story…A completely unique and accessible way of learning history.”

City Book Review


Terry

Congratulations Dara and Brent on your Kickstarter success: still time to get cool stuff!

December 20, 2012 by  


The Persia Blues project on Kickstarter has already surpassed its goal and there’s still a few hours to go. Congratulations to Dara Naraghi and Brent Bowman on reaching their goal and as for you, you can still chip in and get some really cool stuff such as signed copies, Persian recipes, or signed original sketches and art pages. Check it out!

And retailers: there’s a couple of packages for you that include them coming over for a signing + original art and copies of the book.

We look forward to publishing this series!


NBM

Our 800# is back.

December 19, 2012 by  


You can now once again reach us for orders at 800 886 1223 during normal business hours. Dates for when our normal service will resume have been pushed back on both internet (to Jan 4) and phones (Jan. 14)…
However, as noted before, it is possible to reach us at 212 643 5408 on a limited basis.
How we’ve been surviving all this is close to unbelievable, honestly.


NBM

Immoderation, that’s NBM in February

December 17, 2012 by  


Being solicited for now at your comics shop and coming in February:

IMMODERATION

A Chad Michael Ward Goth trilogy

Autopsyrotica, Devil Engine, Black Rust

A specially priced banded set of 3 of cult phenom Chad Michael Ward fantasy and conceptual art books – a collection of images that fit together in a morbid jigsaw puzzle of wires, women and man-beasts to form a symbolic cyberotic tale of love, redemption and death. Tim Bradstreet calls it “the sum of gothic eroticism.” Will appeal strongly to fans of Ashley Wood and Brom.

9×12, 256pp., full color trade pbs, set of 3, $49.99, ISBN 9781561637270

see preview pages

—————————————————————————————-

Meanwhile, over at PAPERCUTZ:

A CHARMING NEW SERIES FROM EUROPE!

Ariol #1: “Just a Donkey Like You and Me”

Emmanuel Guibert, writer

Marc Boutavant, artist

Brand new series from multiple award-winning author Emmanuel Guibert (The Photographer) and renowned illustrator Marc Boutavant! Ariol is your everyday tween donkey with blue glasses. He lives in the suburbs with his mom and dad. His best friend is a pig. He’s in love with a beautiful cow in his class. His teacher is a dog. His gym teacher is a huge rooster. In short, Ariol is just like you and me. Kids will love the real humor around their lives on this one as they have in many other countries!

6 1/2 x 7 3/4, 124pp., full-color paperback with flaps: 12.99

ISBN: 978-1-59707-399-8

 

LEGO Ninjago #6

Greg Farshtey, writer

Jolyon Yates, artist

Jay, Cole, Zane, Kai, and Sensei Wu star in the latest exciting adventure from the world of LEGO Ninjago, introducing a whole new menacing world soon to be in toy stores that is so hush-hush we can’t say anything about it yet!

6 x 9, 64pp., full-color paperback: $6.99

ISBN: 9781597073783

6 x 9, 64pp., full-color hardcover: $10.99

ISBN: 9781597073790

 

The Smurfs #14: “The Baby Smurf”

Peyo, writer

Peyo, artist

“Cartooning’s craftsmanship at its height.” — THE COMICS JOURNAL

Baby Smurf arrives in the village! But for how long? On a quiet night in their village, a stork visits the Smurfs and leaves a Baby Smurf on one of their doorsteps. But the next day, the stork returns– the Baby Smurf was delivered by accident and must be returned! As soon as they go to fetch the baby for the stork, they find it’s gone! Where did the Baby Smurf go? And will the Smurfs really have to return it?

6 1/2 x 9, 56pp., full-color paperback: $5.99

ISBN: 9781597073813

6 1/2 x 9, 56pp., full-color hardcover: $10.99

ISBN: 978-1-59707-382-0


NBM

A Holiday card from us…

December 13, 2012 by  



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