January 29, 2013 by NBM
One of our best books this season, The Initiates, about a comic artist swapping jobs with a wine artisan, is on its way to stores now!
Advance buzz from reviewers on this is high, once people get to read this we’re sure this will become a can’t miss for this year! Out of nowhere it rose to bestseller in France recently surpassing 100,000 copies sold.
Check it out here
and see a long preview here.
January 29, 2013 by Terry
It’s official, HarperCollins, one of America’s ‘big six’ publishers, is moving to 195 Broadway just a couple doors up from us.
Ha, people used to look at us funny for being in the ‘financial district’, look what company we got now! Fact is this area has been diversifying for some time and most financial companies are uptown now anyway. What we do have are some of the most beautiful old classic buildings in the Big Apple. The Woolworth building one more block up from 195 has a lobby so gorgeous as to make your jaw drop.
But then we were all drinking seawater just a couple months ago.
January 28, 2013 by Margreet de Heer
Tonight, Dutch Queen Beatrix, after a reign of 33 years, has announced she will abdicate the throne in favor of her son Willem-Alexander. Coming Thursday, she’ll turn 75 – what a grand way to celebrate her birthday!
After seeing her speech on TV, in which she stressed that she really enjoyed being Queen but thinks it is time for the New Generation, I made this cartoon.
The Netherlands has had a run of three Queens (Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix) – now for the first time in 123 years a King will rule again. But his reign will not be without Grrl-power: he has three daughters and a great wife, Maxima, who might even be allowed to use the title of Queen of Holland.
January 23, 2013 by Terry
Post Sandy, it appears we may never get back most of our phone numbers of 22 years!
The problem goes farther back from Sandy to when we moved to our great new digs at 160 Broadway last April. They installed and moved (albeit late) our lines properly but never got the billing right. Then Sandy hit and eventually, even though we were calling them to make sure they took care of us, just let our main number (212 643 5407) back into the available pool to be grabbed by the first schmuck.
To this day, as for much of lower Manhattan, we STILL do not have normal service on the rest of our numbers. Our fax # of 22 years (212 643 1545) is still not operating.
After months of waiting, we gave up and went to Time Warner to get back phone service and also internet which we’d otherwise still not have!
It’s one thing to have your main operating center downtown completely drowned in seawater, it’s quite another to screw up billing so badly as to result in the loss of our numbers for years.
Never mnd the literally hours of being bounced around trying to deal with them on this for the last close to 3 months.
If ever there was the definition of clusterf**k, it’s Verizon.
So now our main number is 646 559 4681, our fax number where you can reach us is 646 559 4838. We hope yet to get our old fax # back.
Thank God we still do have our old 800# working: 800 886 1223.
January 22, 2013 by Sean Michael Wilson/ Chie Kutsuwada
Channel 4 TV in the UK has a new drama series called UTOPIA that started this month – and it features graphic novels heavily in the story. Including our book THE STORY OF LEE, which is shown in one of the episodes. Nice!
We’re getting on with making volume 2 of the book. I’m up to more than 100 pages written so far.
January 21, 2013 by Margreet de Heer
Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is a life model drawing event bringing together great shows from the burlesque scene and graphic artists, amateurs and professionals alike. It was started by Molly Crabapple in New York, and has spread all over the world into over a hundred branches. When I found out about it, one and a half years ago, I was shocked that Amsterdam had no branch yet, even though there is a very lively burlesque scene here. So I teamed up with burlesque organizer Marco Buschman and we started Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School Amsterdam in September 2011 – it has had eight very succesful sessions so far.
A Dr. Sketchy session is always great fun, with good music, an open bar and a relaxed atmosphere among fellow artists from all kinds of backgrounds: art school students, hobbyists, comic artists; people using pencils, chalk, water colors, and even iPads. The models are all very enthusiastic performers with wonderful outfits, that usually come off in a whirling show, and in between they pose and inspire.
Ever since I got into the burlesque scene I keep being amazed by the talent, creativity and enthusiasm of all participants. They are all driven by such playfulness and open-mindedness, which feels very liberating – which is probably why so many women are involved with it, both performing and in the audience. I like that each performance is a little story, with a specific character and a small narrative that is played out – such as those of Officer Frisky, private investigator Ms Rita Lynch, or the tragic Miss Glitter Painkiller, who finds out onstage that her lover left her for a man!
There’s always a Master of Ceremonies to talk the audience through the various acts. Sometimes the MC has an act of his own, like the talented Desmond O’Connor who played the ukulele and regaled us with his own award-winning songs. And then there was The Drip Dry Man and his One Man Beat Revolver, who performed several instruments at the same time!
I have attended a few life model drawing classes in the past – but none of those compare to Dr. Sketchy’s. Well, it wouldn’t be fair to compare, I guess, since the objects of both are so different. Classical model drawing focuses on drawing exactly what you see, getting a grip on the proportions of the human body, learning about stances, all that. Dr. Sketchy’s offers a completely different experience, that appeals to me as a comic artist: I get to draw characters, not mere bodies, and there is no stress on “getting it right” – much more on “having fun with it”.
If this appeals to you, no matter if you are an artist or not, check out the Dr. Sketchy’s site to find out if there’s a branch near you. And if you’re in or near Amsterdam, visit our sessions!
January 18, 2013 by NBM
An Alaskan Crime Drama
Eric Hobbs, Noel Tuazon
Hoping to secure a future for his children, an aging Alaskan crime boss looks to retire and divide his empire amongst his three heirs. But when his idealistic son refuses the inheritance, the old man disowns him. This turns out to be a fatal mistake when he sees his cold-blooded daughters use their new-found power and influence against him. Inspired by the classic play KING LEAR, THE GODFATHER meets Shakespearean tragedy in this epic tale of betrayal and loss. 6×9, 208pp., B&W trade pb. with flaps, $14.99, ISBN 9781561637294
Meanwhile, back in EUROTICA:
The Diary of Molly Fredrickson
Peanut Butter vol. 7
The Party continues at the Beta Alpha Delta fraternity. Things have gotten even wilder than Molly could’ve ever imagined. Take, for one, the punishment of Jeanne Williams. For that, Molly and Sean travel to the fraternity’s basement to witness first hand what Ron has in store for his rebellious girlfriend. On the way there, they encounter a nun with something extra, the dominatrix Miss Claire and also find out what happened to the would be rapists from Vol. 6! You see, revenge in the world of Peanut Butter is a dish best served… Wet!
8 ½ x 11, 48pp, full color trade pb., $11.99, ISBN 9781561637287
Zanier’s over-the-top ‘Banana Games’ continue along with a whopping helping of the next ‘Peanut Butter’ and more police sexual capers in ‘District 69’ and “It Could Happen to You.’
Quarterly magazine, full color, $6.99
January 15, 2013 by Margreet de Heer
In September, my next book ‘Science: a Discovery in Comics’ will be published by NBM. Right now, I’m in the middle of translating this 192-pager from Dutch into English (using my own new font, yay!).
As always, translating poses interesting challenges – not only does the translation have to be accurate, it also has to fit into the space available. Fortunately, Dutch is a much “longer” language than English. The English wording usually comes out much shorter, which makes it easy on me. Except for a word like “circumference”, which is much longer than the Dutch “omtrek” – I’m coming across it in the chapter about Pi.
Pi is interesting for many reasons – this number has a lot of mystic and artistic connotations. And did you know that the search for ever more digits of Pi spurred the evolution of the computer?
In the original book I showcased an old Dutch rhyme that helped people memorize the digits of Pi:
“Wie u eens π heeft verzonnen in aloude tijden
was nooit begonnen inderdaad spoedig geëindigd
als hij had ingezien welk gezeur de cijfers bien”
If you substitute each word for the number of letters it has, you get the correct values for the first 23 digits of pi.
I was really happy with this find, but dreaded translating it – until a quick Google-search taught me that the same kind of mnemonic for Pi has been done in English even more than in Dutch! Here is the page where I found it: Pi Wordplay.
So it was actually rather easy then to put in a good translation. And these are 31 digits, so the English actually teaches you more than the Dutch!
January 14, 2013 by Stefan Blitz
Here we are, back again, with some recent reviews of various NBM titles.
“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.”
“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.”
“(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.”
”Congenial, bare-bones introduction to Western philosophy…this shrewd, engaging graphic primer is very ingratiating.”
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.”
“A really weird graphic novel.”
January 13, 2013 by Eric Hobbs