Margreet de Heer

My Secret Parallel Life

March 5, 2014 by  


A long time ago, following in the footsteps of my parents, I chose to study theology, and I even graduated – so it’s only by a happy quirk of fate that I’m a comic artist now and not a minister in some faraway parish… Thank God!

Maybe somewhere, in a parallel universe, I DID become Reverend De Heer after all. I’m exploring the alternative life I could be leading in this comic I’m making for the Dutch Protestant Church Ministers Union Magazine:

(The “picturesque parish of Brokkenhoek” is a spoof on the actual village of Okkenbroek, where I grew up. The church and rectory as I draw them are exactly the same as the church my father was minister of and the house we lived in – only mirrored)

I’m actually quite enjoying drawing my parallel life.

Although, if I had become a minister, my title would probably rather be: “Irreverend De Heer”.


Jesse Lonergan

School Picture 1995: Special Torture

March 5, 2014 by  


As a bit of research for my very very soon-to-be-released book, All Star, which is set in the late 1990s (my high school years), I revisited some of my yearbooks from high school. Sadly my senior yearbook has disappeared. I believe it was taken when someone broke into the storage facility where it was kept. I imagine they were somewhat disappointed with their haul.

Anyway, that’s me, sophomore year, 1995. Yes, it’s a denim shirt. With a tie. An Incredible Hulk tie.

And remember: If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it was never meant to be. Also, Don’t ever change… YOUR UNDERWEAR! And hang on to sixteen as long as you can, changes come around real soon, make us women and men.


Eric Hobbs

Family Ties: Why Alaska?

March 3, 2014 by  


 

So this is a question I get a lot: why would anyone set a crime thriller in Alaska? Of all places, right? Well, there are a couple reasons…

The first is easy: I used to live there. Just as The Broadcast takes place in my backyard of Indiana, Family Ties takes place in a locale I know  well. I spent most of high school and my first year of college in a small town just outside of Anchorage. Just like Indiana, Alaska played a huge part in my life and is still the place I think of as “home.” There’s an old saying that authors should “write what they know.” Well, other than worlds of my own creation, I’ve never known a setting better than the two used in these first books with NBM.

Beyond that, Alaska is a great location for any story. But it’s particularly good for crime. Sound crazy? Well, stay with me. You see, the sixties in Alaska were a wild time. The closest thing to the Wild West since… well… since the Wild West. The oil boom brought people to Alaska in droves. They were promised a good living, and that’s exactly what a lot of them got. The city’s population exploded with hardworking men and women who suddenly had money to spend. But here’s the rub —  unless you’re an avid outdoorsman, there isn’t a lot to do in Alaska, especially come winter. Luckily, criminals were there fill the void. Gambling, prostitution, drugs — they were all prevalent in those boom years. In fact, there’s a great non-fiction book called Johnny’s Girl by Kim Rich that details the Anchorage underworld in the 1960s that I can’t recommend enough.

Now, Family Ties doesn’t take place in the 60s. Instead, it’s about a man who prospered in those years but struggles to find his way now that he’s behind the times and “Alaska went and got herself civilized.” But that doesn’t mean the location doesn’t play a vital role. In most good crime stories, the location becomes a character itself. Think about The Sopranos? Can you imagine that story unfolding anywhere but Jersey? What about the great crime movies Ben Affleck has directed over the last few years? Do any of those work outside of Boston? When you watch a movie like Untouchables you actually feel like you’re living in Chicago for those two hours. Hopefully, that’s what will happen as you read Family Ties. Hopefully you’ll put the book down and feel like Family Ties couldn’t have taken place anywhere else. Hopefully you’ll feel like you’ve been there…

*******

About the book:

Family Ties: An Alaskan Crime Drama

By Eric Hobbs and 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.


Jesse Lonergan

Process.

February 25, 2014 by  


Process. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find some quick and easy explanation for how to do anything? Something as easy as ABC or 123 or do re mi. How do you make friends? Follow this easy process. How do you get someone who doesn’t even know you exist to be attracted to you? All the answers are here in this simple pamphlet. How does one face the prospect of death with dignity? Just follow these simple instructions.

I’ve never been much of one for instructions. And when it comes to my creative process, I have very little to say about it. I think the only thing that I can say that I truly believe in is that you have to sit down every day and do a little bit of work.

Everything else I prefer to remain a bit of mystery.

That being said. There were a few key stages in All Star, and I’ll show one sequence in each of these stages.

There is the idea phase, which with All Star began sometime around 2003 or 2004. That’s when I first had the idea for the book that would become All Star.

Then there was an outline, which was written sometime in 2010 (the part circled in red is our sequence).

After the outline, I drew a rough draft version of the book. This was probably the fastest part of All Star and was done mostly in 2011.

From sometime in late 2011 until late 2013 I was drawing the finished pages of All Star.

And then sometime last year.


Margreet de Heer

Uncertainty’s Birthday

February 23, 2014 by  


Today it is 87 years ago that German physicist Werner Heisenberg wrote a letter to fellow scientist Wolfgang Pauli describing his Uncertainty Principle – the principle in Quantum Theory that you can measure an electron’s position or its speed, but not at the same time: one of these, position or speed, will necessarily remain uncertain. In my book Science: a Discovery in Comics I included it like this:

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle has spawned many jokes in theoretic physicists – maybe you’ve seen Sheldon referencing it on the Big Bang Theory! Here are a few good ones:

A quantum physicist is stopped on the highway by a police officer who asks “Do you know how fast you were going, sir?”, to which the physicist responds, “No, but I know exactly where I am!”.

Have you heard of the Heisenbergmobile? It was a big flop. As soon as you looked at the speedometer, you got lost.

Why are quantum physicists a disaster in bed? They either have the position, but can’t find the momentum – or they have the momentum, but can’t find the position!

Cartoonist Aaron Diaz made this brilliant cartoon in 2005, commenting on Heisenberg’s relationship with the nazi-scientists:

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle caused the famous though experiment of Schrödinger’s Cat – the cat in a box with radioactive poison who lives in exactly such an Uncertainty State. In 1997, when I was working on my thesis on Religion and Science, I drew this:

Unfortunately, the comic never got continued. Although you can never be certain if it won’t be, some day in the future…

 


Stefan Blitz

NBM NEWS ROUND-UP! Links You Need To Check Out!

February 15, 2014 by  


 


Margreet de Heer

Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2014 by  


It’s Valentine’s Day! I went through my archive and looked up a few comics I made over the years with a Valentine theme. These two appeared in H/Link, student magazine of the Haagse Hogeschool, in 2012 and 2013:

A year later, they were a couple:


NBM

NBM in April: after ‘The Broadcast’, it’s ‘Family Ties’

February 12, 2014 by  


Here’s what’s being solicited for April release in comics stores now.

From ComicsLit, the team behind the highly acclaimed The Broadcast is back with:

Family Ties
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., $14.99, ISBN 9781561637294

see Eric’s blog posts on this.

and preview pages

NEW from EUROTICA:

Barbarian Chicks & Demons, vol.6
Hartmann
These warrior women know how to lead their cocky enemy on for just enough sex before gaining the upper hand. Whether it’s posing as a virginal initiate to a religious sect gone very rogue, giving in to pagan rites of the most lecherous kind or giving lessons to a virginal egghead, the action is heavy and the climax assured! The humorful beautifully painted stories of erotic barbariennes continues breathlessly.
8 ½ x11, 48pp, full color, trade pb., $11.99, ISBN 9781561638734

See more (click on the banner for this on the left)

PLACE YOUR ORDER AT YOUR COMICS STORE NOW!

 


Stefan Blitz

Jesse Lonergan Discusses ALL STAR

February 12, 2014 by  


All Star, a serialized version of the latest graphic novel from Jesse Lonergan makes its digital debut today, via Comixology.

Lonergan, who previously released Joe & Azat and Flower & Fade through NBM, previously released All Star as a series of mini-comics at conventions.  Those same eight chapters will be released through Comixology before the graphic novel edition is released on March 12, 2014.

All Star is set at the end of the school year in 1998.   A time when Mark McGwire is racing Sammy Sosa to break the home run record, Bill Clinton is being questioned about a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky, Semisonic’s Closing Time is on top of the charts, and Carl Carter is leading the Elizabeth Monarchs of rural Vermont to the state championship in his senior year. A full scholarship to the University of Maine is waiting for him, and everyone says he has a shot at the pros. He’s so good he can do whatever he wants.

Until he makes one very arrogant mistake.

Jesse took some time to discuss the book, its influences and its origins.

(more…)


Jesse Lonergan

Comixology!

February 9, 2014 by  


According to my sources at NBM, my new book, All Star, will be in comic book shops on March 12th (Jack Kerouac’s birthday)(sweet) and in regular book stores on April 1st (Jimmy Cliff’s birthday)(the harder they come), but this Wednesday you’ll be able to pick up the first chapter for ninety-nine cents on Comixology! And after that the whole book will be coming out chapter by chapter.

Yeah, man! The only way you could get these before was to be in the greater Boston area or see me at a comic convention, but now, thanks to modern technology, you can be anywhere in the world and get a look!