Best of 2011

That time of year and we got so far NPR, Graphic Novel Reporter and Fearnet + a late last minute addition… not bad:

First, NPR’s Monkey See put Stargazing Dog in their top list. From the initial review:

“Throughout, the dog remains steadfastly loyal, his expression largely unchanged from the eager, hopelessly-in-love dog-smile you see there on the cover. That’s what Murakami’s getting at: the resiliency of the bond tying us to dogs, and them to us, and how it provides a blissfully uncomplicated comfort amid our increasingly complicated lives.”

Graphic Novel Reporter’s John Hogan puts our Sky Over the Louvre in his bhest of 2011 list: “A beautiful combination of art and story.”

Fearnet puts Geary’s Sacco & Vanzetti on their list: “proves the master of drolly impish cartooning hasn’t lost his touch, as it presents a pair of protagonists (anarchists, no less) strangely sympathetic in their relevancy to today’s world.”

And this latest news: Alan David Doane at Trouble with Comics puts 2 of ours out of his top ten books for 2011! Little Nothings 4 and Geary’s Sacco & Vanzetti.

Wilson interviewed in Japan, The Beat on Dungeon, GNR on Axe-Man: news & reviews this week

Graphic Novel Reporter on Geary’s The Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans:

“Geary shows the same flair for pacing and drama here as he did in the other volumes in this series and in his nine-volume A Treasury of Victorian Murder series. He builds the tension by slowly revealing the facts, using a journalistic tone of voice that rarely dips into sensationalism. He allows his art to show the horrors of murder, with dramatic shadows, wide-angle shots, and close-ups all used to good effect. Geary’s black-and-white palette and line shading give the right historical feel to his tales, and he has a sharp eye for the details of a time period. That, combined with his historical research, makes his story all the more horrific as the reality of it is impossible to escape.”
Snow Wildsmith (gotta love that name)

Eric Hobbs of The Broadcast is interviewed on ‘My Friend Amy’s Blog.”

Heidi McDonald on The Beat says of Dungeon:

“A sprawling satirical fantasy about anthropomorphic warriors in a magical, ludicrous kingdom. It’s a darkly whimsical epic that’s a mash-up of D&D, Cerebus, Groo and any number of works by headliners Trondheim and Joann Sfar.

And she goes on to present a whole bunch of pages…

Sean Michael Wilson of our forthcoming The Story of Lee got a great piece in the English language Japan Times. A great way to find out more about him. He has quite a few GNs out this year, including AX:Alternative Manga which was chosen as a top GN of the year. He’s a Scot expat in Japan, now heavily steeped in manga… interesting story.

Oh, and an amusing quote of the week on Elephant Man from Now Read This:

“Warning: this book contains Six-foot talking flies and shaved, car-racing monkeys.”

Do we need to quote any other part of this review? 😀

Graphic Novel Reporter puts 4 NBM books in Best of Summer

John Hogan over at GNR must like us, we guess, as he’s put most of our summer output on their Hottest Graphic Novels for the Summer list. That includes Networked: Carabella on the Run, The Broadcast, The Axe-Man of New Orleans and even includes Noe’s latest salacious (and indeed bitingly funny) Pin-Up Artist from NBM’s Eurotica imprint (sorry can’t link here as you need to be over 18 but look at Coming Up in Eurotica in July)!

But then again that may be just because we’re that good.

The Big Kahn gets The Big Press

First off: Booklist, an influential review of books:
Kleid’s second graphic novel observes the fallout of a 40-year deception. At Rabbi David Kahn’s funeral, a Gentile asks to see his brother one more time. His brother? Just so, for the rabbi wasn’t a Jew. He came to Judaism as a young crook working a con but, falling in love and marrying into it, stayed to become a revered spiritual leader. His family is devastated, none more than elder son Avi, a sincere young rabbi presumed to be David’s successor-but no longer, which shakes his faith. Equally affected is David’s daughter, Lea, who has been in full rebellion against her upbringing (she is first seen here assuaging her grief by shtupping in a synagogue closet while Avi delivers the eulogy) but now reacts with self-doubt. This is an unusually rich work. Every character is well realized. Each panel’s composition, perspective, and placement within the continuity, and also the transitions between scenes, are done with care. Unfortunately, Cinquegrani’s figural skills don’t match the excellence of story and visual conceptualization. Nevertheless, a not-to-be-missed original graphic novel. -Ray Olson
And then from Graphic Novel Reporter:
Kleid’s script is a wonder, with its pitch-perfect ear for dialogue. Paired with Nicolas Cinquegrani’s richly textured shades and overtones, it not only captures New Jersey well—it also fully delivers on the premise of the story. When the no-good brother bursts in, disrupting everything and causing chaos at the scene, the emotions he provokes in the family and in the crowd are so nicely executed that they feel completely real—Cinquegrani’s work bringing the panels to life right along with the script, which is at times funny and then heartbreaking.
 
The Big Kahn is an adventurous step for Kleid, author of Brownsville and the webcomic Action, Ohio. Like Brownsville, it’s a Jewish story set out east, but it’s so simply executed (and subtly ambitious) that it sneaks up on you more easily and more casually than you expect. Its great strength lies in that. I loved the story and was glad to be able to read it in graphic novel form. — John Hogan
See MORE on the book including preview pages.