NBM for January: Peek Inside The Louvre Collection

David Prudhomme is in good company. Other creators of The Louvre Collection include the prestigious Hirohiko Araki, the haunting Enki Bilal, the meticulous Eric Liberge, the classically inspired Marc-Antoine Mathieu, the whimsical Nicolas De Crecy,  and the unbeatable pair Bernar Yslaire & Jean-Claude Carriere.

 

The Louvre Collection is commissioned by the Parisian museum asking select artists to weave a story of their choosing as long as it involves the museum. The results have been eye-popping.

Rohan at the Louvre

ROHAN AT THE LOUVRE
Hirohiko Araki
Another completely original story with stunning art by a leading mangaka (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure). Rohan, a young mangaka, meets a beautiful mysterious young woman with a dramatic story. Seeing him draw, she tells him of a cursed 200 year old painting using the blackest ink ever known from a 1000 year old tree the painter had brought down without approval from the Emperor who had him executed for doing so. The painting meanwhile had been saved from destruction by a curator of the Louvre. Rohan forgets this story as he becomes famous but ten years later, visiting Paris, he takes the occasion to try and locate the painting. Little does he know how violently powerful the curse of it is until he has the museum unearth it from deep within its archival bowels…
7 ¼ x 10 3/8, 128pp. full color hardcover, $19.99
ISBN 978-1-56163-615-0

Diamond Order Code: DEC111139

See previews and more here.

Phantoms of the Louvre

The Louvre Collection:
Phantoms of the Louvre
Enki Bilal
Superstar European SF and Fantasy comics artist Enki Bilal revisits the Louvre in twenty-two portraits… He imagines 22 fates of men, women and children whose lives have been affected by a work of art. 22 portraits for 5000 years of creation.
They haunt the halls of the Louvre … they are long dead, often violently … they are a Roman legionary, a muse, a painter, a German officer … Each, one day, met a painter or a sculptor and was their model …
Bilal felt them, wandering the corridors of the Louvre, close to the work that tipped their life: Mona Lisa, the Victory of Samothrace, Christ reclining, an Egyptian mask …Bilal startlingly brings them back to life.
Both a work of Fantasy and a masterful homage, this was presented in a special exhibition in the Louvre in early 2013.
9 x 11 ½”, 144 pp., color POB, $29.99, 9781561638413

Diamond Order Code: MAR141266

Previews 

GLACIAL PERIOD
Nicolas De Crecy
With this graphic novel, for the first time in the US, ComicsLit brings over the latest enfant terrible of European comics, a mad genius.
De Crecy, at the sight of the incredible richness of the museum’s collection was overwhelmed and felt small and ignorant. The result is a story set thousands of years hence in a glacial period where all human history has been forgotten and a small group of archeologists fall upon the Louvre, buried in age-old snow. They cannot begin to explain all the artifacts they see. What could they have meant? Their interpretations are nonsense, absurd, farcical.
8 ½ x11 , 80pp., full color hardcover, $22.99, 
ISBN 9781561638550

Diamond Order Code: MAR141267

 Previews

AN ENCHANTMENT

AN ENCHANTMENT
Christian Durieux
Those two, they never should have met.
In the night, in a long corridor pinned with ancient dreams, they make of this encounter a party.
Those two, they must have a gift.
The next remarkable graphic novel in the Louvre collection tells the tale of the retiring museum director on a fugue from his retirement dinner through the vast halls of the museum, eloping with a muse…
10 ½ x 11 ¼, 72pp, full color hardcover, $19.99, 
ISBN 978-1-56163-705-8

Diamond Order Code: OCT121137

 Previews

THE SKY OVER THE LOUVRE

THE SKY OVER THE LOUVRE
Bernar YSLAIRE & Jean-Claude CARRIERE

We go back to the very origins of the Louvre as a museum: the tumultuous years of the French revolution. It’s the story of a painting of the Supreme Being, ordered by Robespierre from the famous painter David. A painting which was never made. It’s also the story of another painting, that of the young Bara, a 13 year old martyr of the Republic. From the inauguration of the Louvre, former royal palace, as the museum for the people, to the death of Robespierre, this is also the portrayal of the face to face of two major actors of a revolution in a great hurry. Robespierre appears equally enlightened and lost while David accomplishes his destiny: a painter torn between political engagement and artistic ambition. Yslaire, one the great stars of French comics, delivers a stunning masterwork in an epic and disturbing graphic novel seeped in a dramatic and fascinating period of history.

101/2 x 111/2, 72pp. full color hardcover, $19.99,
ISBN 978-1-56163-602-0

Diamond Order Code: DEC101009

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ON THE ODD HOURS

ON THE ODD HOURS
Eric Liberge
This time, the author invites us on a guided tour of the museum… by night… when the works of art come alive. Our guide: a deaf night watchman who somehow manages to communicate with the souls of those ethereal and timeless works of art. A visual tour de force with a strong edge of the frighteningly fantastic.
6 1/2 x 9, 72 pages, full color trade paperback with flaps: $14.95,
ISBN 978-1-56163-577-1

Diamond Order Code: DEC090958

 Previews

All of these are on sale now. Be sure to order today from your favorite comic book store in November’s Diamond Previews Magazine.

 

And don’t forget:

THE MUSEUM VAULTS
Excerpts from the Journal of an Expert.
Marc-Antoine Mathieu
An art assessor must evaluate the vast collections of the Louvre in an alternate Kafkaesque world where all is warehoused in an endless ever deepening succession of basement levels. Mathieu, an artist who marries Escher with Kafka, brings stinging irony to the pompousness of art history. After Glacial Period, another stunning volume.

Only available as an e-book presently.

9×9, 64 pages, 2 colors, ebook $9.99
Previews

Review Round-Up: THE LOUVRE COLLECTIONS, “beautiful work” and “gorgeous”

NBM’s ComicsLit imprint has been publishing the remarkable series of graphic novels commissioned by the Louvre calling upon different prominent artists to make up a story around the fabled museum. 

Here are some recent reviews:

Glacial Period by Nicolas De Crecy

 

“The author seems to be asking: what is art? Is there some art that is universally accepted and some culturally defined? Does art have any intrinsic value? There is some farce inside, the book does not take itself too seriously.”

San Francisco Book Review / Another Universe

“The book…fits together with the dreamlike logic and sense of the absurd de Crecy brings to everything he does. It’s preposterous, but feels right somehow.”

–  San Angelo Standard-Times

“While off to a slow start, this book ends on a fascinating, if absurd, note. The art has a nice amount of detail, combined with soft lines and colors.”

Sequential Tart

“Of the Louvre books NBM has published… this seemed to me to be the best, working perfectly well as a story in its own right while also being about the museum and the works it contains.”

Robot 6

 

Phantoms of The Louvre by Enki Bilal 

“Look, I could spend a lot of breath telling you how amazing this stuff is, but honestly: why? It’s Enki-friggin’-Bilal drawing and writing about the greatest museum on Earth! What the hell else do you want from comics? Unless your taste resides solely in your mouth, you need this like you need oxygen.”

Comics Waiting Room

“This would be a must for folks who are already fans of Enki Bilal, and…art lovers (will) appreciate some extra depth and meaning to works of art in an unusual way.”

Sequential Tart

“Now, some purists will resent a modern artist like Bilal using classic works as, essentially, his canvas. To which I say: Phooey. Bilal is doing what artists have always done, which is to stand on the shoulders of giants to push forward into the new and unknown. And when it results in beautiful work like this, I can’t entertain the argument.”

–  San Angelo Standard-Times

“It is gorgeous — in design, in recording select pieces of the Louvre’s collection, in Bilal’s super-imposition of ghosts upon them — and a supremely interesting springboard to watch a creator with Bilal’s imagination and abilities dive off of repeatedly.”

Robot 6

“Bilal’s art proves suitably unsettling: this is not a “touristy” consideration of fine art masterworks, but the work of a politically engaged artist. Each painting catches the feel of the original work while adding its own ironic spin, resulting in the most unique and thought-provoking “Louvre Edition” to date.”

Seattle Post Intelligencer

 

The Sky Over the Louvre by  Bernar Yslaire & Jean-Claude Carreire

“This is a strange tale that becomes stranger and stranger… This book is a wonderful resource for better appreciating the forces at play just as the Louvre was getting under way.”

Comics Grinder

Booklist on Dungeon and Library Journal on The Broadcast +more

“Sfar & Trondheim never have a problem pushing boundaries for a better laugh and here there are laughs aplenty. A wonderful addition to the series.”

Booklist on Dungeon Monstres 4. Also on this book:

“Lovers of Sfar and Trondheim’s ongoing send-up of hero fantasy shouldn’t be disappointed by this rollicking entry – which would also make a decent
entry point for newcomers to this inventive comics entertainment.”

 Seattle Post Intelligencer and Blogcritics.

The Broadcast gets another great endorsement:

“Hobbs provides convincing characterizations and a satisfying conclusion. Recommended.”

Library Journal

The Sky Over the Louvre continues to get raves:

“Brilliant! Breathtakingly beautiful on many levels. If you’ve resisted graphic novels, this is the one that might win you over. The text is by Jean-Claude Carrière, the screenwriter of The Unbearable Lightness of Being and many other films, and the images are by one of France’s greatest comics artist, Bernar Yslaire. It’s an intimate, intense voyage into the past where politics and passion meet in unexpected ways.”

Book Brunch at Bibliobuffet

Sky Over the Louvre: weather forecast varies.

Booklist’s Ray Olson found Sky Over the Louvre to be brought off ‘with singular panache on the part of artist Yslaire… This is bravura serious caricature.” but found scripter Carriere’s story to fall somewhat short of its potential.

Comics Waiting Room meanwhile is effusive:

“An artistic tour-de-force, yet it also tells the most relatable story we’ve seen from these books so far. What makes SKY work so well is that the creators do a superb job of helping the reader understand the timeframe in which the story takes place. The motivations, the social mores, the clothing, the abject terror… it leaps off the page and surrounds you as you go through the pages.

Highly recommended. Just like all the previous books in the Louvre series.”

And so is Brigid Alverson over at Robot 6 on Comic Book Resources:

“Sky Over the Louvre is the latest in NBM’s series of translations of graphic novels about the Louvre, and I think it’s the best so far. It’s a great read and left me wanting more.”

And then there’s this nice review done live on a radio station in Michigan, here’s the transcript (it’s short).

Story of Lee has sold out + some reviews

THE STORY OF LEE HAS SOLD OUT its first print run! Sorry that we’re temporarily out of stock while he rush back to press…
Meantime, a cute review by Erin Jameson at Playback:STL of A Story of Lee, entitled “A Love Less Traveled.”

Bill Sherman at Blogcritics sees an interesting parallel in Sky Over the Louvre with our times:

“Carriere effectively captures the debates of the day, the ways ideological purity can be used to rationalize atrocity, and imbues every seemingly intellectual debate with more than a hint of menace. In an era where a simple cartoon can spur true believers into violence, where a rising pool of writers judge art and entertainment on the basis of politics over anything, The Sky over the Louvre is more than a historical recreation. It’s a graphic novel for our polarized times.”