Steven Spielberg/Woody Allen

Sometime, maybe ten years ago, I read or heard this quote from Woody Allen which went something like this: Steven Spielberg says he tries to make the films he loved as a kid. I try to make the films I love as an adult.

And at the time, I was in total agreement with Woody Allen, but now I think I’m coming around to Steven Spielberg’s way of thinking.

These are some pages from this fun little Formula 1 book I’m working. It’s very boyish.

(Also!)(I’ll be doing a talk with Joel Gill at the Cambridge Public Library on June 25th!)(We’ll be talking about my book, All Star, and his book, Strange Fruit!)(!)

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ALL STAR Knocks It Out Of The Park

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The reviews for Jesse Lonergan’s All Star are in!

“It’s an authentic tale of life in a small community, particularly in the wordless sequences of ball practice or late-night party. It’s a pleasure to get lost in the art.”

Comics Worth Reading

“Lonergan’s story hits all the right notes of smalltown life and athletic struggle, with loose, energetic, manga-inspired art.”

Publisher’s Weekly

All Star captures small-town adolescence perfectly (perhaps all too perfectly, depending on a reader’s mood and propensity for elegiac nostalgia), and is actually a great deal of fun, despite the down ending and the heavy melodrama.

Lonergan is a sensational character designer and cartoonist, and while all of the lines in all of the panels are dynamic and expressive, this is never more apparent than when he’s drawing the sports action, in which balls fly like meteors, and hit the ground, a glove or a bat with explosions.”

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“Lonergan does get things right at every turn. His town feels right, the people who live there feel right, the reaction to what happens feels right, and the angst Carl feels over it feels right. There’s a universal recognition of the human condition here that works. Having grown up in a town like this, I saw the truth in it. The art has a crisp, cartoon-y look about it, and the ending, while feeling a little manufactured, resonates in the final panels. Solid stuff.”

Comics Wating Room

 

“Thoughtful, provocative, and populated by believable human characters, All Star is highly recommended. All Star does contain some cursing and a few sexual allusions, though it is never explicit, and is therefore more suitable for teens and adults (or any reader who is mature enough to understand what the Lewinsky scandal was all about).”

Midwest Book Review

 

This was so good. So damn good. I don’t care for baseball at all, but this isn’t necessarily about baseball. It’s about being someone who is willing to take a stand for what they think is important...”

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There are also two fantastic interviews with Lonergan at Comic Book Resources and San Angelo Times that are both excellent reads.

All Star is available now.

NBM Heads To TCAF! Dillies! Hobbs! Tuazon! Lonergan! Blain!

This weekend, May 10th and 11th The Toronto Public Library and The Beguiling team up once again to present the Toronto Comics Art Festival (TCAF) with several NBM authors in attendance.  We’ll be holding court at Table 172, so come on by!

Renaud Dillies will be a featured guest and will be making TCAF his first ever North American comics event.

Dillies is the creative force behind Betty Blues and Bubbles & Gondola and illustrated Abelard with writer Régis Hautière.

BETTY BLUES

On Saturday, he’ll be appearing at the Toronto Reference Library: Comics Workshop Space leading the workshop,  “Drawing Music.”

On Sunday, he’ll receive his own spotlight panel from 4pm-5pm.

All the way from Paris, France, TCAF is proud to welcome Featured Guest Renaud Dillies. Author of the acclaimed graphic novels Abelard and Bubbles & Gondola, and the Angouleme “Debut Book Prize” winner Betty Blues. In this feature interview, The Comics Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon will interview Dillies on his life, his career, and his inspirations. French/English interpretation by Stephane Beaujean.

Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon

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From the creative team behind The Broadcast, NBM is proud to be debuting their new book, Family Ties at TCAF.

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, Family Ties is The Godfather as a Shakespearean tragedy in this epic tale of betrayal and loss.

 

Jesse Lonergan

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Jesse, the author of Flower & Fade  and Joe & Azat will be appearing to support his new book, the baseball coming of age tale, All Star.

On Saturday from 11am-12pm, Jesse will be appearing on the panel:

Sports Vs. Comic Books: Making Peace Between Schoolyard Enemies.


Jocks Vs. Nerds is an engrained trope, but times have thankfully changed. The North American comics industry is catching up to its European and Japanese compatriots, realizing that blending popular sporting events with comics and graphic novels goes together like peanut butter and chocolate, and the result are great comics that appeal to an entirely new artist. Join authors Box Brown (Andre The Giant), Reinhard Kleist (The Boxer), Wai Au (Fujosports), Jesse Lonergan (All-Star), and moderator Jimmy Aquino (Comics News Insider), for a spirited discussion of this emerging genre of comics!

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Christophe Blain, the author Isaac the Pirate, Gus, and Dungeon the Early Years (with Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim) will be hosting one of the Comics Workshops, “Drawing” on Saturday at 2pm.

Signing Schedule – Table 172

Saturday

  • 9am-10am Jesse Lonergan
  • 10am-12pm  Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon
  • 1pm-2pm Renaud Dillies
  • 2pm-3pm  Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon
  • 3pm-4pm Jesse Lonergan
  • 4pm-5pm Renaud Dillies


Sunday

  • 11am-12pm Christophe Blain
  • 12pm-1pm Renaud Dillies
  • 1pm-2pm  Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon
  • 2pm-3pm Jesse Lonergan
  • 3pm-4pm Renaud Dillies
  • 4pm-5pm Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon

 

For more details, visit torontocomics.com

This Weekend, NBM Heads To MoCCA Arts Festival; ALL STAR by Jesse Lonergan and 2nd. Edition of SILK ROAD TO RUIN by Ted Rall To Premiere

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NBM Publishing is once again heading to the MoCCA Arts Festival and we are happy to have both Jesse Lonergan, who will be appearing to promote the debut of his new book, the coming of age story All Star and Ted Rall who will be signing copies of the new edition of his book, SILK ROAD TO RUIN: Why Central Asia Is The Next Middle East.

 

About All Star

 

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Set at the end of the school year in 1998 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, and Semisonic’s ‘Closing Time’ is on top of the charts, 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.

 

About SILK ROAD TO RUIN: Why Central Asia Is The Next Middle East – 2nd Ed.

 

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Part graphic novel travelog, part tongue-in-cheek travel guide, here are the adventures of caustic cartoonist Rall in the wild and wooly central Asian countries, a powder keg sitting on tomorrow’s oil…

Combining articles with comic chapters relating his experiences retracing the old legendary Silk Road starting with the sublime history of China and ending in the absurdity of the petty dictatorships of the “The ‘Stans” where Rall had the temerity -or was it blustery stupidity?- to go back, including once with a group of listeners to his radio show, on a dare.

It’s exotic adventure, satire and a fun way to find out more about a part of the world that looms in importance with its immense reserves of oil…

Signing Schedule – Tables B6, B7

 

Both Jesse and Ted will be appearing at the NBM Booth throughout the weekend.

Saturday, April 6th:

  • Jesse Lonergan 11:30-1:00
  • Ted Rall 1:00-3:00
  • Jesse Lonergan 3:00-5:00

Sunday, April 7th:

  • Jesse Lonergan 12:00-2:00
  • Ted Rall 2:00-3:30
  • Jesse Lonergan 3:30-5:00

 

Be sure to follow @nbmpub on Twitter.  So come on by, meet some cool folks and celebrate comics!

A Mixtape to Set the Mood

I listen to music while I’m drawing, and I’d like to think that the music that I listen to has some sort of effect on the lines that I put on the page. With All Star being set in the 90s, it seemed natural to have a 90s playlist for the occasion. What I found was that the songs that took me back the most were not the songs that I liked the most at the time. The songs that really brought me back were the songs that didn’t make it out of the 90s. I loved Weezer’s blue album in high school, but it’s an album that I have listened to a great deal since then, and so it doesn’t necessarily pull me back. But Deep Blue Something’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s takes me back, because I only heard it in high school and never again.

Here are some others:

Here in Your Bedroom – Goldfinger

Pepper – The Butthole Surfers

Closing Time – Semisonic (be careful: this song gets stuck in your head super easy)

Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand – The Primitive Radio Gods

Lovefool – The Cardigans (my secret anthem)

Lump – The Presidents of the United States of America

The Freshman – The Verve Pipe (I hated this song and I can’t say I care for it much now, but it takes me back to talking with friends about how much I hated it)

In the Meantime – Spacehog

No Rain – Blind Melon

These songs are the songs that take me back. I don’t love them necessarily, but they lock me into a place and time. How much effect does this have on the lines that get put on the paper? I don’t know, but I’m not sure if that Alanis Morrisette joke would have gotten in there without them.

School Picture 1995: Special Torture

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.

Process.

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.

Jesse Lonergan Discusses ALL STAR

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.

Continue reading “Jesse Lonergan Discusses ALL STAR”

Comixology!

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!

The Randomness of Denise Richards

Hey, man, this is my thought process.

So these two guys, Carl and Esden, are about to go to this rager of a party, but before the party there is this little quiet moment of them chatting in the car, not a super serious conversation, just a couple of dudes talking.

I thought I could just write whatever, and whatever would be random enough, but what I found was that in a book everything takes on a little more meaning.

This dialogue seems to reveal something personal about the main character Carl and his struggles with girls. And he is a little bit awkward around girls, but it never comes up again, so to me this dialogue seems a little misleading.

It hints at too much.

But I really like the look and flow of the panels.

Which created the task of writing new dialogue, random dialogue, that would fit into the word balloons.

And so, an intellectually stimulating discussion of the respective values of Milla Jovavich and Denise Richards in the minds of seventeen year old boys in 1998. It doesn’t raise any expectations but does further cement the time the story takes place and the age and maturity levels of the characters.

You can see the whole thing when All Star comes out.