NBM Nominated for Three Firecracker Awards; Reading At 16th Annual Lit Mag Fair on 4/26


The Firecracker Alternative Book Awards herald the best in wildly independent writing and publishing — the people who sharpen the cutting edge, the First-Amendment radicals with a bad attitude.   For many years, The Fireccracker was the leading, most sought after alternative press award, now reincarnated. Ted Rall was one of NBM’s previous winners. This year, NBM has been nominated for three of their five graphic novel nominees:

All Star by Jesse Lonergan
It’s the end of the school year in 1998. 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.

Beauty by Hubert & Kerascoet
The team behind Miss Don’t Touch Me is back with an engrossing tale for grown-ups on the nature of beauty, both fascinating and corrupting.

When Coddie unintentionally delivers a fairy from a spell that held her prisoner, she does not realize how poisoned the wish is she gets in return. From repulsive and stinking of fish she becomes perceived as magnetically beautiful, which does not help her in her village. A young local lord saves her but soon it becomes apparent her destiny may be far greater…

Family Ties by Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon
In Family Ties, an aging Alaskan crime boss looks to retire and divide his empire amongst his three heirs, hoping to secure a future for his children. 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, This epic tale of betrayal and loss combines The Godfather with Shakespearean tragedy.

This Sunday, on April 26th, 2015, NBM Publishing will be participating in the 16th Annual Lit Mag Fair at Housing Works where Lit fiends can take home armfuls of lit mags discounted to only $2 a copy! Choose from hundreds of magazines from all over the country and hobnob with many of the editors who’ll be there in person to meet and greet. Proceeds go to Housing Works, a nonprofit organization serving homeless people living with AIDS, and to The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses, a nonprofit organization serving independent literary publishers.

One of the highlights of the event will be finalist live readings scheduled for 2 – 3:30 p.m.  NBM Publisher Terry Nantier will be reading excerpts from all three of the nominated titles.

For more details, visit the Event Page on Facebook.

Review Round-Up: FAMILY TIES – AN ALASKAN CRIME DRAMA, a “lovingly-crafted update”

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 mashed up with  Shakespearean tragedy in this epic tale of betrayal and loss.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

“This lovingly-crafted update of a Shakespeare classic is worth the read.”

Graphic Novel Reporter

“The real star of this production is Tuazon, whose fragile linework competes bold swaths of inky grays to create just the right atmosphere for this murky tale of hubris and denial.”

guttergeek

“What we have in Family Ties is a story that leaves you feeling raw and uncomfortable, wondering if perhaps your own relationships are similarly problematic or unresolved…We may not have grown up in a malfunctioning crime family, but we have all had our shares of brokenness.”

Comics Alternative

“A very solid read…worth checking out.”

Things I Like

Family Ties is mostly a visual feast (or at least a good meal) though doesn’t quite sound as rich. But then nothing sounds as rich as Shakespeare.”

– Comics Bulletin

“Murder, betrayal, and revenge abound in this dark and violent parable, highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of Shakespearean drama and gritty crime stories alike.”

Midwest Book Review

Shakespeare Gets Mobbed Up In FAMILY TIES

If there’s any doubt to the continuing influence and power of Shakespeare’s work, the Alaskan crime story would do little to sway that argument.  In Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon’s Family Ties, King Lear is reimagined against the backdrop of a crime family dealing with the patriarch’s onset dementia.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

“A superb graphic novel that should appeal to students of Elizabethan drama and of grandiosely brutal gangster stories.”

Seattle P-I

“The real star of this production is Tuazon, whose fragile linework competes bold swaths of inky grays to create just the right atmosphere for this murky tale of hubris and denial.”

Guttergeek

 

“A  very solid read, and worth checking out.”

Things I Like

 

“And in great tragic fashion, there is no neat and satisfying conclusion to this story. The narrative threads are roughly cut, similar to Tuazon’s renderings, and we’re left with a drama without any “real” ending. The ambiguity, though, is all part of the narrative’s unsettling tone and feeds into its dark realism. What we have in Family Ties is a story that leaves you feeling raw and uncomfortable, wondering if perhaps your own relationships are similarly problematic or unresolved.”

Comics Alternative

 

“Highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of Shakespearean drama and gritty crime stories alike.”

Midwest Book Review

 

The best part about Family Ties, and the reason I’d recommend it, is the art, by Noel Tuazon, all black and white. And gray. Lots of gray. His figures and objects are mostly minimalist sketches, and the “coloring” is various shades of gray watercolor, which I, in my non-art history background, associate with traditional Chinese and Japanese nature paintings. Meaning that the story is just automatically moody and exotic-looking.

Comics Bulletin

“A great concept — a version of King Lear set among a crime family in Alaska, with the aging boss father facing dementia and two ambitious daughters.”

Comics Worth Reading

NBM in October: Street View, a beautiful accordion book.

Something unusual for October, a book you can fold-out all the way with a street scene, one side evolving by day, one by night. A visual treat!

Street View

STREET VIEW
Pascal Rabaté
A visually incomparable treat and a brilliant homage to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, this unusual accordion book opens in two directions. One, a series of ten tableaux on a street scene as it evolves during the day. The next on 10 evening tableaux of the same view. A window may serve as a source of light and fresh air, but it also presents a view onto the life of a street and its many other windows, each a separate scene of its own, with its multitude of on-going stories developing before your eyes. Within those windows, you can witness the lives of single people, couples, families, stories of love, separation and possibly even… murder.
8×11, 48pp, full color accordion book, hc, $27.99 9781561639083

 SEE THE PREVIEWS

Also this month:

NOIR THRILLER SET

NOIR THRILLER SET
The Broadcast and Family Ties
Two thrillers in one engrossing set!
In the Broadcast, on the day of the historic broadcast of The War of the Worlds by Orson Welles which triggered panic in many places it sounded so real, a family in the countryside fears for its life and also has to deal with strangers and neighbors coming in for help. The tension brings to the surface long suppressed emotions and conflicts and a violent reckoning in a dark stormy night.
Hoping to secure a future for his children, an aging Alaskan crime boss in Family Ties 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, 388pp., B&W set of 2 books, $28.99 
9781561639007

 Previews

Meanwhile, back at EUROTICA, fresh out of SIZZLE magazine:
PRECINCT 69

PRECINCT 69
Carlos Jimenez

The hot men and women detectives of Precinct 69 have some unusual methods of getting crimes solved! Their weapons aren’t just big guns but their own amazing assets… A tongue-in-cheek cross between action-packed police procedural and steamy sex.
8 ½ x 11, 48pp. full color paperback, $12.99 
9781561639205

ALL SOLICITED FOR IN COMICS STORES NOW!

Family Ties on Kindle… for $2.99!

familycov

So I’m extremely busy these days with a big work-for-hire project that I’ve been asked to write along with a mammoth creator owned book that is taking up a lot of my time, but I wanted to drop by and quickly let everyone know that Amazon has made the digital version of Family Ties one of their “Monthly Deals” in July.

This is really cool as most the books they include in the monthly promotion are novels. There aren’t a lot of graphic novels selected so it was kinda nice to see FT get some love. And what does that mean for you? Well, if you have a Kindle (or the Kindle app) you can get Family Ties for just $2.99. That’s almost 180 pages of story for less than three bucks! I can’t imagine you’ll ever have a chance to get it cheaper.

Click here to check it out!

FAMILY TIES Review Round Up

Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon’s Shakespearean organized crime graphic novel, Family Ties, is their first work together since The Broadcast.  Here’s what the critics have to say.

Family Ties is a single volume graphic novel packed with tension and wrought with emotion, as well as more than a little violence. With all the hallmarks of the best mob movies, alongside the emotions of family dramas, Hobbs has crafted an engaging and original story.”

NJ.com

The best part about Family Ties, and the reason I’d recommend it, is the art, by Noel Tuazon, all black and white. And gray. Lots of gray. His figures and objects are mostly minimalist sketches, and the “coloring” is various shades of gray watercolor, which I, in my non-art history background, associate with traditional Chinese and Japanese nature paintings. Meaning that the story is just automatically moody and exotic-looking. But also, the black and white and gray formatting serves as a metaphor for the story morality: it’s not a world of black/white bad/good, but a whole bunch of people operating somewhere in the middle.”

Comics Bulletin

“A superb graphic novel that should appeal to students of Elizabethan drama and of grandiosely brutal gangster stories.”

Seattle Post Intelligencer

 

 

Family Ties: the word is out!

familycov

So it’s been about since the release of Family Ties and the response has been great. Thanks to everyone who’s picked up a copy, especially those who stopped by and saw Noel and I at TCAF last month. Not many people have a book signed by both of us.

For those who couldn’t make it out to TCAF for a chat, here’s an interview Noel and I did with CBR along with the first reviews we’ve seen roll in since the book’s release…

Comic Book Resources interview:
Family Ties Puts Shakespearean Spin On Alaska Crime

Seattlepi.com review:
“A superb graphic novel.” 

NJ.com review:
A cold weather Martin Scorsese film packed into a tiny graphic novel, “Family Ties” is overflowing with tension and pain and ends in tragedy that is almost a relief to the anguish that preceded it.”

 

It’s All Comic To Me blog review:
“Absolutely brilliant… One of the best dramatic graphic novels I’ve read all year.”

Comics Bulletin review:
“A visual feast.”

****

About the book: 

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.

 

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

http://www.nbmpub.com/comicslit/family_ties/familyties_cover_72.jpg

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

http://www.nbmpub.com/comicslit/flower/press/72.jpg
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!

http://www.nbmpub.com/comicslit/blain/isaacov2.jpg

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

Family Ties: A Godfather Influence

 

Obviously any drama that’s focused on a the members of a crime family is going to be influenced by The Godfather. The Godfather is one of richest stories to ever be told so it only makes sense that I drew on my love for those movies when writing Family Ties.

One of the most memorable scenes in The Godfather is the wedding that opens the first movie. Most the people at the wedding  have no idea Don Corleone is conducting “family business” in his office. As a kid, I thought is was great that that was going on right under everyone’s nose and jumped at an opportunity to include something similar in Family Ties.

Here’s a brief scene from the new book where Jackie’s daughters announce they don’t really feel there’s room for their father to contribute to the family business anymore. While the wedding scene in The Godfather was just the beginning, this scene in Family Ties is pretty much the beginning of the end…

 

 

 

 

 

 

*******

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.

Family Ties: Why Alaska?

 

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.