NBM Review Round-Up!

Omaha The Cat Dancer Volume 8

“Quality erotic comics.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“Dave Sim might win the title for longest and most determined self-published comic, but Omaha the Cat Dancer is much more fun and human as an artist’s significant, consuming accomplishment.”

Comics Worth Reading

Zombillenium

“A hoot from start to finish, with funny situations, great characters, witty dialogue, and art that is utterly gorgeous.”

Comics Waiting Room

An Enchantment

“Tinged with themes of regret and late life redemption, Durieux’s work is more a ruminative dialog than a complex tale. The book’s strength rests on its evocative earth-toned art and its appealing couple, who we can honestly accept in their late night museum setting. His heroine proves particularly striking; in lesser hands, she’d prove sentimentally Boho, but Durieux gives her dialogue a scholarly intelligence that’s suited to this lovingly illustrated graphic discourse on art and humanity. Every one of the volumes to date in the Louvre series has been an art and comics lover’s treat: An Enchanment does not prove an exception.”

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The Initiates

“Davodeau and his old friend, the Loire winemaker Richard Leroy, spend a year enlightening the other about their respective professions. Wine, so often the producer of mental fog, becomes instead an agent of clarity; the two men, to say nothing of Davodeau’s readers, learn a great deal about the painstaking processes that make a comic book or a bottle.”

New Statesman

“A compelling, entertaining and educational tale that takes full advantage of the graphic storytelling medium.”

Miami Herald

“Although I’m not nearly as familiar with the French comics scene, I did recognize some of the figures mentioned in the book, like Lewis Trondheim (who makes an appearance) and Moebius. And I know even less about wine and wine-making. But even so, I really enjoyed following Davodeau and Leroy as they each explored a world that was totally new to them.”

Stargazing Dog was first published in Japan in 2008, where it has sold over a half million copies. It’s a relatively short graphic novel that should take about a half hour to read, except that I had to take numerous breaks from reading to cry. Do not read this in a public setting…This is a must read not only for the characters and plot but for the artwork too.”

The Book Shark

Taxes, The Tea Party and Those Revolting Rebels

“Mack has a refreshingly cynical view of, well, everything. All the familiar characters (Sam Adams, George Washington, King George) are presented with their personal motives front and center. (My favorite part: after Lexington & Concord we see a silhouette of Paul Revere filling out an expense voucher for his midnight ride.) Everyone was acting out of self-interest, as is always the case, but this time the result somewhat luckily ended up advancing the cause of democracy and human rights.”

Unshelved

NBM Review Round-Up!

After a great time at MoCCA, here we are, back again, with some recent reviews of various NBM titles.

Abelard

Has been nominated for “Great Graphic Novel for Teens’ by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association).  Results will be announced in January 2104 by the ALA.

“At times, both whimsical and melancholy, Abelard transcends the artform as an example of exquisite storytelling.”

Broken Frontier

An Enchantment

“Billed as “A Graphic Poem,” author/artist Durieux’s volume renders a reverie rich with carefully detailed sepia-toned illustrations that incorporate photo reproductions of the museum’s celebrated artwork…Highly recommended.”

Library Journal

“Pure escapism through art.”

Comics Worth Reading

“In an afterword, writer/artist Christian Durieux says his ambition was to create poetry in comics. With this beguiling, bittersweet reverie, I think he has succeeded.”

New Hampshire Telegraph

“The art is lovely, the characters and dialogue are rich, and the book sweeps you up and carries you along with its verve. Each entry in the Louvre series has been unique, and has challenged its readers as a work of art should. This one stands above the others in its power to engage.”

Comics Waiting Room

Philosophy – A Discovery in Comics

“(Philosophy: A Discovery in Comics) is very much a “discovery”, a “first look” at philosophy that warns against subscribing to any particular system of thought too rigidly and instead encourages critical, personal engagement. It’s an important lesson to learn, particularly for young adults who are just beginning to engage with abstract thought.”

Multiversity Comics

Philosophy is organized like a virtual road trip, with de Heer and her husband Yiri (also a cartoonist; he did the coloring for this volume) offering commentary on the issues and philosophers covered, frequently raising the same kinds of questions that we would have, and providing reasonable answers to many of them. The illustrations are cute and colorful, alternating between standard frame-based sequential comics and full-page splashes, and de Heer’s cheerful style keeps even the weightiest questions from seeming too difficult to contemplate.”

Playback:stl

Stargazing Dog

“If you have a heart at all, you will cry reading this book.”

Lost in the Stacks

Lovers’ Lane: The Hall-Mills Mystery

The Morton Report has a fantastic interview with Rick where he discusses A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium as well as his true-crime work in general.

“Rick Geary’s distinctively inked style is a perfect match to the tales of bloodshed he favors—they recall both woodcuts and graphical newspaper illustrations of the Police Gazette variety, giving a period flavor to his work. His deadpan style of storytelling, as well as his unerring choice of unusual details to highlight, give the proceedings a touch of humor of the “what fools these mortals be” variety.”

Playback: stl

NBM Review Round-Up!

It’s not too late to get some of our fantastic books to give away as holiday gifts (or buy one or two for yourself, you deserve it!).

Here’s what the critics are saying about some of our recent titles.

Abelard

“A beautifully crafted piece of storytelling from Hautiére that tugs mercilessly at the heartstrings but doesn’t ever fall into sentimental or sickly sweet. If anything, by the end, we’re assaulted by the brutality of the story. And Dillies’ artwork is quite beautiful, his charming characters almost deliberately at odds with some of the themes and actions of the tale, yet never feeling wrong. His stylised colours perfectly suited to detailing all the wonders, all the misery, all the dreams Abelard finds along his journey.”

The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log

A poignant, droll, and heartbreaking “funny animals” tale for grown-ups, with breathtaking art.”

Karen GreenBoing Boing Annual “Return of the Best Damn Comics of the Year” List

 

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet: The Rise of the Graphic Novel

“A wonderful primer for both educators who need to familiarize themselves with the medium as well as those who have been reading comics faithfully for 50+ years. Like the best of historians, Mr. Weiner manages to logically connect seemingly disparate ideas and occurrences into one cohesive story, fitting a lot of important notes into one place, and he never belabors any of them. His timeline, (always important to a comic fan and reader!) is impeccable and brilliantly concise.”

New York Journal of Books

 

Stargazing Dog

“Stargazing Dog is a beautiful, poignant work on love and death and I dare you to not to cry while reading it.”

– Stuff & Nonsense

 

Taxes, The Tea Party and Those Revolting Rebels

“Stan Mack uses succinct language, humor, and clean and energetic black and white cartoons to turn a complex history into an accessible story…A completely unique and accessible way of learning history.”

City Book Review

Review Round-Ups: Here’s What The Critics Are Saying…

Image from Bubbles & Gondola by Renaud Dillies

“The timing of this book couldn’t be better, speaking as it does to what the citizens of a well-off community value, and how they shirk social responsibility. The lesson is plain, yet sensitively and elegantly rendered.”

The AV Club on The Fairy Tales Of Oscar Wilde: The Happy Prince

 

“Wilde’s beloved allegory is beautifully and smartly adapted by master craftsman Russell…The tale of the lifeless boy and the faithful avian is conveyed sweetly and with great heart.”

The Miami Herald on The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde:The Happy Prince

 

“P. Craig Russell has taken an interesting approach to illustrating this tale: he includes all the text from Wilde and adds a visual element to enhance and compliment that text…It’s his classic and timeless art style that elevate and enhance this story so well. It’s worth noting that Russell does everything on this book: layout, design and lettering along with the art. A meticulous artist who doesn’t do anything without a reason.”

Comic Book Daily on The Fairy Tales Of Oscar Wilde: The Happy Prince

 

“I first read the prose in my late teens and it’s stayed in my heart ever since. Here P. Craig Russell has done wonders with the work, his fine, clean line lit with lambent colours. I even love what he’s done with the speech bubbles linked to their square-boxed, qualifying commentary. More than anything, though, his art here is the ultimate essay in tenderness.”

Page45.com on The Fairy Tales Of Oscar Wilde: The Happy Prince

 

“The book is charming and sweet and well told. Gillies does very attractive comics, and his work can definitely be shared with kids who will probably appreciate this story.”

Comics Bulletin on Bubbles & Gondola

 

“Dilles’ engaging cartooning style is a bod to Krazy Kat, and he paces the book with a categorial whimsy that is simultaneously well-plotted and fanciful.”

Comic Buyer’s Guide on Bubbles & Gondola

 

“Despite the whimsical drawing and fanciful setting, one can’t help but feel that this is an intensely personal book for Dillies. This isn’t simply a book about writer’s block, but about a specific kind of aspiration and the blocks against that aspiration.”

High-Low on Bubbles & Gondola

 

“Despite focusing on two young girls, this is a very adult book. There are strips making jokes about the theory of relativity, adult toys, violence, and alcoholism. The twins’ mother’s sexual frustration and odd ways of coping with that frustration is a major storyline throughout the collection. The book derives a lot of its humor from the ridiculousness of seeing 8-year-olds make jokes about adult topics, such as the Neo-Nazi classmate who says the Holocaust never happened or when Kinky and Cosy have drinks in a bar with some aliens…The plotline involving the mother falling in love with the recycling bin, for example, was a bit too out there.”

No Flying No Tights on Kinky & Cosy

 

“A very bittersweet tale about love and how it fills our lives when it’s there and how we feel its absence…This is a book for pet lovers, the romantic, and anyone needing a pick-me-up.”

Portland Book Review on Stargazing Dog

 

“This melodramatic horror story should be popular with manga fans…The black-and-white drawings are bathed in pastel shades of pink, blue, and lavender, adding to the otherworldly tone of the story.”

School Library Journal on Rohan at the Louve

NBM Review Round-Up!

With such a wide variety of titles, we’re pretty fortunate to get a pretty amazing cross section of reviewers.

Here are a few kind words about several of our titles:

Stargazing Dog

“A moving story for all devoted pet owners and animal lovers.”

Curled Up With a Good Book

Kinky & Cosy

“The jokes are, for the most part, snarky, sarcastic, and clever…The plotline involving the mother falling in love with the recycling bin, for example, was a bit too out there…This collection is fun and funny, until it just got too weird for my taste. Kinky and Cosy are smart, cute, and a bit disturbing all at the same time.”

No Flying No Tights

Rohan at The Louvre

“As with the previous graphic novels in The Louvre Collection series, this fourth installment features well-rendered art and a compelling plot…Araki’s book will be relished by readers who are fans of the manga format, especially those interested in art and art collections.”

VOYA Magazine

The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti

“An honest and non-ideological recounting of the facts of the case, told in a straight-forward manner with a minimum of sensationalism (and no invective).  In the course of the unfolding story, Geary’s attention to detail is consistent and impressive.  Not only does he present us with the evidence, but he also cites the source for that evidence, and raises the questions about its validity, and explains any misgivings about those questions.  The illustrations, likewise, are strikingly literal, with just the right mix of minute detail on the one hand, and clarity and simplicity on the other.”

Toward Freedom

Brownsville

“I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Brownsville, which was published by NBM…  This is a graphic novel, so they don’t care about making you turn the page because you’re probably going to decide to buy this based on other considerations. But just because they don’t need to do it doesn’t mean they take the first page off. This page shows a lot in just five panels, and it hints at quite a bit to come. It’s well constructed, and leaves the reader wanting more. That’s how it’s done!”

Comics Should Be Good

Salvatore 2

“Things are constantly moving in this book, even if, like Salvatore discovers, all that movement wound up plopping him back at the beginning of the journey. De Crecy ensures the reader that the fruitlessness of Salvatore’s journey doesn’t extend to the entertainment value and sheer delight found in his cartooning.”

High-Low

More Thoughts On STARGAZING DOG

Sure, Takashi Murakami’s Stargazing Dog was well received when it first came out (making several “Best of 2011” Lists), but what are other reviewers thinking in regard to this title?

“Takashi Murakami’s Stargazing Dog will break your heart. I can’t emphasize that enough…The story sucked me in that hard. I’m a softie for this book, completely.”

Comic Book Resources

” It’s one of the sweetest, saddest stories you could pick up.”

Slightly Biased Manga

Stargazing Dog has been a best-seller in Japan since its release, and what’s charming and universally appealing about this little novel isn’t the pictures—it’s the story”

Newcity Lit

“This graphic novel strikes a resonating and emotional chord. It really gets at the heart of what makes us happy, what makes us human, and what makes us family.”

Kirkwood Public Library Staff Reads Blog

Stargazing Dog will make you despair at the unfairness of life and wonder at the power of love and loyalty.”

– The Star Online

Have you read Stargazing Dog yet?  What do you think?

The joy of getting slightly creeped out.

 

Inner Sanctum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School Library Journal says of Colon’s Inner Sanctum:

“Colón maintains the period settings and character interactions, while showing how ominous shading, gestures caught in frozen moments, staring yet lifeless eyes, and the confusion between reality and nightmarish deformity convert the tales from ear to page. Colón succeeds in respecting the original tales, his readers, and the joy of getting slightly creeped out.”

Another review on that book raves over his art but is less than sanguine about his writing: Broken Frontier.

 

 

This very same Broken Frontier (on another page), however, praises Salvatore 2 to the Gods:

“Nicolas De Crecy’s romantic comedy tour de force continues with witty aplomb and tongue firmly planted in cheek. Reading Salvatore is like reading a Shakespearean comedy, with De Crecy’s pointed commentary on the human condition coming in the form of clever double entendres, slapstick pratfalls, and calculated exaggeration.”

 

 

 

Stargazing Dog still keeps getting reactions. Modern Dog, a prominent magazine for dog lovers says:
“Anyone who’s ever loved a pet will be moved to tears by the tale of human misfortune and the unwavering dedication of dogs that unfolds  in Murakami’s graphic novel.”

And Chicago’s New City:
“Charming and universally appealing.”

“Female descendants of Max and Moritz”

“Here are the female descendants of Wilhelm Busch’s Max and Moritz. Like Busch’s awful boys, it’s impossible not to cheer these two through all their silliness and well-deserved comeuppances.”

Booklist on Kinky & Cosy.

From Robot 6:

Chris Mautner: “You know who’s great? Lewis Trondheim. Trondheim continues to reveal his life to readers on a weekly basis over at his Web site (and the NBM blog), most of which has been collected in his “Little Nothings” series. The lastest book, My Shadow in the Distance, offers more of the same, and such a wonderful same it is.”

Also on Little Nothings, this from Don McPherson at Eyeoncomics:

“This collection of one-page, slice-of-life cartoons are eminently relatable, and the universality of Trondheim’s ‘toons becomes even more apparent when one considers this book is a translation of work originally crafted and presented in French.”

Bookgasm on Ernie Colon’s new Inner Sanctum, says it’s fun if be it predictable…:

“Colón’s art, however, is a pleasure throughout.” —Rod Lott 

Also on Inner Sanctum from Comics Bulletin:

“This book is a hell of a lot of fun, an anthology of wonderfully drawn short tales, all of which amuse and delight and feature terrific artwork. And Ernie Colón’s storytelling chops are still a glory to behold.”

Paste Magazine on Bubbles & Gondola: “7.2. Full of small surprises, pleasurably mopey.”

Stargazing Dog still gets comments, this from Warren Peace:

“It’s really nice to see a book like this get release on American shores, aspiring to neither high artistic statements or in-your-face excitement, but still lodging itself firmly in the heart.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com calls Salvatore 2 a ‘delightful follow up.”

Press tidbits of the week

“Dillies’ art evokes the work of an earlier poetic penman, George (Krazy Kat) Herriman, though with a trace more detailed elegance. (The book’s carnival scenes are particularly splendiferous.)”
Library Media Connection gives Rick Geary‘s Sacco & Vanzetti a starred review:
“If anyone can bring an eighty year story to life, Geary is the man for the job. He tells the story with aplomb and allows another generation of students to see this case.”
Also, Scribblers.us says:
“You come away from this slim, packed volume knowing all the basics of the Sacco & Vanzetti case and quite a lot more. He’s at home in the era—no corny ‘20s clichés in his art, just period suits and hairstyles—and in command of his subject: the art of celebrated killings.”
A pet site adopts Stargazing Dog:

“This book will hook your interest in an instant, make you more teary eyed than you’d ever admit, and leave you with a deeper respect for companion animals.”

Foundanimals.com

Comic Book Resources put Salvatore, vol.2 on the top of their ‘6 most criminally ignored’ books of 2011 saying: ‘Certainly there’s nothing quite like it being published right now.”

Chris Mautner, CBR

Midwest Book Review says of it:

“The absurdities mount in this wry, whimsical tale. Highly recommended.”