Pedrosa: “What is your book about ?”

To this simple question, the author generally tries to provide a simple, concise answer with possibly a touch of humor, intelligence and modesty so as to put forward his best foot, both for himself and his work without seeming pretentious.

However, amongst all the possible answers, experience tells me “I’m not really sure…” is the least recommended.

And yet this might be the most sincere, for many reasons.

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The first is the inevitable and depressing permanent gap between what you start off trying to accomplish in a book and the result you laboriously end up with. You start a book with the ambition of building a cathedral, but you often end up with the feeling you’ve barely slapped together a shaky wood cabin.

The second reason, much less depressing but just as inevitable, is the difference between what you think objectively you’ve portrayed in a book and what each reader will subjectively get out of it. You think you’ve told a modern tragedy but some readers are convinced they’ve read a sarcastic comedy, while others see in it a series of off-the-wall tales. Go figure who’s right.

The third is the frightening propensity of humans, authors included, to act consciously while animated by unconscious wishes. You thought you were talking about a cantankerous queen; you realize years later that was your mother.

So in fact, to try to answer this question seriously, it’s sometimes necessary to go around it and in particular to go back up to the origins of a story.

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The starting point of Equinoxes is a series of monologues written in my notebooks.They were descriptions of brief moments of introspection as we all go through, fed by confused and contradictory thoughts. Moments where fear of failure, frustration, regrets, fleeting desires, hopes for a better life, disappointments with friends, the joys of love, etc… emerge within us and disappear just as quickly. We forget them and, of course, share them with no one. However, these interior monologues tell us as much if not more than our actions and our spoken words.

These texts seemed to sketch out roughly portraits of these characters of which I knew nothing, other than their fleeting feelings. Who were these characters, the links between them, and from where came this desire to evoke these interior thoughts?

The only solution open to me to answer these types of questions is to do comics.

This is how the story constructed itself. Interior voices were born from the characters, the characters were born from the stories, and, little by little, their destinies crissed-crossed each others’, creating a common story.

At times there are elements of engagement, political militancy, disappointed friendships, rambles through the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, feelings of love, Christian faith, and more globally some pretty serious existential crises.

The original texts have been reshaped many times but they have remained in this ‘literary’ form in the book. And they summarize, possibly, its subject, what it ‘talks about:’ the strange paradox of human existence. The Other is a stranger. He/she is as inaccessible to us as we are to her or him. Yet, we desperately need to be in touch with each other.

And from this common lot, this banal tragedy, can be born at times the miracle of beauty, utopia, feelings of love.

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Sketches done in the New York subway, summer 2015

See more about his Equinoxes, coming in September.

Breaking the 10 – the duck’s prayer

pond prayer joke

 

I’m especially proud of this Duck version  of a well known prayer that I made for our book with NBM, ‘Breaking the 10’. It shows the lighter side of the book and Mr Black’s trademark sarcastic wit.

Check the book out here folks:

http://www.nbmpub.com/comicslit/storyoflee/storyofllee_home.html

 

NBM In Stores This Week: BREAKING THE TEN

Hitting the shelves of comic stores this week is the latest work from author Sean Michael Wilson, the intriguing graphic novel BREAKING THE TEN. What has already been hailed as one of the “Top 16 Graphic Novels of June” by Paul Gravett, BREAKING THE TEN is the story of a man who, after losing everything, devises a plan to break each of the Ten Commandments in an act of revenge against God.

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BREAKING THE TEN
Volume One of Two
Sean Michael Wilson & Michiru Morikawa
When David loses his wife and child in a tragic car accident he decides, in anger at the cruelty of the event, to turn against God. He sets out to systematically break each of the Ten Commandments in order to both spite God and to get his attention! But will he go all the way, and break the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’? Two mysterious figures, Mr White and Mr Black, try to win David over to their side: the religious or the humanistic. Deeply sad in parts and comical in others, this modern story explores age old questions: Is there a God? And if there is, does that God care about us? By the author of The Story of Lee.
6×9, 112pp., B&W trade pb., $12.99, ISBN 9781681120218
ebook $7.99

Be sure to stop by your local comic book store to pick up your own copy this week. And if you haven’t already, check out the other NBM works from Wilson to add to your collection:

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THE STORY OF LEE, Vol .1
Sean Michael Wilson& Chie Kutsuwada
Lee, living in Hong Kong, meets Matt, a fine young Scot. Their relationship becomes stronger by the day, despite their deep cultural differences. But there is Lee’s Dad to contend with who views this affair very suspiciously. And there is another contender for Lee’s heart, a Chinese young man, whose jealousy takes on twinges of xenophobia. Will Lee and Matt’s relationship successfully cross the cultural divide and overcome the negative odds? Two worlds collide creating good sparks… and bad ones.
5 x 71/2, 160pp., B&W, trade pb.: $11.99, ISBN 978-1-56163-594-8

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THE STORY OF LEE, Vol. 2
Sean Michael Wilson and Nami Tamura
Finally Lee’s dream comes true, as she moves from her native Hong Kong to her dream location: the UK. And with her dream handsome guy: Matt. Exciting! But of course, then comes the reality of being in a new country, of actually living together, and that might not be so easy, especially as Matt’s best friend, Richard, seems more than a little jealous. And once again, wise Uncle Jun turns up to offer his advice. With art by Nami Tamura, a Japanese artist published by Kodansha.
5 x 7 1/2, 160pp., B&W, trade pb.: $11.99, ISBN 9781561639731

Find more information at our website.

This August, NBM Proudly Presents Equinoxes, Pedrosa’s “Wildly Ambitious” Graphic Novel*

“Cyril Pedrosa’s Equinoxes is an impressive feast of a book.”

– Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics and The Sculptor

From Cyril Pedrosa, a rising bestselling star of European comics comes Equinoxes, a unique ground-breaking work of rare intensity and narrative sensibility.

In an equinox, day is as long as night, as if the world found perfect equilibrium between shadow and light, a fleeting equilibrium, similar to the stakes of our human destinies. Segmented into four tableaux for four seasons, unrelated people of all social backgrounds seeking equilibrium cross paths with other solitudes, weaving in and out of one another’s lives- all captivated and tormented by the enigmatic meaning of life. Every season has its visual identity and its individual voice, culminating in summer and, possibly, an answer.

9 x 12, 336 pp, $44.99, Full color Cloth ISBN 9781681120805
$24.99 e-book
Diamond Item Code: JUN161646

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Arriving to the direct market on 8/31/16 and in stores everywhere in September.

Pedrosa will be participating in several United States appearances to support the book:

Albertine Bookshop
A project of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
972 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10075
Monday, September 12th at 7PM

Parsons School of Design
Special Guest at Ben Katchor’s class
Tuesday, September 13th
(Not open to the general public)

Small Press Expo (SPX): Special Guest
Marriott Bethesda North Hotel & Conference Center
Bethesda, Maryland
Saturday, September 17th

Brooklyn Book Festival: Guest of the festival
Brooklyn, New York
Sunday, September 18th

More information regarding the appearances to come.

* Source

 

Breaking the 10 arrives!

My new book with NBM ‘Breaking the 10’ arrived with me today, here in Japan, and I was very happy to get them. It looks good – well printed, clear, a nice smooth velvety feeling to the cover and a good size.

I think this is my 21st or 22nd book now ( I’m losing count!), but the excitement of receiving a box full of your new book from the publisher is still something that thrills me.

Breaking arrives package

 

Breaking arrives standing

One of the good things about comic books taking so long to make – by the time you get the printed book in your hand it is often a year of more since you wrote the script, and you can read the book afresh.

So, I am now going to read my own book…

Check out and order the book here:

http://www.nbmpub.com/comicslit/storyoflee/storyofllee_home.html