NBM Announces MoCCA Fest Plans

-1

On April 1st & 2nd, NBM Graphic Novels (D147, D148) once again heads to the MoCCA Arts Festival and we are happy to have attending cartoonist Jon Nielsen, who will be appearing to promote the debut of his new book, LOOK.

32522553540_0fedbaa93b_b

 

About LOOK
Artie is a droid programmed to endlessly perform a single task left in a world abandoned by humans. He is starting to wonder what meaning his task has. But when he and his only friend, Owen, a robotic bird, cast aside the only lives they’ve ever known in search of a brighter future, they encounter others that want nothing but to hold tight to the past. Join Artie the Robot and Owen the Vulture for a lighthearted sci-fi adventure as they journey far and wide for the answer to one of life’s greatest questions: “why are we here?”

Also in attendance on behalf of our sister company, Papercutz is Harvey Award winner Jessica Abel who will be signing copies of her new series, Trish Trash, Roller Girl of Mars and Deb Lucke, creator of the Lunch Witch series.

 386454._SX1280_QL80_TTD_

About Trish Trash, Roller Girl of Mars
200 years from now, Trish “Trash” Nupindju lives on the newly inhabited Mars, whose settlers live under harsh and ruthless conditions. Trish dreams of only one thing: becoming a hoverderby star. It seems like making the professional derby team is the only way to escape a future of poverty on her parents’ farm. But, what happens when a half-dead Martian shows up on her doorstep and changes everything? Find out in the first volume of the new science fiction trilogy by acclaimed creator Jessica Abel.

DIG032527_2._SX1280_QL80_TTD_

About The Lunch Witch
For generations and generations, the women of Grunhilda’s family have stirred up trouble in a big, black pot. Grunhilda inherits her famous ancestors’ recipes and cauldron, but no one believes in magic anymore. Despite the fact that Grunhilda’s only useful skill is cooking up potfuls of foul brew, she finds a job listing that might suit her: lunch lady. She delights in scaring the kids until she meets Madison, a girl with thick glasses and unfinished homework who doesn’t fit in. The two outsiders recognize each other. Madison needs help at school and at home, but helping people goes against everything Grunhilda’s believes in as a witch! Will this girl be able to thaw the Lunch Witch’s icy heart? Or will Grunhilda turn her back on a kindred spirit?

NBM will also be bringing its latest graphic novels: Paco Roca’s Lighthouse, Rick Geary’s Black Dahlia, the acclaimed bios of Glenn Gould, Thoreau and others, and Cyril Pedrosa’s amazing and absorbing Equinoxes.

Jon, Jessica and Deb will be appearing at the NBM Table (D147, D148) throughout the weekend.

SATURDAY
11:30am – 12:30pm Jon Nielsen
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Jessica Abel
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Jon Niselsen
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Jon Nielsen

SUNDAY
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Deb Lucke
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Jon Nielsen
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Jessica Abel
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Jon Nielsen

Come on by, meet some cool folks and celebrate comics!

How to Paint Space


Truly, my enthusiasm for stars holds no bounds. And, now, you too can become a star enthusiast!

Follow this quick star-painting tutorial and you’ll be bestowed the illustrious rank of Junior Star Enthusiast, a noble title secretly desired by all.

And be sure to share your efforts! I’d love to see what you do with this.

You can find Jon on Twitter where he posts his silly drawings and sometimes brags about his kids, and you can find out more about LOOK here.

Where Do You Find The Time?

The short answer is: I don’t do much else!

Another short, but hopefully more helpful answer: you can’t find time, you make time.

But seriously, I don’t really do much else. I don’t watch TV and I don’t play video games (or, at least, not nearly as much as I used to.) When I’m not at the day job and while my children are asleep, I write and I draw. I work.

Maybe that makes me a workaholic, but if that’s true, it’s done wonders for my creative output.

And that’s what I mean by making time. If this is what you really want to do — what you need to do — you make time. Something else has to give. Maybe you don’t want to give up watching your favorite shows or perusing your favorite memes on reddit, and that’s fine! I’m not suggesting you give up all of your favorite past-times and devote yourself entirely and exclusively to your craft, but I am suggesting that maybe you take a look at how you spend your time on a daily basis. Maybe, as a random example, you spend some time each night checking Facebook. Let’s say two hours of Liking pictures of newborns and arguing with distant reletives. What if you were to limit yourself to an hour-and-a-half instead, and do a little drawing or writing with that free half hour you just made? Anything at all, it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. In fact, go in knowing that it won’t be. And that’s okay! Plenty of my drawings fail to meet my unrealistically high expectations and never see the light of day, but it’s never a waste of time.

I know this is all easier said than done. Time management and self-discipline don’t come easy and take a while to build, but this is how you do it. You start slow. Don’t be too hard on yourself by trying to do too much too fast. Try and do at least a little each day, even when you’re not feeling especially creative. Making that initial effort, however small, makes all the difference.

And let me tell you, that knowledge that at the end of the day, you made something that didn’t exist before? That feels pretty amazing.

You can find Jon on Twitter where he posts his silly drawings and sometimes brags about his kids, and you can find out more about LOOK here.

This May, NBM Presents Our Next Great Biography, ‘Billie Holiday’

-1

Currently listed in Previews for a May release, we’re proud to present Billie Holiday from the acclaimed creative team of José Muñoz and Carlos Sampayo.

Born in Baltimore in 1915, and dead too early in New York in 1959, Billie Holiday became a legendary jazz singer, even mythical. With her voice even now managing to touch so many people, we follow a reporter on the trail of the artist on behalf of a New York daily. Beyond the public scandals that marred the life of the star (alcohol, drugs, violence…), he seeks to restore the truth, revisiting the memory of Billie. Through this investigation, Muñoz and Sampayo trace, through the undertones of racism, and in the wake of the blues, the slow drift of a singer who expressed the deepest emotions in jazz. By internationally renowned Argentine artists, featuring Muñoz’ strikingly raw heavy blacks, this is not just a biography but a spell-binding art book tribute.

9×12, 80pp., B&W HC, gold stamped black and red cover, $19.99
ISBN:9781681120935
$19.99, e-book: $9.99

pre1pre2pre3

The following titles are being resolicited:

MARIE ANTOINETTE, PHANTOM QUEEN
Annie Goetzinger & Rodolphe

cover ort.indd

During the 1930s, Maud, an artist, discovers she has a psychic gift. The first signs manifest themselves in the royal gardens of the Trianon where gradually she understands that a woman from the beyond is attempting to communicate with her. The revelation is beyond belief: it is the ghost of Marie Antoinette appearing to her to share a terrible secret that has tormented her for centuries. After being guillotined, the Queen is said to have been thrown into a common grave but then exhumed and buried with her husband, Louis XVI, in the Saint-Denis basilica. Yet the ghost tells Maud that her remains are still in the pit, on which a chapel stands today. The queen asks Maud to move her body to the right place so she can finally find peace and no longer haunt people.

Part fantastic ghost story, part biography, this is a delicious beautifully illustrated look into French revolutionary history by the artist of the bestselling ‘Girl in Dior.’

8 ½ x 11, 68 pages, full color hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 9781681120294
e-book $9.99

GLENN GOULD: A Life Off Tempo
Sandrine Revel

gouldinterior.indd

Glenn Gould was a Canadian pianist, a child genius who became a worldwide superstar of classical music remembered for, among others, his almost revolutionary interpretations of Bach. This graphic novel biography seeks to understand the eccentric personality behind the persona. Who is the mysterious Glenn Gould? Why did he abruptly end his career as a performing musician?  Why did he become one of the very first of his peers to disappear from the public eye like J.D. Salinger?  Sandrine Revel delves into the life of Gould with hand painted illustrations and the viewpoint of an adoring fan.

2017 marks a number of important anniversaries for Gould: the 85th of his birth and 35th of his death but also the 60th of his legendary tour of Russia, a first for a Western artist, and of his debuts with the world’s leading orchestras.

8.5x 11, 136pp., full color hardcover hc, $25.99, ISBN:9781681120652
$30.99 CAN; $14.99 ebook.

 

GHETTO BROTHER- Warrior to Peacemaker
Julian Voloj, Claudia Ahlering
Introduction by Jeff Chang,
author of, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation

9781561639489_p0_v3_s1200x630

An engrossing and counter view of one of the most dangerous elements of American urban history, this graphic novel tells the true story of Benjy Melendez, son of Puerto-Rican immigrants, who founded, at the end of the 1960s, the notorious Ghetto Brothers gang. From the seemingly bombed-out ravages of his neighborhood, wracked by drugs, poverty, and violence, he managed to extract an incredibly positive energy from this riot ridden era: his multiracial gang promoted peace rather than violence. After initiating a gang truce, the Ghetto Brothers held weekly concerts on the streets or in abandoned buildings, which fostered the emergence of hip-hop. Melendez also began to reclaim his Jewish roots after learning about his family’s dramatic crypto-Jewish background.

6×9, 128pp., B&W, trade pb., $12.99;
ISBN 9781561639489

 

How Inktober Saved My Life

I’m a cartoonist, primarily. I write and tell stories. Or, at least, that’s what I aspire to. However, I’ve lately been distracted from my storytelling by trying to become what I call a “popular internet artist type person.” I even made business cards!

popular

But let’s back up to January 2016. I had just wrapped up my webcomic of eight years in an effort to get away from gag-a-day comics and focus entirely on more longform storytelling. I wanted my next graphic novel to be a short story compilation, so that’s where I put all of my energy.

Comics can take a while to produce, and in between short story releases, I always had little to say or show to my followers on social media. I’d post a few in-progress shots every now and then, sure, but they were few and far between. Once the comic was finally done and online, there’d be a sudden burst of “I made a thing! I made a thing! Everyone look! I made a thing!” and then it’s back to radio silence as I begin work on the next comic. But not just radio silence from me, silence from everyone. The comics I had been working on for weeks and weeks were getting little to no attention.

This was exceedingly frustrating for me.

I work for weeks, sometimes months, on a project, release it into the wild, receive some gratification here and there, and then nothing. I realize that that’s not exactly a new problem — the difficulty of being noticed as a classic struggle for artists throughout the ages — but something needed to change. I wasn’t seeing the growth I was hoping to see, especially considering how much work I was putting into these comics and what I left behind in order to pursue this new direction in my life.

It was a huge bummer! I was still proud of my work — I felt that each story was better than the last — but I began to question if I had made the right decision. If this new path that I had set myself on was the right one.

And then Inktober 2016 happened. Inktober is a yearly event created by Jake Parker that encourages artists of all skill levels to simply make a pen and ink drawing every day for a month. If you’ve heard of national novel writing month, this is similar. I always missed it every year, but this time I had just bought some new pens that I was eager to try out and they just happened to come in the mail on the first day of Inktober.

So I gave it a shot! I was still working on my big comic projects, but every night I’d start with a quick Inktober drawing and post it online. All of a sudden, when before my social media posts were at times weeks or months apart, my Twitter and Facebook followers were being updated with new drawings every single day.

Collage

In addition to the new skills and discipline I learned from drawing every day in a format I was inexperienced in, the effect on my social media networks was astounding and practically immediate. The number of people that liked and followed my work grew and grew. It turns out that posting daily content is a great way to build an audience! Who knew?

I was finally seeing growth. My work was slowly but steadily getting more attention and I was building relationships with some pretty rad people that I never would have met otherwise. It felt like everything suddenly made sense. I’m not the most social person and I had never put the work into building my social media presence, so why was I so surprised when I tweeted about my comics and got little to no response? In my attempt at focusing entirely on my comics, I had neglected my chosen medium for publishing those comics.

I didn’t stop my daily doodles after Inktober ended, and I don’t plan to any time soon. Does doing them take a chunk away from my already incredibly limited time? Yes, to some extent my comic output might have suffered a bit, but in the long run I believe it will be worth it. Building and sustaining a following that truly cares about me and my work far outweighs any time I’ve lost drawing my next graphic novel. Now when I release a new comic, I actually get more of a response from the small yet formidable audience I’ve managed to build. I cannot emphasize enough how much better of a place I am in now, both personally and artistically.

And I’m having fun drawing again! My drawing time has traditionally always been dedicated to projects and work and, as strange as it may sound, drawing purely for fun is actually a fairly new experience for me. Over the past few months I’ve produced the best work I’ve ever done and I’ve been having a blast the entire time.

And it’s all because I started a challenge to draw every day.

DrawEverDay

Thanks again to Jake Parker’s #inktober for being awesome and turning my life around. You can check out his work here. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you all on Monday when we’ll be talking about time and the ever-present dread it holds over us all!

You can find Jon on Twitter where he posts his silly drawings and sometimes brags about his kids, and you can find out more about LOOK here.

Women in Science

It’s been Women’s Day, so here’s a nice opportunity to post some comics about women scientists I recently did for magazine Wetenschap in Beeld – the first is about Alice Ball, who caused a breakthrough in the treatment of leprosy, 100 years ago…:

aliceball

And then there’s ballsy Maria Merian, who quite independently steered her own career as an entomologist in the 17th century:

mariamerian

I drew Maria Merian before, in my book Science: a Discovery in Comics – in fact, I drew two pages about women in science through the ages (I think I posted them on this blog before, but it’s still worth repeating):

women1women

Hurray, women!

Here’s to many more Women’s Days beyond the 8th of March…