Val Mayerik ~ Of Dust And Blood Origins

 

I’ve been working in the comics business for a long time; I’ve attended many conventions and met countless fans. I found them all to be great people and I certainly have appreciated their support and fondness for my work. Only three times though have I met a fan with whom I felt possessed an affinity for creating and the temperament for collaboration, in other words, someone I could work with. Jim was one of those guys. Our first project was a short film which made sense as I had a background in acting and Jim’s background was in film making. It was a humble project but successful in its own way.

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Original cover ~ by Val Mayerik

Some time went by and we talked of doing something else but nothing was coming to mind at least not for me. Then Jim proposed Dust and Blood. At first I was a bit taken aback by the scale of the project; all I could see was me slaving over panel after panel, page after page of hundreds of figures in expansive battle scenarios. Crowd scenes have never been my forte. But as we discussed the story, I realized that like any other graphic novel or comic this story was multi-faceted and would be working from various perspectives so there would be a great deal of variation in what needed to be illustrated.

I also had to come to terms with this being a “Western” and how I was going (if I could) to expand on that motif. As a kid I read very few western or cowboy comics. I never read the ones that were original titles such as Kid Colt and others of that type. I mostly read comic book adaptations of existing TV westerns such as Laramie. Bonanza or Gunsmoke. I don’t remember much about them and don’t know as I particularly enjoyed them other than seeing if the artist captured the likeness of the TV actor.

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Unused page by Val 

Many years later when I got into the business I discovered a lot of the better European and Latin American artist who illustrated some outstanding wild west stories. There was the French artist Giroux (later to be known as Mobius) and his work on Lieutenant Blueberry and the American artist Doug Wildey and his Rio series. I was pretty confident that I could deliver a book of that quality with the art and I knew Jim had already risen to the occasion with the story content.

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An early sketched page by Val

I already had a large repertoire of drawing reference in my head of horses and weapons of the Old West so I had confidence in that area. Some scant research on Custer’s uniform and the landscapes in and around the Little Big Horn and I would be ready to go. I just hoped I could add a dimension of patina or a bit of antiquing of style that would give a bit of depth to the final art. I still don’t know if I succeeded in doing that.

Val Mayerik

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Of Dust And Blood Origins

Growing up in the 70s, I hunted Marvel and DC comics off the racks of the local pharmacy as well as the treasure troves of garage sales, flea markets, and book exchanges where you could swap a handful of change for an armload of books . . . Back then, the discoveries were endless and with no internet database to comb through, everything was a surprising discovery of vast importance . . .

Val Mayerik’s books were some of the best, Creatures On The Loose, Ka-Zar, Savage Tales, and Fear, where he drew The Man-Thing and introduced the world (in collaboration with Steve Gerber) to Howard The Duck – and Supernatural Thrillers where he drew my personal favorite, N’Kantu, The Living Mummy.

I met Val at a comic convention in Portland, Oregon around 2006, intent on producing a graphic novel about Ignaz Semmelweis, the Hungarian obstetrician who connected the deaths of new mothers to the dirty hands of their doctors. Val took a commission to produce a cover (below) which spawned a collaboration that has included a short film, a handful of pitches, and our book, Of Dust And Blood.

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Semmelweis, Savior Of Mothers by Val Mayerik

Why a book about a famous clash between Native Americans and Custer’s 7th Cavalry? The first and most important answer is that it is an incredible story, layered, rife with compelling characters, pathos, and historical significance. Ultimately, it is transfixing in its drama and is still hotly debated to this day.

Also, simply, I wanted to work with Val and, over the years, I came to appreciate what was interesting to him as an artist. He is a historian with a deep understanding of The Indian Wars of the late 19th century and a love of western art. He also came to the book as a horse owner, someone with a respect for the relationship between horse and human. His perspective is on full display in the book and he does a masterful job of depicting that unique bond.

Originally Of Dust And Blood was published as a result of a successful Kickstarter project from 2013. Check it out here.

Lots of images and info if you are so interested.

Thanks,

Jim Berry

 

‘Colette’ Takes Over This Autumn With NBM GN and Movie!

This September, Wash Westmoreland’s film, Colette, arrives in theaters.

After marrying a successful Parisian writer known commonly as “Willy” (Dominic West), Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendor of Paris. Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite for him. She pens a semi-autobiographical novel about a witty and brazen country girl named Claudine, sparking a bestseller and a cultural sensation. After its success, Colette and Willy become the talk of Paris and their adventures inspire additional Claudine novels. Colette’s fight over creative ownership and gender roles drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionizing literature, fashion and sexual expression. 

The trailer arrived this week.

Also arriving in September is our book, The Provocative Colette by the late Annie Goetzinger (author of the acclaimed Girl in Dior).

COLETTE_cover

Many biographies describe this uncommon woman and author. It is her years of formation which are focused on here, from her marriage at the age of 20, until her divorce. “One dies only from the first man,” she wrote in 1909. But this death was a new beginning, and the one that signed “Colette” from 1910 on gradually opened her eyes to her condition of a woman who was an exploited writer and a betrayed wife, and who will emancipate herself by writing, and with what talent! Incredibly complex, powerfully determined, truly gifted, Colette challenged herself to reinvent her life and assert herself as a free woman. In her day, her behavior scandalized and vexed the establishment. But in the end, she helped to free women in their thinking and became member and then president of France’s prestigious Académie Goncourt, among many other honors as one of France’s preeminent authors.

A preview of the book can be found HERE.

 

Welcome Silent Invasion authors…

eeps, spooky title, huh?

I’m excited to be bringing back THE SILENT INVASION which couldn’t be more timely in this day of ‘deep state’, conspiracy theories flying around the internet, russkies hypnotizing us on Facebook, etc…

and we’ve got the authors Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock coming onto the blog to tell you more about it, welcome guys, to our NBM blog.

The 1st volume is being solicited now at your comics store, miss it and you might become…

one of them

The SILENT INVASION vol.1

 

So Long, Harlan

You had a reputation as a bad ass, suing with gusto. Even in our industry: famously against Gary Groth around -and who remembers why now- an interview you did with him, one of the Comics Journal’s best ever. I think I still have that issue stored somewhere…

But when we published your VIC & BLOOD back in 1989, Corben’s adaptation of A Boy and His Dog, a story which was made into a movie starring a teen Don Johnson, all I remember is how easy you were to work with. An absolute sweetheart.

It was an honor to work with you, one of the highlights in my publishing experience, along with the likes of Ray Bradbury or Joe Haldeman.

Give ’em hell up there.

NBM June 2018 Releases

Here are upcoming titles, now being solicited in comics stores through Diamond Previews for a June 2018 release.

NEW! FEATURED ITEM!

A Tale of a Thousand and One Nights: Hasib & the Queen of Serpents
by David B.

hasib cover

Heir to the wise Daniel, Hâsib is a young woodcutter promised to a great future. When his greedy companions abandon him in the middle of the forest, he meets the Queen of the serpents. She then tells her story, a fabulous adventure filled with gods and demons, princes and prophets. We find Prince Janshah madly in love with Shamsa, the bird woman of King Solomon. Love and perjury, epic battles and giant spiders ensue…

From Kabul to Cairo, journeys intertwine with intrigues and spiritual quests while the fabulous nights follow one another. An enchanting and intricately designed interpretation of the story of Hâsib Karîm ad-Dîm, through which fragment of the giant tale David B. opens us the gates of the Thousand and One Nights. For mature readers.

9” x 12″, Full-color hardcover, 96 pp, $24.99 HC ISBN: 978168112162852499

PREVIEWS

 

RESOLICITS: CELEBRATING ‘MANGA’ MONTH

Rohan at the Louvre
By Hirohiko Araki

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After Glacial Period and The Sky Over the Louvre comes another completely original story with stunning art by a leading mangaka, bestselling author of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

Rohan, a young mangaka, meets a beautiful mysterious young woman with a dramatic story. Seeing him draw, she tells him of a cursed 200 year old painting using the blackest ink ever known from a 1000 year old tree the painter had brought down without approval from the Emperor who had him executed for doing so. The painting meanwhile had been saved from destruction by a curator of the Louvre. Rohan forgets this story as he becomes famous but ten years later, visiting Paris, he takes the occasion to try and locate the painting. Little does he know how violently powerful the curse of it is until he has the museum unearth it from deep within its archival bowels…

7 1/4”x10 3/8”, Full-color hardcover, 128 pp, $19.99  ISBN: 978-1-56163-615-051999

PREVIEWS

 

Guardians of the Louvre
By Jirô Taniguchi

Guardians-of-the-Louvre-by-Jiro-Taniguchi-on-BookDragon

Acclaimed manga artist Jiro Taniguchi provides the latest entry in the Louvre collection of graphic novels. After a group trip to Europe, a Japanese artist stops in Paris alone, intent on visiting the museums of the capital. But, bedridden in his hotel room with fever, he faces the absolute solitude of one suffering in a foreign land, deprived of any immediate or familiar recourse.

When the fever breaks somewhat, he sets out on his visit and promptly gets lost in the crowded halls of the Louvre. Very soon, he discovers many unsuspected facets to this world in a museum in a journey oscillating between feverish hallucination and reality, actually able to speak with famous painters from various periods of history, led to crossroads between human and personal history by… the Guardians of the Louvre.

8 ” x 11”, Full-color hardcover, 136 pp, $24.99 US
HC ISBN: 978168112034852499

PREVIEWS

 

Stargazing Dog
By Takashi Murakami

stargazing

A moving inspiring manga that is a major best-seller in Japan, selling over 500,000 copies and being made into a movie. Daddy is down and out. Life has conspired against him, everything coming undone. Fed up, he sets out with his car to just get away from it all to nowhere in particular. All people around him have abandoned him in indifference but as we discover along with him, the one companion he can count on utterly and completely is his dog who follows him blindly, faithfully and completely, to the end.

“Perhaps the best compliment I can pay Murakami is to acknowledge just how much Stargazing Dog moved me.”

6” x 9”, B&W trade paperback, 128 pp, $11.99 US
HC ISBN: 978-1-56163-612-951199

PREVIEWS

 

The Story of Lee Vol. 1

By Sean Michael Wilson & Chie Kutsuwada


lee1

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 7 1/2, 160pp., B&W, trade pb.: $11.99, ISBN 978156163594851199

PREVIEWS
The Story of Lee Vol. 2
By Sean Michael Wilson and Nami Tamura


lee2

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. 
A comics biography of the famous and controversial contemporary pop-style artist.


5 x 7 1/2, 160pp., B&W, trade pb.: $11.99, ISBN 9781561639731

PREVIEWS
Breaking The Ten Vol. 2
By Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa

break2
David becomes increasingly more desperate, with his extreme behaviour causing fights with everyone who cares for him: with the devilish Mr Black and the saintly Mr White and even with his loving parents. But his quest goes on, driving him to break the rest of the 10 commandments in order to draw out the elusive divinity to face a grief stricken man.

Until, finally, he is faced with the most serious commandment all: ‘Thou shalt not kill.

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Will he do it? Or will God stop him?

6×9, 128pp., B&W trade pb., $12.99, ISBN 97816811211785199,

PREVIEWS

 

Breaking The Ten Vol. 1
By Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa

break1

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?

6×9, 112pp., B&W trade pb., $12.99, ISBN 97816811202185199

PREVIEWS