Love & the Celebrity Crush

In my book Love: a Discovery in Comics (just out in stores!) I explore the Seven Year Itch, together with a therapist, who convinces me that what I need is to look about me for a new Love of my Life…

visualisation

My favorite actor is Robert Carlyle – on whom I have a Celebrity Crush. Check this drawer of almost all of his movies I collected:

carlyle-drawer

The picture of him that I used in the book is his incarnation as Dr. Nicholas Rush in Stargate Universe – where he is a tormented brilliant scientist:

dr-rush

I guess I have a thing for tormented brilliant scientists. Now that I think about it, Yiri is a tormented brilliant scientist in his own right – only a lot less moody than Dr. Rush, and not located at the other end of the universe, which is convenient.

The thing I like most about Robert Carlyle as an actor is his versatility. Look at all these different roles he has played!

From psycho Begbie in Trainspotting (1996)…

begbie1

…and again in the sequel T2 Trainspotting in 2017…

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…to the grieving & dancing widower in the very romantic Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School (2005)…

marilyn-hotchkiss
with Marisa Tomei

… to shady dealmaker Rumplestiltskin in the TV-series Once Upon A Time (2011-2017), which earned him wider fame and a whole new fandom…

rumplestiltskin

… to the awkward barber in The Legend of Barney Thomson, his film directing debut in 2015…

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with an almost unrecognizable Emma Thompson

…and British Prime Minister in the upcoming TV-film COBRA:

cobra

EDIT: AND, this just in, he played a 78-year old John Lennon in the movie Yesterday that was released this week! Uncredited, but it’s unmistakably him:

john-lennon

…and that’s just a small selection of the many roles he’s played in his 30-year career!

In my book, I have him turn up at the dating agency:

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And we go on a date!!!

dating

What happens next…?

crush

Find out by reading my book!

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Love & Marriage

In my newest book Love: a Discovery in Comics I also take a look at the history of the institution of Marriage – mostly in Western countries. I drew this spread:

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…and now I have made it into an animation, using Videoscribe:

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Click here to watch it on Youtube.

Here are a few scenes:

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history_ohdear

history_divorce

I’m also reflecting on my own marriage to Yiri – we got officially married in 2009:

wedding-day

…but we make it a habit to privately “renew our vows” a few times a year, whenever we find ourselves in a special place and the occasion presents itself:

locations

…which goes to underscore my believe that marriage is something you have to make your own, as a couple. Don’t follow the perceived dictates of society, they tend to change all the time anyway!

Read more about love, marriage, sex, relationships and all of that in:

love-cover

Love & Religion

In my book Love: a Discovery in Comics I have drawn one chapter about Love from a religious perspective, taking a look at two scriptures: the Kama Sutra and Song of Songs.

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Dutch version of the Kama Sutra spread

The Kama Sutra is mainly known for its detailing of sexual postures – but it’s so much more! Originally meant for students leaving their guru to go into married life, it gives hints and tips about a lot of things, from decorating your house to recipes for love potions. I drew a 2-page spread depicting the scope of this document.

tantra

Then there is the biblical Song of Songs, a highly erotic love song:

song-of-songs

I dwell briefly on one of my pet subjects (as people may recognize from my books Philosophy and Religion): the difference in eastern and western spirituality, and therefore the ideas about the body and sex:

duality

unity

Read all about it in Love: a Discovery in Comics! Now in bookstores (or very close).

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Love & Romance

When telling ourselves the narrative of our love lives, we are heavily influenced by the tales of love we get fed through books, movies and magazines. I myself am a real sucker for romance novels (especially those set in Victorian England) – which all follow the same formula: there’s a Male and a Female, there’s Attraction, there are Obstacles, and once these are overcome there’s a Happy Ending…

romance-novels

Romance novels are actually a really interesting subject to study for its feminist content! No other book genre has evolved so much over the past decades, reflecting how cultural thinking has changed on the position of women towards the workplace, sex and of course, men.

In Love: a Discovery in Comics, I deconstruct this evolution a little, and also take a look at the classic fairy tale:

fairy-tale.jpg

Happily ever after…? Who knows? What happens AFTER the Happy Ending?

ever-after

Read my take on it in this book, in stores this month!

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TCAF 2019

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival was a blast! It’s one of the biggest and nicest comic festivals I have ever attended, and just like in 2015 (when I was there last) it was wonderful to be there. Even more so, because this time I was Featured Guest and had a premiering book: Love: a Discovery in Comics.

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That’s me, loving my new book – and publishers Jeff Whitman and Terry Nantier in the background.

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The NBM stand with publishers Jeff Whitman and Terry Nantier (left) and comic artists Larry Hancock and Michael Cherkas, who were there to promote The Silent Invasion

Another great thing this year was that I was one of five Dutch comic artists attending. Our national comics child prodigy Aimée de Jongh was there (okay, she’s not a kid anymore) promoting both Blossoms in Autumn and her new Taxi: Stories from the Back Seat.

This is her, signing just around the corner from where we were sitting:

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Another colleague from home was Chad Bilyeu, who is originally from Cleveland, but has been in Holland for ages and is the author of the wonderfully revealing series Chad in Amsterdam.

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Yiri and Chad

Last but not least there was Typex, our comics rock star, whose masterpiece Andy (about Andy Warhol) is taking the comics world by storm.

typex

The coolest thing was that I got to do a panel with him, about Dutch Comics, moderated by Mark Nevins:

panel_typex

Not only that – I also got to be on a panel about Science and Comics, with Maki Naro, Mike Holmes, Alison Wilgus and moderator Johanna Draper Carlson:

panel_byjdraper

While Saturday went by in a frenzy of signing, panelling and generally being elated by everything, Sunday allowed for some time to chase for comics myself.

This is our loot:

tcaf-loot

The NBM table did very well, by the way! Here’s the Before picture of my end:

table-before

And this is the After…:

table-after

If you missed my cute little promotional booklet Ten Tips For A Broken Heart and are in the Toronto area – I dropped off a whole bunch at comic store The Beguiling.

Thanks to everyone who made TCAF 2019 such a memorable experience! We definitely hope to be back one day.

Ten Tips for a Broken Heart

This weekend, my book Love: a Discovery in Comics will be launched at the TCAF Festival in Toronto! I’ll be there, at the NBM stand, together with colleagues Larry Hancock and Michael Cherkas of The Silent Invasion – and they gave me the idea of bringing some freebies to give away:

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First of all: bookmarks! Because everybody needs bookmarks, right?

But the special attraction is this mini-booklet containing three pages from the book: Ten Tips for a Broken Heart! Because everybody’s heart gets broken some time…

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If you’re at TCAF, come and get yours! And get the book too, it’s full of tips, facts and stories about Love, in all its facets.

me

love-cover

Publisher’s Weekly “The Fanatic” previews The Silent Invasion

Great News! The Great Fear, Book 2 of The Silent Invasion is released this month (May)! The Fanatic, Publisher’s Weekly’s online newsletter about graphic novels contains a special preview of The Great Fear. Check it out
 here (then scroll down to the Panel Mania section at the bottom of the page. and click on the image for the full preview).

Stay tuned and, watch the skies!!

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

You can find Larry’s previous blog posts here

And posts by Michael Cherkas, here