Watch The Making of Pedrosa’s ‘Portugal’

This video made during an exhibition organized by the Alliance Française of Washington around the book Three Shadows (published in the US by First Second). It was especially intended to be viewed by students at the Baltimore MICA Art School. That’s why the captions and commentaries are written in English (an approximate English, corrected in part by the friendly participation of Thomas Delooze).

The book mentioned in this document, Portugal, will be published by NBM this December.

The upcoming series of posts will show some behind-the-scenes images created during the making of Portugal.

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Proofreading

There’s much more to comics proofreading than to “normal” proofreading, as Dan Schiff, proofreader of Margreet de Heer’s graphic novels, explains.

 

 

I translate my comics from Dutch to English myself, but I would be nowhere without my trusted Californian proofreader Dan Schiff

 

 

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There’s so much more to comics proofreading than to “normal” proofreading, as Dan himself explains:

 

I take the proofing seriously and think hard because I know translators will be using the English language version. I know it is easier to not go back and redo comics as a deadline approaches, so I feel I need to let Maggie know when a change might simply be a rewording to consider, of if it is a glaring error that MUST be attended to.

Although we call it the English language, British spelling (humour instead of humor), overly formal words (whilst instead of while) regional terms (biscuits instead of cookies) are swapped out for American versions of these terms.

Proofing comics includes noticing alignment of word balloons and captions to make sure they are consistent throughout the strip. It also includes noticing if the handles of the word balloons are pointing at the correct person, and if the coloring is off or not blended in a small area.

Punctuation widely varies and is the subject of passionate expression of views. Exclamation points, after much discussion, can appear singly or in sets of three, but never ever two side by side!! (Joke there!)

I argue my case for each proofing change, but The Stripmaker is the final voice, and as long as the pros and cons of my suggestions are considered, I am happy with whatever Maggie chooses to change, or leave as it is.

That‘s it. Waaaaay TMI, but picky picky is my job.”

Dan and I have been collaborating for over 15 years now, mostly with an ocean and a continent between us, but recently he came over for a European trip and we met up – that’s when Dan came up with the idea of the photo comic above, which we shot in comics store Lambiek. Apart from a dedicated proofreader, Dan is also an artist himself with a great sense of composition and humorous timing!

Looking forward to many more projects together, Dan!

 

#inktober2017

Not too far back I wrote about my first experience with Inktober. To sum up: it was a big deal for me! Drawing and posting one picture a day completely changed the way I work and, by extension, my life.

So when Inktober 2017 came around, I was totally and completely ready for it. For the theme, I thought it’d be cool to do what I did last year and draw every character from the video game Overwatch. So I did!

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Compared to last year’s drawings, I think I improved quite a bit!

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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.

A Visit to The Land of Eternal Clouds

This excerpt shares behind the scenes material from NBM’s The Mercenary remastered editions, available now.  To see all posts, click HERE.

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Here you can see two unpublished panoramas of the Land of Eternal Clouds. They are taken from an illustrated story version of this volume, published in France.

Look closely at the one above because it says many things. To start, it summarizes the first part of the volume that you have just read, but it also reveals, in some way, the size and way of life of this strange country. You can see that it is large and mountainous but has wide plateaus that allow for food to be grown. There are large cities and there is the lighthouse, necessary for nocturnal navigation in a valley full of cliffs and jagged outcroppings. Or the dragon bones that the Mercenary used to construct his glider: strong but hollow to lighten the load of the flying animals.

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Regarding the women of the Cult of the Sacred Fire, we will go a long time without knowing more about them.

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Only in the twelfth volume of the series will we discover that they ran out of gas and fell into a frozen land outside of the Land of Eternal Clouds. They will be near death, but will be able to save themselves at the last minute thanks to the monks from a mysterious underground monastery.

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THE MERCENARY The Definitive Editions Vol.1: The Cult of the Sacred Fire is available now.

Kumoricon Results

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If I took one thing away from Kumoricon, it’s that I should be playing Persona 5. Apparently it’s a pretty big deal?

Also: people REALLY like graphic novels about sad robots! I’ve never had an item that consistently sells as well as my little robot book. It’s a nice, new feeling!

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.

Everything But The Story

This excerpt shares behind the scenes material from NBM’s The Mercenary remastered editions, available now.  To see all posts, click HERE.

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And the day came. It was 1979, there sat the six finished pages. It was a different comic, revolutionary to a certain extent at that time, since it was painted entirely in oils. So my agent took the samples to an Italian book fair to see the reactions of the other editors. It could be a success or could also be completely rejected, especially by the most orthodox who liked line drawings and, if possible, black and white. I had used all of my resources to make sure the samples would call attention, but it would not be the first time that my hopes in search for work would be dashed. But no, my agent came back excited: the samples had been such a success that he brought a half dozen signed pre-contracts.

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After the initial excitement, I realized that I had a new problem: I had to continue the story. I had always liked to write but had never written a script. What’s more, I didn’t even know where to start. But maybe due to this, and due to being new in the world of comics, I had many new ideas taking root in my passions that could be used. So I started to think about how to extend the story. The ideas, I don’t know why, would occur to me in the middle of the night and I can’t count how many times since then I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night to jot down something interesting because I know that in the morning I won’t remember.

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In this first issue of The Mercenary everything was chaotic because, in addition to having to alternate that with working on covers, there was no pre-set script. I was adding ideas as I went along, and in fact you can see that there are three different stories: the initial rescue of the girl, giving her back to her husband, and the adventure that happens under the clouds with the appearance of the hot air balloon. But the first thing I had to do in order to continue with the story was find a suitable setting to justify the presence of these flying animals.

 

Books Arriving in December 2017

Currently being solicited in the October Previews for a December release.

PORTUGAL
By Cyril Pedrosa

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From the author of the acclaimed Equinoxes comes a return to roots that serves as spiritual renewal. Comics artist Simon Muchat is stuck. Suffering writer’s block, uninspired, vegetating as a school art teacher, he is losing direction and his taste for life, until one day he is invited to appear at a comics convention in Portugal, the country his family came from and which he hadn’t seen since his childhood. The experience proves cathartic. Even though he is not Portuguese himself and is a foreigner there, so many elements are familiar to him. Meeting its lively citizens, full of the zest for life, his distant yet welcoming family bringing back fond early memories, all prove reinvigorating, the breath of fresh air he so badly needed.

Based on his own experience, Pedrosa narrates this return to his roots in a deeply compelling and warmly human way. This is his bestselling graphic novel with over 100,000 copies sold in France and a winner of many prizes including Best Graphic Novel at the Angouleme Festival and FNAC Best GN.

9×12, 264pp., full color hardcover, $39.99, ISBN 9781681121475, e-book: $9.99
DIAMOND ORDER CODE: OCT171705

 

Now in Paperback!

A TREASURY OF VICTORIAN MURDER COMPENDIUM I
Including Jack The Ripper, The Beast of Chicago and The Fatal Bullet
By Rick Geary

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In this first omnibus volume from Geary’s increasingly storied Treasuries of Murder: the first trilogy of murders that made up the very first volume of this series, Jack the Ripper as only he can narrate it, The Beast of Chicago about H.H. Holmes, possibly the first serial murderer with chilling methodical means and The Fatal Bullet about the assassination of president James Garfield.

“I came late to the Victorian Murder party, but I really like Geary’s just-the-facts-ma’am approach, and I’d love to read some of his earlier volumes.”

Brigid Alverson, Robot 6

6×9, 288pp., B&W trade paperback, $19.99 ISBN PB: 9781681121383
DIAMOND ORDER CODE: OCT171709