Story of Lee volume 3

I’ve officially started writing the script for volume three of our book with NBM

The Story of Lee.

Let’s see what happens to Matt and Lee. Will they stay together or split? Will Lee stay in Britain or go back to Hong Kong?  How about Uncle Jun?

Who knows?

No one, yet.

Not even me!

Meanwhile, there are a few copies of the special Story of Lee banded set left. Not many as its sold well.

This is a good deal, with volume 1 and volume 2 of the book packaged together with a specially printed band (or ‘obi’ as they called in Japan). And its $4 cheaper to buy this banded set of the two volumes.

Get your copy here:

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

SOL banded july 2017

 

Dutch elections

It’s time to vote again in The Netherlands – not for government this time, but for a Comic Artist Laureate (Stripmaker des Vaderlands). And I am one of the four nominees!

In October the result will be announced – until then, I’m campaigning like crazy, shunning no means, including bribery and blatant sexism. Vote for me because I have boobs!

zij-stript_holland-kl

All kidding aside: I do think I am a good candidate for the job – which would entail being the ambassador of Dutch comics for three years, starting up all kinds of initiatives that will put comics in the picture, and of course drawing comics about important national events.

To practise a bit, I recently drew this comic about the fallout of the Dutch elections for government – the formation of a cabinet is still going on, and here’s a bit of information about it.

formation1

formation2

Resist!

It’s the Fourth of July, and all over the United States people are celebrating (the memory of) Independence. Renowned comics publishers Françoise Mouly, Nadja Spiegelman and Gabe Fowler have compiled a special edition of Resist! for this occasion – a 96-page tabloid that is distributed for free, and guess what – I’m in it!!!

The Minnie comic I posted a few months ago made it into this issue, and I couldn’t be prouder. To celebrate, I’m sharing a new Minnie comic here today, also on the theme of Resist!.

minnie106

If you want more Minnie, please follow her on Tapastic, where I’m posting her adventures every week.

Comics, Cats and Commandments

Yesterday, a new book was launched in The Netherlands with my comics in it – a collaboration with poet and writer Karel Eykman, who wrote the most influential children’s bible in the 1970s, among other things. Both his and mine position towards Christianity are much the same: we’re not exactly devout believers, but fascinated by its stories and teachings, and each in our own way trying to translate them to modern times.

book

This book, titled ‘Zodat het je goed gaat’ (‘That you may prosper’) contains ten stories by Karel and ten comics by me, about the ten commandments. Our takes are not literal, but rather reflections, and I’ve also tried to make my comics reflect Karel’s stories, often by basing my story on a side-figure from his story.

Here’s my comic about the third commandment, ‘You shall not take the name of God in vain’:

deargod1

deargod2

deargod3

deargod4

The presentation was a well-attended affair, especially thanks to the presence of more than 50 kids from the Karel Eykman school (yes, Karel has a school named after him!). They were listening intently as Karel read a few of his stories and I showed a few of my comics on a big screen. I also made a videoscribe of one of them that I put on Youtube, it’s in Dutch but here you go:

video

Here are some pictures of the gathering:

karel

school

pres

The first two books were presented to the teachers of the Karel Eykman school:

pres2

NBM Announces ALA Conference Schedule!

1NBM Graphic Novels is excited to return to the 2017 American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL! Attendees can find NBM and sister publisher Papercutz at Booth #1319 in the Graphic Novel Pavillion on Friday, June 23, through Monday, June 26.

At the NBM/Papercutz table we’ll have a limited number of galleys of our upcoming graphic novel, Portugal by Cyril Pedrosa, as well as advanced looks of some of our upcoming Fall titles including Sartre by Mathilde Ramadier & Anais Depommier and Monet: Itinerant of Light by Efa &Salva Rubio.  Papercutz will also be giving out advanced copies of several of their upcoming titles.

Below check out our schedule for ALA:

Friday Preview Night:

5:30 PM (Booth #1319)
Dave Scheidt (Trolls and Nickelodeon comics artist) will be signing copies of Trolls #1 starting at 5:30 at  Booth #1319.

Saturday:

10- 10:45AM (Booth #1319)
Dave Scheidt signing

11-11:45AM (Booth #1319)
 Jessica Abel of Trish Trash signing;

2:30 PM: Creator spotlight
Jessica Abel at the Comics & GN stage

3:30 PM NBM and Papercutz Presentation
New and Forthcoming Graphic Novels with NBM Publisher Terry Nantier, Jessica Abel, and Dave Scheidt at the Comics & GN stage

Sunday:

9:00 AM  Coffee Klatch with Jessica Abel
Meeting with YA librarians.  Organized by YALSA,

10:00 AM (Booth #1319)
Jessica Abel
of Trish Trash signing.

Drawing for Free

Making cartoons or illustrations for free can be a tricky subject. It involves an ongoing discussion which raises points such as:

  • are artists “businesslike” enough to ask professional compensation for their work?
  • how fair is it for viable companies to ask an illustrator to contribute work in exchange for “exposure”?
  • are artists who work for less than they deserve undermining the market?
  • are artists valued at all in monetary terms?

I’m not going into these points here; I just want to show a little of my considerations in doing work for free, and what I recently got out of it.

heart-lift

A while back, a medicine student sent me a mail, humbly asking for cartoons for an informational flyer to be distributed in Namibia amongst women with a heart condition who are pregnant or planning to be. She apologised for the fact that they only had a small budget – and I answered that for a cause like this, I’ll gladly draw for free.

I am in the lucky position that I don’t need that much money. This is mainly because I have a very low rent and no kids – a few paid assignments a year, next to my ongoing comics, are more than enough to live off. This gives me the freedom to say no to paid jobs that don’t appeal to me, and yes to others that pay nothing but are for good cause. Such as this one.

namibia_cartoons1

namibia_cartoons2

I went into this like I do with any assignment, paid or not: there are preliminary sketches, tweaking, adjusting, last-minute changes as a team of people gives feedback on the results. Luckily, I can work rather quick, and I find it very gratifying to know that I’m delivering something that everyone involved is happy with (within bounds, of course, sometimes the team of people is too big and people come with ridiculous demands, just to make their mark among their coworkers I figure, but this happens very seldom and never in free work. If this happens, I simply let them know more adjustments are going to cost extra.)

The medicine student sent me mails from Namibia to tell me of the enthusiastic reaction she encountered from doctors, nurses and patients alike, and this in itself is enough reward for me. In these cases, I feel that something like a simple cartoon can actually make a big difference. It makes information more accessible, especially in areas where not everyone is literate. A non-illustrated flyer might completely miss the mark, whereas appealing pictures are an invitation to reading.

This was months ago, and today I was pleasantly surprised when this student and her team (back in The Netherlands again and busy finishing their studies) sent me a lovely Thank You card, by snail mail no less, including these pictures:

naimiba1

namibia2

I absolutely love this! It is worth far more to me than a few numbers in my bank account.

I wish every artist could be in the position to do this kind of free work. I wish every person in the world would not be burdened so much by this constant need to generate money. Money has become a form of tyranny, preventing people from being creative or generous. I sincerely hope new forms of economy will win out in my lifetime, and for instance basic income will become a reality for many, if not all.

Here’s another cartoon I made for free, for an event about New Economy, to illustrate how money should allow us to play and move, instead of locking us into these patterns of hoarding and coveting…

money

 

Rick Geary Wins Reuben Award For ‘Black Dahlia’

rick

The National Cartoonists Society is the world’s largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. It was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops. They found that they enjoyed each other’s company and decided to get together on a regular basis.

Today, the NCS membership roster includes over 500 of the world’s major cartoonists, working in many branches of the profession, including newspaper comic strips and panels, comic books, editorial cartoons, animation, gag cartoons, greeting cards, advertising, magazine and book illustration and more.

The National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award honors cartoonists in various professional divisions are honored with special plaques for excellence.   This year, the award for Best Graphic Novel went to Rick Geary for his work on Black Dahlia.

Congratulations to Rick for this major accomplishment.

nbmBlackDahliacc