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

 

NBM August 2018 Releases

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

NEW!

The Provocative Colette
By Annie Goetzinger


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Movie ‘Colette’ coming in September starring Keira Knightley!  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. For mature readers.
7 ¾ x 10 ¼, 128pp, full color quarter-bound HC, $24.99. ISBN 978168112170352499. DIAMOND CODE: JUN181887

PREVIEWS

RESOLICIT

Monet: Itinerant of Light

By Efa (artist), Salva Rubio (writer)


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The life of the great French painter, one of the founders of Impressionism, is narrated in lush comic art reminiscent of his style. From the Salon des Refuses (“Salon of the Rejected”) and many struggling years without recognition, money and yet a family to raise, all the way to great success, critically and financially, Monet pursued insistently one vision: catching the light in painting, refusing to compromise on this ethereal pursuit. It cost him dearly but he was a beacon for his contemporaries. We discover in this comics biography how he came to this vision as well as his turbulent life pursuing it.
9×12, 112pp., full color hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978168112139052499. DIAMOND CODE: JUN181889
PREVIEWS

RESOLICIT

The True Death of Billy The Kid
By Rick Geary

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‘Being an authentic narrative of the final days in Billy the Kid’s brief and turbulent life.’ One of our folk legends of the great Wild West, William H. Bonney went from cowboy and gunslinger for a rancher to pure outlawry forever dodging justice in New Mexico when it wasn’t even a state. On the one hand, he was charming, fun-loving –often at social events like dances-, quite appealing to the ladies. Also conversant in Spanish, “Billito” was popular with the Spanish speaking crowd. On the other hand, he had no compunction to coldly kill a man, a sheriff, a deputy, anyone who got in his way rustling cattle or horses for an illicit living. He also proved hard to keep in jail even when caught. It is probably his feats of derring-do escaping from jails that made him most famous and this is the main subject of this biography following him until he is shot in pitch darkness by lawmen obsessed with getting rid of him.
8×10, 56pp., B&W hardcover, $15.99. ISBN 978168112134551599. DIAMOND ORDER CODE: JUN181890
PREVIEWS

RESOLICIT

Billie Holiday
By José Muñoz, Carlos Sampayo


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Born in Philadelphia 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 978168112093551999.  DIAMOND ORDER CODE: JUN181888
PREVIEWS

Eurotica

RESOLICIT

GREAT MOVES

By Robert Edison Sandiford with art by Geof Isherwood


3 engrossing and salacious stories. In the title story, a traveler in a bar is accosted by a very horny young woman who bewitches him with unseen circumstances! Then, a photographer is asked by her best friends to tape them having sex—only to have the camera turned on her. Finally, as he lies dying, an old woman reflects on the passionate life she has led with her husband.
8 1/2 x 11, 48pp., B&W trade pb.: $9.99. ISBN 978156163584950999.  DIAMOND ORDER CODE: JUN181892

RESOLICIT

Attractive Forces
By Robert Edison Sandiford with art by Justin Norman

Three erotic short stories adapted to comics exploring black and multi-racial relationships.
81/2×11, 56pp., B&W, color cover, trade pb., $9.99 ISBN 978156163193350999
DIAMOND ORDER CODE: JUN181891

 

I heard a voice…

One of my favourite things about our BREAKING THE 10 series for NBM is putting in jokes and farcical aspects along with the serious points questioning religion.

This is page 1 of a scene in volume 2 when David announces his new Korean goddess.2B10_055 korean1

NBM’s page for the book HERE

And more pages from the book can be seen at my web site