Story of Lee reviews on twitter

Nice to see a smart reader enjoying our book THE STORY OF LEE and posting a review on twitter. Grace posted about volume 1 recently and this week posted us her recommendation of volume 2.

We are working on volume 3 now Grace!

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Comic Artist Laureate of the Netherlands

I’m proud to announce that as of yesterday, I can call myself the first Stripmaker des Vaderlands, which translates to the impressive sounding Comic Artist Laureate of the Netherlands – and well, it is pretty impressive: for the next three years, I’ll be the ambassador of Dutch comics!

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I’m extremely honored to receive this task, and have been bowled over by the amount of media attention today. Who said comics are under the radar? I’m especially happy with a 5-minute item on national TV, which not only showed me being proud and drawing, but also visited a school where my comics are used, and talked to Caroline van der Lee from aaStrips Foundation which launched the initiative. I’m so happy to have such enthusiastic people supporting me! Here’s an impression:

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My ambition: to bury Holland in comics. Like this:

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I love what’s happening right now, and this weekend I’ll be at the Breda Comics Festival where I hope to talk to a lot of people, colleagues, teachers, fans… And next week I’ll probably be asleep.

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By the way, I’m also bowled over by the many congrats and encouraging words from friends and colleagues online (join me on Facebook!). Some even made me congratulatory drawings – thanks Marc ScherbateyevPeter van de Wiel and Pieter Hogenbirk!

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On Television

I was on Dutch TV, in a 25-minute interview that covered everything from my image of God to the upcoming Stripmaker des Vaderlands election. The program is called ‘Het Vermoeden’ and set in an old-fashioned train compartment, to facilitate guests talking about their life’s journey and the next station they expect to arrive at.

Of course, it was all done in a studio, and this is what it looked like:

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The interview was done by Marleen Stelling, and felt like a very pleasant, almost casual conversation about Life, the Universe and Everything:

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I was a bit nervous about how I would come across on TV – I hardly ever see myself move or talk the way others perceive me, so it was really er, interesting to watch myself. The thing that struck me most was how lively I gesticulate:

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And second, I was touched to find myself mirroring my long deceased grandfather, Hendrikus Berkhof, who was professor of Theology and would have loved to see his granddaughter carry on his legacy, in a way:

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The whole interview (in Dutch!) can be watched here.

All in all, it was a very intense and positive experience! It makes me even more confident that not only could I handle being Stripmaker des Vaderlandsvoting still open until the 30th! – , I would actually enjoy the media aspect of it.

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Because, let’s be honest here, I just love talking about myself.

And comics.

And myself in relation to comics.

NBM Announces SPX, Brooklyn Book Festival Plans

This coming weekend, September 16th and 17th will be a busy one, with NBM Graphic Novels appearing at two amazing East Coast Shows, the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD and Brooklyn Book Festival in New York.

Be sure to stop by and check out some of our latest titles!

Small Press Expo (SPX)

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Booth G1-2

Bethesda, Maryland
Special Guest: Anais Depommier (Sartre) – Saturday Only
Guest: T.J. Kirsch (Pride of The Decent Man) – Saturday Only
Kata Kane (Ana & The Cosmic Race, Papercutz)

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Panel:  Filling In The Pieces: Comics Biography
White Flint Auditorium 9/16 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

When doing a comics biography, how do cartoonists approach the material they have at hand? For Box Brown, who did a biography of Andre the Giant, he struggled to find material that might reveal the wrestler’s inner life. Anais Depommier had to sift through a mountain of material for her biography of Jean-Paul Sartre, a task made all the more difficult considering how much the philosopher wrote about himself. Luke Howard had to deal with a historically and racially sensitive topic in ragtime creator Ernest Hogan. Moderator Chris Mautner will lead the discussion. Anais Depommier appears courtesy of a grant by The Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Signings:

Saturday (Booth G-1-2)
11:30- 12:30: Anais Depommier (Saturday Only)
1:00-2:30: T.J. Kirsch (Saturday Only)
2:30-4: Anais Depommier (Saturday Only)
4-5:30: T.J. Kirsch (Saturday Only)
5:00-6:00: Kata Kane
6:00-6:30: Anais Depommier  (Saturday Only)

Sunday (Booth G-1-2)
1-2: Kata Kane
3-4: Kata Kane

 

Brooklyn Book Festival

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Booth 319

Brooklyn, New York
Appearing Sunday Only:
Guests: Anais Depommier (Sartre) and T.J. Kirsch (Pride of The Decent Man)
BrooklynBookFestival.org

Signings:

Sunday (Booth 319)
10 :30-11:30: T.J. Kirsch
11:30-12 :30: Anais Depommier
1-2: T.J. Kirsch
2-3: Anais Depommier
3-4: T.J. Kirsch
4-5 Anais Depommier

 

Food for Thought

Two years ago, I drew comics to illustrate the 17 Global Goals, and this year, I was asked by The World’s Largest Lesson to draw a follow-up poster. It’s designed to be used in schools, introducing the Global Goals through examining what’s on your plate – literally:

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The project is neatly divided in different chunks and accompanied by handy notes for teachers – check it out on the site of The World’s Largest Lesson!

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All the materials are free and can be used in the age groups of 9-14 year olds – please spread the word to teachers and educators!

PRIDE lives!

Copies of Pride Of The Decent Man are beginning to arrive in the hands of readers. This is feels like the end of something, but also the beginning of another stage – promotion!

It’s actually been two years (!) since sending off the initial short proposal for the book, and now it’s done, real, and ready to be (hopefully) enjoyed by the public.

I’ll be making my first two appearances in support of PRIDE soon at the Small Press Expo in Maryland and the Brooklyn Book Festival in NYC. Details to come very soon!

I’m also posting a new tour poster image I’ve got with some other dates as well. More are being added soon.

Pride Of The Decent Man is now available through many fine booksellers.

For more info, go here.

Thanks again – and thanks for reading.

T.J.

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On Lettering And Fonts.

When I was first putting together the initial proposal for PRIDE OF THE DECENT MAN, I thought about the lettering quite a bit. I hadn’t hand lettered a comic in quite a while ( my old lettering instructor Mike Chen at Kubert School is rolling his eyes ), and working digitally as I have been for 9+ years, I’ve seen what computer fonts work best with my particular style of artwork. Fonts that’ve worked for me in the past wouldn’t necessarily look best with this new story. It’s quieter, more contemplative than my previous books, and with that should come an appropriate font ( or fonts ).

I tried a few favorites from ComiCraft and Blambot I’d used over the years, but they didn’t look quite right for this project. They seemed to modern, too dynamic. I half-remembered one I’d used while working on an educational comic for UC Berkeley years ago. It was a font based on the hand lettering of Danish, NYC-based cartoonist Henrik Rehr, and designed by Johan Brandstedt. Henrik is a fantastic and prolific cartoonist, and his lettering is very organic and subtle on his many projects.

I thought it would work for the dialogue PRIDE, and I think it does! It’s also fairly close to a better version of my own lettering, if I were patient enough to try. Of course, it’s been years of not using that particular muscle. Luckily in this day and age, it’s very easy to reach out to fellow creators through social media or email, so I did just that. I asked permission to use the lettering font in my book and he agreed. I call that pretty lucky.

fonts

For the captions from Andrew’s notebooks, I found a similarly organic-looking font designed by Font Diner that looks like someone’s handwriting. They also enthusiastically gave permission, as Henrik had, and I think what came out in the end works in support of the storytelling.

So please, seek out the work of Henrik Rehr as well as Font Diner if you can and support them. They’ve been good to me, and I can’t thank them enough.

For more information, including how to order, and preview pages for PRIDE OF THE DECENT MAN, go here!

Thanks again for reading.

T.J.