NBM Named One of CBR’s “10 Indie Comic Publishers To Watch Out For”

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CBR.com, which has evolved into a site that tends to focus on listicals, has added NBM Graphic Novels as their number one selection in their “10 Independent Comic Publishers To Watch Out For” list.

As CBR notes, “NBM has billed itself as America’s first ever graphic novel publisher and it certainly showcases a full range of content that suggests it knows how to maneuver in the industry.

With over 200 graphic novels, the company has a penchant for creating comics based on real people such as the Beatles, Bob Marley, and Da Vinci. NBM is a unique company with a lot of quirks, but it could perhaps pave the way to how the industry will change over the next couple of years since it has demonstrated continued longevity.”

Thanks, CBR! After 44 years in comics, it’s always nice to be recognized.

NBM To Attend ALA Virtual Event

Attention Librarians! From tomorrow, June 24th through Friday, June 26th, NBM will be a part of the (American Library Association) ALA Virtual Event – Community Through Connection.

ALA Virtual – Community Through Connection is an online event with educational programming, special author events, and social networking.

Participants will be able to find NBM alongside our sister company, Papercutz. In addition to a brochure of recent and upcoming titles, we’ll have digital ARCs of Giant and the upcoming Willie Nelson: A Graphic History.

The Silent Invasion: Abductions – Robert J. Sawyer introduction

Abductions, Book 3 of The Silent Invasion is now available through finer book shops (as the saying goes). It can be ordered in print online and is available as a digital download.

To help entice you to make the purchase, we are presenting here Robert J. Sawyer’s introduction to this volume. Sit back and enjoy!

INTRODUCTION

HERE WE GO AGAIN

The French, they have a certain—I don’t know what. But they sure do have a way with words, and, as they say, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here we are in 2020—remember when that was an eye-test score and not a year?—and the dark paranoia of the 1950s is with us once more. To let Yogi Berra, a famed athlete from that era, continue our French theme, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

Larry Hancock, who writes The Silent Invasion, is my accountant—and a damn good one he is, too. Since my principal dealings with the government are on matters of taxation, I like that Larry has a healthy skepticism about what those in Ottawa (for us Canadians) and Washington (I’m a dual citizen—he does my US return, too) are up to.

Larry and Michael Cherkas, the gifted artist who draws The Silent Invasion, were mere young’uns when McCarthyism gripped the United States, but they were university students by the time the edict “follow the money” led to the downfall of Tricky Dick Nixon. And, as they were creating the first floppy-comic versions of what’s become a beloved cult classic, the notion that the US government had faked the moon landing (and then faked it again, and again, and again, and again, and again) was already entrenched in the popular imagination.

Those earlier issues of The Silent Invasion predated the Clinton impeachment, the Iran-Contra scandal, the trumped-up war in Iraq following 9/11, the labeling of truth as “fake news,” the current raging paranoia about deep-state activities, the resurgence of flat-Earthers, and the election of a shifty reality-TV star to the most powerful office in the world. And although this third volume was also begun before all that happened, it reads as though it could have been written today.

What seemed like nostalgia for the hard-boiled detective fiction of the 1930s and 1940s, and a callback to the UFO craze and Red scare of the 1950s, now reads like—well, not newspaper headlines; those are so last millennium. Our intrepid hero, Matt Sinkage, were he still plying his trade today, would doubtless have a YouTube channel with millions of followers. He’d no longer be a voice in the wilderness, his warnings rarely heeded, but rather the center of tweetstorms, and no doubt the subject of online jabs, not from the long-forgotten President Callahan, who, in the Invasion-verse was elected in 1960 despite Sinkage’s attempt to assassinate him, but from President Trump himself.

Matt Sinkage would recognize the parallels between those two commanders-in-chief, though: Callahan was a dupe, a stooge, a puppet of alien forces, and, well, so, it seems, is Donald Trump, in that interchangeable way that aliens and Russians exist in the shadows of our minds. As Matt said of the former president but could have just as easily observed of the latter, “If he gets elected the aliens will control him. They’ll be in charge of the country … and maybe the world.” Where is Senator McCarthy now that we finally actually need him? Instead, we live in a world where nothing, not even impeachment, seems capable of bringing down the monster in our midst.

This third volume of The Silent Invasion at last adds in a little Canadian content; after all, its two creators live in Toronto. They insidiously use Canadian spellings (“neighbours” rather than “neighbors”), casually bring Canadian football into a conversation, and seamlessly weave the long forgotten Avro Avrocar flying disc into the plot.

Some grad student will eventually note that the name The Silent Invasion echoes The Quiet Revolution that transformed Quebec in the 1960s. Yes, grad student. What you have in your hands is pure entertainment, to be sure, but also food for thought: there’s enough meat here about how conspiracies, cover-ups, and corruption work to fuel a decent thesis or two.

Of course, the first thing one notices when leafing through these pages is the very distinctive art. There’s always been something eerie about Michael Cherkas’s figures, with their muscular bodies and tiny heads, but today, when we apply force—whether online or off—without much thinking, they seem emblematic of our shoot-first-and-consider- later age.

Meanwhile, Cherkas’s harsh use of black and white, with shades of gray reserved solely for showing shadows, seems the perfect metaphor for our era of polarization. And, really, how apropos of the infiltration of Russia into our daily life is Cherkas’s unique lettering in which a ‘U’ looks like the backward ‘N’ that is the tenth letter of the Russian version of the Cyrillic alphabet?

So, will this long-delayed third volume of The Silent Invasion be the end of Matt Sinkage? Well, as Phil Housley said in Volume Two, “I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him.” And as Housley says in this volume, “Once again I was being drawn into fantastic events over which I had no control—that I couldn’t even hope to understand…”

Yes, indeed. Welcome back to the 1950s—and welcome to the 2020s. No matter the decade, you’re in for, as the French would say, un enfer d’un tour—a hell of a ride.

ROBERT J. SAWYER

Mississauga, Ontario, January 2020

Robert J. Sawyer is one of only eight writers ever—and the only Canadian—to win the world’s top three awards for best science-fiction novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his Aurora Award-winning novel of the same name, and he was one of the scriptwriters for that series. He also wrote the two-part finale for the acclaimed webseries Star Trek Continues. A member of the Order of Canada—the highest honor given by the Canadian government—and one of the initial inductees into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, Rob’s latest novel is The Oppenheimer Alternative.

T.J. Kirsch Talks Willie Nelson: A Graphic History

This week I sat down comfortably in my office and talked to Chad Burdette from the Times Union – Comics Multiverse Blog. We talked about the impetus of Willie Nelson: A Graphic History and my experience of the process overall.

Be sure to pre-order wherever books are sold!

Times Union Comics Multiverse Interview

Find out more about the book on the NBM website – Willie Nelson: A Graphic History

And find an independent bookseller to preorder from on Indiebound.org

-T.J.

 

And the award goes to: Wasco

 

As Comic Artist Laureate of The Netherlands, one of my “duties” is to hand the prestigious Stripschapprijs, Holland’s one and only comics prize, to the winner. This year, that’s Wasco, a remarkable artist whose work has influenced comics makers worldwide.

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Despite the current restrictions, I  was able to hand him the statuette that comes with the prize, in an almost empty cinema where Wasco was regaled with messages from his friends – you can watch the proceedings (in Dutch) in this YouTube registration.

NBM June/July 2020 Releases

Here are upcoming titles, now being solicited in comics stores through Diamond Previews for an June and July 2020 release. The June titles which were previously announced HERE, will be shipping with an adjusted schedule caused by the COVID-19 quarantine.

NEW

LEONARDO DA VINCI & THE RENAISSANCE OF THE WORLD
Created by Marwan Kahil and Ariel Vittori

One of the greatest artists of all time, as well as a genius inventor, Da Vinci was arrestingly tall and handsome. This comics bio shows the process of his work and his inventions, his persecution as a gay man and how the changing politics of his country and ebbs and flows of those in power affected him and his career. A turbulent story on an exceptional man. Complemented with back matter on his chronology, list of his oeuvres, etc…

6 ½ x9, 144pp., full color HC US $24.99; ISBN: 978168112259552499
Pub Date: July 15th, 2020


PREVIEWS


AVAILABLE AGAIN!

NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE: THE GARDEN OF SECRETS
Created by Dominique Osuch and Sandrine Martin

Niki de Saint Phalle knew art could save the world because art saved her… from madness, from violence. Even from herself. A comics biography of the famous and controversial contemporary pop-style artist.

8×10, 186pp., full color Hardcover , US $29.99, HC ISBN: 978168112158152999

PREVIEWS


RODIN
Created by Eddy Simon and Joel Alessandra

This comics biography of one of the greatest sculptors who ever lived is done with the collaboration of the Rodin Museum and includes a preface by its director.

It views his life through the eyes of the three women who shared his life for good or for bad. One was his lifelong on and off companion, the other two his muses, one of which was Camille Claudel, a well-recognized sculptor herself.

Rodin’s work was revolutionary in conveying exceptional passion, transcending the stone. Here’s how that happened.

7 x 10.25, 112pp. full color HC, US $19.99; ISBN: 978168112241051999

PREVIEWS



MONET: ITINERANT OF LIGHT
Created by Efa and Salva Rubio

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

PREVIEWS


In Conversation with Silent Invasion Creators

 

space_01A number of weeks ago Larry Hancock and I chatted with by John Swinimer, the host of the True North Country Comics Podcast to promote our appearance at this year’s now cancelled Toronto Comics Arts Festival. We had planned to launch the newly-released Abductions, Book Three of The Silent Invasion series at TCAF 2020.

Tune in and enjoy our conversation with John here.

In the meantime, follow us on Facebook.

And remember to Watch the Skies!