Pedrosa: “What is your book about ?”

To this simple question, the author generally tries to provide a simple, concise answer with possibly a touch of humor, intelligence and modesty so as to put forward his best foot, both for himself and his work without seeming pretentious.

However, amongst all the possible answers, experience tells me “I’m not really sure…” is the least recommended.

And yet this might be the most sincere, for many reasons.

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The first is the inevitable and depressing permanent gap between what you start off trying to accomplish in a book and the result you laboriously end up with. You start a book with the ambition of building a cathedral, but you often end up with the feeling you’ve barely slapped together a shaky wood cabin.

The second reason, much less depressing but just as inevitable, is the difference between what you think objectively you’ve portrayed in a book and what each reader will subjectively get out of it. You think you’ve told a modern tragedy but some readers are convinced they’ve read a sarcastic comedy, while others see in it a series of off-the-wall tales. Go figure who’s right.

The third is the frightening propensity of humans, authors included, to act consciously while animated by unconscious wishes. You thought you were talking about a cantankerous queen; you realize years later that was your mother.

So in fact, to try to answer this question seriously, it’s sometimes necessary to go around it and in particular to go back up to the origins of a story.

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The starting point of Equinoxes is a series of monologues written in my notebooks.They were descriptions of brief moments of introspection as we all go through, fed by confused and contradictory thoughts. Moments where fear of failure, frustration, regrets, fleeting desires, hopes for a better life, disappointments with friends, the joys of love, etc… emerge within us and disappear just as quickly. We forget them and, of course, share them with no one. However, these interior monologues tell us as much if not more than our actions and our spoken words.

These texts seemed to sketch out roughly portraits of these characters of which I knew nothing, other than their fleeting feelings. Who were these characters, the links between them, and from where came this desire to evoke these interior thoughts?

The only solution open to me to answer these types of questions is to do comics.

This is how the story constructed itself. Interior voices were born from the characters, the characters were born from the stories, and, little by little, their destinies crissed-crossed each others’, creating a common story.

At times there are elements of engagement, political militancy, disappointed friendships, rambles through the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, feelings of love, Christian faith, and more globally some pretty serious existential crises.

The original texts have been reshaped many times but they have remained in this ‘literary’ form in the book. And they summarize, possibly, its subject, what it ‘talks about:’ the strange paradox of human existence. The Other is a stranger. He/she is as inaccessible to us as we are to her or him. Yet, we desperately need to be in touch with each other.

And from this common lot, this banal tragedy, can be born at times the miracle of beauty, utopia, feelings of love.

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Sketches done in the New York subway, summer 2015

See more about his Equinoxes, coming in September.

This August, NBM Proudly Presents Equinoxes, Pedrosa’s “Wildly Ambitious” Graphic Novel*

“Cyril Pedrosa’s Equinoxes is an impressive feast of a book.”

– Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics and The Sculptor

From Cyril Pedrosa, a rising bestselling star of European comics comes Equinoxes, a unique ground-breaking work of rare intensity and narrative sensibility.

In an equinox, day is as long as night, as if the world found perfect equilibrium between shadow and light, a fleeting equilibrium, similar to the stakes of our human destinies. Segmented into four tableaux for four seasons, unrelated people of all social backgrounds seeking equilibrium cross paths with other solitudes, weaving in and out of one another’s lives- all captivated and tormented by the enigmatic meaning of life. Every season has its visual identity and its individual voice, culminating in summer and, possibly, an answer.

9 x 12, 336 pp, $44.99, Full color Cloth ISBN 9781681120805
$24.99 e-book
Diamond Item Code: JUN161646

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Arriving to the direct market on 8/31/16 and in stores everywhere in September.

Pedrosa will be participating in several United States appearances to support the book:

Albertine Bookshop
A project of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
972 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10075
Monday, September 12th at 7PM

Parsons School of Design
Special Guest at Ben Katchor’s class
Tuesday, September 13th
(Not open to the general public)

Small Press Expo (SPX): Special Guest
Marriott Bethesda North Hotel & Conference Center
Bethesda, Maryland
Saturday, September 17th

Brooklyn Book Festival: Guest of the festival
Brooklyn, New York
Sunday, September 18th

More information regarding the appearances to come.

* Source

 

NBM Graphic Novels Announces Upcoming Publishing Slate

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NBM Graphic Novels has announced the release schedule through Winter 2017, including brand new releases from Philippe Chanoinat & Fabrice Le Henanff, Paco Roca, Cyril Pedrosa, Annie Goetzinger & Rodolphe, Michiru Morikawa & Sean Michael Wilson and Sandrine Reveland; biographies of Thoreau, Elvis Presley, and Glenn Gould; and a new volume of A Treasury of XXth Century Murder series by Rick Geary.

 

JUNE 2016 (July Trade Publication Date)

BREAKING THE TEN
By Sean Michael Wilson & Michiru Morikawa

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When David loses his wife and child in a tragic car accident he decides, in anger at the cruelty of the event, to turn against God. He sets out to systematically break each of the Ten Commandments in order to both spite God and to get his attention! But will he go all the way, and break the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’?

Two mysterious figures, Mr White and Mr Black, try to win David over to their side: the religious or the humanistic. Deeply sad in parts and comical in others, this modern story explores age old questions: Is there a God? And if there is, does that God care about us? By the author of The Story of Lee.

6×9, 112pp., B&W trade pb., $11.99, ISBN 9781681120218 ebook $7.99

 

JULY 2016 (August Trade Publication Date)

MARIE ANTOINETTE, PHANTOM QUEEN
By Annie Goetzinger & Rodolphe

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During the 1930s, Maud, an artist, discovers she has a psychic gift. The first signs manifest themselves in the royal gardens of the Trianon where gradually she understands that a woman from the beyond is attempting to communicate with her. The revelation is beyond belief: it is the ghost of Marie Antoinette appearing to her to share a terrible secret that has tormented her for centuries.

After being guillotined, the Queen is said to have been thrown into a common grave but then exhumed and buried with her husband, Louis XVI, in the Saint-Denis basilica. Yet the ghost tells Maud that her remains are still in the pit, on which a chapel stands today. The queen asks Maud to move her body to the right place so she can finally find peace and no longer haunt people.

Part fantastic ghost story, part biography, this is a delicious beautifully illustrated look into French revolutionary history by the artist of the bestselling Girl in Dior.

8 ½ x 11, 68 pages, full color hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 9781681120294 e-book $9.99

 

AUGUST 2016 (September Trade Publication Date)

EQUINOXES
By Cyril Pedrosa

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In an equinox, day is as long as night, as if the world found perfect equilibrium between shadow and light, a fleeting equilibrium, similar to the stakes of our human destinies. Segmented into four tableaux for four seasons, unrelated people of all social backgrounds seeking equilibrium cross paths with other solitudes, weaving in and out of one and other’s lives- all captivated and tormented by the enigmatic meaning of life. Every season has its visual identity and its individual voice, culminating in summer and, possibly, an answer.

Equinoxes is a unique ground-breaking work of rare intensity and narrative sensibility by a rising bestselling star of European comics.

9 x 12, 336 pp, $49.99, Full color Cloth ISBN 9781681120805 $24.99 e-book

 

SEPTEMBER 2016 (October Trade Publication Date)

ELVIS
By Philippe Chanoinat and Fabrice Le Henanff

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Stepping into Sun Studios in 1954 Elvis Aaron Presley recorded his first single “That’s All Right”. Little did he know he would soon revolutionize music and culture worldwide. This graphic novel biography starts with the story of “The King’s” humble beginnings in Mississippi, detailing, every step of the way, his meteoric rise to the stratosphere of stardom. It includes his service in the military, his extensive record as a Hollywood film star, his complicated family life, finally ending on the last days of the Hound Dog.

Le Henanff’s striking photo-quality painting reconstructs Elvis’s life in a presentation that practically dances off the page!

8.5x 11, 88pp., full color hardcover, $19.99 ISBN 9781681120768 $9.99 e-book

 

OCTOBER 2016 (November Trade Publication Date)

A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: BLACK DAHLIA
By Rick Geary

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On January 15, 1947, a woman was walking with her daughter in a Los Angeles neighborhood. She passed what looked to be a discarded manikin. It turned out to be the body of Elizabeth Short: posed, drained of blood, meticulously scrubbed, and cut in two.

From this point, Geary reconstitutes and reveals for us the life of this 22 year old woman who had become known as “Black Dahlia” because of her striking appearance. She had moved to LA to make it in show business. How could her life have ended in such a ghastly fashion? Was it a jealous boyfriend, a rejected suitor, or one of LA’s notorious mafia connections whom she had apparently been dabbling with? The case gets more complex when, days later, a local newspaper receives a cut-out letter from an anonymous “Black Dahlia Avenger” admitting to the crime. More letters follow toying with the LAPD.

Eisner Award winner Geary takes us through all the twists and turns in one of the most captivating unsolved mysteries of the 20th century in this latest installment of his Treasury of XXth Century Murder.

6×9, 80pp., B&W jacketed hardcover, $15.99; ISBN 9781681120522 $6.99 ebook

 

NOVEMBER 2016 (December Trade Publication Date)

GLENN GOULD: A Life Off Tempo
By Sandrine Revel

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Glenn Gould was a Canadian pianist, a child genius who became a worldwide superstar of classical music remembered for, among others, his almost revolutionary interpretations of Bach. This graphic novel biography seeks to understand the eccentric personality behind the persona.

Who is the mysterious Glenn Gould? Why did he abruptly end his career as a performing musician? Why did he become one of the very first of his peers to disappear from the public eye like J.D. Salinger?

Sandrine Revel delves into the life of Gould with hand painted illustrations and the viewpoint of an adoring fan.

8.5x 11, 136pp., full color hardcover hc, $25.99, ISBN:9781681120652 $30.99 CAN; $14.99 ebook

 

DECEMBER 2016 (January 2017 Trade Publication Date)

DUNGEON: TWILIGHT COMPLETE SET, VOLS 1-4
By Lewis Trondheim, Joann Sfar, Obion, Kerascoet, Alfred, Mazan

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The great saga detailing the end of Dungeon has come to a close. All four books are featured here in one specially priced set.

The planet Terra Amata, on which Dungeon resides, has stopped turning. On one side, total darkness and absolute coldness; on the other, a searing desert and eternal day. The survivors live on a thin slice of earth where day and night meet. A territory known as Twilight. Welcome to the third facet of the Dungeon world and its dark downfall. Marvin is blind but still dangerous and Herbert the Duck has become the darkest of Lords.

6.5 x 9, 384 pp, full color paperback set, $49.99 ISBN: 9781681120607

 

JANUARY 2017 (February 2017 Trade Publication Date)

THE LIGHTHOUSE
By Paco Roca

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Francisco, a wounded, despairing sixteen-year-old Republican guard in the Spanish Civil War, is trying to flee to freedom by crossing the French border. In his escape, he encounters an old remote lighthouse, far from the warring factions. He is granted shelter by Telmo, the aging operator of the lighthouse. As Francisco recuperates, Telmo’s tales of epic adventurers who sailed the lost seas and discovered worlds unknown reignite the spark of life in the young soldier.

By one of the most brilliant new talents in comic art in Spain, author of the world-wide bestseller Wrinkles.

6×9, 64pp., duotone hardcover, $15.99, ISBN: 9781681120560 $18.99 CAN, $9.99 e-books

 

FEBRUARY 2017 (March Trade Publication Date)

TREASURY OF XX CENTURY MURDER COMPENDIUM 1
including The Lindbergh Child, The Axe-Man of New Orleans, and Madison Square Tragedy
By Rick Geary

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Witness the most controversial and famous true crime cases that shook the 20th century!

These 240 pages retell the love affair that ended the life of prominent architect Stanford White- then dubbed the crime of the century, the New Orleans’ Axe-Man and his gruesome killing spree, and the abduction (and resulting media circus) of aviator Charles Lindbergh’s son- all collected in a handsome quarter-bound omnibus. These carefully researched presentations of true crime stories, each including bibliographies of research sources, present true facts about famous murders in an entertaining fashion.

6×9, 240pp., B&W quarter-bound hc,$27.99, ISBN 9781681120638