Background of ‘The Mercenary’

NBM Graphic Novels will be reprinting all 14 volumes of Vincente Segrelles groundbreaking graphic novel series The Mercenary in updated, remastered volumes.

In anticipation of this exciting release, we’re previewing the supplementary pages that will be included in the back of every volume.

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merc2When I was little, just like most children, I liked to draw—although in my case it was a somewhat unhealthy hobby. I was born in 1940 and my childhood took place during the Spanish post-war period, an era of hardships and rationing. I remember that, when I was very young, but old enough to remember with some clarity, I secretly got up at 6 in the morning and shut myself in a room so I could draw, making sure to cover the crack at the bottom of the door with a towel so that the light shining through wouldn’t give me away. They found out and my nocturnal adventure was over, but I continued drawing during allowed hours. Storybook illustrations fascinated me and I tried to copy them. Later came comics and especially movies.

And then there was the influence of my uncle José Segrelles, my father’s brother. Uncle Pepe, as we called him at home, was a well-known illustrator in the 1930s, a great watercolor painter specialized in fantasy.

In the apartment where we lived, we had books illustrated by him and a few framed reproductions of his work, but the crucial thing was the artistic atmosphere that I breathed in at home. The “Uncle Pepe” atmosphere, as would be expected, affected me a lot and framed my professional aspirations for the future: my dream was always to be a painter-illustrator.

But life took me down many roads before reaching this profession. My stint in a truck factory and in advertising did not quash my vocation, and in my free time I continued drawing.

And finally I achieved it, first illustrating trading cards, then research books, and finally book covers.

When I reached the comics world, I was already much older than is usual for authors in this specialty, but I had a background of hundreds of covers in a wide variety of topics including fantasy and dragons, some of them mounted and ridden by warriors, iconography that I would use to create samples and to find work in comics.

 

“I remember well when these books first came out. I bought all of them. They had a great influence on me as a painter; also on my interest in sequential art. Vincente Segrelles is a superlative storyteller in both words and pictures. Like the extraordinary art of his Uncle, Jose Segrelles, the work of Vincente is not to be missed!”

– Joe DeVito, creator and illustrator of King Kong of Skull Island

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Meet Vincente Segrelles, Creator of ‘The Mercenary’

NBM Graphic Novels will be reprinting all 14 volumes of Vincente Segrelles groundbreaking graphic novel series The Mercenary in updated, remastered volumes.

In anticipation of this exciting release, we’re previewing the supplementary pages that will be included in the back of every volume.

* * * * *

In them I will explain how and why I started The Mercenary, my way of working, anecdotes, and interesting tidbits about the way that I write comics and especially the direct relationship between the issues and my passions. I have illustrated each supplement with many samples my work, and everything that you will see, from the illustrations to the models and sculptures, was done by me.

vincente

The Cult of The Sacred Fire was one of my first introductions to fully painted graphic novels and to this day holds up against the best of them. Segrelles inspired generations to push the art further with this breakthrough book and 40 years later, its looking better than ever. A must-have for any illustrator or storyteller.”

– Jimmy Palmiotti, writer of Harley Quinn; creator of Painkiller Jane

The Importance of Seeing It Through

I’ve illustrated only a few graphic novels. There are cartoonists that can produce an astonishing amount of pages every year. On the flipside there are cartoonists who take a decade to produce their magnum graphic novel opus. I’m not the fastest, but I’m also not the slowest. Speaking from experience, I’ll add that having a child can slow you down your productivity a bit. The most important thing to do when you’re working on a graphic novel is to simply finish it.

There was an interview in The Comics Journal years ago with Aaron Renier – I’m paraphrasing of course, but he was talking to a fellow cartoonist, the talented Craig Thompson. He was offering advice while Aaron struggled with his debut graphic novel, Spiral-Bound.

I can tell you from experience, It’s difficult, grueling and daunting. The sheer amount of work is overwhelming. Craig Thompson worked on many comics that he abandoned before finishing his breakthrough, Goodbye, Chunky Rice. He realized that the most important part is to finish things. You have to see it through. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. There may be weeks where you get nothing done, or days you lose because you realize the storytelling didn’t make sense. Even though you may like the drawing itself, you’ve gotta throw out the page and start over.

To have a finished book, to hold it in your hands – it’s like crossing that finish line. You, can’t get there, however, if you don’t stick with it. If you’re a flake, if you don’t commit to the work, you can never finish. You simply have to chug along, do the work. See it through.

To find out more about my new book, PRIDE OF THE DECENT MAN, including how to order a copy, go here.

 

Dungeon: Twilight Takes Its Final Bow

Hi, I’m Jeff Whitman. I’m the new Publishing Assistant at NBM Publishing, here to post the latest and greatest releases NBM has to offer. I will also share with you exclusive info and previews when I can. I have to admit I am new to the world of Dungeon. I just read the finals for Dungeon Twilight Volume 4 and got instantly curious about the whole series of work. Read on!


 

The Dust King, Marvin the Red, Zakutu and all your favorite Dungeon dwellers return for one final adventure! What has been called “the looniest world of horror and heroic fantasy you’ll ever be transported to” has captivated international audiences for years. And now, the saga concludes with Volume 4 of Twilight, containing two stories: High Septentrion and The End of Dungeon. Join NBM as we celebrate, one more time, the fun and dangerous world that was created by Johann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim over 15 years ago! The End of Dungeon arrives in fine comic shops starting in November, bookstores come December.  Preorder today at your favorite comic shop or bookstore!

DUNGEON: Twilight Vol.4

DUNGEON: Twilight
Vol.4: High Septentrion & The End of Dungeon
Johann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim, Alfred, Mazan.
The last two stories of Dungeon!
In High Septentrion, there has been a violent eruption on the planet of Terra Amata. It’s a scramble to find breathable air, but the wizened blind, mystical dragon the Dust King (Marvin) thinks that it is perhaps time for him to die heroically. However the feisty young Marvin the Red refuses to give up and plans to find a way out of this mess, including finding a way to actually breathe… Art by Alfred of “Why I Killed Peter.”
And in The End of Dungeon the more the islets of the planet Terra Amata move upward, the less there is of breathable oxygen. While Marvin the Red and Zakutu, daughter of the Grand Khân, attempt to protect the seven objects of Destiny, Herbert and the Dust King are forced to swear allegiance to the Dark Entity in order to gain access to breathable air. 
All things must come to an end and so it is with the great Dungeon.
6 ½ 9, 96pp., full color pb, $14.99, 9781561639199

Click here for previews and more Dungeon fun!

The History of Dutch Comics

On display in Museum Meermanno in The Hague right now: a great exhibition of 200 years of Dutch comics! Ever since I helped putting Dutch Comics History online on Lambiek.net, the subject has been a bit of a hobby of mine. So I was very pleased and honored when the museum asked me to draw a magazine to accompany the exhibition. It’s become a 40-page comic book, relating the history of Dutch comics mostly through several children of the past, who tell which comic they like best and why. The book is for sale only at the museum, as long as the expo lasts, which is until January 12, 2014. But here’s a bit of a preview:

 

I also made a short VideoScribe (in Dutch) with a few of the old comics and children from the book. Click on the picture to see it on YouTube: