Love & the Celebrity Crush

In my book Love: a Discovery in Comics (just out in stores!) I explore the Seven Year Itch, together with a therapist, who convinces me that what I need is to look about me for a new Love of my Life…

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My favorite actor is Robert Carlyle – on whom I have a Celebrity Crush. Check this drawer of almost all of his movies I collected:

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The picture of him that I used in the book is his incarnation as Dr. Nicholas Rush in Stargate Universe – where he is a tormented brilliant scientist:

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I guess I have a thing for tormented brilliant scientists. Now that I think about it, Yiri is a tormented brilliant scientist in his own right – only a lot less moody than Dr. Rush, and not located at the other end of the universe, which is convenient.

The thing I like most about Robert Carlyle as an actor is his versatility. Look at all these different roles he has played!

From psycho Begbie in Trainspotting (1996)…

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…and again in the sequel T2 Trainspotting in 2017…

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…to the grieving & dancing widower in the very romantic Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School (2005)…

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with Marisa Tomei

… to shady dealmaker Rumplestiltskin in the TV-series Once Upon A Time (2011-2017), which earned him wider fame and a whole new fandom…

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… to the awkward barber in The Legend of Barney Thomson, his film directing debut in 2015…

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with an almost unrecognizable Emma Thompson

…and British Prime Minister in the upcoming TV-film COBRA:

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EDIT: AND, this just in, he played a 78-year old John Lennon in the movie Yesterday that was released this week! Uncredited, but it’s unmistakably him:

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…and that’s just a small selection of the many roles he’s played in his 30-year career!

In my book, I have him turn up at the dating agency:

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And we go on a date!!!

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What happens next…?

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Find out by reading my book!

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Love & Marriage

In my newest book Love: a Discovery in Comics I also take a look at the history of the institution of Marriage – mostly in Western countries. I drew this spread:

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…and now I have made it into an animation, using Videoscribe:

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Click here to watch it on Youtube.

Here are a few scenes:

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I’m also reflecting on my own marriage to Yiri – we got officially married in 2009:

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…but we make it a habit to privately “renew our vows” a few times a year, whenever we find ourselves in a special place and the occasion presents itself:

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…which goes to underscore my believe that marriage is something you have to make your own, as a couple. Don’t follow the perceived dictates of society, they tend to change all the time anyway!

Read more about love, marriage, sex, relationships and all of that in:

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Love & Religion

In my book Love: a Discovery in Comics I have drawn one chapter about Love from a religious perspective, taking a look at two scriptures: the Kama Sutra and Song of Songs.

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Dutch version of the Kama Sutra spread

The Kama Sutra is mainly known for its detailing of sexual postures – but it’s so much more! Originally meant for students leaving their guru to go into married life, it gives hints and tips about a lot of things, from decorating your house to recipes for love potions. I drew a 2-page spread depicting the scope of this document.

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Then there is the biblical Song of Songs, a highly erotic love song:

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I dwell briefly on one of my pet subjects (as people may recognize from my books Philosophy and Religion): the difference in eastern and western spirituality, and therefore the ideas about the body and sex:

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Read all about it in Love: a Discovery in Comics! Now in bookstores (or very close).

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Love & Romance

When telling ourselves the narrative of our love lives, we are heavily influenced by the tales of love we get fed through books, movies and magazines. I myself am a real sucker for romance novels (especially those set in Victorian England) – which all follow the same formula: there’s a Male and a Female, there’s Attraction, there are Obstacles, and once these are overcome there’s a Happy Ending…

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Romance novels are actually a really interesting subject to study for its feminist content! No other book genre has evolved so much over the past decades, reflecting how cultural thinking has changed on the position of women towards the workplace, sex and of course, men.

In Love: a Discovery in Comics, I deconstruct this evolution a little, and also take a look at the classic fairy tale:

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Happily ever after…? Who knows? What happens AFTER the Happy Ending?

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Read my take on it in this book, in stores this month!

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TCAF 2019

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival was a blast! It’s one of the biggest and nicest comic festivals I have ever attended, and just like in 2015 (when I was there last) it was wonderful to be there. Even more so, because this time I was Featured Guest and had a premiering book: Love: a Discovery in Comics.

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That’s me, loving my new book – and publishers Jeff Whitman and Terry Nantier in the background.

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The NBM stand with publishers Jeff Whitman and Terry Nantier (left) and comic artists Larry Hancock and Michael Cherkas, who were there to promote The Silent Invasion

Another great thing this year was that I was one of five Dutch comic artists attending. Our national comics child prodigy Aimée de Jongh was there (okay, she’s not a kid anymore) promoting both Blossoms in Autumn and her new Taxi: Stories from the Back Seat.

This is her, signing just around the corner from where we were sitting:

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Another colleague from home was Chad Bilyeu, who is originally from Cleveland, but has been in Holland for ages and is the author of the wonderfully revealing series Chad in Amsterdam.

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Yiri and Chad

Last but not least there was Typex, our comics rock star, whose masterpiece Andy (about Andy Warhol) is taking the comics world by storm.

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The coolest thing was that I got to do a panel with him, about Dutch Comics, moderated by Mark Nevins:

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Not only that – I also got to be on a panel about Science and Comics, with Maki Naro, Mike Holmes, Alison Wilgus and moderator Johanna Draper Carlson:

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While Saturday went by in a frenzy of signing, panelling and generally being elated by everything, Sunday allowed for some time to chase for comics myself.

This is our loot:

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The NBM table did very well, by the way! Here’s the Before picture of my end:

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And this is the After…:

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If you missed my cute little promotional booklet Ten Tips For A Broken Heart and are in the Toronto area – I dropped off a whole bunch at comic store The Beguiling.

Thanks to everyone who made TCAF 2019 such a memorable experience! We definitely hope to be back one day.

Ten Tips for a Broken Heart

This weekend, my book Love: a Discovery in Comics will be launched at the TCAF Festival in Toronto! I’ll be there, at the NBM stand, together with colleagues Larry Hancock and Michael Cherkas of The Silent Invasion – and they gave me the idea of bringing some freebies to give away:

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First of all: bookmarks! Because everybody needs bookmarks, right?

But the special attraction is this mini-booklet containing three pages from the book: Ten Tips for a Broken Heart! Because everybody’s heart gets broken some time…

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If you’re at TCAF, come and get yours! And get the book too, it’s full of tips, facts and stories about Love, in all its facets.

me

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NBM Announces TCAF 2019 Premieres, Signing Schedule

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NBM Graphic Novels is enthusiastically once again attending The Toronto Comics Art Festival, the massive, FREE two-day exhibition held at the Toronto Reference Library on Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12 and can be found at Tables # 114, 115.

Publisher Terry Nantier will be on hand for the company and he’ll be joined by Margreet de Heer who is attending TCAF with the support of the Dutch Literature Foundation, and to celebrate the TCAF debut of her new book from NBM, Love: A History in Comics.

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Love is a many-splendored thing, as comic artist Margreet de Heer has found out through several relationships and her marriage to fellow artist Yiri. How to describe it?

Is love passion, stability, friendship, or all of the above? In this comics exploration, the author investigates different aspects of love: is there really such a thing as finding The One? What happens in the brain when we fall in love? How can we keep long-term love? What to do about a broken heart? Margreet herself seems to have found her ideal partner in Yiri, but after so many years of marriage, how about that Seven Year Itch?

This book deals with many aspects of love, sex and relationships in a light-hearted, playful and often thought-provoking manner and is a fun and informative read for anyone who is in love or planning to be.

Also attending on behalf of NBM are Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock who will on hand for the TCAF debut of The Silent Invasion Vol. 2: The Great Fear.

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The paranoia and conspiracy theories continue! Beleaguered reporter Matt Sinkage’s quest to discover the truth behind an apparent, government-backed alien invasion of earth leads him to investigate a quasi-religious UFO cult based in an idyllic small American community.

Then the sudden death of a prominent politician paves the way for Senator Harrison Callahan to seek the Presidency of the United States.

But Sinkage, believing that Callahan is an alien pawn, is determined to stop him at all costs.

Margreet de Heer
Panels and Signing Schedule

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Saturday

  • 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM: Signing – NBM Table (#114, 115)
  • 12:15 PM – 2:15 PM: It’s Science! in Comics
    Hinton Learning Theatre (3rd Floor, Library)
    She blinded me… with science comics? On the contrary, graphic non-fiction is enlightening, particularly for educating young adult readers. Nothing’s as easy to understand as when we see it explained with amusing pictures. Alison Wilgus, Maki Naro, Margreet de Heer, and Mike Holmes will share how they build excitement for science in comics, whether flying machines, computer coding, vaccination, or the field of science overall. Moderated by Johanna Draper Carlson (ComicsWorthReading.com).
  • 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM: Signing – NBM Table (#114, 115)
  • 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM: Stripmakers: Comics in the Netherlands
    Summerhill Room (Marriott)
    Join Margreet de Heer (Comics Laureate of the Netherlands!) and Typex (Rising Superstar!) as they interview each other about the past, present, and future of the Dutch comics scene.
  • 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM: Signing – NBM Table (#114, 115)

Sunday

  • 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM: Signing – NBM Table (#114, 115)
  • 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Signing – NBM Table (#114, 115)

Michael Cherkas & Larry Hancock
Panels and Signing Schedule

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Larry Hancock, publisher Terry Nantier, and Michael Cherkas

Saturday

  • 11:00 AM – 1:15 PM: Signing – NBM Table (#114, 115)
  • 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Canadian Cartooning: Then and Now
    High Park Ballroom 1 (Marriott)
    Canada has a long and rich history of excellent cartooning. Hear about it from the people who were there! Join Joan Steacy (Aurora Borealice), Michael Cherkas (Silent Invasion), Siris (The Vagabond Valise), and Jeffrey Ellis (Cloudscape Comics) as they talk about their histories in comics, and how they seen the scene now. Moderated by Brendan Montgomery.
  • 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Signing – NBM Table (#114, 115); Michael only
  • 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM: World Building Process
    Hinton Learning Theatre (3rd Floor, Library)
    Creators discuss the process and struggles of creating original Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Supernatural worlds! With Ben Sears (Double+ Adventures), Evan Dahm (Island Book), Larry Hancock (The Silent Invasion), NikaComics (Signals), and Carolyn Nowak (Girl Town). Moderated by Brendan Montgomery.
  • 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM: Signing – NBM Table (#114, 115)

Sunday

  • 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Signing – NBM Table (#114, 115)
  • 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Signing – NBM Table (#114, 115)