My newest book, on Love this time, will hit bookstores in June! It will be first available at the TCAF comic con in Toronto on May 11 & 12, which Yiri and I will be attending (find us at the NBM booth for a chat!).
The first review, from Publisher’s Weekly is already in, and I’m really happy that they call it upbeat, good-natured and affable:
The latest in de Heer’s series of simple, cheery graphic novel guides to big topics like science, philosophy, and religion finds the Dutch cartoonist tackling the meaning of love. Taking her own romantic history and current relationship with her husband (and colorist) Yiri Kohl as the opening story, she expands into such subjects as the history of marriage, the chemical components of desire, the seven kinds of love identified by the ancient Greeks, and the Kama Sutra and Song of Songs. Her gesticulating cartoon avatar shares her expertise on romance novels and attends a speed dating event. It’s an upbeat and good-natured sampling of issues related to partnership, lust, and romance, but the topic of love is far too vast to be covered satisfyingly in a 120-page comic. The broadly smiling, roly-poly cartoon characters and bright colors make the arguments accessible to a fault. Ultimately, the cartoon version of de Heer reaffirms her relationship with Kohl, but she doesn’t come to any conclusions that could be considered truly universal. While affable, this is an unchallenging ramble through a topic that could easily provide fodder for an entire separate series of graphic investigations.
It is true that I found it hard to come up with truly universal truths about love. In my own experience, the subject is so complex, that when you want to condense it you either have to describe purely scientific facts or stick to personal experience, in order to avoid reverting to platitudes. In this book (as in all my books), I’ve done both: the broad view with facts such as the history of marriage, contents of the Kama Sutra and chemicals in the brain, AND my own personal story of being in a long-term relationship with Yiri.
Will our marriage withstand the onslaught that is the Seven Year Itch…? Read all about it in ‘Love – a Discovery in Comics!’
Oh, and I also threw in a few frivolities, such as this:
Of all of my books, this is the one I had most fun with drawing. I hope lots of readers will LOVE it!
Cartoonist Ted Rall’s latest graphic novel: After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back as Honored Guests arrives in stores this month from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It chronicles his last trip to Afghanistan. Last week, Publishers Weekly has a great Author Profile featuring Rall and his book.
His first journey to Afghanistan was in November, 2001. He was originally commissioned by the Village Voice to write about his trip, he later added comics to better convey his experience. The resulting book was NBM’s To Afghanistan and Back and sold a total of 20,000 copies. Rall has been publishing with NBM Publishing since the early nineties with many of his graphic novels still in print.
Although he may have funded “After We Kill You” through Kickstarter, Rall will be returning to NBM in the future with more work!
In his PW interview, Rall states “Experiential stories, at least for me, are more easily told through the comics.” See some of Rall’s best “experiential stories” on NBM’s website, now with special discounts on some of his titles!
Publishers Weekly called it “hauntingly evocative”. Booklist said it was “highly successful both as literature and visual art”. Oliver Ka tells his memoir in a way critics agree as haunting yet beautiful. Artist Alfred, artist of Dungeon: Twilight, Vol. 4, illustrates this tale blurring the lines between imagination and reality. The finished product is Why I Killed Peter. If you haven’t picked it up yet, order it at your local comic book store! Retailers can place their order in this month’s previews. See previews and reviews on its product page.
WHY I KILLED PETER
Alfred & Olivier Ka
By the artist on the new Dungeon Twilight 4! “Peter was a populist priest. He was cool. He was funny. He was no priest, just a regular guy. It’s like I had another uncle. A great one, who laughed, who sang, who tickled. Until he took us for summer camp. Until we were so close, temptation came in the picture.”
Based on a true story that the writer experienced himself, this graphic novel presents very simply the grey areas in such a situation, how he had tucked the whole episode deep within him but then how his rage and self-pity let it all out and finally revisiting the man when close to death and his coming to grips. A very moving , topical and important work, sensitively presented.
“If there is a healing process, this unforgettable graphic reminiscence is surely its catalyst.” –Miami Herald
“This is an excellent work. Recommended.”
–Comic Book Resources
6×9, 112pp., full color clothbound jacketed, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-56163-543-6
For more of Alfred’s work, Dungeon: Twilight, Vol. 4 is also out in November.
“Offers some profound insight on the human condition (by way of the canine condition) without being too sweet or sappy.”
Says Publishers Weekly of Stargazing Dog in a second starred review in just a few weeks for NBM’s graphic novels. The other recent one was for Bubbles & Gondola.
“We have been really zeroing in on absolutely the best GNs to publish or we simply won’t bother,” says NBM Publisher Terry Nantier. “These two out of the park just show the results of our focus. If it’s from NBM, you simply can’t afford to miss it!” Stargazing Dog is already close to selling out of its 1st print run in just a few weeks.
“Were Vanzetti and Sacco murderers or victims of judicial prejudice? Either way, their case definitely said something about the America they called home. Geary’s historical mysteries always sparkle with clarity, both in the artwork and plot, and in this book he also resists the urge to decide that one side was right, all while giving the reader the most up-to-date information possible.”
Just released today: Publishers Weekly gives a starred review for Bubbles & Gondola (which means it is an outstanding book) saying:
“A certain magic is demonstrated when an artist, unfettered by perceptions of comics being for kids, uses the full paint box of tools available to him. Few American artists, tainted by memories of Mickey or Maus, would cast a mouse as their hero these days, but for Dillies’s protagonist, the lonely Charlie, it’s a marvelous choice for his personality and journey. Author Charlie deludes himself that he’s loving his solitude as a way of ignoring his writer’s block. The town where he lives, preparing for Carnival, is full of wonders, but Charlie focuses on his pain, even when given the chance to escape through riding a Ferris wheel. Then his gondola flies him to a wonderland reminiscent of the classic strips Little Nemo in Slumberland and Krazy Kat in a palette of reds and browns. Through encounters with his family and other city inhabitants, Charlie rediscovers imagination in a story that has the crazy patchwork feel of a hallucinatory trip. Dillies’s gorgeous art is more than up to the task. The wild imagery, wandering through parties and dreamland alike, transports the reader in an emotional way that propels the practical mind into the escape of art.”
This also means it will qualify for the Best GN of the Year list…
Says The Onion AV Club on Geary’s Sacco & Vanzetti. And Jason Sacks of Comics Bulletin adds:
“If you know nothing about the trials of Sacco and Vanzetti, this book is a great introduction their story. If you know something about their trials, you should find this book a fascinating exploration of the case. And if you’ve never read anything by Geary, I think you’ll really enjoy the fascinating combination of objective reporting and personal artfulness that Rick Geary presents in this book.”
And on Trondheim’s Little Nothings 4:
“I thought this was the best volume since the first. This one features a bit more anxiety (a health scare) and a lot more action (many overseas trips). There’s a delightful mix of fussiness and craziness in his depiction of crossing through Death Valley on a journey from Las Vegas to San Francisco. What’s remarkable about the Little Nothings series is not its light tone and loose line; instead, it’s that Trondheim creates such a complex, rich, and visually exciting narrative environment for himself and his readers to explore.”
Rob Clough at The Comics Journal.
Publishers Weekly (need sub) has chosen our about-to-ship Bubbles & Gondola for its recommended list of “comics and graphic novels as gifts 2011”.
DUNGEON LOVERS!! Thanks to Taliesin for taking a jump and establishing a thread on CBR over the Dungeon series. Go over there and get in on the conversation if you’re a Dungeon lover. Keep him company! Encourage others to join in! Get the word out! We’re gettin’ tired of hearing how this is overlooked (the series sells well but should sell a lot better!)
“Part South Park, part Flight of the Concords, Kinky and Cosy offers a series of comic strips about “the most dangerous twin girls in the universe. Surreal, darkly funny strips.The book is beautifully designed, with a foil cover that also includes cutouts to make room for the “googly eyes” of the girls.”
Warren Peace however, was not too impressed with Kinky & Cosy, alas.
We will have copies at SPX!
“Easily one of the most readable books I’ve come across in a long time.
Ruminations about the pitfalls of international travel and sinus surgery vie with quiet pointed observations of all that’s strange, wonderful, and mad about the world, as the artist shuffles gamely from airport to airport, under-packed suitcase in hand. Trondheim has a knack for gently knocking his audience down off our pedestal, implicating us in society’s often petty, narrow focus yet softening the blow by counting himself among our ranks with just the right touch of self-deprecating sarcasm. There’s true thought behind each of Trondheim’s observations, fueled by a keen insight into the human condition. A natural storyteller capable of tailoring his artistic style to the needs of the story or panel, Trondheim is a true cartoonist’s cartoonist.
Although he may not be well-known on this side of the Atlantic, Trondheim is a true giant of the medium and deserves recognition by North American audiences. Thoughtful, pointed, and at times truly laugh-out-loud funny, My Shadow in the Distance is a hard book to put down.”
Says Jason Wilkins at Broken Frontier about Trondheim’s latest Little Nothings collection. We’ll also have copies at SPX!
“Geary’s linear black and white illustrations, full of straight lines and right angles, are especially helpful in lending order to the confusing and often contradictory facts. His use of maps also helps explain the events, both of the killing and the worldwide response. Geary, a cartoonist with the soul of a historian, reaches no easy conclusions, but gives readers the tools to draw their own.”
“Geary, with his coolly detailed and wry visual style, does his usual superb job laying out both the facts of the case and the distinct world in which it all occurs.”
“Kerascoet depicts action and emotion beautifully and elegantly, with great feeling and boundless humor.”
Richard Pachter, The Miami Herald on Miss Don’t Touch Me 2.
“It’s an old setup done effectively and believably. If anything, the story feels too true to life as Hong Kong, Korea, China, and Japan all have no shortage of aimless 20-something foreign men, many of them making ends meet teaching English and enjoying the occasional tryst with a local girl. Wilson and Kutsuwada’s story tells such a tale from the girl’s perspective, faithfully reproducing real Hong Kong locales and name dropping a variety of cool bands along the way. The artwork, particularly the characters, is crisp and expressive, and the story faithfully reproduces a believable slice of life, despite the neat wrapup at the end, even if the story doesn’t dig that deeply.”
Publishers Weekly on The Story of Lee.
“In this charming, amusing, and sometimes unsettling tale, pigs, dogs, cows, and cats move through France in a state of longing.. Their adventures spill across De Crécy’s lovely, muted watercolors, creating a magical world one longs to visit and making the animals’ emotions seem all too human. From De Crécy’s always surprising mind. He is particularly gifted at creating a sense of action on the page.”
Publishers Weekly on Salvatore.
Trondheim’s Little Nothings made Brian Cronin at Comic Book Resources’ top ten of 2010…
“You always know what to expect from Lewis Trondheim’s Little Nothings – just well-crafted, entertaining collections of, well, little nothings, but damned if he doesn’t deliver every single time with interesting slice-of-life tales.”