Religion: a Discovery in Comics – Walking on Eggshells

When the idea came up to draw a graphic novel about religion, I figured it would be easy. After all, I’m a relative expert, with loads of study and personal experience on the subject. It seemed a matter of “just getting everything on paper”.

But when I started, I suddenly felt paralyzed. What would people say? Religion is not as neutral as Philosophy or Science – everyone seems to have a passionate opinion about it, good or bad. How was I going to make a book that would not offend, infuriate or upset people?

When I pondered this one night, just before falling asleep (when the best ideas come) I got the image of walking on eggshells – a wonderful visual that would work very well in a comic! It is fun to look at, and in this way I could address my own concerns as well of those of others.

eggshells

After drawing this, I felt free to find my own voice on the subject. I would draw all the general information on the five main world religions, and also weave in my own “spiritual path”. I sincerely belief that religion is very personal, and we can’t really say anything useful about it without specifying what it means to us personally.

personal

This approach proved to be the key for me – and I happily delved into drawing, less afraid of breaking an occasional egg here and there.

There are eggs breaking on the following subjects:

– treating religion as something “personal”

– treating judaism, christianity and islam as fellow religions, instead of enemies

– criticism on christianity

– the matter of depicting Muhammad in islam

– expressing my sympathies for hinduism

– depicting buddhism in a Western, popularized way

– (lack of) women in religion

Curious about what kind of omelette I made with all these broken eggs…? Find out in September, when the book comes out!

Two timely titles from NBM in September: Religion and Walking Wounded

Now being solicited in September Diamond Previews, NBM has two new graphic novels that are quite topical.

 

The first title is an honest look at American veterans returning home from the War in Iraq. Witness their struggles re-acclimating to civilian life and the awful reality of living with PTSD, a constant reminder of the horrors of war!

 

A professor at Notre Dame, French born author Olivier Morel has extensive research on war trauma. Interviewing Iraq War vets, he made the documentary “On the Bridge” and this graphic novel relates his personal experience facing the vets. Mael, working out of Paris, does double duty as a cartoonist and the lead singer of a folk/rock group.

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WALKING WOUNDED

Uncut Stories from Iraq

Mael & Olivier Morel

For hundreds of thousands of young Americans, after the shock of 9/11, there was Ar Ramadi, Baghdad, Abu Ghraib… The war in Iraq. Then came the trauma. Olivier Morel gave them a voice in his compelling documentary On the Bridge. Walking Wounded isn’t the book of the documentary but the story of Morel getting close to the young vets, their troubled experience and lives. So close he could not avoid living their trauma himself, seeing all too clearly their vision of the world after their gut-wrenching experiences. From torment to reflection, Morel and artist Mael relate through these vets the impossible return of those who do aspire vividly to get back to a normal life. The effort is huge, some can’t make it, others score their own victory by finally turning the corner… a parable for our country’s war sickness.

7 ½ x 10 ½, 120pp., 2 color hardcover, $24.99,

ISBN: 9781561639823

Diamond order code: JUL151475

 

For previews and ordering information, click here!

 

Also new in comic shops this September, Margreet de Heer continues her Discovery in Comics series, this time focusing on RELIGION. De Heer, who actually spent part of her childhood growing up in a church, takes an open-minded and respectful look at the five major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism). Her past Discovery in Comics installments have been hits with educators and students.

religion_coversmall

RELIGION- A Discovery in Comics

Margreet de Heer

The author of the bestselling Discovery in Comics series, including on Science and Philosophy, tackles a very sensitive subject. Dealing with religion often means walking on eggshells – that is what comic artist Margreet de Heer finds out in this book in which she presents the five major religions and modern spirituality in a colorful, personal yet serious manner. She explores religious history and practices with tact and an open mind, but can’t prevent a few eggs from breaking. Why is religion such a sensitive subject?

This book in comics is fun and informative for believers, non-believers and everyone in between. It offers a fresh look from different perspectives on the phenomenon of religion, the backgrounds and history of the five major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism) and makes the point that religion is something that should unite us, not drive us apart.

8×8, 120pp. full color hc., $17.99

ISBN 97815616399465

Diamond order code: JUL151472
For previews and more click here!

Be sure to order today from your favorite comic book store in July’s Diamond Previews Magazine.

NBM is headed to San Fran! ALA Conference will have fall previews.

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NBM Publishing will be at the American Library Assocation Conference this weekend in San Francisco. We are at Booth 203, sharing the space with our sister-company, Papercutz.  There, we will have our recent titles on display as well as exclusive previews of our upcoming fall line.

 

See the first pages of Patrick Atangan’s FIRES ABOVE HYPERION , read Margreet de Heer’s RELIGION: A DISCOVERY IN COMICS, and see the art from CRUISING THROUGH THE LOUVRE, the latest in our LOUVRE COLLECTION.

WALKING WOUNDED

We will also be giving away advance review copies of WALKING WOUNDED: Uncut Stories from Iraq by Mael and  Olivier Morel. The preview—the first 44 pages of the graphic novel—will captivate and leave you anxious for the October general trade release!

 

See our upcoming fall titles on our newly updated “Coming Up” page. Which title are you most looking forward to? Let us know!

Religion in Korea

My comic book about Religion (yet to be published in the U.S., hopefully next year) has just been released in South Korea! It’s really strange to see my pictures combined with (for me) illegible signs – and even stranger (but very nice-strange) to find that people so far away are not only reading the book, but actually twittering about it!

Here are the tweets I found:

book

This cover is so different from the original one, but I do like it. I drew the front illustration especially for the Korean edition. The title translates to something like “Religion is a personal affair”.

This is a bit about the history of Hinduism:

hinduism

 

And here’s the sedar table, at the heart of Judaism:

judaism

 

This is about meditation, in the chapter about Buddhism:

meditation

 

It’s a very gratifying thought that people in a country so far away, with such a different cultural background, seem to appreciate the outlook on religion of a Dutch protestant Christian-raised, Buddhism-interested, Hinduism-infatuated, Judaism-appreciating, Islam-valuing girl like me!

Publisher Bulkwang has published all of my three books in the last year! The cooperation over such a distance and language barrier was managed smoothly by Amo Agency. I’m very proud of this!

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This book will probably be published in the U.S. with the title Religion: a Discovery in Comics.