For the Pros: meet us at BEA

We’ll be in booth 3466, sharing it with sister co. Papercutz and we’ll be inaugurating our gorgeous little free sampler/catalog with many pages of previews on our books forthcoming this fall.

Besides the sampler, we’ll have full book previews to leaf through of Stan Mack’s revised revival of his GN on the American Revolution, the new Louvre collection entry, Margreet de Heer’s fun intro to Philosophy, Eisner nominated Dillies’ (“Bubbles & Gondola“) new lyrical GN “Abelard” and…

The very intriguing “The Ignorants” where the artist, a leading French graphic novelist, exchanges jobs with an organic vintner just to see what it’s like and compare notes. Both get to present their art and craft, both get to find out the essential similarities in their life-consuming devotion to being the best at what they do. WE get to find out how both are done! It’s going to be a beautiful 272 page hardcover. We’re very excited by it, come check it out! as well as the rest of course!

Looking forward to seeing you there.

The Immigrants

Immigration is a loaded word today. It’s also a topic that plays a central role in “Taxes…” Obviously the early colonists were immigrants. They were seduced, bribed, or suckered into coming to the new world. Some were dragged here in chains, but most staggered ashore with a dream that somewhere in this new land they might find fortune, freedom, and a new start in life.

As soon as these newcomers got cleaned up and settled, threw away their old rags and put on new clothes, learned manners and thought of themselves as “the better sort,” they turned to the ships unloading the next arrivals and saw dirty, ignorant, inferior people fit only to be servants and laborers. And so it has gone for every new group that arrives on our shores.

Here’s an example from my graphic history, “The Story of the Jews.” It shows Eastern European Jews arriving at the turn of the last century. They’re viewed with embarrassment by the more cultured, educated, and prosperous German Jews who’d arrived looking just as bedraggled 50 years earlier.

England encouraged immigration because more workers in the colonies meant more profit for her, but the natural rights of her colonists were irrelevant. Gradually, England’s high-handed and insensitive taxes and regulations would fuel colonial discontent. But first I needed a page that would quickly describe the variety of immigrants who arrived here, and the usual distaste against newcomers by those who were here first.

For the rebellion against England to succeed, there would need to be an alliance between rich colonial merchants, who were seeing their profits shrink, and their discontented workers—but that will come a few pages later.

The Kick-off

Real life is comic, sad, ironic, extravagant; it moves fast and takes you by surprise. It’s ready made for my real life funnies comic strips. When I was roughing out “Taxes, the Tea Party, and those Revolting Rebels,” I struggled with how to kick off the story. History lies flat on the page. It doesn’t emote in front of you like real life does.

When it came to that crucial first page, I knew the facts I wanted to present, but how to do it in a way the modern reader would get. After gallons of coffee, an Out-Takes strip I did for Adweek magazine jumped into my head. The story took place at the end of the shooting of a TV commercial. I’ve included it here.

I thought, how classic, massaging the client…until the client walks out the door. Who hasn’t temporarily pasted a smile on his or her face and then been glad to pull it off? I translated that moment back in time to Colonial days and had my first page.

 

Welcome Stan Mack and Margreet de Heer

Quick post to welcome two new artists to our blog:

Stan Mack, formerly of the Village Voice, who’ll be talking about his upcoming:

 

 

 

 

 

 

of which you can see more right here… This is being solicited at comics stores now…

 

 

 

 

 

and Margreet whose charming, concise and clear presentations of the baffling (for most of us) will win you over. This month, we ‘re also soliciting through comics stores this from her:

 

 

 

 

see more here (our site) and here (her site). Should this work, we’ll have more ‘discoveries in comics’ from her. Go ahead, ask them impossible quiz questions on Philosophy and History.