The Penetration Power of a Projectile

This excerpt shares behind the scenes material from NBM’s The Mercenary remastered editions, available now.  To see all posts, click HERE.

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As for the warrior, in principle he was nothing specific, just a character in these circumstances, so I didn’t put too much into him: partial body armor was less work and one supposes that it is enough if he protects himself with his shield. At that time, I already had experience drawing armor and all kinds of weapons, of which I am a big fan. Years before, in 1978, I had written and illustrated a monograph about this topic called Universal History of Weapons. In these supplements you can see some of the illustrations from that book.

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For the sample, I had to do something spectacular and I inserted this scene. An arrow goes cleanly through the shield and then the warrior’s head.

This is not an exaggeration: the penetration power of a projectile, if it has sufficient velocity, mass, and tip, is massive. In fact, an arrow has more penetration power than a high caliber bullet from a pistol or revolver.

Bullets are always made of soft materials like lead to adapt to the rifling, therefore when they impact they flatten and deform. But although their penetration power is low, the impact and take down power of a bullet is very high. One shot from an old Western Colt 45 can take a rider out of his saddle and thrown him to the ground.

3Conversely, as you can see here, the sharp point of tempered steel of an arrow would give a very different result, especially if the bow were sufficiently powerful.

In the 14th century, there were some two-meter-long bows of such power that, in the battles of Crécy and Agincourt, the Welsh, English, and Flemish archers decimated the French nobility protected by shining, heavy armor.

Gerald of Wales, a clerk of the era, testified to the power of these bows during the battle of Abergavenny: one of William de Braose’s mounted soldiers was shot by one of these arrows, which punctured the soldier’s armor, chain mail, thigh, breeches, the chain mail again, the armor again on the other side, and the saddle tree wood, before sinking deeply into the horse’s flank, killing it.

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There Be Dragons…

This excerpt shares behind the scenes material from NBM’s The Mercenary remastered editions, available now.  To see all posts, click HERE.

As to story I could tell in those few sample pages, it occurred to me to do an aerial combat in World War II style, but with dragons ridden by medieval warriors and the rescue of a girl who, of course, would have to be nude. The protagonist would be the knight-rescuer and the setting would be any invented building, trying my hand at my reserve of fantasy.

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In fact, this was not the first time that I did a sample to get work; a rejection was something that only affected me for a few hours. What I didn’t imagine was that this simple story would go on for so long…

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One of the issues that I had at the beginning was how to deal with saddles. In all the iconography about the topic, it was common to see dragons with four legs and two wings.

I had even painted covers with flying dragons in which I had given them this configuration. But I was never comfortable with it. It was not logical, mainly because there was an evident basic structural failure. Even accepting the wide margins allowed by fantasy and admitting that nature has done stranger things, I thought that with this solution we were creating an animal that was absurd to a certain point, because any being with wings on its back, whether reptile, human, or angel, needs very marked musculature to move them, an issue that is always avoided.

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So it seemed more logical to use the solution adopted by nature where the front feet of primitive flying reptiles were sacrificed, transforming them into the bird wings that we are all familiar with.

m6For the first flying dragon that the Mercenary rides, I was inspired by the head of a tuatara lizard, a species dating back to much earlier than dinosaurs and the only one that has survived to modern times. It is said, as well, that they can live up to 100 years.

These exceptional characteristics were what led me to use it as a flying dragon in my samples.

‘The Mercenary’: “Tebeos” No More

This excerpt shares behind the scenes material from NBM’s The Mercenary remastered editions, available now.  To see all posts, click HERE.

bottom-mercSome interesting circumstances got me into comics. In the middle of the 1970s, at the beginning of Spanish democracy, there was a repeal of many prohibitions from the dictatorship in Spain that affected culture. This prompted a kind of revolutionary movement in the comics world that led intellectuals to investigate what was behind this curious thing that now was called “comics” and used to be called “tebeos” (silly, nonsense). The media talked about them and soon this dying genre revived itself. Editors with new magazines and illustrators appeared. Competition grew which led to “full color” pages which was more marketable although at the beginning it was only a few pages out of the magazine.

mercmachineAt that time, I had switched illustrator agents and the new one, in addition to selling our work, had become an editor of comics magazines. I liked comics and, seeing that there was demand for color stories, I proposed to my agent that I do some sample pages for free, with the intention of expanding my field of work. Naturally, the agent-editor said yes. I painted covers in oil paints. This technique was completely unusual in the comic world, but it was a way of working that I felt very comfortable with and I wasn’t going to change my system. I wasn’t sure how this might be accepted, particularly due to the absence of the classic black ink lines and the novelty of the technique, but despite my doubts, I couldn’t just stop doing what I knew best.

To have some guarantee of success, it had to be something remarkable, but given the circumstances, it also had to be easy and comfortable to do and for that reason, better to do it all from my imagination. I did not want to start a period piece that would require me to research tedious documentation about clothing, buildings, furniture, and settings.

The most practical would be to pick a fantasy topic and invent everything. I have always been a big fan of the middle ages with their armor and dragons, as well as weapons, castles, aircraft, the female form, and, especially, orientalist fantasy, so I got down to it and mixed all of these ingredients.

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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.

To see all posts, click HERE.

* * * * *

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

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.

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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

NBM Graphic Novels Announces Upcoming Release Schedule

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NBM Graphic Novels is proud to announce the release schedule through Winter 2018, including brand new biographies of Sartre by Mathilde Ramadier & Anais Depommier, Monet by Efa & Salva Rubio, and Billy The Kid by Rick Geary, as well as new releases by Cyril Pedrosa, T.J. Kirsch, Kerascoet & Fabien Vehlmann, and Sean Michael Wilson & Michiru Morikawa.

In addition, we’re reprinting two important titles to the history of the company. The Mercenary by Vicente Segrelles was the first fully painted fantasy series when it was originally released in the mid-Eighties and one of NBM’s best selling series, will be reprinted in it’s entirety with 14 volumes released on a quarterly basis, in handsome keepsake quarterbound editions with breathtaking reproduction overseen by Segrelles himself.

Also being reissued is the fully painted Streak of Chalk by Miguelanxo Prado, which not only inaugurated NBM’s Comics Lit line, but also was recognized for elevating graphic narrative storytelling when it was originally released in 1994.

AUGUST 2017

SARTRE
Mathilde Ramadier & Anais Depommier

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For some he was the philosopher of existentialism, for others the constant provocateur, the politically engaged author, the uncertain militant, the repenting bourgeois, the life companion of Simone de Beauvoir… From his first readings in the Luxembourg Garden to his refusal of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Jean Paul Sartre was all of this at the same time.

8×11, 160 pp., color HC, $27.99, ISBN 9781681121017, e-book: $9.99

SEPTEMBER 2017

STREAK OF CHALK
Miguelanxo Prado

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On the occasion of NBM’s 40th anniversary, this Eisner and Harvey Award Nominee classic is back in print! A small streak of an island in the Atlantic. On no map. In heavy summer heat. One general store with a woman and her taciturn boy. A lighthouse with no light. Memories and messages graffitied on the pier wall. A chance encounter with a beautiful elusive woman. A Murder. Or was it? Nothing seems completely real. Only the graffitied memories are constant.

A mysterious multifaceted novel steeped in magical realism that can be read a number of ways, Streak of Chalk is one of Spain’s best comics authors’ magnum opus, and one of the greatest most pioneering graphic novels NBM ever published.

9×12, 88pp., full color hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 9781681121161

PRIDE OF THE DECENT MAN
T.J. Kirsch

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In a sleepy New England town, Andrew Peters is born into an abusive family. As he grows older, he seems to be on the right track, using writing as his outlet – but his best friend Whitey is always around pulling him in the opposite direction. Andrew eventually lands himself in prison, and shortly thereafter, learns he has a daughter. The shock resolves him to a path of redemption and an attempt to live his life as a decent man.

6×9, 96pp., full color hc, $19.99, ISBN 9781681121208, e-book: $8.99

OCTOBER 2017

MONET: Itinerant of Light
Efa (artist), Salva Rubio (writer)

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The life of the great French painter, one of the founders of Impressionism, is narrated in lush comic art reminiscent of his style. From the Salon des Refuses (“Salon of the Rejected”) and many struggling years without recognition, money and yet a family to raise, all the way to great success, critically and financially, Monet pursued insistently one vision: catching the light in painting, refusing to compromise on this ethereal pursuit. It cost him dearly but he was a beacon for his contemporaries. We discover in this comics biography how he came to this vision as well as his turbulent life pursuing it.

9×12, 112pp., full color hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 9781681121390, e-book: $9.99

THE MERCENARY The Definitive Editions
Vol.1 The Cult of the Sacred Fire
Vicente Segrelles

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On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, NBM is proud to bring back one of its bestselling series ever, amongst the world’s first highly realistic fully painted comics. Brought back in even better reproduction than ever with all-new scans of the original paintings overseen by the master himself and presented in handsome large quarterbound collectors editions. Each panel could be a painting on your wall! These volumes will take your breath away.

In a lost and long forgotten valley high up in the mountains, The Mercenary has been contracted to save a woman from the mysterious and powerful Cult of the Sacred Fire! Each volume is complemented with articles at the back about the history and the making of this series over its gloried decades-long history.

9×12, 64pp., full color quarterbound hc, $17.99, ISBN 9781681121246, e-book: $9.99

NOVEMBER 2017

SATANIA
Kerascoet, Fabien Vehlmann

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Charlotte – aka Charlie – a pretty redhead, sets up an expedition to find her brother. The young scientist, who disappeared underground several months ago, claimed – to everyone’s astonishment – to be able to prove the existence of Hell by using Darwin’s theory of evolution! The little group, led by Charlie, plunge underground in his pursuit. The deeper they progress into the entrails of our planet, the more they enter another world that hides other forms of life heretofore never experienced. The discovery changes them gradually in a way they cannot perceive…

Publishers Weekly Top Ten pick for the Fall!

“Another sumptuously illustrated adventure into horror by the creators of Beautiful Darkness.”

9×12, 128pp., color hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 9781681121437, e-book: $9.99

KERASCOET SET
Including Beauty and Miss Don’t Touch Me

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Specially priced set reuniting two perennially popular books with art by the amazing duo under the Kerascoet name.

In Beauty, When Coddie unintentionally delivers a fairy from a spell that held her prisoner, she does not realize how poisoned the wish is she gets in return. From repulsive and stinking of fish she becomes perceived as magnetically beautiful, which does not help her in her village. A young local lord saves her but soon it becomes apparent her destiny may be far greater.

In Miss Don’t Touch Me, The ‘Butcher of the Dances’ is on the prowl for young loose women. Blanche works as a maid along with the only family she knows, her sister, fun-loving Agatha. Suddenly, Blanche loses her to what she saw was murder but others only write off as suicide. She decides to take matters into her own hands.

2 book banded set, 344pp. full color hardcovers, specially priced at $55, ISBN 9781681121147

 

DECEMBER 2017

A TREASURY OF VICTORIAN MURDER COMPENDIUM I Paperback Edition
Including Jack The Ripper, The Beast of Chicago and The Fatal Bullet
Rick Geary

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In this first omnibus volume from Geary’s increasingly storied Treasuries of Murder: the first trilogy of murders that made up the very first volume of this series, Jack the Ripper as only he can narrate it, The Beast of Chicago about H.H. Holmes, possibly the first serial murderer with chilling methodical means and The Fatal Bullet about the assassination of president James Garfield.

6×9, 288pp., B&W trade paperback, $19.99 ISBN PB: 9781681121383

PORTUGAL
Cyril Pedrosa

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From the author of the acclaimed Equinoxes comes a return to roots that serves as spiritual renewal. Comics artist Simon Muchat is stuck. Suffering writer’s block, uninspired, vegetating as a school art teacher, he is losing direction and his taste for life, until one day he is invited to appear at a comics convention in Portugal, the country his family came from and which he hadn’t seen since his childhood. The experience proves cathartic. Even though he is not Portuguese himself and is a foreigner there, so many elements are familiar to him. Meeting its lively citizens, full of the zest for life, his distant yet welcoming family bringing back fond early memories, all prove reinvigorating, the breath of fresh air he so badly needed.

Based on his own experience, Pedrosa narrates this return to his roots in a deeply compelling and warmly human way. This is his bestselling graphic novel with over 100,000 copies sold in France and a winner of many prizes including Best Graphic Novel at the Angouleme Festival and FNAC Best GN.

9×12, 264pp., full color hardcover, $39.99, ISBN 9781681121475, e-book: $9.99

JANUARY 2018

THE MERCENARY The Definitive Editions
Vol. 2 The Formula
Vicente Segrelles

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Continuing the full reprint of the classic series in breathtaking reproduction and handsome keepsake quarterbound editions. The graphic novel series that set comics on a new path!

The Mercenary embarks on one of his most perilous journeys ever as he tries to stop an unscrupulous alchemist who has stolen a highly dangerous mysterious formula.

Each volume is complemented with articles at the back about the history and the making of this series over its gloried decades-long history.

9×12, 64pp., full color quarterbound hc, $17.99, ISBN 9781681121284, e-book: $9.99

FEBRUARY 2018

BREAKING THE TEN Vol. 2
Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa

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David becomes increasingly more desperate, with his extreme behaviour causing fights with everyone who cares for him: with the devilish Mr Black and the saintly Mr White and even with his loving parents. But his quest goes on, driving him to break the rest of the 10 commandments in order to draw out the elusive divinity to face a grief stricken man. Until, finally, he is faced with the most serious commandment all: ‘Thou shalt not kill.’

Will he do it? Or will God stop him?

6×9, 112pp., B&W trade pb., $12.99, ISBN 9781681121178, e-book: $7.99

MARCH 2018

THE INITIATES: Paperback Edition
Etienne Davodeau

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The sold out hardcover now in paperback. Etienne Davodeau is a comic artist. He doesn’t know much about the world of wine-making.

Richard Leroy is a wine-maker. He’s rarely even read comics.

But these two are full of good will and curiosity. Why do we choose to spend one’s life writing and creating comics or producing wine? How and for whom do we do them?

To answer these questions, for more than a year, Etienne went to work in Richard’s vineyards and cellar. Richard, in return, leapt into the world of comics. They opened a lot of bottles and read many comics. They traveled around, meeting authors and wine-makers sharing their passion for their jobs.

The first time a book explores the nature of a man’s vocation with a true life representation of it from two very different perspectives. They get to realize they both have that precious and necessary power to bring people together.

With guest appearances by Trondheim (Dungeon, Little Nothings), Emmanuel Guibert (The Photographer) and Marc-Antoine Matthieu (Museum Vaults).

8×11, 272pp., B&W trade pb: $19.99 ISBN 9781681121338

THE TRUE DEATH OF BILLY THE KID
Rick Geary

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‘Being an authentic narrative of the final days in Billy the Kid’s brief and turbulent life.’ One of our folk legends of the great Wild West, William H. Bonney went from cowboy and gunslinger for a rancher to pure outlawry forever dodging justice in New Mexico when it wasn’t even a state. On the one hand, he was charming, fun-loving –often at social events like dances-, quite appealing to the ladies. Also conversant in Spanish, “Billito” was popular with the Spanish speaking crowd. On the other hand, he had no compunction to coldly kill a man, a sheriff, a deputy, anyone who got in his way rustling cattle or horses for an illicit living. He also proved hard to keep in jail even when caught.

It is probably his feats of derring-do escaping from jails that made him most famous and this is the main subject of this biography following him until he is shot in pitch darkness by lawmen obsessed with getting rid of him.

6×9, 56pp., B&W hardcover, $15.99, ISBN 9781681121345, e-book: $6.99