Review Round-Up: THE LOUVRE COLLECTIONS, “beautiful work” and “gorgeous”

NBM’s ComicsLit imprint has been publishing the remarkable series of graphic novels commissioned by the Louvre calling upon different prominent artists to make up a story around the fabled museum. 

Here are some recent reviews:

Glacial Period by Nicolas De Crecy

 

“The author seems to be asking: what is art? Is there some art that is universally accepted and some culturally defined? Does art have any intrinsic value? There is some farce inside, the book does not take itself too seriously.”

San Francisco Book Review / Another Universe

“The book…fits together with the dreamlike logic and sense of the absurd de Crecy brings to everything he does. It’s preposterous, but feels right somehow.”

–  San Angelo Standard-Times

“While off to a slow start, this book ends on a fascinating, if absurd, note. The art has a nice amount of detail, combined with soft lines and colors.”

Sequential Tart

“Of the Louvre books NBM has published… this seemed to me to be the best, working perfectly well as a story in its own right while also being about the museum and the works it contains.”

Robot 6

 

Phantoms of The Louvre by Enki Bilal 

“Look, I could spend a lot of breath telling you how amazing this stuff is, but honestly: why? It’s Enki-friggin’-Bilal drawing and writing about the greatest museum on Earth! What the hell else do you want from comics? Unless your taste resides solely in your mouth, you need this like you need oxygen.”

Comics Waiting Room

“This would be a must for folks who are already fans of Enki Bilal, and…art lovers (will) appreciate some extra depth and meaning to works of art in an unusual way.”

Sequential Tart

“Now, some purists will resent a modern artist like Bilal using classic works as, essentially, his canvas. To which I say: Phooey. Bilal is doing what artists have always done, which is to stand on the shoulders of giants to push forward into the new and unknown. And when it results in beautiful work like this, I can’t entertain the argument.”

–  San Angelo Standard-Times

“It is gorgeous — in design, in recording select pieces of the Louvre’s collection, in Bilal’s super-imposition of ghosts upon them — and a supremely interesting springboard to watch a creator with Bilal’s imagination and abilities dive off of repeatedly.”

Robot 6

“Bilal’s art proves suitably unsettling: this is not a “touristy” consideration of fine art masterworks, but the work of a politically engaged artist. Each painting catches the feel of the original work while adding its own ironic spin, resulting in the most unique and thought-provoking “Louvre Edition” to date.”

Seattle Post Intelligencer

 

The Sky Over the Louvre by  Bernar Yslaire & Jean-Claude Carreire

“This is a strange tale that becomes stranger and stranger… This book is a wonderful resource for better appreciating the forces at play just as the Louvre was getting under way.”

Comics Grinder

Which Book Does PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY Call, “A Near Perfect Union Of Pictures And Words”?

I’ll give you a hint, it’s set here…

Continue reading “Which Book Does PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY Call, “A Near Perfect Union Of Pictures And Words”?”

Best of 2011

That time of year and we got so far NPR, Graphic Novel Reporter and Fearnet + a late last minute addition… not bad:

First, NPR’s Monkey See put Stargazing Dog in their top list. From the initial review:

“Throughout, the dog remains steadfastly loyal, his expression largely unchanged from the eager, hopelessly-in-love dog-smile you see there on the cover. That’s what Murakami’s getting at: the resiliency of the bond tying us to dogs, and them to us, and how it provides a blissfully uncomplicated comfort amid our increasingly complicated lives.”

Graphic Novel Reporter’s John Hogan puts our Sky Over the Louvre in his bhest of 2011 list: “A beautiful combination of art and story.”

Fearnet puts Geary’s Sacco & Vanzetti on their list: “proves the master of drolly impish cartooning hasn’t lost his touch, as it presents a pair of protagonists (anarchists, no less) strangely sympathetic in their relevancy to today’s world.”

And this latest news: Alan David Doane at Trouble with Comics puts 2 of ours out of his top ten books for 2011! Little Nothings 4 and Geary’s Sacco & Vanzetti.

NBM in February: the next Louvre book

Here’s what we’ve got for February being solicited for now at your comics bookstore (as we like to call them- if they’re a comicbook store, they probably don’t carry us!).

The main news is another magnificent graphic novel in the Louvre collection, this time by a bestselling mangaka seen here for the first time:

ROHAN AT THE LOUVRE
Hirohiko Araki
After Glacial Period and The Sky Over the Louvre comes another completely original story with stunning art by a leading mangaka. Rohan, a young mangaka, meets a beautiful mysterious young woman with a dramatic story. Seeing him draw, she tells him of a cursed 200 year old painting using the blackest ink ever known from a 1000 year old tree the painter had brought down without approval from the Emperor who had him executed for doing so. The painting meanwhile had been saved from destruction by a curator of the Louvre. Rohan forgets this story as he becomes famous but ten years later, visiting Paris, he takes the occasion to try and locate the painting. Little does he know how violently powerful the curse of it is until he has the museum unearth it from deep within its archival bowels…
7 ¼ x 10 3/8, 128pp. full color hardcover, $19.99
ISBN 978-1-56163-615-0

see previews

And check out the others in this collection:

On the Odd Hours

Glacial Period

The Sky Over the Louvre

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And here’s what’s new from Papercutz:

New series!

DANCE CLASS #1 “So, You Think You Can Hip-Hop?”

ka, writer

Crip, artist

In this new dance based series, Julie, Lucy and Alia are BFF’s who share one passion: dance! Between programs in ballet and modern dance, they also slip in classes on many other styles including hip-hop, a class run by the hunk KT, who’s got all three competing for his attention. As they prepare for the ballet “Sleeping Beauty,” they’d love to see him play Prince Charming. Any of the millions of girls with a love for dance and taking classes will find this new gag-filled series irresistible!

8 x 10, 48pp., full-color hardcover: $9.99

ISBN 978-1-59707-254-0 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GARFIELD & Co #5 “A Game of Cat and Mouse”

By Jim Davis and Mark Evanier, writers

Ellipsanime/Dargaud Media, artists

Adapted by Cedric Michiels

Garfield isn’t a mauser. He doesn’t even mind mice—as long as they don’t get in his way, he couldn’t care less. But when his mouse friend Squeek invites his big family to stay at Jon’s, they quickly take over the entire house—turning the kitchen into a Mouse Paradise complete with tennis court, spa, and buffet. Jon gives Garfield an ultimatum: get rid of the mice, or Jon will call an exterminator. Also featuring “Pet Matchers” and “Catnap.”

6½ x 9, 32pp., full-color hardcover: $7.99

ISBN 978-1-59707-300-4


ERNEST & REBECCA #2 “Sam the Repulsive”

Guillame Bianco, writer

Antonello Dalena, artist

Life isn’t easy for Rebecca. Between parents at each other’s throats, a big sister with her own worries, and an uncle intent on her taking her medicine, it’s hard for Rebecca to keep smiling. Complicating things further, her health isn’t good and her parents would prefer she be cloistered all the time. But Rebecca has a solution to her problems: Ernest the bacterium who’s become her sworn pal and is out to reconcile her parents and fight off a new virus named Sam who threatens to make Rebecca’s health take a turn for the worst!

8 x 10, 48pp., full-color hardcover: $11.99

ISBN 978-1-59707-299-1

SEE MORE AT THE PAPERCUTZ SITE!

SPX: Fabulous.

Just back from SPX in the Washington DC area and it was energizing!

Saturday was amazing, starting right off the bat in high gear. For a few hours, we sold steadily books upon books, selling out of many Dungeon titles quickly as well as Sky Over the Louvre and Geary’s new Sacco & Vanzetti.

By the end of the show we had sold out of substantial quantities also of our premiere of the Stargazing Dog which was warmly received and, with Brooke Allen signing, of the many copies we brought of her Home for Mr. Easter.

The energy around the show is wonderful to see, the Ignatz Awards were SRO with many unable to fit and the post party went on into the wee hours. Gotta say, I love the forgiving hours of the show, starting at 11 on Saturday and even noon on Sunday.

A fun experience worth the trip and this show should attract attendees from farther than the DC area alone, it deserves it!

Many thanks to Brooke, Rick Parker who held up the Papercutz side, and Jesse Lonergan for appearing at our booth and talking with fans.

Rick Geary interviewed on CBR + more

Comic Book Resources presents a good background article after interviewing Rick Geary on his forthcoming Sacco & Vanzetti.

The Sky Over the Louvre gets this review on The Comics Journal site by the very hard to please R. Fiore:

“In this year that is good God already half over I don’t think there’s anything in comics that’s impressed me more.”

But then, he couldn’t resist this swipe:

“I don’t know if you pay any more attention than I do to the seemingly random selection of European comics that NBM brings out.”

We’re curious: anyone out there agree with this? (Or disagree?)

We feel like we’ve focused our publishing considerably in the last 5-10 years and while we don’t have a ‘house style’ and proudly never will, we’ve concentrated on literary works, humor and parody of genre, steering away from genres themselves…

Booklist on Dungeon and Library Journal on The Broadcast +more

“Sfar & Trondheim never have a problem pushing boundaries for a better laugh and here there are laughs aplenty. A wonderful addition to the series.”

Booklist on Dungeon Monstres 4. Also on this book:

“Lovers of Sfar and Trondheim’s ongoing send-up of hero fantasy shouldn’t be disappointed by this rollicking entry – which would also make a decent
entry point for newcomers to this inventive comics entertainment.”

 Seattle Post Intelligencer and Blogcritics.

The Broadcast gets another great endorsement:

“Hobbs provides convincing characterizations and a satisfying conclusion. Recommended.”

Library Journal

The Sky Over the Louvre continues to get raves:

“Brilliant! Breathtakingly beautiful on many levels. If you’ve resisted graphic novels, this is the one that might win you over. The text is by Jean-Claude Carrière, the screenwriter of The Unbearable Lightness of Being and many other films, and the images are by one of France’s greatest comics artist, Bernar Yslaire. It’s an intimate, intense voyage into the past where politics and passion meet in unexpected ways.”

Book Brunch at Bibliobuffet

An overview of the Louvre GNs and a TCJ review of Dungeon

“This is probably my favorite of the Monstres stories, because it works on a number of levels. A new reader could come in and understand most of the story beats with little difficulty. The Monstres series is essential reading for any fan of the world that Trondheim & Sfar create. As always, this is genre work at its best: intelligent, witty, thrilling, visually interesting, at times emotionally wrenching, and in possession of both affection for fantasy and a healthy dose of humor about its ridiculousness.’

says Rob Clough at The Comics Journal about the latest Dungeon: Monstres vol.4.

A brilliant overview of all 4 of our Louvre collection graphic novels from Karen Green, Columbia University’s Ancient/Medieval Studies Librarian and Graphic Novel selector: “Four Nights in the Museum”:

“What a great idea, eh?!? Setting comics creators loose in the Louvre, and then letting a story come to them that is inspired by the works they come across. This is so much cooler an initiative than anything the Metropolitan Museum of Art has ever done; even their superheroes exhibition at the Costume Institute was far more informed by superhero movies than by the actual comics themselves. It’s true that comics have a more respectable reputation in France than they have in America, but still: one of the premiere cultural institutions in the WORLD decided that it would be a great idea to create a “lasting bridge” between their artworks and the world of comics–and their readers. That’s just huge.”

Also this review:

“Set solidly in the very heart of a moment of epochal historical importance, this is a stunning and utterly compulsive tale of humanity at its wildest extremes when grand ideals wedded themselves to the basest on bestial impulses, yet from that Yslaire and Carrière have crafted a magnificently realised tale laced with staggering detail and addictive emotion.”

Now Read This! on Sky Over the Louvre

GNR: Sacco & Vanzetti amongst hottest GN’s of the summer

Rick Geary’s soon to come THE LIVES OF SACCO & VANZETTI got another boost making The Graphic Novel Reporter’s list of Hottest Graphic Novels of Summer 2011.

Dungeon Monstres 4 gets its first review:

“This is the first book I’ve read in the long-running Dungeon series created by French masterminds Sfar and Trondheim. Despite being the fourteenth translated volume in the sprawling spoof saga , I felt I hit the ground running.

This is the funniest takedown of heroic fantasy this side of Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier’s Groo. It’s consistently clever, outrageous and absurd in just the right doses, carefully plotted to play with the tropes of the genre while twisting them to their own wickedly sinister purposes.”

FA The Comiczine

The Sky Over the Louvre continues to get praise:

“Authors Carrière and Yslaire masterfully blend sequential art, prose, and design sensibilities to give the reader an intimate look into the ideas and personalities behind this bloody period of history.”

The New York Journal of Books