Live Q&A With WILLIE NELSON author T.J. Kirsch

On Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 6:30 PM, WILLIE NELSON: A GRAPHIC HISTORY writer T.J. Kirsch will be doing a live video Q&A with the fine people from Fantom Comics. Mark your calendars, and be ready with your questions!

Here is more info from Fantom Comics…

“We’re doing another comic creator event for your enjoyment. We’ll be talking to cartoonist T.J. Kirsch about his work; in particular about his newest project Willie Nelson: A Graphic History, in which he teams up with several other artists to tell the story of this country music icon from Hill County, Texas.

T.J. Kirsch is also the creator of Pride Of The Decent Man, a story with an episodic plot about a man from an abusive household who tries to lead a straight and narrow path, and his friend who always pulls him in the opposite direction and into significant trouble.

If you would like either of these books, please contact us at FantomHQ@fantomcomics.com or call during business hours at (202)-241-6498.

Follow this link to add the event to your Facebook Calendar – https://www.facebook.com/events/682967962314207

For more info about WILLIE NELSON: A GRAPHIC HISTORY, go here.

Early Development of Willie Nelson: A Graphic History

willieoldcover

Early in the pitching and proposal process of Willie Nelson: A Graphic History, the plan was to do every part of the book myself – the writing, drawing, and everything that goes along with that. It’s a daunting and intimidating thing imagining the work that will go into a project before you start it. In 2017 and 2018, the plan was still to do it all on my own. It wasn’t until really feeling truly overwhelmed by it all that I considered bringing collaborators into the mix. I spoke with Terry at NBM, and he suggested I bring in different artists for each chapter – similar to NBM’s recent Beatles biography. This seemed like a great idea to me for a few reasons, but getting to choose collaborators I admired and friends I’d made throughout my career seemed like a great benefit. I could also devote more of my time to writing the script. The rest is history! Graphic History, that is.

Here are some very early art pieces I worked on while developing the project.

For more information on Willie Nelson: A Graphic History, go here.

 

radiowillie

Whiskey River, Take My Mind

pittman panel cropThis past fall, before the global pandemic shut down the very idea of live music, I attended the Outlaw Music Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY – with Willie Nelson and Family headlining. Before Willie took the stage, my friend and I got a bite to eat and ended up chatting with some fellow devoted Willie fans. I mentioned in our conversation that I was writing a graphic novel about Willie’s life – and as a sort of test of my fandom, they quizzed me on the song that opens every live Willie show.

Whiskey River, of course!” I said, referencing the Johnny Bush cover that Willie has since made his own. I passed the test!

I’m surprised my brain worked at all that night, considering the amount of secondhand smoke in the air.

Anyway, take a look at this cool silhouette panel from Chapter 5 of Willie Nelson: A Graphic History, illustrated by another fellow Kubert School Alumni Jason Pittman. If you get a chance and need a great graphic novel to read, check out Jason’s book The War For Kaleb.

For more information on the book, including how to order, click here.

 

 

 

 

Willie Nelson: From Depression To Quarantine

Willie BW Sketch

Willie Nelson, now living through a global pandemic at 87 years old, was born in Texas hill country in 1933. No one could’ve predicted the longevity of Willie’s music career, and the fact that he’d still be releasing new music at his advanced age. Yet this month, he released his 70th album, First Rose Of Spring – another collection of recordings produced by Willie’s longtime co-writer/collaborator Buddy Cannon. For someone who was born during the Depression, it’s amazing to think about also living through something as massive as the COVID-19 pandemic. There were many unforeseen cancellations for Willie this year as a result of the year’s events – Farm Aid, Willie’s  Fourth Of July Picnic, The Luck, Texas Reunion – that had to ultimately become virtual events. For a humble guitar picker that loves life ‘on the road,’ that can’t be an easy adjustment – to shelter in place, to not interact with fans and audiences one on one – that’s just not as fun. It can’t be an easy adjustment for someone that’s spent three quarters of a century performing for live audiences. Luckily, for Willie, he’s able to continue to make music at home and ride out these uncertain times with his close knit family. We can’t wait to see him – and the family – on the road again.

For more information on the upcoming Willie Nelson: A Graphic History from NBM Comics Biographies, go here.

 

 

 

 

T.J. Kirsch Talks Willie Nelson: A Graphic History

This week I sat down comfortably in my office and talked to Chad Burdette from the Times Union – Comics Multiverse Blog. We talked about the impetus of Willie Nelson: A Graphic History and my experience of the process overall.

Be sure to pre-order wherever books are sold!

Times Union Comics Multiverse Interview

Find out more about the book on the NBM website – Willie Nelson: A Graphic History

And find an independent bookseller to preorder from on Indiebound.org

-T.J.

 

Willie Nelson: Cover Process

Hello Readers!

I have been working hard behind the scenes, as I often do, to make sure the books I create are of the highest quality in the land. That means plenty of post production, page formatting, art correcting, re-lettering, and general file handling. Very exciting stuff – some might say glamorous even.

Some time last year, when things were very different, I illustrated the cover for Willie Nelson: A Graphic History – you know, the book I haven’t been able to shut up about for the past (at least) two years? The very same book in which I edited, and partly illustrated? Yes, that’s the one. Well, the process for this particular piece was recorded in a digital program called Procreate, on a portable computer called an ‘iPad’ and with a writing instrument called an ‘Apple Pencil.’

As it turns out, you can watch the whole drawing process, in a sped-up timelapse sort of way. Pretty interesting to look back on. This is, of course, just the black and white line art – which was then colored in Photoshop. The typography on the cover was done in Adobe Illustrator. Are you asleep yet? Anyway here’s the link, right below here.

Willie Nelson: A Graphic History – Line Art Process

From the book’s description;

Since he was a child in Hill County, Texas, he has been writing and performing for adoring crowds. Though his mainstream success did not come until later in his life, he has been determined to take his unique sound and voice to the people even before he was a household name. There have been tragedies, missteps, IRS troubles, good times and bad along the way, but Willie continues to shine his positive outlook and project his humble voice out into the world. In this graphic novel biography, all the chapters represent a different era of his life and struggles – each illustrated by a unique indie comics talent.

 

COVER

Willie Nelson!

 

Hello readers! It’s been quite a while. I’ve been behind the scenes quite a bit working on my next project…and here it is!

In September 2020, NBM Graphic Novels will release an extensive comic biography of country music icon Willie Nelson, written by Yours Truly! It will cover his entire life and career, beginning in Hill County, Texas in 1933. We’ll see all the ups and downs of his long career, family and activism up until the current day.

I’ll also be working on some of the art, along with an amazing group of talented cartoonists, including;

Adam Walmsley
Jeremy Massie
Jason Pittman
Håvard S. Johansen
J.T. Yost
Coşkun Kuzgun
Jesse Lonergan

Stay tuned right here for more info – coming very soon!

T.J. Kirsch

 

NBM Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary With Appearances and Signings

As we head toward the end of 2017, NBM Graphic Novels is continuing to celebrate its 40th Anniversary with appearances at a number of shows with special guests in attendance. At all convention appearances there will be a selection of our latest titles on hand available for purchase.
 

 
Small Press Expo (SPX)/Booth G1-2
Bethesda, Maryland /
September 16-17
Appearing Saturday Only:
Special Guest: Anais Depommier (Sartre)
Guests: T.J. Kirsch (Pride of The Decent Man), Kata Kane (
Ana & The Cosmic Race, Papercutz)
http://www.smallpressexpo.com

Panel: Filling In The Pieces: Comics Biography
White Flint Auditorium 9/16 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
When doing a comics biography, how do cartoonists approach the material they have at hand? For Box Brown, who did a biography of Andre the Giant, he struggled to find material that might reveal the wrestler’s inner life. Anais Depommier had to sift through a mountain of material for her biography of Jean-Paul Sartre, a task made all the more difficult considering how much the philosopher wrote about himself. Luke Howard had to deal with a historically and racially sensitive topic in ragtime creator Ernest Hogan. Moderator Chris Mautner will lead the discussion. Anais Depommier appears courtesy of a grant by The Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Signing Schedule
Saturday (Booth G-1-2)

11:30- 12:30: Anais Depommier (Saturday Only)
1:00-2:30: T.J. Kirsch (Saturday Only)
2:30-4: Anais Depommier (Saturday Only)

4-5:30: T.J. Kirsch (Saturday Only)
5:00-6:00: Kata Kane
6:00-6:30: Anais Depommier (Saturday Only)
 
Sunday (Booth G-1-2)

1-2: Kata Kane
3-4: Kata Kane

 

Brooklyn Book Festival / Booth 319
Brooklyn, New York / September 16-17
Appearing Sunday Only:
Guests: Anais Depommier (Sartre) and T.J. Kirsch (Pride of The Decent Man)
http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org/

Signing Schedule
Sunday (Booth 319)

10 :30-11:30: T.J. Kirsch
11:30-12 :30: Anais Depommier
1-2: T.J. Kirsch
2-3: Anais Depommier

3-4: T.J. Kirsch
4-5 Anais Depommier

 

Thought Bubble: The Leeds Comic Art Festival
Leeds, England / September 18-24
Guests: Metaphrog (The Little Mermaid, Papercutz)
http://thoughtbubblefestival.com

 

Anais Depommier Book Signing
Books & Books / September 20 at 8PM
265 Aragon Ave Coral Gables, FL
http://booksandbooks.com/event/anais-depommier/

 

T.J. Kirsch Book Signing
Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza / September 23 at 3 PM – 4:30 PM
1475 Western Ave, Albany, New York
http://www.bhny.com/event/bh-tj-kirsch-signs-pride-decent-man

 

Cartoon Crossroads Columbus
Columbus, Ohio / September 30 – October 1
Exhibiting: Dara Naraghi (Persia Blues)
http://cartooncrossroadscolumbus.com

 

Uticon
Utica, New York / October 1st
Guest: T.J. Kirsch (Pride of The Decent Man)
http://www.uticoncomicshow.com

 

Lakes International Comic Art Festival
Kendal, England / October 13-15
Guests: Metaphrog (The Little Mermaid, Papercutz)
https://www.comicartfestival.com

 

T.J. Kirsch Book Signing
Barnes and Noble / October 21
Colonie Centre, Albany, NY
https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/event/9780061886661-0

 

Kumoricon
Portland, Oregon
Guest: Jon Nielsen (Look)
October 27-29
https://www.kumoricon.org

 

T.J. Kirsch Book Signing
Halloween Comic Fest / October 28
Flipside Gaming
East Greenbush, New York
https://www.facebook.com/FlipsideGamingEastGreenbush

Now Read THIS!

The stellar reviews keep coming in for PRIDE OF THE DECENT MAN! Win Wiacek, writing from the UK on his NOW READ THIS blog, has proclaimed the book as a…

“thoughtful and totally immersive glimpse of a life both remarkable and inescapably pedestrian:a reflection on common humanity and day-to-day existence with all the lethal pitfalls they conceal and joys they promise.”

Wiacek also says adds that PRIDE is a “seductively sedate, powerfully evocative and poignantly human-scaled fable of a guy with no hope and the odds stacked against him from the get-go…”

To close out the piece, Win mention this as a great comic to hand to even a non-comics-fan, and a musical pairing suggestion was made – a recommendation to spin Bob Seger’s “Mainstreet” while reading the book. I’ll have to try that myself.

I’d also add another musical pairing – “Tender Years” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, from the cult hit movie soundtrack Eddie & The Cruisers. There’s just the right amount of passion and nostalgia in that song to go along with Andrew’s story. Readers with a keen eye for detail will also notice Eddie Wilson’s iconic cut-off black shirt is the same one worn by Andrew Peters.

To read the review in full, go here.

For more about PRIDE OF THE DECENT MAN, including how to order, go to NBM Graphic Novels.

Thanks for reading!

-T.J.