Showing posts with label NBM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NBM. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Kata Kane's NBM double debut

by Mike Rhode

At  the Small Press Expo, Kata Kane had her own table as usual, but she was also signing books at NBM's table. They have published the first book in a new series Ana and the Cosmic Race by Amy Chu with art by Kata. We caught up to ask how her career was changing.. 

After our first interview, you published Altar Girl vol. 2. Did that wrap up the series, or do you have plans to continue it?

Altar Girl is ongoing, and you can read up to Book 4 online at my website altar-girl.com. I've also started releasing the series on webcomic sites like WEBTOON and Tapastic. I'm hoping to do a print version of Altar Girl Book 3 soon, but for now it's still going strong online! 

You've done the art for two new series coming out this fall from NBM's Papercutz imprint. How did that come about?


Papercutz reached out to me when they started the launch for their new Charmz romance book line. They saw that my art style and stories were all-ages/tween/YA and asked me to pitch. My first pitch was for GFFs: Ghost Friends Forever with Monica Gallagher [also of Baltimore]. Then they asked if I'd be interested in doing the art for Ana and the Cosmic Race, a story already in production with Amy Chu. I'm so glad I've gotten to work on both series! 

What kind of script do you get? Do you work directly with the writer at all?

I do work closely with the writers when it comes to collaborating and world-building, especially with the characters. As for the script, it varies from writer to writer the level of detail, but I do try to give suggestions if I see a spot where we could do something fun with the art, or if there's a chance to insert some great reactions from the characters. I'm lucky that I've gotten to work with wonderful writers who have given me a lot of freedom and great feedback too. I think pacing is one of my strong points, so in cases where I've been given either a lot or just a little to work with script-wise, I always aim to get a good flow going with the dialog and art.


Will there be more books in the two new series?

I'm currently working on Book 2 for both Ana and the Cosmic Race as well as GFFs! There's still much more to discover, so I think readers of Book 1 for both of these series will be eager to see what's in store.

My online/social media info: kata-kane.com | @kata_kane


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

An SPX Chat with French Cartoonist Anais Depommier


by Mike Rhode

Anais Depommier is a young woman illustrator who has just had Sartre, her first graphic novel (really a graphic biography) come out in English from NBM Publsihing. She attended the 2017 Small Press Expo and I got the opportunity to interview her there.

Her NBM biography is charmingly translated rather literally (and a little outdated as you'll see later in the interview): Anaïs Depommier was born in the late 1980s in a small village in the Southeast of France. Growing up a close friend of Mathilde Ramadier, they can't do enough sleepovers from one's house to the other. Inseparable at school, they spend their weekends building huts in the bush, watching the gendarmes go by, playing "Mouse Stampede" on a Macintosh Classic, and reading many comics. When it becomes time to prepare for the entrance exam to art school, they meet later in the evenings at the painter Jean-Michel Pétrissans' workshop in Valence.

Anaïs studied drawing for four years, then co-created the OneShot workshop where regular life drawing classes and other exhibitions are held. She now lives in Paris and works in comics, graphics and animation design. 


For those not familiar with the French philospher Sartre, NBM's blurb for the book reads: 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.

Mike Rhode: So SPX is your first American show... is it a little overwhelming?

Anais Depommier: Absolutely.

MR: And Sartre is your first book in English?

AD: Yes, and also my first graphic novel. And also for the writer Mathilde Ramadier, actually. It was our first book.

MR: Did you propose the book together to the publisher?

AD: We've known each other for a long time, so we created the project together and then asked some editors [if they would be interested in it].

MR: Biographical comics are fairy popular in France?

AD: Yes, that is true.

MR: You didn't serialize this in a newspaper first; this is an original graphic novel.

AD: Absolutely, we started everything through a contract with our French editor. Dargaud is our publisher; it's one of the main and oldest ones in France.

MR: Did you have the book already put together, or was it just a proposal when you approached them?

AD: It was just a proposal. Works like this in France are usually [done this way now].

MR: So they gave you an advance?

AD: Absolutely.

MR: Moving on from the business side to the subject, so why did you pick Sartre?

AD: At the beginning, it was the writer's idea. She got her masters degree in philosophy, writing about Sartre, and she's passionate about comics (like I am). She thought it would be a good idea to depict him in comics, so she asked the artist that she knew - me - and I totally agreed with her. We started like this.

MR: Did she give you a script that you then broke down?

AD: Absolutely. In the beginning, she explained to me in conversation what she wanted to say about him, and then she wrote all the script. I made my own layout. She didn't really criticize the scenes - I decided the layout myself.

MR: Right, so she didn't give you thumbnails or sketches?

AD: That's true.

MR: This is a fairly substantial book... how long did it take you?

AD: Oh, a little time. Two and a half years, more or less. 135 drawn pages, and [an appendix] at the end to explain who is who in the book, for 160 pages in total.

MR: Did you have a hard time illustrating any action in a philosopher's life? I saw in the early pages that he was a rough-and-tumble school boy.

AD: Absolutely. It was kind of fun actually to draw that part. [laughs] It was interesting to show this man not just as an intellectual philosopher, a serious guy, because he had a lot of humor. I liked the pages where there was more action, and all his travels, all the trips he made. It was interesting to read the documentation and get the atmosphere.

MR: Did you work from photo references?

AD: A lot. And also from videos. We still have some interview videos of him. He died in 1980. In his last fifteen years, he was not that active outside his house. He was really sick.

MR: Who is the audience for this in France? Is this an all-ages book in France?
AD: Yes, and that's interesting. In festivals, we meet a lot of professors who don't really read comics, but they are curious about it, so that's great for us. Also, the opposite - comics lovers who know Sartre by name but don't know his books and they buy our book because they are curious.

MR: Were you influenced by any of the other biographies that came out? Anne Simon was here last year [at the Alliance Francais] to talk about her books that had been published in English.

AD: Yes, Einstein and Freud... I met her because we have the same French publisher. I think her first book, Freud, was published during the time we were doing the first pages of our book. So she's not really an influence because she has a totally different point of view. I really like her work - it's totally another thing, another approach.

MR: So what's next?

AD: Right now, I'm just starting to work on another story. It's still really, really beginning. It's fiction, and kind of dark.

MR: Your own characters?

AD: Yes. I will work with another writer, an Italian one, and we'll see how it goes.

MR: Is this your first time in America?

AD: Yes it is, and it's really exciting.

MR: Where are you going next?

AD: Before I was in Baltimore at MICA and I met some students, and it was really interesting. Tomorrow I will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival, and then next week I will be in Miami in an art school and then a book store.* The counrty is really different already even between Bethesda and Baltimore so I cannot imagine New York and Miami.


MR: I'm sorry you don't have the time to see Washington while you're here since it was influenced by Paris. Any thoughts about the Small Press Expo? Have you been able to walk around?

AD: Just a little bit this morning, and I will go again now. It seems to have really cool work; so many different comics and illustratioins. It's full of variety and I love it. It's a little underground and I really like that.

SPX floor by Bruce Guthrie
MR: SPX isn't a normal American superhero convention. In France, do you usually attend Angouleme or other festivals?

AD: I've been there twice, but always just to visit. It's a huge festival, and editors send their author with a new book, but Sartre was published in March, and the festival is in January, so it didn't match. Still, it's a crazy festival and a really interesting place to go.

MR: Have you done other French shows then?

AD: Yes, in France - a lot. In Paris, a lot, in Lyon, a lot and so many in little cities.

MR: Do you see a difference about a show in France and one in America?

AD: Here in America everything is bigger. Also the buildings too. It's impressive. I can find the same family atmosphere, a relaxed and fun atmosphere is a common point, for sure.

MR: I should ask you about your background before we end...

AD: What I did before my book? I was in university, in École Émile Cohl, a traditional school with an academic program, and I studied comics and illustration there. After that, I created a studio with friends, and did exhibitions and drawing classes, still in Lyon. Then I went to Paris and I started this book. I've made a lot of little works for newspapers, and been a graphic designer for lawyers,. This book took me so much time. I'm also doing work in Lyon Capitale, a French newspaper that has several pages a month about the history of the city. It's not really serious. There's always a historical background, but the story can be fictional. I'm still working for newspapers as a graphic designer, and I'm starting a new book, but I've also moved to Rome. I don't live in France anymore.

MR: Why Rome?

AD: It's a personal choice, not a business choice. It's a gorgeous city and I really love the Italian south.
The drawing she did in my book


*If you're in Florida tomorrow:
 Anais Depommier Book Signing
Books & Books / September 20 at 8PM
265 Aragon Ave Coral Gables, FL
http://booksandbooks.com/event/anais-depommier/



Monday, September 18, 2017

An SPX interview with TJ Kirsch

by Mike Rhode

T.J. Kirsch was tabling at SPX for his new book,  Pride Of The Decent Man, which is getting some very nice reviews. I had actually made an appointment to interview French NBM cartoonist Anais Depommier  (which will appear later this week after I transcribe it), but Mr. Kirsch kindly agreed to do an interview by mail.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I'm a writer and illustrator of comics, webcomics, and graphic novels - or any combination of those three. I've illustrated comics for Oni Press, Archie, Image, NBM and others.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

For all of my recent books I've drawn and colored digitally using a Wacom tablet.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born in 1981 in Albany, NY.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I completed a year of art school at Savannah College Of Art And Design, and then finished my training at The Kubert School, graduating in 2005. 

Who are your influences?

My big ones are Dan Clowes, Chester Brown, and Gilbert Hernandez.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

I wish I would've had more confidence to start writing my own projects earlier. But along the way I've worked with many very talented writers and learned so much from each of them.

What work are you best-known for?

I co-created and illustrated a webcomic-turned-graphic novel called She Died In Terrebonne, written by Kevin Church. It's been highly acclaimed by critics and often cited as one of the best Noir comics ever published.

What work are you most proud of?

The comics I'm most proud of are all the minicomics that were eventually collected in Teej Comix, and the new book, Pride Of The Decent Man. I made them all in a similar process, using loose outlines and giving myself some room to change things on the page as I went along. Some things work better as comics if you stay flexible with the final product rather than sticking with a set script.

How did your new book end up with NBM?

Terry Nantier, the founder and publisher of NBM Graphic Novels, saw something he liked in my initial proposal submission, and made me an offer quite early in the process. I thought it was a good fit for their catalog, and seeing it finished and in book form, I feel that even more. There's a sensibility to all their books of trying to elevate the art form of comics, while also bringing in a general crossover audience. I like graphic novels I can hand to any random book or art lover on the street, and have them get something out of it - and maybe seek out other comics after that. I think many of the NBM graphic novels have that quality.

What would you like to do  or work on in the future?

I'd like to do more original graphic novels as well as shorter comics. Right now I'm in the very early stages of a nonfiction graphic novel project.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

As an artist, my recent solution to getting out of a rut is to redraw very old work of mine. It's great for self confidence, in that you see your improvement since the earlier version of the piece. 

As far as writer's block - I haven't been in this situation much yet, having worked with writers more than not - but I try to take breaks and let ideas come to me when I'm relaxed and daydreaming.

What do you think will be the future of your field?

Hopefully it will be more innovative comics being made, and respect for the work by the general public, but who knows? 

How was your SPX experience?

SPX was great, as always. It's a very inspiring atmosphere. I've been coming since 2008 and it's been my favorite show ever since - no contest. I've met several of my cartooning heroes, and made some great friends I see every time I come back. 

When you've been at SPX previously, have you been selling self-published books?

 My first time exhibiting I was with Oni Press, debuting a comic called Uncle Slam Fights Back. Most other times I shared space with Jonathan Baylis, who writes an autobiographical comic series called So Buttons. It's in the same vein as Harvey Pekar's work - only a bit more upbeat. I've been contributing art to that series since the first issue ten years ago. But yes, sometimes I'll be showcasing self published minis, or other work I'd done for Oni Press and others. 

Is the experience different when at a table of a mid-level publisher?

It's always easier, and far less stressful, when you can just show up and start signing books, rather than worrying about shipping your own or coordinating everything that goes along with exhibiting.

If you've been coming since 2008, any thoughts about how it's grown and changed?

I can say it's grown every year I've gone. More lines out the door for star cartoonists, more congestion in the aisle, but also the exhibitors all make amazing work and that never changes.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

My favorite things about DC are the closeness to SPX ( of course ), the fast, efficient and clean Metro system, and the fact that I have family there.

Least favorite?

It gets wayyyyy too hot in the summer! Maybe I just need to visit closer to the colder months.

What monument or museum do you like?

I like them all, but the Lincoln Memorial is one I always need to see. The Holocaust Museum is something everyone needs to see.


How about a favorite local restaurant?

There's a small place in Bethesda called the Lilit Cafe that has the most amazing gluten free crabcakes. I didn't have enough time this year to go since I was only around for a day, but that always a necessary stop. There's also Ella's Wood-Fired Pizza across from the National Portrait Gallery that has great gluten free pizza. I've got Celiac disease so these stand out for me.

Do you have a website or blog?

You can find out more about me and my work at www.tjkirsch.com - and you'll find links to all my various social media, info about my books and more.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

PR: NBM HEADS TO SPX 2014

NBM HEADS TO SPX 2014
Patrick Atangan's Invincible Days Makes It's Debut
http://www.spxpo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/SPX_Poster_Gif1.gif

On September 13-14th, you can find some of the most prestigious names in comics at the 2014 Small Press Expo (aka SPX).

Unlike many conventions that are geared toward pop culture or corporately owned comics, SPX was created in 1994 to promote artists and publishers who produce independent comics. SPX hosts an annual festival that provides a forum for artists, writers and publishers of comic art in its various forms to present to the public comic art not normally accessible through normal commercial channels.

This weekend, you can find NBM at Table F1-F2, where we'll have our latest book on hand, Invincible Days.

http://www.nbmpub.com/fairytales/atangan/invincible_cover300.jpg
By the author of the Yellow Jar and Silk Tapestry, this collection of short stories forms a singular narrative that reveals the tiny moments when you realize you are at the precious end-days of youth.  Atangan creates an intricate mosaic from his own childhood memories as well as those gathered from friends and family. Bittersweet, joyful and reflective, these are the type of marking moments that best define us as adults. 

Unfortunately, creator Patrick Atangan cannot be there, but we'll have some of his original art that's we'll be raffling off.  Purchase any of his books to enter to win.
In addition, we'll have some previews of our upcoming books including Jude Nude by Etienne DavodeauDungeon: Twilight, Volume 4, as well as our special accordion book, Pascal RabatéStreet View, it needs to be seen to be believed!


We'll also have a fashionably EARLY preview of a book that will have everyone talking come SPRING 2015, Annie Goetzinger’s Girl in Dior
We’ll also be offering all of our latest titles and prints are available for free with any $30 purchase, with a signed version free with a $50 purchase.

Throughout SPX, NBM can be found at tables F1-F2.