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A Field Guide to Garbage Night

Cliff, Reynard and Simon are back… in Garbage Night! In this hotly anticipated follow-up to Jen Lee‘s 17×23 comic Vacancy, the unlikely gang find themselves struggling to survive across a post-apocalyptic wasteland, forcing them to question the nature of friendship and freedom…

The trio spend their days looting the desolate supermarket and waiting for the return of  the hallowed ‘garbage night’. But rumour has it, there’s a nearby town where humans still live. The trio join up with Barnaby, a mysterious stranger, and set off into the unknown…

Simon

Dog, German Shepherd

Raised in a loving and stable home. Passed his Good Canine Citizenship test with flying colors. With a tendency to be overly optimistic, he’ll choose to not hear others’ concerns. Always happy to help, although he can be unaware of his own needs.

* prone to bloat

* excels at fetch

Cliff

North American Raccoon

Having paid close attention to her mother’s teachings she’s become extremely skilled at breaking and entering.  Cautious of strangers, but not afraid. Holds others up to high standards, because she believes in her friends but this can make her a bit controlling.

* orphaned at a young age

* if it’s scary, yell at it

Reynard

Mule Deer

Afraid of being incapable, he prefers to coast through life events. Will buckle under pressure when presented with a challenge and tends to not think things through. Extremely inward in a group, but hates to be alone. Got booted out of his herd, he doesn’t want to talk about it.

* loves the feeling of grass on his cheeks

* if it’s scary, run

Barnaby

Dog, Saluki

Athletic and well composed. Is aloof with strangers, but once he makes a friend he’s fiercly loyal and expects the same in exchange.  Confident in his talents, he openly shares them in helping others- but grows resentments when the response is silence.

* Field Champion title in Lure Coursing

* gets cold easily

Get Garbage Night here or from your local bookshop now!


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Loris Lora on Painting Safe & Sound

To mark the release of Safe & Sound, we asked Loris Lora to share, and talk us through, some of the beautiful images she hand-painted for the book.

“Here’s a work in progress of the cover. This is actually the second version and i’m glad that we reworked it as it ended up having much more of the animals in which made it much more active.”

‘This was the first illustration I worked on for the book. I wanted to create an underwater scene that is largely influenced by vintage children’s book illustrations and created a transparent effect using gouache paint. I loved working on the mother crocodile and the way her body curved in the illustration.”

“I think these two next to one another in the spread work really well. I really like the balance between a spot illustration and a full page illustration. Painting fur on the wolves and anteaters was fun to work on. I love being able to “drybrush” fur.”

“With the monkeys I wanted them to have an active composition. I like that I was able to paint them as they swing through the page surrounded by different hues of green.”

“The bears are probably one of my favorites in Safe & Sound. But I may be bias as my nickname growing up by parents was “Osito” which means Little Bear in spanish. I was really happy with the composition on this one and loved painting the sleeping cubs.”

“A big challenge on these the baby blue birds was making them look fun and cute. I knew I wanted to have a group of them and loved the ideas of using different kinds of blue. My favourite is the one peeking out.”

“I’m really happy with the the composition worked out. I thought it would be different to have the mother lions back towards the viewer and have her baby cub peeking through.”

“Loved working on the rhinos. This was a great opportunity for me to work on textures on both the rhinos and abstract grasslands, which later influenced the endpages for the book.”

“Knowing this would be one of the last animals listed in the book. I wanted to create an image that had a big impact on the spread. Painting a BIG baby blue whale was so much fun. And having part of the mother in the background to show scale was a nice addition.”

A huge thank you to Loris Lora for sharing these pictures and insight into her incredible process. You can now order finished copies of Safe & Sound, containing all these beautiful images and so many more here and from all the very best (UK) bookshops!


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Delve deep into Nightlights… An Interview with Lorena Alvarez
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To celebrate Nightlights being back in stock, Matthew Tobin caught up with Lorena Alvarez to have a chat about her “wondrous” book!

Over to Mat…

When I saw the cover of Nightlights for the first time in the Nobrow catalogue, I knew that I had been hooked. There was something about the style and colour of that cover that brought images of Miyazaki’s worlds to mind as well as a touch of Sendak’s Outside Over There and Henson’s Labyrinth: a taste of the mythical and magical daubed with a sense of weighted reality. When I managed to get hold of a copy and found that it was all of these and yet, equally, none of them – a story set within the imagination of a vibrantly creative individual – I was swept in from the first few frames and taken on a wonderful journey which I still regularly return to. My review can be found here.

Thanks to the people at NoBrow and Lorena herself, I was able to ask the creator a few questions that I had about Nightlights and the creative process that went into its making:

1.Can you tell me a little about yourself and the path you took that brought you into illustration and creating Nightlights?

I’ve always been interested in writing and drawing my own stories but the idea of becoming an author was too intimidating. I was waiting for a big, epic story to come out of nowhere in my head and it took me a while to understand that it doesn’t work that way. I started then with “small” ideas, taking notes from my everyday life, writing about the music I like, about the people I met; it wasn’t only a good exercise but also it gave me an opportunity to communicate with others and share experiences.

When I wrote the first draft for Nightlights I was living in a small town in Arkansas. Being in a place so different from Bogotá gave me enough distance to see things in perspective, to appreciate my personal story in a different light. I was educated in a catholic school for girls and it was something I dreaded to talk about, but at some point I realized that the whole experience was an important part of my identity. I thought a lot about the stories we used to tell each other -particularly during our elementary years- and they were amazing. Unknowingly, we mixed the doctrine we learned from the nuns with elements of our own imagination, pop culture and the social context we lived in. With all that in mind I started to work in the plot of Nightlights.

2. One of the things that immediately grabbed my attention when reading Nightlights was where you positioned me as a reader. Sometimes I was high up, looking down and other times I was at ground level. Using some of the pictures from your book as examples, could you tell me a little about how you go about choosing the reader’s positioning and what your intention is in some scenes?
I think it depends on what aspect of the characters I want to present to the reader and the action that’s taking place. I draw many scenes viewed from above because I like to give and idea of how Sandy interacts with the place she’s in. For example, when Morphie and Sandy are playing in the supply room, I wanted to create a dynamic image, without a rigid sequence to follow, in which both girls are using didactic objects as toys, moving freely in an otherwise regulated space. Also, when Morphie leads Sandy to the forest I wanted to show how Sandy is engulfed by the surroundings which symbolizes Morphie’s power. When I want to show more subtle aspects of the story I like to draw details, like Sandy’s hands which represents her feelings and reactions.

3. Sandy’s story really struck a chord with me with and how much we encourage children to follow their dreams and interests. How much of your own story is she telling?
Sandy was created as a silent character in a short story I wrote before Nightlights. She actually resembles me during that age, with the ponytails and the oversized skirt. I also used to imagine that there were little bright dots in the darkness of my room at night, that I could catch them and give them any shape I wanted. For a long time I didn’t have close friends at school and I was found being by myself during recess.
In a way, Sandy has allowed me to acknowledge and appreciate the little girl I once was, with her flaws and complexities. It wasn’t until I started this project that I could see how the decisions I made being so little draw the path I would follow ever since. I have drawn since I can remember; I made the decision of being an artist when I was a kid. I like to think that determination is still in me, so as it is in Sandy.

4. ‘Breathtaking’ is probably a good word to describe some of your panels. How you go from the start of creating a page to the end, sharing a little about your method and materials?
Thank you! I start doodling and writing notes, trying to “catch” and give shape to the idea I have in mind. Then I take all that mess and put it in a layout, working the flow of the story until I’m happy with the plot. Finally I start to clean the images and work in the dialogues.

5. There are too many scenes for me choose from which I enjoy. Which picture is your favourite and how long did it take to put together? 
One of my favorite scenes is the one in the supply room, when Sandy and Morphie play together. It was very important for me to write it because I could define their relationship through that scene.

6. Can you give us a little sneak peak of your work-space and how a typical working day looks for you? (I know you’re extremely versatile and work in other mediums besides illustration – please do share)

This year has been kind of weird because I had so much to do, but I usually try to keep a routine. A typical day for me means to get up at 8 am, feed my cats, water the plants, and check the online papers and the mail before getting to work. I like to take time and draw my sketches on paper before taking them to coloring in Photoshop. I dedicate two days a week to write. When it comes to exhibitions I like to paint with watercolors and acrylics, lately I’ve been also working with Ink and bleach. I make time to knit and sew, I haven’t been able to do it lately but i love to do plush toys. Now that I have a little more of time I’m planning also to retake my guitar lessons and my swimming practice.

7. All readers will carry on interpretation of what or who Morphie is but can I ask what Morphie means to you?

Morphie is a part of Sandy, that’s why she mirrors her in some panels and that’s why she won’t die or disappear.In a certain way Morphie represents the traps and insecurities you have to deal with when something you love to do becomes your job. I think it is a concern for many artists to lose their authenticity while dealing with the pressure of staying relevant and produce great things all the time to the pleasure and benefit of others.

Morphie is also that part of me that tells me to stop trying, that inner critic that we all have but sometimes grows so much that it consumes all your energy and makes you feel worthless.

8. Finally, can you tell us of any future projects?

I hope so! :) I’m writing a second book, so I’m again feeling this mix of happiness and fear again, I’m really excited about it. I’m also planning to paint more, to create a new line of plush toys, to work in some animation projects too.

Thank you Matt for the insightful questions and Lorena for the inspiring answers! Order a copy of Nightlights right here or get hold it from your local bookshop. 

This interview originally appeared here!


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Celebrate the Launch of Map of Days!
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To celebrate the launch of Robert Hunter’s beautiful graphic novel, Map of Days, join us at one of our favourite bookshops around, Libreria Bookshop on Hanbury Street.

We have collaborated with Libreria’s risograph artist Jess Fogarty to produce a unique collection of limited edition prints in celebration of our relaunch of this masterwork of graphic invention. These will be exclusively available from Libreria on the night, until they run out! And Robert will be on hand to sign copies of Map of Days (as well as The New Ghost and The Land of Nod).

Refreshments have kindly been provided by our neighbours at London Fields Brewery.

About the book:

Robert Hunter’s vivid illustrations tell a dreamlike tale of ancient love, creating a surreal graphic novel unlike any other. Intrigued by its endless tick-tocking, Richard steps into the world behind his grandfather’s clock and discovers the Face of the Earth, trapped there by an eternal longing.

Moved to pity, Richard winds back the clock, changing time forever…

“With its strange symbols, alien landscapes and rich hues that speak of dreams and mystery, Map of Days bewitches’- The Guardian

RSVP

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Check Out Our Spring 2017 Catalogues!
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It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for… the Nobrow and Flying Eye spring 2017 catalogues have arrived! We’ve been working hard with many talented authors, poets and, of course, illustrators and we can finally reveal two of our most exciting lists to date.

From Robert Hunter’s surreal and bewitching love story (Map of Days) to Hamish Steele’s anarchic comic take on ancient Egyptian myths (Pantheon), the Nobrow list is sure to have something for everyone!

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With Flying Eye Books, we’ve created books that encourage compassion, bravery, and a greater understanding of the natural world around us; whether it’s following a daring sea adventure (The Secret of Black Rock) or perusing pages of natural wonder (Wild Animals of the South).

We can’t wait for you to see all these books next spring, but in the meantime we’d love to know which ones you are most looking forward to reading and why. You can let us know via our social media channels!

 See you on the flip side, bring on 2017!


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Final Posting Dates for Christmas!
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That most wonderful time of year is fast approaching and we don’t want you to miss out on getting hold of Nobrow and Flying Eye gifts for your nearest and dearest! So here are the all important last recommended posting dates for shipping all around the world!

Be careful not to leave it too late though as any orders received on these dates are not guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas, although we will try our very best.

Saturday 3rd December Africa, Middle East
Wednesday 7th December Cyprus, Asia, Far East (including Japan), Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia), Turkey, Malta
Thursday 8th December Caribbean, Central & South America
Saturday 10th December Greece, Australia, New Zealand
Wednesday 14th December Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
Thursday 15th December Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA
Friday 16th December Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
Saturday 17th December Belgium, France
Tuesday 20th December UK Second Class
Wednesday 21st December UK First Class

Export customers, make sure you send your festive orders over to lizzie@nobrow.net as soon as you can because these take longer to process and pack!


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🚂 Golden Cosmos on Collaboration, Berlin and… Locomotion! 🚆
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Berlin-based couple and illustration duo Daniel Dolz and Doris Freigofas – AKA Golden Cosmos – are back with a brand new Leporello in their distinctive, colourful style! Having taken us flying high through the sky with a history of aviation in High Times, they are now bringing us back down to earth with Locomotion: a beautiful and factual guide to the history of train engineering and travel.

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To coincide with the release of Locomotion, they took a little time to answer some questions for us:

  1. Which part of Locomotion was your favourite to draw?

The history of trains is really diverse and we had fun going through the years, always being excited about what was to come next. The early beginnings of trains with the first steam machines and all the adventurous experiments like the Rainhill Trials were particularly fun to draw, especially visualising the sounds, the smell, but also the grace of those monstrous, heavy locomotives.

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  1. How do you work together on a piece like this? Do you delegate different jobs to each other? 

We’re both involved in the whole process, but we’ve started to allocate work. We’re not working on the same illustration at the same time.

For Locomotion, Daniel was making the major part of the illustrations while Doris was involved in the sketching process and idea generation. This was because our second child was born in the middle of it!

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  1. What was the most interesting / surprising fact that you learned about the history of trains?

We were really amazed by the fact that on the Canadian Pacific Railway there are cargo trains that are four kilometres long and need 13 engines to conquer the Rocky Mountains!

And of course we had to include some crazy inventions like the Rail Zeppelin – a train that looked like a Zeppelin on rails, driven by a propeller! This train only had one maiden voyage from Hamburg to Berlin and set a speed record at that time.

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  1.  You’re based in Berlin, what are your favourite things about living and working in the city? 

Actually we’ve been thinking of buying some old farmhouse and moving to the countryside. There’s this part of us that would like to be closer to nature and be far from the fast pace of the city. But we would quickly miss all the things that are so special about Berlin: the great diversity of lifestyles, the tolerance in views of live, the tasty and affordable food, the barbeques with friends on the balcony, going to see an exhibition on a Sunday afternoon and wandering over to the flea market by the canal afterwards… On the one hand, you can always discover new things in Berlin, the city is changing so fast. On the other hand, there are places that haven’t changed much since we’ve moved here 12 years ago. This continuity makes this place our home.

  1. What is your studio like? 
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Our studio is located in a former Kindergarten in Lichtenberg, a part of Berlin that is becoming more and more interesting to young people and creatives as it’s become hard to find affordable space in Neukölln or Kreuzberg. The house is shared by around 25 creatives, artists, designers and photographers. There is also a huge garden where we grow vegetables in the summer.
goldencosmosstudio

  1. Which illustrators / artists are you most inspired by? And which new talents are you most excited by? 

The Bauhaus is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for us. The Bauhaus philosophy is interdisciplinary and so comprehensive! It’s not just the graphic work that inspires us. For example, we’ve just recently come across a collection of hand puppets that Paul Klee made out of everyday objects for his children.

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We also love the work of Christoph Niemann. His illustrations are so humorous and pointed. He likes to experiment stylistically so he always surprises you. Last year we discovered the work of Cynthia Kittler and totally fell in love with her style and ideas. She is part of the PARALLEL UNIVERSE COLLECTIVE, a group of six amazing artists from New York, Berlin and Hamburg.

Thanks so much to Doris & Daniel! Locomotion is available to buy now HERE and in all great bookshops!

Locomotion Product P1

 


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🐶 Beep Beep, Woof Woof, it’s Dogs in Cars! 🚗
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Yahhooo, Dogs in Cars is here! Count to 100 through the many breeds of dogs from French bulldogs to Great Danes, as they wreak havoc upon the streets in their recognisable locomotives! In this hilariously illustrated introduction to the world of dogs and cars, Emmanuelle Walker and Felix Massie pay homage to these glorious animals and their moving machines.

To celebrate its release, we caught up with illustrator / animation director extraordinaire, Emmanuelle Walker to talk about collaborating with Felix on this cool canine car compendium, illustration, animation and more…!

1)What came first – the words or pictures? How did you and Felix collaborate on the project?

What came first was a spreadsheet. A spreadsheet including a list of A to Z breeds, and car brands – because yes, the number of dogs corresponds to the number of each alphabet letter, which also corresponds to the name of the dog breed and the car brand! A=1 – Alpha Romeo/Afghan hound, B=2 – Bentley/Beagles, C=3 Citroen/Corgis, D=4 – Delorean/Dalmatians, etc.

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I then gave that list to Felix as a base for the text, and it evolved from there. He picked the breed and the brand that he thought served the story the best. He added to the dog and car list too if he thought there was an even better option.

He did a first draft, and that’s really when I started working. Over time some of the rhymes slightly changed, but the idea stayed the same.

2) Which is your favourite spread from the book and why?

The dog I had the most fun drawing was probably the Old English sheepdogs, because I love drawing hairy things, could you count all the hair on that spread?

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I like all the book spreads, but the special one is probably number 10, where I drew my dad in his blue Jeep and myself as a child with our 10 Jack Russells (even though we never had a single Jack Russell!).

3) Do you have a dog? If so what kind and what are they called? If not… what kind of dog would you most like to have?

No I don’t, unfortunately. My favorite dog in the world is probably the whippet because of all the crazy positions they can make thanks to their long limbs. If I had a garden big enough (or if I had a garden at all) I would have one.

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4) Could you tell us a little bit about your illustration process?

I usually do some sketch research first. There were so many different and sometimes similar breeds, so I had to find a way to simplify them and understand the shapes.

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To have a better general overview of what the book was going to look like, I did some super quick thumbnails of the spreads.

Then I prepared a template document in Photoshop because I wanted all the cars to be proportional to each other when you flip the book pages. So the small cars are tiny on the page, versus the trucks for example. Once I had the template I picked the illustration I wanted to do the most on that day. I started with the 13 Maltese.

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I then roughed the car first, then the dogs and background with a thin black line. Once I was happy with the rough I made a colour-test layer to decide what the colours were going to be. Sometimes it’s a quick process, sometimes it’s harder to find something that pleases me. At this stage it’s only refining that’s left but that’s the longest and most tedious part!

Once I was happy with the colours I started selecting the different zones of the illustration with the freehand lasso tool. Basically, every colour is a different layer so I can easily change things if I need to.

And for the rest of the pages, I balanced everything depending on the number of dogs on the page. So if I had to draw a lot of dogs for one page, I would then pick one with less dogs, and so forth.

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5) You work now as an animation director, what do you enjoy most and what are the challenges involved with making a children’s book outside of your day job? 

I can’t really pick a favourite between directing, animating, and illustrating, I need the three to feel balanced. Animation is great, and bringing characters to life is extremely satisfying, but it can be very tiring to draw the same drawing over and over, (and then retracing/cleaning up everything afterwards). Illustration is great, you can take all the time you want to create one single image but it doesn’t move! And finally directing means that you often get to work on bigger projects, with a team to help you, but it can be stressful and the clients are not all always easy to manage. Luckily I work with great producers who take care of them most of the time.

Because I don’t have a regular schedule or regular clients, my days are always different. I have some super busy months where I stay at the studio until midnight, and other times, I can go weeks/months without working. The main challenge I’d say is not to get too stressed in the down times and try to travel a bit to work on personal projects (that will often bring you more work), find some inspiration elsewhere for other projects, and disconnect for a while.

Thank you so much Emmanuelle! Drive away with a copy of Dogs in Cars now!


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Hilda and the Stone Forest Launch Party at Gosh!
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Yes! Everyone’s favourite blue-haired heroine is back for her fifth adventure, Hilda and the Stone Forest!

To celebrate the launch of this next exciting instalment, on Thursday 8th September from 7.30 to 9pm, Hilda’s creator Luke Pearson will be joining us at Gosh! comics.

Luke will be in conversation with author, cartoonist and comic book aficianado Gary Northfield, discussing his creative process, the upcoming Hilda animation (as much as he’s allowed to) and whatever else might crop up in the evening. It’s a not to be missed chance to peek into one of UK comics’ most verdant creative minds. And a chance to get a copy of a Gosh! exclusive Hilda & the Stone Forest bookplate edition!

The Facebook event page can be found here. No need to book, no tickets required: just bring yourself down for 7.30-9pm on Thursday the 8th September, seats first come, first served for what promises to be an informative, entertaining evening.

Find Gosh! at:
1 Berwick Street
Soho
London

See you there!

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GUEST POST : Katheryn Wise’s Picks for Summer!

As part of a new series of guest posts on the Nobrow blog, we have invited bloggers, educators, creatives and Nobrow fans to write about their favourite Nobrow and Flying Eye Books. First up we have Katheryn Wise, from the Fairtrade Foundation, on Shackleton’s Journey and Professor Astro Cat’s Intergalactic Activity Book

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I have worked for the Fairtrade Foundation for the last three and a half years, writing learning resources for teachers to explore with their students about where their food comes from, how closely we are connected to people all over the world by the food we eat and how choices we make as consumers affect the producers at the other end of the supply chain. Put simply, I write about some of the ways in which the world is unfair and some of the ways we can try to make it fairer.

Before that I worked at Comic Relief for four years, again on the Schools team, encouraging young people to get involved in Red Nose Day and Sport Relief, raise money and help people struggling in the UK and the world’s poorest countries.

I am a big fan of elephants, dogs, dinosaurs and beautiful books.

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As I said, I worked for a maritime museum – and not just in the publishing department but in the galleries themselves for a number of years. I have stood beside a replica of the James Caird for many a day so I am well-versed in the life of Shackleton. In fact, I rather big-headedly wondered if William Grill could even have any information that I didn’t already know – and my goodness he did!! The detail in this story is incredible and the language evocative. A handy glossary differentiates your conning from your cross-bracing and however much you think you know about Shackleton’s attempt to cross Antarctica I guarantee that you will learn something new.

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My second book was Professor Astro Cat’s Intergalactic Activity Book. While Shackleton’s Journey is wistfully sketched and beautifully described, Professor Astro Cat whizz-bangs from the page and gets you up and involved from the get-go. I may not have mentioned that I actually ran a detective agency in my youth – the Clueless Detective Agency – you may have heard of us? My co-founder Agent 33.3 and myself, Agent 21.5 were quite the problem-solvers of our little village in Kent (a high point being when we found a shoe without an owner – although I believe that case is still unsolved). Anyway, I digress, but it is a relevant digression because Professor Astro Cat tapped straight into my 9 year old detective brain – once again I was learning Morse code and the NATO phonetic alphabet and was given Astro Cat’s decoder to translate curious extraterrestrial text! It was amazing! There is so much to do in this book!!

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I have made a star gazer, learnt some Russian, measured wavelengths using chocolate and a microwave (who knew that was possible?!) and I have designed a gym for cosmonauts to use on space stations (you’re welcome NASA). The best things I learnt were that I am essentially made of stardust which is very cool and if I move to Pluto I might just have superhuman strength. I honestly think this might have been the most fun I’ve ever had learning anything. I should add that I also nearly fell off my chair and I spilt a bowl of cereal whilst wearing three pairs of gloves – ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ I hear you cry – well, you will just have to read the book yourself to solve that case.

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If you are a blogger, librarian, bookseller, illustrator…  or straight-up, die-hard, all-round Nobrow/ Flying Eye Books fan and you would like to write a guest post for our blog, please get in touch at zoe@nobrow.net!


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Get to Know the Stars of Geis!
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In the first in Alexis Deacon’s epic supernatural historical trilogy, Geis : A Matter of Life and Death, the story begins as the chief matriarch is drawing her last breath… but who will be worthy to follow on her rule? Fifty souls are summoned in the night, and so begins the first task of their extraordinary trial… Here Alexis introduces some of the key players of this incredible adventure.

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Nemas – The youngest of three brothers from an influential family, Nemas is accustomed to being last in the pecking order.  When the contest begins he is surprised to find that he has talents few others possess.  With the possibility of stepping out from his brothers’ shadow at last within his reach, Nemas is determined to prove himself worthy.  But just how far is he prepared to go to do it?

Niope – A supreme master of a long forgotten art, Niope is a Sorceress of Death.  Where she came from and who she is remains a mystery, but this much is clear: she is a formidable force.  Niope has promised to run the contest to find the island’s new chief but in truth she will respect no power but her own.

Io – The daughter of the Kite Lord, a high commander in Chief Matarka’s army.  Io is surprised to find that she and not her father has been summoned to the contest.  Though small and inoffensive to look at, Io is far from weak. She is resourceful, well trained in her father’s craft and compassionate to a fault.  Even Niope is impressed.  Io may well be the strongest contestant but is she strong enough to save the others from the danger that threatens them all?  Can she overcome the sorceress by herself?

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Ben – An experienced member of Chief Matarka’s court, Ben is a shrewd politician and a skilled orator.  Time and experience have made him cynical of government, however.  Now he cares for little outside of his home, his children and his loving wife.

Nelson – A man of science and medicine, Nelson has a great reverence for all living things, knowing how slender the are threads that bind them to this world.  He is strong willed, knowledgeable, kind and a good friend to all who know him well.

Eloise – What survives of the ancient craft of magic is practised by wizards like Eloise.  She is not as powerful or as learned as the sorceress but she should not be underestimated.  Though Eloise may appear bluff and impassive, she has a great heart and would lay down her life if those she loved were in danger.

Artur – The chief accountant of Matarka’s court, Artur has not seen much of the world outside his office in many a long year.  When he was a young man he served in the army before adopting a sensible, reliable trade as his father advised.  Content to dream of secret liaisons with the kitchen maids and count the pennies piling up, Artur thought the days of action had long since passed him by.  But now a new danger has come, throwing everything he cares for into peril.  Does even the smallest ember still remain of the distant fires of youth?

If that has whet your appetite for more, get your hands on a copy of the Sunday Times Book of the Week now!

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CALLING ALL ILLUSTRATORS! The Timberyard Ilustration Award is open for entries!
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Pencils at the ready, we’ve a very exciting competition to announce! We’ve teamed up with the coffee maestros at Timberyard to give you a chance to show your work at their inaugural Art Exhibition. This is a brilliant opportunity for your work to be a part of a exhibition in a busy Central London coffee shop… and as if that wasn’t enough, you could also win a selection of Nobrow books worth £100!

A few words from our friends at Timberyard-
“A show of vibrant contrasts and stimulating styles within three categories, each shown in adjoining rooms at TY Seven Dials in Covent Garden, Central London. The inaugural TY Art Exhibition will provide a platform to display artworks in a variety of mediums, formats and genres by amateur and emerging or established contemporary artists.

The TY Art Exhibition is a concept conceived and curated by Joe Faulkner, a barista by trade but also a talented photographer, who wants to encourage people from all backgrounds to engage and take part in art and photography at any level.  TY is excited to collaborate with Hotshoe Magazine and Nobrow Press who will both be lending their professional guidance and gifting competition prizes this year.”

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SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN!

For the first round of the selection process, amateur artists are asked to submit a digital image of their artwork online. For the next stage of the application process judges will shortlist entries for exhibition in The Communal Space and The Ground Floor at TY Seven Dials.  The exhibit will be on public view for a period of 6 months (when not in private use).  Submissions open on 1 June 2016 and the deadline for entry submissions is 31 July 2016. Finalists will be selected and the winner will be determined w/c 22 August 2016. Artists will be contacted and asked to deliver ‘exhibition ready’ artworks between 22-29 August 2016. Hanging will commence on 29 August 2016 in time for launch and Special Preview on 1 Sept 2016.

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The Prize
All shortlisted artwork will be hung as part of the new TY Art Exhibition (you will need to supply exhibition ready, printed and framed artwork). The exhibition will be on public display for a period of 6 months in The Communal Space and The Ground Floor at TY Seven Dials. All shortlisted artists will be invited to join us at the Special Preview on 1 Sept 2016.

We are also gifting this awesome selection of Nobrow books to the winning artist!

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To enter the NOBROW ILLUSTRATION EXHIBITION:
Send us your entry by email (details below)
Email: exhibition@tyuk.com
Subject: The NOBROW ILLUSTRATION EXHIBITION
Attach: a photo or scan of your illustration. Supporting text may be included if desired – please attach as a word document and limit text to a maximum of 500 words.
Please include: your full name, profession and age. Image be saved with file name in the following format Firstname_Lastname e.g (james_blogs) using Photoshop file ‘save for web’ and saved 900px on the longest side.
FREE TO ENTER. Maximum 3 entries per person.

GOOD LUCK!!

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Marcel’s Guide to New York!

Hello friends!

By now you’ve probably already been introduced to Marcel, our favourite New York pup!  He loves to go for walks with his human, checking out the sights and sounds of his beloved neighbourhood.  Did you know a lot of the best spots in Marcel’s city are based on real places in New York?  Here are five, real-life locations that inspired scenes from Eda Akaltun‘s Marcel.

1- American Museum of Natural History 

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AMNH has an iconic dinosaur exhibit at its entrance hall, a dramatic representation of an imagined prehistoric encounter: a Barosaurus rearing up to protect its young from an attacking Allosaurus. The Barosaurus skeleton, which is the tallest freestanding dinosaur mount in the world, is composed of replica bones cast from actual fossils.

Entering the museum to see and maybe even taste those bones is Marcel’s biggest dream, one that he imagines will never come true as dogs are not allowed. When the new human manages to sneak him in, Marcel ends up having one of the best days in his life and the event changes the course of their relationship for the better.

2- West Village

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This is Marcel’s home with his human. He feels safe and loves it here, and gives the reader all the reasons why it’s so great in their area. He particularly likes that there are no high rises around and the abundance of activities that are available.

3- Doggy Day Spa, inspired by Biscuits and Bath

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Marcel is a very particular pup who loves the high life – he enjoys smoked salmon and listens to jazz! It’s only natural that he needs pampering spa days like the rest of us and his favourite one happens to be in downtown naturally.

4- Ruff and Sons (in real life: Sadelle’s – this is where the photo was taken. The name was inspired from a NY institution Russ & Daughters)

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Only the finest nosh for this pup! He loves this spot and introduces it to the reader as the best bagels in the city. The human happens to agree as she’s leaving it with a bag full of goodies!

5- Washington Square Park

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Ahh the Washington Square Park! This is where Marcel’s favourite jazz band ‘The Bone Daddies’ play. It’s also one of the best and most iconic parks downtown and has a great dog play area.

New York city has inspired countless artists, and we hope that Marcel inspires you to see the beauty of your own neighbourhood!
Be sure to check out the rest of Marcel’s adventures in Eda Akaltun’s Marcel, available now in our webshop!

And who knows where this adorable pup’s adventures will take him next…

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Get Smart About Sharks with Owen Davey!
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Did you know that sharks can detect electrical currents from other creatures? Or that some are covered in loads of tiny little tassels? Owen Davey demystifies these boneless fish in his beautiful new book, Smart About Sharks. This week is Shark Week, so to celebrate this and the release of his book, we asked our new shark expert, Owen Davey to share the favourite facts he learned putting it together!

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1. The largest shark to have ever lived (the Megalodon) is thought to have been 16-18 meters long and weighed the same as 30 Great White Sharks.

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2. Sharks can detect heartbeats using their Ampullae of Lorenzini (freckle-like dots on a shark’s nose),

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3. Sharks can’t chew. They have to swallow their prey whole, crush it, or bite chunks off.

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4. The Epaulette shark can actually walk on land using its fins.

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5. Sand tiger sharks gulp in air and store it in their stomachs so that they can float just above the ocean floor silently and sneak up on prey.

Dive right into this underwater world and grab a copy of the book here!


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Luke Healy on How to Survive in the…Wild
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Last month, we released the first book by Luke Healy, How to Survive in the North. In his stunning debut graphic novel, Luke weaves together the true life historical expeditions of Ada Blackjack and Robert Bartlett, with a fictional tale of a modern mid-life crisis; creating an unforgettable journey of love and loss that shows the strength needed to survive in the harshest of conditions.

Here at Nobrow, we are so lucky to work with so many incredibly talented illustrators, but it’s not all sketchbooks, Wacoms and days glued to computer screens for these guys! Largely inspired by his own book, Luke Healy set off on a journey of survival of his very own and being the master storyteller that he is, has chronicled his adventure so far for you…

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In 1914, Captain Robert Bartlett walked 700 miles across the frozen Arctic ocean. He was attempting to reach civilisation and, by extension, rescue the crew of his ship, who were otherwise helplessly stranded on the frigid, desolate Wrangle island. I wrote a book about this.

Just a few weeks ago, I crossed the 700 mile mark on my own long hike. But I wasn’t dealing with freezing temperatures, and the tirelessly shifting Arctic sea ice. I was dealing, in fact, with quite the opposite. A forest fire. And as I ran from the fire, wishing for an end to the heat, and the dryness, and the whole damn desert, little did I know that I would soon be slogging through a whole set of icy wastes. Just like the characters in my book.

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This summer, I’m attempting to walk from Mexico to Canada, along a 2660 mile wilderness trail that runs through national and state parks, paralleling the West coast of the United States. It’s called the Pacific Crest Trail. You might have heard about this trail from the Reese Witherspoon film Wild, or the 2013 book it’s based on by Cheryl Strayed. That’s how I heard about it.

I’ve never been much of an outdoors person before this trip. In fact, researching Captain Bartlett’s walk for two years, while I worked on my book How to Survive in the North, is probably what made me curious about my ability to do something like this. I had just finished up writing How to Survive when I first heard about the PCT.

As I worked to finish drawing the book with Nobrow, I knew I was going to attempt the hike. I set the date, and got hiking. I was even on trail when the book was released just one month ago, somewhere near mile 450.

The PCT starts in the desert, right on the USA/Mexican border, an emotionally charged place, for many reasons. But it’s also charged with something else; heat. It couldn’t have been more different than the conditions on Bartlett’s hike. The first section of the PCT, miles 0-700, are classified in all the guidebooks as “The Desert”.

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And it truly is the desert. Cacti, rattlesnakes, a troubling lack of water. Everything you picture. But it also has things you don’t picture, things you don’t expect. Sometimes the trail journeys up to higher elevations, and that means lush pine forests, and vibrant wildflowers, and occasionally even snow.

I got snowed on for the first time only two weeks into my hike, on top of Mt. San Jacinto, a peak that hits almost 10,000 feet. It’s considered a fairly small mountain in California, but it’s nearly three times taller than Ireland’s tallest peak.

I remember thinking “How did they do it? How did Bartlett walk through the snow for 700 miles?! How did Ada Blackjack survive this kind of cold in a tent for two years?”. The desert heat was one thing, but to be cold and numb for such a long time, was something I knew I wouldn’t be able to deal with.

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But still, as I pressed on, I kept the 700 mile mark firmly planted in my head. That’s how far Bartlett went, that’s the end of “The Desert”.

But the desert wasn’t going out without an event. As I neared the 700 mile mark, a wildfire ignited only a mile or two from where I was standing. I hiked 28 miles in one day to escape the smoke. It was the scariest day of my life. As I limped into Kennedy Meadows, a little general store perched near the 700 mile marker, hikers applauded from the porch through the night’s blackness.

I couldn’t help but smile. I had walked 700 miles. I had matched Bartlett’s distance. Even if I had to turn around and go home tomorrow, the trip would have been a success.

Still, my ability to empathise with the characters from How to Survive was only just beginning. As the trail climbed out of the desert and into the High Sierra mountains, I began to see more and more of my dreaded frenemy. Snow. And lots of it this time. Not just the half-inch sprinkling I saw on San Jacinto, but whole fields of the stuff, feet deep, left behind by a good winter.

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And boy was it tough to deal with. As the passes and peaks climbed higher, some over 14,500 feet, the snow grew trickier and trickier.

I remember making an edit late in the process of drawing How to Survive. The earlier drafts had the characters simply standing on top of these fields of snow, as though it were a field of white carpet. But close to the end of production, I thought “That’s not right, their feet should be sunk into the snow”. I was thinking back to my time living in Vermont, where walking through snow only happened after a fresh snowfall, before the plows and street sweepers had come through the town.

Well it turns out I was only half right. In the afternoons and evenings, you did indeed sink through the snow up in the High Sierra. In the mornings, however, the snow was frozen solid, into huge sheets of ice. It was hard, and slick like wet glass. Especially when the trail climbed above the tree-line, and I was left in these desolate, exposed, snowy stretches, clutching my ice axe, microspikes fixed to my shoes, praying I didn’t slip and slide off a cliff, did I think: “I get it”.

For four or five hours per day, I understood, really understood, what it must have been like to be stranded on Wrangle Island, or working my way across the sea like Bartlett and Ada Blackjack.

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I ran out of food, I slipped and injured myself, I was plunged into ice-cold rivers. My tent collapsed in a snow storm as I counted the seconds between the lightning flashes and the thunder booms. Flash…1…2…Boom…Flash…1…Boom.

I could barely handle it psychologically and physically for two weeks. I can’t even begin to imagine how the real-life subjects of How to Survive lived that way for over two years.

As I write this now, I’m sitting in the town of Mammoth California, 906 miles into the trail. I’m almost done with the High Sierra. Almost done with the snow. And my appreciation for Bartlett’s journey and Ada’s fortitude has increased exponentially with every step across an expansive snowfield or icy cliff.

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I can’t imagine the difficulty and danger of Bartlett’s own hike. I can’t imagine the pressure he felt, not only attempting this incredible, near-impossible journey, but having the lives of dozens of people depending on him.

I’m glad I can understand a little better what Bartlett’s journey felt like. I’m excited to continue my hike. But you can bet your bum I’m glad that nobody’s life is depending on it.

If you’re feeling inspired to buy the book, you can grab a copy here (and we ship worldwide) or from any great bookshop. If you’re feeling inspired to set off on an epic adventure of your own, good luck!

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