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NOBROW is coming to Brooklyn!

BROOKLYN! Nobrow will be at Comic Arts Brooklyn (presented by the folks at Brooklyn’s beloved Desert Island comics and FORGE art magazine) this Saturday, November 11th, to show off all of our newest comics and graphic novels!

We’ll be out there rubbing elbows with all the greats of independent comics. Check out the talent on that incredible guest list, and make sure to drop by our spot at TABLE A11 in the ARC building at the Pratt Institute. Team NOBROW will be out there in full force, to give you a look at all of our greatest hits as well as some brand new favorites that we know you’ll love!

Doors open at 11am and it’s all FREE! We can’t wait to see you there!

COMIC ARTS BROOKLYN
Saturday, November 11th, 11:00AM
Pratt Institute (ARC Building)
NOBROW – TABLE A11
FREE!


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Out of Nothing | Events!

To mark the launch of Out of Nothing, Daniel Locke & David Blandy’s impressive millennia-spanning graphic novel, we have teamed up with THECUBE to put on an exhibition of original artwork and prints, and a series of events.

Drawing Experiments – Family Workshop
Saturday 11th November, 2-4pm
Join graphic novelist Daniel Locke or a family centred afternoon of drawing and fun. This comic book art workshop is inspired by  his new book Out of Nothing. Illustrator and author Daniel Locke will introduce you and your kids to experimental drawing processes and a whole bunch of fun drawing games. The theme of the workshop is: life, the universe and everything!

Book Launch & Exhibition Private View
Tuesday 14th November, from 6.30pm
Join us on Tuesday 14th November to celebrate the book’s release and the opening of the exhibition. The creators will be on hand to tell you all about this fascinating project and to sign copies of their book so come along and meet them!
RSVP via Facebook

Round Table Discussion
Wednesday 6th December, 7-8.30pm
Join, Daniel Locke, David Blandy and BBC’s Adam Rutherford, the creative team behind our new epic, graphic novel Out of Nothing as they discuss their collaborative partnership, the formation of the solar system, the death of the last star in the universe and the invention of Hip-Hop.

About the book:
Spanning millennia, Locke and Blandy’s ambitious graphic novel explores humanity’s inherent ‘dreaming mind’ and its impact on our world.

Surreal sequences take us from Gutenberg’s printing press to Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web, via Picasso, Einstein, DJ Kool Herc and more. Locke and Blandy show how our basic instinct to observe, record, and connect has formed the basis for all human invention and progress.

Available here and in all great (UK) bookshop. US & Canada February 2018.

About THECUBE:
THECUBE is a coworking space in Shoreditch, East London. A home to freelancers and small businesses with an interest in science, technology and design. The coworking space has been designed to provide our members with a calm, welcoming, and friendly place to work. To achieve this they have used natural materials, plants, natural light, high ceilings, and changing art pieces.
THECUBE has several member-led collectives and organises events around three core disciplines – science, technology, and design – to further skill sets with peers, enabling them to grow new talents and learn from equally as talented minds who offer something new.


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Nobrow Presents… Pop-Up Lab 2017

10th November | Peterborough, UK

Nobrow / Flying Eye Books are proud to announce our partnership with Pop Up and Transbook to bring you an exciting new practice-sharing conference for children’s literature and education professionals featuring over 30 hands-on workshops, demonstrations, collaborations and converstations… Pop Up Lab

10th November 2017 | Peterborough UK

Invigorate your teaching practice or literature programming by exploring imaginative approaches to engaging young readers and writers through visual storytelling.

Pop Up Lab is cross-sector space in which to explore and experiment, share practice and learn new things. A keynote conversation will kickstart the day, and attendees will be able to choose up to two 75-minute sessions from a programme of hands-on workshops, demonstrations and conversations with 10 organisations and individuals. Many sessions are artist-led. Throughout the day facilitated discussions will help evolve a ‘manifesto’ to advance the cause of visual storytelling in schools and curriculums.

Lab 2017 involves organisations in the Transbook project. Transbook is a European initiative to promote the digital transition and internationalisation of the children’s publishing industry. Transbook is co- nanced by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union and operated by seven European partners from the children’s publishing industry.

A full programme schedule is available www.pop-up.org.uk/lab2017 and attendees will be asked to choose sessions in advance. Tickets available: here

Sessions by: Art Basics for Children (Belgium) / Centre for Literacy in Primary Education / Government Art Collection / Lisa Tilesi / Literature Wales / Metal Culture / Nobrow & MiniLab / Positive Negatives / Stephen Spender Trust / Tantagora (Spain) / Tiny Owl plus illustrators and comics artists from Estonia, Lithuania, France, England, Wales and Ireland

Pop Up Lab is presented in association with Nobrow & Transbook and supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation


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An Evening with Dr. Matteo Farinella and THE SENSES!

New York, NY–

Dr. Matteo Farinella, co-author and illustrator of the hit graphic novel Neurocomic, will be in attendance at the wonderful Caveat NYC for an evening of conversation about the science and the art of his latest graphic novel, The Senses!

Bring your friends and sit in with Dr. Farinella as he gives you all the nitty-gritty details of our sensory system and what it’s like to put what’s in the body onto the pages of this brand new, totally unique graphic novel experience!

It’s all happening on Monday, October 2nd at Caveat NYC! Doors open at 7:30, and the event is free so make sure you reserve a signed advance copy of the book for yourself on Caveat’s website!

Monday, October 2nd, 8pm
Caveat NYC
21 A Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002


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NOBROW is bringing it to SPX!

Oh yeah, SPX! This is one we’ve been waiting for!

The biggest party in small press comics happens every year in Bethesda, MD and team Nobrow is once again ready to make some noise! In addition to all of the latest Nobrow titles and your old favorites, we’ll be bringing along our friends Sam Bosma (Fantasy Sports series creator and SPX SPECIAL GUEST) and Hamish Steele (creator of the all-new graphic novel PANTHEON) for MAXIMUM THRILLS.

It all goes down September 16th and 17th, and you can catch Sam, Hamish, and the rest of team Nobrow at Table W76-78. Check out our signing schedule:

September 16th
Hamish Steele signing at 1-2pm
Sam Bosma signing at 2-3pm

September 17th
Sam Bosma signing at 1-2pm
Hamish Steele signing at 2-3pm

We’re looking forward to hanging out and really letting loose this year at SPX, so make sure to stop by this weekend at Table W76-78 to get in on the action!


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101 Movies to Watch Before You Die Book Launch and FREAKS Screening

Join us at The Institute of Light for a very special evening with illustrator Ricardo Cavolo, celebrating the launch of his brand new book, 101 Movies to Watch Before You Die. Taking the form of a diary, the book is a love story told in 101 episodes. Accompanying his vibrant, distinctive illustrations with thoughtful descriptions of each movie, Ricardo takes us on a personal journey through the films that have shaped his life and the lives of his generation.

We’ve teamed up with our London Fields neighbours, The Institute of Light, for this book launch and exclusive film screening. We invited Ricardo to personally select one movie from his top 101 for the occasion… and he chose Tod Browning’s brilliant 1932 film Freaks, calling it a “milestone in his life and career”. 

Ricardo Cavolo on Freaks (1932):

“I’m more interested in showing how different people love and laugh than in the revenges they exact. And that’s what Tod Browning shows us. His great clan of people have all been unceremoniously rejected from society, but are taken in by the travelling circus family. In the safety of their new home, they forget all about the so-called ‘normal people’ who ridicule them and they become one big happy family. They’re magical.”

Fresh off the plane from Spain, Ricardo will be introducing the film with a short talk about himself, the book, and why Freaks means so much to him. Ricardo will be signing books after the screening, and you’ll also pick up a free set of temporary tattoos of Ricardo’s illustrations with every purchase of the book. 

Talk and film begins at 7pm. Tickets £6 and available from https://www.the-institute-of-light.com/

Food and especially designed cocktails will be available.

RSVP 

About Ricardo Cavolo

Born in his father’s painting studio, Ricardo Cavolo has grown up surrounded by art and is now one of the most influential and successful illustrators to come out of Spain. His influences range from outsider art to medieval paintings and tribal art. Cavolo’s work has been exhibited in solo shows across Spain, as well in Montreal, Miami, Basel and London. His distinctive and recognisable work can be seen on everything from José Cuervo tequila bottles to Alexander McQueen scarves and Kaytranada album artwork to murals all around the world. He is also the author / illustrator of 101 Artists to Listen to Before You Die, published by Nobrow in 2015.

More information : ricardocavolo.com | nobrow.net | the-institute-of-light.com

Get 101 Movies to Watch Before You Die HERE🔥


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Moonhead and the Music Machine Launch Party!


Moonhead and the Music Machine Launch Party
Featuring LIVE performance from Andrew Rae & friends!

Thursday 27th July 7pm

​Join us at Libreria Bookshop to celebrate the launch of Moonhead and the Music Machine. A s​ubtle blend between Wayne’s World and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Andrew Rae’s graphic novel is an imaginative and visually poetic take on the high school coming-of-age tale.

​We will be selling ice cold beers.​ Life is a peach when you have a moon for a head…

 

 


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Nobrow is coming to ALA Chicago!

CHICAGO!
Make sure you’re free from June 22nd through June 27th because Nobrow is coming over for this year’s ALA Annual, and we have a feeling this show is going to be a BEAST!

We’ll set up our Nobrow HQ at Booth 3121, where you can stop by and check out all of our latest releases, our greatest hits, and maybe even take a peek at some upcoming titles that will be lighting up a bookstore near you later this year. There’s also going to be plenty of awesome giveaways!

But that’s not all– not even close!

We’re also going to be bringing you the talents of SAM BOSMA (Fantasy Sports series) and JEN LEE (Garbage Night), and we’re teaming up with the French Comics Association to bring over MARGUERITE ABOUET (Akissi) and JÉRÉMIE ROYER (Audubon, On the Wings of the World). That’s FOUR Nobrow artists to see at panels and signings at ALA!


Let’s break it down real quick:

SIGNINGS
June 22
7-9pm, Sector 2337
Live reading and book signing with Marguerite Abouet, Jérémie Royer, and others!

June 24
11-11:30am, Nobrow Booth 3121
Sam Bosma signing

11:45-12:45pm, FCA Booth 1229
Jérémie Royer signing

1-2pm, FCA Booth 1229
Marguerite Abouet signing

2:30-3pm, Nobrow Booth 3121
Marguerite Abouet signing

4:45pm, CIAO CHICAGO, 1656 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
Drawn In Europe: The Art of European Comics Comes to Chicago
Jérémie Royer signing

6:30pm, The Book Cellar
Author Speed Dating with Marguerite Abouet

June 25
10:30-11:30am, FCA Booth 1229
Marguerite Abouet and Jérémie Royer signing

12-12:30, Nobrow Booth 3121
Jen Lee signing

1:30-2pm, Nobrow Booth 3121
Jérémie Royer signing

4-4:30pm, FCA Booth 1229
Marguerite Abouet signing



PANELS
JUNE 23
1:10-2pm
Problem Solving: Teaching STEM with Comics, w/ Jérémie Royer

2:05pm
Books That Spark Change: Using comics and graphic novels as a jumping off point, w/ Marguerite Abouet

3pm
Meet the Makers, w/ Marguerite Abouet, Jérémie Royer

June 24
10:30-11:30am, McCormick Hall, room W175b
Graphic Memoirs: how non-fiction graphic novels bring real lives to life, w/ Jérémie Royer

June 25
9:30-10:20am, Graphic Novel/Gaming: Next to booth 1128
How to Write for Children and Young Adults, w/ Marguerite Abouet, Jérémie Royer

10:30-11:20am
Comics at the Frontier of a New Literary Movement, w/ Sam Bosma, Jen Lee

1-2:30pm, Hyatt Regency McCormick, Jackson Park/CC 10AB
Universal Language of Comics: Culture and Creation Beyond America, w/ Marguerite Abouet

3-3:50pm, Graphic Novel/Gaming: Next to booth 1128
French Comics on Screen: Film Adaptations of Franco-Belgian Graphic Narratives, w/ Marguerite Abouet


Like we said, between all the fun events, panels, signings, and giveaways, it’s going to be one big BEAST of a show. We hope you can make it! If you want to schedule some time to meet up with us and say hi, send an email over to tucker@nobrow.net. We can’t wait to see you there!


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Nobrow is coming to TCAF 2017!

Oh my goodness is it time for TCAF already?? It is!

Nobrow will head up north this weekend for our beloved Toronto Comic Arts Festival to bring you a bounty of amazing books. TCAF is one of the top comics festivals in North America, and we’re always excited to attend and to check out all the exciting comics debuting at the show.

We’ve got a couple of special debuts happening this year at TCAF and you definitely don’t want to miss them!
First up is the hotly anticipated Garbage Night by Jen Lee! Garbage Night is the full length graphic novel follow up to Jen’s hip animal scavenger drama Vacancy (one of our most popular titles in our 17×23 series), and TCAF will be the only place in North America to pick up a copy before its official release in June. It’s already pulling in some high praise with Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. Not bad for a book that’s not even out yet!

We’ve also got the debut of the brand new soft cover edition of Luke Healy’s How To Survive in the North! The overwhelming positive response to Luke Healy’s first ever graphic novel made copies pretty hard to come by, but if you missed it the first time around, don’t worry – this beautiful soft cover edition packs in all the drama, hardship, and heartache from the top of the world that you’ve been hearing so much about.

BUT WAIT THAT’S NOT ALL! (Did you think that was all?)
Not only will we be debuting these outstanding new titles at TCAF, but we’ll also be bringing along both Jen Lee and Luke Healy for signings at the Nobrow table (Table 146 & 147)!

Jen will be hanging out with us and signing copies of Garbage Night on Saturday from 1pm to 2pm and on Sunday from 11:30am to 12:30pm. You’ll also be able to catch Luke and his personalized copies of How To Survive in the North on Saturday from Noon til 1pm and on Sunday from 12:30pm til 1:30pm.

This is going to be an amazing weekend at TCAF, and we can’t wait to see you there!

TCAF
May 13 & 14
Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto
Table 146 & 147


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Easter Events Calendar

Nobrow & Flying Eye Books – Easter Events

This Easter holiday, we are heading out and about with lots of our authors and illustrators for all sorts of exciting events at some of our favourite bookshops, festivals… and even a castle!

Here’s where we’ll be:

Under-The-Sea

Who: Joe Todd-Stanton

When: Monday 3rd April

Where: Waterstones Piccadilly

Joe Todd-Stanton joins us to celebrate the release of his new book, The Secret of Black Rock. Featuring strong female characters, epic adventure and a friendly island(!) this beautiful story is a must for children and adults alike. Come and enjoy a story reading, sea creatures fact sheets and tropical fish collage as part of our Children’s Easter Festival. This event is free however please email to guarantee your spot. Ideal for ages 4-9.

Little Gardening

Who: Emily Hughes

When: Wednesday 5th April, 13:00 -14:00

Where: Waterstones Piccadilly

Spring has sprung with The Little Gardener! Author and illustrator Emily Hughes joins us to celebrate the changing seasons and the release of her beautiful new book. As well as a story reading we will be decorating our own plant pots and planting our own sunflower in this fun and educational activity session, part of our Children’s Easter Festival. Perfect for ages 3-7.

Mr Tweed’s Treasure Hunt

Who: Jim Stoten

When: Thursday 6th April

Where: Waterstones Piccadilly

Join author and illustrator Jim Stoten to celebrate Mr Tweed’s Busy Day. This search-and-find adventure story is packed with riddles that we need you to help us solve. Tasks will be placed around the children’s section and will include both paper and 3D searches – with Easter themed prizes! This is event forms part of our Children’s Easter Festival. This event is free however please email to guarantee your spot. Perfect for ages 5-9.

Bunnies Galore

Who: Pippa Goodhart

When: Tuesday 11th April, 13:00 -14:00

Where: Waterstones Piccadilly

Rabbits, bunnies, hoppity hops, call them what you like but we LOVE bunnies! This Easter join author Pippa Goodhart for a range of rabbity stories, songs and games to celebrate her new book My Very Own Space as part of our Children’s Easter Festival. This event is free however please email to guarantee your space. Perfect for ages up to 6.

Leporello Making Workshop

Who: Tom Clohosy Cole

When: 12th April, 11-12 and 2-3pm

Where: Libreria Bookshop, 65 Hanbury Street

Join us at Libreria for an interstellar drawing workshop with illustrator Tom Clohosy Cole. Based upon his beautiful leporello ‘Space Race’, participants will be invited to draw planets, rockets and all else that might be found amongst the stars, creating their very own concertina book to take home. Suitable for ages 5+

Get Smart About Sharks 

Who: Owen Davey

When: 21st April 2017, 13:00 to 16:00

Where: IKON Gallery

Help illustrator Owen Davey transform the Events Room into an underwater seascape inspired by his book, Smart about Sharks. Learn about different types of marine creatures and create your own using a range of materials.

 

Foyles x ELCAF – Draw Big

Who: Katie Harnett

When: Saturday 22nd April, 11:00 – 12:00

Where: Foyles Chelmsford

Foyles x ELCAF is a new collaboration which sees the UK’s largest independent bookshop teaming up with the East London Comic & Arts Festival to celebrate some of the best creative talent in the UK. This year, we open our doors in Chelmsford, London, Birmingham and Bristol to host a series of workshops, talks and one-to-one meetings with illustrators, comic artists and experts in the field. Curated by ELCAF, this eclectic programme aims to celebrate the dynamic work of artists that are making waves in the UK’s independent comic, narrative art and illustration scene. This is the first in the series and is a children’s event focussing on the art of drawing big.

Artist and illustrator, Katie Harnett will be leading a hands-on workshop for budding artists. Katie specialises in children’s books and has worked on both picture books and book covers.  Join in the fun of creating a large scale collaborative drawing and learn all about how to ‘draw big’. This event is suitable for children aged 5-10 years.


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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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The Nightlights West Coast Book Tour!

We’ve got a real treat for you this time!

One of our favorite new artists, Lorena Alvarez, will be headed out to enjoy the scenic west coast, where she’ll be making stops at Gallery Nucleus, Comix Experience, and Floating World Comics to celebrate the release of her debut graphic novel Nightlights!

Nightlights is the enchanting story of Sandy, a bright eyed and creative little girl, and her budding friendship with the mysterious new girl at school, Morphie, whose fascination with Sandy’s drawings begins to take a turn for the sinister…

The Nightlights Tour is your chance to be among the first in the US to pick up a copy of Nightlights, and to catch Lorena in a rare US appearance! You can meet her at these three tour stops:

March 17, 6-9pm
Gallery Nucleus
210 E Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801

March 18, 6-8pm
Comix Experience
305 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

March 20, 5-7pm
Floating World Comics
400 NW Couch St
Portland, OR 97209

It’s going to be a fun time, so make sure to come out to meet the amazing Lorena Alvarez and get your very own signed copy of Nightlights, the book Publishers Weekly calls “captivatingly eerie […] a deliciously hair-raising story!”

See you there!


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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
Featured-Image

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

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