Nobrow Blog

Loading
Share this:  
Behind-the-Scenes on An Illustrated History of Filmmaking

Infographics meet architecture in Adam Allsuch Boardman’s unique illustrations, which feature detailed line work with diagrammatic accuracy. Demonstrated in his latest book, An Illustrated History of Filmmaking, Adam leads us through the history of one of his favourite subjects. We caught up with Adam to find out more about his creative process as well as discussing his distinctive visual language.

Q. Where was your first port of call for your research?

To begin with, I amassed a healthy stack of books from the library. Whilst reading, I would take notes and begin drawing my own cryptic diagrams for later reference. I found that the much older books tended to contain quite charming illustrations, which I would scan and study. I also watched a whole bunch of documentaries and DVD extras, and listened to podcasts. Absorbing different types of information helped manifest a much clearer idea of the book within my headspace.

Q. Was there anything you couldn’t include in the book that you would have liked to have kept in?

Had I the time to spare, there were a lot of focussed catalogues of information I would have liked to take to the extreme. For example, I began drawing a lot of cinema ticket booths. I really enjoyed how a simplistic and functional cupboard-like room had been reinterpreted in such diverse ways over the last century of cinema architecture. It’s honestly something that’s deserving of its own book!

Q. Your work is quite diagrammatic. What were your main influences as this style progressed?

When I first started out with illustration, I worked frequently with museums and on educational projects. This led me to interpret imagery in what I find is the most literal sense. I like to show the space of things in an easily understood way. The use of clear line has interested me since childhood, having learned to read with the assistance of Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin. I also have a deep fondness for the clarity of illustration present in school exam papers and revision materials.

Q. You have a distinctive way of using perspective in this book. Was this a conscious design decision for this title, or is this something you have been leaning towards?

I find that clarifying an object into a more impartial isometric perspective is very satisfying. The process of repeatedly and obsessively studying an object can be a lot of fun; often the rarer objects can send one down a bizarre rabbit hole of books and websites, just so one can find a better angle of reference… or indeed to go visit a museum solely to see a particular artefact.

Q. If you had the choice to dedicate several pages of this book to just one individual in filmmaking, who would it be and why?

It was incredibly hard not to babble on at length about each filmmaker, and there are so many fantastic lives both in front and behind the lens. I find folk like Jehanne D’Alcy really interesting – as one of the first full-time film actresses, she must have had a really unique experience of the industry, especially during its fledgling years.

Q. Are there any directors or cinematographers whose artistic direction has influenced your own work?

It’s often difficult to put an aesthetic down to one particular person – it’s a team effort after all! But Kazuo Miyagawa and John Alcott are some particular chaps that I find really grand. Many shots in 2001: A Space Odyssey continually amaze me. I am also astounded by the imagery of How the West Was Won. The unique camera trickery that made Cinerama work means that every single frame of information is divided into thirds, which creates a very unique visual language. By most accounts it was a nightmare of a system for everyone involved, but it looked fab.

Q. What was your favourite part of the book to write/illustrate and why?

One of the more trivial details of the book was the need to include furniture and fashion tied to the context of its time period. This included heaps of tangential research that I really enjoyed. In particular I loved looking at 1970s shirts.

Otherwise, the more grand and detailed isometric scenes such as the Vaudeville and orchestral recording were images that I spent a large chunk of time and concentration on. I found it most enjoyable to truly inhabit an imaginary space and flesh it out with believable detail based on various photographic and illustrative references.

Q. If you could do an Illustrated History of anything else, what would you choose and why?

In the intro to An Illustrated History of Filmmaking, I outlined that I deliberately left out animation, as to include it as a tacked-on chapter would have been an absolute disservice to its important role in entertainment. So, I would love to celebrate the history of animation with its own book following much of the same structure, highlighting some of the key folk, events and technology that made it all possible.

Otherwise I have a long list of subjects that I desperately want to conjure into the format of a book. Ufology for one – it would be particularly fun to draw and write about!

Get the book here!


Share this:  
Hilda the Series Premieres Today on Netflix!

We’re so happy to announce that you can now stream the all-new Hilda series on Netflix! Yesterday, creator of the original Hilda graphic novel series Luke Pearson announced the original music by Grimes featured in the title sequence of the Netflix series.

This morning, the Nobrow team in New York screened the first two episodes for 125 kids from Brooklyn schools at the Brooklyn Public Library. The response was a lot of laughter, and questions about “what happens next?”

 

Sam Arthur, CEO and Co-founder of Nobrow, was excited to say: “Seeing Hilda develop from first sketches to first comic, to first graphic novel series, to TV show airing worldwide on Netflix has been a huge privilege. I’m so proud of what Luke Pearson, Nobrow/Flying Eye, and Silvergate Media have achieved. The last 10 years have been an incredible ride, and I have a feeling it’s just the beginning.”

Check out hildabooks.com for information on getting your own copies of the graphic novels or the first TV tie-in book, Hilda and the Hidden People. And don’t forget to get settled in to watch the entire first season!

 

 

 


Share this:  
Me and My Fear Goes Back to School!

 

Summer’s almost over and kids are headed back to school, and with that, there are new friends to make, and new stories to hear. In Me and My Fear (out now in the UK, US & Canada), a young immigrant girl starts school in her new country and has to face the challenges of making friends, learning a language, and overcoming her companion Fear, who perches on her shoulder every day—trying to keep her safe.

Me and My Fear is based on research that creator Francesca Sanna did in classrooms—asking children to draw their fears and encouraging them to talk about what made them afraid. To accompany this book, we’ve created a classroom guide, complete with activities and levelling information for teachers, students, and librarians to use for this upcoming year. You can download whichever version applies to you at the links below.

US Classroom Guide

UK Classroom Guide

We hope that Francesca’s experience working with immigrant children will provide depth to your classrooms and conversations this year!

Author’s Note:

“I am a very anxious person, and at times when working on this book, my fear would grow too big and grip me too tightly. I would not have succeeded without the precious help of many people. Firstly, I would like to thank each and every child I met in schools and libraries, who was willing to share their fears about being the new one, the different one, the one from another country. They helped keep my own fear from growing too large.”—Francesca Sanna

Praise for The Journey

Many of you know Francesca from her brilliant debut picture book, The Journey. With six starred reviews, and acknowledgement on Best of lists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and the New York Public Library, The Journey moved readers with the illustrated story of a family forced from their homes, gently introducing children to what it means to be a refugee. Now, Francesca brings us into the story of one young girl, overcoming her struggles to feel at home in her new country.

“This heart-stopping, visually sophisticated story of a happy family suddenly forced to flee their home because of war evokes the dark danger of fairy tales to present the stark realities and enduring hope of modern refugees.”
The New York Times, Notable Children’s Books of 2016

“Direct in language and lush in colorful illustration, this poignant picture book for readers ages 6-10 nurtures compassion for real-life refugees.”
The Wall Street Journal, The Best Children’s Books of 2016

The Journey offers a beautiful message to readers — young and old alike — about the difficulties of finding a new home, and the value of welcoming strangers once they arrive.”
The Washington Post

“A necessary, artful, and searing story.”
Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“The innocent voice and dramatic graphic-style illustrations tell a harrowing, haunting, yet hopeful story of a family’s search for a place to call home.”
School Library Journal, Best Picture Books of 2016

“Given the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe and immigration debates in the U.S. and abroad, Sanna’s story is well poised to spark necessary conversations about the costs of war.”
Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW


Share this:  
Visit us at SPX in Maryland
We’re so excited to have Audubon, On the Wings of the World illustrator, Jérémie Royer coming all the way from France with us as we take on the Small Press Expo next weekend in Maryland!

The show starts on September 15th from 11am to 7pm, and then continues September 16th from 12pm to 6pm. We’ll be at table W76-78 with stacks of your favorites, including Mean Girls Club: Pink Dawn, Pantheon, DeadEndia, the Fantasy Sports series, and more. We’ll also have show-exclusive hardcover copies of Nobrow 10: Studio Dreams.

 

Jérémie Royer’s Schedule, Saturday, September 15th:

Event: Panel – Illuminating Legends

Time: 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Location: White Flint Auditorium

Event: Signing

Time: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Location: Nobrow Table W76-78

In addition to meeting Jérémie, you’ll also have a chance to pick up one of the first copies of Hilda and the Hidden People at SPX. Just published on September 4th, this book is our very first prose novel based on episodes from the Netflix animated series debuting on September 21st.

 

SPX will be at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center (5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, MD 20852), and you can purchase tickets here.

We can’t wait to see you there!

SPX
September 15th & 16th
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
NOBROW TABLE W76-78