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Independent Booksellers Week
International Booksellers Week

As of Saturday 28 June booksellers across the UK will be celebrating Independent Booksellers Week. The very best of Indie bookshops will be welcoming customers into their papery lairs and we ask you to join them – pop in, say hullo, have a chat and buy yourself a book. We don’t feel we should have to list the many reasons why you should show some support, but for those of you that are unsure, here are two: firstly, these unassuming little nooks that appear on high streets up and down the country consistently deliver an eclectic range of literature (whatever it is that you’re in to). Secondly, they  champion the works of new artists, illustrators and publishers who would otherwise struggle to be seen. There you go.

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And, in honour of this worthy event, Jim Stoten and Liam Barrett will be at Victoria Park Books in East London on Saturday 28th of June. Liam will be holding a workshop based around his newest book, Lil Merl and the Dastardly Dragon, where you’ll learn to draw the most fiendish of villains. Liam’s workshop will be followed by a launch of Jim Stoten’s first children’s picture book which is hitting the shelves this July. Spaces for both are limited. Do bookshops the world over some justice.

Workshop with Liam Barrett: 13.00 – 15.00 pm

Jim Stoten talk and launch with Refreshments: 17.00 – 19.00pm

RSVP at [email protected]

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Illustratour 2014
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Valladolid is an old city in the heart of Spain’s Castille region; once settled by the  Celtic Vaccaei tribes, later occupied by Roman settlers, and today it hosts the annual IllustraTour festival – the International Festival of Illustration. Now in it’s seventh year, IllustraTour brings together two weeks of workshops in the Museo Patio Herreriano, led by an impressive list of world class artists, plus seminars and talks by Max, Katsumi Komagata, Serge Bloch and many others. This year, Nobrow’s Sam Arthur has been invited along and on Saturday 5th of July he’ll be delivering some juicy insight into the making of our books. If you get the chance to visit the festival and its many treasures, make sure that Sam’s talk is on your list. Happy holidays!

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ELCAF 2014

ELCAF 2014 – what a corker! This year’s ELCAF got bigger and better – the Oval Space in East London was appropriately bedecked in all manners of prints, zines, totes, posters, mugs and memorabilia to celebrate the occasion. Each stall had its own little hub of eagle-eye fans swooping in on the wares for sale, booksellers were a-flush from gushing customers and artists mingled casually with the hoards of art-loving folk capering about the hall. A fantastic day. 2015 has much to live up to – bring it on.

And for those who still want more from 2014, check out the official ELCAF t-shirts designed by Chris Ware plus the limited edition print created on the day. There’s only  a few to send out to the world. All available on our online shop.


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Lil’ Merl Tumblr Launch
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Since the release of Lil’ Merl and the Dastardly Dragon earlier this year, Liam Barrett has been busily burrowing away to create a fantastic new Tumblr site which will be dedicated to all Lil’ Merl themed art. The Secret Troll Club will launch at ELCAF with some guest artists creating their own versions of Merl, dragons and trolls which we’ll put up over the course of the day.  But this club is not exclusive, oh no sirree! If you stop by, pick up a worksheet or just drop off some of your own illustrative wizardry, we’ll stick you right up there with the cream of the crop. Once in the club who knows what delights will come your way. And the cherry ontop? Well because it’s ELCAF, and we’re feeling particularly generous, we’ll be giving the owners of those deft little (or big) hands a discount on Liam’s new book. Whip out those crayons and get cracking.

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ELCAF 2014
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ELCAF 2014 is just over a week away and the excitement for this year’s line-up is beginning to rear its grinning and zealous head. There are talks to attend, workshops to muck in with, prints to melt over and dozens of books, glorious, printed, sweet smelling books. A Saturday better spent you will not find. No, really. It’s going to be the Saturday of all Saturdays. If you don’t share our enthusiasm now, you most certainly will once you feast your eyes on the rows of stalls, perfectly aligned, each with their wares piled neatly ontop of crisp ironed tablecloths, manned by kindly men and women (experts in their craft!) each willing to impart little drops of wisdom just for you. Bliss.

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Electroshock: A prehistory
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Philip Loring of the Science Museum will guide you through the fascinating journey of the electrical networks of the brain as part of the Neurocomic exhibition taking place at the Cube London. When most people today think of electroshock, they think of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), made infamous in the 1970s by books such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and still a controversial tool used today by psychiatrists around the world. If we step back a century or two, however, we find a radically different notion of electric therapy. Electricity was then something newly harnessed and still full of mystery. Experts and laypeople agreed that it had a profound relationship to nerves, for it could stimulate as well as soothe them. This talk, illustrated with material from the current Mind Maps exhibition at the Science Museum, brings this forgotten world back into view and discusses the reasons for its partial, but not total, eclipse.

This event takes place on Thursday, 05 June at 19:00. RSVP at [email protected] to book your place.


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BEA or CAKE?
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Luke Pearson was kind enough to immortalize our dominant position on the (imaginary) Manhattan landscape with this beautiful poster of Nobrow (US) HQ. It will also be featured on an oversized poster at every booth we have until the end of time, so get used to it. If you look carefully you can spot our two company founders, Alex and (a rather tired looking) Sam, Tucker (aka Mommy Batman), and a very business like Hilda. Happy fishing!

Now, while we’re still recovering from the recent Toronto Comics Art Festival, everybody at Nobrow US already has their eye on the horizon—the horizon of the Javits Center that is, here in New York City! Why? Because starting on May 29th, that’s where we’ll be, attending Bookexpo America! (The cool kids call it BEA, for short.) We’ll be there to say hello to some of favorite booksellers and librarians while showing off advance copies of upcoming titles like The Best Book In The World and Forming Volume 2. You’ll find us at Booth 1107, unless we’re taking a break to get Anjelica Huston’s autograph.

What’s that? You aren’t a bookseller or a librarian or a publishing bigwig? Never fear! The same weekend as BEA, you’ll be able to find Nobrow US setting up at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo at Chicago’s Center on Halstead. From Saturday May 31st to June 1st, we’ll be showing off at Table 59. We’ll be joined by Jesse Moynihan for the American release of Forming Volume 2. He’ll sign them, he’ll draw in them—all you have to do is show up and be cool about it. What’s that? You want more? Okay friend, then how about this: Luke Pearson will be at CAKE as well, and if you know Luke, you know that Luke can’t stand to see a copy of Hilda that doesn’t have a sketch by him in it. All that blank space drives him crazy! He’ll be at table 43A, and he’s promised to stop by and bless our copies of Hilda and the Black Hound with the tender slashings of a blank ink pen. Take that, empty space!

It’s going to be a very crazy couple of days for New York and Chicago, so don’t miss out!


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Bouncing off the Wall
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This Saturday, May 10th, Nobrow and Flying Eye Books will be in West London to support Friends of the Greenside Mural for a 20th Century Graphic Arts Fair. Bouncing off the Wall, organised in conjuction with Jennings Fine Art, is being held to support the restoration of a 1952 mural by Gordon Cullen at the Erno Goldfinger building at Greenside Primary School.  It should be fantastic day with a great variety of exhibitors and artists in attendance, including; Ian Beck, Mainstone Press, Starch Green, Sansom & Company, Phoenix Comic, there will be a launch of previously unavailable Ravillious wood engravings, a ribbon cutting ceremony for the unveiling of the Mural, screenings of a film featuring Alan Powers, a sale of limited edition letterpress posters, printing demonstrations by St. Brides Library and Maypole dancing (of course). We’ll also be there with author and illustrator William Grill who will be signing the few remaining copies of first-edition of Shackleton’s Journey. Come and join us celebrate the craftsmanship of 20th century print, typography and design.

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Hilda’s North American Tour Begins!
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There’s a whisper making its way across the Atlantic, as it hits the breakers of the American coast it begins to gather speed, the pace increases and the whisper turns into a roar. Could this be an unexpected tremor, bounding off the Black Hound’s slipstream as he tears through the Nisse’s homes? Don’t be silly! It’s just word slowly spreading of Luke Pearson’s imminent arrival at JFK airport this weekend. As stores in the US delightfully open fresh boxes of Hilda and the Black Hound for it’s release in May, Luke will be in New York City to begin his US tour and launch the latest in the Hildafolk series. On Saturday May 3rd, he’ll be stopping by Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn for a Free Comic Book Day party at 7pm.  On Tuesday May 6th, Luke will be in conversation with Olympians cartoonist George O’Connor at the Strand bookstore from 7pm. Whether you stroll, schlep, or march your way over in a New York minute, make sure you get there early for an exclusive state-side interview with the creator of the best-selling Hildafolk series. And to find out more about Hilda’s journey across the US (including TCAF and CAKE) keep your beady eyes posted to the page.

Luke Pearson from Nobrow Ltd on Vimeo.


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Worse Things Happen at Sea
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It has been years in the making and finally, finally, our newest Leporello by the master of detail is here – Worse Things Happen at Sea by Kellie Strøm folds out to reveal  mighty  and monstrous creatures of the ocean, ancient vessels and doomed sailors in epic confrontations on the perilous high seas. Even the passive onlooker will have the fires of their imagination stoked as they see each damned freighter attacked by re-awakened beasts of a mythical past. What great feats man faces against nature! And what great artistry it took to bring these stories to life.


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A Mad Scientist’s Tea Party
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Since Neurocomic hit US stores there has been an incredible furore surrounding Ros and Farinella’s bestselling graphic novel. There was a flurry of features and reviews, amongst which Wired listed Neurocomic in their top 5 comics to read and  Maria Poppova described it as a “remarkable collaboration [which]… explains the inner workings of the brain in delightful and illuminating black-and-white illustrations.” But what of it all? Well, it’s led us to reach one simple conclusion – we Homo sapiens are captivated by what makes us tick.

So, back in good old blighty, there will be a  5 month-long exhibition and a series of workshops to shed light on the most fascinating of matters: the brain. The first in a line-up of events takes place this Saturday, 26th of April, 3pm at Cube London. We’d like to invite you to join us for an afternoon of tea, cakes, microscopes and sketchbooks. Here you’ll have the opportunity to look at neurons under the microscope, draw their branched structures and follow the example of Spanish anatomist Ramon y Cajal, a founding father of neuroscience and expert draughtsman, who merged the boundaries between art and science.

Attendance is free but make your reservations here: [email protected]
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An Interview with Raymond Lemstra
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The release of Big Mother # 4 is finally upon us and to celebrate we took the opportunity to touch base with famed Dutch illustrator Raymond Lemstra to probe him about his work, life, inspirations and projects.

NB: Hi Raymond!

RL: Hullo.

NB: So, Raymond, tell us a bit about younger Raymond?

RL: Well, I was born in Groningen, up in the north of the Netherlands. My childhood was filled with tree climbing, secret spy clubs, ninja training and drawing. Luckily, I grew up in a very green area, which allowed me to do most of this outside, in the most adventurous manner. I moved into a houseboat in the center of Groningen and attended art school. When I finished I moved to Amsterdam, where I still live and work today.

NB: So, did you realise from quite a young age that you wanted to become an artist?

RL: The concept of being an artist never really came to mind when I was younger, I just enjoyed drawing a lot. But I have always been sure I wanted to continue drawing in my life. I do remember that at one point I wanted to be a car designer. This was during my phase of drawing dinosaurs and fighter jets.

NB: How would you describe your work?

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Nobrow at LA Festival of Books
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Forming fans rejoiced at the LA Festival of Books on Saturday 12th of April to find the outrageously talented and wonderfully funny Mister Moynihan behind Nobrow’s stand with Tucker Stone. The last few copies of Forming (first edition) were available for the first lucky few to arrive, while those that just missed out still had the chance to get their hands on some of Nobrow’s latest releases. The hugely popular Forming trilogy, serialised weekly on Jesse’s blog, was originally published in a weighty hardback edition in 2011 and we’re super excited to be publishing the second part of the three-part epic  this year! Keep you’re eyes peeled for this one, guys and gals, it’s set to be a corker.

 


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Drawn into a Drawing Book Launch
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April is an exciting month for us here at Nobrow, not only do we get to indulge in our favourite of foods (yes, the all mighty Easter egg) but we’re releasing some very exciting titles, including the latest issue of Big Mother by Raymond Lemstra, The Wonderul Egg by revered American author Dahlov Ipcar and Drawn to Drawing, a monograph of the master draughtsman John Vernon Lord. To celebrate the release of Vernon Lord’s book we’ve organised for a launch to take place at none other than London’s Illustration Cupboard. We’d like to formally invite all lovers of art, revellers in beautiful books, and fans of illustration to come along to an exhibition of his original work, have some refreshments and meet Vernon Lord for a signed copy of the book. An afternoon of celebration this Saturday, 12th April between 2.30 – 4.30pm – adults, children, teens and all in-betweens welcome.

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Photography by Travis Hodges.

 


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Festivals and Frolics
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We said that 2014 was set to be a superb year, and so far it has done nothing but exceed expectations. The last few months have seen us flying all over the world, bustling about the UK and buzzing through London to take part in some fantastic events with some of our favourite authors.  It’s been a whirlwind journey and we’ve been lucky enough to see and experience some truly special moments; kids dressed up as Hilda  for Luke Pearson’s book launch at Gosh, a congregation of designers and illustrators from across the world giving talks at Dublin’s expertly curated Offset festival (talks by all our authors and co-founder Sam Arthur soon to go online, make sure you check it out), we’ve had an exhibition of original artwork by Thibaud Herem at RIBA, launched Big Mother 4 by Raymond Lemstra and Nobrow 9 Magazine at Facing Pages in the Netherlands, and, most importantly, published some beautiful new titles!

Phew!

But wait, isn’t there more to come?

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