Nobrow Blog

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On the Road: Jon McNaught’s summer escapades

At the end of July this year I was lucky enough to be sent to America by Nobrow. I was invited by Chloe Eudaly at Reading Frenzy to have an exhibition in Portland, tying in with the Stumptown Comics Festival where I’d been invited as a guest. I was hugely excited to be in America for the first time, and after a particularly long winter in Bristol, sunny Portland seemed like a perfect place to be. It certainly didn’t disappoint and I spent the first few days in a happy, jet-lagged daze, enjoying the warm sunshine and the spring trees of Portland.

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X marks the spot: Rob Hunter guides us through his Map of Days

Rob Hunter’s Nobrow debut was the critically acclaimed The New Ghost, published in our 17 x 23 showcase series. This is what It’s Nice That had to say about it, back in 2011:

“a remarkable comic… It tells the story of a benign ghost getting to grips with its new purpose in afterlife and the earthly obstacles it meets. It has been beautifully composed, individual frames devised with a quite brilliant colour scheme and pages arranged for the utmost narrative potential. Wonderful stuff.”

Last week, we proudly announced Rob Hunter’s second book, Map of Days, and It’s Nice That were delighted that it was everything they had hoped for:

“It’s no exaggeration that everything Rob Hunter’s talented hands touch turns to pure visual gold… His success comes from both an innate skill and a comprehensive understanding of print processes. Anyone who’s ever seen his work in the flesh will know that his colours really leap from the page, an effect no lithographic amateur would be able to achieve.”

So, we asked Rob to share with you the genesis of the project and some of the process involved in its making:

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ELCAF needs volunteers!

We’re looking for a team of enthusiastic volunteers to help us make this year’s East London Comics & Art Festival a huge success.

We need four volunteers to help us prepare on the two days before the festival, Thursday 20th June and Friday 21st June. During these days you will be carrying out general tasks at Nobrow HQ in Great Eastern Street. This will be gathering workshop materials, making decorations for York Hall and many other general tasks.

On Saturday 22nd June we’re looking for twelve volunteers who are good with people and who are prepared to muck in to make the day run smoothly. You might be helping out in the workshop area, selling tickets, making sure the exhibitors have everything they need and supporting the organisers throughout the day.

In return, we’re delighted to offer:

> an exclusive, silk screen-printed ELCAF T-shirt

> a signed Andy Rementer ELCAF poster

> a £10 voucher to redeem on books or prints at the Nobrow table

> refreshments

You don’t need to be available for all three days and you don’t need qualifications to volunteer, but we’ll prioritise people with previous festival volunteering experience.

To apply, please email [email protected]k with your name, age and any relevant experience. We’ll contact all successful applicants by Tuesday 18th June.

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The latest releases from Flying Eye

In April we launched our brand new children’s imprint – Flying Eye Books – and, excuse the pun, it’s really taken off.

Since then we’ve had the pleasure of inspiring many young readers with picture books and comics by some of the most talented authors and illustrators around. So, we’re delighted to announce that some new titles are now available to buy in your local bookshop and from our online store.

Have you ever wondered what the truth was behind Bigfoot? Or perhaps how the unicorn lost its horn? You have! Then you’ll love Monsters and Legends written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Gabriella Giandelli. It’s a delightful journey into the world’s most enduring myths and legends and the truth behind.

From author-illustrator Julia Wauters comes One Night, Far From Here: a beautifully-bound, magical bestiary. Peppered throughout with acetate pages, Julia conjures up enchanting natural habitats, filled with all manner of feathered, furry and slippery beasts. With each page turn, a landscape is revealed, teeming with the insects, birds and animals that live there.

Next up, leading illustrator, Atak, confronts our preconceptions of familiar scenes in an effortlessly funny picture book. Step into Atak’s Topsy Turvy World and get a whole new perspective on the world you left behind.

Finally, Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin give us a character we can truly fall in love with: Akissi! Our deliciously mischievous heroine is a West African girl who never seems to get things right.

We’re extremely proud of all our new books and we hope you know a little person who’ll enjoy them as much as we do!

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Scandinavian Adventures!

Pre-festival celebration. Sam from Nobrow, Jonas, Daniel, Christer, Harri from Seriezone

A couple of weeks back I boarded a flight headed for Sweden and the Uppsala Comix Festival. On landing at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport I was greeted by grey skies, drizzle and a decidedly cold Scandinavian day. Thankfully this was the only chilly reception that I received. Uppsala is Sweden’s fourth largest city and it’s a really pretty place with a big student population – so a great place for a comics festival. Although it’s a small festival it was really well attended and people came to spend money. Christer, Harri and the guys at SerieZonen (Uppsala’s best and only comics shop!) did a great job and organised the event at an amazing old art deco cinema – it was really the perfect location. On the day we were even blessed with blue skies and sunshine. A big thank you to everyone who came along to my talk and to everyone at at Uppsala Comix – especially Jonas Anderson for helping me out on the stall – hearing Luke Pearson’s Nordic inspired Hilda series being explained in Swedish to a customer was really my highlight! Also a big shout to some great Swedish publishers that I had the pleasure of meeting – definitely worth checking them all out: Sara Granér and her publisher Galago, Daniel Thollin, Jens Andersson is publishing some really beautiful books, his Edward Gorey book is excellent and one of my favourite ‘I wish we published that!’ books is The First in Line by Mattias Adolfsson.

And if that wasn’t enough Scandinavian-ness for you, we also had books on sale at the Stockholm Comix Festival the weekend just passed – thanks to them – and we will have a good presence at the Oslo Comics Festival,  with Luke Pearson being one of their official guests there in June. Also a good mention lastly for Staffars Serier – Stockholm’s comics store where you can also find our books! Read More..

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Recreate your favourite adventures with our brand new Hilda Toy

All those in search of an adventuring companion, look no further! Hilda has made herself available in handy toy form so that you can recreate the blue-haired heroine’s escapades from the comfort of your own home.

At 8 inches high, she’s the perfect size for playing with. Or to keep you company on your desktop. Or even for proud display in any self-respecting toy collection.

She’s fully positionable and safety tested for ages 7 and up. So if you (or the little one in your life) are a fan of Hilda, you can lose yourself in your very own Hilda-adventures. Come and get it from the Nobrow shop or online.

The box even comes fully decorated by Hilda creator Luke Pearson.

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Jon McNaught at Stumptown Comics Festival

Angoulême festival winner and Eisner Award nominee, Dockwood creator Jon McNaught will be in Portland, Oregon this weekend for the Stumptown Comics Festival. Their goal, a noble one, is to bring comics to the people, so Jon will be sharing some of his thoughts and inspirations behind the creation of Dockwood at the festival. He also will be exhibiting new work in his solo show Passing Time, at Reading Frenzy from the 26th – 29th of April.

Passing Time is a collection of suburban landscapes and everyday vignettes, which provide a deeper exploration of the environments of McNaught’s comics; from the windswept shores of Pebble Island to the suburban streets of Dockwood. These prints are loving tributes to ordinary places, from bus stops, to empty beaches, and other quiet corners of Britain. This show collects together screen prints, lithographs, and linocuts, alongside selected original artwork from Dockwood.

If you’re in the Northwest of America, be sure to check it out – it’ll be a doozy!

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Send us your Awesome Robots

We’re on a mission to find the most awesome robots out there and we need your help! We’ve got some amazing ones so far but we’re always after more!

Check out all the brilliant robots we’ve seen so far and send us yours over at our Awesome Robot tumblr.

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Eisner Award nominations for Luke Pearson and Jon McNaught

Massive congratulations for Luke Pearson and Jon McNaught who have both been nominated for Will Eisner Awards. The Eisners are one of the highest accolades in the comics industry and we’re thrilled that Luke and Jon’s amazing talents are being recognised.

Luke was, in fact, nominated for two awards: Best Kids’ Comic for Hilda and the Midnight Giant; and Best Writer/Artist alongside luminaries Chris Ware, Charles Burns and the Hernandez Brothers.

Elmview, the first story in Jon McNaught’s Dockwood, has been nominated for Best Short Story.

Nobrow 7 was also nominated, for Best Anthology.

We can’t wait until the awards are announced at Comic-Con in July!

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A new assistant, left on our doorstep

Along with the first signs of spring, this rather spectacular new assistant, hand-crafted by the super-talented Philippa Rice (one of her comics is in Nobrow 8), has arrived in the Nobrow offices.

Willing and able to take on the most complex of comics-creating tasks this assistant even comes with a detailed instruction manual illustrated by Luke Pearson.

Thank you so much, Pippa!

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ELCAF 2013

ELCAF 2013 is the second annual East London Comics and Art Festival. Taking place on the 22nd June in Bethnal Green’s York Hall, ELCAF aims to showcase the incredible comics and graphic art talent in London and the UK, and draw artists from across Europe and the wider world. All this for just a £3 entrance fee.

We’re on the lookout for people who want to share the best of what they do with the world and join ELCAF as a stallholder. The submissions deadline of the 23rd of April is fast approaching. If you’d like to be involved, we’d love to hear from you! Head over to the application page of the ELCAF site and let us know what it is you do, what you intend to do at ELCAF and why you should be one of 40+ creative shopkeepers to take part in the festival. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Graphic Novels Meet Picture Books: The Birth of an Imprint

Nobrow co-founders Sam Arthur and Alex Spiro will be giving a talk at Foyles on Thursday the 25th of April all about the creation of Flying Eye Books, Nobrow’s brand new children’s imprint.

Hosted by John O’Reilly of Varoom, the talk marks the official launch of Flying Eye and offers an intimate look at Sam and Alex’s insights into the world of graphic novels, illustration and publishing.

Having championed the concept of ‘books as art objects’ through Nobrow, Flying Eye now seeks to redefine the world of children’s picture books by applying the same care to execution, content and art and to build a list that deserves to remain in print for many years to come!

This event is now SOLD OUT, but you can still visit the Flying Eye exhibition at Foyles and get an exclusive look at some of our forthcoming titles, or take part in one of our children’s workshops, up until April the 29th.

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Flying Eye Workshops at Foyles

We can hardly contain our excitement about two very special Flying Eye events. On Saturday the 27th of April Viviane Schwarz and Emily Hughes will both be running kids workshops at Foyles.

Welcome to your Awesome Robot with Viviane Schwarz
Using the instructions in her new book Welcome to Your Awesome Robot, Viviane Schwarz will be leading an awesome robot-making workshop for children aged 4-8 and their parents. Foyles will be providing everything you could possibly need for your very own awesome robotic creation. Expect industrious concentration and fabulous cardboard costumes (with excited children inside them!) Once you’ve engineered your robot into life, you could submit to our tumblr of awesome robot pictures.

You can find out more and grab your £8 tickets over at the Foyles website. The price includes a copy of Welcome to Your Awesome Robot. Don’t forget to ask Viv to sign it!

Wild Animals and Curious Creatures with Emily Hughes
Unleash the wild beasts inside by conjuring up curious and magical monsters under Emily Hughes’ expert guidance. In this workshop Emily Hughes will offer a sneak peek at her brand new picture book, Wild, and helping kids aged 6-11 to create and draw their very own wild creatures. Foyles will be providing all the tools you could possibly need and the £8 ticket price includes a free Flying Eye comic book.

For more info and to pick up your ticket, head over to Foyles’ website.

Please note that an adult is required to supervise your child throughout these sessions (maximum two children per adult please).

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Foyles and Flying Eye Books team up for a season of comics and illustration this April

To celebrate the launch of Nobrow’s new children’s imprint Flying Eye Books, we are delighted to be teaming up with Foyles to bring you the Flying Eye Season at Foyles. We will be hosting an exhibition and a series of workshops aimed at budding graphic artists at the flagship branch on Charing Cross Road throughout April t

o introduce you to our new imprint, our talented artists and our beautiful new books. In the exclusive exhibition for the Gallery at Foyles, we will be showing illustrations from our new publications as well as a offering a rare chance to see developmental and work in progress drawings from many of the artists involved in Flying Eye’s up and coming releases.

If you would like to read more, or buy tickets to any of the fun workshops and events, please visit the Foyles website now. If you would like to read more about Flying Eye please visit the dedicated new website or to get up to date notifications of current events, follow us on twitter.

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Free Emily Hughes Poster with every Awesome Robot order

With every order of Welcome to your Awesome Robot from the Flying Eye Books website, we’re giving away these CMYK poster by illustrator Emily Hughes for free! The Richard Scarry-like illustrations are a little glimpse into the Flying Eye world.

The poster comes folded, not rolled, but would make a great addition to any kid’s room.