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Luke Healy on Americana

Americana by Luke Healyis a unique book: part travelogue and part memoir it’s a work that effortlessly stitches together multiple narratives across time and place. The main story is more than compelling enough- Luke recounts his 147 day journey across the 2660 mile long Pacific Crest Trail (a staggeringly long hiking path that winds up from America’s desert border with Mexico to Canada’s mountainous one). However this journey is more than just a hike, it is the culmination of a lifelong obsession with the USA that Luke has never quite managed to shake. As he puts it himself:

“I’m driven by my hunger for the American experience. But also by the hope that if I gorge myself on it, I’ll become sick of the taste.”

We sat down with Luke to get a deeper insight into why he took on the PCT, and how the book’s concept has developed since he started planning for the trail.

How did you first hear about the PCT, and how long did it take you to prepare for it?

I first heard about the PCT in 2014, when I saw a trailer for the film adaptation of Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I saw it right before I had to move back to Ireland from the USA. I didn’t want to leave, and was in a huge funk. The first thing I did when I returned to Ireland was buy and read Wild. I was immediately obsessed, and decided that I would hike the PCT in 2016, leaving myself enough time to prepare, since I had never hiked, backpacked, or camped before. All told, I prepped for about 18 months.

This is a massive understatement, but the PCT looks really, really hard. You very honestly document the amount of times during the trip that you almost quit the trail. How do you feel not finishing the PCT would have affected you, if at all?

I don’t think I’d have the same kind of closure that I have now about my relationship with the USA. Every time I’d lived there before, I was forced to leave against my will, and it definitely left me feeling as though I had left things unfulfilled. Although my journey wasn’t without compromise (in the form of a few skipped sections), I feel as though when I walked out of the USA, I’d reached the end of something. Though at the time, all I wanted was to sleep indoors again.

What were the most difficult moments along the trail?

The hardest moment by far, was around mile 340 at Cajon Pass. I’d had a horrible few days, and was suffering from a depressive period. I was so unhappy, and exhausted, and was just plodding along. And I kept running out of water, multiple days in a row; which is obviously very dangerous when you’re isolated and tramping across a blisteringly hot desert. I had a realization, then, that I was engaging in “risky behaviour”, by not taking enough caution with my water supplies. A classic symptom of depression. I decided that if I wasn’t able to take care of myself, I shouldn’t be on the trail, and a few days later I got a ride to L.A. with the intention of quitting for good.

Also, the day I broke my leg along in the mountains was pretty bad. But I just kept taking ibuprofen and hiking on it, so the depression thing was probably worse, haha.

Do you also have any stand out good memories of your time there?

A lot! As hard as the trip was, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Oddly, a moment to really sticks out to me, which actually doesn’t feature in the book because I found it too difficult to communicate, happened right after I’d crossed the state border form California to Oregon, months into the journey. I was in Callaghan’s Lodge, who offered cheap food for hikers –and when you’re hiking the PCT, you are always starving– I was walking through their dining room, and made eye contact with another thruhiker, who was taking the first bite of a huge plate of spaghetti and meatballs. We both started laughing because we both knew how much joy she was getting from that bite, and in that moment we saw how absurd we both were. It felt amazing to be so connected to a complete stranger.

Despite that there seems to be a great deal of community feeling amongst the hikers you met and walked with, a unique kind of hiking culture. Have you kept in touch with any of the people you met along the way?

Yes, I’m still in touch with lots of them, via facebook. But I mostly still talk to the hikers from the group “Mile 55”, who I hiked about 400 miles of trail with. They’re some of the best people I’ve ever met, and I’m extremely grateful to call them my friends. I’m going to be seeing them for the first time since trail in October, and I can’t wait (please attend my US events while I’m there!).

I also have seen Justin and Jenny a few times, the hikers whose wedding I attended on trail. We’ve crossed paths in London, and I am very happy any time I get to see them.

There also seemed to be an impressive amount of support along the way for hikers, people who would offer up their outhouses etc for walkers to sleep in, and leave water caches in the desert near Mexico for them. Do you know anything more about these “trail angels”, or how many of them help maintain the trail?

No official numbers, but my guess would be hundreds. There are pillars of the community who open up their houses every year, but also the dozens of people any hiker meets at road crossings or trail junctions, with cold cans of soda, or hot fresh food ( a rare luxury on trail). Or just the trail angels who don’t even know that’s what they are, who pick you up hitchhiking, and invite you to shower or sleep at their place.

They keep the trail alive, and they’re some of the most generous, incredible people I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. And that’s not even mentioning all of the volunteers who head out and do work on the trail itself, clearing fallen trees, maintaining this massive engineering project that can sometimes look like a simple dirt path, but is unfathomably complicated to maintain over such an enormous distance.

If my walk across America jaded me to certain aspects of US culture, these people, were what reminded me of the other side of that coin.

The amount of detail and small recorded moments that you‘ve captured in Americana is incredible, it almost feels like watching a documentary at times rather than reading a comic. How did you keep a record along the way? Was it all notes, or did you have time to draw occasionally whilst there?

I took no notes, and made no drawings. While hiking, I never intended to write a book about the experience. I just wanted to do something for my own self. When I got home and decided that I did want to put something together, the memories were so visceral that I had no trouble recalling them, I think just because every day was so unusual and unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. Three years later, things have definitely faded a little, so for that reason, I’m very glad I took the time to write the most interesting parts down.

Could you also expand a little more about the process of making the book itself? Did you start it immediately after returning from the US? And are there many extra stories from the trail you ended up editing out?

I started working on it pretty much as soon as I got home to Ireland. I sat down and wrote an outline, as well as a detailed draft of the first hundred or so pages before pitching it to Nobrow. Then over the next 18 months I wrote a bunch of rough drafts of the book.

A lot of stuff got cut. It’s hard to condense five months into something digestible. In the end, I mostly cut stuff that felt like it was detouring too much from the momentum of the overall book. Even though the final book has something of a meandering quality, I still wanted everything to seem purposeful, and some stories were just too unrelated to fit in.

One of my favourite little anecdotes that got cut took place in the town of Mt. Shasta, a very hippy spiritualist kind of spot (it has more than ten crystal shops). While I was there, my bankcard got blocked for a suspicious transaction, and I had no way of contacting my bank because I couldn’t pay for an international call. In the end, I had to borrow $20 from another hiker, and look for a payphone and phone card. I searched all over town. In the end, I found a phone card, buried amongst “bigfoot is real” bumper stickers and “UFO Drivers licences” at a gas station. The gas station owner was surprised when I brought it up to check out and said “that’s probably been there since the ‘90s”. It still worked.

As you describe reaching the end of the PCT during Americana’s last few pages you say you “don’t feel changed. Not yet”. Now time has passed, do you feel the trail has changed you?

We’re all changing constantly, I think. Everything we experience, and every choice we make just influences the trajectory of that change. Without hiking the PCT, I wouldn’t be somehow preserved as the person I was before I hiked it. But I certainly wouldn’t be the same person I am now. Everything in my life is different because of hiking the PCT, and I’m very thankful for that.

The book is of course equally as much about your relationship with America as it is about the hike itself. Do you still feel as such a strong pull to it as you once did? 

I don’t. I have many fond memories of my times living in the USA, but I have no desire to live there now. I love my American friends, and any time I can see them is an incredible privilege, but for now, I’ve lost interest in just about everything else the USA has to offer.

And lastly, have you continued hiking as a hobby, or would you take on a similarly large hike again?

I haven’t hiked at all since finishing the PCT, but I’d love to start up again. I spent a lot of this summer in Scotland, and the landscapes here have really reignited my interest in hiking and backpacking. 

If funds ever allow, I’d also love to do another large thruhike. Maybe the Via Francigena, a foot path from Canterbury to Rome. Or the Te Araroa, a trial that runs the length of New Zealand. I have my eye on those.

Luke Healy is an Irish cartoonist currently based in London, England.

Americana (And The Act of Getting Over It.) can be purchased from FlyingEyeBooks.com in the UK, and PenguinRandomHouse.com in the US. It is also available in all best bookstores.


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Hilda and the Mountain King Launch Events

So as I’m sure all you Hilda Folk are aware, the sixth instalment in the award-winning Hilda comic book series by Luke Pearson is set to be released at the beginning of September!

(And if you haven’t ordered your copy yet, you can preorder directly from Nobrow.net and your book will be shipped up to two whole weeks early 👀)

To celebrate we’ve organised a series of signings and workshops with Luke, where you can meet Hilda’s creator himself and pick up your own copy of Hilda and the Mountain King

Friday 30th August: Forbidden Planet Signing

Join Luke at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore, where he’ll be signing and sketching away from 5pm to 7pm

See more info at the Facebook event here

Address: Forbidden Planet, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR

Saturday 31st August: Gosh! Comics Workshop

This daytime event will be running from 11am to 1pm, and is a family friendly workshop for children aged 5 and up. Luke will be on hand to help you make your very own Hilda adventure!

Address: Gosh! Comics, 1 Berwick Street, Soho, London, W1F 0DR

Saturday 7th September

This is a daytime sign and sketch session at Page45 in Nottingham, from 12 to 2pm

Address: Page45, 9 Market Street, Nottingham, NG1 6HY

We hope to see some of you there, and don’t forget to tag either @FlyingEyeBooks or @NobrowPress in any photos on social media!


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ELCAF: The Recap

Zines, comics, sun, beer – this years ELCAF had it all!

It’s coming up to a month since the end of East London’s greatest (at least in our opinion) annual comics and illustration fair, so we thought we’d do a little recap

A huge huge thank you to everyone who came and braved the weekend crowds for some illustrated goodness, the fest was one of the busiest it’s ever been

Whilst there’s almost too much to mention, we’ve picked out a couple of highlights to show you below…

The festival’s artist in residence, Jon McNaught, was selling some of his beautiful prints all weekend, whilst also signing copies of Kingdom. Jon also did a sold-out talk on the process of creating Kingdom, branching out to speak more generally about printmaking, poetry, and the use of comics to explore distant memories and the passing of time

Tom Haugomat’s stencil workshop created some amazing works of printed art – all with only the use of simple stamp ink pads! You could also find Tom at our own Nobrow stall, signing copies of the wonderful Through A Life

We also loved taking part in Carles Porta’s Silly Ballet workshop, creating dancing stop motion works of art

David Biskup was the winner of 2019’s ELCAF x WeTransfer Award, where he won funding to complete his book There’s Only One Place This Road Ever Ends Up. We can’t wait to see what David gets up to over the next year- make sure to come to ELCAF 2020 to see the results!

Here’s a few more photos of the fest to keep you busy, and we hope to see you all again next year!


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Visit Us at TLA in Dallas!

Texas Librarians, come see us at TLA at Booth #2624!

We’ll be at the Texas Library Association’s Annual Conference in Dallas from April 3rd to the 6th. Say hello to US Sales and Marketing Associate Director Hannah Moushabeck and get an extra special, limited edition Professor Astro Cat poster, in anticipation of Professor Astro Cat’s Human Body Odyssey, which is available beginning May 1!

Swing by the booth to get a first look at our fresh-off-the-press Spring advances.


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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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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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Exploring the Wolves of Currumpaw with William Grill!
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Last month, we were thrilled to release the second book from Kate Greenaway Medal winning William Grill, The Wolves of Currumpaw. Where Shackleton’s Journey took us on an epic expedition to the icy antarctic, this time we’re following Ernest Thompson Seton’s true life tale of hunters and the wolves they were hired to trap, set across the vast plains of New Mexico in the dying days of the old west.

After a busy month of launch events, we finally managed to sit down with Will to ask him a few questions for you!

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1.     Why did you decide to write (and draw) about Lobo and Seton’s story?

As well as being an emotive story, I was struck by how Seton’s tale says something relevant about our relationship to nature today. For me, his experience with Lobo is a good allegory for how regrettable our selfish treatment of nature may be. The tale unfortunately ends with Lobo’s death, but what Seton goes on to do afterwards can be seen to redeem his actions in some way.

2. How do you feel attitudes have changed since Seton’s time?

I think now there is more of an appreciation for nature and we have a deeper understanding of ecology, a concept which didn’t really exist in the late 1800s. In Seton’s time, animals were treated more like a resource and anything that was a nuisance was removed. Thankfully this attitude has changed a great deal, as we understand that many animals like wolves play a vital role in the food chain and deserve to live freely.

The main focus of my story was to show how one man’s attitude towards nature changed, influencing the early conservation movement and the way we treat animals. In a wider sense, I also wanted to show that these destructive early attitudes affected not only wolves but caused extreme suffering to Native Americans, however I am aware that my book in no way represents the full oppression and devastation inflicted upon Native Americans by the European settlers. That would be a whole other book, one that deserves a full story to itself.

3. How did your own research inform your adaptation of Seton’s original story?

I think the story has a lot more impact when you know the context to it and what attitudes were like at the time. In a visual sense, travelling to Corrumpa Valley in New Mexico allowed me to take lots of first hand sketches and photos which influenced much of the artwork. Since wolves are no longer present there, I spent a week at a wolf sanctuary where I was able to draw wolves all morning. Simply drawing wolves at the sanctuary gave me lots of good reference for different postures and expressions which I tried to incorporate into the book.

Nobrow_Blog_Wolves4.    Can you tell us more about your process? What comes first, the drawings or the words?

They come hand in hand for me, it feels natural to make a list of important events while sketching out what spreads could look like. This helps me to visualize the book as a whole before I commit to the project. Colour is hugely important as it sets the tone of the book. I like to work up lots of colour swatches in the rough stages and see what colours work well together. Less is more as the saying goes, I think around six colours per book – more than that and things get messy!
Everything is hand drawn, the only digital aspect is moving spot illustrations on the page or adjusting colour levels slightly. This sounds nerdy, but I like Faber-Castell polychromos pencils, they have good strong pigments and a nice finish to them.

5.  How long have you been working on The Wolves of Currumpaw? What were the most challenging and most rewarding parts?

About a year and a half, on and off, although the idea to re-interpret Seton’s text has been lingering in the back of my mind for longer. The most challenging thing for me was reducing the text to its most essential ingredients – this led to using small panels which felt quite new to me. Some of the large landscape pieces took repeated attempts which could be frustrating! Getting them right was a big relief.

6. When did you decide to be an illustrator, and who are you most influenced by?

When I was five I wanted to be a builder, I suppose it comes back to making things. I knew I wanted to draw for a living during my foundation year when I was about nineteen. Influences change all the time, but a few consistent people would be some of the Fauvist painters, Saul Steinberg, and the work of Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden – their works have a really strong design aesthetic and have always had a particular charm to me. Recently I’ve been enjoying a lot of folk art, and stumbled upon the incredible work of Jivya Soma Mashe at the V&A Museum of Childhood.

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7. It’s almost a year since you won the Kate Greenaway prize for Shackleton’s Journey! How did it feel to win? Do you have any plans to go into fiction, and can you tell us anything about what might be coming next?

It completely took me by surprise and still feels unreal to think I was chosen. It’s hugely encouraging to have the support from all the judges, although it now adds a little pressure to live up to the previous book!
I would like to venture into fiction at some point, although I’m enjoying non-fiction a lot at the moment. I think it would be interesting to try my hand at a darker subject matter in the future too. What really interests me though is blending genres and producing a book that is unusual. It’s hard to say what’s next at the minute as there are a few ideas floating about. I’m thinking it could be set somewhere green though, in a jungle or a forest perhaps.

8. What’s in your sketchbook at the moment? Can we take a look?

My sketchbook is in a display case at Waterstones Piccadilly right now for another three weeks so you can see them for real! I don’t have much else current but I visited Kew Gardens a while back and did a few chalk drawings there.

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Thank you Will! Get a copy of the book here!


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WOO-HOO! IT’S ELCAF TIME!
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East London!  It’s almost time for ELCAF!

The fifth annual East London Comics & Arts Festival is our favorite comics event, and this one’s going to be the best yet!  In addition to hosting genuine superstars like Adrian Tomine and Richard McGuire, this year’s ELCAF features a slew of events led by some of our favorite Nobrow artists.

Here are the events we’ll be checking out this Saturday:

Robert Hunter
June 11 / 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
£5

Robert Hunter is a London-based illustrator who works with traditional drawing and printing techniques to produce his otherworldly picture narratives. Rob has published a number of books including The New Ghost, and a collaboration with Maccabees singer Orlando Weeks called Young Colossus. Join him as he talks about his most recent foray into animation accompanying his illustrated picture book retelling Rudyard Kipling’s classic Jungle Book.

Dieter Braun
June 11 / 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
£5

German illustrator Dieter Braun will join ELCAF to talk about the creation of his recently published english edition of Wild Animals of the North.  An illustrated study of the Northern Hemisphere’s wild animals, this biologically accurate encyclopaedia is the first of a series of books for children.

Vincent Mahe
June 11 / 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
FREE with ELCAF ticket

Join illustrator Vincent Mahe in a game of exquisite corpse using a template based around a level in a building. Draw, paint, add characters and help to populate this building, which will grow over the course of the workshop, creating a giant vertical Leporello.

Biografiktion – Paul Paetzel
June 11 / 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
FREE with ELCAF ticket

Visual storytelling can be simple and a lot of fun. Join illustrator Paul Paetzel from Edition Biografiktion in this exciting drawing workshop – using a character based on yourself, put your alter ego into a variety of backgrounds and see what kind of story evolves. The results will be sights seen through the eyes of our comic heroes.

Lorena Alvarez
June 11 / 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
FREE with ELCAF ticket

Lorena Alvarez Gómez is a Colombian illustrator based in Bogotá, Colombia. She alternates her work as a freelance illustrator with writing and drawing her own stories, and her interest in colour language and its formal qualities result in bold and unusual palettes. Lorena will talk about personal projects and the process of her first comic book with Nobrow titled Nightlights – a story about how our fears can hold us back and distort the way we see our reality.

and here’s what you’ve gotta see on Sunday:

Mikkel Sommer – London Jungle
June 12 / 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
FREE with ELCAF ticket

Join Berlin-based Danish illustrator Mikkel Sommer as he makes a colourful, 3D diorama (otherwise known as a miniature theatre) based around the theme of a ‘London Jungle’. He will be needing your help to draw, cut, paint, fold and glue, because in reality, he has no idea what he is doing. People of all ages are welcome. Kids even more so.

Alexis Deacon
June 12 / 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
£3

London-based children’s book writer and illustrator Alexis Deacon will be discussing his work at ELCAF this year. He has twice been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, and is a two time recipient of The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award. His well-loved picture books include Beegu, I am Henry Finch and Slow Loris, and he was one of Booktrust’s ten Best New Illustrators in 2008.

This ELCAF is really going to be something special, and there are so many more fun events and guests for you to see!  Make sure to check out the ELCAF website for all the sweet details.  We’ll see you there!


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WE’RE MOVING! GOODBYE SHOREDITCH, HELLO HACKNEY!
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As of Monday 16th May we will be moving our London office to 27 Westgate Street, London, E8 3RL. We are making the short trip east and a little north of Shoreditch to the London Fields area in Hackney, very close to Broadway Market. After almost 8 years in Shoreditch we are sad to be leaving but excited to be starting a new chapter somewhere new. Please note we will not be having a shop space in our new location, but our shop is still very much online as well as your local book store! This move does not affect our New York office or any of our distributors, which will all remain the same.

(Illustration by the brilliant Ben Newman, thanks Ben!)


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Nobrow takes a trip up north for TCAF!
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It’s time once again for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival!  Your friends at Nobrow and Flying Eye Books will be posting up at TCAF with some special surprises in tow!

Make sure to roll through and meet us at table 275 on the second floor to see us and to check out all of your favorite Nobrow and Flying Eye titles.  Not only will we be serving up the latest releases and some old favorites, but we will also be hanging out with some very special guests on Saturday, and you’re invited!

First up is our buddy Jeremy Sorese, author of the amazing queer romance sci-fi epic Curveball.  Jeremy will be at our table on Saturday from 1pm to 2pm, signing copies of his books and sketching up a storm!  Then Jeremy will tag-in the incomparable Marguerite Abouet, one of TCAF’s featured guests, and the creator of Akissi and the wonderful Aya books.  Marguerite will be at our table on Saturday from 2pm to 2:45pm.  Make sure to come by for your chance to meet these two talented and important voices of comic art!

We hope we get to see you all this weekend!

Nobrow and Flying Eye Books
at TABLE 275
Toronto Comic Arts Festival
Saturday, May 14th and Sunday, May 15th
at the Toronto Reference Library


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Free Comic Book Day!
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One of the best events of the year is coming soon!  That’s right, this weekend is Free Comic Book Day and Nobrow and Flying Eye Books will be joining in on the fun for the very first time!

We’ve got a special free comic book for you this weekend that features previews of Luke Pearson’s Hilda and the Stone Forest and Sam Bosma’s Fantasy Sports 2.  Both of those stories won’t be out until later this year, so this comic book will be your very first look at what’s sure to be a couple of 2016’s biggest hits!  And don’t worry– there’s a little bonus comic featuring Marguerite Abouet’s Akissi, and an all-new cover by Luke Pearson (check out his take on Wiz and Mug!) to sweeten the deal.

One comic book.  Three great stories.  AND IT’S ALL FOR FREE!  Just make sure to stop into your favorite comics retailer on Free Comic Book Day, this Saturday, May 7th and ask for your copy!  And make sure to take a look around those great comics shops for the rest of our line of Nobrow and Flying Eye Books!


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Ricardo Cavolo Takes Seattle!
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Seattle, WA–  Last month the good folks at Short Run Seattle had the brilliant idea to bring over author/illustrator and New York Times Bestseller Ricardo Cavolo to run wild all over the Emerald City.

Ricardo was in Seattle for two whirlwind weeks where he hustled all over town speaking with students, performing a live reading of choice sections of his amazing book 101 Artists to Listen to Before You Die, partying with our pals at the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery, and leaving his mark with a fantastic new mural.  Check out those colors!

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You can check out all the best moments in this handy Facebook album.  Our thanks to Short Run for coordinating all the fun events!  Until next time, Seattle!

 


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CURVEBALL is on The Cartoonist Studio Prize shortlist!
cartooniststudioprizeblog

New York, NY – There’s just no stopping this book!  Nobrow is pleased to announce that Curveball, the debut Graphic Novel from Jeremy Sorese, is on the shortlist for The Slate Book Review’s Fourth Annual Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Print Comic of the Year!

“Each year the Cartoonist Studio Prize is awarded to two cartoonists whose work exemplifies excellence in cartooning.  The creators of two exceptional comics will be awarded $1,000 each.  This year’s shortlists were selected by Slate Book Review editor Dan Kois; the faculty and students at the Center for Cartoon Studies, represented by CCS Fellow Noah Van Sciver; and this year’s guest judge, Caitlin McGurk of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.”

We are proud to be included among the shortlist for this distinguished award and we would like to extend our congratulations to all of the nominees, and especially to Jeremy Sorese for all of his hard work and passion that went into creating this one of a kind Graphic Novel debut!  Jeremy was thrilled about the news, saying, “I’m feeling very honored to be nominated by Slate for Curveball, especially amongst all of my idols.”

Previous praise for Curveball:
Sorese has the moving ability to explore the sweet aching melancholy of getting over a broken love, in a hypothetical future so well pictured that it feels alive and familiar well after you put the book down.
—Julie Maroh, Blue Is the Warmest Color

Sorese’s character development and visual choices push this story into new territory. […] There’s a bit of stream of consciousness about Curveball’s construction, but that’s the best thing; it keeps you reading and moreover, looking, alive with an electricity that is just barely under control.
Library Journal

[Sorese] renders a universal melancholia with a pinpoint precision and a tangible sincerity. […] These are infinitely relatable scenes writ large.
The AV Club

Sorese masterfully immerses the reader int he story from the first moment. Incredibly human stories exist in a world full of robots and fantastic beasts.
LAMBDA Literary

Check out more Curveball reviews on Goodreads!


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CURVEBALL is a LAMBDA Finalist!
CurveballLAMBDAblog

New York, NY – Nobrow is proud to announce that Jeremy Sorese’s graphic novel debut Curveball is a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBT Graphic Novel!

“The Lambda Literary Awards were founded in 1989 to elevate the profile of LGBT literature,” said Lambda Literary Board President, KG MacGregor. “In so doing, we also elevate the lives of those who find themselves authentically portrayed in our stories. It is with great pride that we come together each year to celebrate the excellent works of inspiring authors who have walked in our shoes.” 

It’s a tremendous honor to be included among the finalists for this prestigious award and we are so proud of Jeremy and all the hard work he put in to create such a powerfully resonant graphic novel.  Nobrow would like to extend our congratulations to Jeremy and his fellow “Lammy” finalists! (The full list of finalists can be found here.) Jeremy had this to say about the news: “I feel very honored to be a LAMBDA Literary Finalist this year, especially among some of the best queer cartoonists (and proof of just how many amazing women are in comics) right now. It really means the world to me!”

Previous praise for Curveball:

Sorese has the moving ability to explore the sweet aching melancholy of getting over a broken love, in a hypothetical future so well pictured that it feels alive and familiar well after you put the book down.
—Julie Maroh, Blue Is the Warmest Color

Sorese’s character development and visual choices push this story into new territory. […] There’s a bit of stream of consciousness about Curveball’s construction, but that’s the best thing; it keeps you reading and moreover, looking, alive with an electricity that is just barely under control.
Library Journal

[Sorese] renders a universal melancholia with a pinpoint precision and a tangible sincerity. […] These are infinitely relatable scenes writ large.
The AV Club

Sorese masterfully immerses the reader int he story from the first moment. Incredibly human stories exist in a world full of robots and fantastic beasts.
LAMBDA Literary

Check out more Curveball reviews on Goodreads!