Comics Alternative, Euro Comics: Reviews of Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker, and The Green Hand and Other Stories

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Post-Natal Returns

After having to readjust for a few major life changes — including a new baby for first-time parents! — Edward and Derek are back with the monthly Euro Comics series. For November they discuss two graphic biographies devoted to early twentieth-century artists as well as a collection of surreal and experimental fiction. They start with Carlos Sampayo and Jose Muñoz’s Billie Holiday (NBM Publishing), a text that fully utilizes the somber, even noir uses of black-and-white (Muñoz’s art was an inspiration for Frank Miller’s Sin City, after all). Originally published by Fantagraphics in 1993, this work provides a skeletal overview of Holiday’s life and career, both its artistic highs and its drug-filled lows.

A much more detailed graphic biography is Jose-Luis Bocquet and Catel Muller’s Josephine Baker. Published by SelfMadeHero, this is an extensive look at Baker’s life and includes encyclopedic back matter that supplements the narrative. This is a more conventional biography than the one on Billie Holiday, a chronological accounting from a more objective, detached point of view. Perhaps most notable is the fact that Edward, himself, did the translation of this text (although not the back matter). As such, he provides insightful behind-the-scenes information about the preparation of this album, its editorial handling of sensitive racial issues, and the dynamics involved in the art of translation.

Finally, Derek and Edward wrap up with very different kind of work, Nicole Claveloux’s The Green Hand and Other Stories (New York Review Comics). In addition to its longer titular story, the collection includes seven other Claveloux short comics that vary in style and narrative conventionality. All of the pieces are dreamlike, even psychedelic in nature, originally appearing in Métal Hurlant or through Les Humanoïdes Associés between 1979 and 1980. With an introduction by Daniel Clowes and an interview with “Green Hand” co-creator Edith Zha, this is collection that serves as a great introduction to the often-overlooked Claveloux.

Comics Alternative, Euro Comics: Reviews of Pretending Is Lying and The Lighthouse

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Edward’s Nitpicks

For the month of March, Edward and Derek look at two very different European titles. They begin with Dominique Goblet’s Pretending Is Lying, released last month from New York Review Comics. This is a creator whom Edward has read in the original French, and so some of their conversation centers on matters of translation. But more significant is the guys’ discussion of Goblet’s handling of time and memory, as well as the book’s expressive and experimental style. And, as Derek is keen to point out, there are key passages that allude to the work of Brian Wilson!

Next, the Euro Comics Guys discuss the latest English-language release from Paco Roca, The Lighthouse (NBM Publishing). They’ve twice discussed Roca’s comics before — Wrinkles during their interview with Erica Mena, and his contribution to the Spanish Fever anthology on last year’s September episode — and this one is markedly different. Edward comments on the story’s simplicity, even it’s pat qualities, while Derek is charmed by the novella-like qualities of this early work from Roca. And ever the sound effects aficionado, Edward nitpicks (but in a good way) over some of the translator’s choices.

More To Come SDCC 2013 Special: Monday


Live from San Diego Comic-Con, it’s More To Come! Interviews fresh from the convention floor from Heidi MacDonald, the Eisner-nominated blogger of, Calvin Reid, Senior News Editor of Publishers Weekly, with new episodes daily during the con!

In today’s episode, Heidi and Calvin interview Stephen Robson, founder of the comics publisher Fanfare/Ponent Mon, Noelle Stevenson, creator of the popular webcomic Nimona, about her publishing deal and upcoming work on Adventure Time and The Bravest Warrior, and Terry Nantier of NBM about NBM and the groundbreaking comic Omaha the Cat Dancer in this podcast from PW Comics World.

Our San Diego Comic-Con special coverage is over, but stay tuned for our next regularly scheduled episode, there will be More To Come!



Catch up with our in depth San Diego Comic Con coverage, comics news, reviews and previous podcasts at

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Sequential Underground #63

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
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Terry Nantier — founder of NBM Publishing — talks to Nick Marino about Dara Naraghi and Brent Bowman‘s new graphic novel, Persia Blues.

From the NBM press release announcing Persia Blues #1 on comiXology:

The first volume in a three volume series coming from NBM, Persia Blues was both the first title from the publisher that utilized a Kickstarter campaign and the first time they’ve serialized a pending title digitally before it reaches print. The e-comic books will be taken down upon publication of the book when a simultaneous e-book version of the GN will appear.

Nick picks Terry’s brain about the unique digital/print release of Persia Blues, the experience of utilizing a Kickstarter campaign as a publishing company, converting comics for different digital platforms, and more.