The On-Sale Calendar in yesterday’s Publishers Weekly Comic Week notes the arrival of Byung-Jun Byun’s Mijeong from NBM. It doesn’t seem to be shipping this week through Diamond, but I appreciate the heads-up all the same.
I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and considered just how much reading pleasure I’ve gotten out of NBM’s catalog. Maybe it’s because they have a very restrained publishing schedule, only a few books a month. Still, it’s remiss of me, because they’re one of those publishers like Drawn & Quarterly and Fanfare/Ponent Mon with an excellent rate of return for my comics dollar. I can’t think of many NBM books that I haven’t really loved, or at least appreciated for their ambition and craft. So while I wait for Mijeong, I thought I’d run down memory lane and revisit some of my favorite books from NBM.The second volume of Lewis Trondheim’s Little Nothings (The Prisoner Syndrome) just came out, and it’s every bit as charming as the first, The Curse of the Umbrella:
Nicolas De Crécy’s Glacial Period came out just in time to make it onto my list of favorite comics from 2006:
“I just can’t say enough good things about this book. It’s charming, funny and sincere without being saccharine or remotely self-involved. There are plenty of cartoonists who have tried to strike this kind of personal, conversational tone, but I’ve rarely been so disappointed to see the conversation end.”
“I had some initial reservations about the book’s price — $14.95 for 80 pages – but those faded in the face of the book itself. It’s beautifully produced and carefully annotated; I wouldn’t call it a bargain, but it’s worth it.
It’s very difficult to pick a favorite from Rick Geary’s Treasury of Victorian Murder series (and why try), but I think I’ll stick with The Murder of Abraham Lincoln:
“Glacial Period is a delightfully imaginative, even loopy look at art. I hope NBM publishes the rest of the graphic novels created through the initiative.”
And since this whole post started with eager anticipation of Mijeong, I shouldn’t neglect NBM’s other Byun property, Run, Bong-Gu, Run!
“Geary ticks off the events of the day, alternating between domesticity with the Lincolns and conspiracy with John Wilkes Booth. Against all likelihood, the sequence ends up being wonderfully suspenseful, quickly cutting between concurrent events. The combination of inventiveness and detail in these books always impresses me, and this is no exception, but The Murder of Abraham Lincoln achieves an even higher level of pathos than usual.”
“I think it takes an enormously gifted creator to tell a sentimental story well, and I think Byun has gifts to spare. With a minimum of manipulation and unerring visual skill, he creates an unexpectedly moving work.”
So what’s your favorite book from NBM’s catalog?