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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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Nobrow & Flying Eye’s Field Trip To The Met!

Hello friends!

Have you been out to the Met lately?  The world famous Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is known for its collection of extraordinary and timeless art from all over the world, and now that same classic sensibility can be found in their revamped children’s book area!

The Met’s new children’s book area contains a selection of some of the most beautiful children’s books we’ve ever seen, so of course we were absolutely beaming when we saw a few of our own titles sitting among some of the all-time greats.  The whole area is spacious and well lit, which really allows you to immerse yourself in the worlds of these impressive picture books.

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And that’s not all!  We spotted the bright colors of Beautiful Birds as well as a pair of stunning Leporellos, Swan Lake and Eventually Everything Connects, at the Met’s stationary store:

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We spoke with Lauren Gallagher, Book Buyer for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, about the children’s book area’s brand new look:

What brought about the big change in the children’s picture book section?

The big change came about due to a cocktail of ingredients, the most important one being that I was given broad curatorial freedom in my buying choices.  Coming from an independent bookselling background, I’ve personally sold books to children and their families for many years, and for the first phase I chose to bring in both a combination of books I have had great success with, and new books that look like they not only might be appealing, but could become future children’s classics.

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Would you mind walking us through your vision for what you wanted to achieve with the children’s picture book section?

The ideal is to perpetuate the journey of discovery, to have children and their families walk away feeling like the shop is a continuation of the gallery experience.  All the books in this section have been picked for their strong illustrative and/or literary qualities, both of which are imperative to a child’s early education and introduction to the arts.  As a medium, art communicates everything from stories to observations to feelings, and well-illustrated picture books are–in tandem with a child’s first totterings in the physical world–often a child’s first experience of the wider world, and to the use of imagery as a means of expression.  A child in California can learn about snow in New York, and vice versa.  Picture books have the incredible capacity to open a young mind up to multiple worlds—both outer and inner.  Reading requires concentration and contemplation: the mind is required to go inward to then go outward.  When a child dives into a book (and sometimes us adults too), for a time, they exist within that realm, yet when they finish the book they return to the “real” world, and hopefully through this contrast of experience they begin to discover the power of imagination, creativity, and the myriad of ways we can express ourselves.  I hope customers will find the revised section exciting enough to come back again and again, to return to the Met for this experience of discovery.

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What do you think is the best way for a picture book to get noticed by the Met’s thousands of visitors?

The best way for a book to get noticed is to see someone else taking it off the shelf and reading it!  Placement is key, which is why Met Kids remains its own destination at the West side of the shop.  Picture books are front and center, which hopefully meets our customer’s needs.  We are always fine tuning the visual presentation to hopefully find the right ratio of eclectic but logical display: like with like, but maintaining the element of surprise.

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What do you think the new look for the children’s picture book section accomplishes for the Met?

Hopefully it shows the Met keeping with the times, while staying true to its dedication to educate and enlighten through art.  Books don’t have to be about art or artists to be artistic, or to open a child’s mind up to art.  A Dahlov Ipcar book might make a kid want to draw just as much as a beginner’s guide to Monet or Leonardo.  Most picture books are created, illustrated, and frequently written by living artists, and selling children’s picture books is a way of supporting these artists, many of whom received a good portion of their art education in museums.  It’s also a chance to reintroduce long lost classics and revisit age old tales through updated editions.  I’d like to think the new books have surprised enough people that they will return to see what we’ll have next time.  With any luck we are meeting our core customer needs while attracting a new regular customer base.

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A very many thanks to Lauren for taking the time to chat with us!  Be sure to check out the latest at the Met, and then spend some time in their fresh new children’s book section.  The world-class museum is offering up some world-class picture books, a great little event for art aficionados and picture book lovers everywhere!