I, along with co-creator and artist Brent Bowman, were honored to have Persia Blues vol. 1 win the 2014 S.P.A.C.E. Prize for best graphic novel at the Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo. And I’m even happier to announce that the long-awaited second volume of the trilogy is hitting the shelves in a week or so!
In case you hadn’t had a chance to check out the solicitations, here’s what you can expect in volume 2:
Minoo Shirazi’s mysterious double life continues to unfold across 2,000 years of history in the second installment of the Persia Blues series.
In the fantastical world of ancient Persia, the shock of discovering a piece of her past is overshadowed by the imminent invasion of Ahriman’s armies. Only by finding the empire’s champion, Rostam, can she hope to turn back the tide of evil.
While in the modern world, Minoo’s life unfolds in Iran and America – where she has recently begun her graduate studies – as she deals with her stern father, dying mother, lost brother, and new American boyfriend. Across myths and modern realities, we delve deeper into the truth of Minoo’s life.
Here are a few pages of art:
For a longer preview, as well as reviews and interviews, please drop by the official Persia Blues website.
Here’s a lyrical and beautiful essay about a road trip in Iran, by Bijan Roghanchi.
‘Hum of soft rubber over asphalt’: on the road in Iran
“At Kandovan, a village built directly into the mountains, I made a confession, the type you can make only to someone on the road. It was a confession born in the bond that comes from hours of silence and the hum of soft rubber over asphalt. And then there were no more roads left except the one we had come down and it was time to go back home.”
I can honestly say that this was one of the first comic books to truly and completely blow my mind:
Written by Pat Mills, and drawn by Kevin O’Neill, published in 1987 by Marvel’s Epic line of creator-owned comics. Leave it to the Brits to push the envelope of satire and parody.
Our first page this week is via Diversions of the Groovy Kind, and features the other Buscema brother, Sal. This is from Sub-Mariner #25 (February 1970), with Sal Buscema on pencils:
And here’s the page from the Way Back machine, AKA my previous blog circa 2011:
Here’s this week’s splash page:
This splash depicts the return of Marvel’s oddball “non-team,” The Defenders. It’s by artist Richard Case, inked by Randy Emberlin. Case is best known for his collaboration with Grant Morrison on that writer’s revamp of Doom Patrol over at DC, but he’s done a fair bit of work at various publishers. This page is from Doctor Strange #3, published by Marvel Comics, March 1989.
Hey, wait a minute, is that a ferret? Or just a weasel?
A cult classic of the 80s black and white indie comics boom:
Cover art by Michael Zulli, published by Aardvark One International, 1986.
OK, here we go with another couple of pages to try your hand at. There really are no rules, other than if you have the book that these pages are from, please refrain from guessing.
The first page for this week:
And page 2, from my old Ferret Press blog, way back in 2005:
This past October, Columbus’ own Shadowbox Live – the sketch comedy, short play, and live music troupe – presented “The Tenshu,” a unique production featuring live martial arts, magic, giant puppets and supernatural experiences, accompanied by an original rock score. The show was a collaboration between Japanese choreographer/director Hiromi Sakamoto and New York Times Best Selling author of the Kabuki graphic novels, David Mack.
Accompanying the production was a gallery show featuring original comic book art from several local creators, including my artistic partner in crime, Brent Bowman. Several of Brent’s pages and paintings from volume 1 of Persia Blues were prominently on display:
We hope to make this the first of several more gallery shows.
If you are interested in purchasing any of the original art from the book, drop me a line via the Contact link on this site.
Let’s kick off this edition of Splash Wednesday with a classic John Byrne page (inked by Terry Austin), from Uncanny X-Men #139.
And from a post on March, 2011 on my old blog, here’s this week’s “classic” splash page:
“Over the years, Mike Mignola has worked with quite a handful of talented artists on Hellboy short stories and side projects, which is where this week’s page comes from:
This page is from Ghost/Hellboy #2, with pencils by Scott Benefiel, and inks by Jasen Rodriguez. Published by Dark Horse Comics, June 1996. Ghost was one of the longer-running titles in DH’s attempt at a superhero universe. This was a 2-issue crossover.”
Ahead of my talk tomorrow at Youngstown State University, the school newspaper, The Jambar, ran this short article/interview: Graphic Novel Author to Visit YSU.
“If creating comics is something they want to do professionally, hopefully I can also leave them with some advice on how to navigate the treacherous waters of the business,” Naraghi said.
[English professor Rebecca] Barnhouse encourages anyone who is interested in graphic novels or Naraghi’s work to come and speak with him on Wednesday.
(By the way, can anyone tell me what the meaning or significance of the name “Jambar” is?)
The Guardian newspaper has a fascinating read about Iraqi Shia pilgrims visiting Mashhad, in Iran: Prayer, food, sex and water parks in Iran’s holy city of Mashhad.
During my childhood in Iran, and a couple of subsequent visits, I’ve been to several of the key cities, like Isfahan and Shiraz. But I’ve never been to Mashhad, and in fact all I knew of it was its reputation as a “holy city,” due to its many theological schools, as well as housing the tomb of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam. But the juxtaposition of that image with the one painted by this article, of touristy theme parks and sex workers, is quite interesting.
“Mehdi also comments on Iraqi men who come to Mashhad looking to patronize the city’s sizeable population of sex workers, many of which conduct business through a Shia system of ‘temporary marriage’ known in Iran as sigheh.”
Professor Rebecca Barnhouse at the English department of Youngstown State University invited me to give a talk on comics and graphic novels, which I’m excited to do. The event is free and open to the public, and will take place on Wednesday, October 28, at 4 PM in DeBartolo Hall.
I plan to talk a bit about my background and interest in comics and graphic novels, then discuss how I “broke in” to the field. I’ll also present some of the concepts and techniques behind creating graphic novels, and of course have an open Q&A session.
Additional info about the event is available on the YSU website here.
Another cover from one of my current favorite reads, the science fiction epic Invisible Republic:
Cover and interior art by Gabriel Hardman, written by Hardman and wife Corinna Bechko. Published March 2005 by Image Comics.