Written and Drawn by Rick Geary and Lewis Trondheim
Published by NBM
Reviewed by Marc Mason
I’ve been asked on many occasions about what it was like to work as the P.R. person for NBM Publishing. I held that job from August 2009 through December 2010, and though that isn’t exactly an eternity, I certainly spent enough time doing the job to see some wonderful highs and some occasional lows- as it is with any type of employment, really, not just working for a comics publisher. But when pressed for my absolute favorite thing about being a part of the NBM family, the answer always comes easy: getting to play a small part in getting books by true comics greats into peoples’ hands. The roster of talent at NBM is extraordinary, and a couple of recent review books arriving in my mailbox only serve to remind me what I love so much about this publisher.
First THE LIVES OF SACCO AND VANZETTI showed up, which just happens to be the latest effort in the TREASURY OF XXTH CENTURY MURDER series by the amazing Rick Geary. This time around he tackles what was, until the O.J. Simpson trial, the most famous murder trial of the century. Sacco and Vanzetti, two Italian immigrants with radical leanings were arrested and tried for robbery and murder in a case that gathered the interest of the entire world. The duo were railroaded by a judge who had it out for them, witnesses who were coerced by the police and district attorney’s office, and early public sentiment that arose because of the fear of communism. Of course, Geary doesn’t specifically lead you to that conclusion- as with all the books he’s done in this series, he does his research, lays out the facts and evidence, and allows you to decide for yourself. That’s not only a hallmark of strong storytelling, but of confidence by the storyteller. He doesn’t need to pull you around by the nose if he has done his job right, and no one does the job right like Rick Geary. This is another incredible effort by a creator who simply seems to never swing and miss.
On the heels of Geary, LITTLE NOTHINGS VOL.4 arrived, and that’s about as happy as I get when it comes to comics. LITTLE NOTHINGS is the collected art blog of Lewis Trondheim, the man I consider to be the greatest living comics creator on the planet right now. In these books we get a glimpse inside the man’s head, and as good as he is when whipping up wonderful tales of fiction, he is just as strong when navigating the reader through the ebb and flow of his life. Can he make the mundane interesting? Absolutely. One of the best pieces in this volume focuses on his mishap in trying to determine which knobs in the shower do what- a universal problem, and one with a hilarious solution for Trondheim. But he can also deliver insightful looks at the extraordinary, as he does in navigating the reader through the many journeys he takes across the world to promote his books or to just find peace and quiet. LITTLE NOTHINGS shows us a phenomenal talent at the peak of his powers. What more could you want?