No Brow’s Brilliant New Books

While many profess to ‘lol’, when we imagine they probably aren’t – we did, yes, literally laugh at loud on reading the marvellous new comic from publishers No Brow, Leeroy and Popo.

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The book is one of a pair of lovely forthcoming releases from the publisher, and will be joined on its shelves by Ping Zhu’s children’s book Swan Lake next month.

Swan Lake front cover
Swan Lake front cover

Animation graduate Louis Roskosch’s Leeroy and Popo tells the painfully realistic story of a jobless, girlfriendless twenty-something bear who likes nothing more than to play Nintendo Wii, hang out with his slacker chums (including Popo, a dinosaur) and hopelessly try and win over the girl he fancies, who works in his local coffee shop. Perhaps most poignantly, he doesn’t even like coffee.

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We see poor young Leeroy try and impress Cecilia by fruitless attempts to get in shape (through the Wii, natch); and ordering sushi – with chocolate of course, just to make sure he doesn’t get hungry.

His hopes soar as the object of his affections requests that he draw her a portrait – but his Wii escapades get in the way again – and he injures his hand. His second attempt is better, but will he win the girl?

Predictably, no. This moving snapshot of dialogue may help explain:

Popo: ‘yesterday I saw Cecilia with some other guy’

Leeroy: ‘ah’

Popo: ‘he was much better looking and cooler than you to [sic]’

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Through Facebook conversations, lame friends’ excruciating interjections and some brilliant cameos from a Henry Hoover and what appears to be a miniature penguin, a hilarious, charmingly drawn and awkwardly realistic adventure unfolds. We can’t wait for the next instalment.

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Taking a rather different format is the stunning children’s book Swan Lake, by Pasadena Arts Centre graduate Ping Zhu. The book takes the format of a picture book that doubles up as a double-sided frieze.

Swan Lake side
Swan Lake side

Based on a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, the beautiful illustrations are inspired by the story and the theatre space itself – with one side of the frieze showing the theatre and performance, and the other casting a spotlight on the back-stage anxieties.

Swan Lake side
Swan Lake side

Swan Lake by Ping Zhu and Leeroy and Popo by Louis Roskosch are published on 10 March and 19 March respectively by No Brow. For more information visit http://www.nobrow.net/

Swan Lake concertina
Swan Lake concertina

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