Wednesday, August 3, 2011

TWISTED TALES: Nan Bu Nan Publishing

Twisted Tales #2
I could not resist snagging this photo which was/is originally posted at Rick Boven's Goodreads page. Yes, I must agree Rick, this is undoubtedly the best photo of a publishing company ever taken.

Welcome twisted readers! This week I'm featuring Nan bu Nan Publishing founded by Nick Vandermolen and Rick Boven. This multi-media duo (when not being super models) produces books, films, crazy pics, as well as sponsors a little league team. They hate on a few cities, rock the racism boat and upset sports fans everywhere. What's not to love? Did your heart just skip a beat? 

I first became acquainted with Nick Vandermolen when he submitted Michael Jordan and the Slam Dunk Suicide Cult for review (See review link below). Obviously, he has twisted taste since he sought my opinion.  Later, I went on to read the short eComic Heartbeasts by Rick Boven and the rest is well, history...

Nick Vandermolen is a writer, artist, and the co-founder of Chicago based publisher Nan Bu Nan Books. Since forming in 2010 Vandermolen has ambitiously released multiple titles through the imprint including the abstractly autobiographical LOMBARDO BARNYARD series, the “coming of rage” essay collection I HATE CHICAGO, and the taboo tinged MICHAEL JORDAN AND THE SLAM DUNK SUICIDE CULT, which cemented his unique brand of Hysterical Realism. An accomplished conceptual artist, designer, and fashionista, Vandermolen has also produced two full scale Fashion Shows, two separate series of collectible Role Playing card games, as well as numerous theme-specific art exhibits that focus on audience participation.

Michael Jordan and the Slam Dunk Suicide CultIts been called "...The most wildly offensive book of 2011," for its themes and dialogue. Its mere plot summary has been labeled truly "dangerous territory," by fellow authors and sports fans alike. Nick Vandermolen's Michael Jordan and the Slam Dunk Suicide Cult will test your boundaries, force self-exploration of accepted racial and cultural taboos, and might even release these tensions with laughter at the absurdity of it all. From page one of Michael Jordan and the Slam Dunk Suicide Cult readers are thrust into a strange and grotesque basketball camp for boys. Forget dribbling. Throw lay-ups out the window. The "Monster Dunk Basketball Camp for Kids" teaches young ones only the "fundamentals" of basketball – Slam Dunking. However, it doesn't take long before the true nature of this evil camp is revealed. When the boys show a lack of star-power because they can't dunk, the camp counselor Darko Milicic takes matters into his own hands. Darko throws the children down a well. His theory is simple; extend a rope ladder down the well and raise it to the exact height of a slam dunk. If the children can jump and reach it, they can also slam dunk. But it is within this imprisonment of inability that we get a fresh look at race, exploitation, and the power of a modern day sports icon; Michael Jordan. This story examines racism, hero worship and sports in a way most authors are too afraid to tackle. Vandermolen, having worked with disenfranchised youth in the inner city of Chicago for nearly three years, gives us an authentic look at the culture of "street kids," without a chaser. He emulates the rough dialect perfectly, highlighting its uniqueness as well as its vulgarity. To many readers the story's speech and themes may seem crude and off-putting. But this urge to shun what is uncomfortable, and the distillation of such a culture is ultimately what Michael Jordan and the Slam Dunk Suicide Cult is all about. This modern fable shows the danger of culture as commodity, and the theft of meaning from those who created it.
Click here for my REVIEW

I Hate ChicagoNick Vandermolen didn’t move to Chicago for the bright lights, or the tall buildings, and certainly not for the over priced coffee. He moved there to confront his biggest fear: the real world. In his new book, I Hate Chicago, he has compiled essays chronicling his adaptation into the Windy City and the rules of adulthood and why he hates them both so much.Vandermolen’s first month in Chicago almost defeats him. He sleeps on a couch, can’t find a job, and settles for whatever he can get. He finally moves into a small, overpriced apartment where he sleeps on a cushion in his closet and wonders why he left the safety of his home in Michigan to live in Misery.I Hate Chicago is an examination of the modern metropolis wherein Vandermolen debunks the fabled perks of city living and instead suggest that cities stifle their inhabitants. He comes to the painful realization that cities embody a “real world” where adults abandon their dreams and become part of a meaningless and destructive cycle.This collection in is entirety is a compelling argument against the metropolis an an advocate for human growth, in which Vandermolen gives a raw and startling account of his confronting maturity and his attempt to re-invent adulthood.
-->>>Watch the film 
I HATE CHICAGO: In the Gutter With Nick Vandermolen

Rick Boven is an artist, actor and filmmaker. He was born in Petoskey, Michigan in 1983. As a director his work has seen rotation on television networks such as MTV and Fuse TV, as well as online media outlets such as, and Blender Magazine Online. He has previously published a collection of semi-autobiographical cartoons entitled 'Message on the Pavement,' and coffee table memoir book 'Do The Speak.' He is currently assembling a new graphic novel/short film dual release entitled 'Forgotten Detroit,' with his film production company Hott Garbage. He currently resides in Chicago, where he rarely sleeps.

Last PictLAST PICT is a short cartoon story that deals with the inside of being an outsider. With each panel it gives a peek into the circumstances that may have developed the weirdos, spazes, and freaks you've known your whole life. Originally penned in early 2005 and drawn one year later, this is the first installment of author Rick Boven's extensive, unreleased back catalog, and has never before been published. LAST PICT will make you take a second look at the first glance by which we often judge one another.

HeartbeastsLove is a many splendored thing. For its capture we will lie, cheat...and kill. In Rick Boven's new eComic collection HEARTBEASTS, we painfully visit all three. Comprised of three short cartoon stories containing both out of print stories as well as never before seen work, Boven doesn't shy away from the dark nature of this universal motivator. These are the stories that Rick Boven cut his teeth on as he developed his now signature emotive and powerful method of storytelling. Combining autobiographical work and early experiments in fiction, he rips off the rose colored glasses that so often tint our view of love. By displaying the terrible and woeful things we do for love and acceptance, he subtly acknowledges it's true power in our lives. And if we are anything like the tragic cast of characters here, we may not have heart beats within our chests at all; but rather HEARTBEASTS.

Do The SpeakDO THE SPEAK looks into the mind of a young and accomplished artist finding his place in life and in the creative realm. A unique hybrid of coffee-table art book and memoir piece, the book recounts a fractured narrative of the early artistic endeavors of filmmaker and author Rick Boven through a series of paintings he sent out into the world. Boven seeks connection and validation by mailing this artwork to anyone he can find…and reaches an unexpected conclusion. 


Since January, Rick Boven has been working on his upcoming Graphic Novel release FORGOTTEN DETROIT. For the last 7 months, he’s also been producing a film adaptation of the book. In 2011 we take this title to the screen in the form of a short film!

Nan bu Nan publishing needs your help. They've started a fund raising campaign on a website called Kickstarter – a place for artists and activists to raise funds directly with the people that matter most, the fans. This is true grassroots fundraising. And for contributing something as small a $10 you get a free digital copy of HEART BEASTS  and LAST PICT – Two eComics by Rick Boven – as well as pictures from the film set mailed to your house and a digital version of the film upon completion. That goes for everyone who contributes; and as you donate more, more incentives and prizes come your way!

*Photos, images, bios and book descriptions provided for the sole purpose of this post and should not be borrowed without permission of original owners. Please link to to inquire.

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