Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 06/03/08

Hello! This week should prove to be satisfying for just about anybody who likes comics, with several hits in different genres, from different publishers, aimed at different audiences. Aw heck, I’ll say it: if you don’t find something to enjoy this week, you’re not trying hard enough. But then I would say that, I work for the comic shop. Anyway, moving on…

Let’s jump straight in here with DC’s most exciting release in months, the Justice League New Frontier Special one-shot. When Darwyn Cooke’s original, award-winning New Frontier miniseries ended, it looked like that was all we’d see of that profoundly transitional retro-world, but thankfully the release of the animated adaptation on DVD has proved otherwise. It’s all written by Cooke, of course, and portions are drawn by him too, though some artistic duties have been handed over to his trusted accomplice and long-time inker J Bone and his old collaborator and New Frontier director David Bullock.

The New Frontier special contains the original story’s ‘Lost Chapter’, which deals with King Faraday’s early attempts to outlaw masked vigilantes and culminates with the never-before-seen fight between Superman and Batman. Well, you’ve never seen this particular fight before, anyway. Also featured in the back-ups are Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Sergeant Rock, and more! The only excuse not to buy it is ‘but I’ve never read The New Frontier’, and in that case a quick jaunt over to our graphic novels is required immediately.

Rather than counter with its own one-shot special, Marvel instead brings us the start of a short miniseries written by Hollywood upstart Brian K Vaughan, with Logan #1. Those who think Vaughan begins and ends with Y the Last Man, they need only look at his other ongoing series, Ex Machina, or his Doctor Strange: The Oath miniseries to witness his accomplished cape-scribery. The plot of this new series deals with Wolverine’s return to Japan to settle a long-forgotten score, and will be beautifully rendered by artist Eduardo Risso (of
100 Bullets fame). Logan coming out alongside Jason Aaron’s run on Wolverine should ensure that all of the famed Canadian’s fanbubs should be well catered-for over the next three months.

If all this latex superhero tight-pants-points-hardly-reknown is getting you down, then as usual, Vertigo’s got some sweet relief for you. This time it comes in the form of Young Liars #1, both written and drawn by Mister Stray Bullets, David Lapham. Dig this crazy jazz: poor little rich girl Sadie Dawkins becomes a frenzied adrenaline junkie after a bullet to the head fails to kill her and instead remains lodged in her brain. It’s up to her one trusted friend, habitual liar Danny Noonan, to find out who shot her and guide his newly-thrill-thirsty friend through the rough waters ahead. While not everything Lapham’s put out of late has been of the highest quality imaginable, the last thing he drew as well as wrote was the original graphic novel
Silverfish, which reverberated with all the verve of his first wave of indie comics. Hopefully, Young Liars will be a similarly rewarding experience.

Hold onto your hats, because one of the more intriguing publications from the alternative contingent this week is a videogame tie-in! Image brings us Dead Space #1, a prequel to the upcoming survival horror game of the same name written by Wasteland co-creator Anthony Johnston and drawn by one-man painting machine Ben Templesmith. This prelude story revolves around an alien artefact discovered in the wake of extensive outer-space mining operations on a planet called Aegis VII. Crazy cults, panicked police and mining company madness ensue in this Event Horizon-inspired horror caper. The game doesn’t look half bad, either!

Finally, there were a couple of items that appeared last week that managed to slip under the radar. Spare a glance for JSA Classified #35, written by Hawaiian Dick creator B. Clay Moore and with stunning artwork pencilled by Ramon Perez. It’s a Wildcat story packed full of boxing and crime-busting, so fun times are certainly in store. There was also an inauspicious manga-looking graphic novel called Krash Bastards, which had the distinct honour of being written by none other than Joe Casey! Spare that one a look if your buy pile’s a bit thin, it’s far from just being his money work.

Now to the news, starting with advance word about the latest in Marvel’s all-ages line: Marvel Adventures Super Heroes. Written by the indie comics author responsible for the little-heard-of humour book Banana Sunday, Paul Tobin, the series is going to be one of the more wild and wacky of the Marvel Adventures line. It’s going to focusing on odd, funny or unlikely plots, swapping characters in and out at the drop of a hat, with standalone, single -issue stories aplenty. He’ll be collaborating with his wife, Colleen Coover, whom you might already know from her backup stories in X-Men First Class.

And on the exact opposite end of the fun spectrum, Dave Sim’s top secret project was recently unveiled as Judenhass, a one -shot comic exploring the history of anti-Semitism culminating in the Holocaust. It runs to 56 pages and is drawn in Sim’s presently favoured photo-referenced style, and apparently Neil Gaiman really liked it. Make your own mind up this May!

Finally, the more artistically hip amongst you will be interested to know that there’s currently an exhibition running just off Brick Lane of material from the wildly successful DRAW exhibition which originally resided in New York’s Lower East Village. The exhibition contains work from such names as Jason Atomic, Vaughn Bode, Rick Griffin, HR Giger, Clive Barker and Moby, so it’s by no means short of attractive exhibits. The imported DRAW collection is on display at the StolenSpace Gallery in the Old Truman Brewery at 91 Brick Lane from the 7th-23rd of this month. Check it out!

That’s all for the week - happy reading!
- Tom