Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 24/04/08

Hello and welcome to a week of long-awaited releases and secret gems! Yet again, the new releases are a little thin on the ground, but as ever, there’s something new and exciting if you just look for it.

This week’s top billing goes to an original graphic novel coming at you straight from Random House. Ha! And they say this blog’s too mainstream. But seriously, folks, this isn’t just some ineffectual grab at indie credibility. Brighton-based writer/illustrator Hannah Berry’s debut graphic novel, Britten and Brulightly, sounds like just the kind of noir-tinged murder mystery to draw in fans of crime comics like Criminal, Gotham Central, Daredevil and just about anything else Ed Brubaker has put out in the last ten years.

The plot deals with Fernand├ęz Britten, a suicidally guilt-ridden private investigator with an ‘unconventional’ business partner who sets out to discover the truth behind a suspicious suicide. Sounds delightfully bittersweet to me! Give it a look and support a burgeoning British talent today! And if you enjoy it, consider popping along to a talk with the creator at the Redbridge Literary Festival on April 29th! (More information available here: )

If that all sounds far too cerebral, then Doctor Gosh prescribes 10ccs of Hulk Vs Hercules: When Titans Collide! - a comic whose title cannot be spelt without an exclamation point on the end. Oh, sure, when I saw this advertised I was all ready to dismiss it as cheap cash-in nonsense, but my cynicism was assayed immediately by the mere presence of the names Pak and Van Lente. Greg Pak’s new Incrediverse has brought us some outstanding titles and events, and Incredible Hercules, co-written with Action Philosophers’ Fred Van Lente, is one of the most entertaining comics being published today. Not convinced? Then grab this one-shot and mull it over as you revel in some prime smashing action.

If that doesn’t Make Yours Marvel, then go instead for Thor #8, the second and final part of cover artist star Marko Djurdevic’s plot arc. Last issue saw Thor communing with his father Odin by trapping himself in the land between life and death, which is cool, as I’m sure you’re aware. This issue brings him haring back home to defend his reconstituted Asgard from a threat on this mortal plane. This title goes from strength to strength, and really shows that Straczynski can still pull an excellent story out of his hat when he wants to.

A big event for silver age fans this week will be Mark Evanier’s encyclopaedic Kirby: King of Comics hardcover. The book looks utterly gorgeous from the preview materials we’ve received, and, being from former Kirby assistant Evanier, should provide new insight into the oeuvre of this eternal (do you see what I did there) comics legend, packed full of artwork from the vaults.

If you can find room in your buy pile, or you’ve got a kid struggling with Shakespeare in English lessons, spare a thought for this week’s brand new No Fear Shakespeare line. No, really. Not only does it have a catchy name, it also boasts a creative team far more impressive than you might expect, particularly in Hamlet, which is adapted by Flight veteran Neil Babra. Babra’s work displays a keen eye for layout and visual storytelling, as well as being oh-so purdy. If you’ve ever thought ‘Hell, I’d read a Shakespeare comic if Craig Thompson adapted it’, give this one a go. You won’t regret it!

There’s a huge crop of news the wake of the New York Comic Con last weekend, so I’ll just whiz through the highlights quickly. First, though, the skinny on some free comics from way back! Kiwi animator Rod Fransham is uploading, for absolutely nothing, his ten-year-old comics project Poke – the story of a pilot pig making his way in the modern world. The first issue is up and ready to read, and if it gets enough attention, the rest will soon follow! Click here now:

Closer to home, though, rising star and author of Laika, Nick Abadzis, is currently featured in the Guardian Family section’s Comic! His new series is called Cora’s Breakfast and will run for five more Saturdays. If you missed the first installment, not to worry! It’s online and available for the next week here:,,2197542,00.html

But now, to NYCC! The Vertigo panel yielded some intriguing tidbits such as the news that Cliff Chiang is to produce a miniseries inspired by Neil Young’s album Greendale. Yep. Also covered was the upcoming graphic novel from cartoonist Dean Haspiel (best known for his work with Harvey Pekar) and prose novelist Jonathan Ames. The two talked about their creative collaboration and how writing for comics differs from writing for novels. Haspiel closed by saying that Ames was a natural, and that he hoped he would produce more comics in the future. And if you’ve been waiting for a nice fancy hardcover edition of Y The Last Man, your wait may soon be over…

Dark Horse announced two particularly left-field and exciting projects, both miniseries coming in the summer. The first is Hellboy: Crooked Man. This isn’t the direct sequel to Darkness Calls, no sir, this is a special flashback story set in the heartland of America in 1956, shot through with Appalachian folklore. Though intended to release at the same time as Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, this is very much a project unto itself. Richard Corben provides the art for these three issues, so this will be an excursion you won’t want to miss! If you feel like comics just don’t have enough big robots in them anymore, you’ll be pleased to hear about Dark Horse’s second announcement: Gigantic, brought to you by Rick Remender and Eric Nguyen. Remender said he was gunning for an art-intensive, B-movie epic vibe, and we can but hope that’ll be what we get!

And finally, for the real geeks in the audience (myself very much included), good news! Boom Studios are proud to announce that they’ve landed the license to produce comics based on the cancelled intercontinental Jim Henson space opera Farscape. The even better news is that the series is releasing to coincide with a series of online webisodes being produced for the Sci-Fi Channel. All potential nerdy references to the euphemistic term ‘frell’ have been self-rejected from this column.

And now for the competition! To celebrate the release of the King Of Comics hardcover, we’re giving away three copies of last year’s Complete Devil Dinosaur Omnibus hardcover! To win, all you have to do is answer the following question:

When Eric Powell, creator of The Goon, brought back Devil Dinosaur as part of 2005’s Marvel Monsters line, which popular present-day Marvel character was he pitted against?

If you think you know the correct answer, just comment on this post on our blog. If you can’t sign in to a personal account, you can comment anonymously – but don’t forget to leave your name in the comment itself! The first three people to comment with the correct answer win a copy of the book. Please note that the judge’s decision is final and that it is the responsibility of prize winners to arrange collection of the prize within a period of 14 days, after which any non-collected prizes will be offered to the runner-up.

And after that epic of an article, I can only wish you a happy week, and happy reading!

- Tom


Gavin Beattie said...

The Hulk?

Anonymous said...

Yep, agreed.
The Hulk.

--Paul Dokoupil

David Carnegie said...

Must be The Hulk!

Gosh! said...

All correct! Mssrs. Beattie, Dokoupil and Carnegie will all be receiving a copy of the Devil Dinosaur hardcover! Congratulations, guys!

Will Shyne said...

Jammy bleeders!

Anonymous said...

That has to be the HULK! It is!! Oh, it was… arse. That's what I get for being away midweek - diddly.


Joker said...

I agree with the sadkirbyfan bloke - it's a bugger when you go away mid-week!

I'm making a wild guess that sadkirbyfan is a bloke, but I've always lived dangerously.