Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 09/05/08

Hello, The Internet! Since we’ve moved to a blog format with these columns, I feel a real impetus to make an effort to put the truly exceptional comics first and foremost, so that they’re properly spotlighted to really show the authors that their efforts and their work are appreciated. As such, I feel no more justification is needed to make Jack Staff #16 my absolute, number one, tip-top tip of the week. Since making the leap of going monthly, Paul Grist has kept to an admirably disciplined release schedule at no sacrifice to the quality of the material being produced. The storytelling is still inspired, the characters are as sympathetic as ever, and the art’s still oh-so pretty in that quintessential Grist style. If you’ve never picked up Jack Staff or Grist’s other title Kane before, this is the week it all changes. Do yourself a favour and grab a trade, you won’t regret it.

You’d almost think there’d been some kind of Iron Man film released in the last week, because Marvel’s brought out not one, not two, but three new releases featuring ol’ Shellhead, all at once! Funny, isn’t it? The two that will be getting the most attention are Viva Las Vegas and Invincible Iron Man, both being very clearly painted in the image of Hollywood. Viva Las Vegas is even drawn by the designer of the film’s suit, Adi Granov, and written by director Jon Favreau! Invincible Iron Man, however, is planned as an ongoing title, and seems more accessible than the still-running Iron Man Director of SHIELD comic while remaining in continuity. Whatever that means. More importantly, Invincible Iron Man #1 makes for a fun read, written, as it is, by upcoming-and-actually-good comics scribe Matt Fraction, and chock-full, as it is, of technological paranoia.

However, without a doubt the best in Marvel’s Iron-tastic release pantheon is Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin in paperback, collecting Joe Casey and Eric Canete’s six-issue miniseries from last year. This is cheating a bit, as it hardly has anything whatsoever to do with the movie, but it provides some well-written, pacy, beautifully-drawn robot-suit beat-upping, and frankly that should be enough for any Iron Fan. If you missed this the first time around, I strongly recommend that you pick up this handy, affordable gem of a trade paperback. While some people may find Canete’s artwork a bit wild and not exactly to their taste, those people are wrong, and they know that they are wrong.

Hey, look, it’s Secret Invasion #2! This is what happens when you hire an artist who gets stuff done for your big event comic, amirite? While I would recommend Secret Invasion even to the event-skeptical given its strong and deeply teasing first issue, I would also recommend that you pick up last week’s New Avengers #40. This skipped straight past my radar at first, but on second look, it’s quite the issue! It gives you just about all of the Skrull political back-story, explains how the Skrull sleeper agents are undetectable, and even drops a huge Skrull unmasking on the end, all drawn absolutely beautifully by Jim Cheung.

DC parries with a slew of new titles reinvigorating old licenses! Tor #1 stands out as being written and drawn by Joe Kubert – a rarity in this day and age, I’m sure you’ll agree. However, it’s a welcome and pleasantly old-school return as Kubert straps us in for more prehistoric adventure with the primitive human who, in the company of his chimpanzee buddy Chee-Chee, searches for meaning in a wild world where everybody’s got something to hide, except for him and his monkey. Also releasing is an in-Vertigo rebirth named House of Mystery #1, repainting the House as a haven for stories reminiscent of Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s series (and anybody who gets that reference deserves a biscuit). Jack of Fables writers Bill Willingham and Matt Sturges are the perfect subjects to handle such a premise, so this title should be one worth keeping an eye on.

Another book worth mentioning is the collection at long last of JLA Presents Aztek The Ultimate Man. This is a gem from back in the day of Grant Morrison’s tenure JLA, co-written by Mark Millar – a character who lived, was briefly beloved, and then instantly disappeared without a trace. Perhaps he’ll find a place in Morrison’s post-Final Crisis DC Universe. Who can say?

For anybody interested in the Centre For Recent Drawing is hosting an exhibition and panel discussion on diary comics from the 8th-23rd May, Wednesday-Friday, 12-6pm. Both the exhibition and panel will have the input of such luminaries as Gabrielle Bell, Ariel Schrag and Rutu Modan. The panel discussion will take place on the first day of the exhibition, from 6:15-7pm and will be hosted by comics historian Paul Gravett. More information can be found at

It’s come a bit late, but there’s still time for Previews watch – remember, this is one way we determine how much of something comes in, so if you want it – speak up! Firstly: next to Scary-Go-Round and The Perry Bible Fellowship, Chris Onstad’s Achewood is one of the most consistently entertaining webcomics around, and it’s finally getting its mainstream publishing debut in the Great Outdoor Fight hardcover. Collecting a pivotal storyline of what was declared Time magazine’s Greatest Graphic Novel of 2007, this book will appeal hugely to fans of Tony Millionaire, Chris Ware, Sam and Max and just any comics that are funny.

Embracing the fact that one of the best things by far about Batman is his villains, DC’s releasing a series of one-shots, all in July, each telling a story epitomising a villain’s particular brand of wickedness, under the banner The Joker’s Asylum. For my money, the most fun edition should prove to be The Penguin, drawn by DC’s talented go-to cartoonist Jason Pearson and written by Gosh favourite Jason Aaron! Also covered are Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Two-Face and The Joker himself. Worth noting as well is Jonah Hex #33, a special one-off issue drawn by Darwyn Cooke and set in his own backyard of sunny Canada.

The new Wildstorm universe makes its debut in the pages of WildCATS World’s End #1, written by Christos Gage and with appealing art by Neil Googe, bringing back such favourites as Zealot, Grifter, and my own personal favourite metal-jawed rocker, Ladytron.

Image Comics’ oddest solicitation of the month must be for Tori Amos’ Comic Book Tattoo, which runs to a full 480 pages of Amos-inspired short stories by the likes of Jonathan Hickman, Eric Canete, Colleen Doran and Jock! First in the ‘cool’ stakes is Liberty Comics, a one-shot benefit book produced for the promotion of the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund. However, your patronage of Liberty Comics won’t be without its rewards, containing as it does brand new The Boys and Criminal stories, as well as original work by Darwyn Cooke, John Paul Leon and Sergio Aragonés!

Marvel’s industry ads answer a question as old as time, namely: whatever happened to Newuniversal? That answer comes in the form of two new titles: Newuniversal: Shockfront and Newuniversal: 1959. While the former is written by Ellis as you’d expect, the latter is written by Phonogram scribe Kieron Gillen in his first mainstream Marvel writing gig. Coolest ad of the month, however, is the unexpected return of Kathryn Immonen’s interpretation of Patsy Walker: Hellcat. It was cool in Marvel Comics Presents, it’ll be cool now! Sadly, her husband Stuart Immonen is not signed on for art duties, but Spanish cartoonist David Lafuente should provide ample compensation in his stead.

And now for this week’s competition! To coincide with Marvel’s current Alan Davis fever, with a new Clandestine on the shelves and X-Men covers aplenty, we’re giving away three copies of the premiere hardcover of his recent Killraven series for Marvel. And since it’s a Secret Invasion week, the killer question is:

Which tragically memorable moment in Skrull history was rendered by Alan Davis in X-Men #90?

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.

Best of luck, and see you next week!
- Tom


Chris Hunt said...

Galactus consumed the Skrull homeworld in x-men #90

(After the x-men had travelled back in time and found a lot of Skrulls disguised as Earths heroes on the skrull homeworlds moon, Xavier tried to change history and reason with Galactus but he still destroyed the Skrull Homeworld)

Chris Hunt

Paul said...

Galactus destroyed the Skrull homeworld, which I believe was Tarnax IV.

Paul Reeve

David Carnegie said...

Galactus dined out on the Skrull homeworld

Gosh! said...

Well done Chris, Paul and David. Here's hoping it's actually you three who've won, and not some Skrull imposters. Your prizes are behind the till for you.