Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 24/07/08

Hello, Internet-land! We can’t get enough of charity here at Gosh Comics, so we’re pleased to spotlight a book that’s both a noble effort and one of the most exciting releases of the week: Liberty Comics: A CBLDF Benefit Book.

Co-published with Image comics, this 32-page wonder showcases the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund’s most stalwart supporters in order to free you of your hard-earned cash. Included in their number are such stars as Darwyn Cooke, John Paul Leon and Sergio Aragones providing all-new material in support of the Fund. There are also exclusive instalments of The Boys and Criminal from the series’ original creators, Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Should be a one-shot worth the having! A fine wedge of comics fun and a kick up censorship’s backside, all for less than three English pounds!

Image also brings us the brand new, landmark, one-of-a-kind Invincible #51, kicking off a new era (and a new costume) for the flagship character. The end of issue #50 left a sense of change beyond repair and of unforseen consequences soon to come for the series, as I for one am thrilled to see where it all goes from here. Writer Robert Kirkman also contributes to Image Monster Pile-Up #1, a collection of all-new stories featuring Image’s roster of up-and-coming freaks. And that’s ‘freaks’ in the most complimentary way possible. Showcased within are The Astounding Wolf-Man, Firebreather, The Perhapanauts and Proof, meaning brand new material from Todd & Craig, Andy Kuhn and Phil Hester to boot. It’s a big week for Kirkman for another, very significant reason, but that can wait until the news updates at the end of the column…

DC brings us two great entries in their recent drive to rediscover a truer, bluer era of adventure comics with a sibilant combination of comics. The first is Superman #678, the second in James Robinson’s run, drawn once again by Renato Guedes. The first issue (still in stock) was promising, and certainly confirmed Robinson’s dedication to bringing Krypto the Superdog back into the fold. With this run and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank on Action, it’s an exciting time to be a Super-fan.

The second is The Spirit #19. After Darwyn Cooke left the title, I was concerned where the title was heading, and what relevance it would have without the drive he lent to the series. However, after a slightly shaky start, the line-up of Sergio Aragonés, Mark Evanier and Paul Smith have really got a hold of how to write a successful Spirit title. The last issue, in particular, was a romp and a half, pitting our hero against legions of Egyptian mummies, dangerous femme fatales and a particularly frustrated Commissioner Dolan. It’s genuinely enjoyable stuff, and definitely worth picking up if you enjoyed Eisner’s original material or Cooke’s stunning interpretation.

It’s a comparatively quiet week from Marvel, but there is one glaring exception – Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #1. The Marvel Adventures line has been a real success under its mandate to provide standalone, accessible superhero action for all ages, and Marvel’s dedication to expanding it shows a great sense of integrity, as well as good business sense. This new series runs in four-issue arcs, swapping out its cast as well as its creators between arcs! First up are Iron Man, the Hulk and Spider-Man, brought to you by Roger Cruz and Alvin Lee, in a tale of superhuman puppy-sitting. Should be fun!

It’s a blockbuster week for graphic novels of an off-the-wall bent, no more evident than from the release of Comic Book Tattoo, Image’s huge collection of comic stories inspired by the music of Tori Amos! Ms. Amos clearly has a great number of fans in the industry, as the book runs to 480 pages and features the work of Mark Buckingham, Pia Guerra, David Mack, Eric Canete, Hope Larson and many, many more! Image also brings us the first volume of their long-awaited American Flagg Definitive Edition hardcovers.

In a similar vein, there’s also Magic Trixie Volume 1, the first collection of Jill Thompson’s latest series for kids, dealing with the trials and tribulations of a young girl and her jealousy of her magically gifted baby sister. And that’s not all! Jeff Smith: Bone and Beyond is a hardcover collecting large-scale reproductions of the work being featured in the Wexner Center for the Arts’ current exhibition of the same name. The book contains scores of Smith’s artwork, as well as some from the cartoonists who influenced him from an early age, such as George Herriman, Charles Schultz and Walt Kelly. I’ll be picking one up, but then I’d buy an acid jazz LP if it had a Jeff Smith drawing on it. All of which is to say nothing of the £20 wonder paperback collecting the entirety of Rob Schrab’s SCUD!

Biggest news item of the week is that soon the humble organisation known as Gosh will soon be playing host once again to superstar British comic creators Ian Edginton and D’Israeli! The famed creative team behind the Scarlet Traces series’ are “bringin’ Stickleback”, and the launch party is right here, with a big signing comprising their complete published history including the brand new collection of the aforementioned hit 2000 AD story. It all goes down on Saturday 16th August from 4pm to 6pm, and if you can’t make it on the day, send us an email and we’ll reserve you a signed copy of the new book.

And now for the hinted-at Kirkman news – the Invincible and Walking Dead creator has just been named as a partner in Image Comics, making him as important to the company as the original founders. Kirkman now has editorial influence at the company, so we can expect Invincible, Walking Dead and Astounding Wolf-Man to run until the trumpets signal the advent of the apocalypse, which is of course a profoundly wonderful thing.

And now for our competition spot! It’s a good ‘un this week, celebrating the release of the latest collection of Jeff Smith’s art, Bone & Beyond. In commemoration of this latest opus, we’re giving away two copies of the previous tribute to his expertly smooth line, The Art of Bone! It’s a lovely big book, in hardcover and all, so get ready to tell us…

Who is this?

If you think you know the answer, just comment on this post on our blog. First two correct answers win a copy of the book. If you can’t sign in to a personal account, you can comment anonymously – but don’t forget to leave your name along with your answer in the comment itself! 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.

That’s all for the week – happy summer!
- Tom


Paul said...

I think it's Charles Vess.

Gavin Beattie said...

It is Charles Vess!

Gosh! said...

Well done, Gavin and Paul! It is indeed the artist of sadly-out-of-print-Bone-spin-off Rose, Charles Vess.