Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 21/08/08

Welcome back to the Gosh blog; the only place that can make up for a miserable summer.

We’ve got a somewhat quieter reading pile arriving Thursday, but there’re still some treats there.

Marvel rule the week with a slew of delights. First up, the long awaited return of John Romita Jr to Spider-Man begins in Amazing #568. Dan Slott pens this tale which also sees the return of Mary Jane, Venom and the Green Goblin. The six-part story is also the debut of the Anti-Venom. This is a titanic team on Amazing, and the storyline is touted as having major ramifications for the wall-crawler.

Ed Brubaker’s Captain America epic heads towards its explosive conclusion, with #41. This issue begins the final chapter of the Death of Captain America storyline, as Bucky gets closer to Cap’s killers. What will happen with the crazy 50s Cap? What will happen to Sharon Carter and Steve Roger’s unborn child? Will Redwing ever find love? All these questions and more hopefully will be answered!

Now at Gosh we’re unapologetic for our platonic love of Jason Aaron. So when he has not one, but two books appearing on the same day, we’re giddy like it’s Christmas morning. His run on Ghost Rider amps up as Danny Ketch’s reappearance is explained. This run has made the character the best he’s ever been, with fun, high action stories. With Tan Eng Huat on art, it’s guaranteed to look good too! Meanwhile, Aaron’s tour de force, Scalped, finishes its current arc this Thursday as well. After the revelation of last issue, expect another 24-page gut punch. I know we bang on about how incredible Scalped is, but it is easily one of the top five books being released month to month.

After a great start to their run with Uncanny X-Men #500, Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker start their first full arc. The newly relocated X-Men start to settle in San Francisco, and come up against the new Hellfire Cult (as seen jumping out of a van last issue.) If #500 were any indication, this run promises to be one of the best yet. Fraction and Brubaker have proven their skills working together with their run on The Immortal Iron Fist. And best of all the team now features a Welsh member.

Peter David X-Factor fans can rejoice this week as we have two issues arriving. As well as the final part of the Secret Invasion She-Hulk crossover, we get the Layla Miller special. During the brilliant Messiah Complex, Layla was trapped in a post apocalyptic future and locked in a mutant concentration camp. As we X-historians know, this future’s mutants were liberated during the Summers rebellion and now Layla’s trapped in the middle of it. She may “know stuff”, but can she stay alive to get back to her (prophesied) marriage to Jamie Madrox? X-Factor’s corner of the Marvel Universe is easily one of the best. I know I say it a lot, but if you haven’t taken the plunge get the trades!!

It only feels like last week that we had an issue of Punisher Max. Oh wait, it was! Marvel have jumped straight to the new creative team of crime novelist Gregg Hurwitz (The Kill Clause, The Crime Writer, Foolkiller) and Laurence Campbell (Punisher Annual: The Hunted). The run sees Frank Castle tracking a vicious child killer in a small Mexican town. Campbell’s art on this run looks gorgeous, and you can judge for yourself with this preview.

In fact Comic Book Resources have previews of all the Marvel books from this week here.

Though DC don’t have as many big books out this week, they make up for it tenfold with their biggest. Geoff Johns and George Perez bring us the definitive book of the future with Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds. Spinning out of both Johns’ Action Comics and Green Lantern runs, this series sees Superboy Prime leading the new Legion of Super-Villains against Earth in a no holds barred future epic. The book promises to feature all the different incarnations of the Legion from recent years. It also will clear up any confusion surrounding the young super-team, with their 6 billion re-shakes over the past decade. Geoff Johns is on fire (not literally, put down the extinguisher) at the moment. His DC books have refreshed characters and taken them into their respective golden ages. If you love your DC books action-packed, fast paced and incredibly well written, buy this book. Preview here.

Dark Horse’s stable (see what I did there) features some of the best continuing series of the moment, two of which feature this week. Rick Reminder’s space oddity Fear Agent started it’s new arc last issue, and has taken the action from deep space to the old west. With Tony Moore back on art, this latest story is looking like it’ll hold up against the other four incredible volumes. I’m not going to bother telling you to get the trades, because you already have them, right?

BY CROM! Conan’s back again! This issue continues the tale of Conan's grandfather, Connacht. As well as the usual team of cover artist Frank Cho, writer Timothy Truman and artist Tomás Giorello, this issue features veteran artist Richard Corben. Judging from his work on Haunt of Horror, expect something beautiful and horrific (or Andrew, as we call him).

Dark Horse also have a pair of great trades appearing on Thursday. Myspace Dark Horse Presents collects the first six issues of this great online-resurrected comic anthology. This volume features complete stories by favourites Joss Whedon, Guy Davis, Eric Powell and even has a “lost” Umbrella Academy story by Gerard Way. The book is also noteworthy as it contains a slew of newcomers, as well as established pros. Definitely worth a look.

The second book from the Horse is one of my picks of the week, Achewood: The Great Outdoor Fight. This hardcover volume marks the first time this internationally renowned web strip has been available in print. If you imagine David Lynch writing a newspaper strip about animals, you’re part the way to understanding Achewood. While it has no traditional punch lines and is incredibly surreal, it’s easily one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. If you’re a fan of the dark twisted humour of the Perry Bible Fellowship, Achewood might be right up your street.

And finally to my main pick of the week, Atomic Robo: The Dogs of War. After the success of their first hilarious mini series (now available in trade paperback) the boys at Red 5 bring us the first arc of this new ongoing series. If you don’t know Robo, he’s the creation of Nikola Tesla, who since his creation in the 20s has fought the good fight. He founded his own company, and with his team Action Scientists of Tesladyne he’s become the world authority on the unexplained. The new series is set during the war and features Atomic Robo fighting off Nazi super mechs. If that doesn’t convince you to buy it, I don’t know what will!

Now to the news!

The biggest piece of comics news this week is Robert Kirkman’s manifesto and the follow-up interview he did over at Word Balloon. The video blog was Kirkman’s outlining of his future comic plans, and a call to arms for his fellow creators. Kirkman has now stopped writing for Marvel (though Killraven and Destroyer Max are still coming) and will focus on his creator owned books. The writer thinks the industry needs to have its big names focus on their own creations to allow those down the pecking order a chance to shine on big name books. Kirkman also wants the big companies to make their larger titles all-ages accessible, as not enough new readers are coming to comics.

There’s been extremely mixed reaction to the video. Kirkman’s call to arms hasn’t created any bad blood, the consensus is simply that it’s not quite as cut and dry as he makes out. It’s all very interesting stuff and we’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

In exceedingly sad comics news, we bid farewell to acclaimed Argentinian artist Carlos Meglia. The artist is best known in the UK and US for his work on Superman, Elektra and Spyboy. He was a favourite at Gosh and our thoughts are with his family and friends. If you’ve never experienced his gorgeous style, be sure to pick up Superman: Infinite City, his Superman graphic novel.

Paulo Rivera has revealed he’ll be pencilling an issue of Amazing Spider-Man. The Mythos (soon available in hardcover) artist will be joined by writer Zeb Wells on an oversized issue, featuring the Punisher. Issue 577 will also feature Rivera’s first foray at Marvel without his paintbrush, as he’ll be using a more regular pencil and ink approach.

With the success of books like 100 Bullets and Young Liars, Vertigo are creating their own Crime imprint. This “subimprint” (it’ll still be under Vertigo) will feature black and white hardcover original graphic novels from some of the best in crime writing. The line will be launching in early 2009 with Brian Azzarello's Filthy Rich and Ian Rankin's Dark Entries.

Ian Rankin though no stranger to crime story telling, is taking his first jaunt into comics with Dark Entries. He’ll be joined by artist Werther Dell'edera and everyone’s favourite chain smoker John Constantine. The story features Constantine investigating the aftermath of a reality TV show disaster.

Brian Azzarello and artist Victor Santos bring us a book set in the 1960s with Filthy Rich. The story follows a man with a life full of missteps and bad choices who is hired as a bodyguard for a wealthy automobile heiress. According to Azzarello, the story concerns "the celebrity culture of wealth". Newsarama claim that this will have a more “upbeat vibe” compared to the writer’s usual grimness.

As well as previews for this week, Marvel have also posted links to upcoming books. First up we’ve got Sub Mariner the Depths a new Marvel Knights limited series from Peter (Shade the Changing Man) Milligan and Esad (Silver Surfer Requiem) Ribic. Next up there’s a preview of the new ongoing Deadpool series by Daniel (Wolverine Origins) Way and Paco (New X-Men) Medina. If you’d like either of these series added to your order, just drop us a line.

A big thank you to all who came along to the Stickleback signing on Saturday. It was a lovely day for all and Matt Brooker (D’Israeli) has posted pictures on his blog. If you missed out on the day, we still have signed copies from Messrs Edginton and D’Israeli available upstairs.

And finally, just a reminder that due to the long weekend, next week’s new comics will be a day late. So we’ll expect to see you all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Friday 29th August.

And with that I bid you farewell,


Matt @ Gosh! said...

Here’s my ten cents on the Kirkman Manifesto.

The idea of a max exodus from the big companies, could be throwing the baby out with the bath water. Though it would give newer creators a chance to shine, it could have a negative effect on the industry as a whole.

Comics, of the moment, are the best they have ever been for creator owned properties. With companies like Image, Boom, and IDW becoming increasingly more successful, newer projects are coming to light and into the public’s hand. Even Marvel and DC are supporting their bigger names when they want to do their own thing; and it’s created one of the best comics out there (Criminal.)

The issue that really does need addressing is bringing in newer readers. This isn’t just a case of toning down the “real” in your Spidey or Supes books (though it would help.) Ultimately the way comics as a medium is viewed needs to change. Though the stigma over funnybooks has dispersed immensely over the years, all companies need to work on the promotion of books to the public sphere.

With comic movies tearing up Hollywood, comic books should be given away free to kids to get them hooked. These books should showcase the best in art, story and should end in such a way that get kids wanting to pick up another tpb or start a subscription.

Though the comics industry is far from dead, I think that rather than grand sweeping changes in editorial, or creative policy; a brain trust needs to come together from all the companies and re-evaluate every aspect of comics.

As a medium Comics are the most vibrant and brilliant, as they’re infinite and unrestricted by time. There can be books on any subject, with any style of artwork. By its nature, it will always have a place in the world, be it in print or online. So don’t worry quiet yet.

Matt @ Gosh!

Anonymous said...

Guys, MJ does not return in NWTD.