Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 15/10/08

Greetings! This week's a veritable treasure trove of spandex and unlikely muscular bulges, which is all perfectly okay, because we've balanced it out by posting in-between things about strange and lovely art books by Dave McKean, Bill Presing, Chris Turnham and Kevin Dart. So it's alright. In fact, it's almost as if somebody planned it. Which is exactly what we didn't do. But that's okay too. Right?

Speaking of in-between posts, be sure to check out the first part of our exclusive interview with the legendary Kevin O’Neill! This week Kevin talks about The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and the observant among you may even spot some preview art from the upcoming LOEG 3.

One odd book that escaped the clutches of a sneaky weekend post just happens to be one of the most exciting things to arrive at Gosh! It's an amazingly designed pop-up book called ABC3D with an equally well-designed website that even has a song to go with it. A song! It's by Paris-based graphic and book designer Marion Bataille and here's what the publishers have to say:

"From the lenticular cover that changes with the angle of your hands, all the way to the Z, ABC3D is as much a work of art as it is a pop-up book. Each of the 26 dimensional letters move and change before your eyes. C turns into D with a snap. M stands at attention. X becomes Y with a flick of the wrist. And then there's U... Boldly conceived and brilliantly executed with a striking black, red, and white palette, this is a book that readers and art lovers of all ages will treasure for years to come."

Don't believe 'em? Watch this!

S is for Scalped! (And Soggy Segue.) The third trade-paperback of the acclaimed series by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera hits the shelves this week and it's full of killings. 'Ow many killingth? Two. It's up to Dash to find the people wot dunnit whilst coming to grips with his relationship with his own mother. Kind of like Tony Soprano. If you've missed this series so far now is a good time to pick it up because we've still got a few signed bookplate editions of the first trade instore. Give us a shout and we'll save one for you. We're good like that.

There's great big dollops of death in the Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics which brings you the very best the graveyard can give, including; Vince Locke's (A History of Violence) Deadworld, Scott Hampton's (Simon Dark) adaptation of R.E. Howard's Pigeons From Hell, plus stories from Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Darko Macan (Grendel Tales), and a whole slew of others. David Kendall (of The Mammoth Book of Best War Comics) compiles a selection of zombie comics from the last twenty-five years, and even includes one bona-fide classic from a 1938 issue of Weird Tales. What were zombies like before George A. Romero?

There's more violence in Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm, the raw and brutally honest true story of rap icon Percy Cary's life in the 'Hip-Hop Game'. This hardcover graphic novel memoir chronicles his life from the first time he picked up a mic at a block party, to the day he lost the use of his legs due to gang violence, to being banged-up and, eventually, to his self-reinvention and rise to Hip-Hop Grand Master.
That all sounds a bit like a cheesy montage when you say it like that, but this isn't all cliche, flashy cars and ladies’ bottoms. This gritty tale of righteous redemption is breathtakingly illustrated by Ronald Wimberly (Lucifer, Hellblazer: Papa Midnite covers) and is well worth a look.

Percy Cary probably met his fair share of assassins just like Mayor Mitchell Hundred in Brian K. Vaughan's Ex Machina Volume 7, also out this week! In this Ex Cathedra trade-paperback, Hundred is summoned to Rome for an audience with the Pope. What could go wrong with his holiday plans? Perhaps the airline goes bust and he has to be rescued by Bruce Dickinson. It happens.

Equally unlikely is Superman and Batman being pitted against vampires and werewolves. Oh, hang on! Yup, Superman & Batman Vs Vampires & Werewolves is out this week. Gee willickers, they must’ve stayed up all night thinking up that title. In fact, I had a poke about the on the internet and found writer Kevin Van Hook talking about the brilliantly camp name over on the MTV splash page.

Meanwhile, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (in Special #1) is doggedly investigating a mystery surrounding another of Superman’s foes, Atlas! I like the cover on this one; it almost looks like something that would have a caption of questionable taste over at this charming website. This story leads directly into the Superman: New Krypton Special #1 so don’t miss it! Preview here.

While that's going on, Geoff Johns is busily crafting the Crisis of the 31st Century. In Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 (art by George Perez), Superboy-Prime leads the Legion of Super-Villains against everything and everyone. And in Final Crisis: Rogue's Revenge #3 (of 3) Captain Cold and the Rogues have become what they never set out to be - wanted! The critically acclaimed team of Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunites!

Another chapter finishes with Dan Slott (Avengers: The Initiative) and John Romita Jr.’s (Kick Ass) Amazing Spider-Man #573 New Ways To Die which sees the one true Green Goblin versus Spider-Man for the first time in ages. Also concluding is the ‘Screaming Black Thunder’ storyline in B. Clay Moore’s Hawaiian Dick #5 (art by Scott Chantler) in which Byrd, Mo and Kahami find themselves face-to-face with modern criminals, a ghostly aviator, and the men who put their leader in hospital. Sneaky preview here!

But if you’d rather catch the beginning of a story, perhaps X-Men Worlds Apart #1 (of 4) is more up your street. Grab yourself a Jaffa cake, make a nice cup of tea and find out if Storm will remain Queen of Wakanda or return to her mutant team-mates. There’s another tasty looking 8-page preview of the series by Christopher Yost (New X-Men) over here.

Ghost Rider #28 will put an end to speculation when fans of ol’ Flamehead get to find out who would actually win in a Ghost Rider free-for-all – is it Johnny Blaze or Danny Ketch? Jason Aaron (Scalped) and Tang Eng Huat bring you The Last Stand of the Spirits of Vengeance!

More icons are fighting it out in the Hulk Monster Size Special #1! Jeff Parker (Agents of Atlas) and Guisseppe Cammuncoli stage a duel between the Gamma-powered Hulk, and the original science project gone wrong – the lightning born Frankenstein’s Monster. It’s going to be very messy indeed.

And lastly, if great beefy superheroes ain’t your bag, perhaps Rutu Modan’s new book Jamilti & Other Stories is. Modan’s last book, the much-lauded Exit Wounds met with critical acclaim on its release and this one also looks like a good’un. It collects Modan’s short works in hardcover, which go from the darkly fantastical and unsettling, to the personal stories of discovery and identity.

Right! That’s it for new release shout-outs. In other news, the incredibly lovely Paul Gravett’s doing a talk on Manga on the 23rd of October, spilling the beans on creators, characters, and just what makes Manga as powerful and popular as they’ve become. More details over at his website.

Why not make a week of it? Two days after Paul’s talk we’ve got the Scary Godmother herself here at Gosh! Jill Thompson will be scribbling on books for a full two hours on October 25th from 2pm, and if you’re there you’re automatically in with a chance to win a great piece of original Magic Trixie art.

-- Hayley