Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 29/10/08

Hot diggity, we’re gonna need a bigger boat. This week’s huge.

If pulse-pounding excitement is your sort of thing you’re going to be desperately disappointed with my pick of the week. It’s a handy mood-setting strategy, because desperate disappointment is a good way to start reading Chris Ware’s (Jimmy Corrigan) 19th Acme Novelty Library! From what I can gather from the amusing solicitation (which boasts that this book comes with two hardcovers, seventy-eight pages, full indicia and glue) it seems to be more of the delightfully miserable Rusty Brown stuff, a character last seen in #17 where he routinely tormented Chalky White and fantasised about Chalky’s breastfeeding wifey. It’s Chris Ware’s fault I wear glasses, but I still read everything he does because he’s brilliant.

But I won’t leave you down in the dumps and worrying about my poor eyesight for too long. Look! A Bryan Lee O’Malley exclusive! The Scott Pilgrim Colour Special was previously only available at conventions from the publisher’s booth, but Bryan sent us a bundle of ‘em just for you. It’s a full-colour collection of odds and ends from 2008 and we’ve only got a few of an extremely limited run so you’d better get in quick. It’ll be just like the Boxing Day sales. Lots of pushing and shoving, clawing of eyeballs, general gnashing of teeth, some might say a beastly transformation just like...

Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, a graphic novel adaptation of RL Stevenson’s classic by Alan Grant and Cam Kennedy (Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper) is also out this week! It brings together the creative dream team that previously adapted Stevenson’s Kidnapped and it should be good. Here’s an interview with the creators.

On the subject of big scary geezers, the all-new hardcover original graphic novel Joker by Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) and artist Lee Bermejo (Hellblazer covers) hits the shelves this week! It’s another offering from the team behind the acclaimed miniseries Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, which promises to show us an even darker and more disturbing side to the most dangerous man in Gotham, Chelsea-smile and all. This is the book that recently caused a fashion-related outburst from ol’ fuddy duddy Eddie Campbell (The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard) followed by a lesson in comicbook morality with Bermejo’s Joker as Exhibit B. Here’s the 5-page preview that riled him so.

More killings and disturbing twists abound in fan-favourite Jamie Delano’s (Outlaw Nation) Hellblazer: Family Man trade-paperback. Widely considered to be the best arc in Delano’s run on the series, this story sees a twist of fate send John Constantine into the path of a serial killer known as the Family Man. Ron Tiner, Kevin Walker (2000AD), Mark Buckingham (Sandman, Fables), Sean Phillips (Sleeper), Steve Pugh (Strontium Dog), Dean Motter (Mister X) and Mark Pennington provide the art on this one.

So the Constantine film might have been a bit pants, but del Toro’s Hellboy ones are a lot of fun. Hot on the heels of the second movie, legendary artist and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola returns to the drawing table for this highly anticipated one-shot! In Hellboy: In the Chapel of Moloch, the world’s greatest paranormal detective investigates an artist compelled by something far more sinister than any muse. Have a sneak preview here.

Another mysterious and ancient chapel features in Solomon Kane #2 by Scott Allie (Serenity) and Mario Guevara. After a brilliant start, this second issue expands upon Robert E. Howard’s unfinished ‘Castle of the Devil’ in which strange happenings occur during Kane’s stay in the castle. The beasts are preying on local peasantry, and another body is found. Preview here.

But Hell hath no fury like Elisa Cameron, a brutally murdered reporter compelled by revenge in the Ghost Omnibus Volume 1. She’s already dead and she’s making the most of it by coming back from the grave as the spectral avenger Ghost to find out who killed her and why. This trade-paperback collection features a roster of top creative talents, including screenwriter Eric Luke (Wonder Woman) and artists Adam Hughes (Catwoman) and Terry Dodson (Harley Quinn).

More angry girls in Grant Morrison’s (Final Crisis, The Invisibles, The Filth) Vertigo cult classic Kill Your Boyfriend! Now in its third printing, this graphic novel illustrated by Philip Bond (Vimanarama) and D’Israeli (The Sandman, Stickleback) is a black comedy about a British schoolgirl and her rebel boyfriend on a violent, anti-authority joyride filled with sex, drugs and anarchy. Matt Fraction ( called it “perfectly teenaged pop perfection, equal parts glam and bang, sex and violence, whimsy and menace,” and he’s probably right. This edition includes Morrison’s 1998 afterword to the story, and an origami fortune teller with bizarre messages by Morrison himself.

Anger and hatred seems to be a running theme here, so I’ll keep it going with this week’s Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns. The prelude to ‘The Blackest Night’ starts here! Readers who got a glimpse of the impending War of Light in Green Lantern #25 now get to see the introduction of the Red Lanterns into the DCU. Geoff Johns (Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E) talks about it on Newsarama.

From the War of Light to World War II in just two easy paragraphs. Garth Ennis’ (The Boys) Battlefields: Night Witches #1, illustrated by Russ Braun, begins the series in the late Summer of 1942, when the German army are deep into Soviet Russia and the defenders have retreated in disarray. A new female bomber squadron arrives at a Russian forward airbase who will, in time, become known as the legendary Night Witches. They fly flimsy wooden biplanes on lethal night missions over German lines risking fiery death. John Cassaday and Garry Leach provide the covers! Preview here.

More war in Incredible Hercules #122 which is part 2 of ‘Love and War’! See Hercules face off against Namor, Prince of Atlantis, right after you see bits of it in this ‘ere preview.

After last week’s Norse extravaganza you’re probably suffering withdrawal symptoms by now. But it’s all going to be okay, because Northlanders #11 by Brian Wood (DMZ) and Ryan Kelly (Local) is here. This one takes place during the tale end of Viking rule in Ireland where there are rumblings of a potential uprising. A new story arc kicks off!

Speaking of new stories, New Krypton Part 2 is out this week in Superman #681! This one picks up directly from Special #1, which saw 100, 000 Kryptonians descend on Earth. This issue also features the first part of a cover triptych that will continue next month on the front of Supergirl and Action Comics. DC Comics have provided a handy New Krypton checklist which you can download here so you won’t miss a thing.

While we’re on the subject of Superman, why not pick up Man of Rock: The Biography of Joe Kubert by Bill Schelly? It provides a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the career of one of the most important men in the history of comics, and is full of previously unknown details about his life and work. There are also interviews and anecdotes from Kubert’s colleagues, family, and friends.

Rick Random: Space Detective is another bloke who tends to spend a bit of time away from Earth. He’s a comicbook character who first appeared in Super Detective Library back in 1954, and was then resurrected in the late seventies in 2000AD. This trade-paperback collects ten of Rick’s original interplanetary adventures with the wonderful artwork of Ron Turner reproduced larger than ever before!

Time for a Halloween monster round-up! Gosh favourite Screamland by Harold Sipe and Hector Casanova is collected in one trade-paperback volume this week with an introduction by Jason Aaron (Scalped, Ghost Rider)! What happens to Hollywood’s werewolves and mummies in the twilight of their fame? Then in the DCU, werewolves and vampires battle Superman and Batman in the second issue of the astutely named Superman & Batman Vs. Vampires & Werewolves series by Kevin VanHook (Bloodshot) and Tom Mandrake (Grimjack). The first issue was terrible, but in the good, comedy gold kind of way. And in Giant-Size X-Men: First Class Special #1, the Beast starts conducting investigations into his own X-files around the world. Are there aliens among us – or things even weirder? This one features guest-star artists as well as classic material. Preview here!

Dressing up as a naughty nurse for Halloween? Then get yourself Love on Ward B, stat! It was first launched in 1963 and for years after women of all ages were coughing up a shilling a month to read the romantic adventures of Sally Brown, the blonde and impossibly beautiful nurse at the General Hospital in the Hospital Nurse Picture Library. With story titles like ‘Man Crazy’ and ‘Naughty Nurse’ it’ll probably be more exciting than sitting in the waiting room trying to guess what everyone’s got.

Someone’s dressing up in Gilbert Hernandez’s (Love and Rockets) Speak of the Devil graphic novel: a peeping tom prowling the neighbourhood wearing a devil mask. This hardcover collects the entire six-issue miniseries which ranked as one of The Comics Journal’s Best of 2007!

It’s the season of pumpkins and ghouls, but it’s also the time of superhero annuals.
Written by Jeph Loeb, with art by Rafa Sandoval and Marko Djurdjevic, the Ultimate Captain America Annual #1 goes into the secret past of the Black Panther and guest-stars the Ultimates. Preview here!

Then there’s Brian Michael Bendis’ (Secret Invasion) Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3 illustrated by Hellcat artist David LaFuente Garcia, which delves into the relationship between Peter Parker and Mary Jane and is destined to be one of the most controversial issues of the year, so they say.

And finally, Kevin Huizenga (Curses, Ganges) is back with the 5th installment of Or Else! It’s a pocket-sized issue full of all sorts of important issues and life questions such as ‘How are we spending our Tuesday?’ I spent mine battling with a computer and wishing I wasn’t.

And that, I think, is it.
-- Hayley