Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 12/11/08

‘Allo Goshlings! I hope everyone’s well and you’ve all still got your eyebrows after bonfire night.

Top spot this week goes to the best looking book on the shelf: Fables Covers By James Jean in hardcover. Jean could probably build a small garden shed with the pile of awards he’s won for his illustration work - all of them much deserved. But if you’re a Fables fan you don’t need me to tell you that. As well as the cover gallery this deluxe, oversized volume features never-before-seen sketches alongside commentary by Jean himself, and an afterword by Fables writer Bill Willingham. There probably won’t be a second volume like this since Jean’s announced his retirement from the series as of #81 so he can work on his own stuff, so it’s a one-off! You can see his Fables work to date (in fairly low-res, mind) here, and a further poke about on the internet reveals he’s even annotated the cover to the collection of covers. Thorough! If that’s your bag you’ll probably be wanting Fables #78 which is also out this week. Nudge nudge.

Next up is a book I forgot to mention last week because I’m rubbish: Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant Far From Camelot. Hal Foster can’t do much these days but Mark Schultz (Xenozoic Tales) and Gary Gianni have continued his Sunday strips about the iconic knight’s epic adventures. Three and a half years worth of strips are collected here, dating from November 21, 2004 to May 11, 2008. Here’s Gianni talking about his work, and here’s a review you might like to read.

And while we’re on the subject of knights, Peter David fans will be happy to see Sir Apropos Of Nothing #1 (of 5) on the shelves! Based on his acclaimed fantasy trilogy, this series is written by David himself and illustrated by Robin Riggs (Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag). In this first part of five, Apropos rides a horse with no name, seeks out some buried treasure and runs afoul of a dark tower that will no doubt be familiar to fans. There’s an interview with Peter David over on Newsarama, and a preview to boot.

Then there’s Sky Doll by Barbara Canepa and Alessandro Barbucci collected in hardcover for the first time in English! This internationally acclaimed bestseller is all about Noa, a life-like female android who exists only to serve the State’s needs until she attempts to escape from her evil master and all hell breaks loose. Definitely worth a look if weird sci-fi floats yer boat.

The Ted McKeever Library Volume 1 has been threatening to come out for a while (like many things) but is now actually here! This 156-page black and white hardcover collects Transit, a story nominated for an Eisner some 20 years back. It’s the first of three volumes, the subsequent books being Eddy Current and Metropol (both out at some point in the vague but imminent future) all part of McKeever’s interconnected magnum opus about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events.
In this one, an urban rebel called Spud becomes involved in a political nightmare and needs to get out of it before the city self-destructs. As a special treat for fans, there’s not only a never-before-published final chapter to the story, but loads of unpublished art, character designs and ads!

Right! Here’s some superhero stuff for you. There’s two Batman titles of note this week, the first of which is the trade-paperback of Batman: Ego And Other Tails by Gosh-favourite Darwyn Cooke (DC: The New Frontier, The Spirit) collecting all of Cooke’s greatest Batman stories, featuring art by Cooke, Tim Sale (Batman: The Long Halloween) and Bill Wray (Hellboy). The other one to watch out for is Batman: Cacophony #1 of 3 by writer/director Kevin Smith (Green Arrow, Daredevil, Clerks). Smith’s own creation Onomatopoia returns in this miniseries event with art by Walt J. Flanagan and Sandra Hope. There’s a preview here but mind how you go – some fans have whinged there’s a villain-related spoiler.

The name How Late?! becomes more appropriate all the time - Wolverine #69 is another one that’s dawdling in this week, long overdue. This is Part 4 of 8 in Mark Millar (Wanted) and Steve McNiven’s (Civil War) post-apocalyptic epic which sees America dominated by super-villains and craggy old Logan on a cross-country journey with Hawkeye to deliver a secret package. Who knows when the next part will put in an appearance so best stretch it out by only reading a panel a day. Or something.

DC and Marvel’s 4-issue co-publishing event JLA Avengers in now in trade-paperback! Written by Kurt Busiek (Trinity, Marvels) with art by George Perez (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, Avengers), this collection also sports an introduction by Stan Lee and Julius Schwartz (editor of Justice League of America). Then there’s the highly anticipated JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman, the first story fully written and illustrated by Alex Ross! This one spins off the ‘One World, Under Gog’ storyline and sees a final conflict between the Supermen of Earths 1 and 22. It’s all building up to a conclusion in Justice Society of America #22, out in January. Here’s a preview and an interview with Ross.

Another trade-paperback you should check out is Ghost Rider Volume 5: Hell Bent Heaven Bound written by another Gosh-favourite, Jason Aaron (Scalped) with art by Roland Boschi! Johnny Blaze is cursed and knows who to blame – now he’s hitting the road and out for vengeance. This one’s completely nuts and a lot of fun.

Final mention this week goes to Earth’s New Comic For Youth Gone Wild – Wasted #1. It’s a magazine-sized small press thing boasting a cover and by Frank Quitely (All Star Superman) which is also reprinted as a pull-out poster in the middle, and future issues will have work by both Simon Bisley (ABC Warriors) and Brendan McCarthy (Tharg’s Future Shocks) gracing their covers. This full-colour comic is packed full of profanities, blasphemy, and boobs by people like Alan Grant (Judge Dredd), John Wagner (A History of Violence), and Gary Erskine (Dan Dare). Head on over to their website for more information on this highly offensive release.

And last of all, Gosh! are looking for someone to work part-time on our busy Saturdays. Anyone interested should drop a CV in at the front counter.

That's about it.
-- Hayley


thickear said...

Great round up. I'll try to send my one reader your way.

Parka said...

Amazingly, this book was sold out at my local bookshop.