Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 19/11/08

If you’re after something weird this week you’ll have no trouble finding it here at Gosh! The first thing I’ll point at is Lagoon, a hardcover debut graphic novel from Fantagraphics by a talented young cartoonist called Lilli Carré. You might remember her from such comics as the Eisner and Harvey Award nominated Tales of Woodsman Pete (bits of which can be seen here), about a hermit slowly losing his marbles. Her latest book is quietly strange - the story of a family seduced by a mysterious shape-shifting creature’s siren song emanating from a nearby lagoon. It’s heavily influenced by Creature From the Black Lagoon and the top notch Robert Mitchum classic Night of the Hunter, and has a sort of Charles Burns oddness to it which I quite like. This bloke read it twice on his lunch break and thinks it’s phenomenal. But he seems a little nonplussed by the pizza.

Petey & Pussy by John Kerschbaum (Bizarro Comics) is another hardcover from Fantagraphics this week, which seems to be a gruesome Ren & Stimpy mix of Looney Tunes and Luis Buñuel. That is, ‘if all of the anthropomorphic animals were kvetching, balding, foul-mouthed misanthropes’, sez Fanta. I find a little misanthropy never goes astray, so I’ll be picking this one up. It’s oddly surreal, full of slapstick adventures, mundane realism, and obscenities. Comic Book Resources has a wee interview with Kerschbaum here.

Next up is Swallow Me Whole by Nate Powell, winner of the 2008 Outstanding Debut Ignatz Award which, by the way, is a brick. An actual brick. While looking for something else I was amused by this story about what happened to Tony Millionaire’s brick at a con a couple of years ago. But I digress! Swallow Me Whole is a uniquely bizarre love story exploring the shadowy corners of adolescence and mental illness, with none of the usual melodramatic baloney – there’s hallucination and insect armies instead. The illustration is incredibly delicate and well worth a look. Nate Powell was a guest blogger at Powell’s recently along with a bunch of other Top Shelf creators. See?

And if you like a bit of adolescent drama, you’ll be pleased to know that Wet Moon Volume 4 is also hitting the shelves this week. It’s packed full of the goth heartbreak and humour you’ve come to expect from the Eisner-nominated creator Ross Campbell.

Back in 1952 Don Freeman – author of the 1968 kids’ classic Corduroy - self-published a book called Skitzy: The Story of Floyd W. Skitzafroid, about a man literally divided between his life as a grumpy office worker and life as a carefree artist. He splits into two beings shortly after kissing wifey goodbye in the morning and the two halves spend the day avoiding each other. Drawn & Quarterly have published a near-facsimile hardcover version of this odd dialogue-free graphic novel, and it’s out tomorrow.

After my past experiences in grumpy offices I feel perfectly justified in segueing into Walking Dead Volume 4 in hardcover! Relationships are getting complicated in prison for the survivors, and the S is about to hit the F. Written by Robert Kirkman (Invincible, Marvel Zombies) with art by Charlie Adlard (Savage) and Cliff Rathburn (Brit), this volume collects #19-24 of the highly lauded Gosh-favourite.

Dead Space by Anthony Johnston and Ben Templesmith (Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse) is released in hardcover this week, collecting the entire 6-issue mini-series prequel to the recently released sci-fi survival horror game from EA. There’s a distant mining colony, a mysterious alien artifact causing more trouble than a drunken uncle at a party, religious fervour and insanity - which is pretty much all you need to make a highly entertaining book.

After last week’s Fables extravaganza you might have thought that was it for a while – but no! The war in Fabletown is heating up in the next trade-paperback, Fables Volume 11 War and Pieces, which sees Cinderella attempting to get her mitts on the same mysterious package the Empire’s been after. Written by Bill Willingham, with brilliant art by the lovely Mark Buckingham (Death, Sandman).

Two comics legends get collected this week: First up is Jack “King” Kirby’s The Demon Omnibus, which brings together the entire 16-issue series featuring one of his most memorable creations, Etrigan the Demon! Then Stan Lee’s Stan’s Soapbox columns from 1967-1980 are collected in one mighty trade-paperback volume! They’re presented in ‘historical context’ – I gather that’s chronological too, otherwise I know a few people who’ll be spending their Thursday evening rearranging it with a Stanley knife. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige, X-Men movie producer Tom DeSanto and a bevy of others also write about their favourite columns.

Time for some superhero stuff methinks. Heroes Volume 2 in hardcover collects more of the hugely popular online comics based on the hit television series. Loads of top TV and comics writers have had a go, including Joe Kelly (Uncanny X-Men), Steven T. Seagle (It’s a Bird), Duncan Rouleau (Ben 10), and if the sales on the last volume are anything to go by this is going to be big.

Then there’s the JSA Kingdom Come Special Magog #1 written by Peter J. Tomasi (Black Adam: The Dark Age), with art by Fernando Pasarin, which sees recent Gog convert David Reid going to some lengths to find justice in the world. Here’s a preview.

Another big event continues in Supergirl #35 – that’s Part 5 on your New Krypton list! Written by Sterling Gates, with art by Jamal Igle (Nightwing) and Keith Champagne (Aztek), it’s also got a great cover by Alex Ross, just like the JSA Special up there. Preview.

Over in Age of Sentry #3 (of 6) by Paul Tobin and Jeff Parker (Agents of Atlas), with art by Nick Dragotta, The Sentry meets his match in the form of a trouble-making hillbilly. A preview of Marvel’s Golden Age that never was, here.

And finally, in what seems to be a regular Jason Aaron round-up, Ghost Rider #29 sees Johnny Blaze battle his brother Danny Ketch as illustrated by Tan Eng Huat (Fever)! Preview here. (Don’t forget that Aaron’s first, utterly crazed GR collection, Hell Bent and Heaven Bound, is still available.) Then Gosh-favourite Scalped #23 gives you Part 3 (of 4) of ‘The Gravel in Your Guts’ storyline, in which Young Dino Poor Bear returns to the spotlight. Lots of ultraviolence in this one, with art by R.M. Guera.

-- Hayley