Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 26/11/08

If I were self-consumed enough to keep a diary I’d probably be writing about distracting myself from the cold by scoffing gallons of tea and hundreds of Waitrose chocolate biscuits. Thankfully, any ill-fated attempt I’ve ever made at such a thing has invariably ended by the 8th of January. James Kochalka (Monkey Vs. Robot, Superf*ckers) on the other hand has been keeping a sketchbook diary for about a decade - which I think is incredible. Ten years - and sticking them up on his website as he goes. I read his strip every day. I even read it before I check my email. Sometimes these 4-panel daily strips are about nothing at all, and then other times his neighbour’s car gets firebombed, or his wee son Eli learns the art of creative swearing (still not as good as Chris Morris, mind). And then at some point wifey has another baby and Kochalka can’t quite figure out how to draw him so a strange googly-eyed blob invades the diary for a few months. This third volume in the American Elf series collects everything from 2006-2007 in full colour, and even includes a few strips that never appeared online.

Scott Morse’s (Soulwind) hardcover graphic novel Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! also focuses on everyday moments, fatherhood, work, play and all that stuff but as the name suggests, it’s got a tiger in it. He originally wanted it to be an expansion of his Southpaw, but it soon became something else. The art – varied styles of painting and illustration - is reproduced in full-colour. It’s worth checking out for the art alone – a fan has put some sketchbook paintings up on Flickr so direct your peepers this way if you’ve not seen Morse’s work before.

The big event this week is the conclusion of Grant Morrison’s Batman RIP in #681! The internet is buzzing with theories and predictions, but Morrison’s saying nowt about the final fate of The Dark Knight. Well, except for this:

(From ComicMix)

CMix: And how does Batman R.I.P. fit into the timeline of Final Crisis?
GM: It takes place before [Final Crisis]. R.I.P. will lead into Final Crisis. Whether the Batman in Final Crisis is actually Bruce Wayne, you've got to see for yourself. It could be Nightwing, it could be Tim. Tim deserves it, you know, he chose the life and he's worked hard. Nightwing would be fun, but a very different Batman, more smart-ass.
CMix: "Crisis" tends to mean death for DC characters. Are we going to get big deaths this time around, too?
GM: I'd rather not kill characters. I like to give fates worse than death.
CMix: Worse than death?
GM: Yeah. You'll just have to see. Sorry I can't give away more.

Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea provide the art on this one and Alex Ross delivers another great cover – Preview here!

Grant Morrison’s work is known for its naughty words and violence, and so’s this next one: Body Bags by Jason Pearson (Global Frequency). When Dark Horse first published the series they promoted it as ‘the most controversial comic of the 1990s,’ and the furore raised over a voluptuous 14-yr old character proved ‘em right. Body Bags: One Shot is a one-shot (see what they did there?) that was originally slated for a 2006 release but has only just materialised now. ‘Controversial’ is a nice way of describing the series. Take this quote f’rinstance from some bloke off the internet:

“A despicable man-monster is visited by his slut of a daughter. They spend 'quality' time together stabbing and shooting despicable people. Ugly and violent, this technically well drawn and written comic is moral garbage.”

Comic Book Resources talk about the series here and include some preview pages from the new issue. And over on Newsarama Jason Pearson gets interviewed.

Another one-shot out this week is Thor: Man of War by Matt Fraction (30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales) and Patrick Zircher (Cable and Deadpool), the same creative team from Thor: Ages of Thunder and Thor: Reign of Blood. See the very surly Thor throw a teenage tantrum and get sent to bed by Pa Odin! There’s a preview here and a review here by someone who liked Fraction and Zircher’s previous offerings.

Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s hugely successful Umbrella Academy returns for a second six-issue series - Dallas! It begins this week. The Umbrella Academy have already saved the world so what’s left to do? They can’t just sit around in their pants all day watching Trisha like the rest of us. It’s shaping up to be just as good as the last Eisner-award winning series, if not better. Have a look at some preview pages over at Newsarama.

Last bit of exciting news just in time for Christmas: Big Hairy Alan Moore and the amazing Melinda Gebbie have signed an enormous tower of Lost Girls just for you! Alan’s also scrawled his name on loads of copies of From Hell (Eddie Campbell’s in sunny Australia, but if you want the complete set find him at a convention and I’m sure he’ll draw you a pego). Nice, eh?

-- Hayley