Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 14/01/09

Top of the muffin to you! Nothing quite as gobsmackingly horrific as Bono’s musical has come to my attention this week so I’ll spare you the sarky intro and head straight to the comics. And if you stick around I might even tell you about the incredibly under-publicised and little-known comic Amazing Spider-Man #583 wot’s got Barack Obama in it (and occasionally on it).

But first of all, here’s something you might have missed in Previews. Hidden way at the back and probably half in the crease (no respect, these young’uns) was James Jean’s XOXO Hugs and Kisses Postcard Book. It was released at San Diego Comicon in very small quantities and now the collection of 30 lovely looking postcards is finally in shops. Ours, specifically. Jean’s work has graced the covers of Fables (all of them recently collected in a big blue hardcover), Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Records and stacks more. Here are some preview pictures from Jean’s blog. Why not do what I do and stick them on your wall to cover up the gaping holes where you put your elbow through the plaster? I reckon Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen probably does it too.

In a similar arty vein, Sparrow has previously collected the likes of Ashley Wood and Rick Berry, but this latest volume is all about William Wray – the fine-art work of a cartoonist you might also know as Bill Wray whose series ‘Monro’ ran in MAD for 100 issues or so.
Have a poke about on his website where you can see examples of his work. Best known for his urban landscapes, he also paints women with their yaps out. Wahey!

Also out this week is MOME Volume 13 featuring the first of three parts of an all-new book by Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers creator Gilbert Shelton! Be a dear and don’t forget about these. There’s also brand new pages by Bottomless Belly Button’s Dash Shaw, as well as Thomas Ott (The Number), Josh Simmons (House), David Greenberger (Duplex Planet) to name but a few. Fantagraphics have put up some preview pictures on their Flickr site. Let’s hope no one goes on vacation and neglects to colour the cat’s leg.

There’s more great artwork in Jules Verne’s 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea hardcover by Gary Gianni. His previous work includes Batman: Black & White, Kidnapped, Moby Dick, Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, and Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road but he most recently popped up in this blog for his work in Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant. Here he retells the classic tale of Nemo and it looks rather brilliant, unlike the tiny rubbish previews available on the web. They’re postage-stamp sized so I won’t bother linking. Just come have a look in the shop. You’ll be glad you did.

Gosh-favourite Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead reaches its 9th trade-paperback collection, Here We Remain, this week. Collecting issues #49-54, it sees Rick and Carl staggering on despite everything being irretrievably FUBAR. ('FUBAR' is an Andrew addition. I had to look it up on the bloody internet to figure out what he meant. Turns out it's from the army. Who knew?)

Gary Northfield’s Derek the Sheep strip has been running in The Beano since 2003 and if you’ve not seen it you’re in for a treat. This hardcover collects thirteen very funny stories. Here’s a lovely interview with the man himself. Andrew shouts ‘Tell ‘em it’s fab!’

And finally, here’s some stuff I didn’t mention last week that actually turned out to be worthy of it:

Wolverine Switchback (one-shot) has a great cover by Das Pastoras, and the innards by Pastoras, Joseph Clark, Gregg Hurwitz and Juan Doe are quite good too. We think so, and so do Comicbook Resources. Here! Have some belated preview pages.

Then there’s H.P Lovecraft’s Nyarlathotep, a wee hardcover that’s not comics but actual Lovecraft prose poetry with illustrations by Eisner winning Chuck BB (Black Metal).

Beasts 1 (a softcover after two sell-out hardcover editions) and Beasts 2 (a brand new hardcover) will be of interest to fans of contemporary art. They’re mythological menageries featuring beasties that were once thought to actually exist, depicted by the likes of (deep breath) Tony Millionaire, Souther Salazar, Jeff Soto, Dave Cooper, Tim Biskup, Seonna Hong, Jeremy Fish, James Jean (that guy again), Jay Ryan, Amanda Visell, Anders Nilsen, Andrew Brandou, Art Chantry, Brian Ralph, Bwana Spoons, Dave Cooper, Deth P. Sun, Esther Pearl Watson, Jason, Jesse LeDoux, Johnny Ryan, Jordan Crane, Keith Shore, Little Friends of Printmaking, Marc Bell, Martin Cendreda, Martin Ontiveros, Mat Brinkman, R. Kikuo Johnson, Richard Sala, Sammy Harkham, Seonna Hong, Stan Sakai, S. britt, Stella Im Hultberg, Steven Weissman, Tom Gauld, Tyler Stout… and that’s just the first volume.
Incidentally, Kyle Baker’s Nat Turner was also out in softcover last week. Read it! Gosh approved. Everybody likes Nat Turner.

Don’t forget the sale is still chugging along, with some great deals to be had and new stuff going out all the time. A couple of noteworthy additions this week are the hyperkinetic White Trash trade-paperback, written by Gordon Rennie with amazing art by the late Martin Emond for only £2 (imagine Tank Girl with Axl Rose as the lead), and crime thriller Manhattan 1957 by the father/son team of Yves & Hermann at £4. The latter is a wonderful little noir tale that fans of Ed Brubaker will love.

Alright, since you’ve no doubt knackered your finger in a swift scroll to the bottom, here it is: In celebration of a big nerd hanging his hat in the White House hallway (Joe Quesada said so not me, Mr Obama!), Marvel Comics have not only put Barack Obama on the front of the new issue of Amazing Spider-Man #583, they’ve also had him team up with Peter Parker! Wired tells you all about it here, and there’s a tiny preview here. We’re not going to have any spares of the Obama variant cover but we should have a few of the standard cover left for those who get in quick. We’ll be sure to get in the second printing with The Big O on the cover when it happens, probably a couple of weeks from now.

And that’s that.

-- Hayley


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