Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 18/03/09

This week there’s a couple of big art books worth a mention, the first of which is the second volume of Tara McPherson’s stuff, Lost Constellations. You probably saw her previous book Lonely Heart in the shop (so popular it’s already in its third printing), but if not you’ve undoubtedly seen her work somewhere even if it was just on someone’s arm. This volume’s a 112-page hardcover collection of her most recent work which you can see (some of) on the website for the Jonathan LeVine Gallery where she exhibited last year in her very first solo show.

The other one I was going to point at is the Reynold Brown: Life in Pictures hardcover which is a bit like the Norman Saunders book from a couple of weeks ago. Brown was an incredibly prolific American artist who painted everything from planes for North American Aviation to charming ladies such as this one. He did well over 300 movie posters in his lifetime which you will undoubtedly have seen: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Spartacus, and I was a Teenage Werewolf. This book covers his entire career (not just posters, though they’re in there too) and reproduces hundreds of illustrations in full colour as you can see here, sort of. There seems to be an abundance of tiny previews around today.

The long awaited and long delayed Trigan Empire Collection volumes 1 and 12 have arrived! The 12th volume collects five stories by Don Lawrence and Mike Butterworth previously published in Look and Learn in the ‘70s, which brings me conveniently to yet another huge new hardcover: The Bumper Book of Look and Learn. Lavishly illustrated, as you would expect, with loads of new material on top of the already staggering 1, 152 pages spanning the entire 48 issues run.

On the subject of classics, Joe Kubert revisits an iconic character in Tor: A Prehistoric Odyssey HC which collects the six-issue miniseries from last year. Also worth a look.

Garth Ennis’ Just a Pilgrim has long been out of print but this week it’s dragged out of comicbook limbo. Collected in hardcover are the original five issues along with the 2002 follow-up series, Just a Pilgrim: Garden of Eden, plus a cover gallery by Tim Bradstreet, JG Jones, Glenn Fabry and others. Illustrated by Judge Dredd artist Carlos Ezquerra, it’s a series set in a post-apocalyptic world where people eat each other instead of their greens.

"I wanted to push the idea of the classic Western or action anti-hero a little bit more than I normally would, and that is where the religious fanaticism came from and also where the cannibalism came from."
Says Ennis.

There are a couple of reviews which both seem to agree that despite being flawed and largely illogical it’s a lot of fun and madness.

One more book and then I’ll point at some comics:

When Tori Amos was pregnant she asked Neil Gaiman to write a poem for her unborn baby. They were calling her the Blueberry until they figured out who she actually was, so he wrote Blueberry Girl and years later Charles Vess (Stardust) somehow turned it into a picture book. Gaiman explains what it is here and there’s even a wee preview video with a reading too.

New comics this week include the sweary Bad Dog #2 written by Joe Kelly and illustrated by Diego Greco. There’s a preview of the next issue here, and several reviews of the last issue that agree it’s a howlin’ riot. We’ve still got a few of those if you missed it.

Groom Lake #1 is the beginning of a new four-part series written by Chris Ryall with art by Ben Templesmith who describes it as “a humour/quirky horror type sci-fi book about probings and crotch powah.” Newsarama interviewed the boys back in January where they talked about Close Encounters, Gold Key UFO comic reprints, and exploding crotches (again!). A couple of reviews are in already, and there’s another tiny pointless preview on Ryall’s blog (probably best to have a look in the shop).

Jamie Delano also starts a four-parter this week with Rawbone #1, a dark story of misery full of vicious roughneck pirates illustrated by Max Fiurama (Warren Ellis’ BlackGas).

None of your girlish Johnny Depp variety to be found here, I’d wager.

If you’ve ever wanted to own a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962) – the very first appearance of Spider-Man – now’s yer chance! Jonathan Ross donated the comic to Comic Relief and you’ve got until the 28th to win it. Last I checked it was going for just over £3000. (Or if that fails horribly go here then click on the auctions bit.)

And finally, here’s something exciting for Goon fans – exclusive pictures from the upcoming animated movie produced by David Fincher.

-- Hayley