Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 02/04/09

One of the most asked about comics of the last couple of months is Seaguy: The Slaves of Mickey Eye. In fact, while I was typing that sentence some chap in a beanie asked when it was due and judging from his excited reaction he had obviously expected yet another gormless shrug instead of a definite ‘Thursday!’ (which is what he got).

This is a follow-up to the cult 2004 miniseries and sees Grant Morrison team up with original Seaguy artist Cameron Stewart. MySpace Comic Books has an interview with Morrison as well as a few exclusive preview pages which are worth a look. Here’s a bit of what’s in store:

“When we meet Seaguy in this second book, ‘Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye’, his features are sharper and more defined. He’s restless, bored, and suspicious of everything. He’s beginning to question all the things he previously took for granted. He is, in short, a teenager. So this second volume is ‘dark’ Seaguy and it’s all about what happens when society decides you’re a troublemaker and sets out to remould you in its own image. Where the first book was done in a picaresque style, this one is pure Hollywood 3-act adventure.”

And what happens after that?

“The final book ‘Seaguy: Eternal’ is Seaguy as a grown man – it’s about what happens after you’ve saved the day, got the girl and changed the world.” As you do.

Last week I was reading Ivan Brunetti’s Misery Loves Comedy and thinking he was brilliant, hilarious, and most definitely a wrong’un. This week his out-of-print gag cartoon collections Hee!, Haw! and other such nonsense are collected in Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti – a hardcover book Fantagraphics are calling an ‘uninviting, funereal package of unglamorous black and white’. There’s an oddly humourless review by Rob Clough here (though it does include a few of the cartoons from the book) and an old Comics Journal interview from 2004 is still about, if you’re interested.

More strange strips abound in Drinky Crow’s Maakies Treasury HC which collects the second five-year chunk of the series (previously reprinted in When We Were Very Maakies, The House at Maakies Corner and Der Struwwelmaakies). Chip Kidd provides the long landscape design which means you’ll no doubt struggle to find a place on the shelf to house it and spend at least half an hour cursing him. Fantagraphics have an exclusive 20-page PDF excerpt and even though the Drinky Crow Show pilot has been around for ages I’d never seen it until five minutes ago.

Another cracking offering from Fantagraphics is Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 which looks to be utterly unmissable for anyone interested in the origins of superheroes and the history of comics. It collects twenty full-length stories and ten full-sized covers by the superstars of the era: Jack Cole, Will Eisner, Bill Everett, Lou Fine, Fletcher Hanks, Jack Kirby, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and Basil Wolverton. Jonathan Lethem provides the foreword, in which he says:

“A collection like Supermen! works like a reverse-neutron bomb to assumptions about the birth of the superhero image: it tears down the orderly structures of theory and history and leaves the figures standing in full view, staring back at us in all their defiant disorienting particularity, their blazing strangeness.”

Jog The Blog (who deserves lots of readers and praise) reviews it in astonishing detail complete with pictures and everything.

And if you want more Golden Age wackiness, Fantagraphics have yet another lovely-looking book to weigh you down on the tube. Boody: The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers is entirely devoted to the deranged artist who counts Art Spiegelman (who reprinted some of his stuff in RAW) and Johnny Ryan as fans. You’ll be familiar with his work if you picked up Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries, but if not have a look at this sample story. Over at Newsarama ediot Craig Yoe (Arf) talks about the (so far) unappreciated genius.

The latest Jonah Hex trade-paperback Bullets Don’t Lie hits the shelves this Thursday, collecting issues #31-38 of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s Western. Even Gosh! favourite Darwyn Cooke (DC: The New Frontier) illustrates some of it in which Hex knee-deep in snow.

This week sees James Robinson (Starman, Superman) and Marcos Martin (Amazing Spider-Man) kick off a series of specials for Marvel’s 70th Anniversary beginning with Captain America 70th Anniversary Special #1. They’re bringing you the untold story of Steve Rogers before there was Captain America. Don’t miss it – there’s a classic Golden Age Captain America story by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Preview!

The highly anticipated Flash: Rebirth #1 (of 5) by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver (both of Green Lantern: Rebirth and Sinestro Corps War) follows the events of Final Crisis in which Barry Adams has returned from the dead. There’s a video interview with Geoff Johns here, and in another interview he says:

“He’s [Barry Allen] been dead for so long, he’s viewed as kind of a saint. Imagine coming back and everyone saying you’re a saint, and having to live up to that…. We will be getting into a lot of his back story: a lot of why he is the way he is, why he has an interest in forensic science, why he has such a strong sense of justice.”

Robert Kirkman’s also got a five-parter starting this Thursday with Destroyer #1, in which he reintroduces a lesser-known Marvel WWII character Kevin “Keen” Marlow AKA The Destroyer. He talks about it with Comic Book Resources and you can see a preview here.

The Marvel Assistant-Size Spectacular #1 (of 2) harkens back to the days of Assistant Editor’s Month and sees D-list characters get their moment in the spotlight. Elsa Bloodstone’s here, as is D-Man, the daughter of Galactus, Mini Marvel cake-eating Hawkeye, and Candidate Luke Cage. There’s even a Jason Aaron (Scalped) American Eagle story in there somewhere.

Sad news this week is that Gemstone (the publishing side of Diamond Distributors) looks to be relinquishing its license on Disney and EC properties. The Beat reports on it, with an update featuring a Gemstone press release. The unfortunate immediate impact is that we’ll not be seeing any more Disney comics or EC Archives any time soon.

And finally, go have a look at Will Kane’s mid-week post on The Art of Deanna Marsigliese – another Gosh! Exclusive.

That’s it from me. I’m packing my bags and am off to sunny Australia for a month where I plan to do a lot of absolutely nothing.

- Hayley