Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 07/05/09

Hello to you from a delayed email! Delayed one day just like the comics this week (they’re in tomorrow, remember). It’s Hayley here, still slowly recovering from a nightmarish bout of jetlag that found me scoffing ham sandwiches at 4am. I was back just in time for the Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill marathon signing and a couple of days ago posted a thank you to everyone who turned up and cheerily stood in the sun. There’s a few photos from the day there and other interesting bits and pieces in the comments that you might fancy having a peek at. Also, over at the FPI blog there’s an enormous interview with the big hairy one himself I think you’d probably like too.

First up this week is one of the most anticipated books of recent time: A Drifting Life by the legendary Yoshihiro Tatsumi (The Push Man). It’s a monumental 800-page autobiographical manga from Drawn & Quarterly, designed and lettered by Adrian Tomine just like Tatsumi’s previous ones that were a big hit here at Gosh! There’s a whopping 16 preview pages for you to peruse here. It’s a personal account of the early years of the manga industry, and the development of the gekiga movement (a term coined by the chap himself in 1957). Paul Gravett tells you all you need to know about him so I’m not going to, but hear ye this from The New York Times!

‘Its pleasures are cumulative; the book has a rolling, rumbling grandeur. It’s as if someone had taken a Haruki Murakami novel and drawn, beautifully and comprehensively, in its margins.’

This week we’ve also got legendary anti-war comic Blazing Combat (‘probably the best war comic ever published,’ according to historian Richard Arndt) collected for the very first time in its entirety in a lovely 200-page Fantagraphics hardcover. Archie Goodwin’s joined by an army of creators (oh dear) including Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, John Severin, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Gene Colan, in the comic that was considered controversial anti-war agitprop by some who then refused to sell it thus bringing about its early demise. Much like Kurtzman’s Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat this isn’t yer cliched collection of explosions and killings. A reviewer talks about it here, and there’s a bunch of preview pages there.

Jeffrey Brown’s about as far away from a war comic as you can get but he’s up there on the new shelf this week along with the above. Funny Misshapen Body is another of his autobiographical comics like Clumsy and Unlikely, this time focusing on his time at art school when he was starting out as a comic artist. Newsarama interviewed him, and if you’ve never seen what Brown’s paintings are like you should head on over to his blog. Sneaky preview pages too!

Ed Brubaker (Incognito, Criminal) and British artist Colin Wilson’s prequel to the critically acclaimed Sleeper is out this week in a brand new edition! Brubaker’s a Gosh-favourite already so mentioning his three Eisner nominations would be unnecessary, but I did it anyway. Point Blank originally appeared as a five-issue miniseries back in 2002 as part of Wildstorm’s mature-reader line and Brubaker packed as much stuff into those five issues as he possibly could, taking established characters and sticking them in a bizarre noir-style mystery. Grifter, Marc Slayton, and Alan Moore’s Tao are all there in trade-paperback. Highly recommended an’ all.

In comics this week we’ve got Demon Cleaner #1 by Miles Gunter and Victor Santos. Someone’s come up with a genius plan which involves eating the flesh of freshly summoned demons from the bowels of Hell in a NYC black market restaurant in order to be granted powers beyond human comprehension. Oddly, when it all goes wrong no one saw it coming. Enter the Demon Cleaner. Gunter says ‘I wanted to convey an elegance to the violence, like in the films of Dario Argento and Brian DePalma but with the kind of muscular intensity of something like Die Hard or Robocop’ so he got in second-time collaborator Santos, the Quentin Tarantino of Spanish comics to illustrate the madness. He talks about it here, and there’s an early and very favourable review from a man who likes his monsters here.

Roger Langridge (another Gosh-favourite) gives you more monstrous creatures and comedic insanity in Fin Fang Four Return, a one-shot collaboration with Scott Gray. When the terrifying giants of the Earth FIN FANG FOOM! ELEKTRO! GOOGAM! GORGILLA! are reduced to human size and have to get a real job like everyone else what happens? As usual, the ever-reliable Newsarama are there with exclusive preview pages to give you a little taster.

And as a quick round-up of the rest of the week, here are some more things you should have a look at:

- Batman: The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul HC by loads of people - Peter Milligan, Grant Morrison, Fabian Nicieza, Paul Dini and Keith Champagne. Art by Don Kramer, Jason Pearson, Tony Daniel, David Lopez, Freddie Williams II, Ryan Benjamin and others.

- The delayed Dave Sim’s Cerebus Archive #1. I promise you it’s in this week.

- Power Girl #1 by Amanda Conner. First issue!

- Superman: Escape From Bizarro World TP by Eric Powell and more!

- Terror Inc: Apocalypse Soon #1 (Of 5) a new ultraviolent miniseries written by Young Liars/Stray Bullets creator David Lapham.

That’s it from me. I won’t be in on new comics day but I’ve probably seen most of you today anyway. Whoopsiedaisies, eh?

- Hayley


Mr A. P. Salmond, esq. said...

*ahem* That's Kiwi artist Colin Wilson, thank you!

(Along with Kiwi artist Roger Langridge and Kiwi writer Scott Gray!)

(None of whom live in New Zealand...)