Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 20/05/09

I rather like its cover so Flinch gets top billing this week. No one seems to be able to pinpoint exactly what this book’s about without ‘resorting’ to too many ‘inverted commas’ so everything reads like Dr Evil said it. What it boils down to is an anthology of stories from creators established and otherwise which tie into the title of the book itself – Flinch. In it you’ll find new work by Shaun Tan (The Arrival, Tales From Outer Suburbia) who also did the cover, Justin Randall (30 Days of Night, Silent Hill), Colin Wilson (Star Wars, 2000AD) and Thomas Bonin whose story 96, 000 started off as a proposal for 2000AD but found its home here.

The Lowbrow Reader
is New York-based zine of and about comedy that was previously only available in Rough Trade but can now be found on our counter of goodies next to Mustard, The Chap and the like. It’s a so-called quarterly that’s amounted to six issues in eight years, and if this issue’s anything to go by the previous ones are definitely worth tracking down (especially as they include stuff by Jonathan Richman and a bunch of other writers, comedians, and cartoonists you’ve undoubtedly heard of). Their current one features a piece by Sam Henderson (Magic Whistle) on Overlooked Comedies from 1961-67 such as Jack Lemmon’s feckin’ brilliant How To Murder Your Wife which, I think, is worth the price of entry alone. That’s two quid to you, buck-o.

The fifth issue of Tales Designed to Thrizzle is in and it’s even weirder than the last one. See aliens give a bloke sexy lady legs! Twain plus Einstein plus enraged badger! Hobo fashion! If you’ve not read any of Michael Kupperman’s stuff before now’s yer chance and we’ve got previous issues to boot. Even Graham Linehan (you might remember him from such posts as this one) likes it. He says "Seriously, go to your local comics shop and buy this. In fact, buy everything Michael Kupperman's ever done. Not only is he hysterical, he's a major influence on my comedy." So there you have it. Fantagraphics have done a PDF preview for you too.

Batman: Mad Love & Other Stories is a hardcover featuring the 1994 Eisner-award winning origin story of Harley Quinn by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm (both of Batman: The Animated Series). How did it all begin? Psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel is completely besotted after just 15 minutes with the Joker in Arkham Asylum and that was that. Other stories in this collection star the Scarecrow, Ra’s al Ghul, Mr Freeze, Batgirl and a bunch of other baddies from the pages of Batman Black & White and more. It’s the conclusion of Battle for the Cowl this week so why not pick it up while you’re hanging about the Bs?

G-Man by Chris Giarrusso (creator of the incredibly popular Mini-Marvels) gets his very first digest collection this week, Learning To Fly. It collects the sold-out G-Man one-shot, the Christmas story, as well as a pile of Comic Bits strips and more – all setting the stage for the G-Man miniseries Cape Crisis which is out in August. He says "Working Mini-Marvels was cool, but G-Man: Leaning to Fly is what I've been wanting to do for years. It's the story I was wanting to write and draw the entire time doing Mini-Marvels so I'm happy those fans are psyched by the collection. G-Man and company are going to be taking up all my attention for the foreseeable future and I aim to make the long-time Mini-Marvels readers happy!"

In New Things This Week we’ve got Olympus #1 (Of 4), a comic that should most definitely be in your shopping basket come Thursday. Written by Nathan Edmondson and illustrated by the lovely Christian Ward, it’s about this: (sort of): Back in Ancient Greece Zeus granted eternal life to two brothers which meant that they became his Repo Men for the next 3000 years or so. In modern times they’re hunting an exiled god when someone horrible gets let loose from Hades. Go have a look at this preview and then read this interview with Edmondson and Ward in which they discuss exploded brains, dogs and whatnot. Why, even Newsarama have something to say about it.

Here’s one a lot of you have been waiting for: Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s (Hitman) The Boys spin-off Herogasm. Something somewhere goes horribly wrong and Earth’s mightiest heroes have to team-up to save us all. But what really happens in those comicbook crossovers? Ennis has some idea:"Well, a massive alien invasion force has entered our solar system, intent on wreaking havoc upon our fair planet Earth – at more or less the same time that something similarly apocalyptic happened the year before. What else can the world's supes do but team up to battle the threat as one force, etc etc etc. Once they're safely over the horizon, however, we get to see what really happens at these yearly get-togethers. It's quite rude – not that the supes have much in the way of manners to begin with, but what they do have definitely goes on hold for this little shindig." Cue cover. And that’s only the first issue. It has been reviewed, previewed, and blathered about.

Also new and exciting is Alan Grant (Tank Girl) and Shane Oakley’s (Cthulhu Tales) Channel Evil #1 about a sleazy chat show host channeling an ancient evil and unleashing horrors upon the world. There’s many a grim doing in this new series and Alan Grant will tell you all about them in this interview and also at Sex Gore Mutants which I put in just so I could type Sex Gore Mutants. "The idea originally came to me while I was reading a book by a guy who had formed a 'channeling' group to contact the spirits of the dead. I did some research and found that, although it's ignored by the mainstream media, channelling has a huge audience all over the world. I wondered what would happen if, instead of channelling one of the boring spirits who advocate peace and love, somebody managed to channel the spirit of some long-forgotten scion of evil…” More of that here, and over here Oakley’s showing off some pages.

Alex Fitch interviewed Leah Moore and John Reppion recently as part of his continuing adaptation and inspiration month. You can find them talking about Dracula (the first of five issues is out this week) and Sherlock Holmes online at the Panel Borders website.

Grandville is an anthropomorphic steampunk detective-thriller and the latest offering from Bryan Talbot of Luther Arkwright fame. But it’s not out yet. The YouTube trailer has been doing the rounds this week but if you’ve somehow missed it you should go directly here without passing go.

There are no less than three upcoming appearances you should all stick in yer diaries. In page order we’ve got Rutu Modan in conversation on the 26th of May talking about her award-winning graphic novel Exit Wounds, the recent Jamilti, and more. Details at JCC London.

Then on Saturday the 30th it’s Manga Shakespeare Day at the Cartoon Museum. Emma Vieceli (Much Ado About Nothing) is joining ILYA (bloke wot done Mammoth Book of Best New Manga) as he touts his latest work King Lear in an afternoon of exhibits, talks, competitions and prizes. All the information you need is over at the Cartoon Museum’s website.

And then if you haven’t had enough of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill you’ll probably find yourself at the ICA on the 2nd of June. They’re in conversation with Sir Christopher Frayling, rector of the RCA and a man who knows stuff about things, as part of Paul Gravett’s ComICA. Tickets are available now so go ahead and book ‘em. You should also have a poke about on the ComICA website so you don’t end up sitting at home in your pants eating beans when you could be seeing Emile Bravo and Emmanuel Guibert.

And finally, thanks to the bank holiday on Monday your comics are going to be late by one day next week. So come in Friday to avoid embarrassment.

That is all.

- Hayley


Iain said...

Every time I read The Gosh! Authority I feel the coins in my pocket heating up. Never heard of it before but The Lowbrow Reader sounds really interesting.