Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 03/06/09

Like Cillit Bang I’ll cut through grease and get straight to the point: All-Star Superman team and Gosh! favourites Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s Batman & Robin is in this week! It’s big news. According to Morrison, this new series sees a shift in the duo’s dynamic – and with a ‘more light-hearted and spontaneous Batman and a scowling, badass Robin’ they might have to switch sides of the ampersand. This is the first issue of a 3-part arc (the first of 12 issues in total). Morrison describes it as poppy and colourful but creepier, like David Lynch doing the Batman TV show. If this page takes your fancy make sure it’s in your stack of stuff on Thursday.

Punisher MAX: Naked Kill is a one-shot written by Jonathan Mayberry (writer of the novel Patient Zero, a short story in Wolverine: The Anniversary, and ex-bodyguard) with art by yet another Gosh! favourite, Laurence Campbell. It sees Frank Castle infiltrate a building to stop the making of a snuff film with nothing but his wits, some pencils and a feather duster – sort of like MacGyver gone bad. This one’s worth picking up for the art alone. Point your mince pies at these!

You’ll find more lashings of ultraviolence in Wolverine: Revolver by Victor Gischler and Das Pastoras a.k.a. Julio Perez (Wolverine: Switchback). In Las Vegas Logan finds himself in a game of Russian Roulette with a bunch of mobsters. Gischler loves writing Wolverine and it’s not just because he likes to see a fellow shortie kicking arse:
“Wolverine has an animal cunning and temper that provides great material for a writer. I also love writing dialogue and narration in Logan's voice. I think if Philip Marlow were a bit more ill-tempered and had adamantium claws, he'd be Wolverine.” A Wolverine comic with Chandlerisms, maybe? We’ll see.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Vampires is another one-shot out this week and sees indy artist Becky Cloonan (DEMO, Pixu) make her feature-length debut as a writer. Vasilis Lolos (also Pixu) illustrates the 40-page tale, while Gabriel Ba (Umbrella Academy) and Fabio Moon provide an alternative to the Jo Chen cover. Cloonan tells you all about it over at Newsarama.

There’s a pile of books worth a mention this week, and because I think Seth is brilliant I’ll blather about him first. Much like his Wimbledon Green, or for that matter It’s a Good Life If You Don’t Weaken, his latest offering is an account of the fictional life of George Sprott. It originally ran as one-pagers in the New York Times Magazine Funny Pages (previously occupied by the likes of Chris Ware’s Building Stories and Mister Wonderful) though Fantagraphics promises this to be a greatly expanded and re-mastered version of the thing. PDFs of the original pages still exist on the internet. This chap even reviews the book.

If you liked Bill Presing’s Bookplate Betties or Justin Coffee’s Cream & Sugar here’s another two for the shelf. Shane Glines is an animation character designer who has previously worked for Spümcø (of Ren & Stimpy fame), Batman: The Animated Series, Samurai Jack, and is also the founder of Cartoon Retro – the world’s largest online archive of vintage illustration, animation, comics and cartoons. Will Kane got in a bunch of Cartoon Retro: The Art of Shane Glines Volumes 1 and 2 which are full of amazing cartoon ladies. There are photos of the books on the publisher’s website. I wholeheartedly recommend you have a peek.

Speaking of animation, My Name is Dug is a hardcover kids books based on Pixar’s Up. Definitely one to grab if you like the look of the film – it’s written and illustrated by Ronnie Del Carmen who’s currently a story supervisor at Pixar and has also worked on various Batman things with Bruce Timm just like Shane Glines up there.

Let’s Do Nothing is a book by another Pixar/Disney animator, Tony Fucile. You’ll have seen his Jack-Jack Attack Little Golden Book on the counter here at Gosh! no doubt. This is another lovely looking kids book with huge illustrations of two hyperactive kids attempting to do absolutely nothing.

Fans of stuff like Tintin and Blake & Mortimer should keep an eye out for this one in August – The Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing. It’s the first of three volumes about the adventures of Julius Chancer and from the previews it looks amazing. He’s currently running a competition to win a cover proof he’s signed and sketched on. Head over to his website and log in to the members’ area where you’ll find the link to the competition.

And now for the ‘And finally’ bit of news: Shaun Tan is an amazing artist who has not only produced some of the most beautiful books in recent memory but has also worked as a concept artist for Horton Hears a Who and Pixar’s (them again) WALL-E. He’s over from Australia at the moment for the Hay Festival and popped into Gosh! last week to sign a bunch of books for us. But he didn’t just scribble on them with a black marker – he drew in them, stamped them, even drew designs over red inky thumbprints. And look – he drew us a picture!

If you haven’t yet nabbed a copy of The Arrival or Tales From Outer Suburbia come get a signed one before they’re all gone.

-- Hayley