Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 24/06/09

I have returned. Fun Fact! There are no comic shops in the wilderness but there are lots of sheep.

Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz gets top spot this week because it’s enormous. Just like previous Sunday Press collections (Walt & Skeezix, Little Nemo – all in the shop at the mo) you could set sail on its hardcover table-sized newspaper format. The strip (illustrated by Walt McDougall) began in newspapers over a hundred years ago as L. Frank Baum’s way of promoting his second (Wizard of) Oz book. All of the Queer Visitors – Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Woggle-Bug, Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse - are here, plus Oz-illustrator W.W. Denslow’s Scarecrow and Tin-Man strip which ran simultaneously to the aforementioned after he and Baum had a falling out (cartoonists!). Sunday Press have written reams on it and have even posted a few preview pages on their site.

The Actress and the Bishop #1 reprints more classic (though considerably more recent) stuff by Brian Bolland. All of the previous appearances of the unlikely two are here waiting to offend and amuse so you’d best get amongst it. Said the actress.

The Ancient Book of Sex & Science is the second instalment of low-brow art after The Ancient Book of Myth & War of two years(ish) ago. All the illustrators are top-notch animators from Pixar - Lou Romano, Don Shank, Nate Wragg – and it looks like it’ll be quite a treat. Have a PDF preview, why don’t you!

On the subject of art and boobs you’ll find more of the same in our latest shipment of Dean Yeagle books which includes a couple of volumes of Scribblings, Mandy’s Shorts, and One Mandy Morning. Peruse his site but beware of naked ladies if you’re at work.

Harvey Kurtzman needs no introduction, but this is a bit of what Last Gasp have at the beginning of theirs:
Harvey Kurtzman discovered Robert Crumb…. Terry Gilliam also started at his side, met an unknown John Cleese in the process, and the genesis of Monty Python was formed. Art Spiegelman has stated on record that he owes his career to him…(and more)
…Which makes it a bit odd that The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics HC is the first and only (authorised) celebration of the guy’s art. It’s full of stuff you won’t have seen before and all mostly in colour to boot – illustrations, paintings, pencil sketches, EC Comics layouts etc plus a bunch of photos dragged howling from the vaults. All this topped off with an introduction by Harry “Derek Smalls” Shearer.

There’s a couple of anthologies hitting the shelves that you should have a look at. If you like stuff like Deadwood and No Country For Old Men pick up Outlaw Territory Volume 1 for 240 pages of gritty old west America from the likes of Joe Kelly, Dean Motter, Greg Pak, Max Fiumara et al. Ol’ reliable CBR have a preview for you.

Then Top Shelf give you another dose of indie greatness with Awesome 2: Awesomer which features stuff from Chris Duffy, Sarah Glidden, Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunlavey, Jeff Lemire, Alex Robinson, and more – plus a cover by Bone/Rasl’s Jeff Smith! If you buy it you can wear the smug smile of a London cyclist because you’re doing a vaguely good deed by partly funding a student scholarship to the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont.

The fifth volume of the incredibly popular Tezuka’s Black Jack is out this week in paperback. For some reason the lovely PX hardcover editions of the series only went up to Volume 3 and there are no plans to resume them so I’d grab this now instead of holding out. And if you look here you’ll see that someone’s put up an early review of this instalment of medical manga.

Also in trade-paperback is Kathryn/Stuart Immonen and David Lafuente’s Patsy Walker: Hellcat. Lafuente’s a very talented up-and-comer who’s about to be given his big break taking over from Immonen on Ultimate Spider-Man - get in on the ground floor here! This Patsy Walker has as much in common with Tank Girl as it does any previous incarnations of the character and is sure to appeal to Marvel fans who enjoyed stuff like Nextwave or X-Statix. This collection also features the Patsy Walker strips from Marvel Comics Presents, written by Kathryn Immonen and drawn by her extra talented husband Stuart.

In comics we’ve got Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia one-shot which is the beginning of a 6-part crossover event (the first Avengers/X-Men in fifteen years!) bookended by a couple of specials (checklist here). Given how much Andrew liked Matt Fraction’s work on Uncanny X-Men he’ll probably be recommending this one come Thursday so I thought I’d get in first and save him the trouble. It’s illustrated by Marc Silvestri (X-Men: Messiah Complex, Civil War: The Initiative) which you can see here in a preview, and also a review.

If you’ve been following Dark Reign it’s going to be a big week for you with no less than five issues plus a trade-paperback to haul home! Nat’s pick of the bunch is Dark Reign: Zodiac #1 (of 3) by Joe Casey (Uncanny X-Men) and Nathan Fox. Fox’s illustrations in Pigeons From Hell and DMZ have been lauded by reviewers all over the place, and Timothy Callahan over at CbR couldn’t believe Marvel actually got him to do a superhero comic. Check out this preview if you don’t believe ‘em.

Now for the And Finally part of the news where we put death and war aside and talk about rescuing ducks from ledges and such. Over at Panel Borders Alex Fitch talks to Gosh-favourite Shaun Tan about his books The Arrival, Tales From Outer Suburbia, his life, the universe and everything. If you haven’t yet picked up one of our signed Shaun Tan books we’ve still got a few left. And while we’re boasting about signed books, have you heard about Darwyn Cooke’s The Hunter Gosh! Bookplate Edition? Well now you have.

And that’s it from me. I’ll be here as usual next week unless I’m beamed up or something.
-- Hayley