Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 08/07/09

Big news this week is DC’s Wednesday Comics which you’ve probably already heard of because seemingly everybody’s on about it including us in this post from the past. DCU Editorial Art Director Mark Chiarello’s previous good ideas include the likes of Batman: Black & White, eternal Gosh! Favourite DC: The New Frontier and Solo so this one’s destined to be a good’un. In a throwback to the old Sunday strips of the 1930’s this weekly comic – out on Wednesdays in the States (hence the name) and Thursdays in the UK (they never asked us) – is 16-pages long, a sprawling 28”x20”(twice folded), all in full-colour newsprint with not one bit of filler – just the best names in comics writing and drawing the characters they picked themselves. Each issue has one page of each story. Nat says he’s going to read it on the tube dressed up like an absurd city gent. And so should you.

Even bigger news is David Mazzuchelli’s return to comics after a fifteen year absence! Asterios Polyp is the best looking book in a very long time and only got shunted off to the second paragraph because I mentioned it late last week in this post (with pictures etc stolen from the lovely Paul Gravett) on account of it having an exclusive Gosh! Signed Bookplate pressed between its pages. In fact, we’ve got bookplates coming out the wazoo so check here to make sure you haven’t missed any.

The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora is the third in Fantagraphics’ collection of incredibly strange and highly lauded Floriana (the previous being and The Mischievous Art of Jim FloraThe Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora, both of which are currently sat side by side in the Gosh! basement).

This volume’s packed full of (mostly) never before published or exhibited paintings, drawings and sketches from the 40s through to the 90s, plus more of the 40s/50s record covers for which he is best known. There’s even a kids’ book he abandoned called The X-Ray Eye of Wallingford Hume.

Then there’s Jeff Smith’s RASL: The Drift in a deluxe hardcover collectors edition featuring the first three issues of the sell-out series plus 16 new pages of Stuff: concept sketches, script pages and bonus artwork, all of it topped off with a swanky ribbon bookmark and Jeff Smith’s autograph. Only a couple of thousand of these will ever be printed so I suggest you nab one now if it takes your fancy.

Another big though probably not so limited hardcover is Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume 1 by the very funny Michael Kupperman who twitters as much if not more than Graham Linehan, who says on the back: “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.” This volume collects the first four thrizzling issues now in full colour so if you ever end up in a lift with Linehan or Kupperman you’ve got something to talk about.

Alan Moore’s Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? has been out of print for a bit but it’s back this week in deluxe hardcover along with some other stuff.

The original two-parter illustrated by Curt Swan is here, plus Moore and Dave GibbonsFor the Man Who Has Everything from 1985’s Action Comics Annual #11 and Moore/Rick Veitch’s Superman-meets-Swamp-Thing story from DC Comics Presents #85. They’ve never been in this format before nor have they been stuck together like this in one shiny volume.

Brian Fies won an Eisner for his autobiographical webcomic Mom’s Cancer back in 2005. It was a story about his mother’s battle with lung cancer (obviously) but he rather miraculously managed to do it in a way that wasn’t maudlin or sappy. His latest book Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? is about a father, a son, American Progress and our current lack of silver spacesuits.

“As a child of the Space Age, I’ve always had a deep passion for the space program and science in general, and often reflect on what happened to the sense of can-do optimism I remember people having when I was a kid. I wanted to write about that: how the mood of society changed from optimistic and a bit naïve to pessimistic and cynical. I grew up in a time when people thought science and technology could make tomorrow better than today…” (more)

Peter Bagge’s colourful comments on the state of the world today could be found for several years in Reason, ‘the magazine of free minds and free markets’. This week it’s collected in one insane-looking volume brilliantly titled Everybody is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations. You’ll be getting your money’s worth here – he’s crammed in opinions on everything from nanny-state meddling to household bazookas.

You should also grab the thirteenth and final 100 Bullets trade-paperback by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso so you’ve got something to read between your weekly Wednesday Comics fix. Much like the last episode of Sopranos, everyone had something to say about the last issue. Check reviews here and here but I’ll warn you now there’ll be spoilers. “The only thing wrong with this final issue of ‘100 Bullets’ is that it means there will never be another one like it.”

Garth Ennis and Jimmy Palmiotti’s controversial crime thriller Back to Brooklyn is out in trade this week collecting all five issues of the miniseries. When they came up with the idea in a bar one night they wanted it to be like a fourth Die Hard movie. Is it? If you’ve been waiting for the trade now’s your chance to find out.

From the artists that brought you Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Vampire, Umbrella Academy and Casanova comes Pixu Volume 1: Mark of Evil – that’s Becky Cloonan, Vasilis Lolos, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon. It’s a horror story set in an apartment block all done in dark inky artwork you can see here and an interview with everyone involved here. When it first appeared there were only 1000 copies of each issue in the world. Let the collectors fight over those and grab yourself one of these.

Speaking of Ba and Moon, BPRD 1947 #1 (of 5) is illustrated by them, written by Joshua Dysart and Mike Mignola and out this week! There’s a preview here. Other new comics include The Strange Adventures of HP Lovecraft #3 with art by the rarely-seen Tony Salmons (mentioned previously on the Gosh! Blog), North 40 #1a new six-parter from Wildstorm by Aaron Williams (PS238) and Fiona Staples, and Dark X-men: The Beginning #1 (of 3) by James Asmus, Paul Cornell and Humberto Ramos, which ties into the whole Utopia thing they’ve got going.

In other news, Matt-who-used-to-work-here finds the naked lady in Where’s Wally? in amongst a list of challenged children’s books. Did you know that Where the Wild Things Are was originally Where the Wild Horses Are but was changed because Sendak was rubbish at drawing horses?

And Andrew, who still works here, says you should all grab a copy of Here’s Johnny, a documentary about 2000AD artist Johnny Hicklenton.

"Here’s Johnny enters the surreal world of renowned graphic artist Johnny Hicklenton, who is battling against Multiple Sclerosis. Living in an increasing state of immobility and frustration, Johnny escapes the confines of his frontroom through his artwork."

We won’t be selling it because we don’t do DVDs, but they’ve got plenty of copies at their online shop.

And finally, Cover of the Week:

-- Hayley


joe has a face said...

I'm quite excited to read some Thrizzle.