Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 05/08/09

Having just seen The Iron Giant for the very first time last week I’ve now got a thing for big robots. Gigantic ones. Like the one in Gosh! favourite Tom Gauld’s new book The Gigantic Robot. It’s a 32-page board book about the character he initially designed for the ZXZW festival poster in The Netherlands, a cross between something out of a computer game and a Hogarth engraving. Given Tom’s previous work it’s bound to be funny, sad and undoubtedly brilliant. You can see a couple of preview pages along with the original poster here, and if you’ve not been buying the Guardian every Saturday you can see some of his strips on his flickr page along with sketchbook stuff and other bits. I suspect we’ve sold out of Tom’s mini-comics at the moment but we’ve still got signed copies of Both, his collaboration with Simone Lia (Fluffy) if you fancy it.

Three volumes of Dave Stevens’ Selected Sketches & Studies are out this week. That’s volumes 2-4 if you’re counting (though we got shortchanged on Vol 2 so we won’t have any for the shelf. Give it another week or so and we’ll have some more). These volumes have been unavailable for some time so if you want sketches of Bettie Page, Vampirella and other lovely ladies done by a master pin-up artist you’d best get in before they disappear again. I’m not saying they will, but who knows what publishers are thinking.

Jerry Moriarty’s slice-of-life strip Jack Survives was central to Art Spiegelman’s 1980s RAW magazine, and Spiegelman still thinks so highly of him that he curated a Moriarty exhibition in New York back in 2004. This week his most famous strip is collected for the very first time in an oversized full-colour hardcover, including not just the comics but a selection of various Jack-themed Ed Hopper-y oil paintings too. Chris Ware even sings his praises in the introduction.

In The Saga of Solomon Kane Dark Horse collects all of Kane’s Savage Sword of Conan short stories from the 1970s in one handy trade. There’s loads of Robert E. Howard’s original stuff adapted into comics along with other stories by Roy Thomas (Conan the Barbarian) and Don Glut (Kull the Destroyer). I thought I’d announce its arrival because everyone has been asking for it. If you’ve been collecting the Savage Sword of Conan omnibus series (another Gosh! Favourite we highly recommend) consider this a companion of sorts.

Duncan Rouleau’s (Ben 10) 8-issue hit mini-series Metal Men is out in trade paperback this week. Nat liked it so much he almost bought it in hardcover (fact). While it’s not set in the 60s like the original Robert Kanigher Showcase stuff Rouleau says it’s very Atomic Age-y – a goofy, light-hearted, scientific-romp. He talks at length about with with CbR here, just before the series started.

In new comics this week we’ve got Dark Reign Zodiac #2 (of 3) which you should have a look at because Nathan Fox’s artwork is great. Here’s a review of the first issue which you can still find on our new release shelf. We’ll also have Glen Brunswick and Dan McDaid’s Jersey Gods #6 sitting right next to the first Jersey Gods trade of last week, which conveniently collects everything up to and including #5.

In issue #1s we’ve got Jason Aaron’s (Scalped, Wolverine) new six-part mini-series Ghost Riders: Heaven’s on Fire illustrated by Roland Boschi. It’s the climax to the story he’s been building for a whole year of issues – the battle at the gates of Heaven. It’s also a good jumping-on point if you haven’t been reading it previously thanks to the ‘Previously, on Ghost Rider…’ recap on page one. Aaron tells you all about it here. And, of course, a preview.

Another biggie is the beginning of Ed Brubaker’s eight-part Marvels Project on which he reunites with his Captain America collaborator, Steve Epting. Brubaker describes is as “a giant espionage story that really tells the story of the origin of Marvel. It's a story that has been touched upon here and there, especially in the first issue of Marvels, which showed things from an outsider's perspective. But this is an insider's point of view of how superheroes began in the Marvel world. I hesitate to use the term "universe" too much because, as yet, there hasn't been anything extra-terrestrial involved in it, but who's to say?” More of that here, plus a preview.

J. Michael Straczynski’s latest is Red Circle The Hangman, a one-shot illustrated by Tom Derenick and Bill Sienkiewicz (Reign in Hell). There’s a preview over at DC’s blog and over at CbR they explain who, what, why and talk to JMS himself.

Last week a couple of things came in that I failed to mention. Tozo the Public Servant arrived an hour too late to go on the weekly mail-out but we won’t think anything less of him for his tardiness. If you’re a fan of very nice Herge-looking comics about intrigue and conspiracy, this is the very fellow for you. Head on over to the website if you don’t believe me.

Also a feature in last week’s swag is Batman: The Brave and the Bold #7 illustrated by Darwyn Cooke’s pal J. Bone, pages of which can be seen on writer J. Torresblog. Also, Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam #6 sports a J. Bone cover and the innards are by Stephen DeStefano who is rather good too.

According to J. Bone’s blog there’s a Draw Parker competition going on in honour of the release of Cooke’s new book. If it’s not clear who the pictures are by I’d go have a look through the Almost Darwyn Cooke Blog (But Not Quite) because they’re talked about as they arrive.

On the subject of Cooke, there’s still no sign of the bookplates but I’m sure we’ll have them very soon. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow…

-- Hayley