Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 21/10/09

There’s just one blog extra to round up before I get onto the comics so here it comes: Eddie Campbell (he of From Hell, Bacchus, Alec fame) is signing here in the Gosh! basement on the 7th of November and I for one can’t feckin’ wait. Mark it in your diaries and make sure you’re there because it probably won’t happen again for ages – he lives in Australia and if any of you have endured that godforsaken plane journey you’ll understand why he delights in avoiding such nonsense.

Inside Woody Allen was a comic strip syndicated daily by King Features around the time Woody Allen was still brilliant (circa Annie Hall, Manhattan). It was all about his neuroses, angst, life philosophy, frequent psychiatric treatment, the lot. Dread & Superficiality : Woody Allen as Comic Strip is a lovely looking hardcover book collecting the very best of the classic strip which was drawn by Joe Marthen for a year and then taken over by Stuart Hample (a self-diagnosed chronic self-doubter and multi-media failure), who continued until its end in ’84. The book has well over 200 strips reproduced from the original art, plus sketches, photographs, a new preface from Hample and all sorts of developmental miscellany.

After big hit gritty crime comics like like Brubaker’s Criminal or Cooke’s The Hunter it probably won’t surprise you that there are more private dicks and femmes fatales in store for noir fans.

This week Dark Horse release Noir, a trade-paperback crime anthology that’s been in the pipeline for a very long time – understandably so, when you see the list of creators that editor Diana Shutz had to wrangle: Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), Ed Brubaker (Criminal, Sleeper, Incognito), David Lapham (doing a Stray Bullets story!), Rick Geary (Treasury of Victorian Murder), Chris Offutt (HBO’s True Blood), Paul Grist (doing a new Kane strip!), Jeff Lemire (Essex County Trilogy, Sweet Tooth), M.K. Perker (Cairo, Air), the Fillbäch Brothers (Maxwell Strangewell), Alex de Campi (Smoke), Sean Phillips (Criminal), Eduardo Barreto (Cobb), Gabriel Bá (Umbrella Academy) Fábio Moon (Sugarshock), and Dean Motter (Mister X). Here’s an early review from someone who hopes there’s another volume in the post, and over at Publishers Weekly there’s a preview of stories by Grist, Lemire and Motter.

Fabio Moon turns up again in the Joss Whedon penned Sugarshock, a one-shot Eisner-winning story that originally appeared in the online issues of MySpace Dark Horse Presents. Moon talks about it here where there are also a few preview pages too.

Garth Ennis’ acclaimed war stories from Dynamite are now strung together in one, big hardcover. The Night Witches, Dear Billy and Tankies are all here together with sketches from artists Russ Braun, Peter Snejbjerg, and Carlos Ezquerra, commentary from Ennis and a complete cover gallery from John Cassaday and Garry Leach. It’s a far cry from his recent Herogasm, I can tell you. He says “I can't deny that I write these stories largely because of my own fascination with the war genre, and hopefully some of my enjoyment will come through for the reader. I certainly feel like Battlefields represents my A-game right now, the very best that I'm capable of. But beyond that, I'm hoping to keep alive some stories that might otherwise fade from the world that might disappear along with the men and women who lived them. If nothing else, stories like The Tankies and The Night Witches are a chance to acknowledge the courage of some pretty exceptional people.” More of that year-old interview here.

Nexus: Space Opera by Steve Rude (The Dude) is the mini-series that heralded the return of the legendary character Rude co-created with writer Mike Baron in the 1980s. If you ask Nat he’ll tell you Nexus is cool and worthy of a return. This trade collects all four Space Opera books (that’s Nexus 99-102) plus the 11-page painted story from Nexus 100. There’s an interview with The Dude from years ago over at Newsarama in which he sounds like a lovely chap and talks about getting Space Opera off the ground. You should buy his comics.

Last bits before I’m off: A few of the Duncan Fegredo Hellboy pages have already sold so if you’ve got your eye on anything you should let us know! Also, this weekend is the Fred Van Lente signing so locate your Amazing Spider-Man issues, Action Philosophers, Incredible Hercules and make sure you’re here on Saturday.

-- Hayley