Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 28/10/09

This just in! Really. I’m typing this only moments hauling dozens of boxes of Eddie Campbell’s Alec: The Years Have Pants down the precarious spiral staircase of Gosh! Campbell’s Pants are enormous and he hasn’t even seen them yet because he’s probably on a plane to Italy. Thicker than From Hell, they come in both hardcover and soft and are among the best designed books I’ve seen come through the door. The stuff inside’s pretty good too. Don’t forget he’s signing here next week and later that night you can see him in conversation at the ICA with comedian Arnold Brown.

R. Crumb’s epic Book of Genesis is finally sitting on our new release shelf after years of anticipation. All 50 chapters with ‘NOTHING LEFT OUT!’ make up the 244 pages, all painstakingly drawn in classic big-assed Crumb style. He originally began it as a satirical Adam and Eve story but quickly realised it was bizarre enough to be done unabridged and took it on as a straight illustration job.

"To take this as a sacred text, or the word of God or something to live by, is kind of crazy. So much of it makes no sense. To think of all the fighting and killing that's gone on over this book, it just became to me a colossal absurdity. That's probably the most profound moment I've had — the absurdity of it all."

It took him years. "I got totally sick of it by the end of it. I've come out exhausted. I may never draw again,” he says. Eddie Campbell (him again) picked up a copy recently and blogged about it, rounding up quotes from all over. A bad word can’t be found among them.

UK comic creators Glenn Dakin and Phil Elliot have a new collection out of The Rockpool Files: The Adventures of Mr. Crusht Acean and it’s delightful nutty. According to this thing on CbR it came about while Dakin and Elliot were walking along the beach at Folkstone...

They'd just finished eating a bowl of shrimp when Glenn suddenly screamed, "Oh, no! Do you realize that we've just eaten a bowl of sentient creatures, capable of deep and profound thoughts?"

"Shrimps are on the lowest rung of intelligent life," replied Phil. "Besides, crabs are far more perceptive, but that didn't stop you from tucking into that crab bisque you had at lunchtime. Why, I'd wager a crab could solve a crime as easily as Sherlock Holmes."

"That's it," said Glenn. "From now on I'm no longer going to eat crabs but will instead write mysterious, funny and downright odd stories about them." "And I'll draw them!" said Phil.

Incidentally, if you’ve never read Dakin’s Abe: Wrong for all the Right Reasons (now oddly out of print) track down a copy and read it. You’ll like it.

Danica Novgorodoff’s Slow Storm is a favourite here at Gosh! so we’re glad to see another one on the shelves. Her graphic novel Refresh Refresh is based on a short story by Benjamin Percy (still online at The Paris Review) about three boys in a small Oregon town whose fathers are off fighting the war in Iraq. CbR have an interview and a bunch of preview pages up, lovely colours and all. Novgorodoff pops up on the First Second blog, and Bookslut review it and love it.
P. Craig Russell’s Sandman: The Dream Hunters HC collects all four issues of the comics adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 1999 novella about a young monk and a shape-changing fox. If you missed it as it was coming out go have a read of this interview with Russell and have a look at some of the pages from what this reviewer calls ‘one of the most beautiful comics you’ll see all year’.

In comics this week we’ve got a new Groo miniseries from Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones which sees The Hogs of Horder control the villagers’ minds, bodies, and money – can the inept Groo save the day? Their last miniseries was nominated for an Eisner so chances are this’ll be pretty good. Preview here.

Another new series starting this week is The Talisman, a comicbook adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub’s 1984 bestseller adapted by Robin Furth (of the Dark Tower series) and illustrated by Tony Shasteen (Occult Crimes Taskforce). The Road of Trials is the first of four six-issue miniseries about teenager Jack Sawyer who tries to save his dying mother by retrieving a magical talisman. If that sounds like your cup of tea you can see twelve (!) preview pages over at Entertainment Weekly.

Norman Osborn’s power-mad nonsense continues in Marvel’s Dark Reign: The List this week with two one-shots by big name creators. Dark Reign: The List: Punisher is illustrated by John Romita Jr. and written by Rick Remender who talks to Newsarama about the whole thing and points out that regular readers of Punisher won’t want to miss it because various story arcs have been building up to this one-off story. Andrew’s favourite Jason Aaron (Wolverine, Scalped) writes Dark Reign: The List: Wolverine (another one) and talks about it here. Esad Ribic does the pictures!

Marvel’s big X-Necrosha thing starts with a big one-shot called appropriately enough X-Necrosha One-Shot, in which the writers of X-Force, X-Men Legacy, and New Mutants (Chris Yost, Craig Kyle, Mike Carey, and Zeb Wells respectively) tell three stories that will then spin-off into their own appropriate series. They’ll tell you about it here. Thursday’s New Mutants #6 is also involved in all this so don’t miss that.

In other news, London Libraries are running a competition to win £100 of books from us at Gosh! plus a pair of tickets for events at this year’s Comica Festival at the ICA. Events include talks from the likes of Kevin O’Neill, James Jean and loads more. All you have to do is answer one simple question on this page here.

And finally, the lovely Tom Gauld (Gigantic Robot) tweets excitedly about Chris Ware’s cover to The New Yorker! It looks cracking, as does the comic on the inside.

As a wee blog bonus, here's a page from the Campbell's new Alec collection, originally printed in The Dance of Lifey Death. (Each tier enlarges separately)

And I’m done. Go out there and get yer bawbaw.
-- Hayley