Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 11/11/09

Thanks to everyone who came along to the Eddie Campbell signing on Saturday. It was nice, wasn’t it? If you missed out on his talk at the ICA you can read all about his sweaty, panicked entrance after running through the building to find the “lost” bag he’d forgotten he’d left in the capable hands of his lovely wifey ten minutes earlier. If you’re still not sick of him you can read this wee interview, in which he talks about the big brick of a book currently on our shelves, and the smaller one we can expect in 2010. “It’s about the sex life of a celibate middle-aged man. Actually, he’s not so much celibate as English.”

Al Columbia (who pops up in Alec, incidentally) releases a decade’s worth of weird Pim & Francie stuff in a lovely hardcover from Fantagraphics. If Pim & Francie and new to you, here’s how one reviewer described them:

“...They look like the product of some doomed and demented animation studio. It's as though a team of expert craftsmen became trapped in their office sometime during the Depression and were forgotten about for decades, reduced to inbreeding, feeding on their own dead, and making human sacrifices to the mimeograph machine, and when the authorities finally stumbled across their charnel-house lair, this stuff is what they were working on in the darkness.”

Check out this huge PDF preview and see if he’s wrong. Also, if you’re in Seattle there’s a Pim & Francie Exhibition at the Fantagraphics Bookstore from now until early December.

You’ve probably seen Marc Bell’s Fine Ahtwerks pop up in Kramers Ergot, Beasts and other such anthologies. This week sees the release of almost a decade’s worth of mixed-media miscellany in one huge coffee table book called Hot Potatoe (sic) and it looks like it’ll be a good one.

Also on the big arty shelf is another one from James Jean (of Fables covers fame, Process Recess) called SKRWL (pronounced ‘scrawl’): Triptych Journal Collection which much like it says on the tin, comprises of three 96-page, full-colour mini-journals in a slipcase. Jean’s stuck a few pages up on his site.

Strange Suspense is the first volume in Fantagraphics’ Steve Ditko Archives. In his first two years in the comics racket the pre-Amazing Spider-Man Ditko drew macabre tales of suspense full of dismemberment, acid baths, bloodshed and probably every horrifying manner of death you can think up (this was all before the Comics Code Authority, y’see). This volume reprints every twisted story from those two pre-Code years in full-colour. If you head this way there’s a five-page story from the book called Stretching Things. It’s grim.

Elephantmen artist Marian Churchland sees her Beast released this Thursday.

Despite many pages being completed before any of the Elephantmen stuff it’s her first graphic novel. “The initial idea for Beast was that I would do a very, very loose retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale, based more or less in the present day, with some mild magical elements...” Churchland talks about it and Elephantment over at CbR in amongst a bevy of preview pages.

Luna Park is an original hardcover graphic novel by American author Kevin Baker (of the bestselling historical novel trilogy City of Fire: Dreamland, Paradise Alley, and Strivers Row) which you’ll want to have a look at because it’s illustrated by Danijel Zezelj of Brian Azzarello’s Loveless and coloured by Dave Stewart (DC: The New Frontier)...

Having done a bunk from the brutal Russian Army an immigrant now lives in the shadow of the decrepit Coney Island, the setting for Baker’s previous novel Dreamland. It’s a historical crime thriller and it should be great. Over at the Vertigo Blog Baker lists his favourite Coney Island trivia. Apparently that bit in Annie Hall wasn’t made up.

Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai is a stand-alone hardcover graphic novel to celebrate the 25th birthday of the rabbit ronin. Hand-painted, written and lettered by Stan Sakai, it sees Usagi face a slew of Yokai – the monsters, demons and whatnot of Japanese folklore. Not to be missed!

In comics this week we’ve got the highly anticipated Batman/Doc Savage Special by Brian Azzarello and Phil Noto:

Azzarello’s doing what he does best and delivering the first in a new line of comics called First Wave, a pulp corner of the DC Universe. It’s Batman with guns, and they’re moving Gotham City.

“We’re moving Gotham. Where do you think Gotham City is? New York? Nah, how would you feel about L.A.? The sun sets in L.A. just like anyplace else. And I’m really kind of focusing on L.A. in the ’40s, when it was a new town in the ‘20s, ‘30s and ’40s. It’s pretty much a new place. There was certainly a bit of lawlessness going on. And there was a huge, huge divide between rich and poor. And I think that really works well for this.” More of that and a preview.

Right, here’s the #1s of the week:

- Punisher Max #1 is a new ultraviolent series by Gosh! Favourite Jason Aaron (Scalped, Wolverine) and Steve Dillon (Hellblazer, Preacher). Preview.

- Ghoul #1 is the third collaboration between Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and Bernie Wrightson (both of City of Others and Dead, She Said). An LA Detective calls on The Ghoul for help – a monstrous investigator with a reputation for solving weird crimes. Preview.

- Sky Doll: Doll Factory #1 (of 2) is 64 pages of drafts, sketches, and research material – exclusive and previously unreleased stuff for fans of the Space Fantasy saga. And there’s more to come.

- Strange #1 (of 4) is Mark Waid’s new Dr Strange series. He talks about it with CbR where there are preview pages to boot.

- SuperGod #1 (of 5) is a new limited series from Warren Ellis and Garrie Gastonny which Bleeding Cool tells us is a thematic threequel (what?) to Black Summer and No Hero. Preview there as well.

That’s it for comics but there’s a pile of other news for your perusal. The latest podcast from Panel Borders is the first of a month-long series about British Mavericks – those chaps whose work is surprisingly avant-garde for mainstream comics. The first is Brendan McCarthy and you can hear it here.

Joe Sacco was interviewed recently by Ctrl.Alt.Shift. and you’ll probably recognise those bookshelves behind him. They’ve also started an online comic which aims to “unmask corruption” (here’s part one, and two) and have a comic exhibition on at the Lazarides Gallery in Soho as part of Comica.

Here’s one for our friends in the North: The Thought Bubble Festival is a four-day event in Leeds with a cracking list of guests: Frank Quitely (Batman & Robin), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night), Mike Carey (Unwritten, Hellblazer), Paul Cornell (Captain Britain and the MI:13), Andy Diggle (Thunderbolts), Duncan Fegredo (BPRD), Kieron Gillen (Phonogram), Ed “Ilya” Hillyer (Manga Shakespeare: King Lear), Alex Maleev (Spider-Woman) and a whole lot more too great in number to list here. Go see their site.

Don’t forget we’ve got Gilbert Shelton (Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Fat Freddy’s Cat) signing this Saturday! If you’re further north and can’t make it to London perhaps Birmingham on Friday would suit you better. You can find him at Forbidden Planet.

Speaking of FPI, they’ve got a load of stuff coming up that you might fancy. If you’re in Dublin you can catch the Irish comics collective Eclectic Micks signing in store, as well as Karl Kerschl (Superman), Cameron Stewart (BPRD, Catwoman, upcoming Batman & Robin issues) and Ramon Perez (Kukuburi). If you’re in Edinburgh you can get your copy of Dark Entries signed by Ian Rankin and if you missed him in conversation with Neil Gaiman earlier this year you can hear it on the internet because that’s what the internet’s for.

Blimey. A rather long one this week and if you made it this far you deserve a lollipop.

-- Hayley


Jonathan said...

Thanks for posting the additional links about the ICA, as I wasn't able to make that.

Gosh! said...

You're very welcome. You should keep an eye on his blog in the coming days -- I imagine he'll be sticking up photos and whatnot.

Hayley @ Gosh!