Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 25/11/09

It’s an Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips overload this week and that’s just how we like it. Not only do we have the brand-spanking Incognito Gosh! Exclusive Bookplate Edition waiting for you on the shelf (or in your standing order box if you requested it to be so) we’ve also got part two of their new pulpy five-part miniseries Criminal: The Sinners, which will at some point undoubtedly feature the essential gun-and-girl combo that Phillips does so well. You can see a preview of this week’s instalment through this door. And if you missed out on a copy of the Criminal Deluxe Hardcover of a fortnight ago you’re in luck – it’s back in.

In other news, last week I stupidly forgot to herald the arrival of Alan Moore’s bi-monthly underground zine for the 21st century, Dodgem Logic #1. If you’re unclear as to what it’s all about Moore’s absolutely no help to you. “On the first issue we’ve used the tagline ‘colliding ideas to see what happens’, which is as much of an agenda as you’re going to get from us,” says he in an interview with comedy mag Mustard (who are also in on it). The usual suspects Kevin O’Neill and Melinda Gebbie throw stuff into the mix, and you’ll find Josie Long, Graham Linehan, and Steve Aylett in there as well, all sandwiched between other stuff musical, rude and otherwise. Go read the interview! It’s a good’un.

You can carry home a bit of classic Moore in the same bag on Thursday because Saga of the Swamp Thing HC Vol 2 has arrived. This one collects issues #28-34 plus an annual which is pretty much what was in the second trade collection, Love & Death. Crave Online have a nice big write-up with original cover images and whatnot, and over at Bleeding Cool there’s a long video interview with Moore from 1985 in which he talks everything from about the Comics Code Authority to his young daughters being totally at ease with the method-writer taking on the attributes of a boggy green swamp thing.

Here’s a couple that arrived earlier:

Heads On and We Shoot: The Making of Where the Wild Things Are is a lovely looking thing indeed. Us Gosh! folk have been keeping a close eye on Wild Things happenings over at The Playlist (bookmark that blog, I tell you) but as great as they are they are not this book:

It’s got the all the expected making-of miscellany like sketches, storyboards, character designs, cast and crew interviews, and a foreword from a couple of big cheeses. It’s broken into three parts and the design is basically three hardcover books linked together – if they were textbooks it’d look like you were halfway through your homework and the books were acting as bookmarks for each other. The text’s quirky and of varying sizes, the ‘tools of the trade’ section includes severed hands. It’s odd and lovely but of course it is - it comes from the editors of McSweeney’s. Ain’t It Cool News think it’s cool and tell you so and you can see a bit of it yourself in this fancy Search Inside wossname I found.

Next to that you’ll find Looking For Calvin & Hobbes, Nevin Martell’s book (a biography of sorts) about the reclusive Bill Watterson. It’s made up of interviews with people like Harvey Pekar, Jonathen Lethem and Brad Bird, plus friends and colleagues and it goes without saying that Watterson had nothing to do with it. Here’s an in-depth review which is mostly – but not entirely – favourable. Most beefs can be put down to the unauthorised nature of the publication but as it says in the blurb, there are no plush toys, no coffee mugs, just the strips themselves. It’s one man’s story about looking for a man who very famously can’t be found. Pretty much what it says on the tin.

Aside from Incognito there’s a handful of other trade-paperbacks you’ll want to get your mitts on this week. Shade The Changing Man TP Volume 2: The Edge of Vision is the second collection of the Vertigo title. It was the last of the ‘British Invasion’ of the 80s which included Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Grant Morrison’s Animal Man. Written by Peter Milligan (Hellblazer, Greek Street) and illustrated by Chris Bachalo, Rac Shade is a very different beast to Steve Ditko’s original creation and definitely worth a look if you’re a fan of Vertigo stuff. It also sports a cover by Brendan McCarthy who worked on the character design.

Winter Men is a six-part series that began as an eight-part series, was thought to be dead for a while and was generally unreliable in its printing schedule but always reliably brilliant.

Written by Brett Lewis and illustrated by Gosh! Favourite John Paul Leon, it’s an eccentric spy thriller set in Moscow. This reviewer will tell you all about it.

Sleeper hit Chew is also being collected this week. The first issue came out and no one (including us) predicted just how popular it would be – even the writer John Layman (interviewed at CbR with artist Rob Guillory) thought it would make a mere ripple in the vast comicbook ocean. Having printed too few copies first off it was incredibly hard to come by so Robert Kirkman piggy-backed #1 in an issue of Walking Dead and it was off and running. Now up to its 6th issue (out this week too, preview here!) the Chew trade collects the first five so grab ‘em both and that’s you up to date.

If you like your comics to open with a 15th century masked orgy then this one’s for you. Alejandro Jodorowsky and Milo Manara’s latest gets a huge write up over at Comics For Serious so I’ll just point you that way. They’ve avoided the ruder pictures so it’s fairly safe for work.

In other comics news, J. Michael Straczynski’s Thor Giant-Size Finale is out on Thursday and you can see preview pages of the landmark issue here. Agents of Atlas is now an ex-stand-alone series but will continue as back-up stories in Incredible Hercules. We’ll carry over your orders so don’t fret.

There’s a distinct lack of anything manga-related in this week’s blog so it’s just as well Matt-who-used-to-work-here pointed out a big article on Urasawa’s fantastic Pluto over at CbR. He says the series is amazing and definitely one of the best mangas out there. You should read it.

And that’s all there is.
-- Hayley