Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 17/02/10

Lots of weird bits and pieces in this week so here’s the first of ‘em:

McSweeney’s #33 is a one-time only, huge Sunday-edition-sized newspaper much like Wednesday Comics but bigger, thicker, and packed with stuff that isn’t comics except for the bits that are. The San Francisco Panorama is like a proper newspaper with news, sports, a magazine and a weekend guide, only it’s stuff you’d (I’d) actually read. There are sixteen pages of full-colour comics by the likes of Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Art Spiegelman, Adrian Tomine and more so it’s definitely worth a look even if you’re going to chuck out the sports section as per usual. You’ll also find stuff by Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) and my favourite Nicholson Baker, whose novel about one man’s lunch hour (The Mezzanine) I try and foist on just about everyone. The whole thing is McSweeney’s attempt at demonstrating why newspapers and print media are still relevant and can never be fully replaced by the internet.

"We started this six months ago with an eye to reinventing the form,” says Eggers in an interview. “When I was hearing about the death of newspapers, it hit me viscerally: What if I don't have a newspaper in the morning? If newspapers are going to survive, they're going to have to do things the Internet cannot do."

The internet is still better at previews though and you can find one of them here.

(Images on the Gosh! Blog stolen from this chap’s flickr with deepest apologies)

Also busily reviving things is Big Hairy Alan Moore whose second issue of Dodgem Logic is already awaiting you at the front counter. You’ve got three ladies to choose from and here they are:

There’s even a bonus Crumb-esque stippled undergroundy minicomic by Moore called Astounding Weird Penises starring our hero Astro D*ck who we met briefly in the corner of a panel in Dodgem Logic #1. Maybe Moore should just pack it all in and a get a job at the Viz. All this, your Daily Mustard and more for £2.50.

Birdsong/Songbird is a comics anthology collecting stuff by people you probably haven’t heard of yet. It’s an attractive looking A5 small-press thing, the first in a series of twice-yearly collections. The artists have been displaying their work on their LiveJournal community as they go; it’s mostly to show their progress to other artists in the book but you can treat it as a sort of internet preview for now.

We’ve also got a bunch of unexpected arty things brought in this week by a nice French guy. Apparently the Collection Dans La Marge books have been coming out for some years in France but these are the first I’ve seen. They’re slightly larger than A5 and showcase the work of young artists such as Blex Bolex, Daniel Johnston, Moolinex, and Jochen Gerner so if you like No Brow and its ilk you’ll probably like these. There are photos over at Arts Factory and plenty of information on the people involved but alas, it’s all in bloody French.

My pick(s) of the week is a small pile of lovely little hardcover books by the brilliant Edward Gorey. They’re not new stories (obviously) but as with most of his stuff they’ve been unavailable for ages except as part of the Amphigorey collections or sometimes not at all. We’ve got The Hapless Child, a cheery tale about a girl who is picked on and sold into slavery where she is forced to make artificial flowers and finally run over by a car; The Jumblies, because no life is complete without some of Edward Lear’s nonsense; The Dong With the Luminous Nose who falls in love with a Jumbly girl who went to sea in a sieve; The Wuggly Ump and The Wuggly Ump & Other Stories Colouring Book. Pick ‘em all up at once this Sopping Thursday.

There’s more macabre funnies to be found in The Addams Family: An Evilution HC by Kevin Miserocchi (director of the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation) which gives you the history of the New Yorker’s most eccentric family in the years before Hollywood took them under wing and gave 'em a theme song. There’s more than 200 cartoons in the book many of which have never been published before (says the publisher, though I’m not sure if this means they never appeared in the other than the New Yorker or if they’ve raided Addams’ forgotten cupboards). Its release coincides with the new Addams Family Broadway musical which I knew nothing about until just now.

Last of the noteworthy books this is Chocolate Cheeks by Steve Weissman at his most disgusting and delightful.

It’s more of his Little Rascals-type gang who just happen to be monsters. This time ‘round it’s all about “Sweet” Chubby Cheeks and Pullapart Boy (a Frankenstein’s Monster for kids), two enemies thrown together after their parents start dating. Here's a review and because it’s from Fantagraphics regular Goshers will know what’s coming next: the video of the man flipping through the book. Watch enough of these things and it becomes oddly gripping, I tell you. Or alternatively, don’t risk wasting your afternoon watching video after video and just have a PDF preview instead.

In comics we’ve got Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood’s Zombies Vs Robots Aventures #1 (of 4) - you read that right, aventures, because apparently Wood likes the French sound of it (?). This time round you’ll only see Wood’s work on the covers – the innards were handed over to artists of their choosing who are all very different from Wood's and each other. Over at Comicbook Resources they have a few preview pages and Ryall has a few words on the subject of ridiculousness.

"The ridiculousness of the idea is what works for me - I mean, zombies need human brains/flesh to survive, robots have neither, so the sheer idea of throwing them together is a pretty limiting idea on the surface. Which I like, since it forces me to really take the stories in interesting directions.”

Ryall’s clearly found his niche in outright ridiculousness with the second issue of Weekly World News hitting the shelf this Thursday too.

And lastly, make sure you grab the second issue of Grant Morrison’s Joe the Barbarian, previously mentioned on the Gosh! Blog about a month ago. It’s shaping up to be a great eight-part series and if you missed #1 you can still grab one (for only 75p!) at the shop.

In other news, Kevin Smith is getting mouthy after being ejected from a flight for being too fat.

And I’m out.
-- Hayley


Anonymous said...

That video's great. I totally didn't see the scary close-up coming, and the spine on shot on the end is a lovely touch.
Ben Smith

Gosh! said...

Sometimes you can hear breathing. There's dozens of them, each as oddly entertaining as the last.
- Hayley

Alex Musson said...

Hi Hayley, thanks for the Mustard plugs! :) Alex