Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 03/03/10

I thought I’d do comics first instead of books because I’m ruthlessly shaking it up in the spirit of Rough Justice Week 2011. You’ll get some of Alex Ross’ rough justice in a mo but first you can have Azzarello’s:

First Wave #1 (of 6) sees the unveiling of DC’s new pulp universe helmed by Eisner-award winning big-shot Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) and illustrated by Rags Morales (Identity Crisis). There are no superheroes here; it’s Batman with Gatling guns in a world of speakeasies and great hats.

“It's fun to take a character like Batman and say, 'How would this character have gone if there was no Superman and all the other super powered characters he got tangled up with?' I've never bought into the idea that Batman would be in the Justice League of America. We're creating a world where none of these super characters exist. Doc [Savage] is the top of the food chain. He's the pinnacle of humanity.”

More of that over at Publisher’s Weekly and an eight-page preview too.

You can expect more good hats in Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet #1, the series that will take the place of the film that never happened (Michel Gondry’s nabbed it). CbR have a preview and you’ll be happy to know that there’ll be none of the usual Kevin Smith (flight) delays – all ten issues are already laid out and ready to go, according to Dynamite.

Punisher Max Butterfly is a one-shot that will undoubtedly be full of ultraviolence or rough justice, if you will. It’s written by Valerie D’Orazio who has waited no less than twenty years to write a Punisher story and illustrated by Gosh! Favourite Laurence Campbell. D’Orazio was so impressed with his “jaw-droppingly visceral, detailed and beautiful” artwork that she has him pegged as the next big thing in comics. Preview his stuff here.

David Lapham (Stray Bullets, Young Liars) pens a new six-part miniseries called Sparta USA about an all-American apple pie town built on football, sabotage and a bit of magic.

“I wanted to set a story in a self-contained town with an idyllic façade but behind the scenes it was all spy games and sabotage. Sort of “Desperate Housewives” on crack. And not a soap opera.

You’re the stock boy, you want to be shift supervisor, so you arrange for the old supervisor to have an accident, or a scandal. We’ve seen this kind of thing happen before but in Sparta everyone does it, so you have to be on your toes. You also have to make sure it doesn’t spill out into the public, because that’s a big no-no. If that happens you get a visit from the Maestro, the mysterious seven-foot tall man who runs the town,” says Lapham in an interview with Comic Book Resources where he also talks about the cancellation of Vertigo’s Young Liars. Sparta USA is illustrated by Johnny Timmons (Wolverine) and you can grab the first issue this week.

The rapidly expanding Ultimate Universe lets its belt out another notch this week to fit in Ultimate Comics New Ultimates #1 written by Jeph Loeb (Batman: Hush) and Frank Cho (Liberty Meadows) in his Ultimate debut. Loeb gives you the lowdown over at CbR in which the word “ultimate” is said so many times it has completely lost all meaning to me. Ultimate Oranges.

Books! The amazing-looking Mesmo Delivery came out back in 2008 and I think lasted all of about half an hour on the new shelf. The entire printing disappeared and we were unable to get any more; apparently there were copies going for hundreds on eBay recently but before you go spending your week’s wages on one of those – look here! A brand new printing from Dark Horse. It’s Rafael Grampá’s (Hellblazer) first graphic novel and it’s a doozy. Grampá describes it as a “road thriller” about an ex-boxer who lands a job transporting mysterious cargo he’s not allowed to open. Head here for an interview and preview pages and here for a Comics Journal review. This new edition features an introduction by Brian Azzarello, an expanded sketchbook section plus pin-ups from Eduardo Risso, Mike Allred, Craig Thompson and Fabio Moon.

Strange Tales – the three-issue anthology series in which indie hotshots re-imagined classic Marvel characters – is out in hardcover this week:

In it you’ll find Paul Pope (Heavy Liquid), Pete Bagge (his Incorrigible Hulk’s in ‘ere), Nicholas Bertozzi, Molly Crabapple, Nicholas Gurewitch (Perry Bible Fellowship), James Kochalka (American Elf), Michael Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle), John Leavitt, Junko Mizuno (Cinderalla), Johnny Ryan (Angry Youth Comix), Jason (Hey, Wait...), and Dash Shaw (Bottomless Belly Button). It’s oversized. Fancy.

Also in hardcover is the final volume of Warren Ellis and John Cassaday’s Planetary. That’s volume four if you’re counting, ending with issue #27 which surfaced recently much to the happy surprise of Ellis standing order customers who probably thought we’d be wearing silver spacesuits long before it turned up.

Two sketchbooks out this week that might tickle your fancy: Sam Kieth Sketchbooks Volume 1 is 48 pages of unseen stuff from his 25 year old mouldy sketchbooks all made with whatever debris he had to hand. The other is Rough Justice (you heard me) The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross which features loads of unpublished graphite sketches along with an interview he did with Chip Kidd.

And lastly, comedian Robin Ince is hosting a night at The Bloomsbury Theatre later this month featuring the likes of Big Hairy Alan Moore, Stewart Lee, Darren Hayman, Jim Bob of Carter USM fame, Kevin Eldon and a brass band (I’ve seen him sing at Karaoke Circus and he’s bloomin’ brilliant) and lots of other things and people. Tickets are on sale now.

-- Hayley