Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 14/04/10

Greetings on this disappointingly dreary day! We’d all be very happy with it if it was February but our standards have gone up considerably since then, fickle creatures that we are. As usual we’ve got some stuff that’ll make it better so here goes:

Dash Shaw’s sci-fi comedy webcomic BodyWorld is now out in a rather handsome hardcover. He originally started the thing on his website after becoming impatient with the world of book publishing – sending out endless copies of his then unpublished comic and hearing nothing back. It was a year between Fantagraphics agreeing to release Bottomless Belly Button (the book that would make Dash Shaw, Dash “Bottomless Belly Button” Shaw) and the book actually seeing print, so in the meantime he busied himself with this. Publishers Weekly call it “a raging torrent of ideas, characters, and plot” and interview the man responsible for it here. There are two reviews floating about and some pictures of the book hot off the press over at Shaw’s website.

The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing is a Way of Thinking is a collection of essays by scholars none of whom I’ve ever heard of but they’re all very impressive academic types whose essays on other things have appeared in very impressive academic places. Contributor Jeet Heer has put a list of contents up on Comics Comics along with a fair chunk of his own bit in the book so head that way for a taster. What a convenient excuse this is to remind you all of our upcoming Chris Ware and Dan Clowes signing in May! It’s kind of a big deal.

The ever-reliable comics historian Craig Yoe has been at it again and this time he’s dug up Jetta, the cute space girl from the ‘60s by famous Archie artist Don DeCarlo.

It’s a gorgeous full-colour hardback containing all three issues of the rare short-lived series. DeCarlo was both a fan and a master of pin-up art so Yoe has also rounded up thirty-seven of the best artists around to do a Jetta pin-up; a DeCarlo homage: Alan Gutierrez, Andrew Pepoy, Becky Dreistadt, Ben Tan, Bill Morrison, Colleen Coover, Clizia Gussoni, Craig McCracken, Danny Hellman, David Reddick, Dominic Marco, Fabrizio Pasini, Jay Stephens, Jenny Lerew, Joakim Gunnarsson, Hedvig Häggman-Sund, Justin Ridge, Kali Fontecchio, Katie Rice, Leslie & Anna Cabarga, Luke McDonnell, Mark Frauenfelder, Mike Maihack, Molly Crabapple, Paul Guinan, Robert Ullman, Ryan Hungerford, Scott Tolleson, Stephanie Gladden, Stephen Silver, The Savanella Sisters, Tracy Mark Lee, and even Gosh! Favourites Brandon Ragnar and Bill Presing. Presing blogs about it here and gives you some images too, while Frauenfelder has some more over at Boing Boing.

For the second week running we’ve got something by Pete Bagge (Hate) on the new shelf:

Other Lives HC has three certified geeks in it – a self-loathing journalist, a conspiracy theorist, and an unemployed gamer – and it looks like it’ll be very funny. The Vertigo blog has a few preview pages but these guys have more than that. Unfortunately they’ve turned it into one of those drag-the-corner-of-the-page-across-the-screen deals that I hate so much which is why I didn’t link to them first.

Then we’ve got Warren Ellis’ most notable early Marvel work collected in a spruced up Excalibur Visionaries trade paperback. Ellis began writing the series in 1994 after Scott Lobdell’s fill-in months following the departure of Chris Claremont and Alan Davis, and famously helped the series regain its sense of humour after Lobdell’s widely considered “depressing” run in which several characters were grimly dispatched. This trade doesn’t collect all of EllisExcalibur run but a fairly hefty chunk of the beginning of it.

In comics this week we’ve got the Siege: Loki One-Shot by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. Siege is such a tight four issue storyline that a lot of the character's motivations are touched on softly. It's not a book where people sit down and talk about their motivations for pages. This is a chance to explore Siege's subtleties. So there's room to take a look and find out what it is that Loki is really up to, and that's something I totally want to write about," says Gillen in an interview about the trickster god. Incidentally, if you like what these guys do be sure you grab a signed Phonogram bookplate edition soon! They won’t last long I can assure you.

Blackest Night is done and dusted but its effects will be felt for years to come in the DC Universe so you better know what’s what. Brightest Day #0 is out this week and sets the stage for the upcoming biweekly series by Geoff Johns who talks about it here. “It's definitely an epic, year-long story.”

Star Wars artist Lucas Marangon’s Hellcyon #1 is the first of a four-part creator-owned project; a sci-fi series about a brutal place called Halcyon on the verge of a civil war. “When I was a kid I always felt attracted to science fiction because of the form: the new worlds, the societies of the future, the technology. As I grew up I also discovered the content: the depth, the thematic variety, the complexity and the social role of the good science fiction. As John W. Campbell once said: 'Science fiction should tell us what we don't want to know.'" More of that in his interview with CbR.

Other than that we’ve got the Savage Axe of Ares, a black-and-white story set in the ancient days of Ares, heavily inspired by the old Conan stories. Over at Marvel John Barber talks about influences for the one-shot. There’s four stories all up including one written and illustrated by the great Ted McKeever. CbR have a preview.

Then there’s the highly anticipated launch of the Man of Bronze’s very own series which spins off Brian Azzarello’s pulpy First Wave. Doc Savage #1 is written by novelist Paul Malmont and illustrated by Howard Porter (Magog). Comic Book Resources interviewed him back in February and he sounds like he knows his stuff.

And that’s about it. Apart from Jeff Parker (Mysterius the Unfathomable) and Humberto Ramos’ (Spectacular Spider-Man) World War Hulks: Hulked Out Heroes #1, of course. Preview here.

-- Hayley