Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 23/06/10

Sweaty Summery greetings to you, Gosh gang! If you missed our heartfelt rendition of Sumer Is Icumen In the other day then weep bitter tears my friend, it was excellent.

Strange doings on our new shelves this week courtesy of Fantagraphics! Tony Millionaire’s special brand of Odd abounds in a second instalment of the Billy Hazelnuts saga, Billy Hazelnuts & Crazy Bird HC. If you’ve not read the Eisner Award-winning first volume yet then fer chrissakes skip this paragraph because there’ll be spoilers comin’ at you like a flannel. In this volume Hazelnuts is all about family life with its household chores and daily cat avoidance until he’s landed with a baby owl after a scrap with its mother.

"... He has this sort of disgust with the corporeal reality of life, his own 'flesh' as well as the flesh of all these hideous, smelly farm animals around him,” says Millionaire. “Billy rebels against the whole animal stink, the horrible stench of being alive. But when he fights the owl, he is suddenly thrust into a position of responsibility; he has to bring this baby owl back to its mother who has flown off after the fight... The baby owl loves Billy, as he is made of suet and other leftover baking doughs which the rats found in the garbage. So with this loving creature eating him alive, swallowing everything about Billy, including his flesh and his time, [he] runs to his duty, and the adventure unfolds."

More Millionaire over at Comicbook Resources and a nice big PDF preview from Fantagraphics. It’s been a while since we’ve had one of those manhandling videos so as a special Wednesday afternoon treat you can have one of those too as long as you promise to eat your dinner.
The other offering from Fantagraphics is Temperance, an original hardcover graphic novel by Cathy Malkasian who previously brought you the very strange and somewhat Orwellian Percy Gloom (video). Temperance is a similarly gloomy tale of violence and control in which a battle-wounded man wakes up with no memory of his prior life.

Word is Malkasian’s now working on a comedic graphic novel for a change of scenery, but in the meantime this sounds like a hefty, rewarding read. She talks to Newsarama here, and there’s a PDF preview and a video too.

Archie: The Best of Dan DeCarlo HC Volume 1 collects the best work of the man who would define the iconic look of Riverdale and its inhabitants forever. It’s a fully recoloured, high quality affair collecting strips from the beginning of his career at Archie in the mid-1950s right up to the early ‘70s. Considering the man worked for the company for nearly 50 years there’s plenty more to come so keep an eye out.

I Thought You Would Be Funnier SC is a collection of stuff The New Yorker rejected, thinking it was not the best work of renowned cartoonist Shannon Wheeler. Wheeler, mostly known for his syndicated cartoon Too Much Coffee Man thinks otherwise and has stuck ‘em in a book for you. Reviews and previews from people who think similarly.

Cover Run: The DC Art of Adam Hughes HC pretty much does what it says on the tin along with commentary from the man himself plus a bunch of rarely seem preliminary stuff.

Expect lots of ladies; it’s Adam Hughes.

Last week I mentioned Rian Hughes’ Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s and I would have also mentioned his Custom Lettering of the 60s & 70s had it arrived half an hour earlier than it did. In the pre-computer days the strict rules of lasting practicality didn’t apply to custom-made, hand-drawn type and thus the designers were allowed and duly did to go a bit mental. Hughes has compiled a brick-sized wodge of one-off designs all carefully categorised in an influence family tree. It’s a great looking book and makes me hate bad computer lettering even more than I already do. Check it out at the publisher’s website.

As for comics this week here’s a quick round-up of mentionables:

Jam! Tales From the World of Roller Derby, an anthology one-shot with art from the likes of Eric Powell (The Goon) and Ray Fawkes (The Apocalipstix, Mnemovore). Preview of that one over here.

The Schizophrenic One-Shot written by the relatively new and unknown entity (comics-wise) Josh Frankel but deserves a mention because it’s illustrated by the brilliant Toby Cypress of Brian Wood’s The Tourist, and Glen Brunswick’s (Jersey Gods) Killing Girl.

Regular 20-something Sam is the titular schizophrenic whose hallucinations become real and manifest in the form of a different comics genre every episode; superhero, horror, romance, sci-fi, etc. Preview! Also, follow Cypressblog. There’s a good lad.

Bullet to the Head #1 by Matz (The Killer) and illustrated by Colin Wilson (Brubaker’s Point Blank) is a thing that already existed elsewhere but this is the first time we’ve seen it in English. It’s described as a crime saga with buddy cops and buddy crooks with one unlikely official in the middle with a target on his head. Preview.

And lastly, the big comic this week is undoubtedly Superman #700, the weighty 56-page extravaganza with all sorts of stuff going on. Dan “the man who killed Superman” Jurgens is here, James Robinson concludes his epic New Krypton run on the series, and you get a preview of the all-new ongoing Superman creative team of J. Michael Straczynski (Thor) and Eddy Barrows (Birds of Prey, Action Comics). It’ll be a good jumping on point for new readers, says JMS, in an essay on a lifetime of Superman that he wrote for DC’s The Source:

“We plan to bring Superman back to his roots, to really explore who he is…how he sees us, and how we see him, in a much more personal way than we’ve seen in a while. This is part of a larger effort that will have national ramifications, but I can’t say much more about it than that for now.... let’s just say that Superman may be a lot closer in proximity to you, the reader, than you ever guessed.”

It’s the big anniversary milestone (obviously) so Jeff Lemire reminisces too. Aw.

In other news, our very own Barnaby Richards (whose series of Things minicomics are proving very popular with people called Eddie Campbell and otherwise) has been quietly popping up in the Observer Magazine every Sunday illustrating Mariella Frostrup’s relationship column. If you’ve been missing out you can catch up over at his blog where you’ll also find the beginning of a new piece of ongoing work, Postcards From Cosmo. The series is Barney’s addition to a collaborative blog run by various children’s authors called Trapped By Monsters. We have no idea where it’s going and Barney’s certainly not letting on which makes it all the more exciting.

Having briefly mentioned Eddie Campbell, drawer of yesterweek’s boobs, I can neatly segue into something fantastically cool and strange happening on the other side of the world from where I currently sit. Listen up, Syd-a-ney, you’re in for a treat! As part of their Graphic program in August, Neil Gaiman will be appearing at the Sydney Opera House to read a previously unpublished story. Eddie Campbell’s fully painted illustrations will be projected onto the stage possibly outstripping the size of the artist’s ego in length and breadth but maybe not. While that’s going on Australian electric string quartet FourPlay – whose covers of songs by the Velvet Underground, Depeche Mode, Charles Mingus, and Radiohead made them somewhat famous among the Triple J crowd but who are now, I’m told, much more famous (and deservedly so!) than they were when I left the country years ago – will be performing an entirely new score. If you don’t know who FourPlay are this is them and they are good. I am unspeakably envious of you people. Go boldly and report back immediately. But first you need tickets.

And I’m out.

-- Hayley


Peter Hollo said...

*heh* Hayley Campbell, you're awesome. Thanks for the link from my favourite comics shop in London :)

Gosh! said...

Yay! No problem, Peter. I wish I could be there. I was telling Neil that we went to see you in some 'orrible shopping centre (probably) about a decade ago. He was astonished.
-- Hayley

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Bx