Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 14/07/10

We’re spoiled here. We’ve had some visitors – a couple of boys from Brazil and I don’t mean a bunch of Nazis, I mean two lovely ones off the list of Gosh! Favourites called Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon. They popped in to scribble on piles of PIXU and the Umbrella Academy in between feverishly trying to finish the final chapter of their creator-owned series Daytripper (issue #8 of 10 is out this week) and being the subject of various events at the Southbank Centre’s Festival Brazil. Busy chaps!

If you were hanging around the Southbank on Friday you will have seen them painting the enormous Wallstrip mural. Indeed if you weren’t as much of a pale fainty wimp as I was (it was Day-The-Earth-Caught-Fire-sunny; I fled) you might have even picked up a paintbrush and joined in. If not, there are several photos over on ’s twitpic gallery (a fellow fan of the ol’ Hipstamatic, I see) and their blog. The work will be hanging on the wall for the next couple of months so you’ve got plenty of time to go gaze upon it. I highly recommend you do. They are, after all, the cream of the Brazilian crop.

Our postman also darkened our doorstep and we now have Gosh! Bookplate Editions of Dan Clowes’ brilliant graphic novel, Wilson. There are only 200 of these babies around, all signed and numbered by Clowes, etc etc. You know the drill!

AND we’ve just announced Bryan Lee O’Malley signing. I told you we were spoiled. It’s on Wednesday the 18th of August from 4:30pm to 6:30pm at which point he’ll be taken away from us so he can go to the big London premiere of the Scott Pilgrim film. Stick it in your diaries and get there early – we want minimal tears and absolutely no ass-kicking in the line, please.

Fresh off the van this week you’ll find Richard Stark’s Parker: The Man With the Getaway Face which is the first chapter of the second Parker graphic novel by Darwyn Cooke. Even if you’re planning on getting the upcoming book The Outfit when it’s released in the Autumn you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss out on this one because it’s bigger than you’d expect at 8” by 12” which is, I think, magazine sized (she says, checking the inverted commas so we don’t have any Spinal Tap misunderstandings). Parker: The Hunter was one of the most popular books of last year but Cooke hopes that this oversized, underpriced kidney punch will pull even more people in to the violent world of Parker. Greedy? Nope, they’re practically giving this one away at £1.45.

Cooke turns up again in Fractured Fables HC, a kid-friendly anthology of fairy tales retold by comics’ greatest. How’s this for a cast: Mike & Laura Allred (Madman, iZombie), Jill Thompson (Beasts of Burden), Bryan Talbot (Alice in Sunderland), Peter David (Hulk), Ben Templesmith (Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse), Scott Morse (Plastic Man), Doug TenNapel (Earthworm Jim), Ted McKeever (Eddy Current), Terry Moore (Echo), Bill Morrison (The Simpsons), Larry Marder (Beanworld), Jim Valentino (Guardians of the Galaxy), Phil Hester (Green Arrow), Jonathan Hickman (S.H.I.E.L.D.), and friend o’ Gosh! Christian Ward (Olympus). And that’s not even all of ‘em.

If you’re feeling overly virtuous after that you can bag some filth for afters. Night Business is a tribute to late night ‘80s exploitation films, full of serial killers, vigilante strippers and a whole lot of dirty ultra-violence by a guy in Brooklyn called Benjamin Marra whose self-knowingly ridiculous author photo is definitely Gosh! Approved. “I was watching all these Giallo films from the '70s, with these total maniac killers on the loose, killing hot girls, and I was like, "Man, I just wish Charles Bronson would be in this movie and just regulate on this motherf*cker." And that's sort of what Night Business is.” We’ve got three issues of the thing and you can read the rest of that interview here. Also, have a preview of #1. Contains boobs. Lots of. And uncomfortable-looking underwear.

Joe Casey also harks back to straight-to-video grime with Officer Downe, a one-shot about ‘a lone badass with a badge’. Illustrating this piece of work is Casey’s collaborator on the gloriously absurd Nixon’s Pals, Chris Burham, who describes Officer Downe as “a throwback/tribute/reinvention of the 80s ultraviolent right-wing action hero. RoboCop meets Toxic Avenger as played by Sylvester Schwarzenegger.” Joe “People who follow my work already know I can be a twisted motherf*cker” Casey talks to Newsarama here. The mouths on them!

Jim Rugg’s Rambo 3.5 is going great guns so make sure you grab one before they’re all gone. If you still want mo’ Rugg after that might I invite you to pick up this week’s Pood #1, a huge newspaper anthology thing in the same style as Wednesday Comics but featuring a whole gang of alternative comic creators like these ones here: Joe Infurnari, Sara Edward Corbett, Chris Capuozzo, Connor Willumsen, Hans Rickheit, Bishakh Som, Adam McGovern, Paolo Leandri, Lance Hansen, Mark Sunshine, Tobias Tak, and Andrew Vera.

Scott Morse (that man again) began a thing on his blog a while back called Strange Science Fantasy in which he created a series of standalone stories in the style of Jack Kirby/Steve Ditko. They were only available online very briefly and then even briefer still as a limited real-life paper edition at the San Diego Comic-con last year. Now Strange Science Fantasy is a six-issue miniseries with the first two issues being reprints of the stuff you can’t get anymore and then new stuff thereafter. This week’s #1 also includes a one-pager by the brilliant Paul Pope (Heavy Liquid) so if you miss it you’re being a bit silly. Morse explains it all here.

Jeff Parker (of the terminally underrated Mysterius the Unfathomable) also doffs his cap to the Golden Age in his new three-issue miniseries about the simian member of the Agents of Atlas. Gorilla Man #1 is an origin story of sorts in which Parker plays around with pulp genre and wears his inspiration on his sleeve: “In many ways homages work like Roy Crane's Captain Easy and the Caniff/Sickles Terry and the Pirates….With a dash of Indiana Jones for good measure.” He talks about it here, and you can get an eyeful of Giancarlo Caracuzzo’s (Atlas) artwork here.

Kieron Gillen has invented a term to explain what happens in this week’s World War Hulks: Spider-Man VS. Thor #1 (of 2) and it’s now in my phone’s predictive text. Behold: "Spider-Man and Thor landed near each other and... well, disaster follows… The metaphor which leaps to mind – because I'm British, and have to play to stereotype – is drunk people. As in, situations that would be normally free of drama escalate with the slightest encouragement. What started as something as simple as 'Let's get back to the battle and stop this' turns into them being at each other's throats due to their mentalosity increasiment. Which is, I think you'll find, the technical term." More of that and the voices in his head here. Preview? Clicky.

I don’t know what happens in Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book #1 (of 5) but if I read it and see any resemblance to my life I’m going out the back for a cry. It’s out this week and it’s written by Ian Boothby who’s interviewed by Tom Spurgeon over at the Comics Reporter. And it has all three variant covers stapled inside the front cover because they know their audience far too well.

And now for the unhappy ending you knew was coming. We’re losing them fast this year; there’s a hole in our bucket. Peter O’Donnell, Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, and now Harvey Pekar has is gone too. As my Irish grandma once said, there are a lot of people dying who haven’t died before.

To explain why Pekar’s important would merely be adding to the deafening din of adoration so here’s a quote from the man himself, tweeted by Kieron Gillen when the news broke:

"Comics are words and pictures.
You can do anything with words and pictures."

-- Hayley