Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 29/09/10

It’s a Gosh! Favourite overload this week so I don’t know where to start. Um.

First of all, the brilliant Sarah McIntyre’s Vern and Lettuce arrived yesterday – two days early, in fact – and is now sitting on the shelf where it boasts gorgeously designed exclusive Gosh! Bookplates signed by the lady herself. Who wants one? You want one.

Fluffy sheep and rabbits contrast rather vividly with the violent world of Richard Stark’s Parker, also out this week. You’ll want one of those too. The Outfit is the second of four planned adaptations by Darwyn Cooke (DC: The New Frontier), the previous being the award-winning, New York Times bestselling The Hunter which we also have if you’re yet to jump on board.

In the new book we find our now-rugged-faced antihero living it up in swanky hotels before he’s ratted out to The Outfit by a squealer for cash. Enter lots of guns and gnarly faces. Newsarama have a preview for you and there’s already a review kicking about.

Louis: Night Salad HC is a book I mentioned a while ago, the latest graphic novel from the Eisner and Ignatz award-nominated Franco-Scottish duo metaphrog aka John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more colourful thing on the shelf this week. If you head over to Bleeding Cool you can see the “beautiful, weird, melancholy, life-affirming, perspective-twisting trailer… Probably best not to watch if you’ve just been through a recent emotional trauma though. It’s just all a bit… mmmm.” And a review too, if you fancy it.

The Brazilian twins Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon’s excellent Vertigo series Daytripper has come to an end, so if you’re feeling bereft we’ve got just the ticket: Their long unavailable short stories are released in hardcover this week courtesy of Dark Horse. De:Tales is their most personal work so far, full of stuff about chasing girls (and getting them – strange for comics, no?), human life and the weird magical realism they’re so good at. There’s a preview here and a couple of reviews here and there. Highly recommended!

Also out in hardcover is Billy DeBeck’s Barney Google, care of the ever-reliable Craig Yoe so it’s bound to be a lovely looking thing indeed. It’s not a complete collection but a selection of his most famous escapades. If you like Little Nemo, Krazy Kat or Pogo this should be the first thing you pick up on Thursday. There are some great scans of Barney Google pages (apparently thanks to the excellent Roger Langridge) over at this blog here where he can be seen being booted up the arse by Spark Plug, gambling on the gee-gees, and whatever other fine messes he got himself into.

The strip was adapted to film, animation, and most importantly, a cracking song written by Billy “It’s Only a Paper Moon” Rose in 1923, “Barney Google (with his Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes)”. I’m not familiar with the original version but ever since I heard this book was incoming I’ve had the Firehouse Five rendition stuck in my head. It’s totally mental, full of birdcalls and duck quacks, from a record that was on fairly regular rotation in my house. This blogger writes about the group and if you’ve not heard ‘em I recommend it. I couldn’t find the version I know on YouTube so you can have the Spike Jones one instead.

I digress! As usual.

More classic stuff is collected in John Cullen Murphy’s Big Ben Bolt Dailies Volume 1, the strip about the anti-stereotypical boxing champ/journalist. Written by Elliot Caplin, Murphy illustrated the strip from 1950 ‘til ’77 when Gray Morrow (Tarzan, Buck Rogers, man with an upsetting end) took over. This book collects roughly the first two years of the series so there’s (obviously) lots more to come. You can see a preview over at Classic Comics Press and an excerpt of an interview with Murphy from the Comics Journal too.

One of Murphy’s occasional assistants on the series was one Neal Adams (Batman: Odyssey) who coincidentally has a book out this week. The Art of Neal Adams comes in both a regular hardcover edition and a Previews Exclusive Deluxe Signed Slipcased Whizbang Extravaganza Edition which has 16 additional pages. In it you’ll find classic and rare bits of work spanning his entire career (an exceptional one it is too) all annotated by the guy himself.

Neal Adams will undoubtedly weigh you down on the bus but probably not as much as the Absolute Promethea HC Volume 2 for which you’ll have Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III to thank. Collecting issues #13-23 of the series, it’s the bit where the forces of Hell take control of New York’s mayor. All the usual Absolute bonus features apply.

A couple of things from the world of MAD deserve a mention this week. MAD’s Greatest Artists: Sergio Aragones is the first MAD collection of the ridiculously prolific artist, featuring stuff from 1963 to now, all hand-picked (and arranged chronologically – most important) by Aragones himself. It’s got cartoons, interviews, and a pull-out poster of his famous Marginals. It looks like a great book and he sounds like a stand-up guy. Just read this thing about the translator.

There’s also Al Jaffee’s MAD Life SC, a biography of the man responsible for the iconic fold-in and the magazine’s longest-running contributor – he’s still going! Jaffee, who is about a thousand years old and still alive (“serious people my age are dead,” says he), is interviewed here.

But if you’re in the mood for some dazzling, filthy violence then perhaps Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit Volume 2 is more up your alley. It’s got CF the barbarian from outer space on the cover, dripping in blood and wearing nowt but pants. “I wanted to a book about monster-men beating the sh*t out of each other. That's my main idea, that's all it's about. There's no real subtext to it. It's about the fighting.” More of that interview here and you can have both a PDF preview and a video from our best pal over at Fantagraphics.

Liquid City Volume 2 is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed anthology collecting the work of celebrated Southeast Asian creators. It’s full of stories about cities and the people who live in them, by established creators (such as the incredible Lat of Kampung Boy, A+ book that one) and those that you’ve not yet heard of. Editor Sonny Liew talks about the new book here where you can also see a bunch of preview pages too.

When American Vampire Volume 1 hits the shelves this Thursday you can consider it your hardcover antidote to the sparkly variety of bloodsuckers. The main story was written by Scott Snyder and every issue featured a back-up story by Stephen King (if you missed it you can read about it). Collected here are the first five issues of the series, plus all the variant covers by Jim Lee, Bernie Wrightson, Andy Kubert, J.H. Williams III, and Paul Pope, plus a sketchbook section by series artist Rafael Albuquerque and sample script pages too. Head this way for an interview with Snyder.

In trade-paperback you can grab yourself a new edition of Warren Ellis’ RED, his three-parter miniseries of intrigue and revenge. It’s now a film starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and the lovely Helen Mirren, pictured here wearing the shirt that made San Diego Comic-Con fall in love with her. As well as the usual you’ll also find the script to #1 and never-before-seen developmental art by Cully Hamner.
And finally, there’s The Sandman: The Dream Hunters TP by P. Craig Russell. Here he is talking about it at The Beat but you might have seen it already if you’ve been reading the Gosh! Blog forever.

Comics lasso round-up!

- Machete #0 is a comic based on one of the faux trailers tagged on to the beginning of the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse double-feature, now a feature film itself due for release in late November. It’s an origin story co-written by Rodriguez and Aaron Kaufman, with art by Stuart Sayger. Calling itself ‘the ultimate Mexploitation tale of revenge’ it leads right into an ongoing series that’ll be on our shelves some time in December.

- Bryan J.L. Glass (The Mice Templar) gives you the untold story of an Avenger in the Valkyrie One-Shot. The character was resurrected by J. Michael Straczynski in 2007 and has recently popped up in Red Hulk and Secret Avengers, but Glass says it’s a long time since she’s been spotlighted. There are preview pages by Phil Winslade (Wonder Woman) and an interview too.

- The Wetworks team is back in a one-shot called Mutations, written by Kevin Grevioux (writer of the Underworld movies) and Christopher Long with newcomer artist Julius Gopez. They talk about it with Comicbook Resources.

- X-Men: Curse of the Mutants: X-Men Vs Vampires #1 (Of 2) sees the X-Men pitted against a clan of vampires, B-movie style. There’s four new stories plus a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #159, the classic Storm vs. Dracula story by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz.

And that’s it! I think I got it all.

-- Hayley