Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 06/10/10

He’s hardly the most prolific cartoonist so when a Charles Burns book comes out you’d best sit up and pay attention. X’ed Out is all brand new stuff, never serialised, never seen before, and it’s definitely the start of something big. Is it too early to say magnum opus? People on the internet are doing it all over the place.

It’s about Doug, a young artist who wakes in the night when he’s disturbed by a buzzing noise on the other side of the wall. Part William Burroughs, part Hergé (the cover itself is a direct homage to the Tintin book The Shooting Star), it’s a weird, hallucinogenic, typically mental Burnsian world where dream and reality collide. It’s all in full-colour too, as you can see in this preview on Publishers Weekly.

At 56 pages long it’s the first of an indeterminate number of parts – this reviewer says if it gets too bizarre for you just go back and read those first 50 pages of Black Hole and see how weird they were on their own. If you’re lucky enough to be in Seattle ‘round Halloween you have to go see Burns himself at the Fantagraphics store. Them’s the rules.

It has to be said that a delivery that includes both a new Burns and a Seth book is an A+ good’un. Seth’s too fancy for floppy comics these days so Palookaville Volume 20 is coming out in classy Drawn & Quarterly hardcover. In it you’ll get the ongoing Clyde Fans serial, plus his first autobiographical comics in ages and an in-depth look at his Dominion City project – the model of the fictional town last seen in George Sprott. Pictures of his cardboard world are on Flickr if you’ve not seen ‘em. As for this week’s Palookaville, head here for a PDF preview.

Seth’s trademark designs are all over the new collection of Doug Wright’s Nipper Volume 1: 1963 – 1964. If you picked up the offensively shiny Collected Doug Wright: Canada’s Master Cartoonist (Gosh! Blog mention) last year, you’ll already be familiar with Nipper, that mischievous little dude and star of the wordless masterpiece comic strip about the joys and indignities suburban life. It ran uninterrupted for more than three decades and Drawn & Quarterly plan to release the lot of ‘em in a series of paperback annuals. PDF preview.

Fluorescent Black is a story that ran in Heavy Metal over the last couple of years and is now published in a stand-alone graphic novel, an oversized spot-varnished affair in black and neon pink. It’s a bio-punk science fiction story set in Singapore, where genetic miscreants have been ghettoised. If you like Paul Pope’s Heavy Liquid and 100% you’ll probably like this too, especially given the stellar art by Nathan Fox (Pigeons From Hell, Dark Reign: Zodiac) which you can see in an 8-page preview over at the Heavy Metal site. Writer Matt Wilson, Fox, and colourist Jeromy Cox were interviewed by Comixology way back when the thing had only just begun. Definitely worth a look.

Gosh! Favourite Joann Sfar (Sardine, The Little Vampire) has adapted Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic novella The Little Prince into one amazing-looking hardcover graphic novel. It’s the original story as we know it, but with that lovely brand of strangeness that Sfar brings to everything he does. He even illustrates the previously unseen narrator who meets the little prince in the Sahara desert. Over at Publishers Weekly he talks about his first introduction to the book when he was five years old – it was what his grandfather used to explain his mother’s death. Gushing reviews abound.

Another classic is adapted in Allen Ginsberg’s Howl by Eric Drooker, personal friend and collaborator of Ginsberg’s, and the artist responsible for the animated bits in the recently released film starring James Franco. This is that animation filtered back onto the page. "I decided to stretch out a nine-page poem over 200 pages. Each stanza of the poem has its own page, its own spread. I tried to make it more like a religious text, more liturgical.” More of that interview with Drooker here, and Comics Alliance have a preview.

Frankie Stein HC is a children’s book from the same house as Ben 10, written by Steven T. Seagle (American Virgin) and illustrated by Marco Cinello (SpongeBob SquarePants movie) which eagle eyed readers will notice is the same pair who brought you Soul Kiss. Seagle talks about it with Comicbook Resources where you can also find loads of preview pages. The art’s a candy-coloured joy.

Somewhat less kid-friendly is The Green Woman by Peter Straub, resurrecting the sinister serial killer last seen in his novel The Throat. It’s co-written by Michael Easton (off telly’s One Life to Live), and illustrated by the great John Bolton (Books of Magic, Harlequin Valentine). The Vertigo blog has preview pages for you.

As for comics, here’s what awaits you on Thursday:

CBLDF Liberty Annual 2010 gives you 48 colour pages of stuff by a typically amazing list of creators. You’ve got two covers to chose from: a Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) Martha Washington cover, or a Darick Robertson Conan cover (who also does a Conan story too), both all new! Inside you’ll find a new Boys story by Garth Ennis and Rob Steen, a new Megatron Man adventure by Don Simpson – the first in over a decade, a new Milk & Cheese by Evan Dorkin (Beasts of Burden), amongst all sorts of new (word of the day) stuff by Scott Morse (Strange Science Fantasy), Anina Bennett & Paul Guinan, Larry Marder (Beanworld), Geoff Johns (Green Lantern) & Skott Kolins, Frank Miller, Gabriel Ba & Fabio Moon (Daytripper), Paul Pope (Heavy Liquid), Jeff Smith (Bone), Terry Moore (Echo), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) & Jill Thompson (Magic Trixie), Rob Liefeld (X-Force), Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil), and Skottie Young (Marvellous Land of Oz). Quite a mouthful for only £3.65. Preview.

Batman Hidden Treasures is a one-shot written by Ron Marz (Green Lantern), illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, and inked by Kevin Nowlan (Superman Vs. Aliens, Dr Strange) – the famous long-lost story that even the writer himself thought would never see print. "For so long it had been one of those stories that you hear about that was literally buried in a drawer somewhere. I've given copies of the artwork to any number of comic artists, who either see me at a convention or get a hold of me and say, 'Oh my god. I heard about this Wrightson, Nowlan job. Can I get a copy of it?'” More of that Marz interview here.

DC Comics Presents… is a new line of one-shots and specials reprinting bits of DC’s history. First up is Jack Cross, the never-before-collected four-issue miniseries by Warren Ellis (who regards it thusly) illustrated by Gary Erskine (The Filth). For a full list of what to expect in the coming weeks head to the DCU Blog.

Loads of #1s too:

DeadpoolMAX #1 sees the Merc With a Mouth get his own MAX series – written by David Lapham (Stray Bullets) and illustrated by the amazing Kyle Baker (Why I Hate Saturn). “For Immature Readers. We have a story to tell, and the only way to tell it is through MAX. Will it be sophomoric? Yes. Will it be fun? Yes. Will it be smart? Define smart.” Preview.

Uncanny X-Force #1 is the start of a new ongoing series written by Rick Remender (Last Days of American Crime) and illustrated by Jerome Opeña (Fear Agent). Remender talks to CbR who also have a preview for you.

Ultimate Comics Thor #1 (Of 4) sees Jonathan Hickman (S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Carlos Pacheco (Green Lantern) tell the origin story of Thor, Loki and the rest of that gang. Hickman’s interviewed here and here you’ll find a preview.

Chaos War #1 (Of 5) by Greg Pak (Hulk), Fred Van Lente (Action Philosophers), and illustrated by Khoi Pham (Mighty Avengers) sees an army of alien slave gods try to destroy reality. As you do. Interview and preview.

And in Klaws of Panther #1 (of 4) by Jonathan Maberry (Doomwar) and Gianluca Gugliotta (Dark Reign) Black Panther fans will get to see Klaw, Master of Sound, try to destroy all sorts of things. Preview.

Another long blog but to be fair it’s a pretty monumental week. I should know; I carried the bloody boxes.

-- Hayley


Chris Rice said...

You forgot THE big release of the week, Hayley!

Yes, the new My Monkey's Name is Jennifer book finally came out! And there was much rejoicing by all...or a few at least...