Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 13/10/10

It’s that time of year (the BEST time of year) when stuff is getting spooky and we’re gearing up to accidentally set our trousers on fire in Lewes. Expect the coming weeks to be full of gods and monsters.

Best-selling author Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveller’s Wife) spent the last few years writing about ghosts in Highgate Cemetery but when she wasn’t doing that she was doing a syndicated comic for the Guardian in the space usually occupied by Posy Simmonds (Tamara Drewe). Now collected, the strange and lovely Night Bookmobile Exclusive Gosh! Bookplate Edition is on the shelves signed by the lady herself.

Gosh! Favourite Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother is finally collected in one big hardcover from Dark Horse. In it you’ll get all four children’s books (Scary Godmother, Revenge of Jimmy, The Mystery Date, and The Boo Flu) but not the one-shots or comic miniseries. If you’ve never read the it before Thompson says, "Think the Addams Family and the Andy Griffith Show mash up! It's a slightly gothic, totally silly, spooky fun comic that mixes in all of the things that I love - Halloween, monsters, wrestling, cooking, craft, humor and fun all in one comic!” You can see her amazing art in the preview. Perhaps this reissue will mean more Scary Godmother comics in the post? Fingers crossed.

also turns up in the House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2 doing a new Madame Xanadu story written by Mike Kaluta. Chris Roberson and Mike Allred’s iZombie’s in there, as well as Hellblazer by Peter Milligan and Guiseppe Cumoncoli and loads more. Matthew Sturges was the captain of this particular ship; he talks about it with CbR.

Mark Gatiss’ excellent History of Horror has probably got you all re-watching classic films and hankering for some proper old Universal monsters, so the timing for the re-release of Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein couldn’t be better. It’s the first volume in Craig Yoe’s new Horror Comic Book Masters Library, a series of hardcovers that will no doubt be as lovingly reproduced and presented as all of Yoe’s previous publications.

Briefer’s Frankenstein is a far different creature to the shambling unnamed thing in Shelley’s novel, even being referred to as The Merry Monster on frequent occasions. It’s regarded as the first ongoing comic book series in the horror genre and goes through stages of being darkly horrific and then alternatively just weird and funny. Briefer, who worked with Will Eisner on some of the very first ever comic books, popped up in Dan Nadel’s Art Out of Time in which he said of him:

...[Briefer was] one of the few guys in the 1940s who had that loose, gestural art style that's funny. The drawing is inherently funny. Which is really unusual for humor comics of the time ... [in that] it's tight drawing. It's self-contained and beautiful. But Briefer is all over the place. When he does these swooping pratfalls that Frankenstein takes, the lines actually reflect the gag. It's nice. [...] And they're funny as comics. They read well and are beautifully drawn; they're full of unforgettable images, like the wizard eating Frankenstein on a hot dog. You'll never forget it, for better or for worse.

If you like Fletcher Hanks or Basil Wolverton you’ll probably fancy this one too.

We’ve also got bunnies topping their wee selves in Dawn of the Bunny Suicides, another cracking book of cartoons from the very funny Andy Riley. In an incredibly interesting sidenote, I recently noticed that the broom in a packet of Haribo Horror Mix looks like a frightened Andy Riley bunny. This is a true fact though I have no proof on account of I ate it.

Another one from Dark Horse is Carlos Trillo and Eduardo Risso’s (100 Bullets) 1995 graphic novel Vampire Boy supposedly published in English for the first time though sources say otherwise (but argue that the SAF Comics edition was such a poor translation it doesn’t count). Comicbook Resources have a preview for you.

The Wednesday Conspiracy is another translation from Dark Horse, this time from the 2005 Spanish horror comic by Sergio Bleda. It’s about a Wednesday afternoon support group for people with supernatural powers they don’t want and can’t control that all goes horribly wrong when something starts to kill them off one by one. If you’re a fan of Buffy or the Umbrella Academy this may well be up your street.

It’s Halloween in California too in Odd Is On Our Side, a graphic novel adaptation of the Dean Koontz popular ghost-whisperer novel. It’s written by Fred Van Lente (Action Philosophers!) and illustrated by Australian manga artist Queenie Chan. If that sounds like your bag you can check out the preview here. There are more in the series to come.

And in a final Halloweeny push, you should pick up a copy of Ian Edginton and Horacio Domingues’ Victorian Undead Special. It’s got Dr Jekyll in it ipso facto the other guy too. Preview. Next week you can expect the trade collection of the original miniseries. There’s also the Tomb of Terror One-Shot featuring four Marvel monster tales by Paul Hornschemeier, Joe R. Lansdale, Joseph Thomas Pruett, Rob Williams, Jordan Raskin and Mark Texeira. Preview.

In trade paperback this week you’ll get 7 Psychopaths, the Fabien Vehlmann penned, Gosh! Favourite Sean Phillips (Criminal, Incognito) illustrated WWII Hitler assassination series. Andrew liked it a lot and so did this dude. Preview here.

More war in Brahm Revel’s Guerillas TP Volume 1, the series that saw the U.S. government send a bunch of specially trained monkeys to fight the Vietnam War. Guerillas looks at the nature of war, the nature of man, and all the grey areas in between. It's also an action-packed thrill-ride full of jungle warfare and simian acrobatics!” says Revel. Broken Frontier have a huge preview.

Scott Pilgrim fans will want to pick up Hopeless Savages Greatest Hits TP from Oni Press, the Eisner-nominated series about two ageing punk rockers who get married and move to the suburbs. Written by Jen Van Meter (Amazing Spider-Man Presents Black Cat), it’s illustrated by Christine Norrie (Queen & Country), Chynna Cluggston (Blue Monday), Ross Campbell (Wet Moon), and Bryan Lee O'Malley. This trade collects all the existing stuff so you’ll be bang up to date when the new series begins in 2011.

Then there’s British graphic novel maestro Al Davison’s Hokusai Demons & Other Tales of the Fox Mother TP which sold out completely in its hardcover incarnation. It’s 96-pages of and about Davison’s dreams of the Kitsune, a Japanese term for ‘fox’ but also the name of a mythical shape-changing trickster in Japanese folklore. Davison talks about the book, Doctor Who and other bits and pieces with Alex Fitch in this interview at Panel Borders.

And lastly, there’s Hellboy TP Volume 11: Masks & Monsters by Mike Mignola, James Robinson (Starman), Scott Benefiel and Jasen Rodriguez, collecting two long-out-of-print crossover stories featuring the spectral vigilante Ghost, Batman and Starman.

Speaking of Batman, there are loads of Bat-related titles that need mentioning – a colony, if you will. Here goes:

Paul Cornell’s (Captain Britain & The MI:13) Batman spin-off, Knight & Squire, launches this week. The first issue of six can be previewed here, with art by Jimmy Broxton of The Unwritten fame. Says Cornell, “The Knight and Squire are going to have some reasonably exciting adventures if that's all right with everyone.” More of that here.
Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #5 (Of 6) by Grant Morrison and Ryan Sook sees Wayne on the hard-boiled streets of Gotham as a private investigator. Goods hats. Preview.

Bruce Wayne: The Road Home one-shot line starts with four of ‘em out of the gate in one go. Bruce Wayne The Road Home: Batman & Robin is particularly notable because it’s written by Fabian Nicieza (Red Robin) and drawn by Cliff Richards (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

For classic Bat-stuff pick up the DC Comics Presents Batman/Catwoman One-Shot which collects the 2004 two-parter Trail of the Gun written by Ann Nocenti with typically great art by Ethan Van Sciver.

DC Comics Presents Brightest Day also hits the shelf, being 96-pages of hard-to-find Deadman/Hawkman stuff by Neil Gaiman, Ed Brubaker, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Kolins, Arnold Drake, Carmine Infantino, Teddy Kristiansen, Joe Bennett, Sean Phillips and Ryan Sook. You can pick it up in tandem with Untold Tales of Blackest Night, a one-shot by Geoff Johns, Peter J. Tomasi, J.T. Krul, Ethan Van Sciver (him again), Ivan Reis and Jay Fabok.

As for #1s, here’s the lowdown:

Strange Tales II #1 is more classic Marvel characters done by indie hotshots. Namely Rafael Grampa, Kate Beaton, Frank Santoro, Dash Shaw, Shannon Wheeler, Jillian Tamaki, Jeff Lemire, Kevin Huizenga, Jhonen Vasquez, Gene Yang, and Nick Gurewitch. Preview.

Speaking of indie comics, Digested #1 is by Melbourne-based cartoonist Bobby N. Back in Australia they’re already up to #3 of the slice-of-life series but this is the first issue we’ve had. There’s a preview over on his site.

Superior #1 (of 6) is a new superhero comic from Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) and his Ultimate Avengers 2 collaborator Leinil Francis Yu (Secret Invasion). “Superior is in a lot of ways is the project I’ve wanted to write my entire life. It’s everything I love about those big bombastic kind of Superman/Captain Marvel heroes.” Preview.

Edge of Doom #1 is a new ongoing series by Steve Niles and Kelley Jones. Niles talks Edge of Doom with CbR and there are preview bits here.

And finally, Hellblazer: City of Demons #1 (of 5) is written by Si Spencer and illustrated by Sean Murphy whose excellent artwork you’ll have seen in Grant Morrison’s Joe the Barbarian.

I reckon that’s about your lot. It’s a huge week with loads of stuff I’ve undoubtedly left out so make sure you check the shipping list so you don’t miss anything and blame it on me.

-- Hayley