Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 20/10/10

Hello Wednesday, would you like a carrot on a stick? In an effort to give you some sort of reassurance that we haven’t gone all Big Numbers, here is an update on Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In short you can expect Century Chapter II: 1969 some time around April next year. Spring-ish, anyway. Hip hip!

In the far less vague future Absolute All-Star Superman will be on the shelf and as this excited iFanboy points out it’s about time too. Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s epic emotional 12-issue series is collected in full, graced with an all-new cover by Quitely and an introduction by Chip Kidd (which you can read here, as it happens). It’s a frequently and enthusiastically recommended classic here at Gosh! and the 320-page Absolute behemoth will undoubtedly be worth the price of entry.

Incidentally, this week also sees the release of the penultimate issue of Morrison’s run on Batman & Robin. Peter J. Tomasi takes the reigns from #17 so if you’re not planning on sticking with the series post-Morrison please let us know. Tomasi talks about his plans with Newsarama.

On the flipside you can get Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo’s (both of Joker fame) Luthor HC, which collects the 2005 five-issue miniseries about Superman’s longtime foe, Lex Luthor: Man of Steel. It’s not new stuff but it’s good stuff, which is pretty much what this review says here.

This month DC are rifling through their archives to bring you lots of uncollected and previously unpublished gems, and they’re not stopping with Deadman. That’s an unsubtle segue right there in case you didn’t notice: If you didn’t pick up a copy of last week’s DC Comics Presents Brightest Day 100-page Special you should definitely do so – Neil Gaiman and Teddy Kristiansen’s beautiful Deadman story On the Stairs from Kristiansen’s Solo #8 is in it, along with the first ever Deadman story by his creator Arnold Drake – totally worth it for just a smidge over a fiver. It also features stuff by Ed Brubaker whose Scott McDaniel illustrated Batman vs. The Penguin arc is collected in this week’s DC Comics Presents Batman.

Then the much whispered about but never actually published Warren Ellis Hellblazer story finally sees the light of day in Vertigo Resurrected #1:

“Years ago, I wrote a brief run on the DC Vertigo horror comic John Constantine: Hellblazer. Brief, because I wrote a horror story therein called Shoot. Shoot was about schoolyard slayings in the United States. It was completed before Columbine happened, but scheduled to appear not long after. The regime at DC Comics at the time decided that it could not be released in its completed form. I refused to go along with the changes they wanted to make. They decided not to publish the book at all. I quit.”

There are also Vertigo rarities by Brian Azzarello, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, Jim Lee, Phil Jimenez, and Bernie Wrightson.

About a year ago Gosh! Favourite Ian Edginton began his six-issue miniseries Victorian Undead; tomorrow it’s collected in trade paperback. I posted about it then, with links to interviews and the like. Moriarty’s zombie minions in 19th century London – what more could you ask for on a cold Thursday?

Perhaps something by Dan Clowes (Wilson, Ghost World) maybe. I would. Daniel Clowes: Conversations SC is a collection of interviews going as far back as 1988 when they appeared in rare small press and self-published zines, right up to last year when he was interviewed specifically for this book. There are 240 pages of the stuff so it should keep you occupied for a while. You can see photos of it here on the editor’s blog. Amusingly, if you’ve ever wondered how to pronounce Clowes’ name correctly read this.

There’s an armful of big arty books worth mentioning:

Blab World HC Vol 1 is the new deluxe incarnation of what was previously just known as Blab! the digest-sized art magazine with acclaimed graphic designer Monte Beauchamp at the wheel; "It's like the New Yorker for Mutants," says the Los Angeles Reader. This volume features stuff by Mark Ryden, Joe Sorren, Kris Kuksi, Femke Hiemstra, Ron English, Natalia Fabia, Alex Gross, Sue Coe, Gary Taxali, Gary Baseman, Ryan Heshka, Owen Smith, Martin Wittfooth, Yoko D'Holbachie, Andy Kehoe, Travis Lampe, Jean-Pierre Roy, John Pound, Andrea Dezso, Edel Rodriguez, Fred Stonehouse, Spain (ZAP!) Rodriguez. Sample pages abound over at the Blab World website.

Icons: The DC Comics & Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee HC does what it says on the tin; a big coffee table art book spanning his entire career to date. Comicbook Resources have a preview for you.

Then there’s Shameless Art: 20th Century Genre and the Artists That Define It HC which gives you page upon page of under-appreciated genre art by the likes of Tom Lovell, Virgil Finlay, Hannes Bok, Margaret Brundage, and Enoch Bolles. Expect dames, pin-ups and bad girls. It’s basically a time capsule of naked and less-naked ladies.

Born Modern: The Art and Design of Alvin Lustig HC has no naked ladies in it despite designing a book cover for Henry Miller. Lustig’s the man who introduced Modern art to graphic design and managed to pack a phenomenal amount of work and influence into what was a ridiculously short life. If, like me, you think you haven’t heard of him, you definitely have; you can buy posters of his iconic book cover designs in every Oxfam.

Lynda Barry’s best-selling What It Is finally gets a follow-up in Picture This, a book in which she asks Why do we stop drawing?

“I wanted to find a way to do a book about drawing that wasn't just writing about drawing. Or you know, those instructions that always make me feel tired right away, like how to draw a picture of a glass of water and the color wheel and all those things that just make you go ‘Huhn-uhhh!’”

Barry is funny; she once called the San Diego Comic-Con the largest collection of near-sighted people in the Northern Hemisphere. Read this interview immediately, and then have a look at Drawn & Quarterly’s PDF preview.

If you’re a James Kochalka fan you’ve got two things to pick up this Thursday. There’s another Johnny Boo book for starters, and a whole new thing called Dragon Puncher HC; a mix of drawings and photographs featuring a ruthless cat in an armoured battle suit (Kochalka’s own, Spandy) and his sidekick Spoon-E (a guy with a spoon, aka Kochalka’s wee boy Eli) who fight a huge, drooling dragon (James Kochalka Superstar himself). Top Shelf have a preview here and Things From Another World have an exclusive interview. Incidentally, his American Elf daily strip, which has been going since forever, is still going. I know, big news, right? But it’s good, and every now and then I like to remind people.

Other notable stuff includes Punisher Max: Tiny Ugly World One-Shot, another ultraviolent offering from David Lapham (Stray Bullets) illustrated by Dalibor Talajic (Deadpool). Preview here.

Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.’s Kick Ass 2 #1 begins, Hit Girl, swear words and all. Preview here.

The new five-week-long Pilot Season event launches with a thing called 7 Days From Hell, about a guy spared from a fiery eternity by a renegade demon seeking redemption. It’s written by the guys behind Broken Trinity: Pandora’s BoxBryan Edward Hill and Rob Levin, with art by Phil Noto (Batgirl). Preview.

And finally, Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero #1 sees a wheelchair-bound student go through superhuman changes after being infected by an alien parasite. It’s written by Paul Cornell (Captain Britain and the MI:13) who talks about it with Newsarama, and illustrated by Javier Pina (Superman, Batman) whose stuff you can see in this preview. You can even have a review though they’ve headlined it with a BOOM! POW! and I reckon there should be a moratorium on that sort of thing, along with the word “quadrilogy”.

Event news! As part of the South Asian Literary Festival Paul Gravett is hosting a panel this Saturday the 23rd of October on graphic novels at the Q Forum, a new venue near Piccadilly Circus. There’s also an exhibition of comic art opening this Friday at the London Print Studio featuring work by the likes of Charlie Adlard, Ho Che Anderson, Brick, Darryl Cunningham, Karrie Fransman, Anthony Hope-Smith, John Hicklenton, Robert Kirkman, Chie Kutsuwada, Metaphrog, John Miers, Mustashrik, Nobrow, The Pleece Brothers, Pulp Theatre, David Quantick, Paul Rainey, Philippa Rice, Savage Pencil, Sean Michael Wilson, Carlos Nine, and our very own Will Bingley. All you need to know is here.

If you’re up for some theatre The Rememberers is a live hip hop graphic novel previewing at the Albany in Deptford on Thursday and Friday night this week. Their event page is here.

And that, I think, is about it.

-- Hayley