Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 26/10/10

And so it transpires that the most exciting thing on the shelf this week features six-limbed monsters, a one-armed cyborg and a whole bunch of terrifying floating orbs in a horrifying alien world. And why not? You can’t top something like that; I challenge you to try.

Death-Day Part One by Gosh! Favourite Sam Hiti (Tiempos Finales) is deliriously strange and brilliant. Back in January you probably picked up a copy of the Prologue, a small red pamphlet the contents of which are now lumped in with Part One. You’ll have to choose between two editions depending on how much pocket money you’re willing to part with: there’s the regular softcover for £14.99 or the slightly fancier slipcased deal with a black band for £22.50. The contents are the same and both editions feature an original sketch by Hiti on the title page. Look! You can even see him sketching them in this video because we live in the future and everything is on the internet. Comicbook Resources have a review of the book already. As for other in-stock Hiti books, if your collection is currently lacking signed and sketched-in copies of Ghoulash I, El Largo Tren Oscuro or indeed the Death-Day Prologue you’re in luck.

For more unspeakable horrors you’ll should pick up a copy of Ian Culbard’s At the Mountains of Madness being – as you can probably imagine – a stellar adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft classic. When it arrives (which could be this week, could be next week) we’ll have an exclusive Gosh! Bookplate Edition featuring an all-new portrait of Lovecraft himself by the exceedingly good Culbard. Want one held aside for you? Just say the word.

No Hallowe’en is complete without new stuff from Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother) so failing to pick up this one would be an embarrassing faux pas. She and her frequent collaborator Evan Dorkin have teamed up with Mike Mignola for a 32-page Beasts of Burden/Hellboy crossover which sees the World’s Greatest Paranormal Detective help the team solve a case of unexplained animal slayings. You won’t be seeing a Li’l Hellboy toddling about in the woods though – Mignola put the kibosh on that idea before it was even suggested. It’s all fully painted by Thompson and if there’s a more colourful, beautiful thing out on Thursday I’ll eat my hat. Preview here.

Having said that, there is brand new stuff from the ridiculously talented Sean Phillips too. He and Ed Brubaker give you another dose of pulp noir in a follow-up to last year’s hit series in Incognito: Bad Influences #1:

“…it touches on some similar things as we did in the first series, but from a different angle now. [Zack is] living in New York City, he has to maintain a secret identity, but he doesn't have to go to a job or any of that other stuff. His job is working with the good guys now.

A big part of the series takes a darker noir twist on an old pulp and comic book cliche that you'll see when you read the issue. It's a twist I've never seen explored before, so I thought I'd use that as a jumping off point before I send Zack off down the well.”

More of that interview with Brubaker here, and you can see Phillips’ work over at CbR. Incidentally, if you’re not following Phillipsblog you’re missing out. He frequently posts working sketches, life drawings, and generally interesting bits and pieces. Also he has Gosh! Approved hair and that sort of thing gets you places.

Earlier this week we received Dodgem Logic #6 in which Big Hairy Alan Moore ponders about the possibilities of life on other planets, Iain Sinclair writes about JG Ballard, Stewart Lee says there are no comedy gods and Kevin O’Neill does a full-colour page about – uh – well I think it’s about sex or something. It’s rude, anyway. You’ll find it on the counter like impulse-buy sweets.

We’ve also got Tunes: A Graphic History of Rock ‘n’ Roll SC, being a compendium of vignette comics about rock personalities edited by Vincent Brunner of France’s Rolling Stone. It’s a translation from the French Rock Strips and covers everything from Elvis to grunge, illustrated in black and white by the likes of Serge Clerc, Charles Berberian, Killoffer, Menu and Sattouf. Points awarded to those who recognise the R. Crumb homage on the cover.

For classic Marvel UK Arthurian fantasy you’ll want to grab yourself a copy of Knights of Pendragon Volume 1: Once and Future TP, collecting the first nine issues of the controversial twenty-year-old series by Dan Abnett, John Tomlinson, Gary Erskine and Andy Lanning. Extra bits include reminiscences from the writers and original series editor Steve White about getting the series off the ground in the face of outright hostility from the dudes upstairs, and a cover gallery by the likes of Alan Davis (who coincidentally provides the cover to this week’s X-Men: Nation X TP), Simon Bisley, John Bolton and loads more. Win Wiacek gives you the full history of the Knights over at Comics Review.

In Superman: Earth One HC J. Michael Staczynski (Thor) gives you "an untold period in Clark Kent's life, a year one sort of tale,” according to its artist Shane Davis. It’s the first in a line of original graphic novels from DC by big cheese comics creators called Earth One, a re-imagining of DC’s top heroes. Preview hereabouts.

Last week John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs aka metaphrog came in and signed a pile of the latest book in their line of critically acclaimed ones, Louis: Night Salad. It came out last month and I wrote about it then.

Other bits worth picking up include Rian Hughes’ Yesterday’s Tomorrows at a staggeringly low price of a mere tenner (60% off!). Hughes was last seen on the Gosh! Blog as the editor of Lifestyle llustrations of the ‘60s (reviewed here by The Independent) and has done more for comic book design than you probably know (see also: the Gosh! logo). Yesterday’s Tomorrows is a collection of his comics, mostly written by others (including Grant Morrison, John Freeman, Tom DeHaven) all illustrated in Hughes’ trademark retro style along with covers, sketches, bubblegum cards, and other rare visual treats. Newsarama interview him about the book. Highly recommended.

We’ve also managed to secure a limited pile of Top Shelf gems at stupidly low prices – and so can you if you’re quick! Eddie Campbell’s burglar-stunning behemoth Alec: The Years Have Pants HC was previously £37.99 but you can have it for £22, Alan Moore’s and Melinda Gebbie’s Collected Lost Girls HC is down to £22 from £33.99, and the softcover edition of his first novel The Voice of the Fire is now just £5.50 instead of £10.99. We’ve only got a few copies of each so we can’t hold any aside – you’d best hurry down to the shop with your elbows at the ready.

How d’ya like them apples?

-- Hayley