Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 03/11/10

Granted you’ll be too busy blowing stuff up on Friday night to read comics, but when Saturday morning rolls ‘round you’ll have plenty of stuff to read once you’ve dusted the ash off your sleeves.

Last week I mentioned the imminent arrival of Ian Culbard’s H.P. Lovecraft adaptation, At the Mountains of Madness. And you know what? It arrived the very next day. We now have signed, limited bookplate editions on the shelf and they’re just as lovely as we hoped they’d be. If you’ve already placed an order for one rest assured there’s a copy held aside for you now – you’ll hear from me very shortly.

Denys Wortman’s New York TP is an unseen treat that you’ve got James Sturm (Market Day) to thank for. After Sturm found and loved an old book called Mopey Dick and the Duke he took it upon himself to find out everything he could about the author; a totally unknown and long dead cartoonist called Wortman.

Like some sort of private detective he tracked down the guy’s son who revealed an entire shed full of cartoons doing nothing but fending off rats, rusty paperclips, and blizzards. This book is a collection of the things Sturm found – amazing cartoons capturing the life and personality of the city along with correspondence with personal friends such as William Steig, Milt Gross and Walt Disney who all held him and his work in extremely high regard. Looking at this preview over at Drawn & Quarterly makes it seem ridiculous that he’s not as widely known as his pals.

Fellow New Yorker Dean Haspiel’s work is all over the telly (read: my telly) these days in the top notch show Bored to Death, written by his Alcoholic collaborator Jonathan Ames. I’ve been a fan of Haspiel ever since I read Opposable Thumbs ten years ago (good grief!) so I’ll be interested to see what makes it into this book; “a career “introspective” rather than retrospective: instead of just looking back, we're looking back with a forward-thinking and insightful attitude,” says its mastermind Christopher Irving, comics historian.

It’s called Graphic NYC Presents Volume 1: Dean Haspiel Early Years and collects all sorts; from his early autobiographical work to unpublished Billy Dogma stuff alongside an extensive interview and various essays by Irving. You can see eight pages of it on the internet and read an interview with the two of them here and there.

Bent is a new one from Dave Cooper collecting the past five years’ worth of paintings, ink drawings, pencil sketches, and photographs all as bizarre and as strange as you’d expect. Guillermo del Toro (of Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth fame) provides the introduction and apparently owns some Cooper originals himself. Preview over at Fantagraphics and a video too if you fancy it.

Also from Fantagraphics is the latest in their flagship anthology, MOME, the landmark 20th volume so they’ve done their maths and provided us with the following facts: 5 years, 20 volumes, 72 artists, and 2,352 pages of comics. Blimey. In this issue you’ll find MOME-debutants Steven "Ribs" Weissman, Sergio Ponchione (doing a full-colour prequel story to his acclaimed series Grotesque), Jeremy Tinder and Aidan Koch, alongside familiar faces Dash Shaw, Sara Edward-Corbett, Josh Simmons, T. Edward Bak, Derek Van Gieson, Ted Stearn, Conor O'Keefe, Nate Neal, and Nicolas Mahler. PDF preview and a video too.

The Art of Frank Cho is a hardcover exhibition catalogue consisting of 48 pages of published art he’s done over the years. All the stuff in it is for sale, though the exhibition opened way back in May so if you’re planning on using it as a shopping list you’ve probably missed the boat entirely. You can see what’s in it over at the gallery’s website.

We haven’t seen a graphic novel from Renee French since the brilliantly weird The Ticking four years ago. H Day is her new one in which she wordlessly illustrates her struggles with migraines and Argentine Ants in her trademark dreamlike pencil drawings. “There's a place I visualise when I have a migraine, to get me through it, and it's got blank buildings and water. I just sat down and made a drawing of that place. Then I realised that's where I wanted to hang out for a while, on paper.” Comicbook Resources have an interview with her, and if you’re not keeping an eye on her blog you probably should be.

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less HC is a debut graphic novel by self-professed left-leaning humanist and mini-comics scenester Sarah Glidden, who qualified for a program to introduce people of Jewish descent to the Jewish homeland. It’s a travel memoir full of sharp-eyed observations in watercolour. Techland have an exclusive preview for you.

Incidentally, if you’re a fan of mini-comics, DIY zines or even just Black Flag you’ll want to get your mitts on Henry and Glenn Forever which is a basically a beefed-up collection of what is essentially a pretty wrong idea. Picture notorious musclebound punk/metal stars Glenn Danzig and Henry Rollins in love for 66 pages. As this review at Comixology put it, “Henry is the Spock to Glenn's Kirk, to put it in slash-fiction terms.” To quote Rollins himself, “Has Glenn seen this? Trust me, he would not be impressed.” Danzig did actually find out about it eventually and was “less than jazzed”. You have writing/illustrating team Igloo Tornado to thank for it.

As for other stuff, here’s a quick run-down on what’s coming at you:

Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon (Dr. Horrible, Terminator, Fringe) and Chris Samnee (Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps, Daredevil) fill in the details on one of Serenity’s most popular characters in Serenity: Shepherd’s Tale, a new hardcover from Dark Horse previewed here.

Avengers/X-Men TP Maximum Security is a collection of crossover stuff from the 1990s by a veritable who’s who of notable comics dudes: Kurt Busiek, Chris Claremont, Joseph Harris, Dan Jurgens, Fabian Nacieza, Joe Pruett, Frank Tieri, Brett Booth, Georges Jeanty, Andy Kubert, Salvador Larroca, Alitha Martinez, Jerry Ordway, Yanick Paquette, John Romita Sr. and Leinil Francis Yu. You can obviously expect the Avengers and the X-men, but the Fantastic Four put in an appearance too...

Speaking of the X-Men, Kieron Gillen and Salva Espin begin a new ongoing X-series with Generation Hope #1 this Thursday. He talks to CbR about it here and you can have a preview too.

Grant Morrison’s final issue of Batman & Robin hits the shelf on Thursday along with the second hardcover collection of the series, Batman Vs. Robin. Paul Cornell takes over for the next three issues and introduces a brand new villain to the mix too.

“This is the story of the corpse of one of Bruce Wayne's former girlfriends being stolen from her grave, and Dick and Damian trying to deal with a matter that's very personal to Bruce, to kind of shield him from the fallout of it, while Bruce is away in Japan. This is a very dark story, in the Grant Morrison tradition, with some evil stuff going on under the surface and some mad bubbles on top.”

More of that interview here. Peter J. Tomasi takes over as planned from #20. If you want to kick it off your order at any point in the changeover just shout.

Howard Chaykin’s Batman/Catwoman: Follow the Money One-Shot finally sees print this week, four years after the job was completed. In it he brings back Golden Age villain The Cavalier. Chaykin reckons it’s a fun romp – a story about money written before the world went financially tits-up – and you can read more about it in his Newsarama interview.

DC Comics Presents: Chase is another in their line of hitherto uncollected bits and pieces, this time being the D. Curtis Johnson series about Cameron Chase, a government agent with the Department of Extranormal Affairs. Despite DC’s best efforts (crossover stories, introducing the character to Batman, etc) the series only lasted ten issues. Worth a look for early J.H. Williams III (Batwoman) art.

Bullseye: Perfect Game #1 (of 2) by Charlie Huston and Shawn Martinbrough fills in the year when no one knew where he was. Previewed here and talked about here.

Captain America: Man Out of Time #1 (of 5) by Mark Waid, Jorge Molina and Karl Kesel about the rebirth of the Living Legend of World War Two after he is pulled from the sea by the Avengers. Previewed here. Waid tells Newsarama all about it.

Punisher: In the Blood #1 (of 5) by Rick Remender and Roland Boschi sees Franken-Castle return from the dead to wrap up some unfinished business. Previewed here, and Remender interviewed too. Incidentally, Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon’s Punisher Max: Kingpin TP turned up this week as well. You’ll find ‘em side by side.

Superboy #1 is the first of a new ongoing by indie favourite Jeff Lemire (who talks about the series here) illustrated by relative newcomer Pier Gallo (preview). Incidentally, Sweet Tooth #15 is out this week too so you’ll not be lacking in the Lemire department.

And finally, Bill Willingham (Fables) and Neil Edwards (Fantastic Four) give you Warriors Three #1 (of 4) about Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg, allies of Thor. Preview here.

A couple of events worth mentioning before I sign off:

Biannual indie comics anthology Solipsistic Pop is launching its third collection next Friday at Camden’s Black Heart. It’s £3 to get in and £12 for the book, which comes with a free bag of sweets – Oh yes. You’ll be entertained by comedians Bec Hill and Terry Saunders as well as the lovely MJ Hibbett whose song about Alan Moore always plays automatically in my head whenever someone says “Alan Moore” which is pretty much every five minutes in this joint (thanks Mark). Stuff you need to know can be found on their website.

80s comics artist Brett Ewins (Strange Days, Johnny Nemo, Bad Company, Skremer) has been absent from the scene for a bit but a new major exhibition at The Orange Dot Gallery is set to change that. Opening night is this Thursday at 6pm so head along if you can. Don’t know who I’m talking about? Head to Flickr. You have undoubtedly seen his work on the walls before. Details here.

We don’t point you at enough webcomics around here so here’s one from a guy we made friends with in Birmingham. His name is Charles Cutting and does a comic for a charity called Crossroads Care. He also does one over at The Illustrated Ape based on characters by HP Lovecraft. Worth a look, and not just because the author wore a red Dahlia in his buttonhole to a comic convention, of all places.

Speaking of comics on the internet: Read this one when you’ve got five minutes to spare. It’s startlingly chilling, beautifully drawn in a sort of Joann Sfar Euro style, and comes recommended by Andy Nyman via Twitter, who I saw in the excellently terrifying Ghost Stories just last night. His Face All Red, by Emily Carroll.

You’re welcome.

-- Hayley