Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 24/11/10

I have returned. Wrassle racoons I did not, but I did eat some alligator sausage which I believe is a similarly dicey thing to do. Anyway, I am hideously jetlagged so please excuse the following:

First off a salute to the King with the release of Boy Commandos by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby HC, a collection of the 1940s “kid gang” comic about an international group of young’uns fighting the Nazis or – as the kids themselves called ‘em – the Ratzis. Back then it ranked as one of DC’s top three hits alongside Batman and Superman but has since fallen into (relative) obscurity. In last week’s blog I noticed our Andrew put up a picture of Paul Levitz dwarfed by his own book 75 Years of DC Comics:

Reading said behemoth last week I came across this photo which made me wonder about the Father Ted science of photography. Is Kirby very small or just far away?

You be the judge.

This week sees the release of the first of three Batman and Robin issues (that’s #17 - #19, folks) written by Paul Cornell (Captain Britain and the MI:13) who I ran into at US Border Control in Atlanta airport last week. Having met him just once before (about two years ago) I spent half an hour wondering it if was him and deliberately avoiding eye contact in case it was someone else, whilst simultaneously trying to look like I wasn’t avoiding eye contact in case it turned out it was actually was him after all and he thought I was being rude. Thankfully he’s both lovely and awkwardly English and was doing exactly the same thing to me. Here’s a preview of Batman & Robin #17 illustrated by Scott McDaniel (Nightwing) in which the corpse of Bruce Wayne’s former girlfriend is stolen from her grave. “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.” Two interviews here and here worth a read. He’s well chuffed about getting the gig so I reckon you can trust him enough to stick with the title post-Morrison. “I see no reason to turn the volume down just because I'm only here for three issues,” said he.

In other Bat-related shenanigans, Eisner Award-winner J.H. Williams III (Promethea) and Amy Reeder (Madame Xanadu) give you Batwoman #0, a one-shot special which picks up roughly where the Detective Comics story Elegy left off and serves as a bridge between that and the upcoming Batwoman ongoing series. Newsarama talk art with Williams here where you can see a couple of preview pages, covers and whatnot too.

2000AD is a weekly comic that pootles along diligently without ever getting a mention on here. Even if you’re not a regular reader of the series you might want to pick up this week’s issue for Brendan McCarthy’s (Spiderman: Fever) Dr. WHAT? a two-parter parody in which a time-travelling Doctor rides a Mega-City Portaloo, obliviously altering history and changing the future in potentially catastrophic ways. Apparently he wanted to do a Dr Who/Judge Dredd team-up but the BBC quickly put the kibosh on that idea and did this instead. It concludes in next week’s issue.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of long-out-of-print Salimba, the series about the jungle goddess who combats pirates, monsters and even zombie apes (you heard), by Thundercats writer Steve Perry, illustrated by the Eisner-Award-laden Paul Chadwick (Concrete). Along with the original stories – Pirate’s Heart, Worm Boy Heaven and the three-parter The Well of Night – you’ll also be getting a 10, 000 word Salimba prose story – the last piece of fiction Perry wrote before his untimely demise earlier this year. Long time friend Steve Bissette (Swamp Thing) provides illustrations to the new piece and has been chronicling the Perry homicide (!) on his blog. 10% of all profits made on the book go the Hero Initiative (the charity that aids veteran comics creators in need) who helped Perry in his final months. Publisher Nat Gertler tells Comicbook Resources all about it.

Sophie Crumb: Evolution of a Crazy Artist HC is what happens when your dad is R. Crumb. "My dad is a compulsive archivist," said Sophie. Having kept everything she’d drawn from the minute she started R. Crumb was able to compile a collection of her work up the age of 28. "You can trace this evolution of her development through her drawings, and I'd never seen a book like that," he said. "If [an anonymous person] drew all the time like that from early childhood and it was all saved, [it would] be an interesting way to study their development." Sophie reckons it’s a little embarrassing but accepts it’s part of her lot as a Crumb and an autobiographical cartoonist too. There’s an interview with the two of them here and if you’ve not seen Sophie’s work before she keeps a pretty up to date blog full of sketches, paintings, all sorts.

In trade paperback this week you’ve got Luna Park by Kevin Baker and Danijel Zezelj (Loveless) and Dave Stewart (DC: The New Frontier) which I mentioned on the Gosh! Blog back here when it came out in hardcover almost exactly a year ago and will lazily refer you back to. There’s also Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep: Dust to Dust Volume 1 TP in which Chris Roberson (iZombie) writes the prequel to Philip K. Dick’s classic sci-fi novel. Newsarama interview him here, and CbR have some preview pages on show.

Walking Dead Volume 13: Too Far Gone TP hits the shelves this week collecting issues #73 to #78 of the series. Coincidentally #79 is also out so buy ‘em both and you’re bang up to date and then some. Comixology have a preview of the new issue.

As for comics, here’s the spiel:

Firebreather the movie debuts on Cartoon Network today in the States – a CGI adaptation of the Image series about a teen superhero son of giant monster demons – and to coincide with its release there’s a new comic on the shelves too. Firebreather Volume 3: Holmgang #1 is a good jumping on point if you’re new to the series. Preview!

Also on Cartoon Network is the MAD TV show featuring the infamous Black and White spies. MAD Special: Spy Vs. Spy gives you the best classic stuff by Antonio Prohias and Peter Kuper as well as all new stories from some new guys too.

Another telly-related release is the Yo Gabba Gabba! Board Comic: Gabba Ball #1 from Oni Press. I’m going to come right out and say I’ve no idea what Yo Gabba Gabba is but if you do you’ve probably got Nick-Jr-watching kids who’d like the tie-in kid-proof board comic. Details on the innards over at CbR.

A couple of new things from Marvel this week not least of which is the hardcover collection of Joe Casey and Phil Noto’s Avengers: The Origin. Casey talks to CbR here just before the miniseries began. It also includes a reprint of 1963’s Avengers #1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the team’s first appearance.

Speaking of whom, if you liked Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero by Paul Cornell you’ll probably want to pick up Stan Lee’s The Traveler #1 by Mark Waid, the second launch (of three) in Lee’s efforts to create an all-new comic universe. Rave review here and a preview at CbR. Waid talks about what it’s like to work with Stan Lee. “Building with Stan is like taking a master class in storytelling. I can barely remember where my car keys are, and here's a guy who's nearly twice my age who still has a clarity of vision that's stupefying.”

Astonishing Thor #1 (of 5) is a new one from Robert Rodi and artist Mike Choi spinning out of the whole destruction of Asgard thing. Rodi talks about it here, and there’s a preview too.

In other news, Dan Clowes is reportedly adapting Wilson for the screen, to be directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt). Let’s not forget he was nominated for an Oscar for his Ghost World screenplay so the guy knows what he’s doing. Who’ll play Wilson?

Since he and Chris Ware are now forever linked in my mind after their tag-team signing at Gosh! I should mention that I read the latest Acme Novelty Library and it’s typically brilliant, totally depressing and very funny too. I even broke my no-reading-comics-in-public rule to do it. Buy that thing immediately.

And lastly, the folks at Nobrow have a new exhibition to shout about:

Murmuring Landscapes launches tomorrow and features the work of Bristolians Rob Hunter and Jon McNaught whose latest work Birchfield Close was a huge success here at Gosh! (still have copies if you're lacking). There’ll be prints, originals, and 3D work galore. Head over to the Nobrow site for details.

That’s it for another week. Can I go to bed now?

-- Hayley


Nat Gertler said...

Thanks for the positive message about Salimba! In an interest of accuracy, I should be clear that it's not true that "10% of all profits made on the book go the Hero Initiative" (and, alas, that wouldn't be a lot of money on this book anyway.) Instead, 10% of the print run goes to the Hero Initiative - i.e., for every ten copies we've printed of the book, one has been sent to the Initiative. They raise a lot of their money selling comics through their website and at conventions, and this way Salimba will be in that mix.

Gosh! said...

Hiya Nat,

Whoops, sorry. Maths-related technicalities tend to fall by the wayside here.

Hayley @ Gosh!