Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 01/12/10

If you’re worried about a little snow delaying your comics you can stop that right now. Everything’s gonna be alright. They’re here. Perhaps it’ll be snowing when you’re here too and you can look out our back window and gaze upon the ridiculously sweet Christmas card image of snow on the Gosh! Christmas tree. I highly recommend it. I’ve been doing it pretty much all day long.

In amongst the batch of stuff this week you’ll find Bryan Talbot’s new Grandville book, Mon Amour. We’ve got 200 signed and bookplated editions at the ready. If you know nothing of this thing you should read this. Already placed an order for a copy? You’ll be hearing from me very shortly.

(Image taken from Anthony Hope-Smith's stint as guestblogger on

Rather excitingly, we also have the debut graphic novel from our very own Will Bingley and Anthony Hope-Smith, a cracking looking book from the same publishing house that brought you Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness by Reinhard Kleist. Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson is just what it says it is on its phenomenally bright orange cover. Bingley blogs about the book over at the SelfMadeHero site. I’m sure if you asked him nicely he’d pretend to be embarrassed about it and autograph your book but if you can wait a bit we’ll have a Gosh! Exclusive Bookplate Edition. More on that in the next week or so.

Lewis Carroll’s famous nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in 8 Fits) is far and away my favourite bracketed subtitle ever. According to Penguin’s annotated edition, the poem tells the story “with infinite humour, the impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature”. It’s the kind of thing that breeds infinite adaptations: even Boris Karloff had a go.

The latest comes from Canadian illustrator Mahendra Singh who by his own description is trying to fit Carroll into a “protosurrealist straitjacket with matching dada cufflinks.” His style harks back to something old but is still very different to Henry Holiday’s original 1874 illustrations (which are brilliantly grotesque and wunnerful: All ten plates are here). As Comics Worth Reading point out, Singh’s style looks like what would happen if Edward Gorey made woodcuts. He blogs about it at the publisher’s website and you can see some coloured versions of the images over on Flickr.

Speaking of Gorey, we’ve just received a few copies of Edward Gorey in Colour by the artist Simon Henwood, released to mark the 10th anniversary of the master storyteller’s death. It publishes an old interview alongside photographs Henwood took of Gorey in 1995 at his home in Cape Cod, most of which have never been seen before and tend to involve Gorey sitting in a chair playing with his ginger cat. It’s limited to just 200 copies, all signed by Henwood. Obviously we don’t have all 200 of ‘em so if you’d like one you’d best get in quick. There’s a short preview video here.

While I’m on the subject of signed stuff, Nathan Fox (Pigeons From Hell) popped in last week and scribbled on our copies of Fluorescent Black, the bio-punk science fiction story that originally ran in Heavy Metal. I wrote about it on the Gosh! Blog when the collection landed in October.

The latest from Fantagraphics (leaders in the field of preview videos) is Special Exits, a graphic novel from 71-year-old Joyce Farmer. Debut book it may be but she’s no newbie: Farmer was part of the whole underground comix scene in the time of R. Crumb, releasing the feminist anthology with a name rude enough to get me sacked if I wrote it here (but these guys can do what they like). In fact it was Crumb who contacted Fantagraphics on her behalf and calls Special Exits "one of the best long-narrative comics I've ever read, right up there with Maus... I actually found myself moved to tears.” It’s the kind of memoir you can sit alongside Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, or anything Harvey Pekar: a story about her elderly parents’ slow decline. She’s interviewed in the LA Times and you can see a video of the book here. PDF preview too.

Man of Glass is another debut, a 44-page mostly wordless one-shot story by Danish creator Martin Flink about a man gone wrong. This review compares it to early Paul Grist (Jack Staff), and another to the silent comics of Jason (I Killed Adolf Hitler) or Bob Byrne (Mr. Amperduke). Both were written by people who aren’t remotely interested in boxing and were pleasantly surprised to find out it wasn’t actually about boxing. Covers can be funny sometimes.

Here’s one that slipped in about a month ago and may have escaped your notice: A Disease of Language in softcover, being a compendium of Eddie Campbell’s illustrated adaptations of Alan Moore’s spoken word pieces: Snakes & Ladders and The Birth Caul. It also contains the epic Moore interview from Campbell’s Egomania magazine, as well as pages of preliminary sketches of the dancing girl from Snakes & Ladders which Campbell sketched from life by candlelight. The book’s been unavailable for the past few months while we waited on this softcover version. There’s a new review over on The Comics Journal that talks about the comic as well as the spoken word performance, and if you want to hear Campbell blathering about it you can take your pick from these videos at Top Shelf. Highly recommended.

Danny Husk: The Hollow Planet is a graphic novel written by comedian/actor Scott Thompson (The Kids in the Hall) who’s been playing the character Danny Husk for over twenty years. It began as a screenplay: “I had been schlepping this screenplay called Husk around Hollywood for years until one day I thought no one's going to make this movie with me in the lead. I'm an obscure openly gay Canadian comedian who wants to star in a hundred million dollar picture. But the problem was I was so obsessed with this story that I had to get it out some way.” More of that and a bunch of preview pages here by newcomer artist Kyle Morton.

It’s a week full of newcomers but you won’t find many of ‘em in the all-star Image Comics 2010 SDCC Yearbook HC – it’s a collection of pin-ups by people such as Charlie Adlard (Walking Dead), Mike Allred (Madman, iZombie), Tommy Lee Edwards (Turf), Brandon Graham (King City), Eric Shanower (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), Ben Templesmith and more, including Ian Churchill who coincidentally has a new comic out this week too called Marineman #1.

The character is one he created when he was about eight years old – a sort of Steve Zissou style TV presenter/marine biologist sans the excellent red hat. Churchill gives you a short history of Marineman here, and you can also have a preview and a review too.

Speaking of big name artists, if you’re a fan of Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets you might want to pick up this week’s Jonah Hex #62 for the Eduardo Risso illustrations. Newsarama have a preview.

Mark Millar’s CliNT #4 is out and about boasting stuff by David Mitchell, Kevin Smith and even a comic written by top notch comedian Stewart Lee, illustrated by Steve Yeowell (2000AD’s Zenith). Bleeding Cool show you their preview bits.

Remember Vertigo’s short-lived anthology series Winter’s Edge? There were only three issues of the 100-or-so page annual special (the first in 1998) and each one featured stuff by creators like Neil Gaiman, Brian K. Vaughan, Garth Ennis, Paul Pope, Dave Gibbons, Sean Phillips and more. Thursday’s Vertigo Resurrected: Winter’s Edge #1 reprints ten previously uncollected short stories selected from those anthologies by the guys I’ve just mentioned.

Leah Moore and John Reppion’s Raise the Dead is out in hardcover this week, coinciding with the first issue of the equally bloody sequel, Raise the Dead II. If you didn’t catch it the first time ‘round, Reppion sums it up pretty well when he says… “It's not about ponderous philosophising, or slow cinematic wanderings through a post apocalyptic landscape; it's about blood and guts, life and death and doing whatever it takes to make sure that you don't end up as one of them.” More at Newsarama.

Other comics include Heroes For Hire #1, the new ongoing series by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning set in the aftermath of Shadowland. Preview Brad Walker’s (Guardians of the Galaxy) art at CbR. There’s also Wolverine: Best There Is #1, another brand-spanking ongoing which introduces a new villain to Wolverine’s rogues gallery. A preview and there’s an interview with writer Charlie Huston at CbR.

Also, don’t miss What If? Iron Man: Demon in an Armor One-Shot if you’re a fan of Rick Remender (Last Days of American Crime) – he provides the back-up story illustrated by Shawn Moll. Preview.

Paul Cornell (Captain Britain and the MI:13, Batman & Robin) continues his Lex Luthor epic in the pages of Action Comics Annual #13. Preview over at Comixology and an interview with Cornell about the folically-challenged leading man over at CbR.

And that’s your lot. The above is all fairly pointless if you’re not going to make it in on time before they sell out, but we can fix that:

Sick of missing weekly comics? Let me show you the way to perhaps not eternal happiness but at least the weekly kind: a standing order. All the information you need is there. It’s the way of the future.

-- Hayley


mahendra singh said...

Thank you for your kind words about my 'umble Snark, it's a wee timorous beastie and craves attention.

I'm pleased that you noted the difference between my style & Holiday's. The difference is a bit subtle for some, I've discovered, but you picked up on it right away. I draw a lot more lines, in fact, the book probably has too many lines, as the Emperor Franz Josef would have remarked!

The Gorey book looks very cool!

Gosh! said...

Anytime, Mahendra. It's a lovely wee beastie.

Hayley @ Gosh!