Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 15/12/10

Afternoon, all. The Quality Streets are on the counter so it must be nearly Christmas. At the end of this post I’ve listed our hours over the traditionally patchy period before us. I’m not putting them up here in the vain hope you’ll accidentally cast your eyes over the soggy middle bit of this post. Try not to think of it as “soggy” but “gooey” or something, rather like the caramel bit in a Golden Barrel. As I said, the Quality Streets are now on the counter. I implore you to eat them before we do. Please. Save us from our fat selves.

Continuing on from last week’s Nobrow delivery, we’ve got two more tardy additions to the shelf. Ada by Berlin-based artist Atak is an illustrated version of Gertrude Stein’s first ‘word portrait’ originally written in 1908, supposedly about her lover Alice Toklas. It’s all handwritten and hand-drawn, then printed in four colours (no half tones, design nerds) using a process similar to chromolithography, thus making it feel like something far older than it is. I invite you to be suitably impressed:

Temporama is a new one by Clayton Junior who also appears in last week’s A Graphic Cosmogony. Originally from south Brazil, Clayton now works in a London studio, in which you can see him sitting if you go and read this interview here. As for the book, Temporama is a silent story about a night of strange happenings, a sort of short arthouse film. Behold the midnight fridge raid:

Saying “There’s some old Moebius stuff back in print, come geddit!” is pretty much all I need to do here, but for those of you who need further convincing:

Mad Woman of the Sacred Heart originally came out in (I think) 1996 and as its editor says, “It's one of those stories that is impossible to define in a few sentences. But, it's a story that, when read, forces you to think about life, art, love...” and even argues that it’s a greater, bolder story than the classic Alexandro Jodorowsky/Moebius effort The Incal. In the long unavailable Madwoman, a student becomes impregnated by her professor with what she believes to be John the Baptist reincarnated, and thus begins a journey of madness to bring forth the Second Coming of Christ. It’s weird. If you’ve already read it perhaps you’d like to read this post on Comics for Serious.

Another champion of the weird: The Steve Ditko Archives HC Volume 2: Unexplored Worlds is a compendium of the bizarre and horrific stories Ditko pumped out in his astonishingly prolific period pre-superheroes, when he was recovering from a near-fatal bout of tuberculosis. There’s a great article at Wired about the year he spent working for the notoriously trashy Charlton Comics where these stories first appeared in 1956/1957. Wired also have several preview pages that will either make you want this book or wonder about the effects of tuberculosis on the mind. Either works.

Sergio Zaniboni: Non Solo Diabolik SC is a career-spanning artbook from the guy most famous for the comic Diabolik which if you’re anything like me you only know about because of the strange Mario Bava film adaptation.

Obviously he did loads of other stuff and this book is a chronological view of all that plus unpublished sketches and lesser-known works. The text is all in Italian but it’s fairly picture-heavy anyway.

Another career-spanning tome is John Buscema: The Michelangelo of Comics in hardcover and soft, billed as an exhaustive look at the work of one of Marvel’s main guys in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The legendary Buscema worked on nearly every Marvel title and did over two hundred Conan the Barbarian stories in a career that spanned decades. Loads of interviews with people he’s worked with plus hundreds of bits of art too.

Motel Art Improvement Service HC is the latest collection of Bee! the popular webcomic by Jason Little. When we last saw Bee she was embroiled in a murder mystery in the Ignatz Award-winning Shutterbug Follies. This time she winds up with an artist on the run who’s decided to better the art in motels around the country. Little blogs about it over at the Dark Horse website and there’s an interview with him at Publishers Weekly.

El Vocho is a graphic novel by Steve Lafler (BugHouse) which he seems to have self-published or at least will continue to do so with your help via Kickstarter. If you like black and white scratchy zines this may well be up your street. The Comics Journal have a review of it along with some pages and and interview with the guy too. Maybe it’ll change your life, who knows.

Warren Ellis sees a long unavailable piece of work back on the shelves this week, Two-Step TP, a three-issue sci-fi romance with guns and rude words. In fact I think all of the rude words are in this one. It originally appeared back in 2003, illustrated by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti. Why would you want it? The potty-mouthed Ellis says, “Amanda and Jimmy drew the sh*t out of it. And there’s a bloke in there who f*cks cars.” What else could you possibly ask for?

Steve Niles has two books out on Thursday, the first being the Mystery Society TP Volume 1, collecting the series illustrated by Fiona Staples, and the second is Doc Macabre #1 (of 3), another collaboration with horror comics behemoth Bernie Wrightson. The new series continues to expand the world the two created with Dead, She Said and you’ll even see cameo appearances Detective Coogan and the Ghoul. In an unconfirmed future project the two plan to reunite all their leading men: "The whole plan was to create all these characters and put them together in a group, kind of a like a Bernie Wrightson 'Defenders.' A group of monsters, who, because of their special circumstances, can take on these things.” More of that interview with Niles here, and Wrightson talks about it over at Fearnet.

Even more macabre but undoubtedly less comedic is Suicide Forest #1 (of 4), the latest miniseries from the creators of The Veil. It’s set in a forest just outside Tokyo, based on an actual place famous for being the most popular site for suicides in Japan. Vice Magazine did a documentary on it. Newsarama have preview the comic here.

The Occultist is a one-shot from Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash) and Victor Drujiniu, with character designs by Guy Davis (B.P.R.D.). "It's about a down-on-his-luck guy named Rob who just got dumped by his girlfriend and now has to go to work. There's some peripheral stuff involving crow-demons and spellbooks and a tattooed wizard, but y'know, that's the basic thrust.” Seeley places it in “that sort of psuedo-superhero world that a lot of Dark Horse's great characters inhabit. It's the same kind of place The Mask took place in, where masks of Loki and such are floating around and up for grabs." Preview it here, and you can read the rest of the interview over at CbR.

John Byrne’s Next Men was a hugely popular series that ran for thirty issues in the early ‘90s. Now some fifteen years later, IDW are bringing it back. John Byrne’s Next Men #1 is a good jumping on point for new readers as Byrne says in this interview, because he was embarking on a new story when it went into hibernation all those years ago anyway. It’s an ongoing series but essentially finite: Byrne plans to end the rebooted title around #50. Preview of the first instalment over at Comixology.

Rick Remender writes a back-up story in this week’s What If? Spider-Man, entitled What If: The Venom Symbiote Possessed Deadpool which will be released in parts in the various What If? offerings this month. Word on the street is there’s a Deadpool/Venom one-shot pencilled in for February so if you can wait that long you’ll eventually be able to get them in one chunk. Preview here.

Following the whole Shadowland thing Black Panther now finds himself the guardian of Hell’s Kitchen, and we find ourselves with a comicbook name change. Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #513 used to be Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, but you probably knew that. David Liss (Daring Mystery Comics 70th Anniversary Special) pens the new issue and Francesco Francavilla (Zorro) does the pictures. Preview ‘em here.

Lastly, Strange Tales II #3 is the last of the series and it looks to be a good’un. Kate Beaton, Toby Cypress, Tim Hamilton, Terry Moore, Ty Templeton, and Dean Haspiel are all in it plus a story written by the late Harvey Pekar in which Pekar himself meets The Thing. Check out some preview pages why don’t you.

Not to toot our own horn or anything, but the Gosh! Blog has been nominated in Most Wanted’s Book Blogger Awards. You can go vote for us if you agree with them. Toot toot.

Now all that’s left is to tell you about our crazy Christmas hours. Get yer diaries out, here it comes:

New comics days over the next month or so are as follows:
December 23rd (Thursday)
December 30th (Thursday – No delay Christmas week, surprisingly)
January 7th (Friday)

AND THEN IT GETS WEIRD: New comics day will regularly be Wednesdays instead of the traditional Thursday starting from the 12th of January. As someone who’s pretty much only just started writing 2010 instead of 2009 I won’t think any less of you if you continue to pop in on Thursdays right through to August. But you might miss your comics.

As for opening times:

Christmas Eve: Closing at 3pm.
Christmas Day: CLOSED
Boxing Day: CLOSED

New Year’s Eve: Closing at 2pm.

New Year’s Day: CLOSED

…but we’re open on the Sunday at regular hours (10am ‘til 6pm) and it’s business as usual from then on.

-- Hayley