Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Gosh! Authority 29/12/10

Welcome back, pie fanciers. The last delivery of the year comes coughing and spluttering onto the shelves a mere shadow of its former planned glory. Thanks to Narnia conditions in the North and a situation regarding couriers not doing any couriering in said conditions, it transpires we have only a handful of titles for you this week. However there are some good’uns in the batch as always, and the missing bits will wind their weary way to us next week in more clement weather.

Breaking news on the Gosh! front is that we have a rare job vacancy. Fancy working with us? Here’s a job description and all the other informatory bits and bobs.

My pick of the week is the latest offering from the increasingly prolific Nobrow. Jon NcNaught’s previous book Birchfeld Close was a lovely looking thing and Pebble Island is a worthy follow-up. “Far across the Atlantic Ocean lies the windswept shore of Pebble Island, a secluded place where time goes slowly, and the seasons all happen at once, where rocks on the beach are perfectly round, and TV broadcasts are limited and late.” It’s a silent, 38-page graphic novel in blue and orange, drawing on McNaught’s childhood in the Falklands. Paul Gravett was right, as usual, when he likened McNaught to a mix between Gosh! Favourites Chris Ware and Tom Gauld. Highly recommended.

BATTLE MiLK 2: Tangents and Transitions is a collection of sci fi and fantasy concept art by the six San Francisco-based animation artists (including Kilian Plunkett) listed here. Each artist provides a commentary on their process alongside the 120 or so full colour images. Have a review and loads of preview pictures.

David Finch starts a new ongoing series with his pulp noir Batman: The Dark Knight #1, which he both writes and draws. The story is in keeping with Morrison continuity and in fact the two collaborated on the recent Batman: The Return and also a story in Batman #700. Dark Knight will take Batman in a bit of a darker direction. He's going to be dealing with mysticism, dark arts, and demonology. All things that are well outside of his comfort zone. The challenge for Batman will be to pit his brains and grim determination against forces that defy logic and fear. But he's a fast learner, and he'll have help.” Finch talks about it with Newsarama and you can see some of his pencils here.

Hellboy: The Sleeping and the Dead is a new two-parter from Mike Mignola, collaborating for the first time with Scott Hampton of Simon Dark and Books of Magic fame. An old man with insider knowledge on the coming vampire apocalypse sets the stage for a gothic story that looks like a lot of fun. Alabaster girls with velvet gowns and cleavage abound. Preview over at Dark Horse.

In Red Special: Eyes Only, original artist on the Warren Ellis miniseries Cully Hamner takes the reigns to give you a prequel to what is now-a-major-motion-picture. Can’t find any previews for this one so you’ll just have to wait and see.

Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword #1 is the first eighty-page chunk of an anthology series featuring Howard’s classic characters – some of whom have never been drawn before. There’s new stuff as well as old stuff by the likes of Marc Andreyko (Manhunter), Paul Tobin (Spider-Man & The Secret Wars), Tim Bradstreet (Punisher), Robert Atkins (G.I. Joe) and more. It even reprints the recoloured Conan epic Worms of the Earth by Roy Thomas, Tim Conrad and Barry Windsor-Smith in its entirety. For a preview you can head over to Dark Horse again.

Speaking of reprints, if you want to bag yourself some classic Steve Ditko but don’t much fancy the expensive hardcovers make sure you pick up DC Comics Presents T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1. It features stories from issues #1, 2 and 7 (circa 1965ish) including the 10-pager A Matter of Life and Death with art by Wallace Wood and Ditko.

That’s about it! Told you it was wee. New comics day this week is Thursday as usual. We close at 2pm on New Year’s Eve (that’s Friday) and are shut all of New Year’s Day. Next week you can grab your new comics on Friday the 7th of January, and then it’ll be Wednesdays permanently from then on. Why? I don’t know, ask the Americans.

-- Hayley