Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Gosh! Authority 01/02/11

Despite the floods and disaster in Brazil our bulletproof bookplates got in, got signed and got out with not a scratch on ‘em. And they even arrived on time. Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon’s Daytripper TP Gosh! Exclusive Bookplate Edition is released tomorrow and you can read all about it here. If you’ve already ordered a copy you’ll be hearing from me very soon.

Also bookplate-wise, you can get your pre-orders in now for Chris Roberson and Mike Allred’s iZombie Volume 1 TP which we’re expecting some time in March. And don’t forget if you pre-order a copy of tomorrow’s Superman 80 Page Giant 2011 you automatically go in the running to win a cracking piece of Dan McDaid art.

Over the weekend we received a new(ish) one from Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve, Shortcomings) who cordially invites you to witness some Scenes From An Impending Marriage. These include moments of total panic, arguments over wedding invitation design, attempts to get fit very quickly: all those terrifying things that people who are about to get married do, which they seem to think is okay and normal. This is the widely available, tiny blue hardcover version from Drawn & Quarterly: it was originally released in a very small run back in 2007 as a hand-assembled mini comic that you probably never got anywhere near. I generally like (comparatively) throwaway sketchbook stuff far better than things that are toiled over for years (case in point: Seth’s Wimbledon Green) so if you’re the same you might like this one more than his usual, too. The Comics Journal has a review as does the Daily Cross Hatch.

Fantagraphics have expanded and updated The Strange Case of Edward Gorey, a book that originally came out around the time of his death in 2000. Written by novelist Alexander Theroux, it’s a book about Gorey’s work as well as the enigmatic bearded man himself: Theroux knew him personally for over thirty years so it’s pitched as both a loving and an analytical portrait of the artist. There’s a preview chapter here and a video too.

French designer and illustrator Herve Morvan became well-known in the ‘50s for his advertising posters. This small paperback is a collection of 280 pieces of artwork by Morvan, featuring work for brands such as Perrier and Gitanes. Since it’s almost exclusively pictures its mention on the Gosh! Blog will be too:

Ivy is a book that originally began as a series of small press mini comics by Sarah Oleksyk which has since found a home at Oni Press, who are releasing the story in one chunk. The titular Ivy is a teenager from a small town who leaves home with ideas of becoming a painter. “Everybody’s got a teenage story to tell, and you’ll find similar elements in Ivy. It’s not exactly breaking new ground but it’s doing what it can to paint the richest portrait of self-discovery and expression that has ever been written as a comic,” wrote The Daily Cross Hatch, who along with Scott McCloud are unabashed fans of the series. Oleksyk has put the entire first chapter online as a preview.

A classic British comic about aerial combat gets the hardcover treatment it deserves in Johnny Red Volume 1: Falcon’s First Flight. Originally by Tom Tully (Roy of the Rovers) and Joe Colquhoun (Charley’s War), Garth Ennis has been eyeing the character for some time: “The war character I’d drop everything to write would be Johnny Red, who appeared in Battle, a British anthology I read as a kid. British fighter pilot flying for the Russians. Hopefully, one of these days, someone will sort out the rights, and I’ll get a crack at it.” He provides the introduction to this volume, as it happens.

G.B. Tran’s Vietnamerica is a memoir along the same lines as Maus or Persepolis. Tran’s parents fled Vietnam for America before he was born, and he resisted their attempts to build a connection between him and his heritage. When he eventually did go to Vietnam, it broke his heart. “There was so much about my family's past that I had no clue about, and uncovering and telling their stories took me from joy to sadness and everywhere in between over and over again. This constant emotional rollercoaster ride, spread over several years, was very exhausting.” There’s a review in the LA Times and a heap of preview pages here. Tran’s blog is worth a look for other preview bits and bobs, as well as unrelated sketchbook stuff.

If you’re wondering what all the fuss about Milo Manara is but don’t want to be caught on the bus looking at naked ladies, Pandora’s Eyes might be a good place to start. In short, a girl finds out her dad is a big cheese mafioso, and then she gets kidnapped. Humanoids Editor-in-Chief Bob Silva said in an interview with Comicbook Resources, “It's an action book with elements of cheesecake. Manara has two styles of books he does. He has the very simple fun and cute and beautifully illustrated action adventure books, and his other stuff tends to be more on the erotic side. This is clearly more on the action-adventure, but of course, as with anything with Manara, it deals with beautiful women.” It’s written by Vincenzo Cerami, co-writer of the Oscar-winning Life is Beautiful, so you’re probably in good hands.

Grant Morrison’s The Return of Bruce Wayne is now collected in a deluxe hardcover. If you missed the series, in which Bruce Wayne is not dead but merely lost in time, here’s what Morrison’s got to say about it:

“For me, the time thing is to take Bruce Wayne to the limit of what he is as a character, because he's thrown back into prehistory with no memory and no uniform and no tools apart from the fact that he's got his belt. I like of the idea of exploring Batman with this time travel story, but to do it quite convincingly and realistically so that he's really at the edges of what Batman can possibly be. I wanted to see him survive out there, and expose him to these challenges through history that would allow us to watch Batman being born from nothing, basically, from this amnesiac man. I kind of explored him psychologically in "[Batman] R.I.P."; I broke him down and deconstructed him, and this is really about putting Batman back together again, but in a sequence of what will hopefully be pretty cool one-off stories, with each set in a different time and with a different genre feeling to it.”

It was six-issue run featuring the artwork of Chris Sprouse, Frazer Irving, Yanick Paquette, Georges Jeanty, Ryan Sook and Lee Garbett. There’s a preview of the first issue here and more of that Morrison interview over at Comics Alliance.

In the nineties, just after his work on Hellstorm and Druid, Warren Ellis was asked to revamp Thor. He rebooted the mythology entirely and cast the Norse gods as aliens who mistake themselves for gods. Post-Ellis the character reverted to his usual state, so the comparatively dark Thor: Worldengine remains something of a strange blip on an otherwise regular trajectory. It’s collected this week in hardcover, along with a few issues of 1960s Thor stuff by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Also in hardcover is the second volume of the Vampirella Archives, reprinting issues 8 to 14 of the original magazine with a pretty impressive list of creators on the title page: Archie Goodwin, Jose Gonzalez, Neal Adams, Wally Wood, Barry Windsor Smith, Jeff Jones, Denny O’Neil, Steve Englehart, Dave Cockrum, Frank Brunner, Esteban Maroto and more.

As for comics, there’s a new Witchfinder five-part series called Lost and Gone Forever, in which nineteenth century occult investigator Edward Grey hunts down some baddies in the Wild West. When we last saw Grey he was in the slightly more familiar terrain of Victorian London, so what’s he doing Stateside? “He's on the hunt for one fella from the Heliopic Brotherhood who's taken off for the States. It's an obsession of Grey's and like all obsessions, it leads to trouble. Sucks for him, but we wouldn't have a story without it so...” It’s a good enough reason as any. More of that interview with writer John Arcudi at iFanboy and over at Comicbook Resources he talks about legendary artist John Severin (EC Comics’ Two Fisted Tales, MAD Magazine) who provides the illustrations for the series. “I don't know how he does it.... Sev is one of the all time greats in comics - right up there with whomever you care to name - and working with him has been a dream, and a dream come true. The sad thing is, I just don't see any other artists in comics today who could do a Western nearly as well as Sev. When you think of all the beautiful Western comics in this industry's history (many done by Sev), then it's hard not to feel cheated by the shrinking number of genres out there for readers. In the case of Western comics, it's a mostly lost skill - more like a mostly lost passion.” The man is 89 years old and still doing excellent comics. Amazing. Preview here.

Much like the recent DC Comics Presents series, Marvel are now opening the vault and publishing previously unreleased or uncompleted stories they found in a recent office move. Doctor Strange: From the Marvel Vault #1 contains a Doctor Strange story which was originally intended for the Marvel Universe series in the late ‘90s by Roger Stern and Neil Vokes. Apparently there a handful of other stories to come from that forgotten bottom drawer so you can expect more in the future. Here’s a preview.

Daomu #1 is the inaugural issue of Image Comics’ attempt to bring China to the West. Daomu, which translates as “Tomb Raider” is a bestselling series of novels in China that began in 2007, and last year’s comics adaptation is doing brilliantly too. This is that same series translated for the American market. It’s about a guy called Sean Liu who, after witnessing the brutal murder of his father, discovers that his family are a secret society of tomb raiders. Comixology have a preview.

And here’s a handful of comics that probably need a bit of explaining. If you fancy jumping on to a longstanding series but don’t know when or where to start Invincible Iron Man #500.1 has got you covered: the Point One series is intended to give you a one-shot story that sets up everything you need to know. This one’s by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca. Deadpool and Cable #26 is actually a confusingly titled one-shot by Duane Swierczynski (Deadpool: Wade Wilson’s War) and Leo Fernandez in which Deadpool attempts to honour his fallen friend by, uh, becoming him. As you do. And Secret Six #30 is a crossover, following on from Doom Patrol #19 so make sure you grab a copy if you have any hope of keeping up – someone’s about to leave the team forever.

Finally, Legion of Superheroes Annual #1 sees Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen reunite for the first time in two decades – and given that their previous collaboration has gone down in history as greatest comicbook runs of all time, this could be a good’un. “One of the great things about coming back to it, 20 years later, is most of what we invented for the future didn't take a thousand years to happen, it's walking around now. Or at least it's in somebody's laboratory. So you have to re-invent a world that is far enough ahead that it feels alien, and yet close enough that people understand what's going on without constant footnotes,” said Levitz. No previews on this one so I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.

-- Hayley