Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Gosh! Authority 05/04/11

So remember that mental book I mentioned last week by a French guy called Winshluss about a robot called Pinocchio? Well, it’s not officially out until the end of this month but we have a very limited number of copies on the shelf already. And by “limited” I mean “about ten” so if you’re really hankering for a read you’d best hurry in, and maybe even grab one of our massive signed Pinocchio prints for £40. And don’t forget to go along and see the exhibition at Foyles like I told you to. There’s a good lad.

Years ago when I was working in an office and wanting to die, I was reading Dan Clowes’ Mister Wonderful on the Internet as it was serialised in the New York Times.

Despite being the inner monologue of an unemployed, divorced loner on a potentially awful blind date, it cheered me up no end. This week it’s collected in hardcover in the same sort of format as Ice Haven. It’s pretty swanky looking and you can see some of its innards over at Publishers Weekly. A Dan Clowes interview is always worth a read, so as a special treat you can have two of them.

M. Sasek’s This is London is one of our bestsellers here at Gosh! and now we’ve got another one to add to our burgeoning collection of cities: This is Washington D.C. It’s a bit different from the other books because his visit landed smack-bang in the middle of the mayhem following Martin Luther King’s assassination, the Poor People’s Campaign and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. As you can probably guess, it’s a little less cutesy than the previous books.

"It was like a continuing nightmare. It was worse than Berlin in 1945! The riots were especially terrible to witness. One day while I was sketching the gravesite of John F. Kennedy, the guards told me that I would have to leave; moments later trucks and crewmen appeared to dig the grave of Robert F. Kennedy. I could not believe these tragedies, one after the other."

In other less funereal news, there’s a new Mike Allred thing that you’ll be wanting – The Madman New Giant-Size Super Ginchy Special!

“When I'm doing a regular series elsewhere, like my day job on iZombie, to do something with Madman it has to be big. I want it to be a nice, big burst, because it'll probably be several more months before I can carve out another one. I want to make it as special as possible. And that's what The Madman Giant-Size Super-Ginchy Special is. It's 64 pages of all-new material; the main story is by me and then it has three back-up stories by Emi Lenox, Matt Kindt and Tonci Zonjic.”

More of that interview here. And don’t forget, we’ve still got some copies of the iZombie Volume 1 Gosh! Exclusive Bookplate Edition hanging about so grab one before they go. Speaking of which, this week’s iZombie #12 is illustrated by Gilbert Hernandez (Love & Rockets), who filled in so that Allred could churn out the Madman Special above. Allred’s back for iZombie #13, in which he says the series “totally spins off into orbit.”

Remember last year when DC spent a whole September revisiting some of their most illustrious war comics from the 50s, 60s and 70s? It was a series of weekly one-shots by some top-notch creators, not least of which was Gosh! Favourite Darwyn Cooke who illustrated Ivan Brandon’s Weird War Tales. There was also Our Fighting Forces by B. Clay Moore and Chad Hardin, Star-Spangled War Stories by William Tucci and Justiniano, and G.I. Combat by Matt Sturges and Phil Winslade. This week the bunch of ‘em are collected in trade paperback and in case you missed it the first time ‘round, here’s Cooke and his pals are talking about it at CbR.

Another Gosh! Favourite gets a belated going over in Modern Masters SC Volume 25: Jeff Smith. I had no idea Fone Bone was a character he invented when he was five, but maybe you did. You can see the (actually amazing) comics he drew as a kid in this PDF preview, and beyond those teaser pages you can expect book-length interview, and mountains of rare and unseen art including eight full-colour pages. But I’m sure by the 25th volume I’m sure you know what to expect from Modern Masters so you don’t need me to tell you.

Judging from relative newcomer Pascal Girard’s previous offerings (Big Foot, Nicolas), I rather like the cut of his jib. In his latest book from Drawn & Quarterly, he receives an invitation to attend his ten-year high-school reunion. He initially dismisses the idea until he gets an email from the girl he had a massive crush on – a crush so huge her name still remains the PIN code for his debit card a decade later. It’s simple black-line autobiography and from the preview it looks pretty cracking.

The Anthology Project is a book with a carefully written description: “The Anthology Project collects the comics of artists unified by their delirious pursuit of compelling narrative and notable artistic work in the medium of sequential art. Its humble intent is only to delight.” Which means I get to say to you “I don’t know what this thing is about,” but also, “Boy, does it look nice.” Check out their preview, and also their fancy animated tumblr to see how they make their art. We’ve got the first volume which actually came out last year but this is the first we’ve seen of it. There’s a second in the post.

Speaking of making art, But I Can’t Do Anything Else is a collection of not exactly failures and rejections but the ideas in Rob Schrab’s head that didn’t end up going anywhere (Schrab is the guy behind Image Comics’ Scud: The Disposable Assassin, the animated film Monster House, and one of the writers of The Sarah Silverman Program). “We have a finite time before we're dead. There're so many ideas in my head right now, there's going to be a point where I'm going to be gone and these ideas are not going to be able to get out there. So I wanted to share. I wanted to at least have some kind of bound collection of all these ideas out there. At least for people to take a look at and see that they exist. Until they are drawn on a piece of paper or written in a screenplay or script or any place, they kind of don't exist.” Here’s the rest of that interview on CbR, and here’s a YouTube video of the artist holding the book in his hands and telling you why you should buy it. I’m guessing. I have no speakers.

Loads of other things to mention this week but I don’t see this post finishing anytime soon unless I do a brief lasso round-up, so here goes:

-- The Outlaw Prince TP is a medieval adventure written by Rob Hughes and illustrated by Thomas Yeates and Michael Wm. Kaluta. It’s a re-doing of the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs novel The Outlaw of Torn for you lot in the modern day. Incidentally, there’s a picture of Burroughs in the latest issue of Previews in which he looks like a proper Edward G. Robinson gangster. I highly recommend checking it out. Anyway, preview at Comixology.

-- Vertigo Crime’s line continues to expand with Aaron and Ahmed HC, which sees Vertigo Crime mainstay James Romberger (The Bronx Kill) team up with novelist Jay Cantor for a story about terrorism and Guantanamo Bay.

-- Poseurs SC is a graphic novel destined for the YA shelf about three teens who get in over their heads in the LA party scene. It’s written by Deborah Vankin, who writes about arts and culture for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and Variety, so I’d imagine she knows more about the LA scene than most. It’s sort of like Gossip Girl but comics.

-- Rainy Day Recess: The Complete Steven’s Comics SC collects all of the strips by David Kelly about a gay kid called Steven. Comicbook Resources review it here and there’s a preview too. Dan Savage, founder of It Gets Better and writer of Savage Love (his column in the Seattle paper The Stranger which is kind of brilliant), provides the introduction.

-- Archie: The Best of Dan DeCarlo HC Volume 2 is out, collecting the best stuff from the ‘60s and ‘70s by the man who would define the iconic look of Riverdale and its inhabitants forever. He worked on the series for about 50 years so there’s more to come.

-- Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen’s Superstar: As Seen On TV! is now in hardcover. Busiek tells you all about it over at his website and there’s a PDF preview too.

-- Remember the Vanguard Frazetta Classics series I mentioned last week? The first volume, Johnny Comet, is now available in softcover, too.

-- Gosh! Favourite Rian Hughes’ very excellent book Yesterday’s Tomorrows – a collection of his comics, mostly written by others (including Grant Morrison, John Freeman, Tom DeHaven) along with covers, sketches, bubblegum cards, and other rare visual treats – is now available in trade paperback. Newsarama interviewed him about the book long ago when it first appeared.

Enough books! Here are some comics you might like. Good grief, will you look at all those #1s. Deep breath:

-- Nonplayer #1 by Nate Simpson is the inaugural issue of what could be something huge. It’s a series about a young woman who spends every free moment she has in a video game fantasy world that may or may not be real. The art’s phenomenal and if it reminds you of Moebius you’re not the only one: when Moebius himself was shown a copy at a recent comics convention he liked it so much he asked to keep it. Loads of preview images and reviews and such over here.

-- Chances are you’ve noticed Image Comics’ teaser campaign for Butcher Baker: Righteous Maker, the latest project from Joe Casey and Mike Huddleston, and wondered what the hell it was about. Well: "It's a twisted, adults-only, epic tale of deranged superfiction and two-lane blacktop mayhem. That kinda sums it up. If I went too deeply into the plot and premise, it might take away some of the fun of reading the thing when it hits.” Read Casey dance around plot lines over at CbR where you can also see some preview pages too.

-- Dollhouse: Epitaphs One-Shot by writers Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon is a continuation of what they started in the final episode of the TV show. It sets up everything you need to know for the upcoming comics series so if you’re planning on picking that up you need this. Miss it at your peril. Preview at Dark Horse.

-- Matt Fraction’s Fear Itself #1 (of 7) launches tomorrow so make sure it’s on your pull list. Here’s a preview. Next to it on the shelf you’ll find Fear Itself: The Home Front #1 (of 7), the tie-in series by a list of top creators, like Peter Milligan, Howard Chaykin, et al. Preview of that one here. Also, Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente’s Herc #1 is a new ongoing with the first issue taking place during the carnage of Fear Itself. Preview Neil Edwards’ artwork at CbR.

-- Blue Estate #1 is another ongoing series by the likes of Viktor Kalvachev (DMZ, The Incredibles), Nathan Fox (Invincible Iron Man, Pigeons From Hell), Toby Cypress (Batman/Nightwing), Robert Valley (Gorillaz, Tron) and Andrew Osborn (Emmy award-winning screenwriter) set on the mean streets of Los Angeles. Kalvachev sums it up as “An intoxicating cocktail of Get Shorty, Pulp Fiction, and Snatch with a splash of It’s a Mad Mad Mad World.” You can read more in this interview and check out a preview at Comicbuzz. Incidentally, if you’re a Robert Valley fan we’ve got Massive Swerve Volumes 1 and 2 in stock.

-- We’ve had a few requests for Undying Love #1 by Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman over the last couple of weeks so if you waiting me to announce its arrival that’s exactly what I’m doing now. It’s a fantasy-horror set in modern day Hong Kong and it’s already getting great reviews. “The initial idea came from a newspaper article I read about a man that fell in love with a woman that was forced to be a prostitute by another man. The first man decided he couldn’t live without the woman so set out to reclaim her honor by killing her pimp. Obviously that was just an inspirational jumping off point but the motives are still the same. It’s love and jealousy – these are big emotions and easy to understand. That’s what I wanted: a simple story that allows us to create a really complex and layered world,” said Coker in this Newsarama interview.

-- Skaar: King of Savage Land #1 (of 5) by Rob Williams and Brian Ching sees the son of Hulk fight against dinosaurs, giant robots and an evil mastermind, too. Preview.

-- Brian Azzarello’s six-issue miniseries First Wave ended last month but you can still catch some more pulp fiction in Jason Starr’s (Vertigo Crime’s The Chill) First Wave Special #1 illustrated by Phil Winslade. No previews, unfortunately.

-- Vertigo Resurrected: Hellblazer: Bad Blood drags another four-issue miniseries howling from the vaults. First published over ten years ago, this Jamie Delano penned, Philip Bond/Warren Pleece-illustrated series is set in the year 2025, when Constantine has given up magic and is the father-to-be of the heir to the throne.

-- Thunderbolts: From the Marvel Vault #1 is not so much from the vault as from Fabian Nicieza’s bottom drawer. Between writing it and it eventually seeing print one of the regular characters died! Here’s a preview.

-- James Robinson’s (Starman) Superman/Batman Annual #5 carries the Doomsday torch, leading on from the story in Justice League of America #55 and continuing in next week’s Superboy #6, obviously and confusingly. Preview here.

-- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38 is the first of a two-parter by John Layman (Chew) which continues in May’s Deadpool Annual #1, giving you some sort of a hint as to its special guest star. Preview at CbR.

That’s about it! Finally, here’s a comic by Jeffrey Brown I rather liked, one that’s on the Internet right now and you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to read. It’s honest and lovely and there’s not a cutesy cat in sight.

-- Hayley


Jonathan said...

Excellent blog, as usual.

Sorry to ask the "when will you have this in question", but is the Incredible Change-Bots sequel due to hit the shelves anytime soon? It seems to be available on the Top Shelf website.

Or have I just not been paying attention?

Gosh! said...

Thanks Jonathan. Our distributor reckons Incredible Change-Bots Volume 2 is due in July. We've got some on order so I'll announce it when it arrives no doubt.

Hayley @ Gosh!

Jonathan said...

Thanks Hayley.

Something to look forward to in July, along with the next instalment of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.