Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Gosh! Authority 12/04/11

It’s a smallish one this week but hopefully that means you’ll get to the end of the blog without nodding off. As a special bonus it even includes a thing I was supposed to blog last week but totally forgot so you can help me out by pretending you’re in the past.

First up there’s Hellboy: Buster Oakley Gets His Wish, a one-shot illustrated by the very excellent Kevin Nowlan, who not only pencils and inks it but gets to do his own lettering and colouring too: “As a kid I always liked the issue where my favourite artist would take an issue and ink it himself. It always seemed to be the ones that stood out. And in a rare instance or two a guy might do his own colour guides. Barry Smith did that with his last issue of Conan, The Song of Red Sonja. Neal Adams did it with his last issue of Green Lantern / Green Arrow. The Swamp Thing stories that Bernie Wrightson coloured really stand out in that series.” You can read the rest of that interview over at Newsarama where he also gives you tips on how to draw cows to exaggerate their “cowness”. Preview at Dark Horse.

The anthology of prose short stories edited by Neil Gaiman finally arrives on our shelves almost a whole year after America got it. Simply called Stories, it features a cracking cover by Gosh! Favourite Tom Gauld and innards by the likes of Roddy Doyle, Joyce Carol Oates, Joanne Harris, Michael Marshall Smith, Joe R. Lansdale, Walter Mosley, Richard Adams, Jodi Picoult, Michael Swanwick, Peter Straub, Lawrence Block, Jeffrey Ford, Chuck Palahniuk, Diana Wynne Jones, Stewart O'Nan, Gene Wolfe, Carolyn Parkhurst, Kat Howard, Jonathan Carroll, Jeffrey Deaver, Tim Powers, Al Sarrantonio, Kurt Andersen, Michael Moorcock, Elizabeth Hand, and Joe Hill. Gaiman contributes his story The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains which is the thing he read aloud at the Sydney Opera House last year, accompanied by a Fourplay soundtrack and Eddie Campbell illustrations. Here’s a review of Stories, and here’s another one in the LA Times.

(Speaking of Tom Gauld, his new graphic novel from Drawn & Quarterly looms nigh. Well, sort of. Next year. It’s called Goliath. It looks amazing -- see above.)

The Rime of the Modern Mariner by is a retelling of the Coleridge poem by Guardian cartoonist Nick Hayes. “It was when I discovered a picture of an albatross, belly swelled to busting, full of plastic bottle caps that it had mistaken for shrimp, rotted and interlaced with plastic bags tight around its bones, that the penny dropped: albatross; Coleridge; burdens of guilt. It was time for a modern mariner,” says Hayes in his “director’s commentary” over at the FPI Blog. It’s a gorgeously bound and coloured hardcover – in short, a typically excellent production by Jonathan Cape, UK home of Dan Clowes’ books – and if you’d like to see some pages they’re dotted in amongst his FPI Blog appearance. There’s a review of it over at the Guardian too. Biased or not, who cares – it looks lovely.

Pro-tip: putting a whale in your book is a sure-fire way of getting a mention on the Gosh! Blog

Darkie’s Mob HC is a collection of the strip by John Wagner (2000AD) and Mike Western that originally ran in the UK comic Battle in the mid-seventies. It’s pretty violent and dark – Captain Joe Darkie is crucified at one point, at another there are soldiers dying dysentery. “It was one of the things that made the story readable. No plastic soldiers like Captain Hurricane, this was an attempt to portray the reality of war and the strong emotions and sometimes desperate condition of the men who fought it,” said Wagner in this old interview.

Vertigo Crime’s Area 10 TP is worth a look, partly because it’s written by Christos Gage and illustrated by the excellent Chris Samnee, but mostly because it’s the only book in the shop to include the word “trepanation” in its blurb. Set in New York, it’s about a series of killings by someone who keeps the head every time – a killer the police have called Henry the Eighth. In an interview with USA Today, Gage talks about the perils of Googling a word like “trepanation” and I think it probably trumps my earlier experience regarding “infestation”. "I don't know that it's ever been big enough to be called 'popular.' It was done in the early 70s, and there are still people to this day who do it. Drilling into your own head is by itself going to keep out casual users. It's not like smoking weed – there's a little bit more of an investment in it.” Don’t do that to your head. And, uh, seeing as I’m somewhat ridiculous/cannot help it/have already done it: don’t look up “trepanation” on the Internet.

In trade-paperback you can get Sense and Sensibility, Nancy Butler and Sonny Liew’s follow up to Marvel’s Pride & Prejudice which spent an age on the New York Times Graphic Novel Best-Seller list. Here’s a review from someone who liked it very much, and if you never caught a preview: here you go.

Howard Cruse’s Wendel is now seeing print in a collected edition, decades after its first appearance. When it first appeared it was considered a unique, revolutionary piece of work – it being the first gay comic in mainstream media. It’s not so revolutionary now, of course, as Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) explains in her introduction: “You’ll find virtually no discussion of gay marriage in the pages of Wendel. The issue that has now become practically synonymous with LGBT civil rights was not high on the homosexual agenda in the eighties. Yet Wendel and Ollie’s loving, committed relationship is a paragon of stability. They parent a young boy, negotiate with Ollie’s ex-wife, have loving exchanges with Wendel’s parents, and come out to co-workers. They don’t live in a parallel universe like Chelsea or Castro, they’re ‘the gays next door,’ integrated for the most part seamlessly into the broader community.” More over at Publisher’s Weekly.

More reprints in DC Comics Presents Batman: Arkham, collecting a bunch of creepy stuff you won’t have seen since it first appeared by the likes of Dennis O’Neil, Alan Grant, Paul Grist, Curt Swan and more.

New stuff! Kieron Gillen (Phonogram) writes this week’s Journey into Mystery #622 which is a renaming of Thor. Incidentally, Thor: Whosoever Wields The Shield One-Shot collects old, old issues Journey into Mystery: #83, #84 and #88 with remastered colouring, plus a brand-spanking new framing sequence by Christos Gage and Marco Torricelli. Gillen’s story ties into the whole Fear Itself thing so if you’re following that – pick this up! “We're not just looking at the Asgardian part of the Marvel Universe. We've got all these magical beings and pantheons of gods existing in one universe. So what's the political structure surrounding that? How do these different people get along? Mostly it's a strained peace, but occasionally it's not. I, Claudius is one of my big influences. Another is The Thick of It, which was a brilliant British political TV show that set up the movie In the Loop. Obviously we're nowhere near as sweary as that. That gives you and idea, though, and I think that structure and those ideas make these mythological figures more real in that way.” More of that interview here, and a preview of Doug Braithwaite’s artwork too.

This week there are no less than three crossovers that need to be brought to your attention – Steve Rogers: Super Soldier Annual #1 is the second chapter of James Asmus’ Escape From The Negative Zone (which started in the Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 last month, and continues in Namor: The First Mutant Annual #1 next month). Previewed here.

Red Robin #22 is the first bit of a 3-part crossover called Judgement on Gotham, which continues in Gotham City Sirens and Batman later this month. Writer Fabian Nicieza says to Newsarama, “Even though it's part of the larger Judgment on Gotham storyline, it's a great self-contained issue that I think shows Tim [Drake] at his best, facing countless obstacles and managing to figure out how to overcome all of them, until the final obstacle he can't overcome to win the day is the stumbling block called: the truth.” Preview at Gotham Knights.

Daken Dark Wolverine #8 is the second part (of four) in the Daken/X-23 crossover by Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu. Liu talks to CbR about it in an interview I probably should have linked to when Part 1 came out. Speaking of X-books, Rick Remender and Jerome Opena’s Uncanny X-Force: Apocalypse Solution is out in hardcover this week, collecting the first four issues of the series along with some stuff from Wolverine: Road to Hell.

If you’re a fan of Elephantmen, you might want to pick up this week’s Elephantmen: Cover Stories #1 which is, as you’ve probably guessed, a collection of Elephantmen covers. Preview here. And if you’re following the Walking Dead but losing track of who’s doing what, Robert Kirkman’s got it covered in the Walking Dead Survival Guide #1 (of 4) which gives you a character run-down on everyone who’s been (and gone).

Last week I said that Skaar: Kind of Savage Land #1 (of 5) was out but it transpires I was being somewhat previous. Apologies. It’s out this week and it’s by Rob Williams and Brian Ching. See the son of Hulk fight against dinosaurs, giant robots and an evil mastermind, too! Preview.

And finally, Jonathan Hickman’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Infinity One-Shot promises to make foundations shake, crumble and fall. Here’s a preview and make sure you check out the issue number. Nice work, nerds.

Another thing I failed to do last week was tell you that Jason Atomic’s Hail To The King! exhibition, (aka H2TK!, his celebration of all things Jack Kirby) was opening, because then you could have gone along to the launch party. My most massive apologies for anyone who stayed home in their pajamas and ate fish fingers instead. Anyway, it’s on now at Bethnal Green’s Resistance Gallery (265 Poyser Street, E29 RF) and you should go and maybe even buy some of his excellent artwork. You can find some teaser images at Atomic’s blog.

So, that was the last Gosh! Blog from me for a couple of weeks. Now I’m off to Barcelona for a (busman’s) holiday. In the meantime you can read this review of Kiki de Montparnasse that I wrote for The Comics Journal, and Andrew will keep you suitably entertained in my absence too.


-- Hayley


Anonymous said...

No mention of Onwards Towards Our Noble Deaths? ... Shame.