Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Gosh! Authority 28/06/11

In the words of Professor Farnsworth, “Good news, everyone!” Gosh! has outgrown its wee shop at 39 Great Russell Street so WE’RE MOVING to new, bigger premises at No. 1 Berwick Street, Soho – the first time this has happened in just over 25 years. Our fancy new shop is being kitted out by Callum Lumsden whose work you might have seen Mary Portas praising on telly. That alone is all very exciting – but there’s MORE! Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill will be joining us for a signing on the 30th of July to celebrate the release of their League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 and to tread biscuit crumbs into the carpet I will no longer have to hoover. The new shop opens on Saturday the 6th of August and we’ve got more signings and events to dribble out in bite-size chunks over the coming weeks.

I’ve just read an interview with Peter Maresca, the man who accidentally became a publisher just because he wanted to show off his collection of classic strip comics. With a stash that included Little Nemo and Walt & Skeezix who wouldn’t? The latest from Maresca’s Sunday Press is Forgotten Fantasy: Sunday Comics 1900 – 1915 and it gets top billing this week not just because it dwarfs everything beside it, but because Maresca puts so much effort and love into these mammoth books that probably daunt most retailers. They’d probably be easier to set sail on than get home on the tube. In this new one you can find The Kin-der-Kids, Wee Willie Winkie’s World, and The Explorigator by Henry Grant Dart, Nibsy the Newsboy by George McManus, Dream of the Rarebit Fiend Sundays by Winsor McCay, and dozens of other bits from John Gruelle, Gustave Verbeek, Herbert Crowley, John R. Neill and more. There’s also this one:

“Many pages display a "steampunk" sensibility 100 years before it became a popular comics sub-genre. Charles Forbell's Naughty Pete (1913) is unlike any comic strip of its day, with a look that is decades ahead of its time. In theme and design you can sense the work of Frank King, Charles Schulz, Jules Feiffer, Bill Watterson, and, of course, Chris Ware.”

Preview pages run alongside that interview but there are a few more over at Sunday Press.

From Top Shelf you can have Lucille, the English translation of an award winning French graphic novel by Ludovic Debeurme. Two complexly traumatised teenagers who have inherited strange and terrible problems from their families embark on a bold trip across Europe to try and overcome them. Clocking in at 550 pages you can expect this one to weigh you down a bit. So far, Debeurme’s stripped-back line art universally reminds every reviewer of John Porcellino, Anders Nilsen or early-Chester Brown indie comics – it’s not his set style though, as I discovered when I delved further into the Internet and discovered these frankly creepy illustrations. There’s a preview of Lucille here (though I’ll warn you they’re not the cheeriest 15 pages of comic you’ll read today) and a review here and here.

Marvel are going through their bottom drawers again and just like the Grant Museum finding a dodo they never knew they had, they discovered some Steve Ditko pencils they never got round to publishing. In the introduction, Karl Kesel writes about how he had too much on his plate back in 1986 so had to pass on inking some other Ditko job, but he gets another go at it in Incredible Hulk & Human Torch: From The Marvel Vault #1 and is pretty astounded and thankful about it too. Read all that in the online preview. Next to it on the shelf you can also grab the Incredible Hulks Annual #1 written by John Layman of Chew fame. Preview here.

Kesel is revelling in it this week – he also gets to see his work next to Jack “King” Kirby. Captain America Rebirth is a one-shot collecting Tales of Suspense #63, #65 – #69 by Stan Lee and Kirby, in which the origins of Captain America and the Red Skull are revealed. The issues are all fully remastered and re-coloured and Kesel writes and draws a new framing sequence. Don’t forget you can get more Captain America in the All Winners Squad: Band of Heroes #1 (of 8) by Paul Jenkins and Carmine Di Gidandomenico where it’s WWII and Cap heads up a top-secret all-hero unit of the military. The Daily Blam has a preview.

Speaking of WWII, Fabien Nury and John Cassaday’s (Planetary) I Am Legion HC is a supernatural take on the event. “I've always been a bit of a WWII buff, and the way Fabien inserted the supernatural element into a wartime thriller made it an easy choice,” said Cassaday back in 2008 to Comicbook Resources. “I didn't want to be a part of any cliché run-of-the-mill horror story. There's nothing out there quite like it, at least not in comics.”

Paul Cornell is one of the most English men in England so it’s little wonder he swung it at DC so he could stage the entire first issue of Knight & Squire entirely at the pub. The six-issue miniseries illustrated by Jimmy Broxton (The Unwritten) is collected in trade-paperback this week. Here’s an old interview I linked to before the comic landed.

There are some fairly horrific things in comics this week, not least of which is Something Monstrous by grim-doings enthusiast, Mr Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and R.H. Stavis. Illustrated by Stephanie Buscema (who started out as an inker for her grandfather John Buscema), it’s about something mysterious killing all the old people in town. Buscema’s cartoon retro art is the hook on this one – head over to her blog to see what I’m on about.

Robert Kirkman’s new Image imprint Skybound sees is flagship title hit the shelves this week. Witch Doctor #1 (of 4) is a book Warren Ellis has simply called “mental”. In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, writer Brandon Seifert said “[artist] Lukas [Ketner] and I are both big fans of series that blend horror and SF with other genres — Lukas loves The Goon, I love Buffy, and we both love Hellboy and Doctor Who. Those are all series where you can do a variety of stories with a variety of tones, and Witch Doctor is sort of our own personal equivalent. More specifically, I love the idea of the occult doctor, the doctor who investigates the supernatural. That’s an idea that’s been around almost as long as horror fiction, but I’d never seen it played straight. I wanted to see a hero who approached monsters the way a doctor would, instead of being played as a generic monster hunter or mystic. Lukas and I both love jerky, snarky anti-hero types, and we thought it’d be fun to make our occult doctor sort of a Dr. House type. So that was another element. The last thing, the final ingredient, was the monsters. Pretty soon into thinking about Witch Doctor, I realized the monsters all needed to be crossed with actual diseases and awful stuff from real biology. For me, that’s when everything finally came together, and we had our comic." Preview and a review over at Comicbook Resources.

The Sixpenny Murder is a one-shot about Victorian street crime that was made as part of a 16-week program for modern-day youths involved in gang culture and the like. It’s written by John A. Short, publisher at Kult Creations, and illustrated by David Hitchcock (Springheeled Jack). Review and preview at Escape From Tomorrow.

Richard Moore of Boneyard gives you a new four-part series with Gobs #1 about a bunch of goblins who, after being kicked out of their old favourite pub, set up a new one in the hollowed-out body of a dead giant. As you do.

In the Marvel camp you can get Marvel Universe Vs The Punisher -– the four-issue miniseries by Jonathan Maberry and Goran Parlov in trade paperback, as well as Marvel Universe Vs Wolverine #1 the first of another four-parter by Jonathan Maberry, this time with Gosh! Favourie Laurence Campbell on art duties. Preview of that one here.

One Month To Live was a five-part series penned by four different writers (Rick Remender, Rob Williams, Stuart Moore & John Ostrander) and illustrated by even more artists (Andrea Mutti, Koi Turnbull, Shawn Moll, Shane White, Graham Nolan & Jamie McKelvie) As for the plot: “This was a concept that [Wacker] had come up with after dealing with some personal issues... It’s a unique story in the Marvel Universe exploring things that we all can relate to, an examination of mortality, somewhat akin to ‘The Death of Captain Marvel’ but with an everyman bestowed powers. [Main character Dennis Sykes] is sort of like any of us in this situation... We all think we have 70 to 80 years to mess around; Dennis realizes he’s only got 30 days. It boils down to him discovering what is truly important to him, and what kind of mark he wants to leave on the world.” The rest of that interview and preview pages are here.

Here’s an odd piece of news. Pat Mills (2000AD) has penned a series of comic strips to launch the game inFAMOUS by PS3. The strips are a series of moral dilemmas featuring celebrities like Beyonce, Jay-Z, Cheryl Cole, Lady Gaga and the like, illustrated by a bunch of UK comics creators you’ll no doubt recognise. You can see them over at the inFAMOUS website.

And finally, Eddie Campbell has started blogging again. If I were you I’d get amongst it NOW because you never know when he’ll chuck a strop again and disappear from the Internet. Heads up for those in Australia: he’s doing at talk at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Graphic festival, at which Robert Crumb is a guest too! Can someone give Crumb a piggyback on my behalf?

-- Hayley

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Will Shyne said...

For us overseas using Google maps, will you be in the building site or Somerfield?

Andrew713_graphicxtras said...

A lot harder to find the store. Still, a good stock. Miss the old store though (the stairs are a big improvement on the old though).