We’ve been rather busy on the Gosh! Blog while you’ve been looking the other way. Yesterday I announced our upcoming signing with Dan Clowes (Ghost World, David Boring) and Chris Ware (Acme Novelty Library) in May, and a couple of days before that we received our Phonogram Volume 2: Singles Club Bookplate Editions. We sold out temporarily but we’ve got ‘em back in again, hurrah. And, of course, if you happened to buy a bookplate-less copy from us earlier in the day you’re more than welcome to come and claim your plate, signed and numbered by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.
As for comics, there’s no shortage of stuff to point at. Late last week we got the Kick Ass trade paperback in, complete with movie poster cover, hyperbolic taglines and various other assorted nonsense. If you’ve not yet jumped on the Kick Ass bandwagon have a gander at Boing Boing’s recent review of the thing which creator Mark Millar calls “a hymn to neo-conservatism”. Over at the Guardian blog there’s a piece on Kick Ass potentially changing the course of comicbook movie adaptations, and Jane Goldman talks about young girls dropping the C-bomb. Then if you still want more here’s Millar talking about lots of things, like his hometown Glasgow, and how every writer in Hollywood is a skinny bald guy with glasses who hangs out in the coffee shop all day.
Jaime Hernandez fans better dig deep for their remaining pennies after blowing all their pocket money on the big red Art of Jaime Hernandez book. Now you’ll be getting another dose of Fantagraphics’ Love & Rockets Library with Penny Century. This volumes picks up right after Perla La Loca left off, beginning with the now out-of-print graphic novel Whoa Nellie! which is probably the best female wrestling comic in town. Fantagraphics have graciously provided you with a 14-page PDF preview and one of their now-famous manhandling videos.
Also from Fantagraphics is the next in their ongoing line of Jaques Tardi books. It Was the War of the Trenches is Tardi’s defining statement on World War I, which has long been an obsession of his. Back in the early 80s RAW published a chapter, and then Drawn & Quarterly did a few more in the ‘90s all of which are now long out of print. Since only a fraction of Trenches was ever available to us English-speaking folk it’s a nice to see the whole lot of it in one place. Art Spiegelman calls ‘this devastating crater of a work…a compulsively readable wail of Existential despair, a kaleidoscope of war’s dehumanizing brutality and of Everyman’s suffering, as well as a deadpan masterpiece of the darkest black humor.’ So it must be good, then. Again, (thanks, Fanta!) a 10-page PDF preview and a video too.
If classic stuff in lovely big hardcovers is your bag you’re definitely in luck this week. Obergeist was voted as Wizard Magazine’s Best Horror Comic of 2001 and still features on their Top 100 list of graphic novels of all time so it’s about time the now hard-to-find work got a fancy hardcover release. Written by Dan Jolley (Firestorm) with art by Tony Harris (Starman, Ex Machina) it’s a controversial series about a Nazi butcher scientist ordered to create telepathic soldiers. In an interview with PopCultureShock Harris talks about his twenty years in the business and also tells you what makes this edition of the series so special. The chronologically conscious will probably be happy to know that while in the initial trade paperback collection their one-shot prequel Obergeist: The Empty Locket was chopped up and inserted between issues as flashbacks, it won’t be the case this time round. In this age of DVD special features it goes without saying (but I’ll saying it anyway) that there’s also the usual bevy of promo art and previously unseen design work as well as a brand new cover by Harris and JD Mettler, regular Harris colourist.
The Creeper by Steve Ditko is another biggie to weigh you down this Thursday. Six years after Spider-Man’s first appearance, The Creeper debuted in Showcase #73 courtesy of Ditko. He then went on to do a six issue miniseries called Beware the Creeper but left DC in a huff midway through the final one. He returned to the character for DC’s short-lived Showcase-esque anothology series 1st Issue Special #7 and again for a few issues of World’s Finest Comics in the late ‘70s. All of that stuff is collected here in what looks to be in the same Archive-y format of DC’s stellar Jack Kirby collections. Here’s a chap doing an examination of Ditko’s evolving art style using The Creeper as an example, complete with loads of page scans, and here’s a history of the character if my wee summary doesn’t suffice. Ditko hands abound.
So that’s all yer classic collected stuff out of the way. What’s new in? Here’s one that’s been getting a lot of buzz recently: A Home For Mr Easter by Brooke A. Allen. It’s the story what-happens-next when an awkward teenager thinks she’s found the Easter Bunny. It’s a road-trip adventure story and the illustration is rather wonderful. There is a dozen or so preview pages over at the publisher’s website.
Big things are brewing over in the Marvel camp with the beginning of the X-Men Second Coming crossover event this week. IGN gives you a full run-down on events so far and a character spotlight to boot. Then you can head over to the ever-reliable CbR for a preview of #1.
And even the small press shelf downstairs has a few new bits on it worth mentioning. There’s Decadence #7, a 68-page comics anthology (reviewed here) featuring work by Leon Sadler, Daniel Swan, Tsemberlidis, Alex Payne, Daniel Hallett and our very own Jon Chandler. There’s also Part 2 of Lando’s Island 3 which then continues in an entirely separate publication right next to it on the shelf, Island 3 Part 3. Lando’s also got an eight-page book called Last Drink which was the 3rd prize winning entry in the Manga Jiman 2009 competition. Lovely cover on it too. Look!