The Gosh! Authority 16/08/11

We’re still waiting for the dust to settle after the recent chaos – I’m referring to our move rather than the London riots (by which the shop was untouched, but thank you to everyone who asked) – and if you asked me for a stapler I’m pretty certain I would totally fail to provide one, having absolutely no idea where that thing is. Smaller items are still being moved across from the old shop, which now looks like the sad ex-squat of characters in a zombie film after they left in a hurry, trailing empty packets of Jaffa Cakes and Transformers comics as they fled.

I’ve been back three times and it doesn’t get any less weird. But we now have our mugs, kettle and PG Tips, and frankly, that’s all I was missing.



Pick of the Week is Grant Morrison’s We3 Deluxe Edition, which sees the classic three-issue miniseries get the hardcover treatment for the first time ever. But! It’s not just the trade paperback you’ve probably already got on your shelf with a kind of sturdier card around its pages: there are ten new pages by Morrison and Frank Quitely. As Geeks of Doom put it, “If you realize that this is the same team that summed up all of Superman’s origin in one page, then ten pages can do a lot.” Then there’s your expected 28-pages of bonus stuff like character designs and sketches, plus commentary and bits of script by Morrison. In the event you’re entirely new to the book, here’s an old archived interview with Morrison courtesy of the Wayback Machine. He talks about animal rights, Watership Down, and says things like: “I’ve always wanted to do one of those classic animal stories that make people cry, so this is like that…Disney with fangs. We3 is probably one of the first of these kind of stories to treat the animal heroes as animals and not as anthropomorphized representations with human emotions and speech patterns.” And while we’re on about Morrison, there’s also New X-Men By Grant Morrison TP Volume 4 on the X-shelf.

From Fantagraphics there’s Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth HC, which is kind of a superfluous mention here because anything Toth never requires much of a push (and if I said nothing about it the book would still sell out). But and so: After Toth fell out with DC in 1952 he worked for two years almost exclusively at Standard Comics – run by pulp merchant Ned “Thrilling Publications” Pines – which targeted older readers with sophisticated crime, horror, science fiction and war titles. This is the first comprehensive collection of Toth’s stuff from that era, and you can see a PDF preview here. Win Wiacek reviews each story in the 432 page behemoth, and over on Twitter Kurt Busiek says “Artists everywhere gotta see this:” while linking to Jesse Hamm’s amazing blog post on Toth, his work and his influences. Kurt is right, as usual.

Masters of American Illustration: 41 Illustrators and How They Worked HC came out a little while ago but we didn’t have enough copies to go round. It’s a collection of Fred Taraba’s column Methods of the Masters that appeared in Step-By-Step Graphics between 1989 and 2001. He’s reworked and revised all 41 articles for this collection, which also reproduces original paintings, vintage ephemera, photographs and the like. There’s a full list of artists over at The Illustrated Press: Robert Fawcett, Franklin Booth, Andrew Loomis, et al.

As natural disasters go, this year seems to be crushingly full of them. The Spirit of Hope is a charity anthology created in the wake of the New Zealand and Japan disasters, with all proceeds going to relief charities in those areas. Sometimes with charity anthologies you end up paying money for something you probably wouldn’t pick up were it not for that feeling of doing something good for the world. From the looks of it, this one seems to be a book you’d probably want anyway, good deeds or no good deeds. There’s stuff by Nick Abadzis (Laika), Glenn Dakin (Abe: Wrong For All The Right Reasons), Mark Buckingham, Al Davison, Peter Hogan, a cover by Mike Allred and loads more. Bleeding Cool has a full list of creators and previews too, while Wired explain everything better than I do.

There’s a new volume of Lewis Trondheim’s (A.L.I.E.E.E.N.) Little Nothings on the shelf (that’s four if you’re counting) – a new collection of everyday life and everyday annoyance. It debuted at the San Diego Comicon, and Bleeding Cool landed a preview.

Local artist John Miers dropped off some of his small press comics over the weekend and they are glorious. There’s two of them – A Collection of Comics and I Got Comics – so you can be certain you’re getting some comics. He’s got a super fancy website that doesn’t really give you much to go on, but this interview about his series of prints The Tower of Babel probably gives you a better idea of what to expect. You can find them on our new, huge zine shelf where we’re finally giving the small guys the big stage they need.

Two creepy art books for your delectation. Taxidermied: The Art of Roman Dirge does just what it says on its funeral tin: a collection of original artwork (previously unpublished, covers, strips, and paintings) by the creator of Lenore. It’s the very first time Dirge’s artwork has ever been collected like this – he said in an interview he quite likes the idea since he won’t have to pull together stuff for a portfolio at conventions. The book will beat him there.


The other creepy book is Beauty in Decay, which is not a new book, but a customer ordered it in and we thought someone out there might like it too. It’s photographs of old morgues, dilapidated architecture, ghostly prams long empty and cobwebbed. You can see a bit of what I mean over at Smashing Magazine.

Elsewhere on the shelf and decidedly less macabre is Craig Thompson’s Blankets in a new edition softcover. It sports the same new cover at the big hardcover brick edition of last week only it’s slightly cheaper/less dangerous. Speaking of impossibly heavy, Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker’s Invincible Compendium TP Volume 1 is out, collecting the first 47 issues of the series in one huge affordable tome much like the Walking Dead Compendium from a while back.

In trade paperback you can have BPRD Hell on Earth Volume 1: New World by John Arcudi and Guy Davis, where “it’s no longer an occasional giant catastrophe, but a steady diet of destruction and invasions by monsters, etc. That’s the new norm in this world: chaos.” The trade collection also includes not just the five-page series, but also an eight-page story that was released at the Emerald City Comic Con. Here’s a preview of #1, and Arcudi talks about the series with CbR.

On the DC Retroactive front we’re heading into the 90s, which means Superman’s hair is set to get ill-advisedly weird and long. But not just yet – this week you can have Wonder Woman by William Messner-Loebs, The Flash by Brian Augustyn, and Batman by Alan Grant. But if you want to stay in the 80s just a wee bit longer there’s Tales of the Batman HC by the late, great Gene Colan, which is full of his trademark moody illustrations. It’s also the first time these stories have been collected so chances are the last time you saw them you had terrible hair yourself.

In comics there’s a new six-issue mini-series from the increasingly ubiquitous David Lapham (Stray Bullets) called Damaged. “The story is just as much about how [the lead character, Henry] is damaged and has to deal with that…. And in that way there’s a strong tone of seventies films like Death Wish and Dirty Harry. I remember growing up there was a strong conservative sense from my father’s generation of tough guys, and John Wayne types. “Walking Tall” and Bernard Goetz. The sense that sometimes a man just needs to take matters into his own hands and that’s okay as long as you’re in the right. This is comics, so the Punisher’s a strong reference point, but there’s a lot I know I’m bringing to the table here. But yes, if you think the Punisher is cool and badass, I think if you just read the opening sequence in issue #1 you’ll find that Henry more than satisfies.” More at Ain’t It Cool, a preview at omnicomic, and two reviews are in already: One. Two.

It’s the second issue and we don’t usually mention second issues but Daredevil #1 was raved about in such an enthusiastic and relentless way that I can’t let this one pass. Preview of Daredevil #2 by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera at the Daily Blam.

And finally, Stuff Of Legend: Jester’s Tale #1 is the first issue of the new four-part miniseries co-written by Brian Smith and Mike Raicht, with art by Charles P. Wilson III. Smith talks to Newsarama here.

Are you a fan of indie comics anthology Solipsistic Pop? Tom Humberstone is currently putting the fourth volume together for a November release. “It’s extremely ambitious – involving glow-in-the-dark ink, hand screenprinted folders and pull-out dustjackets – and has a much larger print-run of 1,000. Because of this, I’m going to need some help getting it printed this time around.” Think you can spare some pocket money? Head here, if only to watch the video.

Lastly, Robert Crumb was supposed to be going to Australia to appear at the Graphic festival at the Sydney Opera House. But then some mindless backward journalist called him a pervert and he decided not to go. Fellow guest at the festival Eddie Campbell has been following the whole thing on his blog: here’s what happened, and here’s Crumb’s totally understandable explanation for why he pulled out. Incidentally, Campbell has been writing about Bill Mauldin’s work, having recently added the recent Fantagraphics Willie & Joe books to his collection. Go have a read.

— Hayley


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