As the pumpkins piled up high here on Berwick Street over the last week or so I announced a few signings and events we’ve got coming up in November. In the likely event that you were looking the other way when it happened here’s a Previously, on…
Frederik Peeters (Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story) will be here on November 11 to discuss his new book from SelfMadeHero, Sandcastle. Richard McGuire of Art Spiegelman’s Raw, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s and Liquid Liquid will be showing off his stellar animated films on our new projector/screen set-up (oh yes) on November 14, and German cartoonists Mawil and Uli Oesterle will be here on the 18th to sign their newly translated books from Blank Slate.
Towards the end of the month a crowd of artists involved in the new UK comics anthology Nelson will be let loose in the shop with pens and ink and will be filling our windows with art. We don’t know what they’re planning but that’s all part of the fun/terror. You can see their work in progress from the 20th, or you can just turn up at the launch party on the 25th and see it all at once, where there’ll be booze and books to buy featuring an exclusive Frank Quitely bookplate.
I have another thing to announce too, but I haven’t done a post for it yet. Just gimme a minute. It’s about Luke Pearson. Expect it next week.
Maurice Sendak’s new children’s book Bumble-Ardy — the first in 30 years that he has both written and drawn — is here, and it’s already being blasted as “too disturbing for children” by parents everywhere. But as Time points out: all the best kids’ books are like that. Bumble-Ardy is about a recently orphaned pig throwing himself a birthday party to make up for never having had one (his parents forgot on purpose).
“It’s a very strange book, in terms of my feelings for it. It came from a deep place. I was intensely involved in the vanity of the parents. I mean, how does the child live with that? I remember I once watched this baby whale separated from its mother. The baby whale is panicked and it looks for its mother among the other whales, and they know it’s not their baby. They turn away from it, and you’re left to wonder, How does the baby live, how does the baby feel? Can’t the others see that he’s one of them? Bumble is an outcast. This was an experiment in what it’s like to feel … deeply rejected.”
More of that over at The Paris Review, where Sendak talks about music and life and why his 83rd birthday never happened.
Mike Mignola has teamed up with Richard Corben again for the very first original Hellboy graphic novel in history (you’ll have seen their work together before in The Crooked Man, and the one-shot Being Human). The new book, Hellboy: Living in the House of the Dead, fits into the big red guy’s time in Mexico. “When I did the first one-issue comic, at the end Hellboy mentions that he doesn’t remember what happened the rest of the time he was in Mexico,” said Mignola to Comicbook Resources. “That was really going to be it, but then I just thought, the beauty of a chunk of time that he doesn’t remember — either he doesn’t remember or he says he doesn’t remember because he doesn’t want to tell anybody what happened — that’s a great period to tell stories, because you can do the craziest stuff and maybe it really didn’t happen, maybe he was so drunk he thought this is what happened.” It’s like the missing reel of footage from the weekend. You can preview it at Dark Horse.
Lee Bermejo’s written and illustrated an all-new Batman graphic novel called Batman: Noel, being a very loose adaptation of the Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It’s his first go at writing and drawing a book on his own (Brian Azzarello put the words in the balloons of Joker) and came about in the grim wake of that collaboration. “That was so dark and violent and really just a ruthless book that I wanted to step back from that and try to do something different. I was concerned about how I do these dark, gritty projects and villain projects and so I don’t get to do as many major heroes like Batman and Superman. I thought, “Let’s go the other way. Let’s do something that can hopefully be an all-ages project and at the same time use the major characters I love so much.”” So he’s got Catwoman as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Superman as the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Robin gets to be Marley. There are preview pages alongside this interview.
John Martz is an award-winning Canadian cartoonist who also contributes to the very excellent illustration blog, Drawn. This week you can get his strange and lonely story Heaven All Day in a softcover collection. It’s about a factory worker and an abandoned robot, totally wordless, and reminds me a bit of Jordan Crane’s stuff, like The Last Lonely Saturday. There’s a PDF preview here. This particular publisher has a tendency to let things fall out of print so if this catches your fancy you should snap it up before it disappears.
From that same publisher comes a book by Sterling Hundley, an illustrator whose work has appeared in places like The New Yorker and Rolling Stone, but whose theatre posters I have just seen now on this blog here (they’re cracking). Blue Collar/White Collar is a retrospective collection of the man’s art — his commercial work and his fine-art career — some of which you can see at his tumblr.
Eisner-nominated manga artist Yuichi Yokoyama was last seen on the Gosh! Blog when his book Garden came out from PictureBox, the same publishing house that now brings you Colour Engineering, a full-colour art book with fold-outs and all sorts of nice things. You’ll like this.
The latest from Nobrow is Quodlibet by Katja Spitzer and Sebastian Gievert, a colourful hardcover book about the letter Q (it’s inspired by the work of Georges Perec who wrote an entire novel without using the letter “e” and a later book in which “e” is the only vowel to put in an appearance). Spitzer reckons the letter Q doesn’t get enough attention in her native German language (nor English) so has produced this encyclopaedic celebration of the letter we all try to get rid of as fast as possible in Scrabble, covering everyone from Quentin Tarantino to the Queen of England, Quiche Lorraine, and Don Quixote. Lots of preview pages over at Nobrow.
For a while there Nude was a magazine you could trust to have something brilliant between its pages, like this interview with the great John Waters, or this other one with Dan Clowes. Until its demise earlier this year it was a reliable compendium of stuff about lowbrow art, comics, cult fiction, photography, weird films, tiki, burlesque, designer toys, and whatever else its editors were into at the time. Bare Essentials collects the best of Nude from its seven year lifespan (including those Waters and Clowes interviews) as well as others with Charles Burns, Alan Moore, Daniel Johnston, James Jarvis and loads more. It’s all lavishly illustrated and will keep you busy for ages. Worth the £14.99 price of entry and then some.
The Art and Adventures of Tintin is a hardcover coffeetable book about the making of the film I haven’t seen yet. There’s early concept art, final shots and all the bits in the middle, along with brand new artwork you won’t see anywhere but this book. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson provide a foreword each, and the whole book is put together by Chris Guise who just happened to be the lead conceptual designer on the film so was given ample time to interview his colleagues. Loads of preview pages over at the Weta workshop. It’s a making-of by the guys who actually made the film.
In hardcover this week you can have Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy’s Joe the Barbarian, originally an eight-issue miniseries about an eleven-year-old boy and his insulin deprived delirium, which Morrison describes as ‘Home Alone meets The Lord of the Rings.’ DC also have a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Omnibus on offer, collecting the first two League books in hardcover (the current series, Century, is with a different publisher so the chances of all three being bound together under two covers is nigh on impossible). Lastly, book-wise, there’s Flight of the Angels, a volume of faerie mythology by Bill Willingham, Alisa Kwitney, Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Louise Hawes, and T. D. Mitchell, illustrated by fantasy artist Rebecca Guay (Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold). You can see her stuff here.
Comics! Shame Itself is a one-shot comedy anthology from Marvel featuring the words of the illustrious Michael Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle, and most recently a comic biography of Mark Twain) (incidentally, here is Michael Kupperman dressed as Mark Twain), Sara Benincasa, Victor Varnado, Kurt Braunohler, Elliot Kalan,and Wyatt Cenec. They all talk about it over at MTV Geek where you can see a goofy Thor by Skottie Young. Alternatively you can have Thor: Deviants Saga #1 (of 5) which, judging from this preview, isn’t very goofy at all.
The Daredevil Reborn crew reunite for Six Guns #1, a five-part miniseries that Andy Diggle boldly pitched in the wake of the success of Reborn. “I thought that dusty Spaghetti Western vibe worked pretty well in Reborn, and Davide [Gianfelice] and I had a great time working together. So I thought, ‘Why don’t we go for it?’… So we went in guns blazing.” It revamps a handful of classic Marvel Western characters, one of whom you’ll recognise if you’re a fan of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti’s work. Diggle talks about it over at CbR.
Erik Larsen’s Next Issue Project continues in Crack Comics #63, a Golden Age-sized comic in which long-cancelled titles are continued by modern day creators as if they were merely delayed by six decades. First there was Fantastic Comics #24, then Silver Streak Comics #24 and tomorrow Crack Comics #63 hits the shelves featuring Captain Triumph, The Clock, Spitfire, Molly the Model, Alias the Spider, Space Legion as revived by Alan Weiss (Captain America, Tom Strong), Herb Trimpe (BPRD War on Frogs), Paul Maybury (Popgun, Comic Book Tattoo), Terry Austin (Uncanny X-Men), Chris Burnham (Elephantmen) and more.
Speaking of long-finished titles, Peanuts #0 is the gun-shot start of a new monthly series. It’s all new. I tried to find out who drew it and who wrote it, but failed. Good grief.
There’s also Fear Itself #7 Point One by Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice, and 7 Warriors #1 (of 3) which is Michaël Le Galli and Francis Manapul’s (The Flash) follow-up to the Fabien Vehlman/Sean Phillips series, 7 Psychopaths (preview here and Bleeding Cool have the scoop on what other titles are to come. Lots of groups of 7). Marvel have a series of five Avengers Origins one-shots to roll out, and Ant-Man and The Wasp is the first of the bunch to arrive. They’re jumping-on points for the series much like what they did with the X-Men Origins a while ago (preview a massive pink-nosed mouse here). New four-parter Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes #1 (of 4) by Gabriel Hardman (Agents of Atlas) and Corinna Sara Bechko (Fear Itself: The Home Front) features none other than Dr. Zaius (interview at CbR).
Sam Humphries (Fraggle Rock, CBGB) is responsible for one of the strangest things on the shelf this month with Our Love Is Real, a one-shot illustrated by Steven Sanders “about a man in a committed relationship with a dog who falls in love with a woman who has sex with crystals” as Newsarama summarised it. They’ve got an interview with Humphries where they ask him questions like “At what point did Steven Sanders become involved with Our Love Is Real? And how excited was he to draw things like a poodle in bed with a dude?”
Jack Avarice is the Courier #1 (of 5) is a new series by games designer Chris Madden about a guy who grew up watching too many films and was later met with the crushing disappointment that life isn’t actually like James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Magnum P.I., until he is drafted into a secret organisation. “Jack is my homage to those great, classic Adventure Characters (TM) I grew up with. I wanted to see what Indiana Jones, Doc Savage, Tintin looked like when they first started out,” Madden continued. “There’s more than a little of each of them in there — Jack’s unruly blond spike of hair was absolutely (and subconsciously) an homage to Tintin.” More and preview pagers over at CbR.
Lastly, there’s Villains For Hire Point One #1 (of 5) by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, an all-new jumping-on point for an all-new evil team (preview here), while fellow Brit Kieron Gillen pens the new Uncanny X-Men #1. Over at Newsarama Gillen talks about the nature of nostalgia, about leaving Generation Hope, and what he’s got in store for the new Uncanny relaunch which comes so soon (what is it, like a week?) after the final issue of the previous Uncanny X-Men. There’s no sofa-bound break-up period in the Marvel Universe, it seems.
And if all of the above is not enough comics news for you make sure you pick up the inaugural issue of Strip Magazine, a new comics mag based right here in the UK.
If I don’t get a chance to say it to your face before the week is out: please don’t set yourselves or your trousers on fire this weekend. May your bonfires be huge — and if you’re in Lewes, may your Popes be explosive.