Rob Davis, Sarah McIntyre & Woodrow Phoenix. Photo by Mauricio de Souza.
Well, that should be the last of the Gosh! induced hangovers for 2011. I hope you enjoyed them. There’ll be a blog post about the Nelson launch party imminently, where you’ll be able to see yourself in a bunch of pictures you probably didn’t know were being taken.
EDIT! Nelson launch party post by our Tom is now up.
On Saturday night Luke Pearson came in to sign copies of his new book from Nobrow, Hilda & The Midnight Giant, a beautiful oversized hardcover thing that comes with a free poster. Did you know it was going to be a hardcover? I didn’t. That’s going to ruin your filing system. Pearson even came in with Hilda herself, as made by the astonishingly talented Felt Mistress. We’ve got signed copies in the shop. In fact, we’ve got lots of signed books at the moment. There’ll be a blog post about that too.
Photo by Michael Conde
Speaking of the Felt Mistress, she and Jonathan Edwards (Nelson) are responsible for one of the many excellent small press books new in this week: Konichiwa Japan! being 32 pages of work that the two did during their five week residency in Japan: big wall illustrations, graphic design stuff, Felt Mistress’ amazing creations in various urban landscapes, sketches, and photos of Japanese hipsters at parties.
However the most anticipated of the small press is of course The Peckham Invalids by Howard Hardiman (The Lengths) and our very own Julia Scheele (Phonogram) with lush colours courtesy of Sarah Gordon. It’s about disabled teenage superheroines in Peckham, in 1906. Hardiman spoke to Alex Fitch at Panel Borders about it last month and you can see a great big preview of it here. Just a fiver for the betterment of peculiar young ladies.
There was a launch party last week that wasn’t held at Gosh! and that was for The Strumpet, masterminded by our excellent pal Ellen Lindner and Jeremy Day of Whores of Mensa fame. It’s an all-women comics anthology featuring the likes of Patrice Aggs, Tanya Meditzky, Mardou, Megan Kelso and more which unlike the UK-based Whores has included people from all over the world in an effort to bring the alt-comics scenes in those far-flung places just a little bit closer. And if you like what you read you can send in your own submission when the call goes out – they’re always after new and exciting stuff. Head over to their website for news.
Last week a new issue of The Believer arrived and I mention it only because there’s a new piece by Jonathan Lethem and I am really into Jonathan Lethem right now. And it’s about a Jimmy Stewart movie. Sort of. Postmodernism As Liberty Valance: Notes on an Execution: The Ritual Killing of Postmodern Literature Is a Three-Man Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (Allegorically Speaking) begins: “(1) Spoiler alert. John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is an allegorical western that I am now going to totally pretzel into an allegory for something else entirely.” I also really like the way Lethem uses the word “pretzel”. Perhaps in a few years’ time I’ll do it and pretend I thought of it myself. Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket’s monthly column continues and all the usual suspects have something interesting to say, as per.
Moving over to the new books rack now. Take a few steps back and shift a bit to the left:
Best looking of the books this week has to be the gloriously yellow and purple Definitive Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim hardcover from IDW’s Library of American Comics. It’s 16 inches tall, 12 wide, and collects all of Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon Sunday pages (and its companion strip Jungle Jim, together for the first time in reprint) from the inaugural instalment on January 7, 1934, through to May 31, 1936, all in their original format and colour. It’s the first of four volumes so you’d best adjust a shelf on your Billy bookcase to accommodate.
There’s a new Flash Gordon series starting this week that aims to be just as good as the above. Writer Eric Trautmann says: “My plan is to do my level best to tell the kinds of stories that made Flash Gordon great in the first place. There’s a lot of density to Alex Raymond’s strips — maximum bang-for-the-buck — and that’s something I’m trying to do, as well: packing in as much “stuff” as I can. It isn’t so much trying to “modernize” the material (though obviously, modern techniques will be used to tell these stories) as it is an attempt to recapture that sense of scope and wonder.” The rest of that interview’s over at CbR.
More classic comics are collected in The Cisco Kid TP Volume 1 1951 – 1953, the legendary Western character that first appeared in an old O. Henry short story around the turn of the century. This volume collects the first two years of the Rod Reed/Jose Luis Salinas strip, but given it ran for a full 15 you can expect a few more volumes in the post. That permanent resident of Movember, Mr Sergio Aragones, has written the introduction.
Andie and the Alien by Philip and Brian Phillipson (God the Dyslexic Dog) is an extraterrestrial retelling of the classic Aesop fable Androcles and the Lion, but you’ll want to pick up a copy mostly for the amazing art by Alex Niño. The cover is just about the ugliest thing in the shop but the insides are glorious. There’s a preview over on the publisher’s blog.
Blowin’ in the Wind is a hardcover children’s book by the great John J. Muth, who took the lyrics of the famous Bob Dylan song and illustrated them in beautiful watercolour. It’s Muth’s attempt at bringing the song to a new generation in the hopes they’ll be as inspired by it as Muth was back in 1972 when he heard it play on his transistor radio. And if they haven’t ever heard it before it’s just as well the book comes with a CD of the original 1963 recording. Here’s a review by someone who liked it very much.
Bye Bye Babylon by Lamia Ziade is a memoir “that starts with a contention that seems unusual to our ears: Beirut in the 1970s is a paradise,” says a review over at The Skinny. In this part-sketchbook, part-travel diary, part-family album, Ziade looks back on what Beirut was like before that day in 1975 when the 7-year-old Ziade and her family returned from a picnic in the countryside to find their city in flames, and then the shocking effects of the war on the city from a child’s perspective. One for the bag if you liked Persopolis.
I’ll continue with the war theme I’ve very vaguely got and mention Vertigo Resurrected: Sgt. Rock – Hell and a Hard Place illustrated by the man who drew the character the first time round, Joe Kubert. Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) stepped in for Robert Kanigher to tell this WWII story in which Sgt. Rock is in the midst of a murder mystery behind enemy lines. Here’s a review from back in 2004 when the book originally appeared.
That Joe Casey’s got a couple of titles on the shelves this week. Firstly there’s Doc Bizarre M.D., a totally weird horror/comedy graphic novel about the guy who gets to dish out the prescriptions for ailing monsters and demons. “There have certainly been enough doctors portrayed in comicbooks over the years. But I tend to approach something with the main criteria of entertaining myself first. And this thing is pretty damned entertaining to me. Andy [Suriano] and I basically willed this book into existence, and we did it with the intention of being as loud and rude as we could get away with.” More of that at the Daily Blam, and there’s a 9-page preview here. The other Casey title is Haunt #19 – the first non-Kirkman issue since the series began. Nathan Fox joins him for pictures and you can see some of them here.
Elsewhere on the shelves the first Rocketeer graphic novel is repackaged and rereleased in the guise of an old treasury edition like from the olden days (IDW uses the fact that they’ll fit in your existing treasury bags as its Unique Selling Point), plus the long-awaited return of some Gumby comics that have been out of print for as long as I’ve been alive. Specifically, the Eisner Award-winning Summer and Winter Fun Specials by Bob Burden, Steve Purcell (Sam & Max) and Arthur Adams are reprinted in a recoloured pocket-sized paperback collection.
If you’re a fan of Richard Moore (Boneyard) you’ll want to pick up the new all-ages story in the manga-sized Chip Volume 1. And if you’re in the mood for more all-ages stuff there’s always this new one from Oni Press (the home of Scott Pilgrim): Rascal Raccoon’s Ragin Revenge Volume 1 by Brendan Hay and Justin Wagner. Massive preview here.
Remember what Bruce Timm did with Batman: The Animated Series? He’s doing it again with Green Lantern but you won’t be able to see the first episode until next year. In the meantime there’s Green Lantern: The Animated Series #0 written by Art Baltazar (Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!) and Franco and illustrated by Dario Brizuela (Batman: The Brave and the Bold).
Kieron Gillen’s big enough for his own Thor collection now so Marvel dutifully gives you Thor By Kieron Gillen: The Ultimate Collection as illustrated by the likes of Jamie McKelvie, Richard Elson, and Doug Braithwaite (Gillen met Loki face to face at Thought Bubble when Loki tried to kill him). Meanwhile the ridiculous busy Nick Spencer launches a new six-part series of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents on the same day that the previous series is collected in trade. Finally, there’s the Justice League of America 100 Project in which the 100 Hero Initiative charity covers for Justice League of America #50 are collected in one book. There’s stuff in here by Mark Bagley, Alan Davis, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, George Pérez, Frank Quitely, John Romita, Sr., Alex Ross and more. Not just covers either! Lots of behind the scenes stuff like on the DVD bonus disc you buy and never watch.
That’s your lot! If you’re planning on popping in for this stuff we’ve adjusted our opening times as a Christmas treat. It starts now and will last all of December. They are as follows:
Sunday – Wednesday: 10:30am – 7:00pm
Thursday – Saturday: 10:30am – 8:00pm
Christmas Eve: Early Closing 7:00pm
Christmas Day/Boxing Day: CLOSED
New Year’s Eve: Early Closing 4:00pm, bottle opening 4:05pm.
I will repeat this ad nauseum.