This missive comes from your regular correspondent Hayley, the very same one recently returned to sunny Blighty with disappointingly little evidence of tan or crocodile wrestling. We hope your Easter was swell and that you didn’t eat your Lindt rabbit all in one go like what we did. There have been some regrets in Gosh! this bank holiday weekend.
Speaking of which, blame the bunny for your late comics this week. They’re arriving on Thursday the 12th, being the same day they go on sale, but they might not arrive until late in the afternoon so keep an eye on our Facebook or Twitter. You could even phone and check if they’re in yet, if you’re into that sort of thing. You all know the drill by now so there’s no need to go on about it but walk, don’t run, for this week’s stuff.
Thanks to everyone who came along to the completely packed Simone Lia book launch party last night. I haven’t had to wash up so many champagne flutes since I worked at that bar I was duly fired from. If you’ve not been down recently make sure you pop in before God on a bicycle disappears from our window. Goliath is still there too. It’s getting biblical down on Berwick Street.
Currently adorning the walls inside the shop are nine of Lia’s fine art prints that you can take home, unframed, for £35 a pop. You can see some of them here. We interviewed her about Please God, Find Me a Husband! in the churchyard around the corner and you can see the YouTube video here.
As for this week’s tardy delivery, here’s what’s on your shipping list:
Grant Morrison‘s Batman Incorporated HC collects the first eight issues of the series, plus the Leviathan Strikes! one-shot which was essentially just the final issues (#9 and #10) stuck together. Morrison spoke to Comics Alliance about it back in 2010 and I link to it now because this book he’s talking about sounds nuts: “If there’s one thing that has influenced the new stuff, the “Batman, Inc.” stuff, it’s a book called “Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero,” which is written by E. Paul Zehr. It’s a guy who is a doctor, and looking into the actual possibility of Batman and what it would take to be that person in real life: What it would do to your muscles and what it would do to your head, and how long it would take to learn the martial arts. And it’s really quite fascinating, this idea of the real facts behind it. So I’ve been looking at that, not anything in comics or any other weird version of Batman that I’ve found, but very much this kind of physical reality of Batman — that’s really playing into Batman’s continuity build-up.”
Sammy The Mouse deserves a mention for DIY points alone. You might remember the series when it was part of Fantagraphics’ Ignatz series in three parts. Zak Sally inadvisedly decided to buy a printing press and print all three volumes as one soft cover edition in his own basement. This is the product of his tears and probable rages. He discusses it with Comicbook Resources along with the influence of Dr. Seuss, Kickstarter, and what you can expect from the final installment of Sammy, due out some time next year.
The Strange Talent of Luther Strode is out in trade paperback, being the miniseries about an average dude who sends away for a bodybuilding course he finds in the back of an old comic book. The art in this is weird and amazing (their website provides some of it) and if you’ve not had a look at it yet now’s your chance. Apparently there’s a new series in the works complete with teaser poster and all.
Severed, the critically acclaimed horror series by Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft with Attila Futaki is out this week in a hardcover edition packed with bonus material you won’t have seen before. Set in 1916, Snyder says “America’s past isn’t all Norman Rockwell paintings. America has always been a dark and violent place and the tension between the idealized past that people dote on and the gritty reality that existed makes for a fun place to explore.” More http://www.goodcomicbooks.com/interviews/5083/interview-scott-snyder-scott-tuft this way.
Kitchen Sink Press: The First 25 Years is a softcover chronological breakdown of the indie publisher who sadly went bust back in 1999. But it’s not only a biography of a company – peppered throughout the newly written bits you’ll also see previously unpublished art by the likes of R. Crumb, Mark Schultz, Peter Poplaski, Frank Stack and Reed Waller, as well as reproduced sidebar columns from Alan Moore, Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman, Stan Lee, Kevin Eastman, Trina Robbins and more. It’s a run-down of 25 years in 128 pages.
Speaking of Spiegelman, he’s one of the guys who turns up in Garbage Pail Kids, a hardcover collection of 206 rare illustrations from the 1980s collectible sticker series. Mark Newgarden, John Pound and Jay Lynch are all in here too, but if that’s not enough then maybe the four limited-edition previously unreleased bonus stickers will sway the old collector in you.
In hardcover there’s Daredevil Season One by Anthony Johnston and Wellington Alves (good name) which you can file next to Dennis Hopeless and Jamie McKelvie‘s X-Men Season One unless you don’t want to. Preview http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=9635 here. There’s also GenetiksTM which is another of Archaia’s French titles (like The Killer, Okko, The Secret History) that they’ve had translated into English. It’s about a guy in a Genetiks lab who, like thousands of his colleagues, has given a drop of blood to his employers so they can work on decoding the entire genome. There’s a preview of that one here.
In trade paperback there’s Infinite Horizon by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto, and I Vampire which is not the new DC 52 incarnation but a reprint of cult-favourite 1980s House of Mystery issues written by J. M. DeMatteis (Batwoman). Joe Kubert cover, too.
Loads of new #1s on the racks this week. He’s a round-up:
Mark Millar fulfills 16-year-old-Mark-Millar’s dream of working with Dave Gibbons in a new seven part miniseries called The Secret Service. “This all started when Matthew Vaughn and I were talking about ‘Casino Royale’ a couple of years back in the pub between breaks on Kick-Ass. We loved the movie, but wondered why they didn’t do all the stuff where he learned how to be James Bond… ‘The Secret Service’ is about a number of things, but one of the central thrusts is about a young, wayward hoodie kid from North London learning how to be James Bond.” Read on over at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=36345 CbR for a good story about Sean Connery and Dr. No. Preview there too.
Speaking as someone who recently took a bite out of the pavement I am not a fan of the cover of this next one. Busiest man in comics Jonathan Hickman‘s Secret #1 is subtitled Teeth, With Which To Eat and is an espionage thriller/new monthly series. Comics Alliance asked him if he actually ever sleeps (he doesn’t) and CbR have a preview trailer up.
America’s Got Powers #1 (of 6) is the new one from Jonathan Ross and Bryan Hitch. Ross summed it up thusly: “It’s an enhanced version of our world. It’s Earth as we imagine it would be if a giant space rock had landed here 18 years ago and gifted super-powers to the newborn babies in one town. How would we react? How would we monitor their power, how would we try to control them or exploit them, and how would they feel about that? What would the effect of having a super-powered anomaly in the family have on the kid’s parents or older and younger siblings? When the chance came to monetize these kids, who would benefit? How would the military try to use them? Industry? The sex trade? As they grew to be adults – which is when our story takes place – would they be able to break free and be true to what they are, or would they be kept in a sub-ordinate and oppressed ghetto to serve the ‘greater good’? These are some of the ideas we are juggling and playing with. But its also got a lot of fighting in it! Big, wide-screen Bryan Hitch style smack-downs!” More at Newsarama and a preview here .
Batman: Arkham Unhinged #1 is a spin-off from the Arkham City videogame – well, actually it’s more of a prequel to it. It was previously only available as a digital download so maybe you’ve not seen it yet. Sort of similarly, Blackest Night: Special Edition #1 (reprinting Green Lantern #40-41) was only available in an action figure box set so you might have missed that too.
Alabaster: Wolves #1 sees Caitlin R. Kiernan bring the heroine of her 2001 novel Threshold to comics, illustrated by Steve Lieber. Dark Horse have a http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/Previews/20-295?page=0 preview.
Amazing Spider-Man: Hooky is a reprint but may well be one of the best things out this week. It’s a lost 1986 classic drawn by the great Bernie Wrightson featuring a bevy of monsters and alternate worlds. Next to it on the Spidey shelf you’ll also find Untold Tales of Spider-Man Omnibus HC collecting tales of Peter Parker’s early days written by Kurt Busiek, who says: “Don’t miss it – there may be medium-sized vermin you need to bludgeon to death!
Ted Naifeh’s girl monster-hunter gets her own ongoing series this week with Courtney Cumrin #1 while her very first book, Courtney Cumrin and The Night Things gets a hardcover special edition. Naifeh tells CbR all about it.
I don’t know how he swung it but Rich Johnston has somehow got his mitts on an exclusive 10-page preview of Rich Johnston’s Iron Muslim #1. “This has to be one of the strangest comic books I’ve been involved with,” he says. Go see if he’s right.
Paul Tobin tells Comics Alliance about his new Bionic Woman ongoing series (first issue out this week) which as far as I can tell he wrote almost solely because he was a fan of the toys. “I actually had one of those “beauty hair” Bionic Woman busts where you could try out different hairdos on Jaime,” he says. He goes on to talk about writing female characters in superhero comics so it’s worth a read. Here’s a preview of this week’s issue in which we’re promised “baguettes, bullets, and bionic badass” (it’s set in Paris, see).
And finally, Brian Michael Bendis writes this week’s New Avengers #24 which you’ll want to pick up if you’re following Avengers Vs. X-Men. Preview http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=11998 here.
Upcoming events recently announced on the blog include the launch of Science Tales on the 24th of April, the second book by Darryl Cunningham of Psychiatric Tales fame. Comedian and science fan Robin Ince will be here too, doing an “in conversation” thing with Cunningham. “It’ll be a meeting of scientific minds not seen since they took that photograph of Einstein and Tesla standing next to each other,” said someone on the blog while I was away.
Then in May it’s Free Comic Book Day and we’ve got some events happening here in the shop. When Julia was putting together the flyer she asked what would be a good word for “half a dozen artists sitting down with a bunch of kids aged 8 – 12 and drawing at the same table, not in a structured workshop way but just in a draw-with-the-artists kind of way” and I offered “chaos” as a suitable candidate. She rejected it because it will be fun and relatively under control or at least the very best kind of chaos thanks to the likes of Roger Langridge (The Muppet Show), Sarah McIntyre (Vern & Lettuce) , and Christian Ward (who has promised not to go all Infinite Vacation #3 at the kid’s table). There’ll be window painting and, of course, free comics. Head this way for details and a full list of creators you can meet at the drawing board.
See you Thursday.