I know it’s grey and grim out and Google ain’t working in Chrome but things ain’t all bad, folks! Grab a brolly and head on down to see us because it’ll be the last chance you get to see our very cool Julian Hanshaw exhibition.We’re dismantling it on Saturday and putting up Sean Phillips originals for the Fatale launch party and signing. All of the artwork will be for sale and we’ll have an online gallery very shortly with prices, etc.
As for the party: hereare the details. Turn up at about 6:30pm on Saturday and we’ll put some booze in your hand while you buy a copy of the exclusive bookplate edition Fatale with the other. Phillips will be here too but you’ll have to put down both of the aforementioned to shake the guy’s hand.
Top of the pops this week is (maybe the latest comic ever bar Big Numbers but we’ll never see that thing) Infernal Man-Thing #1 (of 3), the last ever story written by the late Steve Gerber, co-creator of Howard the Duck, over 20 years ago. It’s entirely drawn and coloured by the great Gosh! favourite Kevin Nowlan, and one of very few that is. There’s a preview running alongside this piece by someone who’s very excited over at Comics Alliance. No ads but bonus stuff instead. Looks lovely.
My pick of the week though is the Lowbrow Reader Reader which is a best-of collection of the New York comedy zine started by Jay Ruttenberg back in 2000 or thereabouts. It was one of those A4-folded-over-and-stapled kind of deals, a kind of less attractive McSweeney’s only with better writing in it (miaow, occasionally by people like Sam Henderson. This review says “The juxtaposition of anarchic cartooning and austere design style suggests a Brundle-Telepod fusion of MAD and The Believer.” ‘Bout right. You might have seen it on our small press shelf a couple of years back after Jay himself popped in and left us with a stack of issues. I bought them all though, so maybe you didn’t. I think I missed one because I’ve never read this interview with Adele Givens, Miss Laura Hayes, Mo’Nique and Sommore before, and it’s excerpted over at Jezebel. It was originally supposed to be for Glamour magazine but they baulked when they saw how rude it was and it later found a home at the Lowbrow Reader. It’s like Wanda LaQuanda was given a full interview and if you know who that is and what I’m talking about, so help you. Anyway, it’s here. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve read but man, don’t read it at work. Other stuff in the compendium which, again, you might like to buy before I personally purchase the thing and it disappears forever are: poetry by the guy who plays Larry’s dad in Curb Your Enthusiasm, articles on Don Knotts, Gene Wilder and all three of the Stooges, and lots, lots more. Ruttenberg and frequent Lowbrow contributor Neil Michael Hagarty interview each other at the Bomblog.
The browless Nobrow release their seventh (7!) anthology collection this week and it smells nice etc etc. It comes with two covers – one by Belgian illustrator Sam Vanallemeersch and the other by Eda Akaltun – so flip to your favourite one and don’t accidentally buy two copies of the same book because I have seen it happen. The theme for this installment is Brave New World, inspired by the Aldous Huxley novel. (Interesting and completely superfluous aside: here is a letter from Huxley to George Orwell saying that while he very much liked 1984 he believes his own vision of the future to be far more accurate.) There are 45 artists involved and so many of them are the best ones around: Tom Gauld (Goliath), Joost Swarte (Is That All there Is?), Luke Pearson (Hilda & The Midnight Giant), Anders Nilsen (Big Questions) and lots more. Preview at Nobrow.
Paris Soirees is a big hardcover in the same oversized, deluxe format as that Eyes of the Cat book that hung around for all of an afternoon. By Francois Avril and Philippe Petit-Roulet, it’s a wordless collection of short stories about the kinds of nights you could have in Paris. You might remember it from mid-90s Drawn & Quarterly anthologies. From the preview over at Humanoids it doesn’t look anything like that Woody Allen film I watched on a plane.
The Sketchbook Adventures of Peter Poplaski contains several hundred sketchbook drawings by a guy who was doing underground comics in the 1970s, working on Spider-Man for Marvel and doing Superman covers for DC, before he became art director at Kitchen Sink Press and worked with Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner, Milt Caniff and all those dudes. He’s also the other half of the Crumb conversation in the R. Crumb Handbook (who provides the intro to this volume, incidentally). Over at A Spirited Life you can find an interview with Poplaski that didn’t happen in time to make it into the Eisner biography by Bob Andelman. This is what happens if you live across the road from your best pal R. Crumb, have no phone or email, and your only point of contact with the world is if someone sends a letter to Crumb and he hand delivers it. Cartoonists, eh.
Picture a Favela is the latest from SelfMadeHero, an illustrated story by André Diniz of the real life photographer, Maurício Hora. It goes right from his bleak upbringing with a drug dealing father, right up to the present day when he is internationally renowned for his art. The Rio Times have an interview with Hora, and it would be nice if SelfMadeHero would put more previews online. Maybe I should ask them to.
Ed Piskor has collaborated with Harvey Pekar (on Macedonia, preview here) and has a regular strip over at Boing Boing. His graphic novel Wizzywig is out in hardcover this week, a “historical hacker drama” as Cory Doctorow called it in hisvery favourable review. “The story blends fiction and fact, dropping in a Blue Box-selling Jobs and Wozniak (Boingthump picks the trunk-lock on their car and steals a Blue Box) and Cap’n Crunch, along with plenty of fictional BBS scenesters and grumpy computer-store owners. The backgrounds are filled with nostalgia PCs — Atari 400s, Apple ///s — and old Bellcore manuals.” Preview in that link. The cover looks like that beige computer that sat unused in a corner of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment.
Steve Niles‘ (30 Days of Night) mid-2000s six-issue miniseries Freaks of the Heartland is out in a deluxe hardcover this Thursday. It’s about grim-doings in a small Midwestern town, family secrets and horrendous things painted in full colour by the brilliant Greg Ruth. Dark Horse have a preview. Wasn’t there word of it being turned into a movie a few years ago? Whatever happened to that?
Shannon Wheeler‘s I Thought You Would Be Funnier was so successful they’ve gone and done a collection of his New Yorker cartoons that didn’t make it into the New Yorker for whatever reason (too racy perhaps, or maybe they made sense). I saw a customer lose his proverbial when he discovered we had a Shannon Wheeler book on the shelf called Too Much Coffee Man so that’s a good enough review and I needn’t link to another. But go have a look at his website.
Idle Hands: The Art of Coop is a hardcover collecting the last ten years’ worth of Chris Cooper‘s acrylic paintings. Not much floating around in the way of previews but Laughing Squid have a couple of pictures.
Adventures of Buck O’Rue collects the entirety (all two years of it) of Duck Huemer and Paul Murry‘s early 50s Western strip (Huemer and Murry are old Disney dudes so it ain’t your squinty-eyed Searchers Western). Head this way for a preview.
Geoff Johns and Gary Frank bring you Batman: Earth One HC in which they build Batman from the ground up. MTV Geek have an interview with Johns. Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labours collects a classic Wonder Woman arc from the 70s in which Wonder Woman must prove her worthiness by undertaking twelve tasks under the eyes of her Justice League teammates (by Len Wein, Curt Swan, et al). And Peanuts TP Volume 1 collects the first four issues of the recent resurrection.
Speaking of Len Wein, he pens the Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1 (of 6) and is incredibly coy in interviews. Elsewhere in comics Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi finish what they started in 2007′s Evolution storyline. Wolverine #310 is Sabretooth Reborn and you can see preview pages here. There’s also the last issue of the latest chunk of Rocketeer Adventures by Michael Golden, Eric Canete, and Darwyn Cooke, a limbo’d Muppets story by Roger Langridge sees print, and James Robinson writes a He-Man comic.
“While the world of “Masters of the Universe” is not a comic book superhero universe, it’s one — due to my own love of video games and the art of Frank Frazetta and everything else — that I am very familiar with in terms of style. I am trying to bring more of that to this series to give it a modern vitality — and I have to stress this every time — whilst being true to the original source material. That’s not to say what happened before didn’t happen or was without validity. I am trying to give everyone what they want, both old fans and new readers.”
Remember that Joe Hill’s The Cape miniseries from a while back? The Cape: 1969 #1 (of 4) is here this week, written by Jason Ciaramella and drawn by Nelson Daniel. Ciaramella says at CbR that they chose to set it during the Vietnam war for this reason: “I wanted a setting where we could really explore some of the darker sides of humanity, and the Vietnam War provided an atmosphere that helps bring out all of that. I get to put our characters in a place as close to hell on earth as you could ever get, and watch their realities twist as they struggle to hold onto whatever sanity they may have remaining. Fun stuff.” Comics Alliance have a preview.
Lastly, Hero Worship #1 (of 6) is a new miniseries written by Zak Penn, the guy who co-wrote the Avengers film with Joss Whedon. Preview and interview over at Avatar Press.
Do you wear clothes? Do you like Amazing Spider-Man? Perhaps you’d like to enter this competition. Uniqlo are celebrating the release of the Amazing Spider-Man film – which the man in the Spidey shirt in the coffee shop next door tells me is today, and I’d believe him because he’s been counting down – by sending some of you on holiday to New York City. All the details are here. You have until the 27th to enter.
LAST BIT I PROMISE: here is a Kickstarter worth backing. Ryan Andrews wants to print his webcomics onto real life paper. They’re good webcomics. I linked to Nothing is Forgotten ages ago. You remember it, right?