This is Hayley back in the Gosh blogger chair, typing these words for you to read. When I was last here I was a person who had never fed a Scottish seal by hand, nor eaten a small tower of haggis, neeps and tatties. Things have changed.
In the delivery this week is one of my all time favourite comics in a much more affordable/attainable edition which I believe they’ve printed more than five copies of (which sort of implies that they’ve learned from their past mistakes, but I’ll wager they haven’t). Instead of being something huge enough to set sail on, this hardcover edition is a modest 7ish by 10ish inches and costs only £25.99 as opposed to whatever heartbreaking amount it was the I spent on the big one. In this paragraph I have so far neglected to tell you what it is: The Eyes of the Cat by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius, reviewed and praised by yours truly over at The Comics Journal.
Also from Jodorowsky is The Shadow’s Treasure printed in English for the very first time. That thing I said above about Humanoids learning from their mistakes? Forget it. There’s only 750 copies of this one in existence so run, don’t walk, to the new release shelf. This is the pre-Bouncer collaboration between Jodorowsky and François Boucq. Humanoids have a preview.
Heads up, horror fans: Bernie Wrightson‘s Frankenstein precurser Muck Monster from 1975′s Eerie #68 is shambling into Gosh this week in an Artist’s Edition portfolio thing, which means they’ve found the original art and scanned it all all from that. There’s none of the garish colours that appeared in the printed comic (this guy has them scanned), which Wrightson never actually liked anyway:
Bernie: It wasn’t supposed to be colored. Something happened that issue and whoever was supposed to be doing the color insert didn’t deliver the work so they needed something at the last minute. They said, “Hey, can we use ‘The Muck Monster’?” I said, “Well, it really wasn’t meant to be colored.” Then it was, “Please, please, please!” So I said, “Yeah.”
CBA: Did you supervise the coloring at all?
CBA: Were you happy with the results?
Bernie: No. [laughs]
CBA: Up to that time, this story was your definitive take on the Frankenstein monster.
Bernie: It was almost like a dry run for me. I had Frankenstein in mind and I wanted to do it. I had an idea what I wanted the drawings to look like; and “The Muck Monster”—and a few other things I did for Warren—were the embryonic version of the penwork that finally showed up in Frankenstein.
CBA: Setting the stage.
More of that old interview from the 90s here. The seven prints in the portfolio are 14.5” by 19” so maybe take the bus in this week rather than the bike. Also, Neal Adams‘ Thrill Kill gets the same treatment and is out on the shelf beside the Monster.
Off comics for a bit: Shadow Show is a prose anthology that not only sports a brill Tom Gauld illustration on the cover but an excellent bunch of names beside it, too. It’s a collection of short stories in tribute to Ray Bradbury and was organised long before he went and died back in June this year. There’s stuff in here by Joe Hill, Dave Eggers, Audrey Niffenegger, Harlan Ellison, Margaret Atwood and more. The story Neil Gaiman wrote and sent to Bradbury‘s for his 91st birthday last year is here too. Called The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury, you can hear Gaiman read it aloud over at io9 and read the essay explaining why it exists. Worthy of remembering.
Also an anthology but with lots more pictures than the above is the 17×23 Showcase put together by Nobrow and featuring five artists (most of whom are younger me including one who was inexplicably born in the 90s, what the hell is going on here) who each get ten pages to tell their story. You’ll get stuff by Isaac Lenkiewicz, Kyle Platts, Henry McCausland, Nick Sheehy, and Joe Kessler who has put one page of his story up on Tumblr.
Much loved illustrator Mary Blair‘s Golden Books are collected in one hardcover treasury, complete with stuff that hasn’t been in print for decades. Blair did the concept art for Disney’s Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland (and more) and we’ve got some of those on the shelves upstairs too. This treasury collects (unabridged) stuff like I Can Fly, Baby’s House, and The Up and Down Book.
Lots of new additions to the politics shelf:
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is Joe Sacco and Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges’ collaborative picture of post-capitalist America. Wherever people have been exploited in the name of profit and then abandoned, Sacco and Hedges have gone there. “I wanted to show what happens when human beings, communities, when the environment is all forced to prostrate itself before the marketplace. You know, this has become the ideology across the political spectrum, and the consequences in many other parts of the country are devastating,” says Hedges. More of that interview at NPR. The Guardian has a video preview thing.
A Game For Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return is a sort of Majane Satrapi-style memoir by Zeina Abirached about growing up in war-torn Beirut. Paul Gravett has a review and preview stuff here. Personally I’m looking forward to Gosh! Alumni Barnaby Richards‘ graphic novel Beetroot about much the same thing, a page of which turned up in the Comix Reader #2. Barney is holed up working on the book right now and occasionally pops up on the internet to tell us about it.
A Chinese Life by Li Kunwu and Philippe Ôtié is a book that takes place during the creation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Though the setting may be epic, the story is quietly autobiographical: Li Kunwu was the state artist for the Communist Party for 30 years and saw the effect of politics on his family, neighbours and country firsthand. Little White Duck: A Childhood in China is set in the 70s after Mao’s death and comprises of eight short stories by Andres Vera Martinez based on life.
Mat Johnson (Incognegro, Dark Rain) and Andrea Mutti give us Right State, a story about the investigation into the possible assassination attempt of America’s second black president. There’s a huge long interview at CbR but if I put a chunk of it here this weekly missive will become even more long and unwieldy than it’s already threatening to become.
Ben McCool (Memoir) and Mario Guevarra adapt Sergei Eisenstein‘s film about Alexander Nevsky into a (judging from the preview) fairly bloody graphic novel. Another interview over at CbR for you to read.
Stephen King and Joe Hill‘s Road Rage is out in hardcover, volume 4 of Jeff Smith‘s RASL is in trade paperback, Dave Gibbons and Steve Rude‘s three-issue mini from 1990 World’s Finest is out in trade too, and it’s the 13th anniversary of Matt Wagner‘s Grendel. And so! Dark Horse have collected all four volumes of Grendel and stuck them in one massive book with which to taunt your wallet. But £18.99 is a pretty sweet deal for 600 pages. Preview here.
Other books include Xoc: Journey of a Great White in which he has teeth and eats seals (20 page preview), a book of Flannery O’Connor cartoons from Fantagraphics (PDF preview), and Comic Book Lettering: The Comicraft Way because enough people demanded a reprint.
Mike Allred fans will want to pick up the new Madman spin-off ongoing series, It Girl & The Atomics #1 which isn’t actually written or drawn by Allred himself. He’s switched places with longtime Madman editor Jamie S. Rich, and Mike Norton (Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt, Booster Gold) has picked up the art reins. In an interview at CbR Rich says: “Beyond the Skunk, there are the remaining Atomics. Namely, Black Crystal and the Slug. The team’s homebase is still in Dr. Flem’s building, and with Madman in space, Flem needs a new test subject for his experiments. So, he’ll be a real engine for creating trouble for It Girl. At the same time, there will be lots of new bad guys. Mike Norton and I have concocted an old gang for the Skunk that readers had never heard about before. Other animal-themed villains: the Ferret, the Otter and the Hedgehog. And in keeping with the theme of fresh starts, we’re trying to approach this in an accessible manner, so that anyone can get up to speed whether they’ve ever read Madman or not.” Preview here.
Howard Chaykin‘s Black Kiss II #1 (of 6) has arrived and is just as rude as you’d expect it to be (rude preview here, not safe for work unless you work at Gosh Comics). Gambit gets his own ongoing series called, aptly, Gambit, and there’s preview of #1 at CbR.
The Creep #0 collects all of the John Arcudi story that’s been appearing in Dark Horse Presents recently about a guy with acromegaly, a condition that makes for some interesting museum specimens and actors, which is why this Creep guy looks a lot like Rondo Hatton. This is so you’re all up to date for the incoming four-issue miniseries. Arcudi talks to CbR here.
And: Thunda #1 has not only dinosaurs but also a Frazetta backup story (preview), while Mighty Thor #18 crosses over with Journey into Mystery and is illustrated by Alan Davis who is also responsible for this week’s Daredevil Annual #1 (both previewed here) which is the second bit of the three-part Fantastic Four/Daredevil/Wolverine annuals story. It makes sense, honest. Just read it back.
Our Steve does a weekly podcast with his pal Jack about South London called South London Hardcore. This week’s episode is all about comics and South London. You should listen to it if you’re into comics or South London or Steve.
And lastly: at of the end of the month the Scott Pilgrim (remember that guy?) film is playing at a pop-up screen in Fulham. You can buy your tickets now, write it in your diary, and feel like you’re accomplishing things with your new organised life.