Recent visitors to the shop will have noticed a new art exhibition on the Gosh! walls by Paolo Parisi, author of the graphic biography of great jazz dude, John Coltrane. There are pages from Coltrane going for £200 a pop and dozens of inky portraits of musicians for £100 each: Etta James, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone… Come see. We’ll keep it up until the 8th of September. Billie’s eyes are only insane from that angle.
This will be a relatively short missive considering the usual, but that’s because this week’s haul is largely self-explanatory. To wit: Longtime Gosh! favourite Mike Allred joins Mark Waid on Daredevil #17, previewed here. Scott Pilgrim is being released in colour, one hardcover volume at a time. There’s not much more I can say about that because chances are you’ve already mentally bought it. Or are at least perusing this preview.
The Red Diary/The Re(a)d Diary is a bit different. Teddy Kristiansen sent his book to regular collaborator Steven T. Seagle to have a read. Seagle loved it, but had no idea what any of the words said because it was all in French. He explains in more depth about how it came about over in this interview at Newsarama but basically what happened is: Kristiansen agreed to let Seagle do his own translation of the book based entirely on the pictures and knowing nothing about the original script. Like some crazy writing workshop exercise.
“Just looking at the pictures, what I got out of it was that it was a story about a man who’d assumed another man’s identity during World War I and was living a fraudulent life. In Teddy’s book, what it actually is about, and the way that he constructed it, is that it’s about a man investigating a World War I soldier’s life as an art fraud, a forger basically, of Cézanne paintings. So there are similarities. There’s World War I in both of them. But my present day part takes place in the ’70s. Teddy’s takes place in the present day.”
Image have packaged this science experiment into a hardcover flipbook.
Craig Yoe delivers another amazing-looking book through IDW, this time pouring everything he knows about the elusive Spider-Man co-creator into one 200-page hardcover called The Creativity of Steve Ditko. “Yoe Books’ very first offering was The Art of Ditko,” said Yoe. “Over two years and many books ago, it was enthusiastically received. Now I’ve endeavored to make this our best book yet. I am thrilled with the über-creative comics we present here and the original art, much of it unpublished. And the nearly one dozen never published photos of the elusive artist make this a Ditko fan’s dream come true. This is going to be a must-have but very controversial book.” Paul Levitz, Mike Gold, Jack Harris, Mikal Banta, and Amber Stanton have all contributed essays. By the way, if you’ve not read the Avenging World someone’s got the PDF on their blog. Years ago I spent an afternoon of a boring office job reading that instead. Time well spent. A lifetime’s worth of exclamation points in a handful of pages.
Also, IDW begin an ambitious attempt to reprint all 100 issues of Bud Sagendorf’s Popeye comicbook series. In this week’s inaugural issue from 1948, our bruiser hero is trying to quit is fighting ways for love in a story called SHAME ON YOU! or GENTLEMEN DO NOT FIGHT! or YOU’RE A RUFFIAN, SIR! Git excitipated. Preview at Comics Alliance.
Another beautiful painted book from Brecht Evens has arrived. The Making Of follows his Eiser-nominated debut The Wrong Place, and that strange comic from Top Shelf called Night Animals. Brecht is from Belgium, is in mid-20s and is ridiculously talented. He talked about all these things with The Comics Journal last year. The Making Of takes place at a small-town art festival where someone is attempting to build a giant garden gnome, and Drawn & Quarterly put some preview pages on the internet last month.
Michael Avon Oeming is on the new shelf twice this week. Conan: Daughters of Midora & Other Stories collects a bunch of older stuff by Palmiotti, Texeria, Marz et al, and a brand new Oeming story is the cherry on top (preview at Dark Horse).
He’s also writing and drawing a five-issue series promising to be a “dark superhero epic unlike any other,” called Victories. “This is actually a pretty personal story and I’m using superheroes as a vehicle to tell it. I think heroes are way under used in the vast possibility of stories that can be told with them. I could have very easily told this same story as a slice of life indie book replacing heroes and battles with people and daily conflicts. I was looking to do something that bridges a gap between books like David B.’s Epileptic and mainstream heroes. I was going through a year of pretty intense therapy to deal with anxiety attacks and depression when I started Victories and wanted to get it on paper as part of that therapy. It grew from that into superhero fantasy, so I like to think of Victories as “true fiction”.” The rest of that interview is here along with a pretty cracking preview.
Also: Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz‘s Elektra: Assassin is out in trade paperback, and Hulk Season One is Marvel’s latest hardcover. Fred Van Lente and Tom Fowler talk about being entrusted with 50 years of Marvel history over at Comicbook Resources.
And Rick Geary‘s Treasury of 20th Century Murder reaches its 5th volume with Lovers’ Lane, the unsolved Hall-Mills murder from the 1920s.
That’s about it.
And in sad news: Joe Kubert has died at the age of 85. The Comics Journal has some stuff to say.