Everything in this missive will pale in comparison to the thing I put on the Gosh! Blog yesterday: the cover for Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill‘s upcoming League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book, Nemo: Heart of Ice. I typed that as “Heart of Nice” just then, which it isn’t. I’ve read it, it’s not nice at all. Here’s what it’s like instead:
It’s 1925, fifteen long years since Janni Dakkar first tried to escape the legacy of her science-pirate father, only to eventually take on his mantle and accept her destiny as the new Nemo; the next captain of the legendary Nautilus. A thirty year-old Pirate Jenny, tired of punishing the world with an unending spree of plunder and destruction, is resolved to finally step from her forebear’s lengthy shadow by attempting something at which he’d conspicuously failed, namely the exploration of Antarctica. In 1895 her father had returned from that ice-crusted continent without his reason or his crewmen, all of whom appeared to have mysteriously perished or to otherwise have disappeared. Now Captain Nemo’s daughter and successor plans to take her feared and celebrated black submersible back to the world’s South Pole in an attempt to lay her sire’s intimidating ghost forever.
There are others, though, who have become as tired of Janni’s freebooting as she herself. An influential publishing tycoon, embarrassed by the theft of valuables belonging to a visiting Ugandan monarch, sets a trio of America’s most lauded technological adventurers on the pirate queen’s trail, commencing a nightmarish chase across the frozen landscape with the pinnacles of the forbidding mountains where Prince Dakkar’s sanity had foundered growing ever nearer…
In a fast-paced, self-contained adventure, Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill thrillingly expand on one of Century’s most memorable characters, venturing into dazzling polar territories and fictional domains including those of Edgar Allen Poe and H. P. Lovecraft, with all of these vectors headed for an unforgettable encounter at the living, beating and appallingly inhuman HEART OF ICE.
If you’ve got the League on your standing order it’ll go aside for you automatically. If not, you’ve got until February next year to get your pre-orders in. It’s a 48 page hardcover for £9.99. An icy treat in the middle of winter.
But that’s ages away. You should buy a 2013 calendar and circle the whole month in red ink forthwith. We now have no less than two Kate Beaton calendars for that very purpose: Beethoven Birthday Party and There She Blows.
Speaking of Moore, Fashion Beast #1 is the big one this week. It’s a comic adaptation of the screenplay Moore did for Malcolm McLaren back in the mid-80s. “Apparently, according to his autobiography, the screenplay that I turned in was just what he wanted but by then, through circumstances beyond my control or his, the money had run out on the project at its source, so it never got made. So I got the experience of writing a screenplay, I don’t know how good it was. It was probably over-clever. I remember him saying that I really ought to leave something for the director to do, because I was writing the screenplay the way I would one of my comics, where you’re talking about camera angles, you’re talking about composition but yeah, it was fun. I just did it mainly because I wanted to work with Malcolm McLaren. He’s somebody that I’ve got a lot of admiration for and you know, it was a laugh,” said Moore, a million years ago. Antony Johnston and Facundo Percio have done the honours and you can see a comparison of their work versus Moore‘s original script over at Bloody Disgusting. Johnston says it’s about “life, death, the human need for social status, the cynics who will happily prey on that need, and the question of whether any of this matters.” Bleeding Cool have more stuff on it.
Here’s what else is in tomorrow:
Fantagraphics have put together an oversized coffeetable book just for “the porn classicist who knows his stag film history and lives by the credo, Veni ergo sum.” Is uh… Is that you? If so, this book is just for you. Fantagraphics said so. It’s a collection of remastered 70s porn posters, so if you like retro design or just saw that documentary Wadd once and want to see John Holmes in something other than a tragic pre-death interview: flick through this book. It’s a bit rude though, obviously. PDF preview here. I’m particularly fond of the subtlety in the poster for Easy Alice.
Banksy has another book on the shelves: You Are An Acceptable Level of Threat. It’s a 240-page hardcover thing covering the last 10 years of his work. There’s a review of sorts over at Sabotage Times which is actually more of an “in defence of Banksy” piece although he points out that you’re going to buy the book unless you’re not going to buy the book, and as such there’s really no use in a defense of Banksy. You like him or you don’t. There’s a bit that goes: “Despite his success, some people seem to really hate Banksy. Not with the perfectly understandable hatred we all feel for Coldplay or James Corden but with a feverish, almost illogical spite.” A line I wish I had written. Preview pictures at Sabotage as well.
Gary Panter‘s Dal Tokyo has been dangled at the end of Fantagraphics’ stick for some time now, and there are people who don’t believe it’s ever going to materialise. “Fantagraphics has released images on its Tumblr of Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter, as if to prove it really exists,” writes a sad and disbelieving Mark at Robot 6, “the book being one of those long-promised Fanta projects that a lot of people had either forgotten was ever solicited, or had given up hope of ever seeing. Turns out it’ll be with retailers before the end of the month. Possibly.” Believe! Believe, sad Mark! The sci-fi/punk mash-up masterpiece is in the building, collected in one volume for the first time. If you and Dal Tokyo haven’t met, read Fanta’s tumblr blurb (though I don’t think it will help). “One doesn’t read Dal Tokyo; one is absorbed into it and spit out the other side.” PDF preview.
Other new editions about – Aya: Life in Yop City is a softcover omnibus of the earlier books by Marguerite Abouet, and the Incognito Classified Edition is a big hardcover collection of both the original series and its sequel (Bad Influences) along with all the regular special features you’ve come to ignore on DVD reissues but like to have in books.
Heartless by Nina Bunjevac is here to fill that hole in your life that can only be filled with Crumb-esque crosshatching. It’s hero is a chain-smoking, alcoholic, maniacally depressed Balkan immigrant who’s been working in the same meat factory for twenty years. Bleak and funny. Preview here.
The first five issues of Jonathan Hickman‘s Manhattan Projects is collected in trade paperback this week. If you’re yet to pick up an issue, Hickman pitches it to you thusly: “The Manhattan Projects asks, what if the research and development department created to produce the first atomic bomb was a front for a series of other, more unusual, programs? It’s about smart guys being bad. The comic book pitch is: The Thunderbolts of Science.” Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Yuri Gagarin, and Enrico Fermi doing bad science. Here’s the preview for the first issue.
There’s also the first batch of new issues of Glory in trade paperback – the old Rob Liefeld character revamped (much like Prophet) by Joe Keatinge and chunky-goth-girl enthusiast Ross Campbell (Wet Moon) – and Thief of Thieves Volume 1 too. Thief of Thieves hails from the same publishing house as Walking Dead and since that did well on the telly it’s no surprise this one’s been picked up too (that news here if you missed it). The Hollywood Reporter has a preview of this week’s new issue. Other TPs: Shakara the Destroyer and Hulk Smash Avengers.
Down the stairs to the stuff on the basement shelves:
It’s a whole year since DC binned their stuff and started fresh with a drastic haircut and a New 52. To mark the occasion they’re releasing a whole wave of #0s. “Some issues will tell the origins of a character or a team, or in some case where an origin has already been told, they will fill in the blanks in terms of questions readers may have about the New 52 DC Universe. Each of these issues promises to reveal something surprising,” says some big cheese at DC. This week you’ll get Phantom Stranger #0 by Dan Didio and Brent Anderson, Grant Morrison‘s Action Comics #0, and Jeff Lemire and Steve Pugh‘s Animal Man #0.
Quick issue #1s round-up because there’s a pile of them:
Leah Moore and John Reppion launch a new ongoing with Damsels #1, a story along the same lines as Fables (preview at CbR); Jim Starlin and Ron Lim’s Thanos Quest #1 reprints the series from 1990; and New Crusaders: Rise of the Heroes #1 (preview) features the return of the Red Circle chracters, last published by DC Comics but now back at their original home – Archie Comics.
Another old comic book hero gets a reboot this week in the form of Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #1 (preview) written by Alex Ross and Steve Darnall (Uncle Sam). The character was one of the main inspirations for Ozymandias in Watchmen, appeared briefly in Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come and so appropriately the issue features an introduction by Waid. The covers are provided by Ross and Dave Gibbons.
Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #1 (preview) is a new series co-written by Gabriel Hardman, author of Exile on the Planet of the Apes. There’s also Road to Oz #1 (of 6) (preview), Guarding the Globe #1 (preview), and The Ride: Southern Gothic #1 (of 2), a pulpy anthology series featuring David Lapham, Rick Leonardi and Nathan Edmondson among lots of others (preview).
That’s about it. In other news, here’s the motherload of Chris Ware originals as pointed out by Gosh! regular Alex Hern who recently got hit hands on a review copy of Building Stories but hasn’t brought it round to show us yet. Rude.