Last week I promised that when Glyn Dillon had unwedged himself from our window I’d get a picture of his painting. So this is me making good with week-old promises. His book — The Nao of Brown, pictured here with the author – is now available in the shop for £16.99 and you can take your pick of four different bookplate designs. All four versions are up on last week’s blog post and doing it again would be probably be overkill. So go look there.
About a month ago we put a call out for some old R. Crumb comics that we needed to scan and print from and you lot delivered right on cue (or one of you did). We’re a grabby bunch so we’re at it again: Now we need a complete (or complete-ish) set of Deadline because we’ve got some big plans for ’em. We’ll take it off your hands for £3 per issue – but we’re buying, not borrowing, so you have to be content to never see them again. Are they just taking up space in your Mum’s loft? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give them a new home.
Nobrow‘s done another one of those concertina things that we like so much. Previously they’ve done animal bones, dinosaurs, astronauts and all sorts: now it’s the Cold War and two versions of the space race – one from the US perspective, the other from the USSR. It’s illustrated by a guy called Tom Cole, whose amazing pictures you can peruse on his blog. As with all of these Nobrow books we highly recommend sticking your beak in (sort of literally) because the ink or the paper or the combination of both smells even better than the lunchtime things that waft in off Berwick Street market every weekday.
Fans of Johnny Ryan‘s stuff will want to pick up Kyle Platts‘ Megaskull. It’s another Nobrow book – Platts previously appeared in Nobrow Volume 6: The Double anthology – and it’s full of the kind of lowbrow gross-out nonsense that we’d file alongside Ryan‘s. It’s part of Nobrow‘s Serial Box line which gives cartoonists an open-ended platform to do a serialised story, like Jack Teagle‘s Fight. So if you like it there’ll be more of it one day whenever that might be. Preview at Platts’ website.
Noah Van Sciver‘s work you’ll know from his self-published Blammo that we get shipped over from the States occasionally, or that erstwhile anthology Mome. For the last two or three years he’s been working on a thing called The Hypo, a book about Abraham Lincoln’s very pre-presidential days when he was in his late 20s, debt-ridden, depressed, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. There are a few previews floating around on the internet featuring bits about Lincoln’s aborted vists to whorehouses and whatnot. “Those funny scenes have to be included, otherwise the book would just be mental pain and agony the whole way through,” said Van Sciver at Comicbook Resources. “It’s best to have a balance if you can. To include anecdotes that are funny and will give the reader a sigh of relief. For a few pages anyway. Then it’s bleak again.” Preview at Fantagraphics. In that CbR interview Van Sciver says he’s not so keen on historical graphic novels aside from Louis Riel which he says is exceptional (which it is). So I’d wager this is more on that kind of a slant.
Miller & Pynchon is a strange little (newly translated) thing from SelfMadeHero and Leopold Maurer about two guys trying to solve a problem: accurately measuring the transit of Venus and therefore the distance between earth and sun, but becoming a bit sidelined when the magnitude of the whole thing highlights their own insignificance. Instead they end up sitting around discussing the meaning of life, love, and werewolves. Here’s a few untranslated preview pages.
Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman is a book attempting to give Bill Finger the credit he’s due. “Batman’s biggest secret is not Bruce Wayne,” says author Marc Tyler Nobleman, who spent five years writing and researching the book. He says that while Bob Kane was quick to claim Batman as entirely his own creation, it was actually Finger who came up with all the stuff you remember about the character. “Everything creative that you can name about Batman, everything that has endured, is Bill Finger. Even his costume; Bill was the writer, but Bill designed the costume, too. He was a very visual writer; artists loved him for that. So the pointy ears, the dark color scheme, the scalloped cape — that’s all Bill. Bob Kane said as much in his autobiography.” CbR goes into more detail about it here. If nothing else, it’s a book that renders Bob Kane’s tombstone even more cringeworthy than it was to begin with.
Also in the delivery is a new Daily Zoo, collecting 58 new pieces made for a gallery in Paris. Big old preview here featuring a fat hippopotumus.
John Carter: Gods of Mars is collected in trade paperback. It’s written by Sam Humphries and you’ll want to pick it up for the amazingly colourful Ramon Perez art (preview of #1 here). David Nytra‘s Secret of the Stone Frog is book for kids and “a sort of cross between Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan,” according to one of two Cbr dudes who put it at the top of their lists this week. Big review here and preview pages too.
I’m not even going to pretend I know anything about World of Warcraft but if you do maybe you’d like a copy of World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria HC, a standalone graphic novel by Micky Neilson. The main pull here is the art by Sean “Cheeks” Galloway who did the Teen Titans stuff in Wednesday Comics. Review and preview pictures here.
Comics. Small week, but a bunch of new stuff:
Womanthology: Space #1 follows the Kickstarter project Womanthology: Heroic because apparently it’s an ongoing thing now. There’s be five issues all up, each containing three 6-pagers along with pin-ups, how-tos and all sorts. And they’re all by women – not that it matters, although that’s the point of the anthology. Says so on the tin. Expect stuff by Barbara Kesel, Gail Simone, Ann Nocenti, Fiona Staples, and Devin Grayson. Big interview with Renae De Liz at CbR.
Lobster Johnson: Caput Mortuum by John Arcudi and Tonci Zonjic sees the Hellboy vigilante fight a zeppelin (preview here). Also from Dark Horse is Ghost #0 which is Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto resurrecting an old DH character. This issue collects the story that was in Dark Horse Presents but you’ll get a new ongoing series later on. They talk about it here and here.
DC Universe Presents #0 is a thing you’ll want to pick up if you’re following any of the New 52. It’s a bumper-sized issue with the beginnings of five new stories (featuring previously canned New 52 characters) that will play out across the whole line. Also, Sword of Sorcery #0 is part of their third wave, for which Tony Bedard and Jesus Saiz provide a “post-apocalyptic take on Beowulf” backup story. Bedard talks about it here.
Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth launch another series of Stumptown featuring a character from Rucka‘s novel, A Fistful of Rain. “Fistful was her story, it was her novel,” said Rucka at CbR. “This is the healthier, no longer alcoholic — well, no longer drinking, I should say — Mim, who has sort of gotten her life back in order, and then this thing happens. And, of course, ostensibly it looks like one thing at the start: ‘My guitar was stolen, I want it back,’ and then, as it progresses, it becomes quite something else.” Preview pages alongside that interview.
Jim Starlin‘s Thanos: Final Threat reprints 1977’s Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2 from that same year. A quick google reveals that even though Starlin created the character, Thanos’ appearance in the Avengers film came as news to him as he sat in the theatre. “”It’s nice to see my work recognized as being worth something beyond the printed page, and it was very cool seeing Thanos up on the big screen…But this is the second film that had something I created for Marvel in it — the Infinity Gauntlet in “Thor” being the other – and both films I had to pay for my own ticket to see them. Financial compensation to the creators of these characters doesn’t appear to be part of the equation.” Oh Marvel.
And lastly, there’s Untold Tales of Punisher Max #4 written by Nathan Edmondson – him what did the actually very good Who is Jake Ellis. Art by Nick Klein.
That’s is for the delivery. In other news, I occasionally need reminding that James Kochalka‘s American Elf is a good thing to read every day somewhere between checking your email and lunch. Today’s is particularly great and sad.