First up: BREAKING NEWS. You know that guy Oliver Jeffers who does those very excellent children’s books with the pretty pictures and such? Names like Lost & Found, How To Catch a Star, Up and Down? Well he’s also a pretty cracking non-kids’ book artist and he’s coming in on Monday night to do a talk about it in conversation with Lisa Dwan. His new art book Neither Here Nor There is on sale in the shop now and there’ll be plenty more on the night, along with all of the stuff by him we regularly have. We’ll quarantine them on one table so you can buy them, get them signed, maybe give them to people or children you like. All details over on the event page.
We’ve got a whole swathe of events coming up that we’ll be announcing very shortly. “Very shortly” is simply a fractionally more suspenseful way of saying “as soon as I’ve got a minute to put it on the internet” but it makes the events no less exciting now you know the workings of the PR department of Gosh Comics. In the meantime, here are some comics you keep you occupied:
Grant Morrison starts a new series with Happy #1, drawn by Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan, The Boys), which he describes as Sin City meets It’s a Wonderful Life. “Nick Sax is a fallen man – an ex-cop and former golden boy who now makes a living as a freelance hitman,” he says at Newsarama. “How he got from there to here is revealed in the third issue. Sax is cynical to the point of nihilism, constantly drunk, permanently wasted, and suffers from raging eczema. Nick has no-one on his side. Nobody likes him, not even his ex-partner. His only ally is a cartoon animal no-one else can see. The driving engine of this story is the idea of dropping what is essentially a charming cartoon character into the filthiest corners of the human experience and watching the fallout.” He’s pretty bent on the holiday theme so the four-issue series will be doled out once a month until you get your final dose in Christmas week. Bleeding Cool have already read it and are ready to tell you what they think.
Joe Casey’s Milkman Murders was a creator-owned series back in 2005, illustrated by 2000AD’s Steve Parkhouse. “It’s not the easiest book to describe,” says Casey at Comicbook Resources. “Needless to say it’s a story about the Vales, a typical nuclear family on the verge of imploding. Only the household matriarch is keeping it together, but when a strange visitor shows up while she’s alone at the house, he leaves something behind that’s going to change the way she sees the world and her own family. From there, it’s just a goddamn dark ride.” The book used to live at Dark Horse but has moved over to Image where it’s been cleaned up with a spat-on hanky and is now reprinted in a full-size hardcover edition rather than Dark Horse’s wee digest thing. Which is good or bad, depending. “I gotta admit, when I looked at again — I was disturbed. It’s a pretty raw piece of work. It reads like a primal scream of a horror book. Not a lot of subtlety there, but that’s part of its charm. I’m really happy that it’s going to be in a more permanent edition, so readers can appreciate Steve’s work at the proper size. Of course, I never considered that the original Dark Horse collection was printed at digest size to possibly minimize the disturbing nature of the material, but what the hell — maybe I’m still not very subtle.” Preview at Bloody Disgusting.
Joe Kubert died last month but this one’s been in the pipeline for a long time, just in case you were thinking IDW were chucking a DC Comics. It’s the Tarzan of the Apes Artist Edition, collecting the entire four-part origin story of Tarzan, as well as two one-shot stories as adapted by Kubert from the Edgar Rice Burroughs stories. As with the Artist Editions that came before it – Dave Steven’s Rocketeer, Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again, et al – it’s reproduced at the same size it was originally drawn in, shot in colour from the original pages. So you get more pencil smudges and notes to self than you know what to do with. Also: it’s enormous.
Speaking of Dave Stevens, the 272-page Covers & Stories hardcover gives you a comprehensive gallery of all of his covers and non-Rocketeer comic work, including unfinished and unpublished stuff. This reviewer loved it and gives you several paragraphs of specifics.
Scott C. is a pretty cool guy especially since he did a Twin Peaks related painting ages ago so he’s got some spare points whatever happens. Great Showdowns is his latest. “Since the beginning of time, there has been struggle. The epic clash of being against being. Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Triceratops. Giant Squid vs. the Sperm Whale. The Circle vs. the Square. The struggle is forever. It makes the world turn around. These are the struggles that make us stop what we are doing and sort of check things out… wondering what the eff.” This book is a collection of film showdowns. Still have no idea what I mean? Go scroll through this lot.
Barbara is an Osamu Tezuka book published in English for the first time, with the help of Kickstarter. A famous author finds a homeless woman who can quote French poetry, so he takes her home. As you do. There’s way more to it in those 430 pages, and as it’s Tezuka you should pretty much just buy it blind.
Trades and hardcovers this week include Daredevil by Brubaker and Lark Volume 3 TP, American Vampire volume 4 HC and volume 3 in softcover. There’s Saga of the Swamp Thing Volume 2 in trade, and way down in the W’s you’ll find Walking Dead volume 8, and Wolverine & The X-Men volume 3, both in hardcover. If you’re a fan of Jason Aaron you’ll be very pleased with an upcoming event of ours. Keep your eyes toward the blog.
Comics! Mark Waid’s Steed & Mrs Peel ongoing series kicks off with #1, and there’s Batman Incorporated #0 (preview here) and Talon #0 by Scott Snyder which spins out of his stint on Batman. Preview here.
More soon, but that’ll do, pig.