Next time you come over and you’re all “you look different, have you done something with your hair?” you’ll think back to this Gosh! Blog and you’ll wish you’d paid more attention. It’s the Steven Appleby exhibition, that’s what’s different. Dozens of Loomus strips from his new book are framed and on the walls, all super colourful and at slightly jaunty angles until we walk past and correct them. You’ve got until mid-October to assume your museum pose in front of them. Maybe you’d like to view them with some booze in one hand and a signed copy of Appleby’s new book in t’other? All details about the launch party on October 12th are here.
Oliver Jeffers has been and gone and left piles of signed books in his wake. Come grab some before they go. It you picked some up last night, thank you for coming along. It was pretty jam-packed.
To fill the void we’ve announced another event (and there’s two more up our sleeve). We’re sharing Jason Aaron with Thought Bubble so that the entirety of England has a convenient location to catch him. He’s signing here on the 15th of November before heading up North to Leeds. So bring your Scalped, your Wolverine & The X-Men, your Ghost Rider, your huddled masses. All details are here.
Literally just through the door (Steve is still unpacking them) and a late addition to the blog but top of the list obviously: Chris Ware‘s Building Stories is here. This one’s been on people’s pre-orders for months, ever since preview pictures like these started turning up a while ago. Something so extravagantly excellent should be hugely expensive and yet it’s just £30 (which is very modest considering the cost of Marvel trades). You don’t really need it, but here’s The Guardian’s review. It’s a big Monopoly box of little comics.
Charles Burns’ The Hive came in a couple of weeks ago but I went on about it so much on Twitter that I clean forgot to mention it here. Sorry. The Hive is the sequel to X’ed Out which came out about two years ago so no one will blame you for needing a re-read. The Guardian reckons it’s even more disorienting and creepy than the last book so who knows what the blazes Burns has in store for the final part of the trilogy. We’ve probably got another two years left to speculate.
Burns was interviewed and drawn by cartoonist Sammy Harkham at Vice last year, which is convenient because I was going to talk about Sammy Harkham anyway. Harkham is amazing, especially his story Poor Sailor, one of bunch of shorts collected in Everything Together which comes to you this week care of the good folk at PictureBox. If you’ve somehow missed out on Kramers Ergot (which he edited) or Crickets (which he wrote and drew) and are yet to add Harkham to your carefully collated list of interests, this might be a good place to start. Have a preview.
Speaking of Kramers Ergot, one of the bits that appeared in Kramers Ergot 4 was an excerpt of The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, by Frank Young and David Lasky. The whole book is out this week in hardcover and The Comics Journal gave it a rave review.
The other PictureBox thing is Negron by Jonny Negron, editor of Chameleon magazine (if you google that don’t blame the boobs on me). Negron is a dustjacketed paperback collection of his drawings of ladies. Big ones. Big units. Less bean-shaped than your ideal R. Crumb woman (see fig. A: “Robert Crumb Explains the Bean Effect”), and more on the fridge side of things. It’s weird.
White Clay is a slim thing from AdHouse books (so if you fancy it, grab it now because it will disappear forever very soon) by Thomas Herpich, writer/artist on the Adventure Time cartoon. They’re experimental fantasy stories best explained by looking at this preview.
Mark Siegel has spent the last few years writing children’s books and beavering away in the editorial department of First Second (the publisher who brought you stuff by Eddie Campbell, Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim and all those guys). Now he’s delivered a graphic novel, Sailor Twain: The Mermaid in the Hudson which he wrote and drew himself in charcoal, then serialised online in the great old tradition of 19th century novels by guys like Herman Melville or Henry James.
It’s beautiful, and if you’re from the internet like me you probably saw it mentioned on Boing Boing earlier this year. A sea captain finds a wounded mermaid in the Hudson, drags her out and becomes her nurse while she becomes his muse. There’s a big long interview over at the LA Times and Siegel is this week’s Comics Journal diarist. Day one is up now. Preview of Sailor Twain at Macmillan.
Nobrow‘s latest is Adventures of a Japanese Businessman, the English language debut from some Spanish chap called Jose Domingo. A Japanese businessman steps out of his office and somehow ends up in the belly of a monster, among other mental things. How’d he get there? I don’t know, you’ll have to read it. It’s wordless, incredibly colourful, and completely mad. Preview at Nobrow.
Mars Attacks: The 50th Anniversary Collection from Abrams ComicArts is the first first compilation of the brilliant old trading cards from the sixties that Tim Burton spent his lunch money on. The hardcover collects the original series plus the sequel from 1994, sketches, concept art, test market stuff, as well as four actual trading cards. Preview pictures at Wired. Ack ack ack.
Naked Cartoonists is exactly what you think it is. Drawers drawing themselves without their drawers. Don’t worry, it ain’t (that) rude. One reviewer says: “Lots of butt cheeks and meaningfully placed objects in front of certain body parts.” Like Austin Powers. Sergio Aragones, Will Eisner, Al Jaffee, Trina Robbins, Jeff Smith, Art Spiegelman dozens of others. Here’s a PDF preview.
Barack Hussein Obama from Steven Wiessman (Yikes) is kind of not about Barack Obama at all. Fantagraphics says it’s “not a graphic novel. It’s neither a biography nor an experiment, but a whole, fully-realized parallel America, a dada-esque, surrealistic satirical vision that is no more cockeyed than the real thing, its weirdness no more weird, its vision of the world no more terrifying.” I don’t know, a few pages appeared in The Stranger. Read the preview and you try and describe it.
Trip To The Bottom of the World is a hardcover children’s book by Frank Viva, a great designer who’s done a bunch of covers for the New Yorker. A young explorer and his best friend Mouse travel to Antarctica in a little boat. Basically this is the kind of book that graphic designers buy for their kids. It’s beautiful, and FPI loved it. Lots of pictures in that blog post.
Hope Larson (Mercury) has adapted Madeline L’Engle‘s 1962 science-fiction book, A Wrinkle in Time. Over at MTV Geek she talks about being a lifelong L’Engle fan and about the pressures of adapting well-loved stuff like this one. “I had a lot of conversations with other artists about the nature of adaptations. I was worried about making it faithful, and I was also worried about being hampered by faithfulness… Being beholden to the story. I talked to people who said, “This is Hope Larson’s adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time,” and you should do what you need to do to make it yours.” I talked to people who basically told me to burn it to the ground and rebuild, because anything less than that would result in a subpar book. Ultimately I treated the book as a script or a play, and tried to deepen what was already there, layer in emotion. I think it worked out.” Lots of preview pages in that link.
Also on the YA shelf is a fantasy thing called Broxo by Zack Giallongo. It’s his first graphic novel and we know almost nothing about him but his author picture is him holding a goose, so he’s alright by me. It might be a duck – I have no idea, I live in the city. Broxo is the only surviving member of a barbarian tribe on a desolate mountain. Aside from the day to day worries of feeding himself he has to worry about the walking dead who drag themselves out of the fetid lake every now and then. There’s a preview at Macmillian.
From Humanoids there’s Crusades, which is full of horses and swords and the usual. Preview here. The Art of Judge Dredd celebrates 35 years of Dredd with a collection of 2000AD covers featuring Himself. SFX have a preview.
In the nostalgia department there’s Skippy HC Volume 1: Complete Dailies 1925 – 1927 and Pippi Longstocking HC Volume 1 which I won’t be looking in because of memories of enforced sleepovers with the neighbour’s loner kid, eating fish paste sandwiches and being forced to watch a terrible film about a creepy little ginger. All the more for you.
Okay, I did look. Someone made me. It’s the first time the Pippi Longstocking comics by Astrid Lindgren and Ingrid Vang Nyman have seen print outside Scandinavia in 30 years and it’s their very first time in English. The comics are presented in a 50s-style picture book and it’s really lovely. Drawn & Quarterly have a PDF preview here.
Slim pickings trade paperback-wise: only notable entry is Hell Yeah Volume 1: Last Day on Earths by Joe Keatinge and Andre Szymanowicz, which Keatinge talks about here if you missed it.
It’s October so you can expect a wave of Halloween-themed stuff over the coming weeks. Creepy Comics have devoted this week’s entire issue to H.P. Lovecraft and if the words “eldtrich”, “vigintillion” or “squamous” don’t turn up I’m sending it back. Doug Moench and Kelley Jones give you “The Lurking Fate That Came to Lovecraft”, and there’s stuff from John Arcudi/Richard Corben and Matt Weinhold/Darick Robertson too.
Legends of the Dark Knight #1 is the real-world version of the stuff that appeared online earlier this year: non-continuity short stories by the likes of Jeff Lemire, J.G. Jones and more. Non-Humans is a four-part miniseries billed as Bladerunner meets Toy Story. There’s a preview here and writer Glen Brunswick (remember him from Jersey Gods?) talks about it with Comicbook Resources. Cullen Bunn and Chris Yost are responsible for Minimum Carnage: Alpha, a one-shot sparking the beginning of a six-part crossover starring Venom, Scarlet Spider and Carnage – it continues in the regular books and the there’s a bookend one-shot to come. The guys talk about it here. And lastly, Daredevil: End of Days #1 (of 8) has a cracking creative team including Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, Klaus Janson, and Bill Sienkiewicz. Preview at CbR.
It’s months until Bryan Talbot‘s Grandville: Bete Noire arrives on our shelves but here is a thing about it anyway. It’s um. It’s quite something.