Hey there, friends of ol’ Gosh!
It’s Andrew here again, standing in for Hayley Campbell for one more week. Terrible news, folks: while enroute from Guatemala to Mexico, Hayley and her Guides were forced to make an emergency landing due to extreme weather conditions. Disabled during the landing, the plane is useless, abandoning Hayley and her troop deep in the Parque Nacional Laguna del Tigre. Thankfully, Hayley is an expert in jungle and wetland survival, and is leading the girls out even as we speak. I’m sure she’ll be back in time for next week’s blog, snakes willing.
Anyway, onto the fun! Not a massive one this week, but some nice books in there for you.
Fresh through the door this week is the Drawn Together HC, the definitive collection of collaborative autobiographical comics by Robert Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb. Starting back in 1972, Crumb & Kominsky-Crumb (hereafter referred to as C&K-C) began drawing comics together after K-C was laid up with a broken foot. Each drawing and writing themselves, they just went over their day to day life, in sometimes startilingly frank fashion. What started as an exercise for themselves was eventually published as Dirty Laundry Comics, which has been available in various formats over the years, but has never been fully collected until now. A benchmark in autobiographical comics from two seminal underground talents.
Remember Shaolin Cowboy? Geoff Darrow’s tongue-in-cheek western/samurai/post-apocalyptic mash-up is sadly yet to be finished, but a light of hope shines for it this week. In collaboration with crime-writer/comics author/lawyer/all-around impressive human being Andrew Vacchs, Darrow has created the Shaolin Cowboy Adventure Magazine TP, a throwback to the adventure pulps of old. The book contains two prose stories: one by Vacchs, illustrated by Darrow, and a back-up by crime writer Mike Black, illustrated by Gary Gianni. Dark Horse have a preview here.
(Edit: here’s a picture of Andrew Vacchs for good measure. –JS)
Two lovely new books this week from NoBrow, the latest from two of the UK’s best talent. First up is the redoubtable Luke Pearson, with Hilda & the Bird Parade HC. It’s the third Hilda book (first two still available, dontchaknow), and this time lovable tyke Hilda gets into adventures when she rescues an injured, talking raven during the town’s annual Bird Parade. Pearson has a preview over here.
Also out the gate is Dockwood HC, from Jon McNaught, of which Chris Ware, no less, said “There are few younger comics artists with whom I feel a genuine aesthetic kinship, but the radiant and glowing Dockwood is Jon McNaught’s loveliest argument yet for the beauty of just being alive. It’s a gem.” The book itself weaves together stories of the inhabitants of a small town in South East England against the backdrop of encroaching Autumn. It’s an understated, bittersweet affair, all drawn in McNaught’s immaculate style.
Olly Moss is a man who’s been getting a lot of attention lately. An accomplished designer and illustrator with credits in the gaming, film and publishing industries, he’s also known for his brilliant re-imaginings of movie posters. Here in comics-land, he’s caused quite a stir with his lovely renditions of characters, from Black Widow to Batman, and this week he’s also got a collection of his popular culture silhouette illustrations collected together into a book called…uhh…Silhouettes From Popular Culture. It’s a lovely little book, and you can see the kind of thing that’s in there over here.
We love a bit of Brandon Graham around here. King City? Brilliant. Prophet? Awesome. (cough Prophet Vol 1 bookplate editions still available cough) And this week Graham returns to one of his earlier books, Multiple Warheads, for the four issue limited series Alphabet to Infinity, now in full colour. In case you missed it first time around (Oni published a b&w issue of it back in 2007), Multiple Warheads is about the day to day life of magical organ smuggler Sexica and her werewolf boyfriend Nikolai as they travel across a bizarre future version of Russia. Pretty typical stuff really. Graham is one of the most feverishly creative people working in comics today, and if you’re up for a bit of craziness then you should check this out.
Adventure Time supremo Pendleton Ward has a new series coming up on Cartoon Hangover (a YouTube channel that’s also featuring an animated version of James Kochalka’s Superf***ers), with it’s sights set on sci fi adventure. Bravest Warriors is about a group of 16 year old heroes for hire jumping around planets, saving people and such. There’s a little preview vid here.
But before we get to see the web series itself, Boom (publishers of the Adventure Time comic) have got a 6 issue miniseries starting this week by Joey Comeau & Mike Holmes, which you can see previewed here.
British comics legend Hunt Emerson is a talent all-too often taken for granted. Over the years he’s done a number of literary adaptation: Lady Chetterly’s Lover; The Rime of the Ancient Mariner; Casanova’s Last Stand. Now added to these is Dante’s Inferno, adapted with the wit and skill that have served him so well throughout his career. Rich Johnston reviews it over here.
Christopher Golden and Mike Mighnola have had a fruitful relationship over the years, collaborating first on Hellboy novels before collaborating on original projects such as Baltimore (now also available as comics) and Joe Golem. You can now add to that Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism, an original hardcover illustrated novella. In the aftermath of a battle during WWII, Catholic priest Father Gaetano shelters in the church of a Sicilian fishing village, now become an orphanage. To help teach the children their catechism, he enlists the aid of a puppet show he finds in the church’s basement. But as with all things you might find in the basement of abandoned gothic buildings, the puppets are more than he bargained for. You can read an excerpt here.
Back in 1970, William Burroughs and artist Malcom McNeill worked together on a comic which was serialized in British underground title Cyclops. As a followup, they undertook to collaborate on “a book-length meditation on time, power, control, and corruption that evoked the Mayan codices and specifically, the Mayan god of death, Ah Pook.” Because why not? The book, intended as a 120-page concertina comic titled Ah Pook is Here, was never finished, and the text for it was published separately in 1979. Now, for the first time ever, Fantagraphics are publishing the over 100 illustrations McNeill made for the project as The Lost Art of Ah Pook Is Here HC. You can see a preview over at Fantagraphics.
Also from those jolly Fantagraphics gnomes is Ralph Azham HC Vol 1 by Lewis Trondheim. A new fantasy series written and drawn by the co-creator of the excellent Dungeon (as well as numerous other excellent things), it’s about a Chosen One who never quite lived up to his prophesied reputation. Expect funny sword’n'sorcery, all beautifully coloured by Brigitte Findakly. No kidding, those colours look pretty sweet. Don’t take my word for it, Fantagraphics have a preview here.
Chances are when you think of Mad Magazine, you think of the movie parodies that have run over the years. Well, 9 times out of 10, you’re thinking of the art of Mort Drucker, the legendary caricaturist who is still active to this day at the age of 83. (In fact, Mad started doing those parodies because editor Al Feldstein spotted Drucker’s gift for caricature.) Mad Greatest Artists Mort Drucker HC celebrates the work of the man, covering his more than 50 years at the magazine. You can see a few internal pages here.
That Walking Dead, huh? Little bit popular, that. Well, if you want to know more about the comic & tv show, then this week’s Walking Dead Magazine #1 is the place to go. Not only that, but comic shops have a nifty Charlie Adlard cover that is exclusive to us.
Speaking of…uhh…comic shops, they’ve also got the first softcover collection of “we can’t recommend it highly enough because it’s actually fun superhero comics” title, Wolverine & the X-Men. Seriously, if you haven’t tried this book out you’re missing the sugar in your bowl. Or something. And don’t forget we’ve got the man himself, Jason Aaron, here for a signing on 15th November, 5pm – 7pm, in association with those lovable Thought Bubble rascals. Speaking of which, we’ve got the official event guide for the excellent Leeds convention at the counter now.
While we’re at it, don’t forget we’ve gone event-barmy in November. As well as Aaron, we’ve got:
2nd November: The Phoenix Activity Day - Draw along with Neil Cameron, Gary Northfield & Lorenzo Etherington! Ages 6 – 13 welcome, paper, pens and activity sheets will be provided. 1pm – 4pm
13th November: Alison Bechdel Signing - Come meet the award-winning author of Fun Home, Are You My Mother & Dykes to Watch Out For. 5pm – 7pm.
20th November: Krent Able Exhibition & Book Launch - Followed by an after party with live music @ White Heat!
And more to announce!
And that’s about it for this week! And speaking of “that’s about it”, don’t forget that this week is the final edition of the physical How Late one-sheet that we normally have at the till. As of next week, it will be replaced by a mylar-encased sheet you can take from the counter, use to peruse the shelves, and return to the counter once you’re done, which will be located in the exact same spot the old How Late was.
Okay, until the next time Hayley takes time off (which by my calculations will be sometime in November), take care!
I remain ever your faithful servant,