We get all sorts of people through our doors but yesterday took the biscuit: a surprise visit from Robert and Aline Crumb. They were dropping off the last of their signed Drawn Together bookplates (on sale now for £22.99 – details here!) and picking up piles of books to weigh themselves down on the way home to France. I was under strict instruction not to offer Robert a piggyback so there are no pictures of a particular Gosh! staff member hoisting an old cartoonist aloft. You can have a photo of their faces instead.
(Grandma and Grandpa Crumb choosing Golden Books for wee Crumb.)
Crumb is also one of 80 artists whose sketchbooks have been showcased in Comics Sketchbooks: Unseen World of Today’s Most Creative Talents, a big heavy book from Thames & Hudson with a cover that hurts your eyes but insides that make them better. Preview and review through here.
Thanks for everyone who brought themselves and their kids along to the Phoenix Activity Day on Saturday. We’ve now got some Gary Northfield bugs and a Neill Cameron big blue dinosaur on our windows. Come see before they go!
(Photos stolen from the glorious Ms Sarah McIntyre.)
We’ve got TWO events next week so listen up: On Tuesday, we have Alison Bechdel coming in to sign copies of Are You My Mother?, Fun Home, and Dykes To Watch Out For. Two days later (Thursday!) we’ll be sharing Jason Aaron with Thought Bubble and he’ll be here signing Wolverine & The X-Men, Scalped and whatever else has his name on it that you want scribbled on. Speaking of Thought Bubble, the 2012 anthology book arrives this week and has all sorts of people in it. Slap it on your pile.
In this week’s delivery — which is on time as usual and somehow not delayed even though Hurricane Sandy happened – comes Krent Able’s Big Book of Mischief, the very thing we’ll be launching on November 20th. This one comes with a signed bookplate, lots of nudity/obscenity and our Tom’s just had a read of the whole thing and says it’s “really f*cking good.” The launch night for this one should be huge. Come get drunk with everybody and do things you’ll regret in the morning. Details and preview bits through here.
Fans of Building Stories (that’s everybody, then) might be going hungry for the next few weeks after they spend all their dinner money on Chris Ware’s signed and limited edition Multi-Story Building. It comes as a portfolio but you turn it into a building with lots of folding and glue. Here, the blurb is so perfect you can have it wholesale:
Presented as an absolutely unnecessary addendum to the already-unmanageable “Building Stories” graphic novel this outrageously expensive signed limited edition print will find few interested parties or adherents to its demanding, labor-intensive brand of rainy day leisure — though it offers to the discriminating and unsocialized reader the promise of a complete 11″ x 16″ x 18″ reference model of the multi-unit apartment building imagined therein, with the top floor represented by full furnishings, discarded clothing, one-sided conversations and even false memories. Sure to one day be a collector’s item when flammable tinder is at a premium, be prepared to start your post-apocalyptic campfire now with this 13 sheet collection of dry technical drawings, paper thin walls and cramped psychological spaces.
There’s only 1000 copies in the world (we’ve only got a handful) and it costs a whopping 90 quid.
Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events) kicks off a new series of books with All the Wrong Questions: Who Could That Be At This Hour? It’s the first of four novels. If you’re wondering why we’d be getting regular pictureless books at our comic shop, well, I’ll tell you: It has pictures. Pictures by Seth, no less. You can read the first chapter here. Meanwhile, if you’re a Lemony Snicket fan, you might like to see him (real name Daniel Handler, accordion player for Magnetic Fields, fact fans!) reading a chapter of Neil Gaiman‘s Coraline without a head. R.L. Stine (a favourite of 8-year-old me) reads one in the style of an irritated babysitter who just wants to stick you in bed as soon as possible and go watch Joey Greco on Cheaters. And who can blame him.
I didn’t know who Chris Wright was until just now because up until now he’s been a webcomics dude (Hubris) and no Chris Wright books have ever crossed my desk. Black Lung is his debut graphic novel and it looks strange and brilliant, pitched as one part Melville, one part Peckinpah. A school teacher somehow ends up on a pirate ship and has to help the captain write his memoirs – a guy who has spent his last few years committing as many acts of evil as he can fit in so he can be reunited with his dead wife in hell. Here’s a PDF preview.
Two people who work here can occasionally (on the right laundry rotation) be seen sporting Love & Rockets T-shirts. Since so many people asked where they got them from we decided to get a bunch in so that now instead of saying “Uh, the Internet” we can point to four designs in varying sizes. It also means that if we get lunch down our own shirts we don’t have to go far for emergency replacements.
A decade’s worth of Adrian Tomine’s New Yorker covers, sketches, drawings and everything New York-related are now available in a hardcover collection with one big heartbreaking image on the front. Here’s a preview, and here’s a huge review at the New York Times.
Grayson Perry‘s Cycle of Violence was originally released as a limited edition thing of only 300 copies back in 1992. Since then he’s gone and won the Turner Prize and got himself a Wikipedia entry. He says: “When I was 12 or 13 I drew a series of short comic-strip adventures featuring a male hero. When puberty hit me these boy’s own tales became increasingly kinky, involving much cross-dressing and bondage. Sadly, these reports from my young subconscious were lost in the upheavals of adolescence. Twenty years later I drew Cycle of Violence while facing up to becoming a father myself, and once again my imagination became an open wound.” Here’s a review that calls it “some kind of demented masterpiece.”
What The Hell Are You Doing? The Essential David Shrigley is now out in paperback. It’s in full colour, collecting drawings, comics and pictures of taxidermied animals holding up signs that say “I’m dead.” Will Self wrote the introduction, later printed in The Guardian, in which he talks about the perils of becoming matey with people who work in bookshops. Here’s an old interview Dave Eggers did with Shrigley that’s rather good and in which we learn that a glass of wine does not make good cartoons, it makes a cartoonist go upstairs and watch CSI: Miami.
The Wayside is a book of strange and delicate illustrations by Julie Morstad. You might remember her work from a book called Milk Teeth a couple of years ago or the cover of that Neko Case album, but if not you can pretend you do and look at this preview.
I’m guessing Monster Candy Volume 1 was supposed to arrive last week along with all the tiny witches and Harry Potters at your door. It’s about an alien invasion in some kid’s neighbourhood where they plan to give all the kids sweets that turn them into monsters. Art by Alex Nino!
DC collects Amanda Conner‘s best stuff in The Sequential Art of Amanda Conner – that’s comics as well as covers – and The Flash: Volume 1 is the first eight issues of the New 52 series.
And all nine issues of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso‘s Spaceman is now out in a deluxe hardcover edition along with the short story in Strange Adventures. If you missed it as it was coming out there’s this interview here with Azzarello. As for Risso: he’s doing the art in this week’s Before Watchmen: Moloch #1 (of 2), written by J. Michael Straczynski. You won’t get the concluding issue until after Christmas.
Richard Corben and writer Jan Strnad (creative team from the 1980s series Mutant World) see their Ragemoor collected in hardcover. If you’re yet to peek inside Strnad tells you what to expect: “I love the Marvel monster comics of the 1960s, so you’ll see that influence manifested in Ragemoor. Lovecraftian oozy things are in there. A gargoyle, of course. Parts of Ragemoor that come alive. Worms. Mutated baboons. Insect creatures. You know, pretty much the kinds of neighbors you expect when you dwell in an ancient, living castle in some faraway land on a Stygian shore.”
The first six issues of Garth Ennis‘ The Shadow are collected in trade paperback. Grandpa Ennis also wants to tell you some more war stories so make sure Battlefields: Green Fields Beyond Part 1 #1 (of 6) is on your order this week if you want to hear ‘em. Mark Millar and Leinil Francis Yu‘s Super Crooks is in hardcover, as is Avengers Vs. X-men which collects the core series as well as the confusingly titled other one (AvX: Vs) and a couple of other issues plucked from various places.
Lots of new titles launching this week so here’s a quick run-down:
David Hine (Bulletproof Coffin) and Doug Braithwaite reunite for the first time since 2008’s The Brave and The Bold for a sci-fi crime thriller called Storm Dogs #1 (of 6). Said Hine: “Both Doug and I are big fans of French and Belgian comic books and we’ve been looking at people like Jean Giraud, Paul Gillon and Francois Boucq, who did the amazing Bouncer series. There’s a different sensibility coming from those artists, a realism you don’t get with most of the over-rendered art of American mainstream comics. That’s the kind of thing that we’ve been aiming for. I think this may be the best work Doug has done to date, and with his track record, that’s saying something.” See what’s he’s on about in this preview.
Colder #1 (of 5) has one of the grossest covers I’ve seen in a long time, but then it is a horror comic. You have Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra to blame for the flinch you’ll do when you click on this preview.
Also from Dark Horse is 47 Ronin #1 (of 5), by Mike Richardson and Usagi Yojimbo‘s Stan Sakai. It’s a retelling of the great old story from Japanese history and you can see a preview here.
Todd Dezago and Craig Rosseau‘s Perhapanauts: Danger Of Down Under #1 (of 5) is apparently set in Australia and the blurb mentions something about billabongs and bunyips. Struth, etc.
Marvel NOW’s Iron Man #1 hits the shelves this week, written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by his Uncanny X-Men collaborator Greg Land. This one replaces Invincible Iron Man so if that one’s on your order we’ll stick it aside for you automatically. Gillen talks about it with Newsarama.
Deadpool #1 looks nuts. It’s written by Gerry Duggan (The Infinite Horizon) and Brian Posehn (that guy with the voice who’s in every comedy show like Mr Show, etc.) and illustrated by Tony Moore. Just look at this goddamn preview.
And lastly, Green Arrow #14 ties into the whole Hawkman: Wanted storyline so pick it up if you’re following that.
That would be the end of the blog were it not for the fact that Alan Moore has gone and done something on the internet. Everything over at The Stool Pigeon: he’s written a song to go with (and released by) the Occupy movement and leaked a trailer for his upcoming short film, Jimmy’s End.
Well, he hasn’t personally leaked it.
I mean, I’ve seen his computer.