Granted many of you are probably sick of comics and are blaming them for the hangovers you nursed on the train home from Leeds. Three of our own limp homewards as I type. I’m sorry, but we have more. They’re only wafer thin.
Some of them are recently signed by these fine folk and probably won’t hang around for long what with Christmas and such:
Are You My Mother?, Fun Home and Dykes to Watch Out For stand in piles around the shop all signed by Alison Bechdel.
Jason Aaron signed every copy of Scalped we have in the place plus The Otherside, and Wolverine & The X-Men TP Volume 1 of which our Nat says: “It’s the best comic. It’s the best one.”
Lucy Knisley was in two weeks ago but we didn’t show you a picture of her face. This is her face next to some signed copies of French Milk, of which we have many.
And finally, the incredibly smiley Kate Beaton and Scott C. popped in. One signed Hark! A Vagrant and the other signed some copies of Amazing Everything. Both are excellent.
Speaking of visitors, David Ziggy Greene has painted our corner window with a series of disembodied superhero faces from the new issue of Your Days Are Numbered. YDAN are running a competition in which you do the following thing and potentially win a haul of free comics: pick up an issue of YDAN from us, then stand outside in Peter Street for about two minutes figuring out which of the faces on the window is not one of the faces in the mag. Send YDAN an email to firstname.lastname@example.org telling them who’s the odd man out and you could win all of these things: King City by Brandon Graham, Krent Able‘s Big Book of Mischief, Kyle Platts‘ Megaskull, James Jarvis’ De Profundis, Deadbeats illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard, and David Ziggy Greene‘s Where’s North From Here? Don’t send your answer to me. Send it to them. Answers sent to me will be completely and irreversibly swept under the rug.
IN WHICH YOUR AUTHOR USES THE COMPETITION FOR A FREE THING AS A SEGUE INTO TEMPTING YOU TO JUST BUY THE POTENTIAL FREE THING INSTEAD:
On the subject of Krent Able’s Big Book of Mischief, it is (conveniently) the Krent Able’s Big Book of Mischief launch party tonight and you are invited. The whole world is invited, but especially you. We have beers in the cooler and fizzy wine and probably some orange juice or something if you’re into that sort of thing. We have copies signed bookplate editions and we have a Krent Able in attendance and an after party. Details here.
Right then. This week’s stuff:
Big Mother #3 is another enormous thing that will demand strange and unlikely shelving options in your home. See Finnish artist Riikka Sormunen’s take on Klimt, Kahlo and Kandinsky. Preview.
Vertigo’s adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo arrived last week but we neglected to include it in the Gosh! Blog for some reason. Denise Mina and Leonardo Manco do the words and pictures and you can see what they look like all mashed together over at Bleeding Cool.
But if you’d rather look at some terrifying women in their underpants hitting the kind of soppy, sad, useless dudes that Christmas ads are made of, The Art of Eric Stanton: For The Man Who Knows His Place has sort of what you’re after. It’s a big Taschen retrospective covering the guy’s work from the late 1940s up until the ‘90s, with over 300 comic strips, illustrations and magazine covers. Have a preview.
The Library of American Comics is branching out, like Sainsburys Basics and Waitrose Essentials, into delivering the stuff you need under one umbrella called The Library of American Comics Essentials. They’re funny-shaped because they’re doing them with a single daily strip to a page, so will undoubtedly jut out awkwardly on the shelf along with your Maakies. But! You get “an experience similar to what newspaper buyers had fifty to a hundred years ago — reading the comics one day at a time.” The inaugural volume is a year’s worth of George Herriman’s Baron Bean, which ran from 1916 to 1919 (there’ll be two more volumes to come). Expect Polly and Her Pals by Cliff Sterrett and The Gumps: The Saga of Mary Gold by Sidney Smith next. You can find more (less) old comics by Alex Raymond in Flash Gordon: Tyrant of Mongo 1937 – 1941 which is totally unlike Herriman and hangs awkwardly at the end of this paragraph.
The very excellent Richard Corben adapts the Edgar Allan Poe poem The Conqueror Worm in a one-shot from Dark Horse this week. A cuckold hunts down his wife and her new dude and stumbles upon a horrific puppet show based on his life. Says Corben: “The Conqueror Worm is a poem basically lamenting the inevitability of death. It suggests all of mankind’s struggles are symbolically illustrated as a play staged for angels. Poe mentions other elements including “Mere puppets they,” which gave me a direction in my free adaptation. Puppets can do many outrageous things human actors can’t. So outrageous that a sense of dreamlike unreality is created. Richard Margopoulos wrote the adaptation for Haunt of Horror. His idea was that the Conqueror Worm was an alien invader.” The rest of that interview is over at The Comics Journal and Dark Horse have a preview.
Similarly grisly, Christopher Golden and Ben Stenbeck present Baltimore: Play in which a mad playwright puts on a Grand-Guignol employing actors who are actually vampires. And the proper author of the play is a disembodied head kept in a glass case. Preview!
Also from Dark Horse is Marked Man, “a very straight-up, contemporary crime thriller involving a criminal protagonist who, in the most basic of terms, lives an utterly and unrepentantly dishonest life,” says Howard Chaykin at MTV Geek. “His belief system is shattered by a choice he makes based on the exigencies of the contemporary American economy.” You’ll recognise it if you picked up the first eight issues of Dark Horse Presents. Preview here.
“It’s a wild magical romp for all ages, just in time for Halloween,” says the blurb on this book that’s arrived three weeks late for Halloween. Upside Down: A Vampire Tale by Jess Smart Smiley is about a young vampire who likes sweets so much his dentist is going to have to do something drastic to his teeth. Here’s a preview. Tom Gauld (Goliath) says it’s got charm.
Two very different how-to books arrived this week: Terry Moore’s How To Draw is aimed at the post-art school crowd and tells you how to make art that sells, draw cartoons that work, how to ready stuff for print and (as usual) how to draw beautiful women. Robyn Chapman’s Drawing Comics Lab is more about just picking up a pen and starting, and talks about the work of people like James Sturm, Tom Hart, Jessica Able, and Eddie Campbell.
Derek Kirk Kim’s (Same Difference) Tune: Volume 1 – Vanishing Point is, conveniently, about a guy who leaves art school and doesn’t know what to do with himself. So instead of sitting around in his parents’ house eating their food and watching their TV, he somehow winds up as a zoo exhibit in an alternate dimension. Preview here.
Some quite serious European science-fiction this week in the form of Last Days of An Immortal by Fabien Vahlman and Gwen De Bonneval. Science has given everyone eternal life, and death no longer exists, but some still want to end it. Huge review here but looks a bit spoilery so maybe just read the beginning. Less hard science fiction in Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti’s Retrovirus which sees a young scientist sent to Antarctica in a story which sounds a bit like Jurassic Park only with Neanderthals.
There’s a new SF/thriller series from Image called Clone #1 starting this week. “My inspirations were 24 and Three Days of the Condor,” says TV writer David Schulner who’s decided to try his hand at comics. “High octane, action-packed conspiracy thrillers, where one guy finds himself in the middle of something much larger and dangerous than he ever thought possible. Luke Taylor is our lead. He’s an average guy, who starts the issue looking at himself in the mirror and being disappointed in what he sees. Within minutes, a clone of himself shows up on his doorstep bleeding from a gunshot wound, saying, ‘They’re coming for you.’” The rest of that interview is at CbR.
The other new Image series is a five-parter called Comeback by Ed Brisson (who has mainly worked in comics lettering until now, lately on Prophet) and Michael Walsh. Says Brisson: Says him: “Comeback is, in short, about RECONNECT, an illegal time travel agency that, for a hefty fee, will go back into the past and rescue a deceased loved one. They’ll cover their tracks, bring that person back to the present and help you set up a new life, cut off from the life you used to know. They’ll keep you hidden from the FBI. If the FBI discovers the modification of the time line, well it’s their job to fix it.” Preview here and the rest of that interview here.
In trade paperback there’s Fairest: Volume 1 – Wide Awake, Paul Cornell’s Saucer Country: Volume 1 – Run, and the Nexus Omnibus which is both volumes of Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s series slapped together.
Bunch of new things starting:
Adentures of Augusta Wind #1 is a new all-ages fantasy series from J.M. DeMatteius and Vassilis Gogtzilas. The idea came to DeMatteius on a gust of wind. Geddit? Augusta Wind. No seriously, he said it, not me. Interview and preview bits here.
There’s a new Judge Dredd ongoing series from IDW by Duane Swierczynski and Nelson Daniel. Looks like the back-up stories are likely to be illustrated by people like Paul Gulacy and Jim Starlin and some unannounced dudes too. Stick it on your orders.
Lastly, Dan Slott is gearing up for the 700th issue of Amazing Spider-Man so chances are the stuff that’s happening in that will have something to do with this week’s Amazing Spider-Man #698. Best jump on now.
And last thing, honest: an exhibition you might like to go to. Called Score & Script, it’s an experiment by John Miers where he wrote a single-page comic and then gave it to two groups of artists in different forms. One got a written version, the other got a score with actors. Sort of. He goes into more details here. The point is, our own Mike Medaglia and Steven Walsh worked on one of the pieces and you should go see it. Score & Script runs from November 22 to December 15 up in Highbury.
And I think we’re done here.