March has absolutely nothing going for it. It’s bleak out, there is rotten fruit floating down the rainy gutters here on Berwick Street and the guys on the market won’t stop making fun of some other guy’s haircut. BUT. April has a few things that will require you getting out of your pajamas and coming down to Gosh! You will be inside and it doesn’t even matter if the weather is being English:
First up there’s a new monthly night called Process which, when explained to me just now by our Steve (who runs it), sounds a lot like a speed-dating thing but for comics writers in need of an artist and vice versa. If you’ve ever wondered how writers and artists found each other, maybe one day you’ll be able to say, when asked, “this thing at Gosh! back in 2013”. It’s a workshop/discussion thing around the big table. Bring in your work-in-progress and talk about it. They’ve got a bare-bones blog here and a Facebook event page here. First Wednesday of every month. April 3rd is Process #1.
Then on the 20th we’ve got a signing with Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill for the launch of the new Marshal Law deluxe hardcover, and on the 24th we’re throwing Tom Gauld and his new book a party. You are invited.
Hey, look, a new issue of The Believer. I missed The Believer. It disappeared (from our shelves) for a while because of boring things to do with distributors and such but it is back and we’re glad of it. Come pick up a copy if you want a magazine of essays, interviews and book reviews in which timeliness is not an issue (in this one they review American Psycho which Ellis, a person who should not be let loose on the internet, wrote over 20 years ago) and a feature about meat by-products in the work of Donald Bartheleme. (Related: I love Donald Barthelme. You should listen to Salman Rushie read The Bodyguard on the New Yorker ficton podcast). The Believer is the thing with the Charles Burns portraits on the front. Here’s a list of what’s in it.
Some nice illustration books on the shelf this week. There’s the Society of Illustrators’ annual collection (called the Illustrators’ Annual of American Illustration) featuring stuff from books, advertising, comics and all sorts alongside commentary. Then there’s All The Buildings In New York* *That I’ve Drawn So Far, a beefed-up book-version of James Gulliver Hancock’s excellent blog. Even if you follow his work closely there’ll be stuff in here you’ve never seen before. You should pick it up if you’re a fan of Nobrow illustrations – all bright, colourful pictures of weird looking buildings. Head this way and see what I mean.
Brill illustrator Renee French (The Ticking) has gone and done a full-colour all-ages book called Barry’s Best Buddy. Robot 6 have a preview. It looks like it’s mostly for the under-7s variety of all-ages.
Blood-Drenched Creature Double-Feature is definitely less all-ages that Barry’s Best Buddy. It’s a 100-page flipbook with a pair of horror stories written by Matthew D. Smith and drawn by Jeremy Massie and Melanie Florencio. They’re sort of teen slasher-flick things. You can see what I mean over at Smith’s fully-funded Kickstarter page that made the book happen.
Captain Pugwash Comic Book Collection gives you three classic Pugwash stories in one 96-page softcover chunk. This is one of those things that serves two purposes: i. old fans get to go oh yes I remember this one, and ii. it’s a good introduction to the old Asterix-y comics by John Ryan, not Johnny Ryan. Which would be quite different.
More old stuff reappears with Indigo Prime: Anthropocalypse, a story which first appeared in the pages of 2000 AD in the ’80s. This collection includes the three latest stories by original writer John Smith: Dead Eyes from 2008, Everything And More and Anthropocalypse from a couple of years back. Starbust magazine give you a run-down on the history of the series and tell you what they think.
Maximum Minimum Wage is the definitive hardcover collection of Bob Fingerman’s Minimum Wage. I’ve never read it but Rich Johnston is glad to see it back for these reasons. Robert Kirkman feels likewise and now it’s available again through Image all spruced up with a colour section of original cover paintings and guest pin-ups by Peter Bagge, Dave Cooper, Guy Davis, Hunter Emerson, Glenn Fabry, Dean Haspiel, Gilbert Hernandez, Roger Langridge, Mike Mignola, Kevin Nowlan and a whole stream of others I couldn’t fit in this sentence.
And in trade paperback you can have Brian Wood’s Massive Volume 1: Black Pacific. If you missed it in single issues you can read the whole first chapter at io9.
In new comics there’s Grant Morrison’s final issue of Action Comics (#18) in an extra big comic. Did you catch this Morrison interview at CbR last month?
Constantine #1 lands on Wednesday too. iFanboy asked writer Ray Fawkes how he might put the “scared, nervous, even angry Hellblazer fans” at ease. “All I can say, is that I am one of them. That I came up with John. I was buying Swamp Thing off the racks when he first showed up. I was buying Hellblazer back in university when it first came out. I am just as big a fan of the old John Constantine as many of them are. All I can say is ‘trust me.’ I hope that you will be as entertained by the new John as you were by the old one.” The rest of that interview and a preview here.
Michael Avon Oeming’s Wild Rover (as seen in the pages of Dark Horse Presents) is collected in a one-shot along with a short written by Oeming with art from Victor Santos. Wild Rover feating The Sacrifice is previewed at Dark Horse.
Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray #1 is a new Image miniseries about a guy who gets his powers from literary ghosts. No interview yet but here’s the usual ass-kissing press release spiel, and a preview.
X-Termination #1 (of 2) is the start of a new event thing with David Lapham, Marjorie Liu, Greg Pak and David Lopez. Here’s a checklist, here’s a preview. Steve Niles has got a Mystery Society Special although it’s drawn by Andrew Ritchie, not Fiona Staples this time. Here’s an interview/preview. 2000 AD editor-in-chief Matt Smith has written a new Dredd series, Judge Dredd: Year One #1. Interview at CbR. And there’s a new Star Wars comic that brings Han and Leia’s great-great granddaughter into the Legacy saga. Preview at Dark Horse.
That’s about it. Keep your eyes on the blog because we’ve got another signing and another bookplate announcement to come…