Thanks to everybody who came and took some booze off our hands at the SelfMadeHero party. We’ve got signed copies of all the books that we launched: Don Quixote Volume 2 (Rob Davis), Shadow Out Of Time (I.N.J. Culbard), and The Man Who Laughs (David Hine and Mark Stafford). Come grab them before they go. Meanwhile, we’re busy stocking the fridge for this Friday’s Drowntown launch with Robbie Morrison (Nikolai Dante) and Jim Murray (Batman/Judge Dredd). Details this way. As ever, if you’d like a signed copy but can’t make it let me know and I’ll sort you out with one. And speaking of signed books, we’ve just had David Small come in and sign a pile of his memoir, Stitches. Here’s Rachel Cooke’s review in the Guardian if you have no idea what I’m talking about.
Biggest book this week is undoubtedly Saga Volume 2 in trade paperback. Everyone loves this series and if you’re not on board yet you can grab Volume 1 and Volume 2 all in one go and be completely up to date for when Saga #13 lands in August. “Highly recommended, buy this damn comic” — everybody, ever. (AND: flip to the back of volume 2 to see the Gosh! bookplate immortalised. It’s sold out now but you can see what you missed.) Also in trade paperback is Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens which you can pretend to buy for you kid but it’s by Meredith Gran who is a top-notch indie cartoonist so you can clearly buy this for yourself and no one will blame you. You might like the SpongeBob Comics Annual Giant Swimtacular too.
Jeffrey Brown’s got a new book out and it’s got a big dinosaur skeleton on the front and if anything gets you bumped up to the top of a weekly comic shop mailer it’s a dinosaur skeleton (top tip, drawers). In A Matter of Life Brown goes back to the autobiographical comics that made him famous, though I’d imagine it’ll feature (even) less doing it than Clumsy or Unlikely. This one’s about three generations and all the stuff that matters. Says Brown: “I put off writing about religion — and the dynamic of my dad being a minister while I’m atheist — for a long time, mostly because I needed to find the right way to handle it. Becoming a father myself helped give me the right perspective and I finally found the right tone and aesthetic to make the book I wanted to, something that tries to capture all the nuance and complications of the feelings I have about these things, and how I find meaning in my life as a parent. In the end, the book is fairly vague, hopefully not preachy and definitely not trying to give “The Answer” or even explain what I may believe. But hopefully it’s something that will provoke some thought and connect with people on an emotional level. Despite the personal details I’ve drawn in previous books, this is likely the most intimate book I’ve written yet, and I’m very proud of it.” The rest of that review at The Rumpus and The Beat’s got a preview.
Biografiktion is the latest nice-smelling book to come from Nobrow — a bunch of fictional celebrity profiles including one about… Eddie Murphy? I don’t know, this blurb sounds mental. It’s Berlin collective Édition Biografiktion’s debut in English and you can see more of their work here. Next to it on the new release shelf you’ll find two things from cartoonist David Shrigley: The Essential David Shrigley in softcover, and a new one called How Are You Feeling? in hardback, the book that follows his interactive psychiatry-based show (Creative Times reviewed that here). It’s bright pink. You can’t miss it.
American illustrator/cartoonist/Sesame Street/Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! dude Mo Willems collects two decades of sketchbooks in Don’t Pigeonhole Me: 240 pages of comics, stories, ideas and doodles along with explanations by Willems. Says Willems: “The Pigeon, who would years later star in my debut picture book, was born in the corner of a notebook, complaining about how he was better than the other doodles I was making… Exasperated by his outbursts in the margins of my sketchbooks, I decided to try to put him in a story. The original idea for the story features a little boy tasked with the job of not letting the Pigeon drive the bus. But that was no good for the Pigeon. He wanted to star, alone.” In his author photo, Mo Willems has a pigeon on his head (thus adding to my favourite photo genre “authors with things on their heads”, see also: Wolf Erlbruch).
The Kickstarter-funded collection of Jeff Zwirek’s Burning Building Comix is here. He’s turned his Ignatz award-nominated five-issue black and white minicomic into a fully-coloured book so you can watch people escape from a burning building in a colour other than black (yes I know black isn’t a colour). There’s a whole video explaining this thing so I needn’t add to it. Go here.
Studiomates Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon (unrelated) both have graphic novels out this week: Crater XV and Heck, respectively, both from Top Shelf. Crater XV’s got pirates and astronauts and Heck’s got a paranormal private detective who settles his cases in Hell and both are talked about in the LA Times.
Elsewhere on the shelves there’s Dan Spiegle: A Life in Comic Art (filled with anecdotes and drawings from his entire career, Golden Age to now), 1940s newspaper strip Barnaby Volume 1 HC by Crockett Johnson (of Harold and the Purple Crayon fame), Peter Bergting’s Domovi, Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver’s Edison Rex TP, Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan’s Conan TP Volume 13: Queen of the Black Coast, Batgirl/Robin Year One TP (collecting Batgirl Year One #1 – 9 and Robin Year One #1 – 4 by Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, and Marcos Martin — good, nice comics), and J. Torres’ Archie book, Jinx Volume 2: Little Miss Steps in both hardcover and soft.
There’s also, uh, this one’s an odd one. Marvel heard that women like She-Hulk so they’ve put out a novel called The She-Hulk Diaries which is like Bridget Jones chick-lit only it’s about She-Hulk and the lipstick on the front is green. Not really sure why this exists but neither was The Beat and then they ended up kind of liking it. Rogue gets her own book with Rogue Touch.
As for regular comics:
Anyone planning on picking up Neil Gaiman’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy/Age of Ultron thing might want to stick a copy of Age of Ultron #10 aside because some lady turns up at the end that is relevant to your interests. HINT.
New stuff you might want to follow: 100 Bullets: Brother Lono #1 is the first of an eight-part miniseries by the original 100 Bullets crew: Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Dave Johnson. Azzarello talks about it at Newsarsama and you can see a preview here.
Max Brooks (World War Z, GI Joe: Hearts and Minds) adds vampires to his regular zombie mix in a new series called Extinction Parade. Says he: “You might call it “An Inconvenient Truth” for vampires, although I’m not really sure if the metaphor is entirely accurate. The story deals with a zombie plague told through the eyes of vampires. Initially, the bloodsuckers welcome the zombie rise because the ensuing chaos allows them to kill without fear of repercussions. Only later do they realize that the ‘subdead’ ghouls, who don’t even notice the vampires, are slowly eating away at both species’ only food source. In the midst of their bloody frenzy, they realize, ‘Hey, wait a minute — what are we going to live on when the humans are all gone?’” I dunno, Cheerios like everyone else. Here’s the rest of that interview. Avatar has a preview. The world is also doomed in Christopher Golden and Ben Stenbeck’s Baltimore: The Inquisitor One-Shot, previewed here.
Mulder and Scully continue to do what they usually do in X-Files Season 10 #1, the new series from Joe Harris (who talks about it here and all the things he wants to bring back) and artist Jordie Bellaire. Preview here. Mike Raicht, Austin Harrison and Zach Howard give you a sci-fi story with bloodthirsty air-pirates in Wild Blue Yonder #1 (of 5) previewed here and talked about at length here. And finally, Liberator #1 is the new series by Matt Miner and Joel Gomez about some outcast crusaders who avenge tortured animals. Scott Snyder likes it. Miner talks about it with Comicosity.
That’s about it. Come launch Drowntown with us on Friday night. You don’t even have to help clean up.