Biggest book of the week is the long-time-coming From Hell Companion by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. They’ve been meaning to do it for years (to coincide with the 15th or 20th anniversaries of starting From Hell, their huge brick of a book about Jack the Ripper) but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened until now. So what is it? Here’s Campbell telling you all about it:
“The From Hell Companion is a selection of extra material and background stuff all relating to From Hell the book. It’s arranged in such a way that it becomes a retelling of the story from a bunch of new angles, including the personal and publishing histories. I mean to say that I’ve used excerpts from Alan’s scripts and thumbnail sketches, but I haven’t just dumped them in there in separate sections. I’ve woven it all together in narrative sequence, with technical commentaries, short essays and speculations, as well as anecdotes, photos and previously unseen artwork of mine. Plenty of digressions. The rarest thing I have is a 15,000 word synopsis that Alan wrote describing the second half of the book for the benefit of the movie production company. They bought the rights when we were only up to chapter 8, you see. The attraction of this synopsis is that it has a few sequences that play out differently from the finished book that everybody is familiar with. Again, I’ve worked these in where they belong narratively.”
He continues (and this is relevant to a thing that’s going on this week at Gosh! — more in a minute): “This is a book about processes. I bring the reader in on a couple of problems that have to be solved and show possible solutions as we go along. From Hell is like a huge big machine with a nice clean orderly front panel. And when you unscrew it and take that off, beneath it you see a complex of wires and cogs and moving parts caked with lubricant. That’s the Companion. After only seeing the front panel for years, this new version of the machine makes the whole thing interesting in ways you never thought of before.” He goes on at The Beat, interviewed by Pádraig Ó Méalóid. There’s 288 pages of this stuff with a 32-page full-colour insert, including new paintings by Campbell. Here’s FPI’s review, and Comics Alliance have a preview. The preview does not include the pages devoted to my own work around the time of From Hell, but it turned up elsewhere on Comics Alliance (and is the subject of one of the essays in the book) (I am basically the kid in Dario Argento’s Deep Red) (He grew up to be a girl who works in a comic book shop).
A still from Argento’s movie. You should see it:
More of mine:
I think I turned out relatively okay. If your kid is doing pictures like these THEY ARE PROBABLY FINE. Moving on.
If you’re interested in comics process or are working on something of your own and just want to talk to a table full of people who are doing likewise: come to the monthly Process night run by our Steve. This week we’ve got S.J. Harris in the house to talk about his graphic novel Eustace. Signed copies available in the shop now. Starts at 7pm on Wednesday the 3rd and everyone/anyone’s invited.
This week we’ve got an all-new Adventure Time graphic novel by Danielle Corsetto (Girls With Slingshots) and Zack Sterling (Bravest Warriors) done in a black-and-white Scott Pilgrim format. Here’s a preview, we’ll file it for anyone who gets Adventure Time on a regular basis. We won’t be doing the same for the Adventure Time Mathematical Edition HC Volume 1 which is like an Adventure Time absolute edition and far too huge to give to your kid. It would crush them to death and would be awkward to explain at A&E.
There’s a new Tony Millionaire book of the Uncle Gabby and Drinky Crow variety, Green Eggs and Maakies (preview at Fantagraphics). Michel Rabagliati (Song of Roland) has a new Paul book out, Paul Joins the Scouts, about the Baden Powell scouting movement and the October Crisis. And the Star Reach Companion is a complete history of the ’70s indie sci-fi comic that featured the work of people like Dave Stevens, Frank Brunner, Howard Chaykin, Steve Leialoha, Walter Simonson, Barry Windsor-Smith, Ken Steacy, John Workman, Mike Vosburg, P. Craig Russell, Dave Sim, Michael Gilbert, and more.
Speaking of Chaykin, he illustrates the new Matt Fraction series from Image Satellite Sam #1, about a murder in 1950s New York. The front cover’s got some lady’s lingerie’d butt on it so expect something very Chaykin-y. Says Fraction of writing sex in the ’50s: “The bras are different, I suppose, but, y’know, the mechanics remain.” More of that and a preview here. We’ll file this for anyone who gets Casanova (or got Black Kiss when customs allowed it before noticing how rude it was).
Joe Casey (Sex) is bringing back the heroes of the ’90s Comics’ Greatest World in a nine-part anthology series called Catalyst Comix. Issue #1’s out this week and features artwork by the likes of Gosh! favourite Dan McDaid, Ulises Farinas, Paul Maybury, and Raphael Grampa on the cover. Says Casey: “Each issue is structured with a main lead feature and two shorter back-up stories. Every three issues, the lead feature changes. Frank Wells is first up in the rotation. These are serialized stories, some of them will end up being interconnected — they certainly take place on the same world, and it all builds to something fairly intense. At least, it feels intense to me. We’re certainly not holding back in terms of where we’re taking these characters.” More of that and some preview pages here.
Bendis fans have two things on offer: Daredevil: End of Days HC collects the entire eight-issue miniseries by Bendis, David Mack, Klaus Janson, Bill Siekiewicz and Alex Maleev. Missed it? Bendis and Mack talked to CbR way back before it happened. And Bendis’ Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow’s Avengers One-Shot is all new to print but features some stuff that was originally only online.
The much-delayed Dexter #1 (of 5) is actually written by the guy who wrote the books that were turned into the TV series. So they’ve gone straight back to the source and this isn’t a hack-job, so to speak. Dexter #1 by Jeff Lindsay and Dakbor Talajic is apparently not previewed anywhere on the internet.
Avengers A.I. #1 is a new series taking place after the events of Age of Ultron. Writer Sam Humphries says: “In Age of Ultron, Hank created a self-replicating virus to take down the robot. What he didn’t predict was that the virus would continue to live beyond that moment. The artificial intelligence he created has been replicating, evolving, growing — without human assistance. It’s a new life form on planet Earth!” More (but no spoilers) at CbR. Here’s a preview of Andre Aruajo’s art.
Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Infinite Vacation) and Steve Lieber give you Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1 which is essentially a series about the baddies in Spider-Man. We’ll file it for anyone who’s reading Avenging Spider-Man. Here’s a preview. Incidentally, we are sold out of our pre-release copies of Infinite Vacation Bookplate Edition but we’ll have more on the actual release date.
Another prequel to the upcoming Trinity War: Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 sees the lady get her own series. Here’s a preview.
And finally, the issue of Walking Dead that got lost in transit has been located and will be on the shelves this week. It’s so late that it lands on the shelves at the exact same time as the issue that came after it. Two issues of Walking Dead in one go. You’re welcome.