This week we’ve got a great new graphic novel launch: FACE, by Rosario Villajos. It’s a touching, thoughtful meditation on identity and image by a bold new creative voice. Rosario will be here for a drink and a chat on Friday March 24th from 7-9pm. More details here!
Speaking of events, we had a doozy of a weekend celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Image Comics! On the Friday evening we had packed house for a brilliant panel discussion with Warren Ellis, Kieron Gillen, Emi Lenox, Jamie McKelvie, Alison Sampson, Declan Shalvey & Eric Stephenson. It was a fascinating look back over their careers and their relationships with Image.
And then Saturday afternoon we had back-to-back signings with a stellar line-up of creators. First up were John McCrea, Alison Sampson and Sean Phillips. The crowd were a lovely bunch and happily chatting away to the gathered creators whilst a whole lot of books got signed! Alison was also giving away simply beautiful posters to promote her new Image book Winnebago Graveyard (which you can hear more about in our upcoming highlight section! We are excited for this book!)
Then Simon Gane, Emi Lenox and Eric Stephenson took to the table! Simon and Eric signed A LOT of They’re Not Like Us and our limited edition bookplate for volume one went down a treat. Both Simon and Emi did sketches for a few luck fans (Emi’s super cute Batman being a personal highlight!)
Tom Muller, Declan Shalvey and Si Spurrier had a really lively hour next, seeing Spurrier (who was sporting a stunning blazer) adopting the non traditional standing position to get through all the books he had to sign. Mr Muller signed one of the widest ranges of books of the day, but that’s what he gets for being one of the best designers in the business, and whilst Declan put his signature on a monstrous mountain of Injection we talked his ear off about his upcoming, and frankly brilliant looking graphic novel Savage Town, which will be his first major work as writer!
And finally Tradd Moore, Dan Watters, Caspar Wijngaard & Christian Ward saw us home with our last signing of the day. Dan and Caspar, the boys behind the brilliant Limbo left us with a stack of signed copies and some limited edition bookplates. The last time we had signed copies of this they didn’t hang around for long, so grab ’em while you can. We loved having Christian back signing with us now that he’s abandoned London for the fresh air of the countryside, and he also gave us a sneak peak at his upcoming Black Bolt book and it’s for our money his best work to date. Tradd, who it turns out is one of the nicest and sweetest dudes in comics, did killer Ghost Rider, Luther Strode and Venom sketches for a few patient fans at the end of the event!
A massive thank you to not just the fine folks at Image Comics for giving us the opportunity to help celebrate this landmark birthday, UK-style, but also our line up of creators, who were charming, funny and a pleasure to host all weekend and to everyone who came along to the panel and the signings, your patience and good humour made for an excellent two days for all of us at Gosh! so cheers and here’s to the next one!
Anyone who couldn’t make it down don’t despair as we still have lots of signed goodies both in store and online, including our exclusive, super-limited bookplates. Drop us an email to the usual address if you want something stashed aside.
And in our final news segment, you may recall we were shortlisted for the London region in the Independent Bookstore of the Year category at the British Book Awards. Sadly we didn’t get through to the final national round (that honour went to the deserving, wonderful Tales on Moon Lane), BUT our own Steven Walsh has made the final shortlist for Individual Bookseller of the Year! Congratulations, Steve, we always knew you were one of the nations best!
HIGHLIGHTS THIS WEEK
Sticks Angelica Folk Hero HC
Writer/Artist: Michael DeForge
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
A new release from DeForge is always a reason to sit up and take notice. One of the medium’s great modern innovators returns with the self-told story of Sticks Angelica, a self-regarding recluse who narrates her story while wandering her forest home amidst talking animals and a journalist named Michael DeForge, whom she has buried up to the neck. So pretty straightforward then. It’s the usual DeForge mix of humour, uneasiness, and surprisingly touching character study, all wrapped with his trademark storytelling verve.
Try it if you like: Ant Colony / Hot Dog Taste Test / Panther
Anno Dracula #1
Writer: Kim Newman
Artist: Paul McCaffrey
Publisher: Titan Comics
After a confident toe-dipping into comics with his Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland mini, the legendary Kim Newman returns with all new stories set in the world of his popular Anno Dracula series. In a Britain conquered by Dracula, where his kind live openly among human subjects, a group of revolutionaries plot together to bring about the end of vampiric rule. It’s a fun, meaty world Newman has created in his novels, and much like the recent Rivers of London series, the comics look to be a great addition to it.
Try it if you like: Rivers of London / Witchfinder / Scarlet Traces
Helena Crash #1
Writer: Fabian Rangel
Artist: Warwick Johnson-Cadwell
One of our favourite UK artists, Johnson-Cadwell, teams up with Rangel, the writer of Space Riders, one of our favourite books of 2015. What’s not to like? Machine gun-toting, sword-wielding coffee smuggler Helena Crash gets caught in the middle of an alien gang war, leaving her no choice but to battle her way out to save herself and her friends. I believe the term “hi-octane” applies here. This looks like a total blast.
Try it if you like: Space Riders / Tank Girl / Motor Crush
Writer: Brandon Graham
Artist: Marian Churchland
Another of an intended but ill-fated line of interconnected titles, we’re very happy these stories mostly found their way into their own series. Partners Graham and Churchland craft a fantasy/science fiction mash-up that bends genre (and gender) expectations, delivering a satisfying, original tale. And like all the best speculative fiction, it’s got something to say. Highly recommended.
Try it if you like: Mirror / 8-House / Pretty Deadly
Iron Fist #1
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Mike Perkins
We haven’t checked out the Netflix series yet (though reviews are decidedly mixed), but we’re more than happy to check out a new Ed Brisson series featuring that son of K’un-Lun, Danny Rand. While few things could reach the heights of the Brubaker / Fraction run on the character, Brisson and Perkins are a good pair of hands. With his powers failing, Danny takes on increasingly reckless challenges in order to prove himself and restore his chi, blinding himself to a looming danger that threatens to destroy the Iron Fist once and for all.
Try it if you like: Immortal Iron Fist / The Violent / Ed Brubaker’s Captain America
Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story HC
Writer/Artist: Peter Bagge
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
A fascinating, well-researched biography of a groundbreaking, complex figure. One of the pre-eminent African American authors of the mid-20th Century, Hurston was a novelist, folklorist and anthropologist. Tackling subject matter that had barely been covered in American literature, let alone by a black woman, Hurston established herself as an important voice, who travelled extensively and lived a colourful life in support of her research. For all of that, though, she was a controversial figure. Her writing style, and her portrayal of African Americans, was objectionable to many, and her career was tainted in retrospect by accusations of plagiarism and falsified research. An extremely interesting figure that has spent a good deal of time forgotten, and Bagge is plainly an admirer. He continues his fascinating transition into biographer with this lovely new hardcover edition.
Try it if you like: Woman Rebel / Everyone is Stupid Except For Me / The Red Virgin
Pizza Witch HC Deluxe Edition
Writer/Artist: Sarah Graley
Publisher: Self Published
Graley, a writer / artist who has worked on Rick & Morty comics for Oni, and has the upcoming Kim Reaper series for Boom, has repackaged her Pizza Witch minicomic into a limited edition, super-deluxe hardcover edition, packed with tasty extras. Join Pizza Witch Roxy and her faithful familiar George on a quest for cheese-free pizza for reasons of lactose-free love. It’s an absolute gem of a book, and we suspect won’t be around for too long. And if that’s not reason enough, Sarah has signed all of our copies! Get in quick!
Try it if you like: Brave Chef Brianna / Jonesy / Adventure Time
Otomo A Global Tribute To The Mind Behind Akira
With his work on both the seminal manga series and its lauded animated adaptation, Akira established Katsuhiro Otomo as an icon of both industries, with his vision, skill and passion adding directly to the lexicon of art and pop culture worldwide. As a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the manga Kodansha has put together a fitting tribute book featuring the work of 80 artists from across the globe (including Sara Pichelli, Stan Sakai and Akihiko Yoshida) who have come together to pay tribute to Otomo. Originally released in 2015 for attendees of that year’s Angoulême International Comics Festival where Otomo was awarded the Grand Prix de la ville d’Angoulême. This is the first time the book has been available outside of that event, and now in a handsome hardcover, to boot.
X-O Manowar #1
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Tomas Giorello
A brand new beginning for one of Valiant’s most enduring icons begins this week with the first part in a three part story that will act as a reintroduction to the character for old and new fans alike. Critically acclaimed writer/artist Matt Kindt takes the helm as series writer tapping into the essential core of the character to deliver something more ambitious and far-reaching than anything Valiant has attempted before, whilst maintaining the action adventure heart of the book. With this year marking X-O Manowar’s 25th anniversary there couldn’t be a more fitting time to have him take centre stage for the company. This new start sets up the story that will run throughout 2017 and beyond as a superstar cast of Valiant’s most acclaimed artistic talents tell a year-long journey story of bloodshed on the battlefields of an alien empire.
ALSO OF NOTE THIS WEEK
- Art Of Mass Effect Andromeda HC – You’ve explored the game, now go behind the scenes with this gorgeous hardcover filled to bursting with concept art.
- Batgirl TP 01 (Rebirth) – Issues 1-6 of Hope Larson and Rafael Albuquerque’s Batgirl book!
- Batman By Brian K Vaughan TP – Before Saga Brian K Vaughan was writing Batman. It’s as fantastic as you’d expect.
- Cyborg TP 01 (Rebirth) – Robot action with the newest member of the Justice League in his own solo Rebirth series.
- Ghostbusters 101 #1 – A brand new inter dimensional cross over as Venkman, Stantz, Zeddemore, and Spengler meet Holtzmann, Yates, Tolan, and Gilbert!
Currently slated to launch in fall, Winnebago Graveyard is one of our most hotly anticipated comics of the year. From acclaimed writer Steve Niles and Gosh! favourite artist Alison Sampson, Image comics has another must-read horror book on their hands. Clearly drawing inspiration from horror movie classics of the ’70s Alison’s artwork captures that mood with it’s wonderfully gruesome texture and fragile human figures. Her style is the perfect companion to the dark horror adventure tale her and Niles are weaving in Winnebago Graveyard. Following a family on a road trip vacation that goes horrifically wrong. If you enjoyed Snyder and Jocks book Wytches or Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta then this is going to be your new favourite book!
See you next week, buckeroos!
Andrew & Shaun.