Monday 31 January 2011

Swoon Now! Cursed Pirate Girl & Adrian Tomine

Let's dive right in for release of the week shall we? None of that wasteful small talk when you could be flicking across the internet picking up information like Ozymandias in Watchmen. The Cursed Pirate Girl (Olympian) deserves to be one of the most eagerly awaited releases for some time and certainly deserves to be one of the best-selling books of the year.
It's been a long road from when artist/writer Jeremy Bastion first intended to self-publish a pilot issue in 2006. It was picked up by Archia in 2008 only to be delayed whilst the company was bought out. The first issue was finally released in 2009 by Olympian and was so successful it went to not only a second but a third print. However problems with Diamond held up the distribution of issue two and the momentum was lost somewhat for the release of the third, final issue.

Despite all of this, the three issues have built a strong fanbase from those in the know. Mike Mignola has referred to Bastion as genius and the series has been likened to a new Alice in Wonderland. While there is no denying the sheer craft and imagination in Cursed Pirate Girl with art that brings to mind the classic Wonderland illustrations as well as the colourful characters, in terms of the plot, whereas Carroll's Alice tumbles from one event to the next, Bastion's Pirate Girl is resolutely following a mission bringing it closer to Dorothy's adventures in Oz. A beautiful piece of work that enriches the medium.Interview with Jeremy Bastion at Newsarama which took place with the immanent release of #1.

To help promote the title (and, let's face it, to show off one or two famous fans) an audio recording of the comic has been made featuring Grant Morrison and Dave Mckean. It's intended to be played at bookshops and libraries but I'm sure it'll pop up online soon. The story of the recording is documented at CenturyGuild.

But wait, there's more. Adrian Tomine's new book also arrives this week. Scenes From An Impending Marriage (Drawn & Quarterly) was originally completed to be handed out to guests at the Tomine wedding and documents the challenges of organising the big day along with the birth of his daughter. Given that Tomine is known for more dramatic character-based drama such as Optic Nerve and Shortcomings, Scenes... represents a dramatic change in tone. "The wedding book is by far the cleanest and least cynical and least sarcastic thing I've ever done. Not just because of the subject matter, but also because originally the only audience that was going to read it was going to be our grandparents and distant aunts." (Tomine interviewed on WallStreetJournal online). Light-hearted Tomine? Who isn't curious?

Other highlights include the release of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (DC) in hardcover and Daytripper (DC) by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba - a deeply impressive, sensitively told, character puzzle of a book. Any other week and this would be pick of the week.

And of course there's the platter of Weekly Treats including DC Universe Online Legends #1.

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