Six things we're looking forward to this Spring.
1 The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist (above)
Cartoonist Daniel Clowes’ New Yorker covers, or the movie adaptation of his book Ghost World, for which he was Oscar nominated in 2002. Now get to grips with his brilliant comics with their chiaroscuro drawings and equally dark (and funny) stories in this collection edited by Alvin Buenaventura. Out 2 April (Abrams)
Essential because: There are essays by the equally legendary designer Chip Kidd and illustrator Chris Ware.
Following In the Loop, HBO have enlisted Armando Iannucci to write this six-part post-Palin political satire, co-written with Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show) and starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld). Veep centres on a newly annointed US vice president who discovers the job is nothing like she hoped and everything everyone warned her it would be. Coming to Sky Atlantic in spring
Essential because: Chris Morris, who created The Day Today with Iannucci, directs an episode.
3 How soon is now?
“I thought, ‘It’s come to this,’” recalls The KLF’s Jimmy Cauty, halfway through Richard King’s 600-plus page history of indie music. “We’re in competition with Guru Josh.” There have been some excellent music biographies in the same area before (David Cavanagh’s The Creation Records Story; Simon Goddard’s Smiths’ books), but How Soon Is Now? is the first to weave together this impressively complete roll call of musicians, bands and label bosses who shared both “the vision” and “the bloody-mindedness” to create some the most important music of the last 25 years. Out 5 April (Faber & Faber)
Essential because: The author works at Domino, home to Sebadoh and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, so he knows his onions.
4 The new Lara Croft
Think back to 1996, when the first Tomb Raider game was released and gamers went doolally for Lara Croft and her whomping great breasts. Since then, she’s shifted tens of millions of units, launched a film franchise and starred on the cover of The Face. Trouble was, the games went a bit ropey as the years went on, and Lara lost her lustre. Well, now Croft returns for a reboot. Early gameplay footage suggests this will see Lara back on top. Oh, stop it. (Out spring, tombraider.com)
Essential because: Croft’s name was allowed to fall into disrepair — it would be great to see the pop icon back at Number One.
5 Frank Ocean and Tyler, The Creator’s new albums
If Odd Future’s shouty rhetoric and Tyler, The Creator’s charming @fucktyler Twitter feed has so far put you off the fashionable hip-hop collective, let Frank Ocean be your entry point. The sometime member has real songwriting chops, having been on both Beyoncé and John Legend’s payroll, and sung on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne. For the more seasoned fan, Tyler, The Creator’s third album Wolf, following on from Bastard (2009) and Goblin (2010), arrives (swearing) hot on Ocean’s heels.
Essential because: Tyler describes his new album as “the perfect May/summer music”, and we don’t want to argue with him.
6 La Molina chocolate
This new-wave Italian chocolatier is regarded for his powerful flavour combinations inspired by Tuscan food traditions — we’re talking blended dark chocolate with peanuts — and even produces a sugar-free bar “for the health conscious”. The packaging is designed by Riccardo Fattori, and is as much an indulgence for the eyes as the contents are for the stomach. lamolina.it
Essential because: You can make rude anagrams out of the lettered squares (“anal”, anyone?).