Category: Comic News

What we do is secret… unless you watch the Tuesday Transmission.

Javier of Mini-Mate Minute fame joins me for a full episode.

“Can you see it? No wait, can you see it?”

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February 12th, Egos and the Bunker

EGOS_Bunker-SplitwebOn February 12th, starting at 7p.m., Forbidden Planet will have the creative team behind Image comics new hit series EGOS; Stuart Moore and Gus Storms, in-store signing copies of issue #1 and #2. We will ALSO have artist Joe Infurnari in-store to sign copies of his brand spanking new comic releasing that day, Bunker #1. Don’t miss out on getting these gorgeous new comics signed by the lovely folk who made them for you.

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My Last Column

A FINAL GOODBYE

Forbidden Planet is my favorite comic book store in New York City, it always has been and hopefully always will. I say “Hopefully” because I hold dislike definitive blanket statements… I mean, the Planet could turn evil and try to replace all of our bones with PVC pipe or candy canes. I surely wouldn’t love them then, would I? Would You? We shall revisit this thought in a moment.

It is with great regret and no small amount of sorrow that I announce this is (probably) my last column for the Forbidden Planet newsletter. I want to thank the Planet for all of their support, and for the tremendous opportunity to entertain you folks. I want to thank the staff, all of my former and current editors for putting up with me and my mad ramblings ( Hi, Morgan!)  and above all else I would like to thank the amazing Jeff Ayers for being the best.

Jeff, thank you for all the fun we’ve had and will have in the future. Please continue being the best damn comic book retailer the Earth has ever seen until Amazon kills capitalism as we know it… and then replaces our bones with Candy Canes.

THEN THERE’S YOU PEOPLE

I have never met a single person who has read my columns and who didn’t work at the Planet. Jeff and the others assure me you exist, gentle readers, but I remain skeptical. If you are real, and not just a lie fed to me by my corrupt and filthy handlers at the FP, then I owe you two things; I owe you my gratitude and an explanation.

NOTE TO SELF: Start writing about a Superhero called “Gratidude,” who uses his incredible powers to fly around the world giving respect and gifts to those who deserve wider recognition. Undoubtedly he would break in to all of your homes, my readers, to do as Aretha Franklin suggests and “give you your propers.”

I have never met any of you, but I was mindful of you always. I hope I have provide you with thirty seconds worth of enjoyment, on the subway or toilet, after you have read your sack of comics and are eager for anything else to divert your attention. Frankly, it is mostly out of respect that I am stepping down.

In the eight years since I have been writing this column I have moved four times to four different cities, gotten married, had a kid and shifted between various jobs. As I take on more responsibilities as a father, husband and employer I have less time to devote to comics, and even less time to write about them. I like what I like, and I can recommend that, but you’ve probably heard it from me before. I cannot with confidence tell you what is currently trending, hot or noteworthy. I will not lie and pretend that I do. Not to you.

I respect you, and I always have. A good entertainer cannot do their job if they don’t respect their audience. Always remember that.

OF CANDY CANES AND COMIC BOOKS

I feel that Forbidden Planet is the best shop in town because they, too, respect you. They want the cleanest store, staffed with the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff the City can provide. They want the greatest variety of material, comics or non, for curious customers who wander in just to check the place out. They want you to feel comfortable browsing, asking questions and making requests. They want you to find fun treasures at great prices. They want you to feel satisfied with your selection and eager to return. In short: They want you to have as much fun as you possibly can.

On some level this is true of all comic shops, but it has always been true of the Planet.

Thank you all with warm wishes and tremendous love. Enjoy what you like, and share your enjoyment with others. Always watch the Forbidden Planet website and newsletter for the freshest comics related recommendations and news! I will be remembering you all fondly from my secret cave somewhere in NJ as I coat my skin with Nutella (to prevent the machines from replacing my bones) and await Ragnarok.

Ferventer Vestite,

Unkiedev

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Gift Ideas: Star Wars Holiday Special

A long time ago in a comic book shop far, far away… all your holiday shopping was taken care of in one shot! Just spend a few minutes with me and I’ll fill you with all kinds of great gift ideas for the Sith on your list.

Darth Vader and Son & Vader’s Little Princess – It’s never too late to force your personal interests on your children. Jeffrey Brown’s take on Vader balancing the everyday realities of being a father as well as preparing to be the biggest baddest bad guy in the universe is perfect for fans of all ages.

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Yoda Candy Bowl Holder - This candy bowl holder stands over a foot tall and can hold a whole mess a goodies in it’s dish. Candy Canes, fill this bowl with, you must!

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Han Solo Silicone Tray – Recreate Han Solo’s most memorable moment of defeat in your choice of deliciousness with this 11 inch long silicone tray. Make Han Jello out of Han Solo. Pass on the Carbonite and pass me the carbonated soda!

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Boba Fett Character Apron – Do you know an intergalactic bounty hunter/culinary expert? Than boy do I have the gift for you. Rock this character apron during your next cook out and look just like Boba Fett!

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Star Wars TP Vol 01 In the Shadow of Yavin – Picking up right where A New Hope lets off. From the mind of Brian Wood, creator of DMZ and The Massive comes this brand new Star Wars comic series. Collecting the first six issues this trade paperback is jam packed with tons of outer space ass kicking!

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Darth Vader Giant-Size Action Figure – This deluxe action figure measures a whopping two and a half feet tall, has seven points of articulation and a cloth cape! Doubt this bad boy will even fit under most trees, I mean its like as big as most Ewoks!

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Star Wars ABC & Star Wars 123 – What better way to get your young ones prepared for the real world than with a little help from George Lucas! Use The Force to force your kids to learn.

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Star Wars Frames – The gift for the ultimate Star Wars fan that has everything! A brand new in depth look at individual frames from all 6 epic flicks. This sexy monster of an art book comes in a slipcase which houses two hardcovers, each one covering a different trilogy. Painstaking put together by The Big G himself. No not Godzilla, George Lucas duh!

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Now if you can’t please a Wookie with something on this list you’re probably… well.. there really is no pleasing a Wookie now is there? See you when The Star Wars Holiday Gift Guide Strikes Back!

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GET THERE FROM HERE

One time I stopped for directions at an old lighthouse in Maine. I was on vacation and had lost my way. The kindly old lighthouse keeper, who admittedly was transparent below the waist, gave me directions that wound and rambled and terminated in me climbing down a ladder on an abandoned pier to discover a skeleton crushed under a rotting boat. Turns out the Lighthouse keeper died in a hurricane 20 years ago and just wanted me to bury his body.

When his directions started with “Do yea’ have a shovel abouts ya’?,” I should have known something was up. I never did get to the dang beach.

OKAY?

You and I and everybody we know will probably buy Marvel Infinity #2 this week, but I sure do hope it’s a bit more cohesive and action packed than that sprawling first issue. Let’s cleanse the pallet from that tepid Marvel Infinity cross-over.  I’m going to recommend X-Men Battle for the Atom #1 this week. It seems like some good freaky X-fun with lots of twists, turns and excitement. Needless to say, you’ll have to pick up All New X-Men #16 as well to continue the story. Two things the X-folks do well is hook up and fight, and with multiple X-realities merging throughout this storyline, this should be wilder than a booze fueled prom night!

Dark Horse (finally) have The Star Wars #1 out this week, and I can’t be happier! For those not in the know, The Star Wars is an alternate take on the original Star Wars film based entirely on early stage concept art and scripts. There is no Millenium Falcon, No Tattoine, and no Obi Wan Kenobi. Thrill to the adventures of Kane Starkiller, his children/padawans Deak and Annikin and a cast both familiar yet strange.

This week also kicks off DC’s Villain Month, a whole month of villain based stories with fantastically evil new covers! Start with Forever Evil #1, then continue with your favorite baddies throughout whichever titles you chose. For more DC #1 fun, we also get DC vs The Masters of the Universe #1! Two “Can’t miss” books from a company that is doing some impressive stories to match their gimmicks.

WHAT ABOUT THAT GHOST?


Now I just recommended five fun comics to ya’ll, and I do hope you read them. Heck, I’ll recommend two more, while I’m at it. Batman Black and White #1 and Superior Spider Man #17 should be great reads. As should the Harry Potter Series, which if you haven’t read them you really should. OOh! Catch-22 is a fun book! It has lots of neat depressing bits. If you like depressing but impressive reads, you should check out some Kurt Vonnegut. Maybe Slaughterhouse 5?

Recommending is fun!

Right. What about the ghost? Whenever anybody gives you advice, directions, insights or commands: Consider the Source! Why did I listen do that stupid ghost? Probably because I had been snorting pixie stix like a madman…it was vacation after all. IF you want to read any of the above recommendations, you should think about whether I am a reliable taste maker or not.

The answer is yes I am. Do as your told. As Humpty says, “If a doo-doo punk chump points a finger like a stump, you tell them ‘STEP OFF, I’m doing the HUMP.”

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BIGGEST NEWS EVER!

YES, Ben Affleck is now Batman, but somehow the media is missing the bigger story. We know the former Daredevil star has been signed to play Mr. Wayne in multiple cross-company movies, so as to give Warner some Tent-Pole clout to combat the face stomping Marvel/Disney is dishing out with THIER superhero movies, right? Well, think. What is the other big film franchise that Warner owns which is going begging for some new screen time? THAT’S RIGH! As revealed by me, exclusively for the Forbidden Planet blogs and Daily Planet, this brand new, probably untrue rumor-train is about to leave Platform 9 3/4 towards destiny. You heard it here first, folks:
Ben Affleck BATMAN IS GOING TO FIGHT HARRY POTTER!
HOLY PLOT HOLES, BATMAN

What is going to happen in the planned Superman/Batman movie is a supposed showdown between The Big Blue Mass Murderer and BatBen. Batman will need to find an edge in the fight, and we know that Superman is only really weak against three things: Kryptonite, Movie Reboots and MAGIC!
I’m sure they’ll patch things up by the end so they can march merrily on to the planned Justice League film, but let’s wait just one Damon minute. Batman, being the greatest detective in the world, will realize that the biggest threat to Earth’s safety is a rogue magician trying to stop Superman the next time ZOD and the Funky Bunch wants to punch Earth’s clock. Batman will then declare war on the biggest magical threat in cinematic history, the Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!
Batman vs Potter! Two battle scarred orphans duke it out over (I presume) a trilogy of Summer blockbusters! Watch the Caped Crusader solve the greatest mystery of his career, namely “You wouldn’t hit a kid with glasses, would you?!”
BACK TO REALITY

I’m looking at the DC comics solicitations for this week’s comics, and I’m not seeing any tie in books for this new film project. Or am I?
Scholastic is rereleasing the Potter books this week with brand new covers by illustrator Kazu Kibuishi. They’re saying this is in honor of the series 15th anniversary, but eagle eyed fans will notice how closely in style with the films these new book covers are. Marketing is all about brand recognition, and neither Scholastic nor Warner can take any chances you will want to miss their new Potter/Batman mash-up masterpiece.
DC is publishing some pretty swell titles, including Aquaman #23Justice League #23, Batman Superman #3 and the Batman Incorporated Special #1. This latter features a solo Batcow support story! Justice League #23 is one of the final chapters in the big DC event, Trinity.
Wait a minute…
Marvel has New Avengers #9 on the stands this week as a tie-in with their big event called Infinity. Are both companies doing cross-over events named after numbered groupings?! Please TRY and convince me you two companies aren’t constantly ripping off each other’s ideas.
Image has some sexy, secret books out this week..sort of. They do have a certain book outthis Wednesday called Sex #6, and a book called Secrets #3.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to wrap this column up. A movie crossover event as big as “Harry Potter and the Dark Knight Showdown” is going to sell out as soon as the news breaks! I need to go to my local cineplex RIGHT NOW to ensure that I’m first in line! Hopefully the theater owner won’t call the cops on me and have me ejected from the premises after I explain I’m waiting in line for a film that doesn’t exist yet that I just made up. He’s got a bad track record with that. They called the cops when I told them I was waiting in line for X-Men meets Star Wars movie I predicted, as well as when I was pitching a tent out front for Aliens Vs Predator Vs Twilight. I can’t help that I pitched a tent. I just love Jacob!

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Bongo Comics, Celebrating 20 Years

Founded in 1993 to publish comics based on The Simpsons, Bongo Comics celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year at this past San Diego Comic Con. On hand to talk about their success were Bongo’s Creative Director Nathan Kane, as well as Terry Delegeane, writer Ian Boothby. and Bill Morrison. Joining them was Chip Duffy, who oversees the Sponge Bob Comics through United Plankton Pictures, to check in with everybody’s favorite damp yellow rectangle. Bongo’s current roster of titles has expanded to include the Simpsons books, Futurama, Sponge Bob Squarepants, Sergio Aragone’s Funnies and Mylo Xyloto. Bongo is a fascinating company. Outside of MAD Magazine, no other publisher is employing such a wide variety of talents. Cartoonists as varied as Jill Thompson, Geoff Darrow, and Gary Gianni have all had a go at either Simpsons or Sponge Bob.

There is no telling who or what could show up between the pages of a Bongo book, and we learned about a few upcoming surprises at the panel. As one of the first panels on the first day, the mood was brisk and jovial. The crowd was more of a small throng, mixed with the young and the old. Bill Morrison started out to announce that, based on the success of the Simpsons online comics and iphone./mobile app, Futurama was going to get the same mobile treatment. Bill was not sure of the launch date, nor was he certain on whether the content would be new or reprints. “So you have no information?” joked Nathan Kane. “There’s going to be an Ap.” Bill retorted.
A slideshow presented images from past and present Simpsons titles, including a Mad Magazine parody issue, and a 3D title featuring the Simpson’s Professor Frink. We were shown pages from a Gail Simone penned Mr. Burns story, which featured the bald baddie up to some nefarious skulduggery. Free Mr. Burns masks on sticks were available at the Con from the Bongo booth, making the evil Nuclear baron a common sight. We got a preview of this year’s upcoming Simpsons’ Tree House of Horrors book. Always a highlight, this anthology of will feature a Cthulhu story written by Len Wein with art by Dan “Nocturnals” Brereton, a rocket car tale from Bongo stalwart Tone Rodriguez and a ten page story from Doug Moench where the free beer festival Homer has been lured to might just be a murderous haunted house. Playful banter and energy was the predominant flavor amongst the panelists. A fan asked whether past, cancelled titles could ever make it back to publication. Al joked that they have no marketing strategy, and that they publish whatever, whenever.
A Simpsons Colossal Compendium was announced, a new yearly numbered Omnibus style reprint book which will feature the best of the best from main Simpsons’ titles, anthologies, seasonal specials and one-shots. Chip Duffy was then given the floor to fill all in on all things Sponge Bob. Chip showed off some pages from the incredibly talented Jacob Chabot, one of the regular artists working for Bongo. Jacob is the genius behind Dark Horse’s Mighty Skullboy Army, and is a talent worthy of MUCH wider recognition.
We saw pages from an upcoming story where Mermaid Man, Bikini Bottom’s Aquaman proxy, must do battle with a new, Namor-esque Sea King. Chip explained how they reached out to Jerry Ordway for the character design, directing him to draw a cross between Rod Stewart and DC’s Killjoy. All in attendance got to see Jerry’s designs, which had a very “Zardoz” feel. Chip announced they’d be seeing new pages from Michael T. Gilbert, Scott Roberts and more! Chip also showed off a spread from a story where Mr. Krabs fulfills a lifelong dream of becoming money, illustrated by The Dan O’Neill. Who?
One of the first, true underground comics was a parody of Mickey Mouse entitled Air Pirate Funnies. The book was fun, dirty and smart, and actually a brilliant challenge to the longstanding copyright laws as they existed. Needless to say, Dan and pals were sued almost out of human existence by Disney.
But, years later, Bongo let him draw some Sponge Bob. THAT is why Bongo stands tall amongst publishers. Safe material with risky voices, unpredictable, but always inspired, Bongo may be one of the biggest names in “Kid Friendly,” but they will thrill and surprise anybody who loves the art of comics.

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ONE STEP BEYOND

Writing for the Forbidden Planet blog, or the Weekly Planet in shop newsletter is unlike writing for other media. For starters, unlike my blog, webcomics or reporting for other websites, you guys and gals actually READ this thing. Another difference, we at the Forbidden Planet want you to read some of these comics. It may shock you to know that we have an invested interest in you shopping in our stores.
YES, I may get to to pot shot big target books like Age of Ultron (too bad it sucked, as it’s going to serve as the basis for the next Avengers Movie) or Superman (why no undies?), but my “job” as it were is to recommend titles. So we can generate sales. So we can pay the bills. So we can secretly fund the church of Scientology.
Kidding. All that being said, I have been warned before by my editors that my continued existence here with the Planet is dependent on me giving a more upbeat diagnosis of the comics industry, and trying to turn my tastes to a more contemporary timeline. All that being said?
SOD THAT
DON’T buy Itty Bitty Hellboy #1 when it publishes on August 28th. BUY THE HELLBOY JUNIOR TP, instead!
Itty Bitty Hellboy looks fun enough, but have you seen the Hellboy Junior Trade? IT IS AMAZING! Hellboy Junior was one of the most f’ed up comics ever published by a major company, and when your character is turned into a movie franchise, that counts you a major. THE TOP NAMES in cartooning turn in pages of the most vile cartooning filth outside of an adults only book. Hilarious, raw and crazy stuff from talents such as Bill “Ren & Stimpy” Wray, Dave “Weasel” Cooper and Pat “GreatestLiving Cartoonist who isn’t Sergio Aragones” McEown, not to mention Glenn Barr, Hilary Barta and loads more.
Hellboy Junior is stupid funny on a level that shouldn’t be allowed. EVEN if you aren’t a Hellboy fan, the comic is a no holds barred display of the finest cartoonists ever assembled under one cover tearing the proverbial mickey out of comic’s history.
We probably have a few copies of Hellboy Junior kicking around (maybe in the warehouse?) but hopefully we can get some ordered for you by the time Itty Bitty Hellboy arrives on our shelves in a few weeks. You win, the store wins, and I get to hold onto what little artistic integrity I still hold as a reviewer.
MORE GOODIES
THIS week, do consider picking up Dark Horse’s B.P.R.D.’s Vampire #5 by the fantastic brother team of Gabriel Bá and Frábio Moon? Marvel has Uncanny X-Men #9 as well as FF #10, Daredevil #29 and Captain Marvel #14. DC will have a smattering of impressive annuals, including the Superman Annual #2, Batman Annual #2, Detective Comics Annual #2, Flash Annual #2 and the Animal Man Annual #2.
It’s startling that these characters have only been around for two years, but they’ve already amassed such cultural relevance.
Image has a new issue of that understated title, Sex #5. We should also see a fine assortment of lovely licensed comics from IDW, and if we’re VERY lucky, that new Sam Keith Art Collection, as well. Bully!
DOING MY JOB
I want you all to enjoy the finest comics the world has to offer, and I am telling you right now that the Forbidden Planet has them. Please continue to use your discretion as to your favorites, but also avail yourself to my years of expertise. The collaboration between me the writer and you the reader is the spark of discovering new material, and one person’s old material is another’s NEW.
Please read any of this week’s amazing new titles, though I DARE you to check out the insanity of Hellboy Junior.

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2013 Eisner Award Winners

This year’s winners were announced last night. Here’s the full list:

Best Short Story: “Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch,” by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): The Mire, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)

Best Continuing Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best New Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7): Babymouse for President, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8–12): Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13–17) : A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)

Best Humor Publication: Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)

Best Digital Comic: Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)

Best Anthology: Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)

Best Reality-Based Work (tie): Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion); The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, by Frank M. Young and David Lasky (Abrams ComicArts)

Best New Graphic Album: Building Stories, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Best Adaptation From Another Medium: Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Best Reprint Graphic Album: King City, by Brandon Graham (TokyoPop/Image)

Best Archival Collection/Project — Strips: Pogo, Vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly and Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project — Comic Books: David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material: Blacksad: Silent Hell, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material, Asia: Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)

Best Writer/Artist: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Best Penciler/Inker (tie): David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel); Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel); Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom (IDW)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse), Hawkeye

Best Cover Artist: David Aja (Marvel)

Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, Batwoman (DC); Fatale (Image); BPRD, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, Lobster Johnson, The Massive (Dark Horse)

Best Lettering: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: The Comics Reporter, edited by Tom Spurgeon, www.comicsreporter.com

Best Comics-Related Book: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe (HarperCollins)

Best Educational/Academic Work: Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass, by Susan E. Kirtley (University Press of Mississippi)

Best Publication Design: Building Stories, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Hall of Fame: Lee Falk, Al Jaffee, Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sinnott

Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Russel Roehling

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Chris Sparks and Team Cul de Sac

Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award: Steve Gerber and Don Rosa

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Challengers Comics + Conversation, Chicago.

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TODAY IS THE BEST DAY.

Not only is it May and it’s 45 degrees outside and raining in New York (shivers of excitement in anticipation of cozy/anxious Twin Peaks watching later), the weather has met in complete conjunction with how it will be on the day that this new book releases at the Brooklyn Book Fest in September…shivers of anticipation and sweaty palms….

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ZZZAX ON, ZZZAX OFF!

Some of the top selling comics of late have been Cartoons. Regular Show, Adventure Time, My Little Pony and Bravest Warriors, the Adventure-Time-esque space adventure are all doing a great deal of business in surprising ways.
WHO is buying these books? Just Kids? Adults? Everybody? The last answer is the most accurate, as any top selling comic needs to appeal across broad audiences. The good news here is we’re getting more kid friendly titles, and more kid business. I guess I’ll have to stop making references to “Mugwumps.”
The bad news is…nothing. Comics are great, and more peeps are loving them! Sweet! My Little Pony Microseries #4 (of 6), Adventure Time #16 and Regular Show #2 are on shelves this week, so make sure you get some! Awwwwww-Yeah!
KICKSTARTING
Oh, no wait! There is bad news. Kickstarter. More and more great books are being sold through Kickstarter, with bonuses and cool swag. WHY is that bad? Because without an internet connection and money to burn funding nifty titles, it is hard to get these books into your mitts…not to mention that the funding can be locked out before you get a chance to find out about it, or that the affordable goals are all taken by the time you do. There’s few outlets for information about all these books, and practically no way to find out about them if you don’t have access to the internet.
The biggest innovation to comic through the 80′s and 90′s was the amazing array of talent in the indie comic market…so much dang talent that the industry had to switch how it did business. The thing was, all these creators still had their product on the shelves, as it was the only game in town.
Now the shining stars are going to come from online…and we might never know about them.
TITLES AND HONORS
Spectrum is the top name in Fantasy and Sci-Fi artwork, and they just announced the latest batch of winners and honorees at their gala banquet somewhere out west. If you’ve never picked up a volume of Spectrum, you should. Every page features the top talents from comics, Hollywood and publishing drawing their hearts out to be the best. Illustrators is Spectrum are the shapers of geek culture to come.
Forbidden Planet has some past volumes of Spectrum available now, and let the staff know that you’re interested in picking up the latest volume when it ships.
GREAT TIMES
Let us take a moment to reflect. From art, to quality of paper, variety of titles and talents…we might be at the high water mark of comic book history. Even if you want to argue there were better stories, artists or titles a few years back, there has never been a better time for reprints! Gorgeous books come out every week, so many it’s hard to keep up!
Many folks, including myself from time to time, get freaked out over the ultimate fate of comics. Between the internet, mobile devices and e-readers, it is difficult to predict what the future of comics looks like…except for one fact.
Whatever shape it takes, style or format, the future of comics looks great!

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OCCUPY COMICS EVENT

May 22nd marks the public release of the first issue of a wild and fascinating comic collaboration. Occupy Comics #1 will be on shelves and we at Forbidden Planet recommend everyone get it. This is not only a comic that features the likes of Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman, David Lloyd, Charlie Adlard, Marc Andreyko, Kevin Colden, Molly Crabapple, J.M. DeMatteis, Joshua Dysart, Brea Grant, Joe Keatinge, George Krstic, Joseph Michael Linsner, B. Clay Moore, Steve Niles, Laurie Penny, Matt Pizzolo, Steve Rolston, Riley Rossmo, Douglas Rushkoff, Tim Seeley, Simon Spurrier, and Ben Templesmith. It’s not just a time capsule of radical ideas/stories for/about change. And, most importantly, its not just quick way for some people to make quick and easy money like some other comic publishers that shall remain nameless. DC. This is a book about one of the most culturally significant happenings in this country in a long time and whether you agree with its ideals or not makes it no less poignant. So in honor of this achievement in the choice of medium we have decided to peddle we will be having a signing with Dean Haspiel, Ron Wimberly, Ben Templesmith, Ales Kot, and Matt Pizzolo on May 22nd at 6:30pm. Come get your copy and get it signed by all these artists and writers who created something larger than themselves about a movement that was bigger than anyone anticipated.All proceeds from the book’s sales go to current Occupy initiates such as Occupy Sandy and Strike Debt. Read comics that matter.

NOTICE:

ATTENTION ATTENTION!
Ben Templesmith WILL NOT be in attendance on Wednesday’s Signing due to some unavoidable circumstances. Ben however WILL be stopping by to sign copies of Occupy Comics #1 and Ten Grand #1 so we WILL have SIGNED Ben Templesmith comics in abundance just not the person. Our’s and Ben’s sincerest apologies.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 23: We’re Doomed!

Tyler wants me to turn in my new column so he can go home. I have to write it first but he doesn’t know that yet. I don’t really know what to write about though because I mostly wanted to write about myself but Forbidden Planet is less excited about that. So after much arguing and fighting the lovely heads of Forbidden Planet have convinced me not to just rerun last weeks column where I fiercely recommended my book, TWELVE REASONS TO DIE #1, which is (still) on shelves now! So I am not going to mention TWELVE REASONS TO DIE #1. I am going to talk about a bunch of other books. Books I didn’t write. Books I don’t like as much as TWELVE REASONS TO DIE #1.

Oooh. Here is one I can support wholeheartedly! REGULAR SHOW #1 is out this week. Not only is it the very funny comic based on the very funny TV show, but if you are reading this on Wednesday (or have the ability to go back in time) the great Allison Strejlau, artist on The Regular Show comic will be signing at FORBIDDEN PLANET, starting at 6:30. I may bring doughnuts for Allison and maybe she would share with you. I may end up forgetting to bring donuts so don’t make her feel bad if she doesn’t have any to share. Also, the staff at Forbidden Planet tends to get all Gollum-y when there are sweets around so the do-nuts don’t always make it to the signing. (Please don’t go back in time just for the doenuts. That’s not ok.) Anyway, even if you can’t come to the signing buy the book. It is crazy and fun and weird. You could probably use those things in your life.

Forbidden Planet is a New York City comic book store and that is a heavy burden to bare sometimes. The Spirit is from here. Part of Maus take place here. The Avengers are from here. Part of Sandman takes place here. Cecil & Jordan are here. Jacques Tardi called New York his love. DMZ, Ultimatum, Watchmen, and countless other books attacked our city but never destroyed it. Ex Machina is about our mayor. Adrian Tomine sketches people on our subways. Frank Miller accosts poor people on our streets. Steve Ditko monitors all comings and goings from his secret lair. The ghost of Will Eisner haunts every inch of gentrified New York. Marvel is from here. DC is from here. Raw is from here. Valiant is from here. Archie is from here. Abrams is from here. There is an issue of The Authority that takes place in our very store for #$&@ sake. When you talk about New York you better do it with the gravitas it deserves. Charles Soule (27, Swamp Thing) has decided to throw his hat in the ring of New York stories and, thankfully for all involved, he comes out the other side unscathed. STRANGE ATTRACTORS is a beautiful, complex, and amazingly fun book about the mystical, mathematical, and all powerful forces that make up a city and the people who control and channel those forces. Equal parts Ex Machina, Sandman, and Planetary, this is one of those books that people will still be rereading, discussing and trying to better understand 10 years from now. If you want smart love letters to New York you have an awful lot to choose from, but this should be at the top of the heap.

INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK vol. 1 is out this week. Leinil Yu draws the hulk smashing stuff. That’s all you need to know.

I talk a lot about how good the new Image books are. A lot of people are reading the obvious stuff by the big guys- Fatale, Manhattan Projects, Walking Dead, Saga, etc. Here’s the thing, there are a lot of brilliant books that are flying under your radars and you should be picking them up without a doubt. HOAX HUNTERS vol 2 is out this week. On premise alone this book should be everyone’s favorite. A team of paranormal investigators who use their “Mythbusters” type show to discredit these phenomena while secretly dealing with them off camera. So much fun and about as good an ensemble cast as a comic is likely to have, if you haven’t grabbed HOAX HUNTERS do yourself a favor and pick up both trades this week. It was also just optioned by the suits in Hollywood so, much like Chew, 100 Bullets, and all the other in development tv/movie comics, you should expect everyone to be talking about this one in a few months. Most importantly though Hoax Hunters doesn’t go where you expect it, which is the best praise I can give a book like this.

Image also has their 4th volume of the hilarious and tragic LIL’ DEPRESSED BOY this week. Indie rock, unrequited crushes, and ragdoll of a guy make this book the heir apparent to the Scott Pilgrim throne. LIL’ DEPRESSED BOY is one of those books that will mean the world to a few people and will be missed by most others. You should buy it and see if you are one of those people who it will mean the world to, because being the person who falls in love real hard is always the better person to be.

Completing the trilogy of great Image tpb’s by their up and commers is PETER PANZERFAUST vol. 2. The little book that could, this book looked like it wouldn’t make it past 12 issues when it started, couldn’t find an audience, couldn’t get attention, and then… Something! One of the most talked about books of 2013, this tale of Peter Pan and friends fighting Nazi’s in WWII is a clever idea done well. There is not much more you can ask for out of a book. Smart and good? That should be enough for you.

Lastly, if I can’t talk about my book TWELVE REASONS TO DIE #1 (on shelves now) I will talk about the reprint of FIVE GHOSTS #2. That’s right. I am recommending a reprint. Why? I will give you 5 reasons because I am not very clever and the number 5 appears in the name of this book.

  1. One of the best books of the year, this is just classic pulp adventures, nastiness and all. There’s nothing like it on shelves now and that is sad for us but great for Five Ghosts.
  2. It is definitely one of the hottest indie books of the last few years. Finding a copy of issue #1 or #2 is becoming a herculean task so get it while you can.
  3. Issue #3 comes out next week and ups the ante in every way. What was one of the best books of the year is about to become one of the best books of the last 10 years. Get on board now.
  4. The brand new S.M. Viduarri cover is amazing. It goes perfectly with Chris Mooneyham’s moody and period appropriate interior art and Frank Barbiere’s tense and creepy script.
  5. I WROTE THE BACKUP STORY!!! Ha! I tricked you! I got you excited about a book I am in without you even knowing it. Buy it for FIVE GHOSTS, stay for my 2 page story that begins here. Or just buy it for my story. I don’t really care.  Just buy it. Don’t be a square.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 18: And Restore Freedom to the Galaxy…

WHERE HAS OUR DEAR SWEET TYLER GONE? HE LOOKS SO TROUBLED.

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I really don’t want to do this this week. This column is going to take some weird turns. Some days I don’t like writing things that don’t make people feel anything so I might just get real creepy and personal. All exposed nerves and open wounds. Awkward as a substitute for interesting. I have abandoned the idea of comics journalism in favor of weird tangents, self aggrandizing, and the occasional comic recommendation. This is a one week special. Next week I will be back to talking about…I guess I kind of do this every week. Anyway, I feel like in my war with Unkie Dev (which he doesn’t know is a thing… but it is a thing) I am fighting the ground war and he is going for a victory through attrition. We battle each week for column space and witticism supremacy (both of which I win… because I am very witty.) and I fight each week’s battle like it is the last. It never is. He has been writing a column that nobody appreciates much longer than I have. This is only my 18th. He is old hat and yelling into the void and his long game is wearing me down. I don’t know how he does it. I can barely muster the energy to be excited about telling you, my last loyal reader, about new comics. But muster I will. I got you this. It’s not much but it’s mustered.

My first review is a twofer. MIND MGMT. Matt Kindt is one of those guys that is hard to pigeon hole. That’s a weird term. Seems sexual in a really gross way but I don’t think it is. Maybe it is. I don’t know. I’m pretty vanilla. Anyway, Matt Kindt’s stuff was too indie to get the action comic persons attention, to actiony to get the indie kids excited. That’s what made him brilliant. Then his buddy Jeff Lemire broke out in a big way doing a very similar thing and opened a lot of doors. Now Matt Kindt is making waves as one of the most exciting writers at DC and soon to be Marvel but the whole time he has had MIND MGMT brewing. This is one of those books that makes other writers stay up late and curse their brains for not being able to perform these sort of narrative acrobatics. Mr. Kindt makes me feel inadequate, and that is about as high praise as I have. His cerebral conspiracy theory book has become one of the hot books of 2013 with the announcement of an upcoming film and back issues being nearly impossible to find. Now you can finally start catching up with a $1 re-release of issue 1 or the first collection in a very nice hardcover. You can either try if for cheap or trust me and dive right in. I vote for trust me. Why would I vote against you trusting me?

Ok. One review down, infinite to go. That one wasn’t so bad. I might have shared a bit too much about my proclivities but at least we got through it and now we are a little closer. It’s your turn to share.

You took to long. I will review X while you think of something uncomfortable to share with me. X #0 is out. It collects all the Dark Horse Presents stuff into one issue. Old superhero book brought back from the dead. Pretty fun. Buy it. End review.

Got anything? No? Well keep thinking. I feel like our relationship is becoming more Doctor/Patient and less Mentor/Mentee every day, which is disappointing. I keep sharing things with you that make me agitated if I think about them. I am sharing too much. When I get uncomfortable I can’t maintain eye contact and I constantly look at the door. I’m like a puppy on a dropped leash, always in danger of bolting into traffic. For the rest of this column imagine that I am reading it to you, monotone and drymouthed, but staring at the door the whole time.

They have made Judge Dredd comics in the UK for literally decades and only a handful of Americans ever cared. We are a self involved people at our best. Then they made a big budget nightmare of a movie and the ones that cared ended up caring a little less. Then they made more comics for 15ish years. The attrition of caring continued. Then they made another big action movie but this one was really good. Even less people cared about this movie then cared about the bad one. So, naturally IDW decided it was a really good time to start making Judge Dredd comics in America. My guess is the number of people who care about this book is in the high single digits. This book is some sort of proof of Zeno’s Paradox of heading towards 0 fans. Soon only half of a person will like Judge Dredd in this country. But that is damn shame because it is really good. The British like their sci-fi comics in a very specific way; weird, morally ambiguous, and loaded with layers of nearly impenetrable lore. Americans don’t like any of that. So the American Judge Dredd walks a fine line between faithful and dumbed down. It is tricky to pull off a story about a super violent cop with fascistic tendencies who is also the hero of the story, but Duane Swierczynski does a good job of making it palatable and still off putting, like it should be. If you have been looking for something out of your comfort zone but don’t feel like wading through 20+ years of UK Judge Dredd then start with JUDGE DREDD vol. 1 out this week. Americans have a bad enough reputation as it is in this world, let’s prove we can appreciate good things to our British friends once and for all.

Someone mailed me a pair of index fingers last week. I freaked out. I assumed that Tech Wizard/Human Prey, Tyler, had been taken in by some kindly old stranger only to be met with a few excruciating days of torture and finally the sweet release of death. Tyler was always too trusting. And now his sick captors were trying to lure me into their game. Anyway, I ended up having some DNA tests run though and it turns out the fingers aren’t Tyler’s at all. I totally forgot that I bought them from some weird German dude on ebay because he gave free shipping. Oh well. No idea where Tyler is. I guess I will continue to put the Weekly Planet together myself. Hopefully this time I remember to change the title. I feel like the biggest moron in the whole wide world when I forget to change the titles on my column. The absolute biggest, most worthless moron there ever was.

I think Jay Faerber is a really unappreciated writer in comics. I read the first volume of Noble Causes and hated it in a really fundamental way. I spend a lot of money on stupid stuff to make me feel better about myself temporarily, and rarely does it make me angry but Noble Causes did. Actual anger. Then I read an interview with Faerber where he spoke really well about the point of the book and for some reason I decided to reread it. Turns out he is much smarter than me and the book is really clever. It’s a great pastiche of superhero and soap opera. After that I was hooked on Noble Causes and all his work since then. POINT OF IMPACT is his most recent, a mini series murder mystery that hits all the right notes. Beautiful art by Koray Kuranel adds to the overall moody tone of the book. There are not a lot of crime books on shelves these days so thankfully the ones we do have are worth your time and attention. Once you have read through Criminal, Scalped, Parker, and Murder Book, make sure POINT OF IMPACT is on your buy list.

As I write these words or as you read these very same words something remarkable and tragic is happening. Somewhere, someone is working really hard to tell an amazing, and personal, and beautiful story about love, or sadness, or aspirations, or death. Maybe it’s about injustice, or righting wrongs, or the inherent beauty in honesty. Maybe it’s about betraying the people you love, or watching people you care about suffer, or about the overwhelming power of bringing life into this world. They have the most beautiful and personal and universal book in the world and they just need it to exist. They are working night and day for years on it. They are putting more into this book than any audience has a right to deserve. They are working two jobs to be able to make this book. They are giving up freetime, then hobbies, then passions in order to see this through. Even when they manage to sneak away a few short hours to sleep they lay awake in bed thinking about their book. Dreams become nightmares, nightmares become hauntings. They are haunted night and day by their book. They lose all their money. They lose all their friends. They lose their physical and mental health. They lose the ability to see clearly why they needed money or friends in the first place because the simple burden of the story inside of them is becoming all consuming. It devours everything. Time. Then money. Then relationships. Then their ability to have relationships. Then, most brutally, it devours hope. They lose the ability to remember why they wanted this life. They begin to wonder what they did wrong to be cursed with the burden of this story. They forget the feeling of excitement of trying to get this story out and it simply becomes a tumor that they want so badly to excise. And just like that, the weight of comics breaks them. To create comics they must destroy their love of comics. They must destroy a piece of themselves. And then, when they are at their lowest they walk into a shop to find something, anything to keep them going. And they do find something. They find out that someone made a book about a raccoon soldier from space and his space tree friend. ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT COMPLETE COLLECTION is out now. This book is great. Comics are an awesome and cruel mistress.

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