On 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.”
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.
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 Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse), Hawkeye
Best Cover Artist: David Aja (Marvel)
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.
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….
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.