Category: Dark Horse

Chris’ Comics: What I loved about Comics in 2015

It’s been awhile FPNYC Faithful! Both my wife’s and my parents are divorced and remarried, so that means 4 families in 3 different states over the course of 3-5 days, depending on the year. The upside to that is that I got to see “The Force Awakens” twice, which I enjoyed a bunch. Downside is that my portable keyboard’s “N” and “B” keys don’t working, making writing while traveling virtually impossible, at least if I wanted proper spelling.

2015 was kind of a mix bag for Comics. Between Convergence and Secret Wars, there were WEEKS where I didn’t pull any big 2 comics. Which was fine really, as Dark Horse, Image and Boom put out some fantastic books this year. Which means I’m going to spend today talking about what I loved about comics this year.

Kaptara-coverTHE RISE OF CHIP ZDARSKY: The homie Matt Fraction is probably my favorite dude working in comics, but in terms of books released in 2015, I think I’ve read all of 6 books written by Fraction in 2015. HOWEVER, his chum/Sex Criminals co-creator Chip Zdarsky had a fantastic year as far as I’m concerned. 2015 saw Chip teamed up with Infinite Kung-Fu creator Kagan McLeod and put out the excellent Kaptara for Image, Joe Quinones on Marvel’s absolutely hilarious Howard the Duck series, and in a move no one saw coming, Archie hired him and Erica Henderson for a Jughead series. Zdarsky and his army of artists released some gorgeous comics packed with sharp and brilliant humor. I’m excited to see what Chip and his friends can do come 2016, which will hopefully include Sex Criminals coming out on a regular schedule.

KIERON GILLEN, JAMIE MCKELVIE AND MATT WILSON PUT OUT PHONOGRAM VOLUME 3, OH AND THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE REMAINS AN EXCELLENT TITLE. 

PhonogramIG_04-1 Warning, this is where things get a little Image heavy for a bit.

For months, WicDiv has been battling it out with Saga for the crown of “Most Emotionally Damaging Image title”. 2015 saw that book hit all sorts of new creative highs, making for a fantastic read.

BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT PHONOGRAM CAME BACK!

Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl isn’t the trio’s most accessible work, something I’ve stated several times,  but I don’t care. The music + magic plot point with it’s fascinating cast resonates with me in ways most comics don’t. I’m glad to see it come back, especially with these creators as good as they are now, and it deliver on levels I couldn’t predict. Between this and WicDiv, it’s hard to argue any creative team have had such a banner year more than these two.

PaperGirls_02-1BRIAN K VAUGHAN RELEASES A 2ND ON-GOING, IMAGE GETS ME TO GIVE THEM MORE MONEY. 

I might as well just get the rest of the Image stuff out in a single, dedicated section. In addition to books I was already reading like Rat Queens, Deadly Class, Saga, Sex Crimz, WicDiv & Pretty Deadly, Image decided to let a bunch of talented folk to put out more great books, which is both great for me as reader, and terrible for my savings account. Bitch Planet, Paper Girls, The Goddamned, Island, Montress,  and Tokyo Ghosts are just a few of the incredible offerings coming out from Image, who has had an banner year in 2015. And with creators like Bryan Lee O’ Malley preparing books for Image in 2016, I can’t see the publisher slowing down anytime soon.

SECRET WARS ISN’T TERRIBLE, A TON OF MARVEL BOOKS ARE FUN, THE STAR WARS BOOKS ARE GREAT, AND ALL NEW ALL DIFFERENT MARVEL Silk Marvel #1NOW HAS A TON OF POTENTIAL HITS ON THE WAY*!

I have plenty of issues with Marvel 2015, but I can’t deny the company has put out some amazing books over the past 12 months. Secret Wars, even with the delays, may be the new standard of excellent for event books. Marvel added wonderful books like The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Spider-Gwen, and Silk to their catalog. Hawkeye, Uncanny X-men and Secret Avengers all ended on high notes, as the Star Wars line kick several types of ass in ways Star Wars comics never had before. 2015 has been another great year for the House of Ideas, and 2016 looks to continue that trend with the new Black Panther, X-Men ’92, Black Widow, Luke Cage/Iron Fist and Captain Marvel titles dropping over the new few months.

*Anything Inhuman related being the exception, unless we count the wonderful Ms. Marvel.

DC….WELL DC TRIED REAL HARD AND THEY DESERVE SOME PROPS FOR AT LEAST MAKING AN ATTEMPT!

DC did not have a banner year, which is a shame. Convergence was a massive flop and it Batgirl_45_coverdid a ton of damage towards the DC You launch this past summer, which was pretty great for the most part. Black Canary, Starfire are excellent companion books to the already established (and wonderful) Batgirl and Harley Quinn titles, and Tom King is doing the Lord’s work over in Omega Men. The creative teams over on the Superman and Bat books are taking some neat risks, and the Justice League books have been pretty solid as a whole. Sadly, the sales haven’t been there, so who knows what’s to become of books like Gotham Academy and Prez come 2015. But with such cutting edge and diverse titles like John Constantine: Hellblazer, Cyborg, Grayson, and Midnighter coming out, hopefully DC’s 2016 will be better without having to sacrifice much.

And that concludes the annual wall of text. A weird but good year for comics IMO, which plenty to look forward next year! Thanks for reading, hope to see you again come 2016!

 

 

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Chris’ Comics: Archie Vs Predator Hardcover Edition

Archie_vs._Predator_TPBArchie Vs Predator

Alex de Campi, Fernando Ruiz, Rich Koslowski, Jason Miller

Dark Horse/Archie Comics, $19.99

The “record shattering number” of Archie comics I buy this year continues to increase, as I now dive into the strange and wonderful world of Archie crossovers!

As I’ve mentioned in my Jughead reviews, I’ve never been much of an Archie guy. However, I’m a definitely the type of guy who’s into the Predator franchise, to the point where I’ve seen both Alien Vs Predator films in theaters on my own accord. You throw a Predator into something and you have my attention, especially when it comes to weird as hell crossovers.

I’ve never championed for an Archie Vs Predator crossover, but who am I to tell Dark Horse and Archie comics how to do business. The 4 issue mini-series is now collected in a nice hard cover, which I have purchased and will tell you about today. Please note that it’s also available in soft covered trade as well, but the hardcover comes with more extras and looks nicer on your bookshelf or coffee table in my opinion. Written by Alex de Campi and drawn in the traditional, pre-reboot Archie style by Fernando Ruiz, this archmpr1p2crossover pits Archie and the gang against one of the deadliest killing machines in the galaxy, and team Archie fares as well as you think they would in this scenario. It is fun stuff, assuming your definition of fun is watching fictional #TEENS getting their heads torn off, which SPOILERS, happens a lot in this book.

Alex DeCampi definitely had a blast writing this book, which you can tell from the dialogue. A lot of the classic Predator lines show up in this book, but refitted for Archie Gang. Which means you get to see Reggie call himself a “Gosh-Darn Sexual Tyrannosaur”, which is great, followed up by Jughead dropping the winner of the 2015 Sickest Burn witnessed by a Chris Troy. Much like the modern Classic Archie Vs Punisher (which gets a brief and welcomed reference in this mini), the whole thing is played straight, but cranked up to 11.

Let it be known that seeing Sabrina the Teenage Witch fall victim to a Mortal Kombat-esque fatality is SUPER JARRING when drawn in that traditional Archie style. Fernando Ruiz is fantastic on this book, channeling classic Archie while exposing them to modern terror. Everything looks so on model, even the Archie-ified Predator. Granted it feels a bit like a step back after seeing Erica Henderson and Fiona Staples work their magic on the Archie books, the book’s humor works all the better thanks to going old school. Ruzi, along with inker Rich Koslowski, and colorist Jason Miller give the reader some truly gruesome art,  but it comes off more as hilarious than it does as ultra-violent thanks to the cartoony 8A6IHTtone and style. It’s kind of the best.

Aside from the 4 issue mini-series, you get several other back up stories including team ups between other Archie and Dark Horse characters (Hellboy and Sabrina!), a cover gallery, a forward and afterword, and a page breakdown. For $20 its a nice collection of material that justifies spending the extra money. The story itself is wonderful, the back up material is solid and the quality of the packaging is superb. If you have an interest in any of these characters, or just like well produced and weird comics, Archie Vs Predator is worth your time in any format.

 

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Chris’ Comics: Lady Killer TPB

2015-01-05-ladykillerLady Killer

Joelle Jones, Jamie S. Rich, Laura Allred

Dark Horse, $17.99

Confession: I love it when artists are credited before writers on comics. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of books I buy currently because I love the writer/writers involved, so I’m not saying this out of spite. But more times than not, an artist is the reason a why I’ll check out a book I’m totally unfamiliar with, and are the deciding factor as to if I will stay with it or not.

On paper, the premise of Lady Killer doesn’t appeal to me much, which is why I initally passed over it. A housewife who’s secretly a hired killer set in the 50s really doesn’t do much for me, either though I’m a fan of books with female leads. But the book was getting some solid buzz, and I eventually reconsidered my stance seeing how good the art was. So yeah, Dark Horse crediting Joelle Jones first on the cover of the Lady Killer trade was a smart move. Jones is an artist I had zero familiarity with coming into this series, but offers a lot to like once you see her work. The best way to describe her art style is Annie Wu (Hawkeye, Black Canary) mashed up with EC Horror comics, as her art on this book is gorgeous, but also extremely gory. Lady Killer is not for those with low tolerances for the ultra violence, so if if the cover disturbs you, you should stay away.

4263831-1+ldyklr+#1+pg+01Those who don’t mind watching  fictional people die violent deaths are in for a treat. Aside from some gorgeous line art from Jones, Laura Allred colors the hell out of this book. Allred goes faux-retro by keeping her palette monotone, which mixes nicely with the splattered inks from Jones, giving the book a gritty, dirty look. I also like the specific shade of red Allred went with (no pun intended), as it’s bold to the point where it’s noticeable, stressing the importance of that color in the book. It’s a very cool visual trick that I dug a lot, and given her past work on such books on FF!, Silver Surfer and iZombie, made her a perfect fit for this book. The artists also deserve credit for keeping the outfits, settings and color scheme very period accurate, going a long well to sell the book’s premise.

I haven’t talked much about Jamie S. Rich, the book’s co-creator and writer. Rich is another creator I’m unfamiliar with, but his work on Lady Killer is  pretty solid. The dialogue is pretty straight forward, feeling slightly restricted, and making the book come off as quiet as time. It feels like he held back on filling the books with character talking in order to let Jones win the audience over with her art. It’s a smart move, as her work is ldyklr2p4stunning, and it makes the dialogue seem all the more important when the characters do speak. I’m also a fan of some of the humor injected into the book, granted it’s pretty dark, the black humor is totally fitting for a book like this. Less is more with Lady Killer, and Rich does hint at some intriguing concepts throughout the book, leaving me wanting to know more about the world, but still satisfied with what I got.

Lady Killer isn’t the most original book you’ll read this year, as several plot points and themes will feel familiar to anyone who’s familiar with Ed Brubaker or Greg Rucka‘s works. But it’s a visually stunning ultra violent ride with a fun, sexy vibe to it as well. It’s a fun mini that tells a complete story, and is definitely worth your time if you want something heavy on the action.

 

 

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Chris’ Comics: Zodiac Starforce 1 & 2

28942Zodiac Starforce 1 & 2

Kevina Panetta, Paulina Ganucheau, Savanna Ganucheau

Dark Horse $3.99

I’ll be honest; I initially wrote off Zodiac Starforce, mostly because it really didn’t seem like my thing. I have a passing familiarity with Sailor Moon, and gave it a go plenty of times while growing up, but it was something that never caught my interest the way Dragon Ball Z or Gundam Wing did. I recognize it as an important work that obviously connected with a ton of people globally, but ultimately not my thing, especially when it’s called Sailor Moon Crystal.

My wife on the other hand, is very much a fan of the one they call Sailor Moon. So when she passed the Zodic Starforce banner at the Dark Horse booth during Rose City Comic Con, she made it a point to pick up the first issue. Issue 2 dropped this week, and since my pull list was light, I figured I would read issues 1 and 2 give it a shot.

zodsf1p5Zodiac Starforce has a cool enough concept. The premise is that a bunch of Zodiac related teenage magical girls have been retired for the last 2 years, and have grown slightly apart. However the threats they thought they vanquished have apparently returned, and one of their own life is now endangered. Writer Kevin Panetta masterfully injects a healthy dose of drama and mystery surrounding the plot, casually dropping hints as to what events cause the group to slip apart, all while fleshing out the characters. Sadly some of the dialogue feels stiff and forced sometimes, but never to the point where the book is unreadable. But I REALLY dig the premise, and I hope Panetta continues to flesh out the world and it’s inhabitants more as the mini series continues.

The one area where Zodiac Starforce does suffer sadly is in the visuals. While the colors by Savanna Ganucheau are bright, clean and occasionally psychedelic in cool way, the art by Paulina Ganucheau is more stiff and uneven. I don’t generally mind manga-influence art, I mean have you’ve seen my reviews for Babs Tarr works for crying out loud, but Paulina’s stuff looks more like faux-Anime influence (think Totally Spies, or other mid 2000s cartoon trying to ape anime), with some awkward posing and facial expressions. It improves a bit in issue 2, especially towards the end of the book, so hopefully that trend will ydq1bp7zlbfrrneuqggrcontinue as the book moves forward. But having talented artists like Kevin Wada and Marguerite Sauvage contribute wonderful covers doesn’t help the interior art out at all. It’s also important to recognize that this is her first big comics work, so maybe I could ease up on it a bit.

Zodiace Starforce is a book that my wife really digs and I’m warm towards, but would have probably waited for a trade to read. Then again, I’m not exactly the targeted demographic, so your mileage may vary, especially if you’re into Sailor Moon or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But as someone who really digs comparable and excellent works like Lumberjanes, Fresh Romance, and Batgirl, Zodiac Starforce didn’t do much for me, even with some really cool and fun stuff scattered about the first 2 issues.

 

 

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Review: Fight Club 2 Issue 1

I know this because I paid $3.99 to know…this? Dang, that almost worked.

4544291-fclub2-1-variant-fc-fnl-b-4x6-e1e1dFight Club 2 #1

Chuck Palahniuk, Cameron Stewart, Dave Stewart, Nate Piekos

Dark Horse $3.99

The original Fight Club film came out during the point in my life where I was very much an angry white boy in his late teens who loved him some nu-metal. Hot Topic was more than happy to sell all sorts of FC merchandise, the DVD had some sweet features, and I was more than happy to drop my disposable income on all of it. It was a movie I was super into for about 6 months, but quickly distanced myself from when I met other fans who were equally, if not as obnoxious about it as I was.  I’m still found of the movie, my tastes of music remains questionable to this date, but I haven’t give much thought to Fight Club until talks of a sequel emerged.

When Fight Club 2 was announced, I was conflicted at first. On one hand, Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart are one hell of a creative team to be working on any comic. On the other hand, was there a need for a Fight Club 2? I never read the novel (I know, I suck), but I thought the movie wrapped up things quite nicely and didn’t need a follow up. I was hesitant to pick it up, but decided to anyway, because I love my reader(s) and I’m not very good with money. Well that and Cameron Stewart has been killing it over on Batgirl and I genuinely like Palhniuk’s work. At the very worst, I would be out of $4, which I would have blown on a beer or something.

fightclubsequel_page1.0Fight Club 2 #1 is a merciless read. It does very little recap, and assumes everyone is more than familiar with the source material. Of course with a the number 2 in a title, I guess assuming everyone is on the same page is to be expected, but you figured someone would throw a bone to the uninitiated (Decompression comics has ruined me). But props to Palhniuk for not caring about if you’re new or not, he’s obviously here to tell a story, not get new readers. Issue one is a very unique comic. Parts of it feel very immature, and the 19 year old me would have loved the “Me against the world, wake up sheeple, pills are killing us” aspect of this comic, completely unaware of it’s satire or not. Present day Chris is rolling his eyes at it at times,  but it possibly being satire makes this comic extremely fascinating, with some crazy over the top twists that genuinely caught me off guard. Fight Club 2 is super clever at times, or so confident in it’s stupidity that it buys into it’s own hype all too well. I can’t actually tell which scenario plays out when, and that itself is strangely wonderful.

fight-club-2-issue-1-03While the quality of Palahniuk’s writing is subjective, the quality of Cameron Stewart’s art is not. Stewart, alongside letter Nate Piekos, really help the readers realize that Sebastian/Tyler Durden is a bit of a hot mess when it comes to his mental health with some really smart placement of panels, word balloons and sound effects. It’s an incredibly well-crafted comic on the art side of things, and it does wonders for the script. Cameron’s stylistic art looks fantastic, especially when colored by Dave Stewart, much how like the movie was full of pretty people doing awful things. It’s easily worth the price of admission just to bear witness to this team drawing a great looking book and tell the story in such a unique way.

Fight Club 2 is ultimately a comic full of terrible people doing various terrible things. It’s definitely not for everyone (there’s some material from 1999 that doesn’t fly in 2015) and at no point within these 20 pages does it justify it’s existence, aside from the art. That being said, it’s either brilliant satire, or a hot outdated mess, which means it’s not good enough for me to buy on a monthly basis, but it’s something I’ll buy collected to find out. It definitely managed to elicited some emotions from me I haven’t felt in awhile, but I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing.

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- Inaugural Edition

Greetings to all the readers out there! I’m Val and if you’re in the store frequently, you may know me as one of the front door guys. I’m also part of Forbidden Planet’s toy department and want to welcome you to my inaugural toy column. There are some really awesome toys coming out this week and I just wanted to share them with you. If you are a fan of the Batman Arkham videogame series, three brand new figures are making their debut from DC Collectibles on Wednesday. Batman, Harley Quinn and the Scarecrow are the characters in this initial release using designs from the forthcoming Arkham Knight videogame. Each figure in the set is between 6 to 7 inches tall, feature multiple points of articulation as well as dedicated character accessories and come packaged in nice window boxes.

If DC Comics Characters aren’t your thing- there is always Marvel and just in time for the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron this coming weekend, we will have a new blind bag assortment of Minimates from Diamond Select Toys based on the movie. The assortment is slated to include different versions of the titular villain, along with the Iron Legion, Nick Fury and Baron Strucker, we also have a good assortment of Avengers related toys ranging from Funko Mystery Mini Blind Boxes to 6″ Marvel Legends figures and Diamond’s own Marvel Select line of action figures, as well as the exquisitely detailed Hot Toys figures of Captain America, Falcon and Winter Soldier from last year’s hit movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

If you’d rather read about your toys rather than collect them, I have two more recommendations for you- the first is the gorgeous coffee table book sized “The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” published by Dark Horse Books. As an 80’s kid- as evidenced by my heavily 80’s iPod playlist that you might hear when you walk into the store, this book swept me back to my childhood with sections devoted to the genesis of the toyline itself to ancillary products like the official magazine and children’s books, the original animated series and movie are also represented. If you have any nostalgia for the He-Man line as well as sister line, She-Ra: Princess of Power, I HIGHLY recommend the book which for the concept art alone is worth the price of admission.

My second recommendation is the new Jem and the Holograms comic book series by IDW. The second issue hits on Wednesday and though there are variations on the original Jem story in the new comic, I thoroughly enjoyed the first issue and cannot wait to see where Kelly Thompson and Ross Campbell are taking my favorite animated rock group. One of the things I most enjoyed in this new take on Jem and the Holograms is the fact that each of the band members has their own body type. They aren’t all stick thin Barbie dolls and I think it is a nice step in the right direction.

Thanks for reading- see you in the store soon!

 

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REVIEW: The Last of Us: American Dreams

22396The Last of Us: American Dreams

Faith Erin Hicks/Neil Druckman/Rachel Rosenberg

Dark Horse #16.99

Instead of eating up the words count here, I tossed a wall of text up on my tumblr regarding PAX East 2014. So follow the link , read the article, and see how many corgi gif sets I reblogged on the regular.  (http://anarchris.tumblr.com/post/82736375965/of-pax-east-and-chris-here-comes-the-walls-of-text . One of the things I did pick up there was the show exclusive The Last of Us: American Dream hardcover, but the soft cover is available everywhere for about 10 bucks less. So I thought I’d shared my thought on it with the lot of you.

So yeah, The Last of Us, a game I’m fairly certain most of you heard of. It’s one of the best selling, heavily advertised and critically acclaimed games of 2013! Personally, even after waiting for a $20 off retail sale price, I found it a tad overrated, but you guys don’t want to hear about that (unless you do!). You’re here for comics and/or toys talk (one of these days. Maybe) . So let’s take a look at the Last of Us’ comic book tie-in/prequel story, American Dreams.

((NOTE: While I still have to PLAY the “new” single player DLC, I’m like 90% certain that this book take places before that.))

Last-of-Us-Comic-2I usually tend to avoid video game comic tie ins, mostly because they tend to be awful. However, the Internet has informed me that Dark Horse has been doing some good stuff with their’s, and TLOU: The American Dream is co-written and drawn by Faith Erin Hicks( Demonology 101, The War at Ellsmere , The Adventures of Superhero Girl, Friends With Boys), Naughty Dog’s  (The game developers) own Neil Druckman, and colorist Rachel Rosenberg. 

So is the book worth your time? Well yes and no. If you’re going into this comic with little to no idea what the game is about, you might fight yourself a tad disappointed. Aside from a note saying this takes places before the game, there’s nothing that explains why the world our lead Ellie inhabits is the way it is. You’re supposed to know that it’s a post-apocalyptic world devastated by the worst type of fungal/pollen outbreak ever. That’s something kind of crucial to the story.

And again, there really isn’t much of a story to be told. Since it’s a video game tie-in prequel, you’re introduced to a few characters, some who show up in the game, some who are mentioned in it, and that’s it. It sets up the downloadable content which bridges the gap between this comic and the actual game, but again, without any knowledge of the game, you’re going to be disappointed in the narrative.

last-of-us-2But what if you’re a fan of the game and want more from that world. Well then, you’re in luck. Faith Erin Hicks is an EXCELLENT artists, and why her art style is VASTLY different from the game’s, it doesn’t take away from anything. I hate to call it manga-esque, but it kind of it, as in the sense that’s very animated and detailed.  Also hella speedlines, and Ellie is kinda of big-eyed, but it also show you how good Faith Erin Hicks is when it comes to making her characters show any emotions. Hicks does excellent jobs of showing how run down the world (In think thinks takes place in Boston) is, and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to showing violence.

lou3p5Dark Horse was wise to pair Hicks’ which Rachel Rosenberg, who I found out colored several X-men books over at Marvel that I really liked. Her colors do an excellent job setting the mood, using light colors for heavily dialogue scenes, bright colors for action sequences,  and darker ones for dramatic ones. It helps set the mood incredibly well.

What this book kind of lacks in narrative certainly makes up for in visuals. The Last of Us: American Dreams, isn’t for anyone, but if you’re a fan of the game and/or of Faith Erin Hicks, it’s definitely worth a read. It definitely reads better as a collection than in single issues, and it does help set the stage for one of the better characters to debut in video game in 2013.

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Hellboy Day at Forbidden Planet NYC

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Mike Mignola’s signature character this coming Saturday, 3/22/14, is officially Hellboy Day in the comics community and Forbidden Planet NYC will be participating!

Mike Mignola Forbidden Planet

Beginning at 9am we’ll be giving away a few Hellboy themed packages containing comics, posters and other swag as supplies last. We’re also running a sale- 15% OFF all Hellboy/BPRD/Abe Sapien/Lobster Johnson books and comics– through midnight. We’ll also be giving away a copy of Hellboy The First Twenty Years on our Twitter feed.

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Fifth Beatle Singing November 20th

We’re pleased as punch to announce that on Wednesday, November 20th, Vivek J. Tiwary will be signing copies of his new graphic novel- the highly anticipated The Fifth Beatle – right here at Forbidden Planet NYC!

Fifth Beatle Forbidden Planet signing, Vivek Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, Kyle Baker, event, Dark Horse Comics

The book, published by Dark Horse and releasing 11/19, has got a TON of buzz about it, with a feature film in the works. Vivek is an award-winning producer, writer, and financier for film, television, theater and music and The Fifth Beatle is his first major comic work as writer/creator… And he’s a swell fella. Heck, he even mentioned FP in his bio…

“Vivek’s earliest childhood memories include browsing the comic book racks at Forbidden Planet with his parents and listening to their Beatles’ records at home.”

NYC area pals, we hope to see you here Wednesday the 20th when the festivities kick off at 6pm. Can’t make it to our event? You can pre-order signed copies by mail!  Standard editions (only $19.99 retail!) can be purchased here and collectors editions can be purchased here.

Follow The Fifth Beatle on Twitter or check out the official website for more.

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GAMMA Signing with Ulises Farinas and Erick Fretias

On Wednesday the 24th of July at Forbidden Planet, artist/writer Ulises Farinas (Catalyst Comix, Transformers: Heart of Darkness, House of Mystery) and Erick Fretias will be in store signing copies of their new book GAMMA from Dark Horse on the day of its release!

You don’t want to miss this one folks, trust us.  It’s going to be crazier than Ulises’ art (which is effin beautiful)! Pre-orders available here.

Hope to see ya then!

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I bought some comics, let me tell you about them.

Toy-talk next time I swear, but for now I want to talk comics and y’all got to suffer through that first. I’ve bought a few books that warrant discussion, at FPNYC and now I’m going to spend 500 words trying to explain how great they are.

First off, there’s Marvel’s mini-event “The Enemy Within“. One would assume if I were to talk about a Marvel event it would “Age of Ultron”, but I really have very few positive things to say about that. And “Infinity” is something I can wait to be collected before touching, sorry Hickman.

“The Enemy Within”  is a crossover between Kelly Sue Deconnick’s 2 books “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers Assembled“. Both of those titles are books I’m already buying as is, so it really wasn’t a hard sell. The event spins out of recent happenings going down in Carol Danvers’ book, where an old enemy is giving the good Captain hell, and forcing her to fight a ton of her old foes. So Carol calls in some of her mightiest pals to help deal with that.

And it’s such a fun read! You really don’t need to know much going into it, although being caught up on at least “Captain Marvel” helps. It feels like a lost Jim Starlin Avengers story from the 70s at times, and I mean that in a good way. The BIG difference is how KSD writes the cast. The Avengers come off as actual friends, so there’s a nice degree of warmth in the script, as well as some solid humor. The art by Scott Hepburn and Matteo Buffangi gives the story a very fluid and animated look, which I dig a lot. It’s a 5 issue arc, and if you want to read a FUN Avengers book with cast similar to that of the movies, it’s the way to go.

Dark Horse Presents #25 also dropped this past week, and for $8 , you definitely get your money’s worth. There’s 11 stories contained in 80 pages of comics, by some big name talent. Matt Fraction, a writer I’m obviously found of, makes his Dark Horse debut with Christian Ward and gives a nice done in one story focusing on  lost romance and time travel. There’s a GREAT 1 page strip by Emma T Capps, who’s all of 15 year old, a Buffy The Vampire story begins  by series regulars Jane Espenson and Karl Moline, and stories by A-list creators like Fred Van Lente, Freddie Williams III, Phil Winslade, Mike Baron, Steve Rude, Dan Jolley and Leonard Kirk, amongst others. My only complaint with this book is that some of the content is  already in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of their stories, so some of the tales may come across as confusing. Regardless of that, I remain pleased with my purchase.

And because the buzz around it is great, I also picked up the Legend of Luthor Strode, by creators Justin Jordan, Tradd Moore and Felipe Sobreiro. Published by Image Comics’, this book is as awesome as it is violent, which is to say A LOT. It’s “Kick-Ass” meets “Charlies Atlas”, which I know, does not say much about the story, but I’m trying to keep this relatively light on the spoilers. In fact, I’ll go on the record for saying that I liked it a ton better than “Kick-Ass”. For a $15 trade, you could do a lot worst, and this book definitely deserves a spot on your book shelf.

So there you go, a bunch of great books worth your time! Hope you check at some of them, and let me know what you think here, or on twitter. @theanarchris is my handle, and I’m fairly active on there, so all feedback is appreciated.

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What I bought at Heroescon, and what you should buy too.

::: Vacuums after a lengthy absence :::

Yo apparently this blog begins and end with me if the lack of updates indicate anything.

So Heroescon obviously has passed once again, and according to this article’s title, I was there. Yes that’s me dressed as Clint Barton with Hawkeye writer Matt Fraction. (No, you cannot touch me now.) My first Heroescon was dope, and SURPRISE, so was this year’s. I got to meet a ton of awesome creators, who’s stuff I’ll be highlighting in this article. Again see the title of this article, this is not a concept that is hard to understand people.

First off is Fraction’s first Fantastic Four collection, which collects the first 3 issues of both the NOW relaunched Fantastic Four and Future Foundation titles, with great art from Mark Bagley and Mike Allred. It’s worth noting that the books are reprinted in the order the series is meant to be read, which makes the narrative flow better in my opinion. ALSO ART BY MARK BAGLEY AND MIKE ALLRED, I CANNOT STRESS HOW AWESOME THIS IS! The 1st trade costs $17 and is well worth it. Yes this is my extremely bias opinion, given how much I love Fraction’s work, but yo, have I’ve ever steered you the reader wrong before?

What, no, you shut you, you are clearly wrong here.

Awesome artist Becky Cloonan was also in attendance an-ah screw it, LOOK ALIVE SUNSHINE! THE TRUE LIVES OF THE FABULOUS KILLJOYS HAS ARRIVED!

I’ll play this straight. Dark Horse has assembled a team that I love. I really dig writer’s Gerard Way’s “Umbrella Academy” stuffs, and yeah, I won’t front, I like My Chemical Romance. As for Becky, she drew the very awesome Demo with Brian Wood, another favorite of mine, so these 2 on a book that ties into my favorite MCR album is a must buy. The book’s debut issue is firing on all cylinders, and you definitely get your $4 worth it. Pick it up on sight.

Chris Sims,  of ComicsAlliance.com fame, was a guest in the massive Indie creator section of the con, and I’m a fan of his work I’m also a fan of Street Fighter, and the publisher Udon, which is a really roundabout way of saying that I bought Super Street Fighter Volume 1: The New Generation. This dropped last October apparently, and while I liked it, I’m a little hesitant to recommend it to everyone. As enjoyable as the side stories by Sims and friends are (I don’t want to know you if you can’t get down with a Balrog Vs. Dudley fight), the main story is strictly for fans only. Also the page count is a little weird due to the fact that there’s a lot of sketches/promo art packaged in. It retails for $35, which is kinda steep, but it’s also a over-sized hardcover, so the price is kinda justified if you’re into Street Fighter.

Kelly Sue Deconnick’s Captain Marvel is a book that I’ve been on board with since she wrote 2 issues of Avenging Spider-Man with Carol Danvers in them last year. So while I didn’t actually buy anything from her at Heroescon ( I did do a nice little write up of her Carol Corps panel over at Bleeding Cool http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/06/12/kelly-sue/), that will not stop me from pushing the 2 Captain Marvel trades currently available. Kelly Sue’s joined by relatively new artists like Dexter Soy and Filipe Andrade, both excellent story tellers in their own rights, as well as the great Emma Rios, who is currently working with KSD on Image’s upcoming “Pretty Deadly”. It’s good super hero stuffs with an easy jumping on point, and for $15 bucks a volume, you really can’t go wrong with this series.

That concludes my brief con report/creators I like plugathon. Next time I’ll be back plugging a dozen or so Play Arts.

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BROCK OF AGES

GO TEAM VENTURE! The Venture Brothers is back on the air after 3 long years! Austensibly a parody of Johnny Quest, the Venture Brothers has grown into a touching story about people with extraordinary abilities failing in ordinary ways. Packed with nerds, super-hero wannabies and other marginal social pariahs, the Venture Brothers is about US, viewed through the mirror of the pop culture we love.

There is LOTS to celebrate with the Ventures back on! Forbidden Planet has a decent amount of Venture Brothers action figures, shirts, bobbleheads and other assorted merch. Don’t see what your looking for? Have any of our talented staff help you find it…or draw it for you! SURE! Wanna’ see Brock Sampson fight Empowered in the new (amazing) Empowered Special #4 out from Dark Horse this week? Just bring up your copy, add on a few extra bucks and DEMAND a Forbidden Planeteer draw Brock Sampson into the action with a sharpy.
THAT’S the kind of extra mile I’ve just committed our unwitting staff too. WARNING: Artistic abilities may vary
SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT

While we reel with the memories of last Sunday’s season premier and patiently await this Sunday’s new episode, let’s check out the following comics, available now, which are either great substitutes or inspiring source materials.
You should own The Complete Tick for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is written and mostly drawn by Ben Edlund. Ben is the current writer for Supernatural, but was an Angel writer and Joss Wheedon collaborator. Did you know that Edlund is also the only other human being to get a writing credit on The Venture Brothers besides Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer?
TRUE! Edlund wrote “Viva De Los Muertos,” as well as having story credits on “Careers in Science” and “Guess Who’s Coming to States Dinner?” This is because A) he’s great, but also B) Jackson Publick, a.k.a. Chris Mccullogh took over writing duties on the Tick comic once Ben left to work on the first Tick TV show. Chris wrote The Tick Karma Tornado (It’s…ok.) as well as wrote some GREAT episodes of both the Tick cartoon and live action shows.
Venture fans who DO NOT know the Tick origins of Jackson Publick’s career owe it to themselves to check it out! Also, I think Doc was Edlund’s roommate at College. It gets incestuous, I know.
For a bright, happy version of what the Venture Universe could look like, one should check out Tom Strong from Alan Moore and artist Chris Sprouse. Tom Strong is a semi-forgotten title, having been overshadowed both by Moore’s previous work and subsequent. As part of the ABC line of comics, Tom was the centerpiece, yet couldn’t compete with Top 10 and Promethia, the more interesting titles it shared a spotlight with.
Tom Strong is, like Rusty Venture, a super-scientist, born of scientific parents…only Tom is amazing at it. Where Rusty “Doc” Venture has a spindly robot handed down from his father which never seems to work right, Tom has a cool Victorian robot butler that half runs on steam. Where Doc has two sons who resent him and his life choices, Tom has a beautiful daughter, excited to follow in his footsteps.
Tom Strong is everything Rusty will never be, a beloved science hero with great hair and a working jetpack. Tom’s adventures are thrilling, new and exciting, and will remind you of the Venture Brothers for how DISsimilar they really are.
And do read Top 10 and Promethia. They are required.
WHEN THAT HAPPENS

Maybe you have a favorite show that’s NOT the Venture Brothers. Silly. Maybe they do make a comic out of it, or maybe they don’t. Next time you write a comics column, you should recommend it, and swell books like it…till then you should watch the Venture Brothers. Not just because I told you too…but because I told you too and I have a taser.

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