Category: fantagraphics

On February 5th New Comics, From Someone in Seattle

Super Bowl XLVIII chamion SeahawksBy the time you’re reading this, I’m either in a perpetual state of bummed because the Seahawks just lost, or I’ll still be insanely pumped on their crushing win over the Broncos. I’d be vastly underestimating the atmosphere in Seattle right now if I said it wasn’t a big deal, and an infectious one at that. That’s all I’ll say about sports.

On to comic talk…. I’ve got nothing. These are comics and you should buy them.
(Honorable mention books that I talk about them all the time but want to remind you that they have new issues: Judge Dredd: Mega City #2, Catalyst Comix #8, Archer and Armstrong #0.1)

Liz Prince Alone ForeverAlone Forever by Liz Prince
Just in time for Valentine’s day, Liz Prince has collected a book of her popular online series that brings you joy, laughter, sadness, and other emotions. Okay, I sound less than enthused, but that’s only because I can so scarily relate to the perils of modern romance in the OkCupid age. Prince draws characters that are fun, funny, and engaging; who are more about figuring themselves out in a comedic, self-deprecating way, than figuring out how to “catch the cute boy”. Online romance, punk jams, bearded alternative boys. Yep, sounds like my life.

Drawn Quarterly Ant ColonyAnt Colony by Michael DeForge
You’re an idiot if you’re not reading DeForge yet. I hate to be that honest but it’s true. [not really -ed.] He’s been putting out stuff with various magazines like Study Group, and The Believer, online, and independent publishing. His first collected book came out last year in Very Casual, and it’s very good. Scholars like to freak out over him, pegging him as everything from the next Clowes, to Burns, to Ware, but really…he’s just the next DeForge. Oh yeah, his Drawn and Quarterly debut is about the impending war between the black ants and the red ants of a singular ant colony; a microcosm of the destruction of civilization, but an exploration of the human condition, handled with humor, sensitivity, and insight that is rare in any medium but the best. And this is the best. I want to be reading it right now (and then sleeping with it under my pillow so I can osmosis all the feels you’ll feel when reading this).

Sucker_Bait_FantagraphicsSucker Bait and Other Stories by Graham Ingels
The first story from this new EC collected book by Fantagraphics is about a guy who keeps lying to his girlfriend of 15 years about going fishing every weekend, and why he wont marry her. Some fun stuff in the middle happens and she ends up mounting him on the wall like one of his trophy fish he kept bringing her. Awesome. I love the absurdity of a woman stuffing and mounting a grown man on the wall. It’s not even possible, but it’s amazing to imagine. Ingels is the master of horror; his zombies have influenced the like of Romero and other goulish artists for generations to come. The stories are classic, and what a lot of pop culture jokes are based off of. So if you want to actually get people’s references instead of just laughing along in confusion, pick up all the EC books that you can! (Zero Hour is another one that’s out this week for all you Sci Fi nerds (me)).

msmarvel1Ms. Marvel #1 by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
I don’t want to boil this comic down to the first topic of conversation that’s brought up when discussing this comic, but it’s hard to do when Marvel reintroduces Ms. Marvel with a Pakistani-American, Muslim, female character. On the outset, reactionary folks might be critical to the simple fact that Marvel is trying to cram as many underrepresented groups into a comic as possible, but that’s how shit gets started. Anyone should be able to feel like they can be a superhero (if they’re born with/have powers bestowed upon them) no matter who you are. A lot of the early issue will be the basics of an origin story; who is Kamala Kahn? There’s a lot of reasons to pick this book up: curiosity, amazing art, a classic character. The bottom line is, for the sake of expanding the superhero genre, buy this book. (And for the sake of the Internet, please refrain from flaming the book for reasons other than its artistic and storytelling merit).

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On “New School” Color

 

NewSchoolMainThis idea of color as something other than coding is nothing new, and since the days of Frank Santoro’s “Sirk” and even earlier with Françoise Mouly’s and Spiegleman’s RAW Magazine, cartoonists have been figuring out ways around the limited printing technology we’ve had at hand. Without delving in too deep with the history of its induction, and the restrictions that were placed upon it by the technology of the time, color in comics has come a long way. So much so that it’s no longer has to be a simple device to differentiate between characters and objects, it now has the opportunity to be something more.

tumblr_mpmkrf0BjO1qza6muo5_500Dash Shaw’s latest book New School is a prime example of this. If you haven’t picked this book up yet you’re doing yourself a disservice. New School, apart from being a deftly crafted work of mostly fiction, Dash uses color like no other comic every really has. Spreading shapes and patterns full of different color underneath his black line art, sometimes covering the page and other times intersecting across panels, leaving some space blank and other parts full of vibrant patterns, there is a unique abstraction that happens. The experience of it is jarring at first, as a reader automatically can’t help but wonder what the artist’s intention is with this approach to applying color. But as you progress through the narrative (the narrative being presented in a expedient manner) you stop questioning why the color is the way it is and let it do what it was intended for.

 

Dash is setting up color to be like an orchestra. A counter melody to the black and white line work that is the “guts” of the story. The story itself is presented clearly in what Dash calls his “dumb line, a term he said to have come from David Mazzucchelli, to describe a line whose quality is unsure of what it is representing. If the book had been printed in just black and white the reader would understand it without the color, so in not having the story hinge on the color component of the comic, Dash is afforded the opportunity to experiment. This goers back to the Dash’s idea of the orchestra. The line work is the guts of the song, but the color is that rich counter melody that brings a fullness to it’s sound. Instances of bright and vibrant color’s being like cymbal crashes and allowing the intensity of the color (or lack of it) act like new-school-6-630x418crescendos and decrescendos, adding to the complexity of the story/song. He visual shows these layers, as the physical quality of the pages with color show the obviousness of the separation of the line work and the color, like two instruments in a band. Think Henry Rollins barking vocals vs. Greg Ginn’s guitar, two parts of one whole.

For brevities sake, I won’t take about the physical quality of the painted color, or the mark making, or the way that the patterns Dash would paint in the page reflect in terms of iconography, shapes in the guts of the page, thus heightening the emotional quality of the what’s already taking place at that moment in the stories time. Those are things that can only come from spending some time with New School, and I think it behooves any comic’s enthusiast to do so. But I would be woefully dismayed to not talk about how Dash has introduced a digestible abstraction to a medium which (for the most part) is about clarity.

new-school-22-630x408

Will Eisner said that in being a cartoonist you are not afforded the same spontaneity that say a painter has. Apart from the literally thousands of successful comics that prove this contention wrong, Eisner would still have been right if he amended that statement with “in a classical story telling sense.” That is until New School. Dash has opened up the possibility of how in juxtaposing abstract shapes of color and patterning against clear and concise black and white storytelling, that you can breathe the life force that is spontaneity into a medium whose normal working methods are as anal retentive as a Klingon (sorry I didn’t have a better joke).

This, whatever you want to call it, barely scratches the surface of what Dash accomplishes in New School, but hopefully imparts some idea of the next level thinking that is available in this book. So go buy it. Preferable here.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 17: That Can Save Her People…

Funny story. My column ran long last week and Unkie Dev’s space got cut. Since then I have been wracked with guilt and completely unable to function in my daily life. I am overwrought with worry thinking about all you Unkie Dev Dev-iants who missed his thoughtful words and gentle demeanor. I have completely rethunked my whole column to try and make amends. Also the numerous death threats helped me see the issue more clearly. For this week I am doing a very special, micro-machines man-esque, super speed version of TRY SOMETHING NEW. Without further ado…

THE MASSIVE #1 is being rereleased for $1. Frontrunner for book of the year, Brian Wood does realistic global disaster from the POV of a radical environmental group hunting for a missing boat. There’s nothing like it on shelves and if you like the $1 issue you can buy the whole trade for just a bunch of dollars more. I know nobody wants to hear that this book has some light environmentalism themes so I won’t mention that. People shoot at each other though, you all like that. Read also: DMZ.

SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY. A friend of mine who works at Marvel lent me this and said it was the best Superman book of all time. That’s how good it is. It almost brokered the Marvel/DC peace accords. He was wrong though. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN is the best, but this is up there. A surreal tale of a young Clark Kent that will keep you guessing. Kurt Busiek can find the humanity in superheroes better than almost anyone, and Stuart Immonen can draw that just as well. Read also: ASTRO CITY

PUNK ROCK JESUS. Sean Murphy steps out of his own artistic shadow to become a powerhouse writer. The story of a clone of Jesus who quits his reality TV show and fronts a punk band may make you cringe, but Murphy handles it with aplomb. His art, as always, is brilliant. This one may not be for everyone but if it seems interesting to you now you will probably dig it. I think the ratio of people with mohawks in comics to people with mohawks in real life is crazy. This book doesn’t help that. Read also: AMERICAN JESUS vol. 1

MISS FURY #1. It seems like something changed over at Dynamite and their relaunched character books have either been getting much better or people are finally caring about them. Now they launch Miss Fury, a hero who ends up moving through alternate timelines after WWII. She may be lost, she may be crazy, she is definitely angry (Dynamite, call me. I can make this $#!% up all day: 212.473-1576). This book is good too because if you squint you can pretend you are reading Catwoman. Read also: CATWOMAN

MICE TEMPLAR vol. 4 #1. How &*(%!#@ weird is it that there is more than one book about mice with swords? I think it’s absolutely insane. It makes me feel like I am losing my mind. It’s hard to find comics with black characters in them and there are two books with sword wielding mice?!?! Both sword/mice books are good. This one has some great Michael Avon Oeming art. Read also: MOUSE GUARD (obviously…)

THANOS RISING #1. I once went on a long and moderately well received rant about how I think in some ways comic writers are too sheltered. Many just lack crazy life experiences and it shows in their writing. I said something about how I don’t want to read comics from anyone who has never been in handcuffs, or slept with a stranger, or been knocked unconscious, or had a gun pointed at them, or woken up on a strange floor, or seen a dead body, or crashed a car, etc… Rantings of an idiot, but my point remains. I don’t know if Jason Aaron has done any of those things but he sure writes like has. Now he is writing a Thanos origin story. I don’t know who thought a Thanos origin story was necessary but here it is. Read it and everything else Jason Aaron writes. Read also: SCALPED

UBER #0. There’s a lot of Nazi stuff in comics. Nazis are like mice with swords, they’re everywhere. Except in MAUS where the mice aren’t Nazis at all and there are no swords. Confusing. Most of the Nazi stuff I find to be boring and cliché. Heck, this is my second Nazi stuff book of this column, and this column only has stuff I like in it. But Kieron Gillen is a good writer and can take a tired cliché and shake it up enough to make it feel fresh and exciting. His new series finds Nazi superheroes entering the last days of WWII to CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY! Whoa. If that doesn’t excite you you should probably stick to books with mice and swords. Read also: PHONGRAM

HARBINGER WARS #1 is a crossover between Harbinger and Bloodshot. Both of those books are among the better offerings in superheroics right now. This, the first crossover of the Valiant Comics relaunch, is all set to be epic and hopefully gamechanging. If you have been reading both main books then this event is a no-brainer. If you haven’t then I don’t know why you would start here. The trades of both individual series are only $10 each. Start there. Read also: HARBINGER, BLOODSHOT.

50 GIRLS 50. Fantagraphics has been re-releasing old EC stuff in these really nice hardcovers. Now they are taking a shot at Al Williamson’s work. Ranging from sci-fi & fantasy, to horror and crime, this stuff is almost infinitely fun and readable. There are some Ray Bradbury stories in here, as well as some stuff that Frank Frazetta drew. All with great notes on EC and Williamson. This book is equal parts truly classic comics and amazing history lesson. Come for the arts, stay for the smarts. (Again, Fantagraphics, I will write taglines like this for you. I make up stuff this good like every day.) Read also: CORPSE ON THE IMJIN

‘TAIN’T THE MEAT…IT’S THE HUMANITY. I could write about how this is Fantagraphics collection of all of Jack Davis’ Tales From The Crypt stuff but instead I will just direct you to the title. Now I offer the theory that anyone who does not own a book called “’Tain’t The Meat… It’s The Humanity” deserves nothing of value in their lives. This stuff is funny, gross, creepy, and like nothing that has come since, but mostly it just has the single greatest title of all time. Ever. Including the future. Read also: CAME THE DAWN

Well that’s all for me now. I just got a tip from a friendly lady cop I used to run with that a guy matching the description of tech wizard/crazed mole person, Tyler, has been spotted in the abandoned Fulton Fish Market building. I just hope I can get to him before they do. Pray for us.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 16: Custodian of the Stolen Plans

So last week was my worst column yet. How do I quantify that? Well I thought it was dumb, everyone else who read it also thought it was dumb, and not many people read it. See? Quality isn’t really subjective. So I’m sad to say that was my last column as a comic journalist. I know some of you were living and dying by my recommendations, and to you loyal readers I apologize. The good news is I’m not leaving the Planet entirely. I spoke to the important so and so’s at FP and they, after much crying and pleading, begged me to stay on in some capacity. Especially with Tyler missing, the loss of dear old me might be too much for the old Planet to take. I can’t go into details about the deal but lets just say I can finally afford that sandwich I’ve had my eye on. So here we go with TRY SOMETHING NEW 2.0. as an advice column for all your pressing social etiquette questions, troubling moral quandaries, and secret relationship dilemnas. So, without further ado-

Dear Matthew,

I love your column. You are my hero but I think there is something wrong with me. Nothing makes me happy anymore. I find myself longing for something old yet new somehow. I want action, but not over the top stupid excitement for the sake of it. I want mystery and adventure. Everywhere I turn things seem ugly and unappealing. Am I going crazy? -Ben S. from Dearborn, Mi.

Ben,

There is nothing wrong with you. You just don’t know what you want. You are aimless. Have you ever checked out Dean Motter’s MISTER X? If you haven’t then you probably should. Motter’s retro futurist character returns in this week’s one shot MISTER X: HARD CANDY. Beautiful Golden Age looking art and gritty detective stories that feel like a cross between The Rocketeer and Blade Runner. There was a time when this is all science fiction did, and Motter would have been among the best at that time. Now sci-fi almost never does this type of story and the genre suffers for it. Pick up a copy of this book and see if it gives your life some meaning little buddy.

Hey Matthew,

You are great. Keep being great. I keep thinking there should be a comic that is a post apocalyptic story ala books like Wasteland or Judge Dredd but involve biblical characters like the Four Horseman in some politically intriguing scenarios. This book would be a mess though unless someone awesome like Jonathan Hickman of Manhattan Projects/Avengers/Ultimates fame helmed it to ensure it was clever and always zigged when I thought it would zag. I was thinking a rising star artist like Nick Dragotta could draw something like this well. A sort of Sean Murphy meets Jock sensibility. All of this would be perfect on a company like Image who keep putting out good series after good series. What do you think of that idea? Pretty good right? – Javier R. from Brooklyn, Ny.

Javier,

That book sounds exactly like EAST OF WEST #1. It comes out this Wednesday. Please think of something more original.

Hello Matthew,

First of all, I love the column. You truly are the voice of a generation. I have a friend who thinks that all comics suck. What should I tell them? Vita A. from L.E.S., NY.

Hi Vita,

Thanks for the kind words. I get that a lot. First of all, are you sure this person is really your friend? It sounds like they are just hanging out with you to try and make you angry. That’s not what friendship is about, keep that in mind. Either way, you should give them JULIO’S DAY which is out today. Originally started in Love & Rockets vol. II but never completed until now, JULIO’S DAY is one of the more easily digestible while still brilliant works by Gilberto Hernandez. There are few folks alive or dead who will end up having either the massive impact or the stunning catalog in comics of either of Los Bros. Hernandez. While JULIO’S DAY may not go down as his most important work because it lacks the impressive scale of the Palomar stuff, it shouldn’t be overlooked. For a man who has found his career making epic sprawling stories, it is humbling and inspiring to see he can do the same thing in small doses as well. Give that to your “friend” and tell them to choke on it.

Hello Matthew,

Do you know what your problem is? – Anna P. from Seattle, Wa.

Anna,

Yup.

Dear Matthew,

Thanks for the column. It saved my life a few times. Or maybe it just felt that way. Anyway, I met this guy at a party recently and he seemed really great. He was really tall and good looking, wearing this psychedelic blue and yellow jumpsuit. He said he was a magician from another dimension and he did all sorts of strange tricks. He had an entourage of strange dwarves, catfaced men, and all sorts of odd characters around him. But then he said he had to leave because his biggest fan was in danger and he had to dimension hop and rescue them from the clutches of his arch nemesis. I don’t like getting in over my head but I really like him and want to see him again. Here’s the thing; I don’t know how to find him now? I am worried he is gone forever!- Rich W. from Long Island, Ny.

Hey Rich,

Good news/bad news here. The bad news first: none of that happened. You are having a weird flashback and need to sort that out. The good news: What you are describing sounds a lot like the mini-series Zaucer of Zilk. Z.O.Z. was a great and truly bizarre British psychedelic comic and has just been collected as THE COMPLETE ZAUCER OF ZILK. To any of my readers who want to feel like someone dosed them but you don’t want to end up babbling nonsense like crazy Rich over here I would strongly recommend this one. The British comic guys do no holds barred crazy better than anyone else and it is always a fun trip. Bright colors, weirdo plot twists, amazing characters, and only a passing grasp on reality makes for great comics.

Hiya Matthew,

Would you like a cashew? -Jean B. from Bronx, Ny.

Jean,

No thanks. Nuts are gross. Nothing personal.

Hey Matthew,

Great work with the column. Keep it up. I am writing because I’m in a weird situation. There is this person I know who I hang out with just to make them angry. I say things like “all comics suck” just to see what they say. Is this wrong? P.S. You are my favorite writer of all time. – Danny L. from Harlem, Ny

Hi Danny,

No, this definitely isn’t wrong. The whole point of having friends is to push their boundaries and get under their skin. Friendship should be a caustic and trying affair. Like prolonged exposure to lye, if it isn’t making your skin blister you aren’t doing it right. In the meantime you should read a book. Try B.P.R.D. VAMPIRE #1. It’s a new arc of B.P.R.D. so it will definitely be a fun book and it’s drawn by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon aka the team behind Daytripper aka two of the best artists in comics. Go buy it in secret, read it in private, and tell your friend to she smells funny.

Hello Matthew,

Love the column so much. You are the greatest mind of our generation. I put you up there with Faulkner, Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Ellison as a defining voice of the American experience. Please don’t ever stop writing. Your words give my life meaning. Also, are there any good X-Men books out this week? Carly R. from Burlington, Vt.

Hi Carly,

Again, thanks for the kind words. Really flattering. Funny you should ask about X-Men books because ALL NEW X-MEN vol. 1 is out this week. I don’t hide my weirdo fondness for the work of Brian Bendis. His work on All New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men so far has been the absolute breakout of the Marvel Now relaunch and with good reason. These books fundamentally break down the X-Men to the basics of what the X-Men should be. Add to that actual character arcs and progression and you have what may end up being the best X-Men book in 25 years or more. Bold words but I don’t have to back them up because you can just read the book and see that I’m right. Hope that helps you Carly. Now quit smoking.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 15: Princess Leia Races Home Aboard Her Starship.

Ok, big week here at TRY SOMETHING NEW. It seems a ton of you have been reading my column and taking my advice. Obama released the sales charts for comics last week and it turns out REPTILE MUSEUM by Cody Pickrodt was the best selling comic in the country, selling a whopping 1,288,000 copies in one week. That’s a lot of folding and stapling. Thanks loyal readers. I hope you all enjoyed reading the book as much as I did. I am sure Cody would thank you too if he wasn’t busy orbiting the earth in a newly purchased Soviet space shuttle. Hopefully there is stuff in this weeks column that you can be equally as excited about.

Of course every silver lining comes with a sad old cloud inside it. I am putting this issue of the Weekly Planet together myself for the first time. Turns out it’s not so hard. This is shaved ape territory. That’s not the sad part though. No living person has seen dear sweet Tech Wizard/Milk Carton Model Tyler in over a week. This is hard to talk about but Tyler was getting into weird stuff recently. Stuff you wouldn’t want your parents to see, stuff you would deny to your friends. Comics with no narrative, comics that were just made up of shapes, comics that took place inside large animals, comics about comics even. MoCCA stuff. Real sicko $#!%. Sadly no one at Forbidden Planet heard his cry for help enough to just hand him a copy of Hawkman and slap him in the face once. We have all seen it before. Kid moves to the big city from… I don’t, Canada? Texas? Where the hell was Tyler from? And the big city shows him things he has never imagined. Blexbolex things. Deforge things. Marra things. The first time he saw Pillow Fight it was like watching a puppy come to understand string theory. Soon he is shaving his head, hanging out in offices with british dudes, and … Sorry again. I don’t really know what Tyler does other than edit this steaming pile of journalism. Either way, if you see Tyler out there tell him someone at Forbidden Planet loves him. Tell him to come home before this world ruins him. He had so much to give. I can already feel this is too little too late. Oh well.

Image came out swinging pretty hard in 2012, firmly staking their claim as the innovative mainstream publisher. Books like Saga, Manhattan Projects, Fatale, Mind The Gap, Prophet, and King City were among the best books to come out last year. Well Image is feeling the pressure to top all that clearly. Books like End Times, Nowhere Men, Sex, and Great Pacific are all causing a lot of buzz and are well worth your time. But no book has generated the buzz or the praise of FIVE GHOSTS #1. The Five Ghosts team (Team 5G is what no one is calling them) is signing/signed at Forbidden Planet this Wednesday, (and what a fine looking and charming group of young men) depending on when you read this. A great classic pulp adventure with big ideas and breathtaking art, FIVE GHOSTS feels just like what you imagined all comics should be like when you were 10. An Indiana Jones type meets the great literary characters of the past 200 years in a supernatural thriller as drawn by a cross between Milo Manara and Wally Wood. That was probably too nice, but still, really fun book. Make sure to grab a copy so you can see what everyone else is already talking about.

While we are on the subject of Image and the signing on Wednesday, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that MAXIMUM MINIMUM WAGE comes out this week and Bob Fingerman will/was also signing on Wednesday. If you aren’t familiar with Minimum Wage then you should probably stop reading this and just buy the book right now, which is a fully remastered collection of the old stuff with new bonus material. Bob Fingerman is a true classic cartoonist in every sense of the word. He has had work in everything from Cracked to Screw, High Times to Heavy Metal. He has done children’s comics (the excellent Recess Pieces), and porno comics (the also excellent Skinheads In Love), and turtle comics (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). But for many of his fans and admirers his pseudo autobiographical comic Minimum Wage is his true crowning achievement. Underemployed twenty-something characters try to find their places, get by, and fill their days in this book that in many ways feels like the sibling to books like Love & Rockets and American Splendor. Slice of life storytelling that is character driven and vital, while never losing sight of what makes indie comics fun.

Another of my favorite books of the last year finally lands in collected format this week, Brian Wood‘s brilliant environmentalist post apocalyptic drama, THE MASSIVE. Part insane naval action thriller, part end of the world disaster story, all framed around a disappeared freighter. Wood does his usual great job of making simple ideas seem thrilling and fresh, and then populating them with great characters. In many ways The Massive is the spiritual successor if not actual sequel to his amazing NYC modern civil war series DMZ. With a story that jumps smartly and easily from one mind blowing locale to another, The Massive doesn’t read like anything else on shelves. I don’t know if Wood is great at research or the best bull$#!% artist in comics but it doesn’t matter. His work feels authentic and topical, while never getting bogged down in stupid stuff like “science” and “facts.” While never quite overt, it is nice to see a major comic address climate change and environmentalism in a serious and smart way. This and Joe Harris’ Great Pacific are working hard to bring important issues back to mainstream comics and that is a very good thing. Mr. Wood’s whole career is filled with work from some of the most exciting artists working. From his old books with amazing talents like Becky Cloonan, Ryan Kelly, and Toby Cypress, to more recent fair where he has introduced the masses to artistic geniuses like Riccardo Burchielli, Fiona Staples, Shawn Martinbrough, and Nathan Fox, Wood may have the best taste of any writer in comics. He hasn’t slowed down at all in recent years, doing books with folks like James Harren and Ming Doyle, and now Garry Brown on The Massive. Garry Brown’s art makes The Massive a book that should be in every single smart person’s read list. I have known Garry’s work for a while and been counting the days until he became a superstar. I have a feeling that this time is now. There aren’t a lot of people in comics who can make 2 page spreads of the ocean seem beautiful, scary, or even worth looking at, but Garry does it effortlessly issue after issue. In short, a smart, exciting, and refreshing book that is also beautiful. Stop spending money on the stupid stuff you spend money on and give this book a chance.

Thanks for reading and good night. And sleep well sweet Tyler. Wherever you find yourself tonight.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 8: During The Battle…

Greetings from Ice Station Zebra. For all you people out there who check the spines of your comics to make sure they don’t have creases or whatever it is you are looking for please note that Forbidden Planet is now refrigerated to ensure that your books stay extra fresh. No more rotten book smell! Anyway, about my column this week; I don’t know how many of you have peaked early in life but it is a terrible feeling. I’m pretty sure that last week’s column is as good as this column is ever going to get. I don’t know if you saw it but it was pretty great. There was a whole Choose Your Own Adventure type thing and I made lots of jokes about killing you. I don’t think I can top it and I am coming to terms with that. This is my Godfather III. I am just going through the motions here. But there is a ray of hope in this trainwreck of a column.

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!

Well, that’s not necessarily true. Wednesday January 30th is my birthday. If you are reading this on another day then today is not, in fact, my birthday. But if you are reading this on Wednesday then HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Feel free to order yourself a piece of cake at dinner, sing me a song, and then eat it (the cake, not the song). So while I clearly have nothing to talk about in this column I thought, “I have done enough for my readers so far. Maybe too much. It’s time they do something for me.” So that is the theme of this week’s column. Stuff you can get me. A birthday wish list. Just so you know what you are up against, Forbidden Planet’s Tech Wizard/Actual Wizard Tyler got me a self portrait he painted. It’s 10′x10′, based on Botticelli’s “The Birth Of Venus”, and creepy as hell. I am hanging it above my bed so I remember to never sleep. But you should feel free to get me stuff that isn’t nightmare stuff.

MY BIRTHDAY WISH LIST:

For starters I always like cash. Any amount is fine, but if it’s under $10 it’s kind of rude. Feel free to stop by Forbidden Planet and leave cash with any of the register jockeys for me. There is a 50/50 shot I will get it. They aren’t the most trustworthy lot. I would also take Forbidden Planet gift cards. That isn’t going to pay my rent or buy me chocolate milk but it doesn’t hurt. RIYL: Capitalism. Buying stuff. Goods and services.

Global Frequency TP

You know what you could get me? GLOBAL FREQUENCY. Warren Ellis & a team of great artists come together to do single issue standalone sci-fi spy stories. A 21st century reimagining of stuff like Bond or Mission: Impossible, these stories focus more on fast paced and sometimes socially conscious thriller than they do on things like character. Originally released by Wildstorm in 2004, this book is finally back in print now. Ellis is a comic writing genius, but if you have never read his stuff this isn’t where I would start. Luckily for us, I already read Transmetropolitan, The Authority, & Nextwave so feel free to buy me this. RIYL: Queen & Country, Channel Zero, or 80′s and 90′s Bond films.

Hawkeye #7

I don’t think I would be causing much controversy among those paying attention if I pointed out that Matt Fraction & David Aja‘s HAWKEYE is the best book at Marvel right now. Sure Thor, and All New X-Men, and Punisher War Zone, Ultimate Spider-Man, and Daredevil are all putting up a good fight, but it’s sort of hopeless. Hawkguy feels fresh and relevant, smart and fun in a way that most comics don’t begin to approach. It is style AND substance. I hope every single person at Marvel (and DC) is noticing the bar is being raised each month. Issue #7 gives it an extra nudge. With 2 short stories about a massive hurricane hitting the Northeast, Hawkeye #7 manages to be topical while still being a book about everybody’s 6th favorite Avenger. On top of all this, Mr. Fraction is donating his salary from this issue to hurricane Sandy relief efforts. If you don’t know how comics tend to work, his salary is based on royalties from sales. Meaning that each issue you buy helps Sandy victims who are still desperately in need. So yes, by all means go give money to Occupy Sandy, but reward yourself with a copy of this book and keep the charity going. (And while you are at it, reward Mr. Fraction for being a class act by picking up his other series like Casanova or Five Fists Of Science.) And since it’s my birthday go ahead and buy me an issue as well. RIYL: helping people in need, near perfect superhero comics, Immortal Iron Fist, the idea of a Bryan Lee O’Malley and Chris Ware teaming up on an action book.

Tales Designed To Thrizzle HC Vol 02

First an anecdote. At a comic convention last year I bought an issue of TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE from Michael Kupperman and he signed it to me. I later gave the issue to my lovely ladyfriend, Alethea, as a gift. Giving someone else your stuff and acting like you got it for them is considered “not proper gift giving etiquette” by squares, teachers, and cops. Now, Matthew and Alethea contain some of the same letters but she can recognize that they are not the same name. It took her a whole 6+ months to notice that the book was inscribed to me instead of her but when she did… whoo boy was that fun. Anyway, in terms of funny comics going on right now there are not a ton of great options. Even if there were though, TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE Vol. 2 would stand head and shoulders above the competition. Volume 1 of TDTR was among the funniest things I have ever read. I easily put it alongside works like The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy or Calvin & Hobbes in terms of books I can revisit and still completely lose myself in over and over again. Michael Kupperman’s absurdest strips that range from the adventures of historical figures Twain & Einstein, to buddy cop duo Snake N’ Bacon, and the history of sex blimps, all peppered with old timey fake comic ads for odd products are nothing if not bafflingly weird and compelling. If you are at all a fan of the absurd in any form I would urge you to read this book. And since I only have volume 1 you can get me this as a great gift. RIYL: The anything goes spirit of old Mad Magazine, the fast paced boundary pushing humor of stuff like Monty Python, Kids In The Hall, Airplane! or Amazon Women On The Moon.

7 Miles a Second HC

7 MILES A SECOND. Painter, musician, photographer, filmmaker, writer, and activist, David Wojnarowicz was a key figure in the underground New York City art scene of the 1980′s. Often times having strong homo-erotic subtext, his work pushed cultural boundaries, continues to inspire new generations of artists today, and invoked the wrath of the christian right. After a lengthy court case, Mr. Wojnarawicz earned a hard fought victory against the loathsome Donald Wildmon and the American Family Association who sought to defund the National Endowment for the Arts. This single legal struggle did more for artists and artist rights in this country than most people can comprehend. By 1992 Mr. Wojnarowicz sadly lost his battle with AIDS. 7 Miles A Second was completed by his collaborator on the book, James Romberger, and published by Vertigo posthumously in 1996. Now it is back in print for the first time and is well worth your attention. Wojnarowicz autobiographical tales start you with his life as a child prostitute, onto his teenage years on the street, through his time has an HIV+ man, and onto his inevitable (at the time) conclusion. The stories serve as beautiful and brutal snapshots of a brilliant life lived too hard and extinguished too soon. It is not too much to say that we all owe a great cultural debt to Mr. Wojnarowicz and picking up this book and trying to understanding his life is a good first step toward understanding that debt. RIYL: Maus, American Splendor, or artists having the right and the ability to make a living in this country.

Well, that was a super depressing note to end on. Sorry about that. Anyway, I’m going to go because there are a lot of good books to read this week and you are still freaking out from all that sugar in the birthday cake. Even if you don’t want to buy me these or any other books you can still get me a present; you can go look at the comics on the shelves and promise to try something new.

Awww. What a sweet moment. Now if you excuse me I am going to go warm up by Tauntaun-ing one of Forbidden Planet’s managers and sleeping nestled in their gross guts.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 5: Rebel Spaceships, Striking From a Hidden Base

I feel like I have been doing this column long enough now that you all must be dying for a behind the scenes peek at how the magic happens. It all starts around 1:30 AM on Sunday night/Monday morning. That’s around 4 hours after I am supposed to have emailed this in to Tyler, our lovely wizard/graphic designer. I sit down in a chair and make up a bunch of stuff about new comics. I then send it to Tyler’s cauldron of spells/email account. He then does some process I don’t understand, blah blah blah, now it looks nice to look at. Then someone does something so that some internet nerds make it a blog post and someone else or maybe the same person does something so that printing nerds make it a newsletter. Viola! And that’s how it works. Same as the New York Times. It’s like Arthur C. Clarke once said to me, “Any sufficiently advanced low level comics journalism/sales pitch is indistinguishable from magic.” Anyway, there is a surprisingly good amount of new stuff on shelves this week and I have wasted a lot of space making jokes that only I will find funny, so let’s get on with it.

First, a moment of sadness and thanks to the great Jeff Lemire who wraps up his brilliant post apocalyptic coming of age story Sweet Tooth this week in SWEET TOOTH #40. If you haven’t ever read Mr. Lemire’s work you should be ashamed. SWEET TOOTH vol.1 is one of the true great joys of comics in the twenty first century. RIYL: SANDMAN, THE ROAD, or Children Of Men.

Also well worth reading no matter your feeling on superhero books, or anything else really, is WONDER WOMAN. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang are quietly sitting in their own corner of the DC universe taking one of the most beloved characters in comics history and telling new stories for her that feel exciting, fresh, and look about as good as a comic can look. Matthew Wilson’s coloring on this book will be studied for years to come as the correct way to have coloring not just serve the pencil art, but to make coloring it’s own art. You don’t have to know anything going in, nor do you have to care about the rest of the DC universe. You just have to like good comics. DC is finally putting out WONDER WOMAN vol. 1 & vol. 2 this week. This is about as good as superhero comics get so you should get them. RIYL: Wonder Woman stories on any level, Clash Of The Titans or any modern takes on mythology

DEVIL IS DUE IN DREARY #2 is also out this week. I really loved issue #1 of this series that felt like a perfect cross between the modern western elements of PREACHER and the foreboding tone of A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. Add to that art that looks like a smoother Howard Chaykin and you have a really well made book. I know this is a book that will fly under most folks radars but that is a real shame. It has just enough uniqueness to make it stand out, just enough familiarity to be relatable, and is good enough to be a classic if people gave it a chance. RIYL: JONAH HEX or any modern westerns, FELL, PREACHER.

EERIE #2 hits shelves as well. I don’t hide my love for anthology comics and EERIE is a classic. Dark Horse’s relaunch of the series is off to a great start with weird short stories from Mike Allred (MADMAN, iZOMBIE, FF), Brian Clevinger (ATOMIC ROBO), and others. If you just want to read some fun & unusual stuff this is a no-brainer. Don’t be the guy or girl in your local comic shop who has to admit “I just like unfun & usual stuff.” RIYL: Old EERIE comics or other EC stuff, TWILIGHT ZONES, feeding your short attention span.

Peter Bagge is one of the modern legends of indie comics for his brilliant series HATE. When there is that much love and respect heaped on ones work it becomes easy for a lot of creators to shrink away from ever doing something substantial again. Fear of the followup or what have you. But Mr. Bagge has dived headfirst into new and brilliant projects one after another. From APOCALPSE NERD to YEAH! to OTHER LIVES his post HATE work has been varied and fun. It’s a different time for comics and it’s hard to get people as excited about a new book as it once was, but Mr. Bagge’s latest series, RESET, is maybe his best work since HATE and, if it were a different time, would be loved and talked about in much the same way. RESET is the story of a man who enters into an experiment that allows him to relive and change choices he’s made from his past. Weirdo stuff ensues. RIYL: Older Bagge stuff like HATE, the modern indie masters like Daniel Clowes or Charles Burns, or the idea of going back in time and messing things up like a creepy Marty McFly.

I don’t have much of an interest in Conan. Never did really. Some things aren’t for everyone. I know why people like it, I get that, it just wasn’t for me. Then Brian Wood wrote the excellent NORTHLANDERS series about badass vikings axing each other and whatnot and I immediately got the appeal. Apparently someone at Dark Horse did too because they snatched Mr. Wood up and put him on their CONAN book. I don’t know if that worked to bring new readers into the fold but it damn well should have. Mr. Wood is great at huge epics (DMZ, NORTHLANDERS), great at telling stories smarter than they need to be (COURIERS, CHANNEL ZERO), and great at working with amazing artists. For the beginning of his run, collected as CONAN vol 13: QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST he continues these trends. A smart Conan story that feels epic and has beautiful work by two of the more consistently interesting artists working today; BECKY CLOONAN (AMERICAN VIRGIN, DEMO vol II) and JAMES HARREN (B.P.R.D.). For those of you who have ever loved Conan and forgotten about it, this is the time to jump back on. And for those of you like me, who never saw the appeal, this is the comic that will make you fall in love with a barbarian with an ax. That’s a good thing.

RIYL: NORTHLANDERS, people using swords and stuff on each other, old pulp stories made relevant again.

END TIMES OF BRAM & BEN #1 is out this week. A buddy comedy set around the rapture. Image pumped out more good series debuts in 2012 than most people can afford to read and ETOBAB is their hope for their first big hit of 2013. This book is clearly gunning for the bookshelves of fans of smart and snarky comics and is definitely worth checking out if that is you. Co-writer James Asmus is a rising star over at Marvel but is also doing his time at Image on THIEF OF THIEVES with some nobody named Robert Kirkman. If you look for comics that have some action but really want to make you smirk this should fully be on your radar by now. RIYL: BATTLE POPE, CHEW, or the film Dogma.

My last recommendation is BETA TESTING THE APOCALYPSE. 10ish short stories from Tom Kaczynski that all play with the idea of exploring modern intangible concepts like capitalism or utopia and breaking them down into very tangible and very human stories. These are big ideas made very small and personal. Kaczynki’s style makes all the heavy stuff feel very immersive with out ever feeling oppressive. It is a delicate balancing act, and one that clearly he is comfortable with. BETA TESTING THE APOCALYPSE, like a lot of the Fantagraphics stuff from the last decade, is definitely one of those books that’ll please almost everybody who has the interest to pick it up and for a select few it will become a most cherished and prized possession. RIYL: J.G. Ballard, the more esoteric but personal stuff Fantagraphics puts out, CONCRETE.

Ok. I’m done.

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Somewhere Around The Number Ten Best Comics That Nobody Told You About

Part 1:

I love Chris Ware. Bit redundant to say so this holiday season with everyone and their sister buying Building Stories, but with so much comic awesomeness that happened in 2012; between Charles Burn’s second installment to his X’ed Out trilogy, The Hive, and Brian K. Vaughn’s SagaSAGA… It’s too easy for amazing comics to get lost in the stacks, so I’m here to give my somewhere around the number 10 best comics of 2012 that nobody told you about…

LOSE #4

Michael DeForge might be the most prolific cartoonist working right now. He pumps more work and at a higher quality that would make any other cartoonist want to quit, or work harder…..no quit thats the correct response. On top of Lose #4 this year you can also see his work in the pages of Adventure Time comics, where he does the backgrounds,variant covers, anthology stories in  Nobrow 7 (more on that in a bit) and the newest  KUS, not to mention his on going serial Ant Comics, oh and his porn comic that he designs that features work by Johnny Negron, Brandon Graham, and Jillian Tamaki….more on all of them latter too…Bottom line, DeForge has a hand in everything and you’re probably a fan of his already, so read Lose, or Ant comics, or KUS, or Nobrow, or one of the million other things he worked on this year. King of comics 2012 goes to DeForge, no contest.

The Underwater Welder

Did I mention that DeForge is Canadian? Canadians….must be a universal sigh when cartoonist’s who aren’t Canadian talk about them. Jeff Lemire is another cartoonist hailing from The Great White North. Lemire had a full year of releases with Sweet Tooth Volume 4 and 5, the reprinting of his Xeric grant book Lost Dogs and Underwater Welder. Underwater Welder is for lovers of well paced, clear story telling, and the Twilight Zone. Lemire has an economy to his comics, the art is quick yet purposeful in the same manner as the writing, which rewards the reader with a world that they can envelope themselves in. Lemire is an odd school of cartooning, he’s not so deep into independent styled comics as DeForge, but he isn’t mainstream either (though he does write the only two books at DC still worth reading Animal Man, & Frankenstein Agent of Shade ). He’s a cartoonist in love with genre but doesn’t mistake comics to be only that.

Nipper Volume 3

Nipper Volume 3 finally came out! WOOOOOOO! I might be the only American to love Nipper so go buy it and prove my gross presumption wrong. Keeping in theme with brilliant Canadian cartoonists, Nipper volume 3 is the Canadian version of Family Circus, if Family Circus was anything like a real family and not so adorable that even your grandmother finds it lame. Always silent, black and white line work with one beautiful saturation of red dropped into each panel, Doug Wright creates multi-layered story telling, in the most simple yet still incredible complicated drawing. Just go look already, and then come meet me for coffee to talk about it, I’ll be here till next year trying to describe why it’s so effffffing smart.

Diary Comics 4

Dustin Harbin is yet another broken hearted cartoonist, upset that his nationality isn’t Canadian. Diary Comics 4 starts with Dustin talking about how amazing it is to be in attendance at the Doug Wright rewards (the Canadian version of the Eisners), and how he wishes we as American could take comics as seriously as they do. Why can’t we folks? Dustin’s beautifully minimalist drawings deceive readers with their simplicity, when they are really just the right amount of information needed, each mark done with purpose in mind and simply decroative. Go read em’ they’re good. And if your not a fan of memoir, you just like the punching and kicking comics, he did letter Casanova sooo…..I don’t know Matt Fraction wrote Iron Man for like a century right? See the full picture of creators not just the characters you like….

Pope Hat #3

Pope Hat #3 by Ethan Rilly. Rilly is surprise surprise, another Canadian. Pope Hats is technically 3 issues deep but you really only need/want two and three. In Pope Hats Rilly tells the story of Franny, a young law clerk at a massive law firm, picture Wall Street with less Charlie Sheen….okay no Charlie Sheen, just that one part where he gets punched in the face by Michael Douglas… Rilly drawings show traces of his influences but they don’t unhinge the story. You can see traces of Doug Wright’s drapery in the clothing, and bits of Shultz popping up in the rendering of grass and clouds. It’s like a love letter to days past when cartooning was a profession and getting a weekly strip in a newspaper was the dream. Pope Hats narrative shares a similar tone of nostalgia with its drawing, that bitter sweet pain, from an old wound.

Thats the end of Part 1. Part 2 on Sunday 12/23/12.

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Talking Comics with the Jersey Devil

Power STILL hasn’t been restored in my cave deep in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, but this is probably due to the fact that it never had any. I knew this was going to be a bad storm when the Jersey Devil showed up at my cave and asked if he could plug his phone into my charger.

I never knew the Jersey Devil was into comics. He had dropped by my cave a few times in the past to borrow sugar, and one time because his friends had baked him some brownies and couldn’t eat them all. When he saw Before Watchmen Silk Spectre on my coffee table, he freaked out.

“YEAH!” he hooted. “I had heard about these! Are they any good? Is there, like, an overall plot?”

Some are great, I said, some aren’t. NO, I said, they follow their own narratives. I told him I was getting pretty excited about Before Watchmen Moloch #1 coming out this week because it was drawn by Eduardo “100 Bullets” Risso.

“I liked that Spaceman book he just did. I used to love seeing his stuff in Heavy Metal,” said the Devil.

“That’s getting a deluxe hardcover edition this week from Vertigo,” I mentioned. “Wow! I didn’t know you liked comic books, The New Jersey Devil,” I said. He likes being called by his full name…he’s oddly formal like that.

“Bigfoot is really into them and he lent me some stuff,” he said.  “I’m really looking forward to Avenging Spider-Man #14 this week. Spidey’s going to team up with Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur!”

The New Jersey Devil has a pretty good point. Devil Dinosaur is awesome.

QUICK PICKS

Marvel is launching a new Iron Man title with a new #1 this week. Tony seems to be sporting his new Black and Gold armor he’ll be wearing in the most of the Marvel Now titles. I’m on board.

Few talk about Vertigo these days, but this week Vertigo is bringing a top tier table of titles. The first of their authorized Stieg Larsson graphic novel adaptations hits the shelves with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo TP, as well as the sequel to the comic which inspired the film Road to Perdition, the aptly named Return to Perdition.

The debut graphic novel Black Lung from Chris Wright and Fantagraphics books also looks intriguing. Black Lung is already garnering critical praise and getting some great press. ‘Tis a story of love and loss, and one man’s quest to commit as much unspeakable sin as he can in order to be reunited with his dead wife in Hell.

BOOKS WORTH A LOOK

There are also a couple of sweet art books hitting the shelves this week. Famed fantasy artist Brom has an original art novel called Krampus: The Yule Lord featuring everybody’s favorite Christmastime crazy, the Krampus! PLUS, a brand new book from Scott C. in the form of Great Showdowns.

Scott C. is a wonder! If you haven’t picked up Amazing Everything, Scott C.’s first book of fantastic illustrations, NOW would be a great time! The holidays are fast approaching, and there ain’t nobody that you know who wouldn’t want this book for their very own!

NEXT WEEK: The Disney/Lucas merger and what it means for us all. Till then, stay dry!

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More musings from Unkiedev, Earth’s own sidekick, can be read at unkiedev.blogspot.com

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New Graphitti Designs Love and Rockets Shirts are the New Forbidden Planet Staff Uniform

Naw.  Not really.  But judging by how many of the FPNYC staff (myself included) have picked these up since their arrival you’d think Los Bros Hernandez or Grahpitti were paying us to sling their gorgeous new t-shirts.

One of us… one of us…

Jaime’s:

Love and Rockets T-Shirt by Jamie HernandezAnd Beto’s:


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The Weekly Pulse – Fantastic Fourth

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Happy Americaday everybody! And what better way to celebrate the day that The United States became a thing that everybody was saying, than with a gigantic sale! And what better way to kick off a gigantic sale! than with a gigantic pile of comics! And as luck would have it, that’s precisely what Dan and I, your humble director Morgan, have in store for you today. What comics, you ask? SO MANY COMICS I blurt back while flinging Cape 1969 #1, I Told You So, God and Science, and Avengers Vs X-Men #7 in your general direction.

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NY Comic Con 2011: The FORBIDDEN PLANET Reaction

Matt D. (your gregarious host) and Morgan Pielli (your intrepid cameraman and director) took a trip to this year’s New York Comic Con. The sights! The sounds! The…smells! It’s a sensory overload, and you just never know when inspiration will strike..!

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Destroy All Movies!!! Back in stock, but not for long.

When I first heard about Fantagraphics’ Destroy All Movies The Complete Guide To Punks On Film I immediately knew this book was for me.  Being a “punk” myself and a huge cult film nerd how could I not be excited.

Destroy All Movies is an informative, hilarious and impossibly complete guide to every appearance of a punk (or new waver!) to hit the screen in the 20th Century. Featuring A-to-Z coverage of over 1100 feature films from around the world, as well as dozens of exclusive interviews with the cast/creators of crucial titles like Repo Man, Return of the Living Dead, The Decline of Western Civilization and Valley Girl.

Also examined are several hundred prime examples of straight-to-VHS slasher trash, breakdancing fairytales, no-budget apocalyptic epics and movies that barely exist. Plus hundreds of eyeball-smashing stills and posters, many in full color!

Six years in the making, this pulse-bursting monument to lowbrow cultural obsession is a must for all film fanatics, music maniacs, anti-fashion mutants, ’80s nostalgists, sleazoids, cop-killers and spazzmatics!

So while researching this book I came across their websites www.punksonfilm.com and I tell you its just as entertaining as the book.  On their site is an announcement for an east coast book tour with screenings and special guests from films that are covered in the book.  I instantly started dreaming of meeting Jon Gries at a screening of Terror Vision!!!

So I sent an e-mail to their contact introducing myself and letting them know that I (and Forbidden Planet of course) love the book and want to get involved in the book tour.  One of the writers, Zack Carlson promptly replied with some awesome yet sad information.

We’re actually at a dumb point with the book. The first printing is totally sold out (that’s good!) but there aren’t currently enough back orders for the publisher to put in for a second printing. So it’s kinda junked up our East Coast/Canada tour plans… So we’re stuck unless there’s suddenly some massive public demand for more copies… It’s a sad truth, but there it is.

So I encourage you all to buy copies of this book before they disappear for good.  Oh, and calling all your local retailers and making sure they have it in stock (or on back order) would help.  Lets see this baby go to a second print.  Destroy All Movies The Complete Guide To Punks On Film is too good to fall off the face of the earth so soon.

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Harvey Award Nominations 2009

Nominations for The Harvey Awards for books released in 2009 have been announced, and are presented below.

Nominations for the Harvey Awards are selected exclusively by creators – those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field.  They are the only industry awards both nominated and selected by the full body of comic book creators.The Harvey Awards will be presented August 28, 2010 in Baltimore, MD, as part of  the Baltimore Comic-Con’s programming, and will be MC’d by PVP cartoonist Scott Kurtz.

HARVEY-Awards-LOGO-2010

Books in bold and underlined are direct links to items available now from fpnyc.com.

BEST WRITER

Jason Aaron, “SCALPED”, Vertigo/DC Comics
Geoff Johns, “BLACKEST NIGHT”, DC Comics
Robert Kirkman, “THE WALKING DEAD”, Image Comics
Jeff Kinney, “DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #3: THE LAST STRAW”, Amulet Books
Mark Waid, “IRREDEEMABLE”, BOOM! Studios

BEST ARTIST

Robert Crumb, “BOOK OF GENESIS”, W.W. Norton
Guy Davis, “BPRD: BLACK GODDESS”, Dark Horse Comics
Brian Fies, “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW?”,
Abrams ComicArts
David Petersen, “MOUSE GUARD : WINTER 1152″, Archaia Studios Press
Frank Quitely, “BATMAN AND ROBIN”, DC Comics
JH Williams III, “DETECTIVE COMICS”, DC Comics

BEST CARTOONIST

Darwyn Cooke, “RICHARD STARK’S PARKER: THE HUNTER”, IDW
Jeff Kinney, “DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #3: THE LAST STRAW”, Amulet Books
Roger Langridge, “THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK”, BOOM! Studios
David Mazzucchelli, “ASTERIOS POLYP”, Pantheon
Seth, “GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975)”, Drawn and Quarterly

BEST LETTERER

Chris Eliopoulos, “FRANKLIN RICHARDS: SON OF A GENIUS” stories, Marvel Comics
Brian Fies, “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW?”,
Abrams ComicArts
Thomas Mauer, “RAPTURE”, Dark Horse Comics
David Mazzucchelli, “ASTERIOS POLYP”, Pantheon
Richard Starkings, “ELEPHANTMEN”, Image Comics

BEST  INKER

Oclair Albert, “BLACKEST NIGHT”, DC Comics
Steve Ellis, “HIGH MOON”,  Zuda/DC Comics
Klaus Janson, “AMAZING SPIDER-MAN”, Marvel Comics
Jeff Kinney, “DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #3: THE LAST STRAW”, Amulet Books
Mark Morales, “THOR”, Marvel Comics

BEST COLORIST

Brian Fies, “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW?”,
Abrams ComicArts
Steve Hamaker, “BONE: CROWN OF HORNS”, Graphix
Laura Martin, “THE ROCKETEER: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES”, IDW
David Mazzucchelli, “ASTERIOS POLYP”, Pantheon
Dave Stewart, “BPRD: BLACK GODDESS”, Dark Horse Comics

BEST COVER ARTIST

Jenny Frison, “THE DREAMER”, IDW
Mike Mignola, “HELLBOY: THE BRIDE OF HELL”, Dark Horse Comics
Michael Avon Oeming, “MICE TEMPLAR: DESTINY, PART I”, Image Comics
Frank Quitely, “BATMAN AND ROBIN”, DC Comics
JH Williams III, “DETECTIVE COMICS”, DC Comics

BEST NEW TALENT

Kevin Cannon, “FAR ARDEN”, Top Shelf
Rob Guillory, “CHEW”, Image Comics
Reinhard Kleist,“JOHNNY CASH: I SEE A DARKNESS”, Abrams ComicArts
Nathan Schreiber, “ACT-I-VATE: POWER OUT”, http://act-i-vate.com
Matthew Weldon, “NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY”, Image Comics

BEST NEW SERIES

“BATMAN AND ROBIN”, DC Comics
“CHEW”, Image Comics
“IRREDEEMABLE”, BOOM! Studios
“SWEET TOOTH”, Vertigo/DC Comics
“UNWRITTEN”, Vertigo/DC Comics

BEST CONTINUING OR LIMITED SERIES

“BEASTS OF BURDEN”, Dark Horse Comics
“DIARY OF A WIMPY KID”, Amulet Books
“GANGES”,  Fantagraphics Books
“INVINCIBLE”, Image Comics
“SCALPED”, Vertigo/DC Comics
“THE WALKING DEAD”, Image Comics

BEST ORIGINAL GRAPHIC PUBLICATION FOR YOUNGER READERS

“AMULET: THE STONEKEEPER’S CURSE”, Graphix
“DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #3: THE LAST STRAW”, Amulet Books
“GROWN-UPS ARE DUMB”, Hyperion Books
“THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK”, BOOM! Studios
“NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY”, Image Comics
“3-2-3 DETECTIVE AGENCY”, Amulet Books

BEST ANTHOLOGY

“ACT-I-VATE”, http://act-i-vate.com
“FLIGHT # 6″, Villard
“POPGUN # 3″, Image Comics
“STRANGE TALES”, Marvel Comics
WEDNESDAY COMICS”, DC Comics

BEST ORIGINAL GRAPHIC ALBUM

“ASTERIOS POLYP”, by David Mazucchelli, Pantheon
“BOOK OF GENESIS”, by Robert Crumb, W.W. Norton
“GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975)”, by Seth, Drawn and Quarterly
“FOOTNOTES IN GAZA”, by Joe Sacco, Metropolitan Books
“STITCHES”, by David Small, W.W. Norton
“WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW?”, by Brian Fies,
Abrams ComicArts

BEST PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED GRAPHIC ALBUM

“A.D.: NEW ORLEANS AFTER THE DELUGE”, by Josh Neufeld, Pantheon
“COLLECTED ESSEX COUNTY”, by Jeff Lemire, Top Shelf
“GRAVESLINGER”, by Shannon Denton, Jeff Mariotte, John Cboins & Nina Sorat, IDW
“MASTERPIECE COMICS”, by R. Sikoryak, Drawn and Quarterly
“MICE TEMPLAR VOLUME 1″, by Bryan J.L. Glass and Michael Avon Oeming,
Image Comics

BEST SYNDICATED STRIP OR PANEL

“CUL-DE-SAC”, by Richard Thompson, Universal Press Syndicate
“FOXTROT”, by Bill Amend, Universal Press Syndicate
“GET FUZZY”, by Darby Conley, United Feature Syndicate
“MUTTS”, by Patrick McDonnell, King Features Syndicate
“PEARLS BEFORE SWINE”, by Stephan Pastis, United Feature Syndicate

BEST DOMESTIC REPRINT PROJECT

“THE BEST OF SIMON AND KIRBY”, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby; edited by Steve
Saffel, Titan Books
“HUMBUG”, conceived and edited by Harvey Kurtzman and created by Harvey
Kurtzman, Jack Davis, Will Elder, Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth; edited by Gary
Groth, Fantagraphics Books
“RIP KIRBY”, by Alex Raymond;  edited by Dean Mullaney, IDW
“THE ROCKETEER:  THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES”, by Dave Stevens;
edited by Scott Dunbier, IDW
“THE TOON TREASURY OF CLASSIC CHILDREN’S COMICS”, edited by Art Spiegelman
and Francoise Mouly, Abrams ComicsArt

BEST AMERICAN EDITION OF FOREIGN MATERIAL

THE ART OF OSAMU TEZUKA: GOD OF MANGA”, by Helen McCarthy,
Abrams ComicArts
“MANGA KAMISHIBAI”, by Eric P. Nash, Abrams ComicArts
“THE PHOTOGRAPHER”, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier LeFevre and Frederic
Lemercier, First Second
“PLUTO: URASAWA X TEZUKA”, by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki, Viz Media
“20TH CENTURY BOYS”, by Naoki Urasawa, Viz Media

BEST ONLINE COMICS WORK

“HARK! A VAGRANT”, by Kate Beaton, http://harkavagrant.com
“HIGH MOON”, by Steve Ellis, David Gallaher and Scott O. Brown,
http://www.zudacomics.com/high moon             ,
“POWER OUT”, by  Nathan Schreiber, http://act-i-vate.com          ,
“PVP”, by Scott Kurtz, http://www.pvponline.com
“SIN TITULO”, by Cameron Stewart, http://www.sintitulocomic.com

SPECIAL AWARD FOR HUMOR IN COMICS

Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, “BEASTS OF BURDEN”, Dark Horse Books
Jeff Kinney, “DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #3: THE LAST STRAW”, Amulet Books
Roger Landridge, “THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK”, BOOM! Studios
Bryan Lee O’Malley, “SCOTT PILGRIM #5″, Oni Press
Andrew Pepoy, “THE ADVENTURES OF SIMONE & AJAX: A CHRISTMAS CAPER”,
ComicMix

SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION

“ART OF HARVEY KURTZMAN: THE MAD GENIUS OF COMICS”, by Denis Kitchen and
Paul Buhle, Abrams ComicArts
“THE BRINKLEY GIRLS: THE BEST OF NELL BRINKLEY’S CARTOONS FROM 1913-1940″,
edited by Trina Robbins, Fantagraphics Books
“GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975)”, by Seth, Drawn and Quarterly
“THE ROCKETEER: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES”, by Dave Stevens,
edited by Scott Dunbier, IDW
“SECRET IDENTITY: THE FETISH ART OF SUPERMAN’S CO-CREATOR JOE SHUSTER”,
edited by Craig Yoe, Abrams ComicArts
“WEDNESDAY COMICS”, edited by Mark Chiarello, DC Comics

BEST BIOGRAPHICAL, HISTORICAL OR JOURNALISTIC PRESENTATION

“ALTER-EGO”, edited by Roy Thomas, TwoMorrows
“ART OF HARVEY KURTZMAN: THE MAD GENIUS OF COMICS”, by Denis Kitchen
and Paul Buhle, Abrams ComicArts
“THE BEST OF SIMON AND KIRBY”, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby;
edited by Steve Saffel, Titan Books
“THE COMICS JOURNAL”, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean and Kristy Valenti,
Fantagraphics Books
“UNDERGROUND CLASSICS”, by James Danky and Denis Kitchen, Abrams ComicArts

BEST SINGLE ISSUE OR STORY

“ALEC: THE YEARS HAVE PANTS”, by Eddie Campbell, Top Shelf
“ASTERIOS POLYP”, by David Mazucchelli, Pantheon
“GANGES #3″, by Kevin Huizenga, Fantagraphics Books
“GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975)”, by Seth, Drawn and Quarterly
“JONAH HEX #50″, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray,
artwork by Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics
“RICHARD STARK’S PARKER: THE HUNTER”, by Darwyn Cooke, IDW
“WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW?”, by Brian Fies,
Abrams ComicArts

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