Category: Science Fiction

Get Your FREE Jodorowsky’s Dune Posters

Come on by the shop this Saturday, March 15th, and ask for a FREE “Jodorowsky’s Dune” poster! They’re totally rad and won’t last long. Be sure to get here early- we start distributing them at 9am. Jodorowsky's Dune, poster,ForbiddAlso, be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts that day… we’ll be running a really super dooper nifty keen giveaway contest relating to the film starting Saturday at 9am.  What is Jodorowsky’s Dune? Well, it’s a long story, but the movie’s tagline (“The Greatest Science Fiction Movie Never Made”) is spot on. Here, why don’t you watch this trailer:

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The film opens here in NYC at Film Forum on March 21st.

See ya there.

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Troma invades FPNYC and Nuke ‘Em High Vol 1 Pre-Order!

We are getting super stoked here at FPNYC for our Return To Nuke ‘Em High Vol 1 Blu-Ray/DVD release party. That’s right kids, on Monday March 17th at 6:30 PM meet Director Lloyd Kaufman, as well as the cast and crew of Return To Class of Nuke ‘Em High Vol 1 and get your blu-ray or DVD signed for free!

What’s that you say? You can’t make it? What?!?!?!

Well don’t worry cause FP got your back as usual. Pre-order copies now and we will make sure to get them signed for you! All the benefits of coming to the event without having to breath in that horrid Troma aroma.

Pre-order now by clicking on the product name!

Return to Nuke ‘Eh High Vol 1 DVD

OR

Return to Nuke ‘Eh High Vol 1 Blu-Ray

WEBReturn-to-Nukem'-High

For more details check out the facebook event page HERE.

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Friday Feb 14th 6PM Mishka x Robocop at Forbidden Planet

This Friday February 14th at 6PM come down to Forbidden Planet NYC for an exclusive Mishka x Robocop Capsule Release!

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What better way to say “I Love You” than with some tight Robocop apparel. That’s right, boys and girls, spend this Valentine’s Day here at 832 Broadway with the Mishka crew and treat yourself to an exclusive, limited edition shirt!

Meet artist Dan Dussault, the man behind this killer design who will be on hand signing posters and shirts from 6 to 8.

We here at FPNYC are super stoked to finally team up with Mishka, one of NYC’s sickest clothing companies, and I have the feeling this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Remember kids, when this bad boy is gone… it’s gone! So don’t be kicking yourself for the rest of your life because you missed out on this sweet piece of cinematic garb. See you Friday!

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Troma’s Return to Nuke Em’ High NYC Premiere!

Everyone drop what they’re doing!

RTNEH

Troma’s newest flick Return To Nuke Em’ High Vol. 1 is finally hitting theaters in NYC! Why is this important to me? Well I love Troma… duh! But for reals… one of my life long goals of being in a Lloyd Kaufman directed Troma film was finally fulfilled. Now this ain’t just any Troma flick, this is Return To Nuke Em’ High! A modern rehash of one of Troma’s most beloved films – Class of Nuke Em’ High. Who cares that I don’t have any lines and my screen time totals less than a minute, what matters is that I did it! I even made it into the trailer for a millisecond!

I saw this Tromasterpiece a few months back as part of The New York Horror Film Festival. And let me tell you… it was amazing! All the blood, boobs, and buffoonery that you could ever hope for! So mark your calendar and come out to support true independent cinema!

Screenings start January 10th at the Village East Cinema with a slew a special guests in attendance! For more info click HERE.

Troma Entertainment is proud to announce that the stars of Science Channel’s “Oddities,” Evan Michelson and Mike Zohn and will be in attendance at the NYC theatrical premiere of Lloyd Kaufman’s latest film “Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Vol. 1” on Friday, January 10th at the Village East Cinemas. Michelson and Zohn, the proprietors of Obscura Antiques & Oddities who also appear in the film, will moderate the Q and A following the screening to commemorate the opening and Troma’s 40th Anniversary.

OR…

Come out Thursday, January 9, 2014, 8:00 p.m. to Troma invades Moma! With a screening of Return To Nuke Em’ High and a post screening Q and A with Director Lloyd Kaufman as well as a slew of other Nuke Em’ High Alumni! Click HERE for more info.

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Logical holiday gifts for the Trekkie in your life.

What up holiday shoppers! It’s time to boldly go where no other gift idea has gone before… the Star Trek section! We got the geeky goods that will put a smile on even the most hardened Klingon’s face.

Star Trek The Art of Juan Ortiz – Artist Juan Ortiz creates a vintage styled movie poster for each episode of all three seasons of Star Trek The Original Series. Any OG ST fan would be proud to ad this beautiful over sized hardcover art book to their collection.

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And the Children Shall Lead… Shirt – Diggin’ on that Juan Ortiz style art. Well than this shirt featuring his poster for “And the Children Shall Lead…” will really rock your Starship. A perfect gift to go with the previously mentioned art book.

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Mini Light Up Phaser – Set Phasers to FUN! Trekkies of all ages will light up when they find this mini Light Up Phaser stuffed in their stocking!

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Star Trek Next Generation Wesley Build-a-Bridge Bobble Head – The first piece in a series of bobble heads that connect to build the bridge from Next Generation’s Enterprise. Now eve you can tell your own little Wesley to “Shut Up Wesley!”

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The Next Generation On Board the USS Enterprise – Engage… your giftee with this interactive art book! Includes a CD to enhance your reading experience into a 3-D tour of the NCC-1701-0.

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Star Trek Vault 40 Years From the Archives – Covering all six television series and the first ten movies, this amazing hardcover is filled from cover to cover with tons of interesting information, fantastic photos, and over a dozen reproductions of cool memorabilia that you can actually hold in your hand. Including but not limited to on-set signage, blue prints, and trading cards.

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Star Trek Select Kirk With Khan Action Figure Set – Who wouldn’t want to be able to relive the epic Kirk\Khan battle from the Original Series episode “Space Seed!” Well Khan probably doesn’t want to relive that, but Khan is probably not on your shopping list anyway.

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Star Trek Klingon Dictionary – QISmaS botIvjaj ‘ej DIS chu’ botIvjaj, that’s Merry Christmas in Klingon duh! No serious Trekkie can say their collection is complete without one of these bad boys on their shelf.

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Hope that covers most of the crew of your personal Enterprise. Live long and Present!

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Gift Ideas: Star Wars Holiday Special

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Doctor Who X-Mas Gift Idea List!

The season of giving is upon us folks, so strap in for a lesson in gifting! Let me guess… your friend, spouse, super attendant, local librarian, etc… is a big old Doctor Who fan and you don’t know a Dalek from a donut. Don’t fret, I was just like you once! Thankfully I’ve spent the last eight years of my life getting familiar with our product so you don’t have to pay attention to your loved one’s interests. I mean, who has the time to really care now-a-days anyway? And why would you even bother when you know you can step through those big wooden doors and ask one of our many knowledgeable staff members to get you the gifty goods that make you look like you have been reading Saint Nick’s personal e-mails. I wonder if Santa’s e-mail is filled with spam about antler enlargement and beard dye? Anyway… use the following Whovian wish list as a gift giving guide and I’m sure your loved ones will think you actually do love them. Only a gift giver that really pays attention to the needs of the recipient could come up with a present that perfect.

Socks – We’ve all dreaded getting socks for Christmas, well not this year! With every length and design combination imaginable we got more DW socks than you can shake a foot at.

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Doctor Who Time Vortex Watch – Even a time traveler needs to know what time it is. The TARDIS flies around the vortex each minute on this bad boy!

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Tardis One Piece Pajamas – Time to retire those old sleeping garments and get into this adult sized Tardis costume one piece pajama with the footsies and all… and yes they have those grippy little nubs on the bottom of the feet.

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Dalek 16 oz Tumbler Set - Exterminate your thirst with this Dalek Tumbler set. 5 different colored cups with lids and straws that make these guys look just like one of the Doctors foes.

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11Th Doctor Mr.Potato Head – Here is a gift that is sure to get someone ex-FRY-ted! The worlds of Sci-Fi and Starches collide right now with this Mash Smith 11th Doctor Mr. Potato Head. Comes with all the fixens!

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Doctor Whooves My Little Pony Back Pack – So your giftee loves both Doctor Who and My little Pony, and also goes to a school where they only use really small books… well we’ve got the perfect thing for them! Whovian, Brony, whateves.

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Tardis Tea Pot – Brew yourself a spot of English Breakfast Tea and serve it up to your guests in this Tardis shaped tea pot during your next Doctor Who get together.

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Doctor 3-D Figural Mug – Ever wonder what it would be like to eat French Onion Soup out of your favorite Doctors skull? Well now you can! Pick from an array of awesome 3-D Figural mugs!

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And that my friends is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I could go on and on with Doctor Who gift ideas, in fact I might just do another DW gift idea list before the X marks the Mas. But before I do this topic again I hope to get a few more lists up specific to other factions of fandom. With a little bit of help by the end of this gift giving season everyone will be begging to be on your x-mas shopping list!

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Pacific Rim Hits Theaters Today

…But we’ve had some great merchandise for it for some time now!  Here’s the rundown on what’s available:

The magnificent art book, Pacific Rim Man Machines & Monsters:

Pacific Rim Art Book Wayne Barlowe etcThe prequel graphic novel from Marvel, Tales from Year Zero:

“Chronicling the very first time Earth is menaced by incredible monsters known as Kaiju, these inhuman beasts rise from the ocean depths and threaten to extinquish all mankind! Witness the race to develop massive robot fighting machines called Jaegers, each one controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. This action-packed tale features many of the key characters from the the film as we follow them in their early careers. Witten by Pacific Rim screenwriter himself, Travis Beacham, and with del Toro’s hands-on supervision, this volume is beautifully illustrated by Sean Chen, Yvel Guichet, Chris Batista and Pericles Junior; inks by Matt Banning, Steve Bird and Mark McKenna; and fully-painted cover by superstar artist Alex Ross!”

HEROCLIX!

Pacific Rim HeroclixAnd neat-o toys from NECA!

Jaeger Crimson Typhoon, Gipsy Danger, and Kaiju Knifehead:

Pacific Rim Action Figures fpnyc Forbidden Planet

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 11: The Death Star!

Hello loyal readers. How was your week? Not that anyone asked but I had a good one. Well it was good until Forbidden Planet’s Tech Wizard/6th member of Modest Mouse, Tyler, threatened me. It turns out that some of the links I use on the blog weren’t up to his liking. I think he didn’t like the one linking to him singing a song he wrote about me, but that is conjecture. He is my editor though (ironic since his grasp of grammar is even worse than mine) and that comes with a certain amount of power. Mostly the power to make me look like an idiot… more of an idiot. I, of course, can write stuff that makes him look bad as well. I OBVIOUSLY never ever would , but I could. And that keeps him up at night, sweating through the sheets in his tiny little crib. And thus we have invented the concept of mutually assured blogging destruction. I am Forbidden Planet’s Dr. Strangelove. Tyler is my Dimitri.

In good news I’m not apologizing for anything in this week’s column. I pitched a perfect game with my last column. I’m hoping to keep my streak going and have some great comic recommendations for you all. And yes, all you Unkie Dev fans (or Dev-iants as we call them), I do not consider having my column run long so that Unkie Dev gets bumped a mistake. I consider it good strategy. There’s a plan at work here people. You won’t understand that until it’s too late for you.

I talk a lot about Dark Horse Presents here. Partially it’s because I think it is a great venue for some of the best storytelling in comics and you readers would love it. Mostly it’s because I like it a lot and don’t want it to get canceled. I never claimed this wasn’t self serving. DARK HORSE PRESENTS #21 has more stuff from comic greats like Shannon Wheeler, Duane Swierczynski, and Michael Avon Oeming. I am really excited to see new stuff from the great Simon Roy, artist on the always great Prophet. But the real reason you are probably buying this, and the real reason I don’t have to think of more stuff to say is this- a new story from Paul Chadwick (Concrete) and Neil Gaiman (Neil Gaiman stuff). If that doesn’t mean anything to you there isn’t much more I can say other than you need to read more comics. Start with Concrete and Sandman. Also read Dark Horse Presents.

The point of this column is to suggest (read: pressure) new books for you all to buy. Well I feel like an idiot for suggesting you pick up HELLBLAZER #300, but as the foremost comic journalist in the world I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. As it stands right now Hellblazer is the longest running sequentially numbered book at DC. That might seem like a minor distinction but it feels important. Hellblazer may only “technically” be the longest running book at DC, but it is arguably the best. And now all of that comes to an end with issue #300. DC has canceled the book in favor of a “younger, hipper” book in the regular DCU called Constantine. Apparently young hip people don’t like unique characters with rich history. Either way, buy issue #300 and put it on your nightstand for later while you work your way through the collected editions. (I know you don’t have a nightstand, you just use a bunch of old pizza boxes as furniture.) Hellblazer vol. 1 is about as good as a comic gets and it rarely lets up for the next 290ish issues.

Dynamite has done a real interesting thing the past few years. In their quiet corner of the comics universe they have taken a bunch of old pulp characters most people don’t care about and they started making fresh and exciting books out of them. The Shadow has been one of their flagships in this re-imagining. Well comics never let’s a good thing simply be, so this week sees the release of a new Shadow book, THE SHADOW: YEAR ONE #1. Willfredo Torres does some beautiful pencil work that has both a classic cartoon feel and modern styles all at the same time. And Matt Wagner does a great job of slowly leaking the origin of this 70+ year old character and keeping you guessing. This is a book that is good enough to get you excited about the whole Dynamite line. Get into it.

Remember- Don’t talk about a perfect game while it’s happening. You will jinx it.

HOW DO I KNOW WHO I AM IF I FORGET? is the new self published mini comic from writer/artist Luis Echavarria Uribe. As beautiful as it is disturbing, HDIKWIAIIF? is the story of an obsessive girl trying to figure out who she is and how she relates to the world. Her obsessions are both uncomfortable and somehow comforting all at once. Equal parts outsider art comic story and EC horror book, Mr. Echavarria Uribe crafts a story that twists and turns under you in uncomfortable and exciting ways.  His art can be quite beautiful and, unlike so many self published creators, he has learned to write to his art strengths and draw to his writing strengths. Obviously for most of the people who read this column a self published mini-comic may be far outside their wheelhouse, but this book would be write at home in the collection of anyone who likes reading good comics, regardless of genre or format. Pick it up, support someone who is doing it on their own, and you will be rewarded with one of the best books out so far this year.

I was going to write a bunch more stuff but I am tired and for some reason my girlfriend just put Glengarry Glen Ross on so I sort of stopped caring about my job here. Other good stuff out this week includes the long awaited return of Kill Shakespeare. Fans of Fables, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and trying to look more literate than you actually are would do well to pick up KILL SHAKESPEARE: THE TIDE OF BLOOD #1. A mash-up of many of The Bard’s most famous characters, the Kill Shakespeare series is always good fun if you get the references and really odd but still enjoyable I am sure if you don’t. Also worth grabbing is the strange early 90′s British sci-fi series TALES FROM BEYOND SCIENCE, which is finally collected into one hardcover. 8 tales all drawn by British artist and graphic designer Rian Hughes and written by a bevy of great Brit sci-fi scribes including Mark Millar (Kick-Ass). These bizarre short stories explain seemingly unexplainable phenomenon in ways that will make you laugh and feel like someone dosed you. If you like stuff like stuff like Madman or anything zany at all this book should be going home with you. Now go spend your money wisely. And remember kids, Always Be Closing.

How about that. It was funny. It was smart. It used commas in interesting ways. Good books were recommended. A flawless column. And that means back to back perfect games. Give me the Cy Young right now. (1% of you have any idea what I am talking about.)

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STICK IN THE MUD OF TIME

The best comedians are often self-loathing, depressed freakazoids.
Eric Powel, writer and artist on The Goon must HATE himself more than
a Slayer fan who has run out of razor blades, because that cat is
putting out the funniest comic book on the stands today.

This week sees TWO Goon books, the new issue of the title (Goon #44,
often delayed but finally here, we promise,) and the most recent
trade, Goon Vol. 12 Them That Raised Us Lament, which collects issues
38-41. If you’ve been looking for a jumping on point, THIS IS IT.
Inside you will find heart-breaking stories of origin, hilarious takes
on the artist’s own commercial prospects as well as great fights,
cars, jokes and stories.

We all have our weaknesses. I know I plug this dang book maybe more
than I should, but it has won five honkin’ Eisners. I apologize if you
hate award winning, hilarious, sad, well-drawn comic books. I’ll stop
trying to push them on you.

THE OPPOSITE

If I have to recommend NON-Eisner winning comics then I can’t
recommend this week’s Adventure Time #13. Adventure Time will win the
2013 Eisner for best kids publication, you see. I’m sorry if that was
a spoiler, but it is not my fault you’re stuck in a linear time
constraint. Still, the new issue drops this week, as does Avatar The
Last Airbender: The Promise, a deluxe edition of past Avatar stories
based on another awesome cartoon.

I suppose I also can’t nominate Deadpool #5, as it will get a
nomination. If Deadpool is ‘gonna fight Zombie Regan in space, don’t
you think you want to check it out?

SEVENTEEN TIMES LUCKY

Action Comics #17, Batwoman #17 and a slew of other #17 books are out
from DC this week, and are well worth the pick-up. On the Marvel tip,
Don’t miss Uncanny X-Men #2, Alpha #1, Superior Spider-Man #4 and
Avengers #6.

This MIGHT NOT be up your alley, but Marvel is relaunching Nova this
week with a brand spanking new #1. Nova will feature prominently into
Marvel’s future movie plans, and this new book will give you a pretty
good idea of what is coming up for the human rocket!

FLOWING JUICES

Image is finishing up the brilliant Grant Morrison’s strange
“gangsters meet magic” limited series, Happy, this week with Happy #4.
Meanwhile, IDW is relaunching GI Joe under the strong writing of Fred
Van Lente with GI JOE #1!

New beginnings, new endings and fine continuations make this one
swankaroonie week to be a comic book fan! I hope you all did your
taxes, because your going to need that refund check in order to get
all the great books coming out in the next couple of weeks! Stay tuned
to Forbidden Planet for all there is to know about the latest Action
Figures, Manga, Comics and MORE!

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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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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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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 1: A New Hope

Galactus
I have been asked a few times in the past if I wanted to write something for the Weekly Planet or the Forbidden Planet blog. I always politely or at least semi-politely declined. But now here I am with my first installment of TRY SOMETHING NEW! What changed? Hard to say. I didn’t have anything to say before? I was too busy before? I didn’t want to bother fixing my weird grammar and punctuation before (that hasn’t changed, I just stopped caring)? All of that is partially true, but moreover I found a purpose. Every week comic publishers, editors, artists, writers, and the whole industry pump out a bunch of brilliant new comics. And then the tiny community that is comic readership passes these books over in favor of what is familiar and safe. That is the antithesis of art, the opposite of the human nature we should all strive for, and it’s boring. You wouldn’t watch the same movie over and over again. You wouldn’t eat the same meal every single day. Stop feeding your brain the same food week after week. There are an awful lot of people out there doing their part to make great comics for you to enjoy. I decided to chip in and yell at you to go try them. This is my small contribution. You don’t have to take my advice, but do yourself a favor and pick up something you haven’t tried before this week. Your brain and the comics industry will thank you.
On to my suggestions.
FEAR AGENT Library Vol. 1. Before he was Marvel’s rising star and writer on their flagship book UNCANNY AVENGERS, young Rick Remender was toiling away in the trenches of small work for hire and creator owned comics as both a penciler, inker, and writer. FEAR AGENT is really the book that put him on the map as a writer for a lot of people though. A wild sci-fi story about one of the last humans in the universe, this book showcases Remender’s amazing ability to go from insane humor to wild action to brutal heartbreak at the drop of a hat. Fear Agent readers will also notice Remender’s ability to find and work with some of the best in the business before they are household names. This volume alone contains art from Tony Moore, Francesco Francavilla, and Jerome Opena among others. Collecting the first half of FEAR AGENT in one nice hardcover, this volume is long overdue. Personally I loved the individual trade paperbacks which were all named after classic hardcore albums, but since those are mostly out of print you should just go ahead and buy this version. RIYL: UNCANNY X-FORCE, PROPHET, GALAXY QUEST.Image

CHANGE #1. Earlier this year Ales Kot debuted as a comic writer worth noticing with his bizarre tale of drugs and school shootings, Wild Children. Change is his follow up title and has created a lot curiosity of what he is capable of. Following a struggling screenwriter, a millionaire rapper, and maybe an alien, Change seems to be both a love letter and a condemnation of the city of Los Angeles. Morgan Jeske’s art is beautiful and fits in with this new breed of rising indie comic stars like Brandon Graham, James Stokoe, and Giannis Milogiannis.A lot of people have been comparing Kot’s work to early Grant Morrison. It is way too early to make that comparison in some ways, but Kot is definitely following a path Morrison laid out. It should be fun to see where he takes it. RIYL: THE INVISIBLES, The work of Alejandro Jodorowsky, the films of Greg Araki.Tim Seeley

REVIVAL Vol.1 You’re Among Friends. The have been calling Revival a horror-noir for a while. It isn’t . I don’t know why they were doing that. I guess it sounds cool. Regardless, this book is a great small town murder mystery that involves the dead coming back to life. Anything else I will tell you will probably ruin the book for you. Tim Seeley makes a book called HACK SLASH that you may have heard of. Mike Norton has drawn awesome stuff like THE RUNAWAYS, QUEEN & COUNTRY, BATTLEPUG, and IT GIRL & THE ATOMICS. It’s full of weird twists and nasty moments. If that’s your thing buy this now and see why comic shops can’t keep the book on shelves. RIYL: CRIMINAL MACABRE, FARGO, FATALE. ValientAlso worth noting this month is the incredibly good X-O MANOWAR series from Valiant Comics that was just published in a $10 paperback, and almost all of the MARVEL NOW titles. Marvel’s editors have done an amazing job of lining up great creative teams with fresh stories and characters who fit them well. It is the best stuff Marvel has done in years almost across the board. Show them some love.
That’s it for my suggestions. Thanks for taking the time and I hope you enjoyed reading them. I feel like I should tell you to get in touch with feedback but that isn’t actually something I want. I recommend good books and you take them or leave them. This isn’t a two way street. If you are cool with that I will be here next week trying to get you entertained again. If not, I am sure Unkie Dev would love for you to call him up at all hours and chat about comics.

– Matthew R

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EYE’M WITH STUPID

I’m on hold with tech support. Recently I upgraded my TV to an HD and my DVD to a Blu Ray. After I upgraded my cable to HDTV, I realized that the problem this entire time was ME. I’m still watching TV with the same eyes.

I’d like to tell you had my eyes removed and replaced with new, high definition 3D eyes, but instead I had my eyes removed and replaced with two pieces of equipment which don’t seem to be installed right…hence the tech support.

This all makes me think of Cyclops.

ESSENTIAL UNCANNY X-MEN Vol. 1, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Marvel

Meet Scott Summers, a troubled teen who grew up in an orphanage and, due to a genetic mutation coupled with a plane crash, cannot willingly control the destructive beams of red light that shine from his eyes. Only the ruby quarts lenses of his titular, monocular visor and the calm influence of his father figure, Professor X. keep him on the straight and narrow as the X-Man known as CYCLOPS!

Cyclops is a square peg trying to fit into the round hole of society, always playing the good boy and fighting for equal rights. He loves his teammate, Jean Grey, from afar. He’s a nice mutant boy in a world gone mad, but still believes in a brighter future.

He’s also boring as Hal Jordan, a cookie cutter “Good Guy” who only shines due to the briefly novel addition of teen angst.

X-MEN OMNIBUS VOL. 1 + 2, Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Marvel

Meet Scott Summers, embittered war veteran of the never-ending fight for mutant survival. In these Claremont/Lee stories we see the emergence of the “Scott as General” Cyclops, the mutant who has fought every battle and is best prepared to lead the troops. Scott has grown increasingly quiet, isolated, and struggles to find peace even within his own adopted family.

Having fought every day of his young adult life we meet a Scott Summers who no longer can identify himself, his goals or his friends…just the fight. He has loved Jean, married Jean, lost Jean, loved clones of Jean and has fathered several children of alternate timelines with Jean.

This Scott is an unlikeable boy scout, always stuffy and square…but it’s not his fault. Wolverine is Marvel’s biggest bad boy, and Scott exists almost solely to contrast Wolvie’s lethal spirit.

CY TO THE CLIZZOPS

In Grant Morrison’s NEW X-MEN and Joss Wheedon’s Astonishing X-Men the plaster on Cyclops REALLY starts to chip. We learn that Cycs has been getting his mental swerve on with the White Queen through Psychic hook-ups behind Jean’s back. We see Cyclops place mutant survival as the surpassing priority. We see Cyclops begin to employ backroom tactics, while pushing Xavier away for employing the same.Grant Morrison

By the time Cyclops decides on the necessity of X-Force, the clandestine group of X-Men charged with the assassination of top-level threats to mutant kind, the natural progression is complete. Cyclops adopts the perfect blending of Magneto’s violence and Xavier’s message in an effort to stop the mutant violence by whatever means he can.

This tired, amoral and sociopathic Scott is also the most likeable Cyclops in years!

In a world where most of your fiends have died and come back to life, where you discover your family members are all space pirates, ancient freaks or alternate timeline versions of yourself, and where, no matter how many times you PERSONALLY save the world you will still be hated and feared, Scott Summers is the believable result of one man fighting his entire life for an unobtainable goal.

I can’t wait to see what happens next…but I will have to wait. Stupid tech support. Stupid broken mechanical high definition eyes­­­.

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