Tagged: Contributors

Captain America 2 is the Political Commentary War Movie of Our Generation

If any West Coast readers accidentally read this, maybe they’ll accidentally go to a new show that’s popping up in Portland this weekend. It’s called Linework NW, and it’s a free to the public, one-day show that has been currated by some fine fine Portland folks. There’s also a main opening reception to showcase the highlighted works of Jim Woodring and Michael Deforge. So, if you can travel to the cartoonist mecca this weekend, look up Linework NW and stop on by. Fun for the whole family! Fun! Fun! Fun!

Lumberjanes #1– Lumberjanes reminds me of being a kid, growing up and camping in various Washington State Parks with the Girl Scouts and churchy stuff. Hanging out with pals, making lanyards, watching all the cool kids swim. Alright, so Lumberjanes is probably nothing like my awkward tween camping memories because they do awesome stuff like defeat Yetis, monster wolves and solve mysteries. Headed up by the incessantly charming Noelle Stevenson, and Grace Ellis, with art by Brooke Allen, the new Boom! Box imprint is rolling out its second title (behind the fan fav Midas Touch), with captivating characters and stories that keep reminding you how much fun you’re actually having reading these comics.

Shutter #1– Kate Kristopher’s life is mixed with ancient gods of legend, nest-building urban dinosaurs, and demons on coffee dates, and then things get weird. The daughter of a famed explorer left her fantastical days behind her after a terrible tragedy, but ninja phantasms threaten to pull her back into the thick of things. Joe Keatinge’s a busy man lately, but he and artist/co-creator Leila del Duca have managed to carve out a fantasy/adventure hybrid with modern concerns of a 27 year old New Yorker. Those concerns just happen to include weird family secrets, loneliness, and an energy spewing metal monopoly man. Actually, those sound like concerns of a 27 year old New Yorker. Carry on!

Cosplayers One-Shot– It’s not too often Fantagraphics publishes floppies anymore, so when they do I get pumped. Cartoonist Dash Shaw is known for looking at slices of life with an unusual perspective, one that combines and off-beat humor with growing pains. Cosplayers

cosplayers-600x928examines a culture that is now as tied to comic book culture as….ugh, I can’t think of anything clever enough, you know what I mean. Cosplaying is a really big thing now! And the main characters who are aspiring actors and filmmakers decide to use unsuspecting extras in their quest to achieve top cosplaying levels. But they’re just teens, so nothing will go wrong, right?

 

East of West Vol 2 TP

Reminder to all you trade waiters out there that the second volume of one of the most interesting and compelling comic series is out today. Jonathan Hickman’s fantasy/sci-fi western has the cast splintered, and traversing the dystopian America trying to stop the Chosen from completely destroying the world. If you just can’t stand waiting for the next trade to come out after this one, you’re in luck! Issue #11 also drops today.

 

I feel bad even writing about the next few books, because they really don’t need my help to sell, they’ll probably be the highest selling books of the week, with no help from me. But I’m just so gosh excited that they’re coming out. This week definitely belongs to Marvel:

 

All New Doop #1– We all know it, he’s you’re favorite X-Men, he’s my favorite X-Men, and now the weird little green guy, Doop, is getting in front of the camera. Doop, created by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, has a weird history. A weird, butt-brain, affair having, sometimes voyeuristically inclined, history. The X-Men have always suspected that this soviet mutant creation is possibly the most powerful among them. In his own series he’s poised to take center stage when he gets involved with Kitty Pryde. Also, this mini series ties into the Battle of the Atom, if you follow that kind of thing. Peter Milligan is writing it again, bringing his surreal qualities to the usually-maintain-but-now-looks-pretty-crazy-in-a-cool-way art of Marvel career artist David Lafuente. With covers by Mike Allred!

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1– You know how things go, old comic gets picked up for TV show, we get new comics! Given the success that Netflix has had lately with producing their own content, I am fully on board with the upcoming Iron Fist series. I’m also fully on board with the new series that comes out this week with art AND words by Kaare Andrews. They’re not going all the way back to rehash his origin story, but people unfamiliar with the kung-fu master and possessor of mystical dragon fists, will get a taste of his past, while Andrews engages the future troubles for the hero. I don’t know how closely they’ll tie the Netflix stuff with the new comic stuff, but I’m hoping for an eventual team up with past partner Luke Cage, another Marvel character getting his own screen time. And I’ll admit, I’ll be kinda bummed if there’s no Power Man.

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Just Hold on. Hold on for one more day.

Happy Irish day/week, nerds. Hope you didn’t break too many face bones on your way home the other night.

Buffy the Vampire Hunter, Season 10 #1– Being hailed as the season that brings Buffy “back the basics”, this new creative team is breathing new life into old blood. The challenge in continuing such a fan favorite show turned comic that needing your content and characters to feel fresh, without alienating the classic features of the people and plot that brought viewers and readers in in the first place. Editor Scott Allie is now promising a reinvigorated Buffy story that gets the Scoobies back to what they do best, hunt vampires! With new rules and new challenges, this comic proves that there’s still a lot for Buffy and the team to learn about their undead fiends, and re-killing them isn’t just a walk through a graveyard. The writer/artist team of Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs have migrated from the much loved “Angle and Faith” series, and will take the reins to steer this pony into familiar territory that will feel like brand new Buffy.

Cannon HC

James Bond can suck it, because John Cannon is the all American military spy/hunk you’ve always wanted. Cannon is hard and fast! I mean, these comics are hard and fast…Released exclusively through the military publication Overseas Weekly, Wally Wood wrote and drew spy missions, naked women, evil commies, and naked women every week for over two years! Now Fantagraphics is collecting the saga of a brainwashed, CIA killing machine in hardcover anthology that’s historical, violent, and sexy. Without the restrictions of American publishing guidelines, Wood was able to be as unbridled as he wanted to be, and his artful and playful genius of the medium shows in every panel of this book. A bunch of bonus material, including some Ditko, and source material, rounds off this collection staple.

American Vampire: Second Cycle– Hooray! American Vampire is back! Continuing this unintentional vampire theme, Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque are unearthing the not-too-long-dead series from Vertigo that travels the ages the eyes of fiendish bloodsuckers. Like a (more) evil Forest Gump. Pearl Jones and Skinner Sweet (her sire, for those of you up to date on your vampire lingo) are off on their own; one providing shelter to children, one up to no good. Battles and new baddies loom on the horizon for these protagonists that will eventually bring them back together. This was my introduction to Scott Snyder, and he’s only gotten better as a writer with his other series like The Wake.

 

Basewood HC

Alec Longstreth has been making professional comics and beards since 2002 with his highly acclaimed independent comic, Phase 7. If you’ve ever flipped through one of these beauties, you might have picked up on the adventure story that ran through issues 5-9, Basewood. The adventure tale follows a young man’s journey to rediscover his past with the help of others. Also, wolf dragons! Reprinted in French by L’employé du Moi, Longstreth began an earnest kickstarter to raise funds to print an English version of Basewood as a really nice hardcover that shows off all the detail Longstreth put into his pages. This is kickstarter and comics done right, and this tale of friendship, adventure, and the trials and rewards of growing up have been given a format for all to enjoy.

Image Roundup

There’s a lot of Image favs coming out this week, and I don’t think I could do them all justice if I tried to write about each, (aka I’m lazy busy!) So here are some titles in handy, tidy, vertical listular format:

Five Ghosts #10

Prophet #43

Saga TP Vol 3

Sex Criminals #5

Undertow #2

Zero #6

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Drunk in Loooove

Nothing else matters to me this week other than comics, because Oni Press’s, “The Auteur” is finally coming out. So I’ll just cut to the chase:

 

Auteur #1

AUTEUR-1-PGS-2-3

I’ve been so excited for this comic to come out, and waiting so long, I don’t know what to say. It’s already left me speechless. This is one of those books you read with your friends and loudly say, “Did you see this?! OMG?!”. Synopses: washed up Hollywood producer, T. Rex, is trying to find salvation (and his next big hit) in a strip club, and in the bottom of a bottle of glue. It sounds outrageous (because it is), and pretty crude (it is), but the brilliance of Rick Spears and James Callahan is that every bit of naughty in this book, doesn’t feel trite, or overdone, or unnecessary. The acid trips, the stripper nuns, even swearing, is all smartly used to build the dirty and contrived Hollywood we all secretly hope that is it. And like the great “in-you-face” comics before it, there’s a point to the psychedelic madness. They manage to make commentary on celebrity/consumer/tabloid culture while not beating you over the head with anything but an amazing comic book. If it sounds like I’m overselling this book, I’m not. Nothing I say could be enough unless you’re buying it every issue for yourself and everyone you care about.

 

Evil Empire #1

Stories that revolve around a dystopian society typically start in the middle of the story. The baddies are established, and we’re trying to figure out how to take them out. Max Bemis (author is Polarity) wants to go back, way back, and figure out why those evil organizations you love to hate (i.e. The Matrix, Star Wars, frat houses) become powerful world leaders with an agenda attached to no morality. With an ear to the ground, and platform to stand on, rapper Reese finds herself in the middle of the opposition battle against powers that be, leading the people who still maintain a shred of humanity against a pure grasp for power. It’s one part dystopian sci-fi mixed with one part horror, with Ransom Getty handling the action-filled art with superhero style, which makes the this (estimated) 16 issue series moving and dynamic.

 

Grindhouse Doors Open at Midnight #6

Grindhouse_5

Alex de Campi wraps up the ‘Bride of Blood’ arc in this blood bath series, giving us the best example of violent revenge in comics. Previously! On “Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight; Bride of Blood Part II” (aka the longest title ever) Branwyn’s world is left in ruins after an attack on her wedding party by wood reavers leaves her family and wedding party slaughtered. Now, taking up her fallen brother’s armor, Branwyn vows to take down those who have destroyed her world. Frederica Manfredi’s art is just this side of cartoon, which makes the violence seem all the more…violent, I guess. Set with a medieval winter background, the bloodshed stands in stark contrast to its setting, but still captures the ‘70s exploitation cinematic feel that these comics are emulating. But that’s not to say these are storyboard comics! The two issue arc format Campi uses for this series is perfect. Such action. Many violence. Very revenge.

 

Quantum and Woody Goat #0

Vincent Van Goat finally gets to step into the limelight, and recieve the recognition he so wildly deserves. Quantum and Woody is already a pretty humorous story, but this one is all goat jokes all the time. And goats are historically way funnier than people.

 

Nijigahara Holograph HC

Without exaggerating, this might be the most important manga to come out stateside this year. Delivering eye-painfully beautiful art, Inio Asano (Solanin) weaves a mind-fuck of a classic horror story of murder, growing up, monsters that live in sewers, and an end of world prediction. The pain of being an outcast, growing up, and the relationships with foster with people all play an undertone that makes the supernatural monsters feel even more terrifying. But this story is a puzzle; told in an un-chronological order, the somewhat Lynchian characters are only pieces of their full selves we get throughout the book. And believe me when I say multiple readings are required to put everything together. Though the more time you spend with this book, the richer the symbolism becomes. It’s not meant for a quick read, because like if you sped read a bunch of Sylvia Plath, things get heavy. That said I did read this in like 3 hours because I couldn’t put it down.

 

 

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My 4th Review

I’ve been having a lot of discussions lately on whether or not the reality that we see is actually real. Can you prove to me that the paper you’re holding in your hand right this second wont disappear in the next 30 seconds? Probability says no, but the realm of possibility is never tapped; more always exists, but it exists right on the cusp of our knowledge.

And no, I’m not just posing these mind-grapes because Seattle just celebrated Hemp Fest. I’m asking the collective you, readers, because these are the questions comics are all about! When you read something that challenges the way you think about yourself and your reality, you’ve found a good book. Lucky for us, this week is abound with personal mental challenges that will keep you pondering, keep you bringing questions to friends who just want to play Mario Party, and keep you generally interested in the world around you.

Job well done, comics! Now let’s see this weeks best o’ the best:

12 Reasons to Die #3


It’s going to be hard for me to not talk about this book every month that it comes out, not only because it’s written by good friend andfellow Forbidden Planet employee, but because it blows awesome books out of the water. 12 Reasons to Die? More like 12,000 Reasons You Should Read this Book. Number 23: It’s creatively packed with so much amazing art that expertly draws out both the ‘40s postwar crime, and ‘80s horror elements, you really do feel like a gangsta (and it DOES feel good). Number 666:  Transmedia! Have you ever been reading a really intense scene in a comic, and wish that music would start playing? That’s what’s so brilliant about this project, is that neither the album nor the comic are just straight adaptations; they work in tandem with each other to bring you as much content and story as humanly possible. Number 9,000: Storytelling that handles a complex narrative and timeline as expertly as Rob Liefeld uses Twitter, at which he is amazing. Do your self and your mom a favor, because you know she’s a Wu fan, and buy this book.

Codename Action #1

Dynamite Entertainment golden boy, Chris Roberson, is launching a new title this week that is full of spies, codenames, foreign threats and grumpy bosses who take you under their wing and then make you hunt down dictators. For a first issues this book lies pretty standardly in the spy genre, but the mystery of what is really happening to cold war era leaders sets up a solid story for conspiracy and things-that-aren’t-what-they-seem mystery…the best kind of mystery. This series proves to provide classic thriller pulp, and character drama, mostly between the seasoned Operative 5, and his new greenhorn partner, Operative 1001. Can they round up our greatest heroes to save the Free World?!

Sheltered #3

A lot of people, either out of fear or fun, like to contemplate where the end of the world will come from: zombies, overpopulation, nuclear attack, or destruction of the planets’ crops. Alright, now I’m depressed because none of these things seem that far off. But as Ed Bisson and Johnnie Christmas explore, the end of YOUR world is the same thing. The creators tease the reason as to why the world is ending soon, causing groups to make shelter compounds. But a coup amongst the youth of the camp examines the psychological aspects of a sheltered life, and not just the contrast between that world and the one we’re familiar with. Victoria, a teen who joins Safe Haven just before psycho killer Lucas begins his coup, stands as contrast to his mentality, and in this issue physically stands against in him a battle. Lucas’s group very well may bring the end of the world before the mysterious big bad comes anyways.

Reality Check #1

People throw around the word meta a lot these days, rarely using it in the correct context, or to its full potential. But this new book by Glen Brunswick is the definition of meta. A comic book writer, Willard Penn, scores an unexpected hit with a superhero whose main goal in life is to get laid. But this hero doesn’t stay on pages, and instead joins Penn’s real world looking for love. Unfortunately, the story’s villain also crawls his way into existence, forcing the duo to find the right partner, quickly. See, like I said in my intro, reality is all a perception of the mind, maaaaan.

Forever Evil #1

Lots of numero unos out this week, and I would be remise if I didn’t mention that DC has a new line of uber villains dropping this Wednesday. Justice League? Dead! Hope? Dead! Evil? Coming for Earth as we know it. Earth 3 is revealed, letting lose evil incarnations of the Justice League who are aiming to take over. If you’re in the know, you’ve probably already begun reading blogs and interviews with writer Geoff Johns, getting the play-by-play scoop on the new series. But this isn’t just a way to explore the deep, dark, and complex versions of classic heroes, it’s a universe altering series that is tied to your favorite past events of the DCU (Flashpoint, Trinity War, etc.) and will be the placeholder for new worlds to come. It’s as much of a celebration of your favorite villains as it is a way to delve into evilll.

God is Dead #1

Can Jonathan Hickman be writing anymore books at once? I honestly think that this man has a time stopper that allows him to just stare into space for weeks and ponder its mystery. After this intense period of pondering is over, he brings us what he saw on the other side, and it is good. Master of complexities has been bringing you recent titles such as: “Avengers”, “New Avengers”, “Trinity”, “Manhattan Projects”, and “East of West”. This alone should be enough for you to pick up this new Avatar Press title. But because I’m getting paid the big bucks to write this thing (false), and because I like to hear the sound of my own inner voice (true), I’ll tell you a little more about why this should be in your pull-list. The title might lead you astray, because this book is all about the reality of gods of ancient; the ones that people have attributed successes and failures to for thousands of years. Humankinds hubris and penchant for destruction have led the ancient rules to walk amongst the mortal once more, causing humans to wonder what, if anything, will help them stop the destruction of earth. Classic Hickman will most likely cause you to have sympathy for the destroyers, conversely cheering for the humans, and contemplating your own existence. It’s a tall order, but someone has to write it.

Self-discovery time: I think my use of exclamation points is inextricably linked to the amount of caffeine I’m consuming whilst I write. Clearly, it drops at the end.

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Bongo Comics, Celebrating 20 Years

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

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

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FREE IDEAS

The top picks for this week on many reviewer’s lists will probably include IDW’s X-Files Season 10 #1, the comic book continuation of the hit paranormal investigator drama which started it all. It will probably also have Age of Ultron #10, the top secret finale to Marvel’s latest crossover which will introduce a new status quo to the Marvel Universe and feature art drawn by the EiC himself, Mr. Joey Q.
Might I also call to your attention the always fun A+ X, which drops this week with #9, featuring a back-up story by Adam “Empowered” Warren? Might I also recommend the new 100 Bullets comic from the original creators, 100 Bullets Brother Lono #1, which picks up right where the old title left off? OR the ALWAYS ENJOYABLE Sergio Aragone’s Funnies #8?
I can? Super! You folks should really buy those books…and while we’re addressing each other, dear reader.
Occasionally I try to give back to my community by supplying to you, my loyal and trustworthy readers, FREE ideas you may utilize to make yourselves millions. True, many of these ideas are only applicable to the rich and powerful, but they say one should write for the audience you’d like to have, and they will find your words through the prism of time.
BIEBER COMICS
Someone needs to negotiate the comic book rights to Justin Bieber…and not just the Beeb, but One Direction, Little Mix and the rest of those garbage no talents. WHY? HOW many times do you hear the comic book press and publisher complain about the girls comics market?
Yet the idea to publish comics young ladies might want to read seems to never get used. I can only think this is because everybody on the planet Earth HATES young girls and doesn’t want them to have any fun…and Cindy Lauper says that that is all they really want. Some fun.
That last idea was so good, I can coast on the next couple…let’s see now:
EDIBLE COMICS
How many times do you hear the comic book press and publishers complain that nobody is eating their comic books anymore? Never? That’s because you can’t…yet! If we start printing comics on edible tortillas or ultra-thin sheets of soy, we can add a new dimension to the experience: TASTE!
Did you ever wonder what Wolverine TASTED like?! Well now you can find out, without having to have to stalk Hugh Jackman, tackle him at a movie premier and lick his pits. (Btw, he tastes like smokey canadian maple bacon.) Blood could taste like real blood to boost sales on vampire titles, and everybody will want to lick their favorite super heroes and super sheroes…in public. to see what Wonder Woman tastes like.
Wow, I really phoned that last idea in. This NEXT idea is going to be a smash!
SEQUEL COMICS
You know what was a great comic? Batman and Robin #20! When did that come out, like about a month ago? I’ve got a great idea! How about a sequel to that fine comic book. They could call it Batman and Robin #21! It could come out this week, and it could be about Batman fighting Batgirl because he wants to resurrect Damien. While we’re at it, let’s make sequels to Wonder Woman #20, Justice League #20, and Supergirl #20 this week as well. And let’s have a comic book that is going to kick off DC’s summer event, staring the mysterious Pandora! We can call it Trinity War Pandora #, and we can also make it come out this week!
Well, I don’t know if those ideas are going to make anyone a million dollars, but these NEXT ideas might!
PREQUEL COMICS
This week, let’s make some prequel comics! To set up the stupendous events of next month’s super comics, such as Indestructible Hulk #10Kick-Ass 3 #3 and Superior Spider-Man #13, why don’t we release titles this week so people will know what happened before? We can call them Indestructible Hulk #9, Kick Ass 3 #2 and Superior Spider-
Ah, you get the idea.

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BROCK OF AGES

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

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

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

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

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YOU put the I in “COMIC.”

The comic book hits of tomorrow are written and drawn by the genius’ of today! I hope each and every one of you out there is creating your own amazing stories to thrill and entertain. Forbidden Planet has an excellent small press section, and there is no reason you books cannot be amongst them.
Until then, dear reader, maybe you’ll check out these other titels?
DREAM TEAM
Image has a brand new title out this week called The Dream Merchant #1, and Dark Horse has The Dream Thief #1 (of 5). Listen, we have GOT to get these two characters together! They might work out a plt for Inception 2.
Joking aside, both look like interesting sci/fi supernatural thrillers. In the Dream Merchant, a young boy has haunting dreams of an alternate timeline which has been erased by sinister forces. His dreams unlock the secrets to getting that reality back, but should he follow them or go back to sleep?
In the Dream Thief, an ancient mask worn by our hero once makes him the conduit for vengeful spirits while he slumbers. Think Poltergeist meets the Mask.
Here’s a helpful piece of advice: If you’re in a comic book and you should find a strange, creepy mask? JUST LEAVE IT ALONE! Same goes for drinking serums in laboratories, or flying in space or trying on any jewelry you find in a treasure chest or tomb.
Speaking of tombs,
MASTER OF HORROR
Edgar Allen Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher #1 (of 2) is a new horror comic out from Richard Corbin and Dark Horse. I don’t know much about the writer on this book…Edgar Allen Poe? What comics has he worked on before? Can anyone tell me if this guy has done any superhero stuff, I’d like to read more of his work. Still, Richard Corbin is one of the best in horror books. If you’ve seen Corbin’s work then you know he’s both cartoony and horrifying, grotesque and fun all at once!
Kinda’ like this next book; John K. Presents Spumco Comic Book HC (34.99) is my NUMBER ONE pick this week! IDW continues their fine work reprinting in large format print classic material from hard to find sources. Spumco Comics is a collection (plus new material!) of the comic works of John K., the animation super star behind Ren and Stimpy. John K. has a unique style, and humor so low-brow people will wonder if you have any brows at all.
THE BIG TWO
DC has the second issue of their He-Man relaunch title (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #2) as well as Justice League #20, and the 30 page, final issue of Sword and Sorcery #8. DC is gearing up for their big summer specials, as well as a few surprises for our pal He-Man!
Marvel is swinging back with Age of Ultron #8, FF#7, and Wolverine and the X-Men #29 amongst others. Both Age of Ultron #8 and the latest Wolvie title are alternate future versions of the current Marvel Universe. Alternate titles are always fun! I suggest you read these now, so when you pick up the Return to the Age of Ultron Universe title Marvel will be publishing in 10 years, you’ll know what’s going on.
STILL DRAWING?
How’s your comic going…you know, the one you’r working on? WHAT? You haven’t started it yet, you’ve been reading my column?! DUDE/M’AME, drop this thing like your butt in a bouncy castle and get working on new comic books!
Don’t forget to clip all the pages of your comic book together with staples. Comics without staples is just a series of nonsensical leaflets which won’t stay together.

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HAM FISTED

The other day I was about to eat a ham sandwich when I suddenly realized I wasn’t hungry. No sooner had I put the thing down that it started to talk, telling me how it was a magical sandwich, that it was the prince of Hamsandwichia and how thankful it was that I spared its life and yadda yadda yadda.

Long story short: I’m now the king of the magical land of Ham Sandwiches. This realm is its own, separate reality. I have no idea how to get back to our time, and the absolute worst part of it all is there are NO comic books in Hamsandwichia.  

GOOD READS


Great books out this week, and I can’t read a dang one of em’ because I’m the frickin’ “chosen-one” for an entire stupid kingdom of lunchmeat. Have fun finishing up the latest storyline in Adventure Time #14 with out me, everybody. Tell me how it freaking ends if I ever get back to Earth.   Then there’s All New X-Men #9 (new x-costumes!), Deadpool #6 (wrapping up one of the best runs on Deadpool ever) Superior Spider-Man #6 and the premier of X-Termination #1.   X-Termination is a two issue series written by David Lapham where a bunch of alternative X-folks from many divergent X-Futures throw down like dominoes over the survival of their time lines. Too bad I can’t enjoy that.   DC alone has, like, 18 incredible books out which is apropos as the great “New 52” Experiment is up to issue 18. Action Comics, Catwoman and a bunch more all get #18’s, plus the second issue of Justice League of America and the FIRST new issue of Constantine. As speculative numbers go, these are all pretty impressive…though the most impressive numbered book this week belongs to Simpsons Comic #200 from Bongo! Not impressed? Bongo is a third party comic celebrating its #200th issue of a full color monthly title. Not too many publishers outside of Image and Dark Horse have pulled that off.   Sure, it has Simpson’s money behind it…those still aren’t numbers to scoff at.  

HOLD THE RYE-OT

Wait up, crew. The Ham Sandwich equivalent of my Major Domo has approached the throne asking me to sign some edicts. All royal decrees in Hamsandwichia have to be signed in French’s Mustard on white bread with the laws toasted onto them using special techniques. It sounds delicious except A) I hate French’s and B) I’m not allowed to eat any of them. I’m not allowed to eat anything.   I have to secretly sneak out of the palace at night and eat my subjects in their sleep. It’s only a matter of time before they figure it out and try to kill me. I’d be more worried if the toughest weapon in the land weren’t a butter knife, but still…   Constantine #1 is a spiffy title, but I’m more enticed by Star Wars Legacy #1, the new Star Wars book from Dark Horse. Legacy follows the adventures of Han Solo’s great-great-granddaughter as she lasers her way though a familiar, yet hostile, galaxy of betrayal and conflict.   Then there’s Invincible #101 (What the heck is going to happen next?!) as well as an amazing deluxe Hard Cover collection of Bob Fingerman’s impressive working class comedy Maximum Minimum Wage. Funny, sad and worth every penny.  

SANS SANDWICH

I’m hungry, I’m surrounded by idiotic talking sandwiches and I can’t publicly eat a single one. This must be how Edward Cullen feels. Until next week, this is Unkiedev, the King of the magical land of Sandwichia urging you to eat every sandwich you see. The life you save could be your own.

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FIGHT!

Logic assures that there can be Good comic books which do not contain fight scenes, but emotion would remind you that fight scenes are incredible awesome. Here at Forbidden Planet we want you, the comic book buying populous, to get in on all that the genre has to offer. Today we shall recommend a few tantalizing comics of the FIGHTING genre to whet the appetite for violence.

If these books inspire the youth of America to disassemble into full scale riot, then we have all done our jobs.

FIGHT!

I recommend you start off slowly. Pick up some almost ANYTHING by old Jack Kirby, especially his early Fantastic Four. As an appetizer, try some Savage Dragon, Invincible. Then start spiking your violence intake with some horror, maybe Hack/Slash. Now let’s begin in earnest to learn the art of fighting.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a catchy, yet descriptive, name for a comic which hid some of the best fight sequences of the eighties. While Marvel and DC where still just showing buffoons punching each other in the face or gut, the turtles were choreographing fight sequences detailed to feints and blocks. Pick up some of the classic Turtle books, ESPECIALLY the Return to New York saga.

DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, Frank Miller (W/A), DC

When picking the single greatest fight in comics, Dark Knight Returns Batman vs Superman is a strong contender.  If you haven’t read this book, do so now. Frank Miller may be a crazy misogynist homophobe who believes that “Might Makes Right,” but that is precisely the kind of kook you want writing violent comic books. Don’t get me wrong, Miller is as bad as his worst critics say, but his twisted belief in his limited moral compass makes for spectacular fights. Sin City, Wolverine, 300, Holy Terror, all flawed masterworks of brilliant brutality. Speaking of Miller’s other works:

HARD BOILED, Frank Miller (W), Geof Darrow (A), Dark Horse

Miller and Darrow won the 1991 Best writer/artist team Eisner for this baby, and I think that was a very nice bone for the committee to throw Frank’s way. It’s like saying Dolly Parton had nice ankles.

There is a plot to Hard Boiled, something about robots and insurance, but I can’t remember it to save my life. I do remember pages of gut churning fights between robots, humans and mutant freaks the likes of which have never been topped.

Hard Boiled is the most brutal fighting in comics, and Geof Darrow is the most brutal artist in comics. Darrow can draw metal squishing human face flesh into hamburger meat better than any man alive, which is why he was picked as the lead designer on the Matrix films.

Start here to see the craziest, grossest fights you can, and then if you ain’t sickened, go grab Darrow’s other works such as Shaolin Cowboy and Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot.

MORE MORE!

Ah Crap, I’m running out of room. Kick-Ass is a great punch em’ up, as are its sequels and spin offs. Michael Avon Oeming draws some pretty fair dust ups in the pages of Powers. Both Civil War and Secret Invasion have some nice full-scale skirmishes.

Although, really, so does most of the stuff you can buy here. GO VIOLENCE!

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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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Times They Are A Changin’

The land of comic books is a fertile ground of rich entertainment just waiting to be mined! Recently it has been announced that the Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming title, Powers, will finally be brought to the small screen via FX. THIS is awesome!

POWERS, Brian Bendis (W), Michael Oeming (A), Publishers Various

Powers is a quintessential “Capes through the looking glass” title, a book where the tropes of superheroism are the set dressings to stories about average lives touched and shaped by the superhuman world.  The main protagonists are detectives Deena Pilgrim and Christian Walker, cops who work the super-hero related homicide desk of a busy city. Continue reading

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Kitbashing the GM Cannon!

By Loran

Holy crap I actually finished it!

Yes, after lying for about six months, I finally got around to finishing my GM Cannon kitbash. As you can see, I decided to take a bit of a different approach with the color scheme for the finished project. Originally, I was going to paint the suit in the White Dingo colors from the “Rise from the Ashes” game, but for some reason, I just couldn’t get excited about painting a two-tone gray kit. Searching for the decal sheet and going for something I haven’t done on a Federation kit in the past few years was just the inspiration I needed to get this cannon-toting SOB finished at long last. Continue reading

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Transformers Generations Scourge Review

By Loran

While it’s taken them a few years to get to this point, the Classics/Universe/Generations line has been doing a pretty good job giving us casts from the original cartoon. We’re only a few characters away from having the entire 1984 product lineup, with characters from 1985 and 1986 not as close, but on their way. I’m really glad they’ve been doing this, since I was born the same year G1 toyline ended in the US and never had a chance to get those toys. Now I’m able to get those characters at long last, in the form of much cooler and more poseable toys!

With I think just one or two exceptions, we now have all the characters first introduced in the 1986 movie in Classics form. Scourge here is one of the most recent. It’s great to finally see the Unicronian tracker get an updated figure that’s not a Botcon exclusive, and a new mold to boot.

Scourge’s vehicle mode is a… futuristic space bomber? It’s kind of hard to describe. It’s like a souped-up Stealth Bomber. As weird as it looks, though, this is one of the cleanest planeformers I’ve seen in quite awhile; he doesn’t suffer from aircraft undercarriage! It’s a huge step up from the original toy’s bathtub mode, but it actually retains the silly head in the back which yes, can pop up just like in the cartoon. He also has two 3mm clips on his underside. Continue reading

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HGUC GM Custom Review

By Loran

Holy crap, a new Gundam article!

Bandai’s kind of a fickle company. There are tons of designs we’ve wanted to see get HGUC kits for years-most of them are GMs, when you think about it. We hold out hope that they’ll eventually see releases, and sometimes it can mean waiting years or even a decade for it, but chances are, it’ll happen. Sometimes they’d just be a few simple part swaps, and you have to wonder why they didn’t consider it in the first place. Some, like the GM Sniper II, really just need to be made so the 0080 lineup can be finished! You’d think they’d do that by now… Continue reading

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