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
examines 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?
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.
By the time you’re reading this, I’m either in a perpetual state of bummed because the Seahawks just lost, or I’ll still be insanely pumped on their crushing win over the Broncos. I’d be vastly underestimating the atmosphere in Seattle right now if I said it wasn’t a big deal, and an infectious one at that. That’s all I’ll say about sports.
On to comic talk…. I’ve got nothing. These are comics and you should buy them.
(Honorable mention books that I talk about them all the time but want to remind you that they have new issues: Judge Dredd: Mega City #2, Catalyst Comix #8, Archer and Armstrong #0.1)
Alone Forever by Liz Prince
Just in time for Valentine’s day, Liz Prince has collected a book of her popular online series that brings you joy, laughter, sadness, and other emotions. Okay, I sound less than enthused, but that’s only because I can so scarily relate to the perils of modern romance in the OkCupid age. Prince draws characters that are fun, funny, and engaging; who are more about figuring themselves out in a comedic, self-deprecating way, than figuring out how to “catch the cute boy”. Online romance, punk jams, bearded alternative boys. Yep, sounds like my life.
Ant Colony by Michael DeForge
You’re an idiot if you’re not reading DeForge yet. I hate to be that honest but it’s true. [not really -ed.] He’s been putting out stuff with various magazines like Study Group, and The Believer, online, and independent publishing. His first collected book came out last year in Very Casual, and it’s very good. Scholars like to freak out over him, pegging him as everything from the next Clowes, to Burns, to Ware, but really…he’s just the next DeForge. Oh yeah, his Drawn and Quarterly debut is about the impending war between the black ants and the red ants of a singular ant colony; a microcosm of the destruction of civilization, but an exploration of the human condition, handled with humor, sensitivity, and insight that is rare in any medium but the best. And this is the best. I want to be reading it right now (and then sleeping with it under my pillow so I can osmosis all the feels you’ll feel when reading this).
Sucker Bait and Other Stories by Graham Ingels
The first story from this new EC collected book by Fantagraphics is about a guy who keeps lying to his girlfriend of 15 years about going fishing every weekend, and why he wont marry her. Some fun stuff in the middle happens and she ends up mounting him on the wall like one of his trophy fish he kept bringing her. Awesome. I love the absurdity of a woman stuffing and mounting a grown man on the wall. It’s not even possible, but it’s amazing to imagine. Ingels is the master of horror; his zombies have influenced the like of Romero and other goulish artists for generations to come. The stories are classic, and what a lot of pop culture jokes are based off of. So if you want to actually get people’s references instead of just laughing along in confusion, pick up all the EC books that you can! (Zero Hour is another one that’s out this week for all you Sci Fi nerds (me)).
Ms. Marvel #1 by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
I don’t want to boil this comic down to the first topic of conversation that’s brought up when discussing this comic, but it’s hard to do when Marvel reintroduces Ms. Marvel with a Pakistani-American, Muslim, female character. On the outset, reactionary folks might be critical to the simple fact that Marvel is trying to cram as many underrepresented groups into a comic as possible, but that’s how shit gets started. Anyone should be able to feel like they can be a superhero (if they’re born with/have powers bestowed upon them) no matter who you are. A lot of the early issue will be the basics of an origin story; who is Kamala Kahn? There’s a lot of reasons to pick this book up: curiosity, amazing art, a classic character. The bottom line is, for the sake of expanding the superhero genre, buy this book. (And for the sake of the Internet, please refrain from flaming the book for reasons other than its artistic and storytelling merit).
This idea of color as something other than coding is nothing new, and since the days of Frank Santoro’s “Sirk” and even earlier with Françoise Mouly’s and Spiegleman’s RAW Magazine, cartoonists have been figuring out ways around the limited printing technology we’ve had at hand. Without delving in too deep with the history of its induction, and the restrictions that were placed upon it by the technology of the time, color in comics has come a long way. So much so that it’s no longer has to be a simple device to differentiate between characters and objects, it now has the opportunity to be something more.
Dash Shaw’s latest book New School is a prime example of this. If you haven’t picked this book up yet you’re doing yourself a disservice. New School, apart from being a deftly crafted work of mostly fiction, Dash uses color like no other comic every really has. Spreading shapes and patterns full of different color underneath his black line art, sometimes covering the page and other times intersecting across panels, leaving some space blank and other parts full of vibrant patterns, there is a unique abstraction that happens. The experience of it is jarring at first, as a reader automatically can’t help but wonder what the artist’s intention is with this approach to applying color. But as you progress through the narrative (the narrative being presented in a expedient manner) you stop questioning why the color is the way it is and let it do what it was intended for.
Dash is setting up color to be like an orchestra. A counter melody to the black and white line work that is the “guts” of the story. The story itself is presented clearly in what Dash calls his “dumb line, a term he said to have come from David Mazzucchelli, to describe a line whose quality is unsure of what it is representing. If the book had been printed in just black and white the reader would understand it without the color, so in not having the story hinge on the color component of the comic, Dash is afforded the opportunity to experiment. This goers back to the Dash’s idea of the orchestra. The line work is the guts of the song, but the color is that rich counter melody that brings a fullness to it’s sound. Instances of bright and vibrant color’s being like cymbal crashes and allowing the intensity of the color (or lack of it) act like crescendos and decrescendos, adding to the complexity of the story/song. He visual shows these layers, as the physical quality of the pages with color show the obviousness of the separation of the line work and the color, like two instruments in a band. Think Henry Rollins barking vocals vs. Greg Ginn’s guitar, two parts of one whole.
For brevities sake, I won’t take about the physical quality of the painted color, or the mark making, or the way that the patterns Dash would paint in the page reflect in terms of iconography, shapes in the guts of the page, thus heightening the emotional quality of the what’s already taking place at that moment in the stories time. Those are things that can only come from spending some time with New School, and I think it behooves any comic’s enthusiast to do so. But I would be woefully dismayed to not talk about how Dash has introduced a digestible abstraction to a medium which (for the most part) is about clarity.
Will Eisner said that in being a cartoonist you are not afforded the same spontaneity that say a painter has. Apart from the literally thousands of successful comics that prove this contention wrong, Eisner would still have been right if he amended that statement with “in a classical story telling sense.” That is until New School. Dash has opened up the possibility of how in juxtaposing abstract shapes of color and patterning against clear and concise black and white storytelling, that you can breathe the life force that is spontaneity into a medium whose normal working methods are as anal retentive as a Klingon (sorry I didn’t have a better joke).
This, whatever you want to call it, barely scratches the surface of what Dash accomplishes in New School, but hopefully imparts some idea of the next level thinking that is available in this book. So go buy it. Preferable here.
Having just returned from a great work-cation at this year’s SPX (selling my comics to a comics-thirsty public and then drinking wine like a wine-thirsty Bacchus), all I can think about right now is the self-publishing scene. And also not being on my feet all weekend. Not standing AND the self-publishing scene.
We are in the midst of an interesting and important moment in the history of comics. While the big publishers (DC, Marvel, and to a lesser extend Dark Horse) still wield tremendous power and influence, smaller players (Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, and Drawn & Quarterly) have carved out sizable niches in the marketplace. At the same time, newer and smaller small-press publishers like Secret Acres and Koyama Press are making names for themselves. Meanwhile book publishers have begun to dip their toes into the comics-publishing world as well. Some, like Roaring Brook Press and Lerner Publishing Group, have even created their own comics imprints (First Second and Graphic Universe respectively).
And yet, in addition to all of these different avenues for comics publication, their remains one more path; one that is wholly unique to comics: Do It Yourself self-publishing. In the world of prose and poetry, self publishing is looked upon as the last avenue of the un-publishable crackpot (having worked in publishing, I can tell you that every self-published book that we got WAS from an un-publishable crackpot). However, at this moment in comics, self publishing is very well regarded. Publishers and editors attend many of the larger small-press and indie comics conventions (in particular the MoCCA Comics Fest and SPX, though I see the boys from Secret Acres at nearly every show I attend) looking for new creators. At this year’s MoCCA Comics Fest, for example, an artist beside me was offered illustration work from an editor at First Second after someone she knew had seen his work and recommended that she have a look.
My point is, and I do plan on making it eventually (I like words…), that in comics self publishing is an important first step for many independent cartoonists. However, not everyone agrees that self-publishing is the way to go.
Enter Slow Wave author Jesse Reklaw and his minicomic N.Y.D.I. #1: A History in Publishing. N.Y.D.I., which stands for “No, You Do It” is a counterpoint to the DYI self-publishing movement. Reklaw recounts his years of experience self-publishing and how he came to the realization that it wasn’t for him. His comic is very frank and straightforward, and is in many ways a primer on what a self-publisher can expect to run into. As one myself, I found myself nodding with agreement as he led me step by step to the uncomfortable conclusion that self-publishing might be more trouble than it’s worth.
However, I do feel that he is omitting some of the realities of publishing comics; not the least of which is that if you are just starting out, no one else is likely to publish you. D.I.Y. self-publishing may not be a sustainable business model for most people, true, but if one approaches it less as a business and more as a way to improve artistically AND to get your name out into the comics world, then it is still a worthwhile endeavor. You just have to accept that you will be loosing money in the short term, and gamble that it will pay off in the long term with a publisher seeing your work and deciding to take a chance on you.
This is essentially what has happened to Reklaw. His experience self-publishing taught him lessons that he would later call upon when dealing with publishers, agents, marketers, and so on. As he says near this comics’ close: “I know that I’ll always be on the fringe of the publishing world, but it doesn’t mean I have to struggle alone. I just need to find the right publisher, designer, agent, and marketing people to work with. Easier than doing it all myself, I guess.” Which is true, certainly; but in order to get there, in order to find those kindred spirits, most of us will have to self-publish first, at least for a little while.
Morgan Pielli is the author of Indestructible Universe Quarterly.
Another hot day at my pile of mini comics here at Forbidden Planet Central. …’s basement. And as I construct a pedal-powered fan from black-bagged copies of The Death of Superman and unsold Laser Commando Spawn figures, I keep my mind teetering from the edge of insanity with two new mini comics. Continue reading
When I first heard about Fantagraphics’ Destroy All Movies The Complete Guide To Punks On Film I immediately knew this book was for me. Being a “punk” myself and a huge cult film nerd how could I not be excited.
Destroy All Movies is an informative, hilarious and impossibly complete guide to every appearance of a punk (or new waver!) to hit the screen in the 20th Century. Featuring A-to-Z coverage of over 1100 feature films from around the world, as well as dozens of exclusive interviews with the cast/creators of crucial titles like Repo Man, Return of the Living Dead, The Decline of Western Civilization and Valley Girl.
Also examined are several hundred prime examples of straight-to-VHS slasher trash, breakdancing fairytales, no-budget apocalyptic epics and movies that barely exist. Plus hundreds of eyeball-smashing stills and posters, many in full color!
Six years in the making, this pulse-bursting monument to lowbrow cultural obsession is a must for all film fanatics, music maniacs, anti-fashion mutants, ’80s nostalgists, sleazoids, cop-killers and spazzmatics!
So while researching this book I came across their websites www.punksonfilm.com and I tell you its just as entertaining as the book. On their site is an announcement for an east coast book tour with screenings and special guests from films that are covered in the book. I instantly started dreaming of meeting Jon Gries at a screening of Terror Vision!!!
So I sent an e-mail to their contact introducing myself and letting them know that I (and Forbidden Planet of course) love the book and want to get involved in the book tour. One of the writers, Zack Carlson promptly replied with some awesome yet sad information.
We’re actually at a dumb point with the book. The first printing is totally sold out (that’s good!) but there aren’t currently enough back orders for the publisher to put in for a second printing. So it’s kinda junked up our East Coast/Canada tour plans… So we’re stuck unless there’s suddenly some massive public demand for more copies… It’s a sad truth, but there it is.
So I encourage you all to buy copies of this book before they disappear for good. Oh, and calling all your local retailers and making sure they have it in stock (or on back order) would help. Lets see this baby go to a second print. Destroy All Movies The Complete Guide To Punks On Film is too good to fall off the face of the earth so soon.
Well, another one of our all-time faves is set to sign at the shop in the next few weeks: Mr. Jim Woodring will be signing at Forbidden Planet NYC on Thursday, June 17th in support of his sexy new book from Fantagraphics, Weathercraft!
Beginning this Saturday in Seattle, author Jim Woodring embarks on a rare tour of the Pacific Northwest, California Bay Area, and New York in support of his first-ever original graphic novel, WEATHERCRAFT. In each city, Jim will entertain audiences a fantastic slide show and discussion of the hidden meanings behind every mysterious idea and totem in WEATHERCRAFT. And in Brooklyn, on June 18, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to view all of the original artwork from the book, as well as many preliminary pieces that went into making it.
05/22/10 | 6PM • Seattle WA • FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKSTORE & GALLERY
06/09/10 | 7:30PM • Berkeley CA • PEGASUS & PENDRAGON BOOKSTORE
06/10/10 | 7:30PM • San Francisco CA • THE BOOKSMITH
06/17/10 | 6PM • New York NY • FORBIDDEN PLANET
06/18/10 | 6PM • Brooklyn NY • SCOTT EDER GALLERY
06/19/10 | 7PM • Brooklyn NY • DESERT ISLAND COMICS
06/25/10 | 7:30PM • Portland OR • POWELL’S CITY OF BOOKS
Free Comic Book Day is an annual event that now takes place on the first Saturday of May each year wherein participating comic shops all over the world give away comic books for FREE. Forbidden Planet has participated in FCBD since its inception and has given away hundreds of thousands of comics on this special day.
Each year publishers produce comic books intended to be given away that day- often samplers of what they normally publish, or reprints/previews of first issues and jump-on points of established series. Here is a list of what’s being given out Saturday (Click on the thumbnails for full pics):
Archie’s Summer Splash #1 FCBD 2010 Edition- “Whose BEACH is it Anyway?”: Sun, sand, swimsuits and cool rockin’ tunes — no, it’s not a cinematic “beach party” blast from the past, but a whole new summer splash from Archie and his friends! In this fun-filled free issue, Cheryl and her snooty friends from Pembrooke form an all-girl group to compete head on with the Archies at a summer beach music festival. Will Cheryl’s group be a tuneful treat, or mistaken for bellowing whales?
Docror Solar/Magbus- The dawn of a new age of superhero excitement begins on Free Comic Book Day as Dark Horse Comics proudly presents the return of two of the most legendary characters in the annals of comics: Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom and Magnus, Robot Fighter — re-imagined for the 21st century by comics legend, writer Jim Shooter! This FCBD extravaganza offers all-new Solar and Magnus stories, each heralding new series launches in summer 2010, and featuring interior art by fan-favorite Dennis Calero (X-Men Noir) and cover art by Raymond Swanland!
Fractured Fables- This special FCBD issue offers a small taste of the new hardcover anthology from Silverline Books due later in the year. An all-star cast of writers and artists have been assembled to turn familiar fairy tales and nursery rhymes on their ear to make kids LAUGH! These humorous interpretations will delight any reader, regardless of their age! Features the talents of Bryan Talbot, Doug TenNapel, Alexander Grecian, Derek McCulloch, Ted McKeever, Camilla d’Errico, Christian Ward, Anthony Peruzzo, and Mike and Laura Allred.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #155½- It’s free, it’s awesome, and it’s ALL-NEW! Picking up from where the original G.I. Joe comic book ended, issue #155-1/2 is a core fan’s dream come true! Featuring spectacular art from Agustin Padilla, Larry Hama continues his classic G.I. JOE run right here, and RELAUNCHES THE ORIGINAL SERIES- one of the great comics of the 1980s! G.I. Joe has closed its doors, leaving COBRA to pillage, burn, and plunder!
Iron Man/Thor FCBD 2010 Edition- The perfect jumping-on point for any and all readers…and it’s FREE! When rogue mega-billionaires with world-destroying technology threaten the safety of the entire world…and the moon…Thor and Iron Man join forces! In time for the exciting launch of new stories and a bold new direction for Invincible Iron Man and Thor, superstars Matt Fraction and John Romita Jr. team up to bring you two of Marvel’s heaviest hitters like you’ve never seen them before! A major new direction for the Marvel Universe kicks off HERE – on Free Comic Book Day!
Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock- Archaia is proud to present two amazing all-new stories in one fantastic flip-book! First writer/artist David Petersen presents a story from the spring of 1153 where the Mouse Guard deal with the onset of the spring thaw and the havoc it wreaks on their territories. Meanwhile, it’s time to dance your cares away as Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober and Red return for a brand-new series of hilarious and heartfelt Fraggle Rock adventures written and drawn by some of the most imaginative creators in comics!
KiZOIC Presents: Shrek & The Penguins of Madagascar- Ape Entertainment proudly offers KiZOIC Presents: Shrek & The Penguins of Madagascar! Featuring four stories by the artists and writers of the up-coming Shrek and Penguins of Madagascar comic books, these stories are guaranteed to tickle your funny bone and leave you begging for more! All-ages fun for everyone!
Interested in more Shrek comics? The Shrek prequel book is now on sale with even more comics on the way this spring!
YOW! The John Stanley Library- D&Q delivers another wholly original and boisterous FCBD issue that will entertain readers of all ages! YOW! The John Stanley Library spotlights the world’s greatest all-ages cartoonist, John Stanley, in a beautiful package designed by Seth. YOW! features new stories from the John Stanley Library: Melvin Monster, Nancy and 13 Going On 18, plus a story from the legendary one-shot Choo Choo Charlie and a Tubby story!
Toy Story FCBD 2010 Edition- With Toy Story 3 hitting theaters this summer, don’t miss this opportunity to get kids hooked on comics with a FREE issue from the ongoing Toy Story series from BOOM Kids! More all-new adventures featuring the world’s favorite toys with Woody, Buzz and the gang!
If you’re interested in more Toy Story comics I highly recommend the Toy Story Mysterious Stranger graphic novel. It’s a great book for young fans and potential new readers.
War of the Supermen #0- A war is coming, and all that stands between Earth and 100,000 vengeful supermen is one Superman! The conflict between Superman and General Zod erupts into all-out war this summer in a series that will shatter the worlds of Superman, Supergirl and the entire DC Universe — all brought to you by the hit creative team of James Robinson and Eddy Barrows! This special #0 issue featuring all-new material previews the conflicts to come while spotlighting a savage strike on Metropolis and the world — an attack that will shake Superman to his very core. After this, there’s no turning back — the War of the Supermen is here!
Sonic the Hedgehog FCBD 2010 Edition- “Hide & Seek & DESTROY!”: Dr. Eggman has vanished – or has he? As Sonic searches for clues, he stumbles across an old weapon from the bygone days of his childhood. Will Dr. Eggman allow Sonic to be destroyed by this threat from yesteryear? Will Sonic discover the truth behind his old rival’s disappearance? All the answers lie in this free issue! Sonic’s comic book adventures are consistently Forbidden Planet’s best-selling all ages material.
Aspren Comics Presents: Worlds of Aspen- A special compilation issue featuring four exciting outtakes from several of Aspen’s hottest titles including Soulfire (Vol 2), and Executive Assistant: Iris! Also showcased are two of Aspen’s newest titles, Fathom: Blue Descent and Mindfield! Featuring the talents of David Wohl, JT Krul, David Schwartz, Vince Hernandez, Joe Benitez, Scott Clark, Marcus To, Eduardo Francisco, Alex Konat, Michael Turner, and Peter Steigerwald.
Fearless Dawn/Asylum Press Sampler- Featuring a sampling of new and upcoming Asylum Press titles! Steve Mannion’s Fearless Dawn features our favorite new heroine battling a troop of mutants; Black Powder, a bloody frontier adventure by Dwayne Harris; Warlash: Origins is a tale of Bladeviper by Royal McGraw and J.C. Wong; Farmhouse by Elizabeth J. Musgrave and Szymon Kudranski, a tale of a drifter who falls in love with an artist undergoing an experimental art therapy; armored hero vs. brain-eating monsters in Warlash: Zombie Mutant Genesis by Frank Forte; and a look at Jason Paulos’ EEEK!, a retro-style horror anthology. Steve Mannion will be signing copies of this book at FP from 1pm-5pm!
S.E. Hinton/Fame- S.E. Hinton, author of the The Outsiders, was – and still is – one of the most popular and best known writers of Young Adult fiction. And now Bluewater Productions proudly announces an exciting new partnership with the best-selling in this special FCBD preview issue, showcasing the new titles from Hinton. Plus: Your first look at the new biography series FAME, featuring Lady Gaga! Is it the costumes? The music? The voice? Maybe it’s all that stage blood. Whatever the reason, Lady GaGa has become one of pop music’s biggest stars. Fame examines her impact on her legion of fans.
Bongo Comics Free for All- The comic company that brings you The Simpsons and Futurama in the fantastic four-color format joins with retailers to reel in new readers, with a comic cornucopia of tantalizing tidbits and a spectacular sampling of the best in humor comics! Bongo’s FCBD books are always some of the best and most requested. “I’ve spent my entire life doing nothing but collecting comic books… and now there’s only time to say… LIFE WELL SPENT!”
Irredeemable #1 FCBD 2010 Edition- Last year’s comic book industry event is this year’s best way to get more readers hooked on Mark Waid’s best-selling original title, Irredeemable, the series that dared to ask the question: what if the world’s greatest hero decided to become the world’s greatest villain? And 12 issues later, that question has been answered with a best-selling comic series, two best-selling trade collections and Incorruptible, the companion series.
DC Kids Mega-Sampler FCBD 2010 Edition- This sampler is the perfect place to check out the sensational line of titles aimed at readers of all ages! It includes exciting, all-new stories starring Batman: The Brave & The Bold, Tiny Titans, Billy Batson & the Magic of Shazam! and Super Friends! Featuring Landry Walker, Art Baltazar, Franco, Sholly Fisch, Eric Jones, Art Baltazar, Mike Norton, Dario Brizuela and Baltazar. The DC Kids Sampler is a great tool for introducing even the youngest of your youngins to the joys of comics!
Del Rey Sampler FCBD 2010 Edition- Featuring previews of Del Rey’s upcoming comics and graphic novels including: The Last Airbender by Dave Roman, Alison Wilgus, and Nina Matsumoto; The Talisman: A Collision of Worlds by Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Tony Shasteen; Odd is On Our Side by Dean Koontz, Fred Van Lente, and Queenie Chan; Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies: The Graphic Novel by Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith, Tony Lee, and Cliff Richards.
Green Hornet #1 FCBD 2010 Edition- Dynamite Entertainment proudly presents the return of the Green Hornet! In 2010, Dynamite will unveil three brand-new Green Hornet series, starting with the worldwide debut of Kevin Smith’s vision for the masked crusader (based on his unproduced screenplay)! Get a first look with this special edition featuring not only Smith’s version, but the award-winning work of creators Matt Wagner and Brett Matthews as well! All in one Free Comic Book Day comic event!
Weathercraft: A Frank Comic- Are you ready? Because your life is about to change! Perception as you know it will cease! Fantagraphics proudly presents Jim Woodring’s Weathercraft! Every other free comic book will pale in comparison to our powerful and supernatural print-barge for both the enlightened and perplexed masses. Marvel at the toothy preview of Jim Woodring’s first original graphic novel, do your detective work with exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews, and gasp at rare out-of-print images, comics and transmissions, all from Jimland! Beware! Manhog lurks near…
The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Comics- How do you collect comics? How do you take care of the comics you buy? How do you grade comics? How do you sell your comics? How do you evaluate their worth? The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, now in its 40th year of publication, answers the questions and more facing new collectors and experienced enthusiasts alike! And be sure to keep an eye out for this year’s guide, currently slated to ship this summer.
IDW’s Library od American Comics #0- Presenting excerpts from the greatest comic strips of all time – from action/adventure to high drama, to fall-on-the-floor hilarious! IDW and the Library of American Comics present 32 pages of previews from upcoming volumes including Archie by Bob Montana, Secret Agent Corrigan by Al Williamson, Blondie by Chic Young, The Complete Bloom County Library by Berkeley Breathed, Rip Kirby by Alex Raymond, Polly and Her Pals by Chris Sterrett, Dick Tracy by Chester Gould, and Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray.
Artifacts First Look- Building on the success of First Born and Broken Trinity, Top Cow finally reveals the secrets of all 13 Artifacts – which include The Darkness, Witchblade, Angelus, Magdalena’s Spear of Destiny, and more. Launching a massive 13-issue event beginning in July 2010, this series will literally define and redefine the nature of the Top Cow Universe! The final identity of the remaining hidden Artifacts will be revealed, characters will perish, and the very existence of the Top Cow Universe will be at stake. And it begins here!
Love and Capes #13 FCBD 2010 Edition- The wedding and the honeymoon are over for comicdom’s favorite super couple, so what’s next? Getting settled, starting their new life… and finding out what really happened at the reception. It’s a whole new start for “Love and Capes”, and a great lead-in to the second trade coming from IDW in summer 2010! Last year’s Love and Capes giveaway was the sleeper hit and this series keeps picking up new fans. Jump onboard now.
Iron Man: Supernova- What happens when an armored billionaire teams up with a hot-headed, cosmic-powered teen to fight a trio of massively-powered super-apes? Find out when Iron Man and Nova take on Red Ghost and The Super-Apes! Out-numbered, the Golden Avenger and the Human Rocket will have to trust an apparent traitor in the gorillas’ midst if they are to survive and save an entire city. Will they succeed or are they being played? Find out in this all-new, action-packed adventure, which happens to be FREE!
The Tick #1 FCBD 2010 Edition- In honor of this year’s Free Comic Book Day, and to commemorate the first appearance of The Tick 24 years ago, NEC Press offers this special re-presentation of Ben Edlund’s legendary first issue of The Tick, in a special Free Comic Book Day special edition! The complete original first comic book appearance of The Tick, as it originally hit the stands in 1986! Destiny calls as The Tick arrives in The City to commence his superhero career… Spoon!
Oni Press Free-For-All 2010- Coming your way this Free Comic Book Day: the Oni Press Free-For-All! This all-ages anthology packs in three exclusive terrific tales from The Crogan Adventures by Chris Schweizer, Salt Water Taffy by Matthew Loux and the all-new series, Possessions, by Ray Fawkes. The Crogan Adventures and Salt Water Taffy are FP favorites and we’re absolutely ecstatic Oni’s offering this sampler to expose these quality titles to a larger audience.
The Sixth Gun #1- Also from Oni Press. During the darkest days of the Civil War, wicked cutthroats came into possession of six pistols of otherworldly power. In time, the Sixth Gun – the most dangerous of the weapons – vanished. When the gun resurfaces in the hands of an innocent girl, dark forces reawaken. Vile men thought long dead set their sights on retrieving the gun and killing the girl. Only Drake Sinclair, a gunfighter with a shadowy past, stands in their way!
Radical: Bigger Books! Bigger Value!- For FCBD 2010, fans can read the first 8 pages of 4 incredible titles showcasing Radical’s innovative “Bigger Books! Bigger Value!” format. Wesley Snipes and director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) join writer Peter Milligan and artist Jeff Nentrup for the sci-fi saga, After Dark; Jonah Hex’s Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray deliver Time Bomb, featuring art by comics legend Paul Gulacy; Driver for the Dead will keep your heart racing with a tale of action, horror and voodoo from writer John Heffernan (Snakes on a Plane) and artist Clint Langley (Sláine); and finally, Radical presents The Rising, from creator/writer E. Max Frye (Band of Brothers) and artist J.P. Targete (Pixar’s John Carter of Mars)!
Atomic Robo and Friends FCBD 2010 Edition- Eisner Award-nominated Atomic Robo knows that the rain forests of South America hide many secrets…but none so deadly as “The Terror Bird”! Forgotten by time, these prehistoric apex predators are primed to devastate the modern world! (The word ‘terror’ is right there in its name!) Atomic Robo is always a Free Comic Book Day fave. Plus! Previews of 2010 adventures of Red 5 favorites and some new faces!
Freedom Formula: Speed Metal Overtures- Metal twisting tales of the meanest, fastest mechs in all-out heart-pounding action, the legend of the Freedom Formula races starts here in this collection of must-read stories. Spinning out of last year’s acclaimed mini-series and soon to be a major motion picture from New Regency with Bryan Singer (X-Men, Superman Returns). Brought to you by the folks at Storm Lion and featuring writers and artists Edmund Shern ,Brandon Jerwa, Andrew Dabb, Tony Lee, Puppeteer Lee, Zid, and Leah Liu.
The Stuff of Legend: Mortal Instruments- Don’t be left in “The Dark” this year, as Th3rd World Studios presents not only a recap of the toys’ first adventure from The Stuff of Legend Volume I, The Dark, but also a first look at Volume 2, The Jungle coming in June. Also, get your first look at Th3rd World’s adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s New York Times best-selling novel, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, a young adult fantasy series in which a young teen girl discovers a shadowy world filled with demon-hunting warriors.
Owly and Friends FCBD 2010 Edition- Top Shelf is proud to join the 2010 Free Comic Book Day celebration with not one, but three all-ages tales! In this FCBD edition, we’ll not only present an all-new Owly adventure by Andy Runton, but also two other all-new, all-ages adventures from Owly’s friends: Johnny Boo by James Kochalka and Korgi by Christian Slade. Perfect for everyone in the family, this time around with a great cover by Christian Slade! Fantastic comics by featuring some of the most beloved characters and cartoonists in the industry.
Bird Hurdler FCBD 2010 Edition- Teenage Dinosaur, Tugboat Press and Sparkplug present the release of Bird Hurdler by Andrice Arp, Theo Ellsworth, Faryl Dalrymple, Zack Soto, Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg & Julia Gfrörer and printed at Brown Printing. Forbidden Planet is proud to be one of only a handful of stores to be offering this comic, continuing our tradition as one of the most indy-friendly comic retailers in the world. If you’re not reading the works of the creators in Bird Hurdler you’re really missing out on some great stuff.
Marvel Heroclix War Machine Figure- When Iron Man needs backup, he calls upon War Machine! War Machine is slated to be a major part of the May 2010 Iron Man 2 movie, and to capitalize on this, WizKids will be modifying the popular War Machine sculpt from the Marvel HeroClix: Armor Wars series as 2010′s Free Comic Book Day figure. This exclusive figure comes with an all-new dial and character card. *Please note- This item will only be distributed upon request and while supplies last.*
Now for how May 1st will be going down at Forbidden Planet NYC. We will be giving away bags containing every different FCBD offering we receive on a first come, first served basis. All ages bags will also be provided as this is a family-friendly event and there’s little else we like more than comics in the hands of a new generation of readers. Once we give out all complete bags we will then distribute any remaining FCBD comics at our discretion. Once our supply runs out we will give out stacks of comics that we have picked from our inventory from the last few years. As always, we may also have some unannounced stuffs to give away as well.
Also, if you didn’t read it above, Steve Mannion will be on hand signing copies of Asylum Press’ FCBD offering Fearless Dawn #1, selling artwork and taking sketch commissions.
Oh! We’re also running an all day SALE on graphic novels!!! 15% Off all graphic novels, all day!
The shop opens, and our Free Comic Book Day festivities begin at 10am and run until we close at 12midnight. I encourage you to come by as early as possible if you’re looking to get the full breadth of FCBD 2010 books or if you’re looking for a specific book. It’s a loooong day and the FP staff works very hard to make it special. Come on by and enjoy yourselves!
Online customers- please keep an eye on your email and on the front page of our website. While FCBD and our sale is only for our NYC store customers, we will be offering you something special for all orders placed this coming weekend. Not receiving FP mail yet? You can join at any time on any page of the site in the box on the right labelled “Join Our Mailing List.” Don’t worry. We’re cool and won’t bombard you.
Dirk Deppey reports on The Journal’s new direction/formats, starting with the release of issue #300…
The Comics Journal’s Cup Runneth Over
OCTOBER 28, SEATTLE, WA — The Comics Journal is about to take two major steps forward in its evolution. 1) After 33 years and several incarnations, TCJ is answering everybody’s prayers and upping the Web content on TCJ.com. 2) The print publication will be consolidated around expanded semi-annual editions, each customized to fit its content.
The expanded, full-service TCJ.com will deliver everything readers love — in-depth interviews, smart columns, sharp criticism, real journalism — on a daily basis. And not only will readers get the traditional Comics Journal content faster, but they will also be able to access features beyond the reach of print magazines: videos, slide shows, audio files, original-art galleries and an army of both new and established Journal-caliber bloggers filtering the comics world through their unique perspectives. In short, it is the dawning of a Comics Journal that knows no bounds.
Focusing on what print does best, The Comics Journal magazine will be more beautiful than ever, an elegant combination of criticism, journalism and objet d’art. Uniquely sized and formatted, evocatively visual and tactile, each issue will be an event. Readers will get their first look at the direction The Comics Journal will be moving in with issue #300.
Coming in November 2009: issue #300 of The Comics Journal and a wondrous new website!
While I’m sure this is in response to the foundering market for physical magazines, even ones as pertinent, stalwart, and worthy of one’s attention as TCJ has been for three decades, I view this as a very good thing. Why, you may ask? Well, aside from turning to the semi-annual, objet d’art editions one will be able to purchase, there’s a fantastic caveat to the Journal going (for the most part) digital:
Everything will be free. We’ll maintain an archival copy of the current website for our online subscribers — more on that soon, I promise — but the new site will have no “subscriber area” or special features that need a password to access (with the obvious exception of the message board).
TCJ.com looks like it’s gonna be fab. Too bad one of my favorite publications of all time is going to be printed less frequently (albeit with the promise of excellence), terrific news it’ll be available to the world, a wide audience, on the web. Free.
Fantagraphics has just published a new collection of comics from “Hate” creator Peter Bagge: Everybody is Stupid Except for Me. Originally appearing in the pages of Reason- a 40ish year old Libertarian magazine with a circulation that hovers around the sixty thousand mark- the work reprinted here runs the gamut of observations from the Seattle-based cartoonist and eviscerates causehaeds, the media, malls, bums, trains, politicians, celebrities and even his fellow Libertarians alike.
Please be aware that these cartoons appeared between the roller coaster years of 2001-2008 (though that’s not to say we aren’t still strapped in), and should be viewed less like the reactionary ramblings of some political cartoonists that cropped up in that period and considered more as social commentary documented in comics form. Keep in mind that whether you agree with Bagge’s views or not, his cartooning prowess is the real spectacle to behold here. A welcome alternative (and in some ways an antidote) to the shrill talking head Punditocracy of Fox News and CNBC in comics form.
I was a big fan of the “Hate” single issues when they ran in the nineties, and despite having recommended his stuff countless times in the NYC Forbidden Planet store, for some reason or another Mr. Bagge fell off my favorite cartoonists list, the subsequent Annuals sitting towards the bottom of the never ending reading list. Dunno why. Guess I forgot how dense his work can be irrespective of panel size and how very few of his peers can display such social vitriol with such sarcastic, humorous vigor. Or I forgot how the distinct expressions and body language of his rubbery characters can emote more than hormonally charged teenagers on crank. Either way that was pretty dumb of me and he’s once again ascended to the top of the pile.
Here Bagge’s at his finest depicting the stupid crap that spews out of the mouths of otherwise presumably intelligent beings. Among my faves: Fascists Have Feelings Too (“What’s so evil about trains running on time?”), Ex-Pats Say the Darndest Things (“…the people here exhibit a deep spirituality that is non-existent back home.”) and Taking Out Arnold (“…Twins is practically an ad for genetic engineering!”).
Above all else, Everybody is Stupid Except for Me showcases a comics artist who remains at the top his craft. Almost a decade’s worth of work years removed from that which he’s most recognized for, yet still relevant, still angry, still funny, and still cartooning about the whole mess with aplomb.
Finally, let me just take a moment to say that there are very few cartoonists on this planet who incorporate the “arrows pointing at something funny, or with self-mockery for their lack of being able to draw something” well enough to use this overdone and despicably cliched technique ever again. In fact only three come to mind: Robert Crumb, Evan Dorkin, and Peter Bagge. Everyone else: STOP IT RIGHT NOW. If you absolutely have to point at something cute in your drawings (and you probably don’t), remember: sparingly, people, sparingly.
Wisegeek.com describes quality control as:
…a process employed to ensure a certain level of quality in a product or service. It may include whatever actions a business deems necessary to provide for the control and verification of certain characteristics of a product or service. The basic goal of quality control is to ensure that the products, services, or processes provided meet specific requirements and are dependable, satisfactory, and fiscally sound… The goal of a quality control team is to identify products or services that do not meet a company’s specified standards of quality. If a problem is identified, the job of a quality control team or professional may involve stopping production temporarily. Depending on the particular service or product, as well as the type of problem identified, production or implementation may not cease entirely.
Through the course of decades in business, thousands of brand names purveyed, and millions of products carried, Forbidden Planet has encountered some of the best Quality Control the geek world has ever known. Manufacturers/publishers such as Nintendo, Fanatgraphics, Fantasy Flight Games, Ultra Pro, and Kotobukiya are reliable stalwarts whose products’ mere mention provoke an assured mental picture of quality, dependability, durability, etc. In a world of “buyer beware” such lofty standards are all too commonly thrown out the window in service of greed, or laziness, or a quick easy buck.
While this column is often concerned with shaking up the Yoo-Hoo can, jumping into the plasma pool, and acclimating us all to changing this entropic world, there’s something very positive to be said about knowing whatch’re gonna get out of something. That one can be secure in a purchase. The kind of knowledge that when one buys a “Super Mario” game one is pretty much assured A) it ain’t gonna break on you, nor will it be defective out of the box and B) the value in what you’re purchasing is worth it. That Mario game’s almost assuredly going to be be fun, and give you many hours of pleasure it has that nifty little Nintendo seal of quality.
Remember: Quality control.
So, didja watch the Giants of New York win the Super Bowl? Helluva game. While I’m more of a baseball guy, I nevertheless got real kicks watching football this year. And the season’s climax was, like I said, one helluva game. Some friends and family and I got together to eat a mountain of crappy food, consume many flagons of mead, have a few laughs… just as many a household did this past Sunday. I’ll even admit the spectacular win by Big Blue was enough to warrant a few high fives from gentlemen not normally of the “High Fivin’ White Guy” ilk. Namely me.
The commercials, as much a draw as the actual game itself for most viewers, were however a great source of consternation and disgust for me. One, produced by Dan Wieden and David Kennedy, more so than any I’d suffered in a long time. One in which the Thanksgiving Day balloons of Underdog and Stewie (from Family Guy) vie desperately for a balloon Coca-Cola bottle, its refreshing goodness and sugary caffeine nectar so desirable as to send them bouncing around the city recklessly. All of a sudden a third character rises from the concrete jungle to win the prize.
The commercial ends with him catching the Coke. You could say I was shocked and appalled. You could say dogs and cats living together. You could say mass hysteria.
Now, I’m under no illusions that the Peanuts characters’ likenesses have been lent out to endorse millions of items before, but I cannot recall their character ever having been so soullessly compromised- never so callously, odiously- in the service of corporate advertising. Charlie Brown never kicks the football, doesn’t grow up to marry the Little Redheaded Girl, and sure as shit doesn’t get the Coke!!! Charles Schulz never intended him to win.
Am I outraged by the applause and accolades ignorant TV/Commercial pundits (and a nation so obsessed with the underdog coming out on top that they must proclaim “nobody believed we could do it” as inspiring motivation for damned near everything as simple as breathing) have heaped upon this abomination? Yep. Should I lighten up on this one? Maybe. Do I wish everyone involved in this commercial (including whoever on the Schulz side signed off on this) had better respect, judgement, and quality control of the charge the property’s late creator bestowed upon them? Betcher bottom dollar.
You gotta have standards, kids.