Writer Fred Van Lente and Artist Pere Perez will be joining us on October 1st at 6pm to celebrate their run on Archer & Armstrong! Number 25 marks an anniversary issue with an all-star studded cast of creators joining Van Lente and Perez on the book, for what is sure to be an awesomely bombastic issue. Don’t miss your chance to get it signed by its awesomely bombastic creative team.
On October 1st Forbbidden Planet is pleased to once again have Mr. Ales Kot (Secret Avengers, Zero) as our in-store creator guest to sign copies of his brand new comic from Marvel- Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier #1. We will be kicking things off at 6pm.
“Seconds” is the third comic from creator Bryan Lee O’Malley.
“Seconds” follows Katie, the chef/auteur creator of the best restaurant in the city, Seconds. She started the restaurant with all her friends, who have all since moved onto other ventures while Katie remained. With all her friends gone, she dreams of opening a new restaurant called “Katie’s,” with the excuses that the name fits on the pre-existing marquee of Lucky’s, the dilapidated building she bought to house her new endeavors.
Alright enough synopses, let’s talk formally. Second’s is by far the most well-crafted comic O’Malley has ever put out. The quality of cartooning and world building is top notch, something clearly O’Malley has a knack for as he’s shown us over the course of his career. The inclusion of color at the onset of this project (as opposed to the post coloring of Scott Pilgrim (which is colored by Nathan Fairbairn the same fella who colors this book)) keeps the work from being disconnected, or rather that one of the balls could drop in the perpetual juggling act that is making comics. That formalism aside, Fairbairn is a truly incredible colorist who fits O’Malley’s work like you’re dad’s old flannel you stole from his closet.
The most impressive thing (from a cartoonist’s point of view possibly…) may be how well O’Malley pulls off collaboration with three different creators on a book sold by his name alone. Having the drawing assistance of Jason Fischer and letters by the great Dustin Harbin is inspired. All too often, comics fall apart simple because the people collaborating on the project don’t completely synchronize into one vision. Writing can be great, drawing superb, but for whatever reason the people working together just don’t (man motions with both hands coming together with his finger’s interlaced). “Seconds” however does not suffer from this in the slightest. The “O’Malley Studio” syncs up without a stich to be shown despite being able to see the difference in drawing styles of Fischer and O’Malley, or the craftsmanship of Harbin versus the looser brush style of O’Malley.
The characters carry three dimensions though interestingly are not characters we all know. That is to say, they aren’t caricatures, you may know people in your life that are say a “Max or Katie Type,” but they have some many affects to their personality you would forever need to temper the phrase “Oh you’re toooootallly a Katie” with “Except you don’t yadayadayadayada.”
One issue I have with this book, that many disagree with me on, is an inherent issue I find with every comic that is attempting to be “novelistic.” O’Malley has said that he wanted this comic to be more like a book, hence I’m assuming the choice to have it put out by a book publisher as opposed to a comic publisher, though I’m sure distribution and money always play a heavy role. The issue I’m writing about is the extreme use of narration and exposition. The use of text is heavy, with little use of simple pictures being used to tell parts of the story. It falls into a category of comics that almost come off as “Learn How to Read Comics” or “Comics For Normal People.” An example being Alison Bechdel comics, where in the text is so heavy that the pictures rarely have a chance to shine. This argument is not to discredit the amazing and forward thinking work Bechdel and O’Malley both create or the moot argument of “Why Not Just Make It A Prose Book?” These people are cartoonist and they are telling the stories they want to tell in their medium, that’s not the issue. The issue is why not use the pictures More? There is scarcely an action that isn’t also accompanied by text describing what is happening. I can understand O’Malley’s want to be more novelistic in his approach to comics making but find it a lost opportunity to push the his own story-telling style where-in there is not just the surface quality of the picture making and the interesting story he threads for you, but also a more personalized vision of digestion. For the intricate Groundhog’s Day story that “Seconds” is there is little in the way of interesting Visual Story-Telling.
That very personal critique aside, (sorry everyone) Seconds is well worth your time. O’Malley is a supremely talented individual whose work remains consistently strong and consistently gets stronger. Go get Seconds so you cannot wait for his next book.
We at Forbidden Planet are super excited to a special signing with the one and only FAREL DARLYMPLE for his new book The Wrenchies. Mr. Dalrymple will be in store on Spetember 19th at six p.m. to sign copies of his brand new (and long awaited) new graphic novel from First Second. We’re all a-tingle.
UPDATE: If you cannot make it to this event you can still pre-order signed copies through our webstore. You can request personalization at checkout if desired.
A solid week for trades, and a solid week from Oni Press. I guess all books are solid though. Their matter through chemical bonding, organic material, etc. Good thing books aren’t metal! Cause then I’d have to explain the Fermi Surface principle, and we really just don’t have time for quantum solids theory. But you can probably figure it out from this:
We’ll discuss it next week. Instead, here’s a book about a cat…
I Was the Cat by Paul Tobin and Ben Dewey- Last night, I had a dream I was a cat. Everything was cat perspective, but I was aware of myself as something I normally was not. It wasn’t a long dream; I just did a bunch of exploring and typical cat things, nothing special. But my journey doesn’t have to end. I can imagine myself as the best cat around thanks to a new hardcover book out this week from Oni Press. Imagine that every major event in history involved one cat living each of his nine lives hidden in between the pages of every textbook, and you get Burma the cat. Reaching the end of his life, he reaches out to journalist Allison Breaking to make his last mark in society. But there are some pieces he’d rather leave uncovered. Tobin has written more books than I can name, and the same can be said for artist Benjamin Dewey. But their collaboration is something is the beginning of a magical cat romp through life.
Henry and Glen Forever and Ever TP by Tom Neely- Neely, of course, isn’t the only credit in this book. A labor of love about two domestic lovers who labor over their mothers, defeating cults, and sometimes going to therapy to help keep their eternal rocking passion alive. If you’ve picked up the minis when then came out, or you’re just curious about what this curious little world is about, you can now HAVE IT ALL! I got to peep an early release one this past week in San Diego, and just the painted American Gothic cover is worth picking this book up. Plus, Neely is working on a new Image book, and will soon be the coolest kid in town, so get his stuff while you still can.
Steven Universe #1 by Jeremy Sorese and Coleman Engle- Rebecca Sugar has done amazing work making the titular cartoon network show a hit amongst the little tweens, and the older stoners who enjoy the colors and bubbliness of the show. Steven is the youngest in a family of universal guardians, and while he’s trying to figure out the superhero gig, he’s also trying to figure out his coming-of-age emotions and pains of getting older. But in his first comic, Steven is all about having fun, and riding bikes. Though nothing is ever simple for Steven, and he gets in over his head. The former Adventure Time writer set the stage for an amazing cartoon that will surely win over the hearts and minds of all my other childish contemporaries.
Trillium TP by Jeff Lemire- You’ve probably been following this story all along, which I have, but you probably haven’t seen the flipbook madness collected all in one place, which I have not. That’s why this trade is so important to pick up this week. Between the distant past, and the far future, Lemire weaves a half love, half adventure story that delineates the space-time continuum. And the literal flipbook he uses to visually illustrate just how far apart our protagonists are can only be put to better use in a full collection of their love story that seeks the end the universe.
Bunker TP by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari- Look. Let’s get real. Fialkov is one of the most inventive writers currently writing inventive books. And Infurnari compliments this inventiveness with dreamlike art that mimics the surreal landscape in which the characters of The Bunker must traverse; past, present, and future. Investigating the moral grounds of whether messing with the past will beget a brighter future, the characters of The Bunker are deeply flawed, all while trying to do the best they can to save humanity (and themselves) with only the information that has been left for them from the future. As a psychological thriller fan, this goes greatly in tandem with those who are fans of shows like The Leftovers, Under the Dome, etc. It’s really a comic perfect for anyone who enjoys a story, like a real story. A story that twists and turns, and leaves you with unexpected feelings of alliance and betrayal.
Jason Yungbluth will be at FP to sign super special edition hardcover (and soft cover) copies of this fan favorite mishmash comic about a nuclear Charlie Brown. If you don’t know about this book do yourself a favor and come down on August 13th and get a copy and then at 5 get it sign by Jason. It’s post apocalyptic world meets Peanuts, do I really need to sell this anymore?
Artist Reilly Brown will be with us at Forbidden Planet on August 6th at 6pm to sign copies of his new book Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet. All you Deadpoo fans out there are losing your Deadpoo right now, we know, so make sure to get down here or “insert quippy Deadpool joke about him doing something hyper violent to you if you are not in attendance.” You’re welcome.
Oh yeah, and if that wasn’t enough we’re also going to have Khary Randolph here as well. Who doesn’t love Tech Jacket?
MOREMOREMORE! We will also have writer Gabe Guarente and artist Dave Fox in the Planet to sign copies of their new graphic novel Satan’s Prep as well. Okay, now you’re welcome.
Happy anniversary to us! Happy anniversary to us!
Forbidden Planet NYC moved into its current home at 832 Broadway (bet. 13th and 12th) on June 24th 2012, two years ago today. Coincidentally, today is also the two year anniversary of the highest level of exhaustion I have ever known.
It’s certainly been an interesting, fun couple of years at the new* shop. Personally, I would like to thank, if not hug, every one of our staff, family and friends who helped build this place and continue to do so daily. Every customer who spends their hard-earned dough in our store. Every single person who has made these such memorable years in this location.
Hope to see you around the shop soon!
*Until we get another one, 832 will always be “the new shop” to me. 821 will always be the “old” one.
My brain is on comic book overload. I’ve been packing, shipping, printing and planning for San Diego Comic Con this week. Traveling with a manual credit card slammer isn’t normal, but for SDCC it is. If you’re going, visit me at booth 1718 for Fantagraphics! But if you’re not going, there’s plenty of comics right where you are! And way less crowded.
100th Anniversary Special #1 The Avengers- Holy fing moly. Besides the fact that Marvel decided to speed up time and pretend that they’ve already been around for 100 years, they’ve also decided to that the best way to celebrate one of their most successful series would be to have James Stokoe headline it with words and art. King of gradients, emperor of hyperlines, and owner of a brain that gives us some of the most original worlds we have ever seen and felt. Stokoe is known for original works like Orc Stain, Wonton Soup, and for the IDW Godzilla series (the good one), but picking up the mantle on familiar characters like Dr. Strange, Rogue and Beta Ray Bill, will definitely give you a different perspective on stories you thought you knew. Besides being set in 2061, the acid trip meets Aztecan atmosphere of a Stokoe Avengers world is going to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Mike Mignola’s Hellboy Artist Edition- If the Steranko Artist Edition book released last week was literally too much to handle, then the slightly smaller, but just as fantastic, Mignola Helboy book should be a perfect match for you and all your little monsters. For over 20 years, Mike Mignola has proven himself to be one of the most consistent and visionary artists with his titular, and fan favorite character, Hellboy. Shown in their oversized and rough stages, this book includes the first five issues of Hellboy in Hell, supplemental material, and work from Nextmen, The Corpse, and more. There’s no better way to follow the process and progress of your favorite artists than through their artist edition pages.
Groo vs. Conan #1- What happens when the ultimate parody goes to battle against the barbarian that spawned his arrival? The Mr. Magoo of the warrior sword clashing comic world, Groo has been one of the most successful original characters, created in early ‘80s by Sergio Aragones. But now he’s bumbled his way into battle against the King of Barbarians, Conan, the mightiest fighter. Will they be friend? Foe? Will Groo’s fate be left in the hands of Conan? The four-part miniseries that’s being written by Aragones, and Mark Evanier, and illustrated by Aragones with assist from Tom Yeates, sets out to settle one of the oldest questions to have ever plagued humankind, who would win a fight?
Zero #9- If you’ve been missing out on this series, this week should give you extra incentive to pick it up. Besides being the first new issue since May, and making it a good jumping on point (though you’re a fool to not pick up the trade), the official word came down last week that Zero is going to get to live on the big screen. Or the small screen. Depends on how big your TV is. There’s a long road from getting signing to production, but it’ll be exciting to see the espionage spy story, that’s really about male rage and the death of the American dream, be played out in a new medium. Ales Kot and his vast team of talents keep readers on their toes by mixing up artists, and dropping in unexpected twists and turns, just like the best spy stories.
Anyone do anything cool last week? Doing anything cool this weekend? That’s cool. Hey, no, I figured you were busy. It’s cool. We’ll catch up next week. Oh yeah here’s some comics. Yeah I’ll talk to you later. Say “Hi” to Steve for me!
Twelve Gems-What do you get when you cross Heavy Metal with your high school math composition notebook full of drawings of spaceships and sword-wielding babes? Obviously the answer is Twelve Gems! Originally done around 2010-2012, it’s getting an official release from Fantagraphics and taking the sci-fi world by storm. Follow Furz, Venus, and Dogstar as they travel the universe, unraveling adventures and mysterious while they help Dr. Z retrieve the legendary Twelve Gems of Power. But anyone named Dr. Z is probably not the most trustworthy person in the world (since it’s a few steps below Professor X). Hilarious, eye-catching, and a really fun read. I’ve been waiting about 2 months since I first read it for this book to finally come out so I can shove it in everyone’s faces and make them eat it. I mean read it.
White Suits #4-The conclusion! Will all the answers about the deadly white suits that agent Anderson and former suit Prizrak have been searching, and killing for, finally be answered? Even if it’s not answered, Toby Cypress will still probably knock your socks off with the art that he pulls off in this book. He could just draw a pile of socks and you could probably feel the cotton and smell the stink lines. Always action packed, always inventive. Coupled with Barbiere’s succinct, puply writing, I want these two to make comics until my children’s children are born as wifi ports.
I Am Rosa Parks-Allow me to soapbox for a moment (it’s my column and can do whatever I want). A serious problem is the lack of diversity in children’s books. In formative developmental years when children are mostly visually learning how to read, it’s done in tandem with pictures and words. And when the majority of characters within books are represented by only one race, gender, family structure, etc. we do a lot of harm to what a child grows up thinking is normal v. not normal. Prolific and award winning novelist, comic author, and TV show writer, Brad Meltzer is taking a stab at a line of books that profile American icons that show kids who heroes can be. The first book features Rosa Parks in a lively retelling of her story about standing up to racial segregation in the South; teaching kids to stand up for themselves. Thus endeth the soapbox.
Luba and Her Family-The newest Love and Rockets collection from Gilbert Hernandez’s half of the dynamic comic duo’s decades sprawling family saga. This volume obviously focuses on the life of Luba, her sisters, moving to the states, and their ensuing family dramas, and joys. Volume 10 of the Love and Rockets library bids farewell to the town of Palomar as Luba and her family emigrate to the United States and make new lives for themselves. The L&R Library is the most comprehensive collection of the series, and I don’t need to tell you how important these artists are to the universe of comics, you just need to know it’s out!
The Field #3-The past two issues, and the first half of this one, have mostly been car chases and gun battles between groups that are all after this one guy. For completely unexplained reasons! Until nooooow! I was happy just enjoying the shit out of this comic even if everything was a mystery. The crazy characters, the idiomatic language, and beautifully rendered trekkie knockoffs. In fact, the reveal of why all these crazy groups are after The Source, reminds me quite a bit of a certain time looped TNG episode…Whether or not it’s inspired from that, this book gets better and better with every issue; art, story, violence, everything (and it already started out pretty great). Brisson and Roy are unstoppable Canadian comic book war machines, powerhouses, hockey fiends? I’m just assuming.
Wonton Soup COLLECTION-James Stokoe’s Wonton Soup worked its way into my hands when it was first released in 2007. I was still in high school, and don’t think I was ready to handle the Technicolor, hyper-lined art, that has become the signature Stokoe look. And by couldn’t handle, I mean it did severe brain damage to me because after that I just wanted all of the comic books. Thankfully since then he gained some traction with books like Orc-Stain and Godzilla: Half Century War. In Wonton Soup, a champion chef turned space trucker gave up fame and fortune for reasons unknown, but has to pull out his greatest knife skills when he gets into trouble and finds himself in a cook off to end all cook off’s. Originally put out in two volumes, the first when went out of print a few years ago, depriving new generations of reprobates from having good comics. FINALLY Oni has put them into one big beautiful book to put you into maximum comic overdrive.
Yikes, there’s a lot of heavy hitters out this week. From old to new. Indie to mainstream. Black and white to two-tone, to hyper-color. There’s something for everyone this month. Stop hating and get with the program!
Ritual Three: Vile Decay- It can seem blasé (read: lazy) to say that someone is an “exciting” artist. What does that really mean? Are they doing something new or different? Does the art itself illicit an excited energy? Are you so excited when you see something new by that artist that you want to vomit? If you’re talking about anything by Malachi Ward, the answer is yes to all of the above. Known for working on the Brandon Graham mega-project, Prophet, and for the notoriety gained from The Scout put out by Study Group Comics (which is seriously one of the best independent publishers in the business. you can read their stuff online for free. do it. you’d be an f’in fool not to). This new stand-alone sci-fi weaves together a grandmother’s recollection to her grandson about how the world simply went bad. Ward’s settings and characters are gracefully drawn, with an element of Charles Burn’s other (but still similar) worldly eeriness. I’m getting a little comics hyphy just thinking of it being in my hands this time next week. And if you’re in the NYC area, he’ll be attending a release party at Bergen Street Comics on June 25th, so you can gush in person!
Judgment Day- Joe Orlando is often lauded as the nicest man in comics. He’s been passed for a while, so I can neither confirm nor deny this praise. But what I can tell you is that his technical skill, editing abilities, breadth of work throughout the industry’s formative years, and the subsequent influence that he left on everyone that ever picked up one of his comics, is true to the core. Anything of his you can find is worth a look, but Fantagraphics has included his EC work, some of the first professional comics stories he did. Most of the stories in this collection are scripted by Al Feldstein, and they highlight Orlando’s most prolific sci-fi stories; including the titular story that spoke out against the racism of the early ‘50s in which these stories were published. Orlando is true comic book history, and his work is legendary.
Amazing World of Gumball #1- Truth time, I’ve never watched Gumball. It’s been on Cartoon Network for about 5 years, and I’ve had no TV for about 6, so there’s that. But it’s new form just had comic book life breathed into it by Frank Gibson (who I’ve written about previously for his work on Baby Fiona and Cake, and Tiny Kitten Teeth), and one of my all time favorite web cartoonists, Tyson Hesse. He does this little thing called Boxer Hockey, and when I started reading it about two years ago I never thought I would get so emotional about a stupid little comic about a group of friends who play a field hockey type game in their underwear, essentially using frogs as pucks. But I did get emotional, and I still read certain panels that make me misty eyed. Whether it’s Nickelodeon studio work, or little cartoons of his poodle on twitter, no one has made cute cartoons that have had as much of an influence on me than Hesse has. Sometimes you follow an artist to whatever project they work on, whatever the story is, and Hesse is one of those artists.
Pirates in the Heartland Vol 1: Clay Wilson- If Joe Orlando and his contemporaries set precedence’s for the future of superhero and action comics, S. Clay Wilson is without a doubt a parallel of that mark in the alternative comics world. R. Crumb, who is cited as every other alt cartoonists main influence, lists Wilson himself as his great comix influence and contemporary. Hailing from the middle of nowhere, sometimes called Nebraska, Wilson ended up in San Francisco after an army stint, and quickly unleashed the underground art scene with his wild dreams and nightmares of gore, sex, body parts and general bedlam. This first of three hardcover volumes attempts to catalog his comics that appeared in publications like Zap, Pork, Insect Fear, and Arcade Magazine. Part biography, part retrospective, part collected chronicles of a comic legend, this is a huge undertaking that pays off in every way you could expect, and a million ways you couldn’t. Stay tuned.
New Avengers Annual #1- There’s a lot of simple reasons to pick this book up. Frank Barbiere is writing it. Marco Rudy is doing the art. And it’s all about DR. STRANGE! Everyone’s favorite world-saving, evil magic slaying, sorcerer is staring in his own book. He’s heading back to his Himalayan roots to help some techno-monks (the name of my new hip-hop crew) defeat an evil they summoned that’s beyond their control. It’s oversized Dr. Strange, I think that’s all you really need to know…
Come by Forbidden Planet NYC Wednesday, June 18th, and get your copy of Shackleton signed by NY Times best-selling artist Nick Bertozzi!
About the book (which is GORGEOUS, by the way):
Ernest Shackleton was one of the last great Antarctic explorers, and he led one of the most ambitious Antarctic expeditions ever undertaken. This is his story, and the story of the dozens of men who threw in their lot with him – many of whom nearly died in the unimaginably harsh conditions of the journey. It’s an astonishing feat – and was unprecedented at the time – that all the men in the expedition survived.
Shackleton’s expedition marked the end of a period of romantic exploration of the Arctic and the Antarctic, and this is as much a book about the encroaching modern world as it is about travel. But Nick Bertozzi has documented this remarkable journey with such wit and fiendish attention to detail that it’s impossible not to get caught up in the drama of the voyage. Shackleton is a phenomenal accompaniment to Bertozzi’s earlier graphic novel about great explorers, Lewis & Clark.
And here’s a pic of the back cover I snagged off the First Second blog…
Nick is just one of our many esteemed guests that night, along with Paul Pope, Dean Haspiel, Chris Miskiewicz, and Bob Fingerman. It’s gonna be a heckuva shindig. Hope to see you there!
Here’s an FP event I’ve been looking forward to for about, oh, seventeen years or so….
On Wednesday, the 18th of June 2014, Forbidden Planet NYC will be hosting a very special signing with PAUL POPE, DEAN HASPIEL, NICK BERTOZZI and CHRIS MISKIEWICZ- all four of whom will be celebrating the release of new comics, graphic novels, and/or editions of their iconic work!
*Paul Pope – Z2 comics is releasing a brand new hardcover edition of Escapo, a long out of print masterpiece, and we’re overjoyed to announce a rare in-store signing with the man himself! DO NOT miss your opportunity to meet one of the world’s most acclaimed comics artists. We’ve been looking forward to presenting you this event since, well… FOREVER.
From the mind of three-time Eisner Award-winner Paul Pope comes Escapo! Like a feverish mash-up of Fellini films, Heavy Metal magazine, and classic Jack Kirby comics, Escapo tells the tale of a circus escape artist extraordinaire, who can escape from any situation – even from Death himself! However, there is one force even more powerful than the Reaper which Escapo must face. A meditation on life, love, and mortality, Escapo is not to be missed! Originally published in 1999 and long out of print, the new Z2 edition of Escapo is fully colored and redesigned in the French BD format, featuring 50+ pages of bonus content. Included here is the rare two-page alternate ending, only seen in the French edition, as well as a new ten-page story and added pin-ups and sketchbook content by Paul Pope.
**Dean Haspiel- Fear My Dear collects Dean’s Billy Dogma stories. “Remastered from the original webcomics series, Billy Dogma is “the last romantic antihero,” a passionate bruiser head-over-heels for his knock-em-dead dame. Created in 1995, Billy Dogma is Dean Haspiel’s ongoing love letter to the insanity of love.”
**Nick Bertozzi- Storytelling wizard and all around swell guy Nick Bertozzi takes us on one of the greatest true-story adventures of all time. Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey is the follow-up to Nick’s New York Times 2013 best-seller Jerusalem.
**Chris Miskiewicz- We at Forbidden Planet have known Chris for years as (among other things…) one of our most loyal customers, so we’re tickled pink for his debut book. Plus, I promised him in, like, the 90s we’d do a Forbidden Planet event when his first major-publisher comic work came out. Well, Thomas Alsop is the book, and Wednesday the 18th of June 2014′s the day. If you will it, it is no dream,.
*Purchase of Escapo from Forbidden Planet NYC is mandatory to attend the Paul Pope side of our event. Your receipt, and a voucher we will attach to it at checkout, will be your ticket to Paul’s line. We anticipate a large turnout for him, and are limiting additional autographs ONE ITEM per attendee to keep things moving. Please do not bring more than that.
**If you will be here to see Dean, Nick and/or Chris we also encourage purchase of their books (and will have plenty of ‘em… they’re well worth it), but there will be no limit to additional autographs.
UPDATE 6/10/14- Bob Fingerman (Minimum Wage) will also be joining us!