Celebrate the release of Return To Nuke ‘Em High Part 1 on blu-ray and DVD. Meet Director Lloyd Kaufmam as well as the cast and crew, right here at FPNYC! Get your Tromabillia signed for free! Really what more could you ask for?
Celebrate the release of Return To Nuke ‘Em High Part 1 on blu-ray and DVD. Meet Director Lloyd Kaufmam as well as the cast and crew, right here at FPNYC! Get your Tromabillia signed for free! Really what more could you ask for?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes my little black heart overwhelmingly swells with joy over the future of comics. You discover a new artist, read a new book, or see a small community pull together so quickly (because we never leave our computers) to support creators and fans. It just warms me all over to see how fast the story of the Bill Mantlo, creator of Rocket the Raccoon, and his medical trials spread; resulting in the increased awareness of an important author in the history of Marvel, and a mass fundraising to help offset the continued healthcare that he’ll require for the rest of his life. It was a tragic story that touched a lot of people, and some beautiful things have come from it.
That’s enough bleeding heart. How awesome was White Suits? Pulp noir that gave you just enough information to intrigue and not lose you, but is still holding all the important cards close to the chest. And normally I can’t get enough of that hyper-detailed artwork, but Cypress’s impressionist style fits this book like a bloody glove. Love it.
Anyways, new stuff!
Loving Dead HC-Originally published in France under the title, “Fragile”, this undead love story from Italian artist Stefano Raffaele tugs at your heartstrings and your dangling zombie ligaments. In the near future, almost everyone is (un)dead, but that doesn’t mean love is. Those who remain among the living have decided to destroy the zombie population, and forced any that stand in their way on the run, and into hiding. Walking stiffs, Alan and Lynn, have fallen in love, and realized that it’s more beautiful to watch the world, and themselves, rot and decay together. Raffaele, who’s done work over the years for Marvel, DC and Darkhorse in addition to his Metal Hurlant stories, has the perfect artistic combination of beautiful and dirty to illustrate the fascinatingly engaging and destructive power of love.
Megagogo Vol. 1- In an effort to not over state the plot of this book, it’s a Power Ranger-Kaijumashup against the KKK in monster ridden Atlanta! Adding another fabulous book to their teen (but still really enjoyable to adults because let’s face it we’re all a bunch of giant children) line, Oni has again tapped Wook-Jin Clark to publish this three volume series that puts an awkward teen, an idiot and an immortal being inside of a giant robot. And naturally in Atlanta, the greatest enemy of the robot is the Klu Klux Klan. Clark, who’s from the South, wanted to give the book a realism element as well as a regional one, that makes this story distinctly Southern. With some of the best sequential story telling I’ve seen in a long time, this humorous book makes the action flow like water, with perfectly placed dialogue. Who wouldn’t want to see evil idiots get beat up?
Ballistic #4- I don’t want to say that people have publisher bias, but if this book had been put out by saaaaay, Image, I probably wouldn’t even be talking about it because everyone would be reading it. Well, everyone who likes violent-psychedelic-crime-f’d up futuristic-comics (with juuuuust a hint of cheesy buddy-cop action), drawn by Darick Robertson and written by Adam Egypt Mortimer. Mostly known for his independent film work, Mortimer took a broken neck head-dive into the deep end of crazy comics, and teamed up with the veritable hands that helped create the revered comic world of Transmetropolitan. Obviously the two book share some similar elements, but whereas Spider Jerusalem was too smart for his, and everyone else’s own good, Butch (the main character of Ballistic), kind of needs to get his head out of his ass sometimes. It doesn’t help that his partner is literally a foul-mouthed gun that can attach itself to Butch while they try to take down major crime. This book is madness actualized, and required reading for anyone who likes a taste (or mouthful) of hyper-violence.
Henry and Glen Forever and Ever #4- This is the greatest love story ever, between the esteemed musicians Henry Rollins and Glen Danzig, and this is the last installment of their serialized love. Published by Microcosm Publishing in Portland, these mini-comics have been bringing people years of manly fanfic joy. Three new stories by Tom Neely, Johnny Ryan, Noah Van Sciver, and Keenan Keller include: giant lizards, their loveable Satan worshiping neighbors, Hall and Oates, and Glen’s mother! What do these music gods love more than protein powder and working out? Each other.
Other good things to buy: The Wake, Sheltered, Samurai Jack, Mind Mgmt, Manhattan Projects, Hawkeye, Deadly Class, Chew. Man, this is a solid new comic week!
It’s early (right now), and I’m tired (always) because I haven’t had enough of the devil’s brew (coffee). There’s not a lot of comics news to talk about right now… Toy Fair happened? Lego’s have been having a good week? I don’t know why I’m posing these as questions, they’re factual statements. (?)
It’s safe so say that since the release of the wildly popular, and critically acclaimed, series “Five Ghosts”, everyone’s been waiting with baited breath to see what project writer Frank Barbiere was going to be putting out next. You can kill the dramatics because “White Suits” is here! Torn from the pages of a past Dark Horse Presents issue, this four part miniseries expands on the world of a group of white suited assassins who went underground after the Cold War, only to reappear in New York City to take down various mob baddies. Us, and the FBI, are all wondering who these mysterious cats are, and what it is they want from their crimes. Artist Toby Cypress creates a raw and dreamlike world that let’s you think your getting closer to an answer, when really everything is just slipping from your grasp. These have pulp-mystery in their blood, and like Five Ghosts, you’ll want to read this issue over and over to get every beautifully gory detail.
The heart of this new six-issue miniseries from Image is a political drama. Set in the cultural pith of Atlantis, writer Steve Orlando and artist Artyom Trakhanov have recreated modern societal dramas of hyper-consumerism, political complacency on part of the citizens, and governmental conspiracy in a newer and wetter world. Redum Anshargal found himself a victim at the hands of this superpower government, and begins his mission of recruiting people out of their contentment, and hunt the elusive Amphibian, hoping to discover the mystery’s of those crazy air-breathers! But let’s take a second to talk about Trakhanov’s art. He’s a virtual unknown in English speaking countries, because his only work is a Russian web-comic. Orlando, who used to live in Russia, is fluent in his language and was able to connect with Trakhanov via the Internet, and they begin a beautiful working relationship to create one of the most creative books this year. Very Ray Harryhausen inspired monsters and nautical adventuring, with inventive ways of exploring how the legend of Atlantis works beyond “oh, it’s just fantasy”. The added sci-fi element pushes this book out of a typical genre piece; watch as this monster-pulp makes a huge splash.
This is a given. I’ve written about Zero pretty consistently since it’s release. It’s Ales Kot’s best work, and even though there’s a rotating artistic team, every person has brought something unique to this soon-to-be-classic, spy story. Edward Zero has lived, breathed, and killed his missions his entire life, with no remorse. But operation by operation, Zero’s disillusionment with the only world he’s ever known begins him on a slow decent to uncovering the truth of his world. But this exposure has potentially dire consequences that are only alluded to and teased out. We have to wait with anticipation to see how Edward’s actions possibly bring about the end of the world.
Remember how I said Barbiere’s first rendition of White Suits was in an issue of Presents? Seriously, you don’t remember? I wrote about it like 500 words ago. Anyway, if you want to know about the best-kept secret in comics’ previews, it’s in these pages. There are 80 pages of ad-free comics from people like Brian Churilla, Dean Motter, Brendon McCarthy, Jamie Rich, and more. It’s a great resource for finding old classics, and the next great story. This issue has an amazing line-up, but I gotta ask, Dark Horse, where the ladies at? Fix the problem by buying it, and demanding more!
In my opinion, the X-Files can do no wrong. In film and in comics, they’ve built up a world in which anything they do it possible and accepted by readers, and is the reason that X-Files crossovers are so fantastic. So when you mix fan favorite sidekicks, like the Lone Gunmen, with classic ninja turtles, I don’t really think anything can go wrong. Other than the fact that they’re teaming up to help stop the end of the world from a deadly virus that they learned about through correspondence they received from the future. That could potentially go wrong. But when you have people like Ed Brisson, Michael Walsh, and Jordie Bellaire as your creative team, even if the world does end, you’ll probably have a good time reading about it.
By now everybody know that we have a signing this coming Wednesday with Dan Goldman for his new collection Red Light Properties, but we just sweetened the pot. Not only will we have Mr. Goldman here in the flesh at 7 p.m. to sign his beautiful new book, we are also going to have FRED VAN LENTE and PERE PEREZ on hand to sign copies of Archer and Armstrong # 0.2014! Yes, somehow we made Wednesdays even better.
On February 12th, starting at 7p.m., Forbidden Planet will have the creative team behind Image comics new hit series EGOS; Stuart Moore and Gus Storms, in-store signing copies of issue #1 and #2. We will ALSO have artist Joe Infurnari in-store to sign copies of his brand spanking new comic releasing that day, Bunker #1. Don’t miss out on getting these gorgeous new comics signed by the lovely folk who made them for you.
A FINAL GOODBYE
Forbidden Planet is my favorite comic book store in New York City, it always has been and hopefully always will. I say “Hopefully” because I hold dislike definitive blanket statements… I mean, the Planet could turn evil and try to replace all of our bones with PVC pipe or candy canes. I surely wouldn’t love them then, would I? Would You? We shall revisit this thought in a moment.
It is with great regret and no small amount of sorrow that I announce this is (probably) my last column for the Forbidden Planet newsletter. I want to thank the Planet for all of their support, and for the tremendous opportunity to entertain you folks. I want to thank the staff, all of my former and current editors for putting up with me and my mad ramblings ( Hi, Morgan!) and above all else I would like to thank the amazing Jeff Ayers for being the best.
Jeff, thank you for all the fun we’ve had and will have in the future. Please continue being the best damn comic book retailer the Earth has ever seen until Amazon kills capitalism as we know it… and then replaces our bones with Candy Canes.
THEN THERE’S YOU PEOPLE
I have never met a single person who has read my columns and who didn’t work at the Planet. Jeff and the others assure me you exist, gentle readers, but I remain skeptical. If you are real, and not just a lie fed to me by my corrupt and filthy handlers at the FP, then I owe you two things; I owe you my gratitude and an explanation.
NOTE TO SELF: Start writing about a Superhero called “Gratidude,” who uses his incredible powers to fly around the world giving respect and gifts to those who deserve wider recognition. Undoubtedly he would break in to all of your homes, my readers, to do as Aretha Franklin suggests and “give you your propers.”
I have never met any of you, but I was mindful of you always. I hope I have provide you with thirty seconds worth of enjoyment, on the subway or toilet, after you have read your sack of comics and are eager for anything else to divert your attention. Frankly, it is mostly out of respect that I am stepping down.
In the eight years since I have been writing this column I have moved four times to four different cities, gotten married, had a kid and shifted between various jobs. As I take on more responsibilities as a father, husband and employer I have less time to devote to comics, and even less time to write about them. I like what I like, and I can recommend that, but you’ve probably heard it from me before. I cannot with confidence tell you what is currently trending, hot or noteworthy. I will not lie and pretend that I do. Not to you.
I respect you, and I always have. A good entertainer cannot do their job if they don’t respect their audience. Always remember that.
OF CANDY CANES AND COMIC BOOKS
I feel that Forbidden Planet is the best shop in town because they, too, respect you. They want the cleanest store, staffed with the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff the City can provide. They want the greatest variety of material, comics or non, for curious customers who wander in just to check the place out. They want you to feel comfortable browsing, asking questions and making requests. They want you to find fun treasures at great prices. They want you to feel satisfied with your selection and eager to return. In short: They want you to have as much fun as you possibly can.
On some level this is true of all comic shops, but it has always been true of the Planet.
Thank you all with warm wishes and tremendous love. Enjoy what you like, and share your enjoyment with others. Always watch the Forbidden Planet website and newsletter for the freshest comics related recommendations and news! I will be remembering you all fondly from my secret cave somewhere in NJ as I coat my skin with Nutella (to prevent the machines from replacing my bones) and await Ragnarok.
I’m writing this while the Seahawks are winning the NFC championship game, and even in my quiet neighborhood I can hear my neighbors yelling and fireworks being set off. Or people are rioting and looting, which would be way more fun. But if we get too crazy, they might have to send a lawman up here to care of all our post-football crime. I wonder if there’s any type of West Coast police enforcer that could handle and entire city rioting….?
Oh man, I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for this release since the first pages started to surface like 3 months ago. I’ve even been waiting weeks to write this silly write-up on it because I’m so excited for people to read it. The West Coast gets their judgment day when Dredd is sent the Cali-forni-way, and is left to tackle a sprawling 5,000 square mile Mega City Two. Each neighorhood has its own laws, and Dredd is left with no time to figure out the new rules. Writer Douglas Wolk is a Judge Dredd historian by his own right, and never forgets the tongue-in-cheek humor that makes Dredd such a great character. The subtle humor is driven home by fan favorite artist, Ulises Farinas. He creates a chaotic city that is full of traffic, people, traffic, and enough background signage to make you feel like there’s a second comic happening in background. If you’re not convinced by my description (if you’re not, we’re not friends anymore) check out the preview pages posted on Comics Alliance. You’re a fool if you don’t buy this comic, creep.
Do you guys remember the show “Clone High”? It was an awesome cartoon comedy that parodied shows like Dawson’s Creek, but with the angsty, horny, teenage clones of famous people from history like Abe Lincoln, Joan of Ark, and Mahatma Gandhi. My point is that this new comic from Rick Rememder reminds me of that show; that show was awesome, thus logic dictates that his new comic will be awesome. The main character, Mark Lopez, goes to a high school that is designed to train the descendants of the world’s top assassins and crime families. Combine highly skilled killers, mid-‘80s underground culture, and way-too-intense teenage emotions and this book spells DRAAAMA. Remender is on a Rick roll, that is for certain.
Ryan North is known around these Seattle parts for his syndicated comic strip, Dinosaur Comics, that runs in our weekly alternative newspaper, The Stranger. So when I found out North was going to be doing a “kids comic” (Adventure Time), I was a little surprised, but never disappointed. But then more and more people begin to take his humor seriously (is that an oxymoron?) Anywho, his new series, Midas Flesh, is everything I want a monthly comic from North to be: slightly philosophical, hilarious dialogue, sci-fi, and a dinosaur that’s a doctor. Awesome. This journey is just getting started, but it’s already entertaining the entire way.
The creative team of Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten (Wasteland) should be enough to drag anyone into this dark fantasy book. Magic is outlawed in this world because it messes with everyone’s lives, and invites bad things. Rascal, a thief, witness the murder of the King and Queen by some freaky demons. But their magic is incomplete, and Rascal realizes the bottle of mist around her neck is what the demons need to finish their magic incantation. There’s a lot of cool fantasy art, a lot of murder, and freaky demons (aforementioned).
On Wednesday February 5th at 7p.m. Dan Goldman (writer/artist) will be in store to sign his newly collected, critically acclaimed book Red Light Properties. Here’s what some boldfaced names have to say about the book…
“Dan Goldman has a voice & vision like nobody else in comics. . . . RECOMMENDED!” -John Layman, CHEW
“Hilarious .. A druggy blast inspired by Goldman’s heroes like Terence McKenna, Larry David and Wong Kar-Wai.” -Wired.com
“RED LIGHT PROPERTIES is what comics should be: trippy, fun and inventive.” -Chip Zdarsky, SEX CRIMINALS
“The equivalent of seeing a circus performer pull of a remarkable high-wire act while juggling weighty and disparate materials to create a unique spectacle.” -The Beat
“Love utterly original apeshit comic bookery? RED LIGHT PROPERTIES is awesome.” -Chuck Wendig, BLACKBIRDS
“Cartoonist Dan Goldman made a splash with his work on the political graphic novels Shooting War and 08. . . RED LIGHT PROPERTIES is his real labor of love, the story of a Florida real estate exorcist that mixes the supernatural with the current real estate crisis.” -Publisher’s Weekly
Can’t make it to our event? Mail order signed copies here.
Bob Fingerman will be signing at FP once again on January 8th, 2014. This time around it’s to celebrate the release of Minimum Wage #1 (Image), the first new issue of his classic series in fifteen years.
Wednesday the 8th. We’ll be kicking off at 7pm.
The portal opened five feet from his left, and Wolverine watched the lanky, muscled frame of his former teammate and friend step out onto the snowy grounds of the Jean Gray School for Gifted Students. Cyclops looked grim as usual, and travelled with a dusty satchel. Wolverine couldn’t remember the last time he had seen Scott Summers smile.
“I’m here, Logan.” Cyclops said, looking around for traps. “What is it you needed? Make it quick, I’m a wanted man.”
Wolverine uncrossed his arms and stepped forward. “I’ve been one too, Cyke, many times. After awhile, being out in the cold gets to ya’.” Scott just nodded, and so Wolverine continued. “Remember that first Christmas back at the Mansion with Chucky, Kitty, Peter and Kurt? We all laughed watchin’ Storm give the Professor Snow-Fros?”
“That was a long time ago,” Cyclops said, and instantly struggled with a thought. How long ago was that? Sometimes it feels like it was Thirty years ago, but it may have been only Five.
“If there’s one thing you learn while being an X-Man, it’s that time can always be changed.” Wolverine half smiled, and reached behind a nearby statue. He pulled out a box, brightly wrapped in red and green candy cane printed paper.
It was an X-Mas present from one X-Man to an Ex-X-Man.
Cyclops opened the box with hesitant hands. Years of battle hardened ambushes had trained him to be wary of gifts. What lay inside the present surprised him more than any bomb, alien parasite or severed head of a beloved comrade.
Inside the box was a case of custom made, ruby quartz contact lenses. Enough to last an entire year.
“Merry X-Mas, Slim.” growled Wolverine. “Hank helped with the design. I wonder why we’ve never thought of this before.”
“Logan,” choked Scott, “It’s-. I don’t know what to say.” Embarrassed, he turned and reached into his travel bag, taking out a brightly wrapped box of his own. Wolverine was stunned. He did not expect this…because this story takes place now. If this was the 80′s or 90′s, they would have said Wolverine could pre-smell the present with his heightened senses, but nobody remembers that power set anymore.
“I had hoped your message was sincere, so I came prepared. Thanks for forgiving me for killing Professor X. Again.” Cyclops laughed.
“Ah, heck, Slim. Who hasn’t killed that bald S.O.B. once or twice. Now what have we here,” Wolverine asked, opening the gift. He, too, was surprised because again- no heightened sense of smell.
Inside was an Adamantium claw sharpener with a jar of Adamantium claw polish. Wolverine smiled. Cyclops did the same. Somewhere a jolly, fat elf was Ho-Hoed. They both started to laugh.
“You know, Scott, this gift is the most thoughtful thing anyone’s ever given me,” Wolvie sighed, “And as useless as a Metrocard for Nightcrawler. You see-” and what followed was a sickening SHLACK sound, as the bloody stumps of bones broke through Wolverine’s hands. “I sold my Adamantium claws and skeleton to a scrap dealer in order to afford the Ruby Quartz Contacts.”
Tears started to swell in Scott Summers’ eyes, as he broke into a silly grin. “Of course. That seems like our luck, Logan, because you see-” He paused. Red streaks started to roll down his cheeks. Tears of blood were flowing fast now, as Cyclops removed his visor, revealing the ruined cavities of his former weapons. “I sold my eyes to a mutant organ harvester in order to afford the Adamantium claw sharpener.”
They laughed, cried, hugged and bled all over each other there in the snow, both laughing at the magic of Christmas. They soon both passed out from blood loss and died of exposure.
Wishing everyone Happy Hay Days and a Happy Neigh Year. 2014 is the year of the horse…get it? (Neigh Year pun courtesy of David Sandlin’s holiday card)
Sunday December 22nd and Monday the 23rd 9am- midnight.
Tuesday 12/24 9am-8pm
Tuesday 12/31 9am-8pm
Wednesday 1/1 8am-midnight\
It’s that time of year again, a time to give thanks and be grateful. Or more importantly a time to buy a bunch of awesome stuff on the cheap. This black Friday at Forbidden Planet, everything (yes EVERTHING) is 20% OFF from 9a.m. to 9p.m. If you’re the person whose been waiting to read Cerbus, or pick up one of IDW’s beautiful artist editions book, or your home is desperately in need of a life size bust of Jango Fett (I can’t type this loud enough) NOW IS THE TIME! Don’t miss out on the chance to get the things you love for way less monies. Start off the holiday season right already having got everything you wanted on your list from the person you love most (that’s you).
[Editor's Note- Sale is in-store only and only applicable to items IN STOCK on a first come, first served basis. We cannot hold anything in advance of this offer. CCG booster boxes and similarly net-priced items are not included.]
Sorry I was so over productive and wrote about an event that happened after I wrote last weeks article, but happened before the article was published. I’m too on top of it, my bad.
The only other thing I have to say is buy Sabertooth Swordsman by Damon Gentry and Aaron Conley. My eyeballs wept from happiness, it was so good. Like so good, I could only stand to read about 10 pages at a time because I didn’t want to rush it, or have the beauty end too soon.
Buying this book will be the best thing you do with your money/time/self all year. I promise.
Oh, and buying these books too.
I’ll start things off big. Like really big. Like, have you seen the size of these Incal hardcover editions? This masterpiece tale from French writer, Jodorowsky and master illustrator, Moebius is super-duper deluxe and features original colors, and a limited 999 pressings. Oh, you haven’t read any of the Incal and feel that this book wouldn’t be worth it? Now who’s the fool? (You’ll get that joke if you buy this book). The fifth installment can be devoured and enjoyed on its own, or as a part of the groundbreaking series that follows P.I. John DiFool and his talking seagull as they fight off the forces of Darkness, who are trying to capture the Incal, a mysterious artifact, from John. That battle continues on in this book that would make a perfect gift for a collector, or for yourself because Moebius is a genius, his books are rare and harder to find since his death. Originally published in 1988, and split into two books because this epic story couldn’t be contained, few artists or series have had a greater influence on your favorite modern sequential storytellers.
You may have missed the latest issue (#6) of Nowhere Men that dropped mid-October. There was a large delay between that book, and the 5th issue, which released in May. Author Eric Stephenson is a busy guy though. Being Executive Director of a little company called Image can probably be time consuming, especially through the long summer haul affectionately known at ‘Con-Season’. But this impressive creative team has persevered on to bring you the first collection of the fast paced and engaging sci-fi series. You may have scored a “Science is the New Rock and Roll” t-shirt from the series while they were available. It’s hard not to want having the lifestyle of World Com. Research Team that helped develop the state of modern technology. They lived the highlife, and pushed scientific development at any cost. This book explores the ethics of science, hubristic downfall, and celebrity culture, albeit at the command of brilliant scientists rather than moronic internet-culture fame. How will their collapse affect the world?
Moments define memory, and memory defines life. For the children within Eisner award winning author Taiyo Matsumoto’s series, Sunny, memory is something they chose to create for themselves as an escape from a present that is painful. Sunny is a car that transports the orphans who find it to a better place, their imaginations. Matsumoto combines classic comic inking with watercolor to create a world that is both realistic and blurred along the edges to mimic the importance of a balanced life. It’s a beautifully sad story that reminds us to love the mundane moments for the calmness they can provide, but to never let your dreams and imagination be hampered by oppressive people or events.
This is the book that launched a thousand careers. Well, notably two, but this is a ripple effect that has been rippling far and wide for a long time. Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean are two names that people outside of the comics can throw around for their brilliance in storytelling, art, and Britishness. But this 1987 release from the somewhat obscure, and now defunct, British magazine Escape that sought to elevate European comics to a level of higher acclaim. This idiom, pushed by founder Paul Gravett, led to the release of the 44-page graphic novel, Violent Cases. Deeply darker and edgier than any of the later releases from the two, grounded in the mystery of memory and the actual reliability of the narrator himself. The trappings and failings of both tell the memoir-esque story of the narrator’s history with a doctor who claimed to have treated Al Capone. There are the ever-present themes of Gaiman’s work that most people are familiar with: childhood; less than great parents; but all with a darker reaction that kind of sinks in your stomach. All of which is aided by McKean’s sketchy but visceral characters; with barely-there background washes that evoke a high level of expressionism when symbolizing the possible downfall of memory. I was just talking about how without school my brain has started turning into mush, so this write-up was my subconscious attempt to prove myself wrong. Anyway, this book is now being re-released by Dark Horse in hardcover with an additional art section. Buy this book! It’s important to our modern comic history that deserves your eyeballs!
There’s a new Harley Quinn series coming out by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti! And featuring art from a whole slue of amazing people including Darwyn Cooke, Sam Kieth, Tony S. Daniel, Paul Pope, Walter Simonson, Art Baltazar (and others!). And by others I mean there’s a total of 17 artists working on this book, off and on. In this lead-in issue to the series, Harley breaks the fourth wall a lot by talking to Connor and Palmiotti like they’re old friends. Well, maybe not friends. The calculatingly crazy Quinn gets into arguments about how she looks, other artists who worked on previous characters, and basically trying to get the correct fit for her character with a blend between New 52 “Suicide Squad” and the popular Arkham video game series. This lead-in issue is funny, fast, and pretty wild. And it actually gets me excited to see what they’ll do with the real story arc if they’re having so much fun with her already.
There has never been a greater time to be a comic, sci-fi or fantasy artist. The technology exists in both print and digital for the art itself to be nearly flawless, and though the new fields are still defining, the diversity of application is astounding. From Hollywood to Silicon Valley, big publishers and indie developers, the market is huge.
Your art will look the best it could, with more people needing your style than ever before. That’s the good news.
The bad news is the talent pool has never been greater, both in size and quality. The internet guarantees you are competing with fine artists from all over the world for even the simplest of art positions. To make it today, you really need to be at the top of your game, and it has never been more important to arm yourself with every tool at your disposal to stand out from the pack.
This week Forbidden Planet will have Spectrum 20 on the shelf, the latest in the long established series of books show-casing, year after year, the very best in contemporary Sci-Fi, Fantasy and comics art.
Spectrum is one of the quiet highlights of the comics year, an indispensable look at the world’s talent pool of artists. Comics, digital work, fantasy, and even sculpture are represented. If you ever want to work in any of these fields, you should pick this up.
Spectrum is FUN, with hundreds of artists showing off amazing pieces from different spheres of media and different parts of the world. It makes a stunning coffee table tome, eye catching and always diverse. Many of the pieces inside will be instantly recognizable from many of your favorite entertainment properties, while around every corner will be new surprises and treats.
Spectrum is informative! The pieces are selected buy a jury of contemporary artists, publishers and graphic artists. This means that you get a great feel for what is popular, trending and sellable in today’s market, as well as what the new, up-and-coming looks will be. In one volume you get an encapsulated view of what the industry is, was and will be…plus pages of amazing art!
Most of all, Spectrum is inspiring! Competition is a quick way to accelerate artistic growth, and the ideas and talents presented in Spectrum will point you towards your best work yet. Submitting, and being accepted, to Spectrum is a bonafide way to increase your stature and exposure, placing your name with the elites.
Whether as a fan or a professional, a learner or a master, Spectrum 20 has something for everybody! Past volumes are also available, as are a wide variety of sensational art books. Have you ever taken a look between the pages of FLIGHT, the beautiful anthology of breathtakingly rendered, full color comics from a diverse international community of creators? What about the art books from top grossing animated features, or even cosplay manuals and how to magazines?
Forbidden Planet has a wide variety of art books, magazines and collections to entertain and educate the contemporary artist on their road to super stardom! Have fun, browse our titles, and do ask for assistance if you need anything. Remember, the Customer is always right… So see what happens if you shout out “I’M WRONG RIGHT NOW” as you are buying your comics this week.
You’re right, because you are always right, but that makes your statement that “You are wrong” to be incorrect…which therefore validates the argument in the first place! Hopefully you will crack the world in half, awaking dead Cthulhu from his house at R’lyeh to slay the just and the unjust alike!