Tagged: Frank Barbiere

Poetry in Motion

Here’s a poem about the Portland – Seattle bus trip I’m on right now:

Bolt Bus, you smell like booze
I think someone mistook you for a cruise.
You let us travel with free wi-fi,
But half the time it doesn’t work and I want to cry.
The sun is shining outside your windows,
But here I sit inside you, writing poetry, not prose.
Dude, the girl in front of you doesn’t want to talk,
I’m sorry you can’t take a hint, but you gonna walk.
Thank you, bolt bus, for cheap public transportation,
Are we there yet? I have to pee.

Also, a tip from the weekend:
When people tell you to drink a lot of water at a convention, and then volunteers proceed to hand you free water, don’t turn it down, you moron (me).

The Auteur #2– A new effing Auteur. I won’t lie, this is the comic I wish I had made, if I had ever attempted to make a comic. The art is humorously violent; the dialogue is reminiscent of a mental breakdown (maybe epiphany?) on a rampage; and characters are the best type of messed up, the type that have little redeemable characteristics, which is a rarity in any story. The story thus far: pure pandemonium! Our flop of a producer, Nathan T. Rex….holy shit, I’ve read his name so many times that I just realized his name, ugh I am a moron; anyways….Mr. Rex is trying to get his horror film Presidents Day off the ground, and hiring a real serial killer is sure to bring some realism to the project. Too bad he has to get him out of jail first, and make a mockery of the justice system. God bless America.

Solar Man of the Atom #1– Where Frank Barbiere goes, so I go too. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it until I die (when my hyperbole’s will never be challenged). Picking up another Gold Key mantel under Dynamite, Barbiere brings back a fansinating superhero, Solar Man of the Atom. A physicist who is transformed into nuclear energy is having some problems with his super power and his estranged daughter might the only one who can save his power. This smartly written number one issue is part origin story, part destruction story, and combines the power of hard science with the flexibility of science fiction. Artist Joe Bennett is highly skilled in bringing superheroes to life with a slew of work under both Marvel and DC, but the homage to ‘60s pulp science, Solar’s beginning, lends itself to this book in everyone’s favor. With a lot of history behind the character from Gold Key, to Jim Shooter’s take with Valiant in the ‘90s, and even bouncing to Dark Horse, Barbiere has a lot of material to mine from. But he’s definitely managed to make his characters and the story brand new again.

 

Sex Criminals TPB Vol 1– This book doesn’t really need my help to sell. Judging by the fact that every single issue goes back to the printers around four times, and even 2nd printings of 4th cover printings. It doesn’t end with these two. Two being Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction. These two share a rapport that goes beyond their comics and the internet, and infuses itself in the characters that we as an audience are so rapt to follow to see what sex-capades they get up to in their pursuit of money, acceptance, and maybe a little love. Suzie and Jon are full of wit, and they are ready to hit it…with each other. More than just a funny sex book, these characters are some of the most complex I’ve ever seen on pages, and their special sex-having/time-stopping abilities aren’t their defining characterstics. It’s what creates the story, moves the plot, but there’s a lot of depth under the surface, which is what makes people keep coming back for more. That and brimping. The intense character building and the brimping. (They tell me a detailed explanation of brimping would be inappropriate for publication, so I guess you’ll have to read it to find out)


White Suits #3– Has it been long enough since I last talked about White Suits? If I’m not mentioned this Barbiere and Cypress book on a weekly, nay, daily basis, then I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. Mob crime done right. The key to the success in his writing comes from his ability to cut all the stuff that doesn’t matter, and par the story down to the essential scenes that move the story along without page filing fluff. All of the writing necessary to a novel, does not translate into comics, which is why each panel is full of Russian mercenaries, the mysterious White Suits, and our main characters as hostages in Chinatown. Obivously there’s more than happens in between the lines of Toby Cypress’s impressionist and dreamlike work; the action is tightly coiled, and ready to spring at any moment. Cypress and Barbiere perfectly combine the show v. tell conundrum, that can render even the best comic story a humdrum.

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I Regret Nothing

Regrets and Errors:

  • I regret that a couple weeks ago I accidentally told you that Sandman Overture #2 was coming out. It’s releasing this week. But given its constantly shifting timeline, I won’t believe that it’s out until it’s in my hands. Editorial regrets the error.
  • I also regret how little sleep I’m going to get this next week with Emerald City Comic-Con just on the horizon.
  • Matthew Rosenberg will soon regret how many doughnuts I’ll make him eat this week.

Editorial regrets all of these, and future errors.

If you notice any errors, keep them to yourselves, but I’ll gladly accept all laud and honor through my twitter. (@ApAnnagator)

Metabarons Genesis Castaka– If you’re lucky enough to live in NYC or LA you could potentially have already seen the new documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune”. Whether you’ve seen it or not (and if you haven’t you better be planning on it when it comes to your city or suffer the consequences (or not, listen to your own consciousness ((NO GODS NO MASTERS))). But if you’re looking to get your Jodorowsky fix until that movie, the deluxe hardcover collection of the two French volumes for the Castaka spin-off of the Metabarons series, is now available! The Metabaron’s are the ultimate warriors, renowned throughout the galaxy for their ancient warrior rituals that makes every Metabaron into a cyborg after proving their strength. This prequel explores the world of the Metabaron ancestors, who were anything but the rigid society they became. The Castaka series is illustrated by Das Pastoras, who took over from the original Metabaron artist, Juan Gimenez. Pastoras can have a really gruesome (which I mean in a good way) look to his work, which lends itself very well to the brutal and lawless society that the ancient Metabarons exist in.

Leo Roa– Oh, did you wonder why Juan Gimenez wasn’t working on the Castaka book? Probably because he’s spent the last several years working on his own album (as the French would say), Leo Roa, an intergalactic saga of epic proportions. Journalist Leo Roa finds himself in the middle of an adventure that pits him against aliens, villains, murderers, and time traveling escapades. Gimenez is truly a comic’s master, who blends a Moebius meets Herge style into a sci-fi masterpiece that takes throws satire and humor into a hero’s journey arena. His technical and historical make this book feel familiar, while his attention to detail and creative force turn it into something you’ve never seen before. Recommended for fans of Prophet.

The Undertaking of Lily Chen– (above) Deshi accidentally kills his assholeish, but favored by their parents, older brother. His parents send him on an epic journey to find him a ghost bride, a corpse to bury with his brother’s body so, according to Chinese tradition, he wont have to spend his eternity alone. Set in modern China, Deshi begins his journey to find a recently deceased companion, the best choice is the beautiful Lily Chen, only problem is she’s still quite alive. Author and illustrator, Danica Novgorodoff, paints (literally) an emotional slice of life that’s riddled with complicated family dynamics, selfish desires, and tradition v. modernity. Painted with watercolor on rice paper, and then gone over in ink before being digitally touched up, Novogordoff renders a distinctly unique look to a surreal, but grounded, portrayal of finding meaning on a hopeless journey.

Helheim Vol. 1 TPB– The ultimate Viking fantasy gets its first top-selling collected edition. Take all the Norse mythology you thought you knew from Thor, then make it distinctly darker, witchier, and insanely more evil. Rikard is the undead killing machine that is sewn together with magic and the bodies of the dead, and he’s seeking vengeance against his transgressors. In their own rights, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Joelle Jones are some of the most visceral workers out there, but when you put them together, an unholy union of comic magic is born.

Blackout #1

Frank Barbiere is on fire. All his books are different, but they’re all so.stupid.good. Blackout is distinctly more sci-fi than his other work (Five Ghosts and White Suits), as it explores a dark dimension that protagonist, Scott Travers can only access through a special, and mysterious suit. But what he doesn’t know about the history of the suit will only lead him on a journey to outrun the people who are after the suit, and find answers that will save him. This 4-part series is technically a continuation of the original story Barbiere published in Dark Horse Presents issues #24-26. You can totally pick this story up from the number one, but if you want more of the origin story, you can get them from Dark Horse’s digital comic platform for a pretty good deal. The artist of the original series, Michael Kaneshino will be doing the covers for the new stuff, that’ll be drawn by Colin Lorimer!

Jan's Atomic HeartJan’s Atomic Heart and other Stories– Simon Roy pulls on my shriveled black heart-strings with stories that are obtuse, original, and out there. That kind of description can be a little off putting to some people, and to those people I ask, “Where’s your desire for delving into the unknown? Your passion and curiosity to explore world’s and stories beyond yourself? Where’s the money Lebowski?” This book collects roughly five years worth of the Vancouver artists work that’s shows the evolution between his early stories from his art school days, to the beautifully designed art we see in Prophet. Oh, did I forget to mention that Simon Roy is one of the primary artists on that book with a million other amazing people?  Even if he wasn’t associated with that amazing book, THIS book is amazing, and includes a story for every reader (though the book’s namesake story could have even been published on its own).

All New Ghost Rider #1– Not gonna lie, I really like Tradd Moore, and I will definitely be picking up the first issue of Ghost Rider. I never thought I’d ever write that sentence in my lifetime.

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Frankly Dear I Don’t Give a Damn

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. (?)

White Suits #1

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.

Undertow #1

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.

Zero Vol. 1 TP

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.

Dark Horse Presents #33

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!

X-Files Conspiracy TMNT #1

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.

X-Files_Conspiracy_TMNT_1A

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WHITE SUITS #1 / ZERO vol. 1 Signing!

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Frank Barbiere (Five Ghosts) & Toby Cypress (The Tourist) will be on hand to sign the 1st issue of their brand new Dark Horse series THE WHITE SUITS. Ales Kot (Secret Avengers) will also be here to sign the first volume of his hit Image Comics series ZERO. Come hang out. Get weird. Stay until you can’t take it anymore.

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NYCC Week FP Event Announcement Numero Dos

The week of New York Comic-Con 2013 (10/7 through 10/11) is shaping up to be a dooooooozy ’round these parts, with signings and other events lined up for EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!!!

Yesterday I let the cat outta the bag about our Adventure Time gig, today I’m pleased to announce that on Monday October 7th at 7pm we’ll be hosting another Image Comics night with guests Greg Rucka (Lazarus… to name one), Ales Kot (Zero) and Frank Barbiere (Five Ghosts)!

Greg Rucka Forbidden Planet signing Ales Kot Frank Barbiere

Bring books to get signed.  Buy books here to get signed.  Meet and chat with some of the most cutting-edge comic writers working today.

See ya then!

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 24: There’ll Be No Escape For The Princess This Time!

There’s a lot of good comics this week. I know you want to buy the same old ones you always buy because they feel safe and comfortable. I get that. I’m not gonna tell you to not buy the stuff you like. I’m not a jerk. But I do need you to do me a favor. You can do that, right? Sell your kidneys, sell your kids, agree to do illegal stuff for unsavory men, sell your fillings, rob a bank. It’s time to try some new comics. I made a list of which ones you will need to buy if we want this to work out between us. You want this to work, right? You care about me, right? I care about you a lot. You are my favorite reader. I only write this for you. Want me to prove it? I make Tyler put in pretty pictures like this one to make you happy-

OCCUPY COMICS #1 is out this week.  This issue  features political and socially charged short stories by folks like Alan Moore, Mike Allred, David Lloyd, JM DeMatteis, Art Spiegelman, Ben Templesmith, Dean Haspiel, Ales Kot, Ron Wimberly, Molly Crabapple, Charlie Adlard, and a ton more. The book is a benefit for Occupy related initiatives like Occupy Sandy and Strike Debt (google them). Regardless of your personal politics this is a series well worth reading. It offers a ton of interesting viewpoints on a lot of different issues, smart social commentary that cuts across party lines and political aisles. Add to that some stunning artwork and storytelling, and some of the best and brightest in comics doing their best to say something beyond the usual “man punching another man” stories, and this is definitely something everyone who cares about the medium should be buying. Not a lot of comics are going to entertain you this much, inform you this much, and maybe help someone keep their home. Think about that when you choose to buy Red Lanterns instead and wonder why you feel like a husk of a person.

Did I mention that I like DARK HORSE PRESENTS a lot? I do. Issue 24 comes out this week. Congrats on 2 years of putting out the best book no one reads Dark Horse. Among the many great shorts in there, this issue sees the premiere of a new superhero character Blackout. Dark Horse has been doing a great job of getting exciting talent to launch new superhero books that are a fun alternative for those who feel tired of Marvel and DC’s usual fare. X, Ghost, and Black Beetle are among the best superhero books on shelves right now and hopefully Blackout will be joining their ranks. Written by up-and-comer Frank Barbiere, Blackout doesn’t feel like it’s reinventing the wheel, it doesn’t need to. It’s just really good. Barbiere has a knack for playing in genre and doing it better than most and this launch shows him doing that again with ease. Hopefully by this time next year I will be telling you “I told you so” about one of your favorite new series.

Speak of the devil. Mr. Barbiere has clearly been pretty busy. This week also sees the FIVE GHOSTS #3 out. I could write a whole bunch of snarky $#!% about Five Ghosts but I want to give Mr. Barbiere a nice quote for ads and whatnot. Five Ghosts #3 raises the stakes on this already great series in every way. Smart, tense, and beautiful, the best book of the year keeps getting better. Buy Five Ghosts or admit you are fake. Your welcome Frank.

Do you like pretty stuff? Read GODZILLA: HALF-CENTURY WAR. James Stokoe (pronounced “Stew-Coo-Ooo-Whoa-Eee”) is one of the best artists working in comics right now. Like the beautiful bastard child of Paul Pope, Geof Darrow, and Osamu Tezuka, Stokoe has earned a rabid fanbase by quality of work but not quantity of work. I am pretty sure I will never see a year with 12 issues of his work on the stands. With that understanding you should all view the arrival of a whole trade of his work as a sort of holiday. Skip work, buy some diapers and a lot of chocolate milk, get yourself a massage, and rent a new couch because it’s about to get awesome for you. In case the title didn’t make it clear, this book is Stokoe drawing a giant Japanese (Can they claim ownership of him? Should they?) dragon monster thing while it wrecks stuff. Yeah. It’s awesome.

THE PROPERTY is the new graphic novel from Rutu Modan, author of the brilliant Exit Wounds. If you have never read any of Ms. Modan’s work, her stuff reads like Tintin if Tintin was full of powerfully quiet human drama instead of, ya know, racism. It is economical in both art and storytelling, but the story never feels rushed or shortchanged. This is as elegant as comics get. The Property tells the story of 2 generations of Polish women returning to their homeland to reclaim property seized in the holocaust. As the story progresses both the cause and the meaning of this pilgrimage begin to change for the women and what results is a very touching and humorous story about peoples relationships to each other, their history, and the larger world around them.

It is that time of the week when I tell you to buy some new Image comic #1. This weeks obligatory #1 is THE BOUNCE. Joe Casey has written just about every major superhero worth writing and a lot that aren’t. He always makes books that manage to feel smarter and more fun than his contemporaries. Well now he launches The Bounce which is essentially a stoner version of Spider-Man. If there is one thing you should trust Mr. Casey to do it is both examine and deconstruct superheroes in really intelligent ways all while not letting you realize that is happening. He hides the smart storytelling in the fun. That’s smart. I’m tired. Buy this book.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 23: We’re Doomed!

Tyler wants me to turn in my new column so he can go home. I have to write it first but he doesn’t know that yet. I don’t really know what to write about though because I mostly wanted to write about myself but Forbidden Planet is less excited about that. So after much arguing and fighting the lovely heads of Forbidden Planet have convinced me not to just rerun last weeks column where I fiercely recommended my book, TWELVE REASONS TO DIE #1, which is (still) on shelves now! So I am not going to mention TWELVE REASONS TO DIE #1. I am going to talk about a bunch of other books. Books I didn’t write. Books I don’t like as much as TWELVE REASONS TO DIE #1.

Oooh. Here is one I can support wholeheartedly! REGULAR SHOW #1 is out this week. Not only is it the very funny comic based on the very funny TV show, but if you are reading this on Wednesday (or have the ability to go back in time) the great Allison Strejlau, artist on The Regular Show comic will be signing at FORBIDDEN PLANET, starting at 6:30. I may bring doughnuts for Allison and maybe she would share with you. I may end up forgetting to bring donuts so don’t make her feel bad if she doesn’t have any to share. Also, the staff at Forbidden Planet tends to get all Gollum-y when there are sweets around so the do-nuts don’t always make it to the signing. (Please don’t go back in time just for the doenuts. That’s not ok.) Anyway, even if you can’t come to the signing buy the book. It is crazy and fun and weird. You could probably use those things in your life.

Forbidden Planet is a New York City comic book store and that is a heavy burden to bare sometimes. The Spirit is from here. Part of Maus take place here. The Avengers are from here. Part of Sandman takes place here. Cecil & Jordan are here. Jacques Tardi called New York his love. DMZ, Ultimatum, Watchmen, and countless other books attacked our city but never destroyed it. Ex Machina is about our mayor. Adrian Tomine sketches people on our subways. Frank Miller accosts poor people on our streets. Steve Ditko monitors all comings and goings from his secret lair. The ghost of Will Eisner haunts every inch of gentrified New York. Marvel is from here. DC is from here. Raw is from here. Valiant is from here. Archie is from here. Abrams is from here. There is an issue of The Authority that takes place in our very store for #$&@ sake. When you talk about New York you better do it with the gravitas it deserves. Charles Soule (27, Swamp Thing) has decided to throw his hat in the ring of New York stories and, thankfully for all involved, he comes out the other side unscathed. STRANGE ATTRACTORS is a beautiful, complex, and amazingly fun book about the mystical, mathematical, and all powerful forces that make up a city and the people who control and channel those forces. Equal parts Ex Machina, Sandman, and Planetary, this is one of those books that people will still be rereading, discussing and trying to better understand 10 years from now. If you want smart love letters to New York you have an awful lot to choose from, but this should be at the top of the heap.

INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK vol. 1 is out this week. Leinil Yu draws the hulk smashing stuff. That’s all you need to know.

I talk a lot about how good the new Image books are. A lot of people are reading the obvious stuff by the big guys- Fatale, Manhattan Projects, Walking Dead, Saga, etc. Here’s the thing, there are a lot of brilliant books that are flying under your radars and you should be picking them up without a doubt. HOAX HUNTERS vol 2 is out this week. On premise alone this book should be everyone’s favorite. A team of paranormal investigators who use their “Mythbusters” type show to discredit these phenomena while secretly dealing with them off camera. So much fun and about as good an ensemble cast as a comic is likely to have, if you haven’t grabbed HOAX HUNTERS do yourself a favor and pick up both trades this week. It was also just optioned by the suits in Hollywood so, much like Chew, 100 Bullets, and all the other in development tv/movie comics, you should expect everyone to be talking about this one in a few months. Most importantly though Hoax Hunters doesn’t go where you expect it, which is the best praise I can give a book like this.

Image also has their 4th volume of the hilarious and tragic LIL’ DEPRESSED BOY this week. Indie rock, unrequited crushes, and ragdoll of a guy make this book the heir apparent to the Scott Pilgrim throne. LIL’ DEPRESSED BOY is one of those books that will mean the world to a few people and will be missed by most others. You should buy it and see if you are one of those people who it will mean the world to, because being the person who falls in love real hard is always the better person to be.

Completing the trilogy of great Image tpb’s by their up and commers is PETER PANZERFAUST vol. 2. The little book that could, this book looked like it wouldn’t make it past 12 issues when it started, couldn’t find an audience, couldn’t get attention, and then… Something! One of the most talked about books of 2013, this tale of Peter Pan and friends fighting Nazi’s in WWII is a clever idea done well. There is not much more you can ask for out of a book. Smart and good? That should be enough for you.

Lastly, if I can’t talk about my book TWELVE REASONS TO DIE #1 (on shelves now) I will talk about the reprint of FIVE GHOSTS #2. That’s right. I am recommending a reprint. Why? I will give you 5 reasons because I am not very clever and the number 5 appears in the name of this book.

  1. One of the best books of the year, this is just classic pulp adventures, nastiness and all. There’s nothing like it on shelves now and that is sad for us but great for Five Ghosts.
  2. It is definitely one of the hottest indie books of the last few years. Finding a copy of issue #1 or #2 is becoming a herculean task so get it while you can.
  3. Issue #3 comes out next week and ups the ante in every way. What was one of the best books of the year is about to become one of the best books of the last 10 years. Get on board now.
  4. The brand new S.M. Viduarri cover is amazing. It goes perfectly with Chris Mooneyham’s moody and period appropriate interior art and Frank Barbiere’s tense and creepy script.
  5. I WROTE THE BACKUP STORY!!! Ha! I tricked you! I got you excited about a book I am in without you even knowing it. Buy it for FIVE GHOSTS, stay for my 2 page story that begins here. Or just buy it for my story. I don’t really care.  Just buy it. Don’t be a square.

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Image Comics Premiere Night with Bob Fingerman and the Creators of Five Ghosts

Coming Wednesday March 20th, the day both books release(!)… Five Ghosts Image Comics Bob Fingerman #1 Minimum Wage Image ComicsMore details to come.  Be here!

UPDATED: Special guests will be joining us!  Confirmed so far are Minimum Wage pin-up artists Dean Haspiel, Joe Infurnari, John Kerschbaum and Jeff Wong. Ben Templesmith will also be here to sign copies of the “Ghost” variant of Five Ghosts.

UPDATED: Can’t make it to our signing and  would like signed books?  Mail order customers can pre-order copies of Maximum Minimum Wage here .

Btw, Forbidden Planet NYC is Minimum Wage Headquarters (heh, heh) and will be selling this book at 20% OFF the cover price through its entire print run! A Five Ghosts pre-order will be available soon. Unfortunately we will not be able to offer mail order customers signed copies of Five Ghosts until (if then) after our signing.  We are limiting in-store purchases of this comic to 1 per customer.  Thank you in advance for your understanding!

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TRY SOMETHING NEW CHAPTER 7: Against The Evil Galactic Empire.

(note: This weeks column will be structured like a Choose Your Own Adventure. If you do not understand what a Choose Your Own Adventure story is you should call your parents and ask them why they didn’t give you a better childhood.)

So here we are again. Me at my computer, drinking chocolate milk like an adult. It’s 3 AM. I had a really long day and I don’t want to get into the details. On the bright side I had dinner at a Chinese restaurant next to Peter Scolari. I also thought I recognized the guy sitting on the other side of the room but I realized after dinner that I thought it was Walter Cronkite and I am pretty sure he’s dead. So that was either not him or the craziest celebrity sighting ever. Peter Scolari isn’t dead, right? If he is, you all should check out this Chinese spot on 74th and Amsterdam. It’s like Dawn Of The Dead but with soup dumplings. Anyway, enough about me. What’s going on with you? If you are reading the newsletter in Forbidden Planet please proceed to PARAGRAPH 1. If you are reading the blog on FPNYC.com skip ahead to PARAGRAPH 2. If you are reading the newsletter somewhere outside the store please jump to PARAGRAPH 3.

1. I see. Well, it’s good to see you in Forbidden Planet again. It feels like it’s been a while. Did you see Forbidden Planet’s own technical wizard/artistic muse Tyler yet? He’s here somewhere. He is always in the store. If you find him you should give him a hug. He will act like he doesn’t want you to, but he does. Maybe he’s downstairs. Duck under the rope and look for him in “The Dungeon”. (editor’s note: customers are not allowed to duck under the rope or touch Tyler.) Go on. It’s fine. Never listen to editors, cops, or your parents. The Dungeon is cool. It is full of Abominations and staff members eating halal food. Anyway, thanks for reading this before you do your shopping. You seem like a real savvy customer who wants to TRY SOMETHING NEW. Would you be offended if I made a suggestion? If you want to hear Matthew’s recommendation for you hurl onward to PARAGRAPH 4. If you want to act like a weirdo jerk and not hear his recommendation then slither ahead to PARAGRAPH 9.

2. Oh that’s cool. And hey, thanks for coming to FPNYC.com. There’s so much stuff on the internet. Some folks would have you believe there is too much stuff, but those folks are sociopaths. Either way, it really means a lot to me that you came all the way out here to the middle on internet nowhere to read this of all things. You can’t tell right now, but your dedication to our little blog just made technical wizard/evil henchmen Tyler tear up just now. He is acting like he has something in his eye but he doesn’t. He is an emotional dude. Don’t judge. Anyway, I think it’s really cool that you came here. I know you could be watching that video of the guy teaching the baby wolf how to howl or trying to figure out what Hawkeye from the Avengers would look like if he were a sexy lady. But you have a dedication to seeking out some of the worst comics journalism of all time and I think that is swell. That reminds me, do you know what book you might like? If you don’t know what book you might like and want to find out hop along to PARAGRAPH 6. If you are some freak who somehow already knows all of the books he/she will ever like crawl forward to PARAGRAPH 9.

3. Hey. Sorry to cut you off but I got something to say. I don’t want to be a jerk here but I am a little annoyed. Why would you come into Forbidden Planet, pick up a newsletter, and then wait to read it until you left? How are my book recommendations going to help you now? You can come back in a few days and hope that all the books I’ve recommended aren’t sold out, but I make no guarantees. A lot of people read this newsletter in the store and I am very persuasive. Anyway, I am not mad or anything, just disappointed. Our technical wizard/ jackbooted thug Tyler is really mad though. Next time you come into the store you better hope he isn’t in. Lucky for you, Tyler is almost never in the store. Anyway, I want to prove to you that I’m not mad. I want to recommend a book. Cool? If you want to be cool with Matthew launch yourself over to PARAGRAPH 8. If you don’t want to be cool with Matthew or anyone else creep on to PARAGRAPH 9.

4. I think you might like DARK HORSE PRESENTS #20. It’s one of the great comic anthologies of all time, showcasing amazing legends and exciting up and comers in all genres. Two cool new stories begin in this issue; Michael Avon Oeming‘s dark superhero story THE VICTORIES, and Geoffrey Thorne and Todd Harris‘ intriguing JOURNEYMEN! Josh Williamson‘s great take on the old pulp hero CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT is a great read for anyone who appreciates fun action, which you seem like you do. And this issue also has another installment of one of my favorite new series of 2012- THE WHITE SUITS. Crime and conspiracy stuff done in a fresh and stylized way, THE WHITE SUITS short story makes DARK HORSE PRESENTS worth the cover price alone. Anyway, pick this one up. It’s right over there on the shelf. I’m sure you’ll like it. If you pick up DARK HORSE PRESENTS #20 walk over to the register where one of the register jockeys will ring you up and say “do you want a bag and board for this?” even though it won’t fit in a bag because it is prestige format. THE END. If you choose not to buy DARK HORSE PRESENTS #20 lurk on over to PARAGRAPH 9.

5. The ground you are standing on momentarily groans like an old man before it gives way. You fall for what feels like a lifetime but is only a moment. Mercifully, you stop with a violent splash. You have landed in what seems to be water… maybe. As you look up you can just barely make out the fading sunlight. It’s beautiful, shades of red and orange blend together like a Gauguin. You barely hear tires kick up dirt as your only “friends” drive away. Are they laughing? The water is violently cold, a cold you could have never imagined. It fights its way deep into your muscles, into your bones even. They burn against the cold but it is a losing battle. The pain begins to give way to an almost peacefulness as treading water becomes harder and harder. Hypothermia begins to set in and you find that you now think of yourself in the past tense, “I was so young.” The universe doesn’t care though. THE END.

6. This is what I wanted to show you. It’s DAN THE UNHARMABLE. Have you read the single issues? No? Well that’s fine because this is the first volume of the collection. It’s by David Lapham. You may know him from such disturbing and ultraviolent books as CROSSED, CALIGULA, or FERALS. Or you might know him from a personal favorite of mine, STRAY BULLETS. STRAY BULLETS is one of the smartest and best slice of life/crime/I don’t know what books ever written. It’s LOVE & ROCKETS but with more murder. Lapham has an extraordinary ability to blur lines between the disturbing, the tragic, and the hilarious. DAN THE UNHARMABLE tells the story of an immortal private eye who gets caught up in a very personal case. It is violent, crass, low brow, funny, and exciting. Lapham can pull off this kind of schizophrenic storytelling in ways no one else would think of trying. If any of that interests you grab this and proceed to check out. If you order a copy of DAN THE UNHARMABLE vol 1 sit by your mailbox for a few days until the postman puts it in your hand. Thank your postman. It’s a thankless job. THE END. If you choose not to buy DAN THE UNHARMABLE Vol. 1. scurry on over to PARAGRAPH 9.

7. Her lips graze your neck and you can feel your pulse quicken. Her warm breath on your skin makes your toes tingle. She whispers something you can’t quite make out and your whole body starts to go numb. “Did she just say my real name?!” you think to yourself. Startled, you go to push her away but your legs give out before your hands can respond to your mental commands. You fall to the ground like a hostage dropped out the front door during a botched bank robbery. You hit the ground head first and your neck twists violently but painlessly to the right. The acrid taste of bile creeps up the back of your throat and fills your mouth. You can see part of your body you have never seen before; your back. Sticking straight out like a flag, the syringe she used is clearly visible. She leans down over you and sensually whispers one last sentence to you, “The universe wanted you dead.” No it doesn’t, you wanted to be able to tell her. It just doesn’t care. THE END.

8. So these Marvel Now books have been really great. Strong and smart editorial leadership has managed to put together a lot of really smart and interesting books without abandoning what came before them. THOR, ALL NEW X-MEN, NEW AVENGERS, CAPTAIN MARVEL, SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, there are almost too many good Marvel books to name right now. Well two more enter the fold this week with #1 issues. Ron Garney and indie hotshot Sam Humphries launch an all new UNCANNY X-FORCE this week. Mohawk Storm is all you really need to know. Mr. Humphries likes to take his stories down unusual paths and that is just what an X-Force book should do, go where you least expect it. This may not be high on a lot of folks lists, but neither was Rick Remender‘s run on UNCANNY X-FORCE, and that ended up being one of the best Marvel books in 10 years.

In addition to UNCANNY X-FORCE #1, this week sees YOUNG AVENGERS #1. Most people don’t know this because most people didn’t read it but Allan Heinberg‘s YOUNG AVENGERS series was absolutely brilliant. It was a great idea grounded in very smart, very human characters. If Marvel played their cards right that book should have been the hit that Brian K. Vaughan‘s RUNAWAYS was, but they didn’t and it wasn’t. Well now Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, known separately for doing all sorts of really good stuff but known together as the team behind the brilliant and shamefully underloved PHONOGRAM are reuniting to make the Young Avengers count. There are a ton of great characters to fall in love with here and both of these guys excel at really good down to earth storytelling. And both Gillen and McKelvie are British indie rock dudes so hopefully they will throw in some references to The Arctic Monkeys or Caves or Chvrches or chip butty or stab vests or 56 Up or something else Americans don’t understand. I am excited to see a new young Marvel team act like a bunch of chavs. I hope someone calls Captain America a geezer. $5 says they throw in a reference to Ziggy Stardust before issue 6. That stuff is like their bible. If you want to go back to the store and buy copies of UNCANNY X-FORCE #1 & YOUNG AVENGERS #1 do so soon. Forbidden Planet are keeping some copies warm, but it’s cold out there. Hurry, hurry, super scurry! THE END. If you choose not to buy either of these books mosey on over to PARAGRAPH 9.

9. “Well it doesn’t seem like I have anything I can offer you. I tried to be nice. I tried to be helpful. I recommended cool new books. You seem uninterested. You seem like something is bothering you. Oh well. I hope you have a great life though.” With that your time with TRY SOMETHING NEW comes to an end. You can read on and find out if Unkie Dev still likes Hellboy a lot. You can go even further still and find out if that other guy still likes incomprehensible Japanese robot toys. But you won’t. Your ennui pushes you out the door. You need to walk. You wander for hours only to find yourself in a deserted part of town. Nearly deserted. You think you are being followed now but you can’t be sure. You duck into an alley to get away or maybe it’s just to clear your head. Why would someone be after you? You decide to stay in the alley just to catch your breath. You are safe. No one wants to hurt you. A misguided feeling of relief washes over. You decide to make the most of the alley and look into some people’s windows because, well, because you’re not a good person. As you look into a dingy studio apartment you catch a reflection in the window of a crazed, half starved man looming behind you. All at once three things enter your head. The first is “Was that tech wizard/escaped mental patient Tyler?” The second is “Was that a brick in his hand?” And the last thing to enter your head is the aforementioned brick. As you bleed to death in the backstreets of Anytown USA you finally understand that neither Tyler nor the universe ever cared about you. You realize that you wasted a great opportunity. You realize you should have TRIED SOMETHING NEW. THE END.

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The Weekly Pulse Special – Interview with Frank Barbiere of THE WHITE SUITS

Another special webcast! Dan’s got an exclusive interview with Frank Barbiere, writer of THE WHITE SUITS. He and artist Luke Radl will be in-store on April 18th to sign copies of DARK HORSE PRESENTS #11, where their story debuts!

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The Weekly Pulse – White Suits/Dark Horse Presents #11 Signing!

So much to cover today! Tons of number ones, including Secrets and Alabaster, not  to mention the anticipated Saga #2! But wait! we have a special guest today: writer Frank Barbiere, whose newest comic will be featured in the upcoming Dark Horse Presents #11! he’s got some picks of his own to share with you all, and he’s got the deets on the upcoming signing featuring him and artist Luke Radl!

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White Suits Lunchtime Signing

Wednesday, April 18th, come by Forbidden Planet NYC and catch writer Frank Barbiere and artist Luke Radl in-store, defacing copies of  Dark Horse Presents #11 with their signatures and sketches from 1pm – 2:30pm.

DHP #11 features the introduction of  their creation “The White Suits.”

Here’s a preview, and the publisher’s copy:

Meet the killers known as the White Suits, who have left their bloody fingerprints throughout modern history. When a young girl encounters one of the Suits during a mob deal gone wrong, she is forced to make a decision that will change her life forever-or end it!

There’s also an interview with them over at Comic Book Resources that goes into further detail.

And don’t forget… come on by the shop for a special Wednesday lunchtime signing.  April 18th, 1:00pm.   See ya then!

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