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.
It seems every year Bandai shows off some really awesome stuff at Tamashii fest and you have to wonder how they can outdo themselves. Somehow, they manage to find a way. This year’s Tamashii Fest has been filled with some of the same stuff we’re used to, plus some absolutely fantastic new surprises. I’ll be splitting things up into two reports, one for robots; one for the various *Arts lines. I’ll be covering just the stuff I’m interested, so if you want to see the full spread, you’ll have to check out Bluefin Distribution/Tamashii Nations USA’s Facebook page.
This part will cover the various *Arts figures that have been displayed.
To start off, we’ve got a ton of the other Riders from Kamen Rider Ryuki! Yeah, I bet everyone who bought the Figmas feels really silly right now (I am one of such people). Odin, Ouja, Zolda, Femme, Tiger, Scissors, and Knight Survive were all on display. I own the Figmas of Ouja, Zolda, and Femme, but honestly, I might grab the figuarts, too, just because I like the designs that much, especially Ouja. Ouja is just too cool.
One of the big, crazy, totally out-of-left-field announcements were the D-Arts for Pokémon! Yeah, nobody saw these coming. We know Mewtwo (with bonus Mew) is coming out for sure, but Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur are up in the air for now. Chances are, they’re waiting on how Mewtwo’s sales go. Honestly? This figure is so cool I might have to get one for myself. Just look at the TAIL. I see Pokémon having a pretty bright future under the D-Arts brand.
Sadly, Bluefin did not have pictures of the three final form starters…
While I haven’t bought any or really talked about them much, Bandai gets ALL MY RESPECT for announcing a Monster Arts of Biollante from the second Heisei Godzilla film, Godzilla vs. Biollante. People tend to forget about that one, sadly. It’s far from the best, but certainly not the worst. I just love how most of the Monster Arts figures have been from the Heisei era of films. These ones were all my favorites, and even the ones that didn’t make any sense were completely awesome. I’m looking at you, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.
The announcement of classic Mega Man and Rush has gotten many excited, as well as the more recent announcement of Bass and Treble. I’m actually not too excited for these, since I’m more of an X fan, but it’s good to see someone out there doesn’t hate Mega Man like Capcom does!
Indeed, a huge stir was made over the announcement of Tyrannoranger from Zyuranger/the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Red Ranger, but now we’ve got a prototype of Dragonranger/Green Ranger to ogle over as well!! Yeah, I’m really hoping we see the whole team… I already sold off most of my vintage figures!
Somehow, I missed the announcement for the Android 18 Figuart from Dragon Ball Z? Yeah… I may have some interest in her. Of course, that would require me to actually get into these, and I don’t think my wallet can take it…
…especially after this stole the show.
Yes, that’s Naoko Takeuchi showing off the new SAILOR MOON Figuart for the new anime debuting next year! Yes, I’m hyped for this and I seriously hope we can get the whole team. All I gotta say is, it’s about damn time.
My wallet cries out in agony at seeing some of these figures. Remember, if you’re ever interested in them, be sure to talk to anyone at FPNYC about getting them in stock!!
My hat is off to IDW, as they are truly showing the other companies what it means to publish comics in the new millennium. They publish the most mainstream of mainstream titles, but find the coin to get the nicest, small interest art books on the shelves to boot. They have all the prestige of a small boutique press, but are shameless in their high profile licenses.
If I went back in time twenty years and told you (if you were alive, and demographically speaking that is a safe bet) that ONE COMPANY would have the licensing rights to ALL of the following titles, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Crow, Godzilla, G.I. Joe, and Magic the Gathering, you would swear I was lying…and those are just the titles they’re shipping this week!
And True Blood, which I omitted as nobody from twenty years ago knew what the heck that was.
NOW keep in mind that IDW is also publishing Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #2, the sequel to Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein (arguably one of the best rendered fantasy art stories of our time) as well as putting out beautiful, Artist edition reprints of Bernie Wrightson’s Muck Monster AND Sergio Aragone’s Groo and you can begin to see the bigger picture.
Get on board the IDW love fest and drink the IDW Kool-Aid! Continue reading
By Chris Troy
My 2012 is off to a brutal start, as the first day of the year started with me having no power in half of my apartment for 4 days, but rebounded when I went down to DC for MAGfest 2012 for another 3. The latter was rad, but explains my absence. NO WORRIES, NOW I’VE RETURNED, I CAN TALK ABOUT TOYS THAT CAME OUT LAST YEAR, SEVERAL OF WHICH YOU CAN STILL PURCHASE AT FPNYC!! So without further delay, my ultimately meaningless list:
Let’s start off with some import goodness shall we? While not the strongest year for Figma as a brand (IMO, people who love them some Madoka may disagree), Max Factory managed to pop out a few rad figures this year, one of them being the Figma based on Evangelion 2.2 ‘s Mari. In a sea of Asuka/Rei merchandise, Mari was a welcomed addition and her Figma, which came with a cockpit and a ton of variant parts and accessories, was great. In addition to that, the Dorothy (of Big O fame) Figma dropped as well, and I am bias as hell towards Big O merch, so that makes the list. Also Robocop, because, well, he’s Robocop; why wouldn’t he, right? 2012 looks solid too, as we’re expected to get a Figma based on Guts from Beserk, as well as Samus Aran of Metroid fame. This is best in life. We still have the Eva girls and Dorothy in stock BTW, as well as several other characters I couldn’t tell you about.
Revoltech had a stellar year, especially if you’re into giant robots. Evas? A ton of them, all of them rad. Zone of the Enders finally got some love, with the release of Jehuty, and more are on the way apparently, which pleases me to no end. A ton of American properties got some love as well, including the likes of Iron Man, War Machine, Optimus Prime, and Bumblebee, rocking their Michael Bay designs. 2012 looks to be full of more giant robots AND more movie stuff, including the likes of Pixar movies NOT named Toy Story. In the words of Achewood‘s Ray Smuckles “That’s alright, coz that’s okay.” And wrapping up the super pose-able import toy trinity is SH Figuarts: which, while delivering awesome Godzilla, Gundam, Dragon Ball Z, Megaman X, and One Piece figures, stole my heart with the release of their Tiger and Bunny line. This line is hot, and I think we had the Tiger and Bunny Figuarts in for like a few hours before they sold out. We do have a nice variety of non-T&B Figuarts still in stock though, so hey, it’s not a complete loss if you come in looking for some. We also got a ton of new Gunpla in this year, including kits from the new series Gundam Age. Continue reading
by Chris Troy
If I had a clever intro, this is where it would go. Please take note of this
To the left of these words is a picture of a figure of New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees, one of the players featured in the 28th wave of the NFL McFarlane’s Sports Picks. I chose Brees because he’s my Fantasy Football QB, and he’s rarely let me down this season (Unlike my running backs). Aside from the Breesus, the line consists of Clay Matthews, Dez Bryant, Andre Johnson, Cam Newton, Peyton Hills, Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger and Barry Sanders. If any of those name got you excited, we have Wave 28 in stock, as well as a few older waves and special 2 & 3 packs, so come check them out.
Now that we carry SH Figuarts, I figured the first figure to rob me of my cash would be Wild Tiger of “Tiger & Bunny” fame, or at least a Gundam of some sort. But I was wrong. SH Figuarts Godzilla is out, and man, it’s pretty awesome. Why’s that you ask? Well it’s a fully articulated Godzilla figure for starters! 29 points of articulation in fact, what’s not rad about that? HE CAN BE POSED FOR SWIMMING PEOPLE, THAT’S CRAZY!! Bandai went above and beyond in terms of material as well, as the Big G is made up of 3 different materials (ABS, PVC, and POM). I’m not exactly sure what that means aside from PVC, but hey, that’s cool regardless. In terms of accessories, you get plastic Godzilla nuclear breathe, which is all you really need right? Godzilla goes for about $70 bucks, and will be joined in the future by MechaGodzilla & SPACE GODZILLA, which requires me to type his name out all in capital letters. We also have a ton of other plastic Godzilla figures from Bandai in stock, but real talk, the Figuarts one is the coolest. You’ll want to pick that up real fast.
Last article I said that when DC Direct releases products, it doesn’t mess around. IT WILL FLOOD THE MARKET. Right (as usual), we got another wave Green Lantern figures now in stock, as well as the first wave of the Starcraft premium figures (premium figures=cheap statues). On the Green Lantern end of things, we have Guy Gardner in his native Green Latern colors (oppose to blood-puke Guy from last time) Blue Lantern Brother Warth, Green Lantern Sinstero (perhaps the 1st new 52 figure!) and his daughter Soranik Natu. Despite JUST GETTING A NEW GUY, this is a pretty solid wave, and each figure goes for about $20 each. The Starcraft series consists of Jim Raynor & Zeratul, 2 characters I know very little to nothing about because I don’t mess with Starcraft. But they’re pretty impressive low-end statues that go for about $30 a pop.
I had a pretty good laugh at Jazzware’s Mortal Kombat figures last week, and that’s come back to bite me in the ass. Aside from the 6″ inch figures, the company has released 4″ figures as well, dubbing the line Mortal Kombat Klassics. Nice job keeping the K motiff going. From what I’ve seen, you can either buy the robot ninja 3 pack, or the murder ninja 4 pack and get the same figure painted a whole bunch of different colors. I’m not sure if this is lazy, or brilliant.
Speaking of lazy and brilliant, expect my best of 2011 list next week. Happy Holidays y’all!
Those who say Godzilla is all about destruction, feast your eyes on this!
Artist Boris Rasin’s Godzilla Does Right shows the big guy pitching in. Even if hes not the best house painter, at least he gives it his best.
Godzilla Does Right is currently on view at NURTUREart as part of the group show Blood, Sweat, and Tears: the Work of Art and Tragedy.
Blood, Sweat, and Tears: the Work of Art and Tragedy, curated by Krista Saunders and Project Curate, a group of high school students.The show is up from June 3 through June 24.NURTUREart is located at 910 Grand Street in Brooklyn, NY.The show is centered around the idea of modern natural disaster and renewal. The Godzilla piece takes the Japanese symbol of destruction and puts him to good use, fixing up the gallery with a somewhat sloppy paint job. The sculpture, made from insulation foam, expanding foam and other materials stands at 6’2″. The white paint Godzilla uses is glossier than the paint on the wall, creating the illusion of a fresh coat of paint. Being a little clumsy, he has a bit of white paint splattered on his hands and body.
What a week for insanely violent comic madness. It’s as if Satan himself came up from hell and packed our shelves with his favorite stuff.
Avatar publishing has been at the top of their gruesome game with releases like Crossed, Garth Ennis’ take on the zombie genre, and Alan Moore’s Cthulhu-rape masterpiece, Neonomicon. If that’s not enough to get your blood pumping, this weeks’ Caligula #1 by little Davey Lapham will surely do it. It’s all the messed up good fun expected from the man who brought you my favorite comic of all time, Stray Bullets.
Also, the highly anticipated return of Godzilla to our beloved comic shelves has been realized this week by our good friends, IDW publishing. With Eric Powell’s name attached to this book we just know its gonna be good. Just look at that beautiful gatefold cover he did for the first issue. Grab a copy of Godzilla #1 while you still can, I know this baby is gonna go fast.