Bitch planet has been accused of being a vehicle for roaring feminism. Whether it is or isn’t are for the critics, I’m not a critic in this article, I just get to tell you the cool stuff coming out. What Bitch Planet does offer is a world where being noncompliant to what’s acceptable, in some cases and extreme while in others mundane, gets you imprisoned. Your choices, genetics, nature, and nurture can all get you labeled “NC” and shipped off to a place like the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost #2. In that case, we’re talking about getting jailed in the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. But how did the world begin going down this path? How did emotions and our DNA become punishable offenses? The answers are coming in this second volume. We’re going to be getting some of the first clues to the history of the world as we know it. Plus, we meet President Bitch!
There are some comic book series that tend to transcend the medium and have an impact on readers that spark something revolutionary in them. Based on a lot of you who come into Forbidden Planet that’ve been asking for this book, there’s plenty of evidence to support Bitch Planet being deemed as such a series. Sure, there might be some flashier space family adventures out there but there’s room in our hearts for more than one great book. Make a place in yours and on your bookshelf for this one.
Writer Cullen Bunn is no stranger to crafting stories of horror and the occult. There’s classic occultism and supernatural terror in Harrow County. Before that he began with his epic western zombie saga in The Sixth Gun, which you should absolutely read if you haven’t yet. In Regression #1 out this week, Mr. Bunn, along with his cohorts Danny Luckert and Marie Enger, will introduce us to a man whose waking life is challenged by his nightmares.
To be scared kicks up your adrenaline. And the key to scaring someone else to play on elemental fears and finding something universal to frighten with. In Regression #1, we are presented with the concept of our nightmares. Everyone has them. Everyone has had moments in a nightmare where you aren’t quite sure if you’re still asleep. In Regression #1, we find Adrian, a man who sets out to resolve the torture of his nightmares through a special type of hypnotherapy: He’s going to be regressed (hence the title), to experience his past lives and see if the psychological trauma that’s threatening his life is actually from before he was born.
The journey of his consciousness through his past lives unearth horrific visions that only worsen his situation upon being brought back to his current lifetime. The solution only made the problem worse. Unable to unsee what he’s witnessed, Adrian is drawn into a darker world of debauchery, insanity, mystery, and conspiracy. When Adrian came back from his journey through his past lives, he didn’t come home alone. What if there is no escape from your nightmares? What if the only thing you can do is fall deeper into the horror?
Adam Gorham is a rising star in comics. Don’t believe me? What else would you call someone who’s being shot straight to the stars by drawing one of Marvel’s highest profile characters with a movie coming out? Plus, the fact it’s a cosmic character with space crime overtones. Adam Gorham’s a model of work ethic and determination, not to mention humility. He gives us a rough outline of his journey thus far, what we can expect from the upcoming Rocket #1 out on May 10th and offers sage advice to artists drawing their own path in the industry.
MK: Adam, thank you so much for having a Creative Conversation with me today. One of the questions I always like to start with is, do you remember the first comic you owned or the first one that made an impression on you?
AG: the pleasure is mine! I’m excited to talk about Rocket with my pal Matt Klein!
MK: Nice rhyme.
AG: Totally unintentional. I amaze myself (laughs). The first comic I owned and really cherished, and has left an impact on me to this day, is Batman: The Cult, the graphic novel. My father got it for me, probably without even looking inside of it. This was when comics were at their height in the 90’s and the local newspaper and cigar shop sold comics. Bernie Wrightson’s work was my first major influence.
MK: I freaking love that book. I mean, Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson, it’s a gem. In talking with people in shops that’s an often undiscovered gem. You mentioned Bernie Wrightson as your first major influence, who were some others at different points in your journey to today?
AG: Well, I loved comics as a kid, but rarely read them. I liked them for the art and would draw what I saw. All the mythos and lore I got loosely from 90’s cartoons like [Batman: TAS], Spider-Man, X-Men, etc. so without knowing many names at the time, I was certainly informed by the heavyweights of the 90’s. However, I fell out of comics around ten or so, about the time when kids let go of their “kids stuff”. I didn’t get back into loving comic artwork until eleventh grade, and that was after discovering Alex Ross, particularly Kingdom Come.
MK: So good!
AG: It was a revelation for me. Ross’ work was the first time for me that comic art felt like classic works of art that could be hung somewhere. When I started getting back into it, I was in love with what Bryan Hitch was doing on The Ultimates. In fact, I really liked Ultimate Marvel at the time. Leinil Yu was another favorite.
MK: There was a ton of top talent working on Marvel’s Ultimate Universe at that point. Do you have a favorite Ultimate Universe run or story?
AG: Well I really liked the Ultimate X-Men stuff for a while. The first arc was epic. I enjoyed most of Return to Weapon X. Ultimates 2 probably stands apart though as the height of those titles.it took FOREVER for it to come out, but in the end it was pretty satisfying
MK: Great art can be worth the wait. How did you come to the decision that working in comics was what you wanted to do?
AG: I drew all my life. That’s not saying much. Most kids love to draw. However, I was always applauded for how well I drew for my age, so I grew up with drawing as “my thing.” And for a long time that was enough. I didn’t have a direct application or career in mind for it, but I excelled at drawing superheroes, so comics seemed an obvious choice. The only thing is, I was a terrible student with no ambition. Drawing comics as a career was an easy thing to talk about, but pursuing it was murky and not always tangible. I did go to art school and flamed out because, as I say, terrible student. Ultimately, after a few years of working one dirty job or another, my partner dragged me to my first comic convention and really opened up my eyes to this world I’d previously only known through Wizard magazines and comic shops. I was working in a grocery warehouse. Things with my significant other were getting serious. We wanted to start a new chapter in our lives and it became clear I needed a new goal in life. Or a goal in life. So when I left the warehouse job, I went for broke and looked for a job illustrating. I found one off Craigslist (laughs).
MK: What was the job?
AG: My first ever gig drawing comics was a 128-page graphic novel, written by a Canadian film director who wanted to adapt his indie vampire movie into a comic. Before that I had drawn a few scant pages for my own ideas. And once I started there was no looking back.
MK: That sounds a bit like you jumped into the deep end with a 128 page project right off the bat!
AG: Totally. It was the first opportunity I found and I seized it. I didn’t know how or where else to find work. In the past I had sent submissions to publishers, back when most publishers still took open submissions. I have a polite and informative rejection letter from Marvel, actually.
MK: That’s freaking awesome though! You talked about going to a convention kind of blew open your mind about comics and the industry. As an artist, how do you like conventions now being on the other side of the table? because I remember that’s how we met and i bugged you for a sketch that i recently proudly showed off to io9.
AG: Going as a fan and going as part of your job are two very different experiences. Pros and cons to each side. When I went as fan all I could think about was getting comics signed and saying, “Hi” to people I admired. I put myself through crazy lines and jumped through hoops to meet creators like Alex Ross, Brian Bolland and so on. It was fun but exhausting. You really invested a part of yourself. As soon as I started tabling, that was out the window. It’s not like I made a conscious decision to regard conventions differently. It’s just that creating a book and taking it to market changes your priorities.
MK: it’s part of your business. you’re a brand now with obligations.
MK: Do you have any memorable requests from fans at conventions? Or any favorite sketches you’ve done?
AG: I’ve never had a bizarre request. Everything I’ve been asked to draw has been pretty fun, although I think I’ve only recently started drawing well at conventions. The past couple years I’ve improved, whereas drawing at a table was an uncomfortable experience. I got the hang of it though. So anything beyond a year or two ago I look back on and cringe. Your Man-Bat is a favorite of mine. I did a Frank Miller Dark Knight at NYCC that was very nice.
MK: if you could go back some years, what advice would you give yourself about being a comic book artist?
AG: With hindsight there’s so much I would impart. My problems starting out was, I thought I knew just how much work was involved with making comics. I would go back and tell myself “Nope. Work harder.” One thing I tell others is not to feel beholden to any one thing they’ve drawn. Draftsmanship is so very important. teaching yourself to draw things over and over, refining, and not being precious about something because you spend an hour on it. Your ideas and skill will always improve with every pass if you put in the effort, so it’s crazy to me to draw something once and thinking, “Well, I can see this is off, this other thing is wonky, but I just spent two hours drawing it, so good enough.” I’ve redrawn entire pages because a better idea struck me while I was driving home or at the store or on a walk.
MK: How many hours a day do you draw?
AG: I draw every day. Working constantly. Some days I work eight hours and others twelve or sixteen. Depends on where I’m at. I have two kids that, once they’re home, I can’t do anything else until they’re in bed. So I don’t always draw as much as I want to in a work day. But I try to make up with time later
MK: That’s incredibly intimidating and inspiring at the same time (laughs). Let’s pivot real quick to your ridiculously exciting new series coming up. So, congratulations on being the artist on the upcoming Rocket #1 with Al Ewing. It seems like a pretty awesome moment to be working on this character with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 coming out so close to the release of the series. When you got the gig, how was the book described to you?
AG: It was a thrilling experience for me because of the sheer amount of suspense involved.
AG: I was worried what I’d move on to. Like, I had some options, and I had some ideas of what step to take next. I was gutted, to be honest, because i wanted The Violent to carry on. Ed [Brisson] had this great idea for the next chapter and I was ready for it. So, I was sweating it a little. Then later one afternoon while I was at the supermarket Ii got an email from Marvel asking if I was interested in working for them. That alone was very exciting, but it could’ve meant anything from a cover to a tie-in or whatever
AG: But naturally I said yes. they told me they’d have some information in a couple days. For two days my mind went WILD with possibilities
MK: Was Rocket Raccoon on that list of possibilities?
AG: Ha! No. I figured since I had just done a street level crime comic, something like Punisher or whatever would be the obvious route. I met with a good friend of mine, Michael Walsh, who was doing Rocket and Groot at the time. We were giddy over what it could be, no matter how small. When Marvel offered me a new #1 ongoing, I was intoxicated. Like, it wasn’t even that it was Rocket. At the time, we were calling it something else. The change of name was also in the cards. But the fact I’d be coming on with such a great opportunity was unreal. Anyway, when we finally got talking about what the book would be, my place as an artist began to make sense.
MK: How so? And this is an interesting pattern here, your first comic is a 128 page book, your first gig at Marvel is an ongoing for one of the most publicly recognized characters! You’re really seizing these opportunities that not everybody gets. It’s inspiring.
AG: I forget who exactly gave me the lowdown, but they said the vision for this book would be Rocket in his element pulling heists in space. In conversation we compared it to Parker graphic novels. Al [Ewing] had this idea to use prose, reinforcing the theme of a hard-boiled thriller. So right away we talked about how pages would be structured to accommodate Al’s prose. and how Rocket’s default outfit in this series would be a suit, open collar, no tie. Parker, even Daniel Ocean make good comparisons, but our Rocket has a broken heart that reminds me more of George Clooney’s Jack Foley from “Out of Sight.”
MK: You just named one of my top 10 favorite films of all time!
AG: IT’S SO GOOD! Fun story about that movie. When I was a kid I was grounded. I forget why, but I know I earned it. My parents left to get groceries one saturday afternoon. While they were out my friends called asking if I’d go to the movies with them. Somehow I thought I could sneak out, see a two hour movie, and bus it home before they ever got home. The only thing playing at the theatre was “Out of Sight” which I had seen ads for but wasn’t the type of movie I was rushing to see at the time. Man, oh man, it was the coolest thing I ever saw at that point.
MK: Uh, yeah! Seriously, anybody reading this who hasn’t seen “Out of Sight” needs to immediately go watch it!
AG: And I felt like such a smooth operator for sneaking out to see this slick flick. I was like, twelve or thirteen at the time. I can’t recall. But I walked out of the theatre like, “Look at me now, world!”
MK: Did you get busted?
AG: Oh, of course! My parents were out of the house for maybe an hour, discovered I took off, and had three hours to sit and plan my punishment. I walked into verbal cannon fire.
MK: That’s epic. Okay, we’re in the home stretch here. If someone’s been living in a bubble for the last few years and has no idea who Rocket is, how would you describe your new series to them?
AG: First off, congratulations on leaving your bubble. Let me introduce you to Rocket: he’s a scruffy outlaw, a lost soul, a space raccoonoid looking for his place in the galaxy when he’s not saving it with the Guardians. That place usually ends up being a dangerous one, where he’s risking it for, surprisingly, a chance at love lost. If that doesn’t work out, then cold revenge.
MK: Who is on your Mount Rushmore of comics?
AG: I forget how many heads are on Rushmore, but let’s say four, and my Rushmore of Comics is comprised of: Frank Quitely, Alex Ross, Bernie Wrightson, and Moebius.
MK: That’s an eclectic looking Mount Rushmore!
AG: Rushmore is really weird, when you think about it.
MK: Last but not least: If you meet someone that’s never read a comic before, what 5 reads would you tell them to pick up?
It’s finally here! Let’s face it, we’ve all kind of been spoiled with Bryan Lee O’Malley’s previous cult hits that include the never duplicated Scott Pilgrim series and his masterful OGN Seconds. Here’s a creator where we’re used to getting a big chunk of awesomeness at once but this time, O’Malley opted to do his first monthly series. At long last, the first volume if this #addictedtofabulous tale of Lottie Person is available in trade paperback form.
For those of you living in a superhero bubble, you’re probably wondering, “Who is Lottie Person?” That’s a rather complicated and, thus far, very fun question to answer. Lottie Person is an influential fashion blogger. She has a “[redacted] number of followers and is always on forefront of what’s hot and what’s not. As far as the digital world’s concerned, she’s the epitome of a fun-loving celebrity social media star. Every pic of her is fierce and fabulous. All of her [redacted] followers hang on her every post. Except the reality might be a little less glam-tastic. What the world doesn’t see is that Lottie suffers from ridiculously severe allergies. Which is what makes her the eponymous #Snotgirl. It’s a world of snot, blood, tears, and where nothing is exactly as it appears.
Mr. O’Malley’s brought on a newcomer for art duties in Leslie Hung. While some were at first a little disappointed that he wouldn’t be the one behind the pencils and inks, there’s no denying he’s picked a perfect collaborator to capture the complex and duplicitous world of Lottie Person.
This week we put the spotlight on Rick Remender‘s latest sci-fi sensory overload!
Rick Remender is no stranger to crafting amazing science fiction stories. If you haven’t read FEAR AGENT then you’re missing out on the greatest space western of all-time (yeah, I’m looking at you Firefly and Cowboy Bebop). In 2016 Remender brought us a vast amount of genre treasures in SEVEN TO ETERNITY. This week, the first arc of one of 2016’s best series comes out in trade paperback with an accessible price tag of only $9.99!
Do you love space operas like SAGA? BLACK SCIENCE?PROPHET? Do you love characters whose backs are against the proverbial wall pinned down by overwhelming enemies? Are you a fan of crazy ridiculously beautiful artwork that will expand your mind with new worlds? Then get to know the seven who will hold the fate of a world in their hands with what they do, what secrets they keep, and how fast they can do whatever’s necessary.
A paranoia has spread to every part of the kingdom of Zhal. It destroys like a plague of fear whose source is the God of Whispers. His spies hid in ever hall spreading mistrust, fear, and breeding acts of cruelty that destroy communities and even families. Adam Osidis, a dying knight from a disgraced house is put to a dangerous choice: Will he help a band of hopeless and homeless band of magic users in their attempts to free the world of this evil God? Or will Adam give into what his heart most desires, accepting a promise from the God of Whispers himself. Free the world or free yourself?
Writer RICK REMENDER reteams with collaborators JEROME OPEÑA (UNCANNY X-FORCE, FEAR AGENT) and MATT HOLLINGSWORTH (TOKYO GHOST, WYTCHES) take you down a hard read where men have surrendered their freedom to fear and one last free man is left to choose. Collects SEVEN TO ETERNITY #1-4.
Finally, the next chapter of this Gods among us epic is here!
In case you missed it (if you did, go get a copy of God Country #1 immediately), one of the best new series has its next issue coming out this New Comic Book Day. It’s rare when a book this good comes along. Do you like Southern Bastards? Thor? Epic mythological tales with heartbreaking family drama? Then you’ve no excuse not picking up God Country #2 this week.
Donny Cates (Buzzkill, The Ghost Fleet)might just be making a cult favorite. In the first issue we learned some of the deep and mythology busting secrets of Emmett Quinlan and his family. Having returned home to take care of his aging and mentally deteriorating father, Emmett was putting his wife and child through the ringer. His wife had had enough of Emmett’s dad’s cruelty and Emmett’s stubbornness to put his father in a home where he could be cared for properly. For some reason, still to be further explored, Emmett couldn’t bare to “give up” on his dad. Meanwhile, a twister was getting set to touch down. Little did we know this was no ordinary tornado and that it carried within it the key to unlocking mysteries of Emmett and his father.
After the amazing reveal at the end of the first issue, Emmett will continue to attempt to rebuild his family in the wake of the storm that broke them. Meanwhile, something otherworldly screams through the sky under a banner of war. The Gods have touched down in Texas and they are not going to leave empty handed. Why are you still reading?!?Buy your copy and get in on this at the ground floor.
Not sure if you can make it Wednesday? Sign up for a subscription box and put it on your pull list! This is one journey you don’t want to be left behind for.
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.
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.
What better way to celebrate the birth of the original zombie, Jesus Christ that is, than with a few gifts from the most popular name in the undead genre! I’m talking The Walking Dead baby, or TWD or WD, depending on how lazy I get. Who would have guessed Robert Kirkman’s apocalyptic adventure would become a household name? Not I said the fly…and the fly has been swarming this crew of walkers from day one. So if the fly didn’t see this coming how could anyone possibly have? Lucky for you The Walking Dead just so happens to be our middle name. So take it from us, Forbidden The Walking Dead Planet, we know what that brain muncher in your life wants this holiday season.
Walking Dead Compendium Vol 01 – For starters, did you know Walking Dead was a comic long before it was a hit TV show? Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t, who cares? This Compendium collects the first eight volumes of the comic in one compact super affordable edition. If you never read them, this is by far the best way to start. Only 59.99 for what normally cost more than double that, talk about bang for your buck. So you say they have been with TWD from the start, well then tell your giftee to preserve those back issues and dig in to this big guy next re-read.
Walking Dead Zombie Head Keychain – Picture this! You’re speeding down the street trying to get home to catch the newest episode of The Walking Dead… woop woop woop… you get pulled over. Officer Whatsername leans in and is about to asks for your license and registration when he catches a quick glimmer of light coming off your key ring… “Is that a Walking Dead zombie head dangling from your keys there?” he says. “Why yes it is sir” You answer. His eyes go wide and a smile begins to form “What do you think about Daryl Dixon? Oh dip! You better get going you’re gonna miss the new episode!” Look at that, you just avoided a ticket, points on your license, and possibly a trip down the river if he checked your trunk, and all because you have this Walking Dead Zombie Head Keychain.
Walking Dead TV Series 10 inch Daryl Dixon – Speaking of Daryl Dixon, who wouldn’t wanna wake up on Christmas morning to find a little replica of the man himself under the tree. I’m sure even Norman Reedus would be stoked on this McFarlane made figure.
Rick Grimes Bust Bank – Help that special someone in your life get a head start on saving for next Christmas with this Rick Grimes Bust Bank.
The Walking Dead Chronicles – Expand your knowledge of the AMC television series with this dense official companion book. Filled with behind the scenes photos, story boards, and tons of insider info.
I Heart Zombie Shirt – What better gift for The Walking Dead lover in your life than a shirt that literally expresses ones love for The Walking Dead!
Art of Charlie Adlard HC – They have ever issue of the comic, every toy from the show and a healthy amount of swag… what can I possibly get them that they don’t have? How about this brand new Charlie Adlard art book! The artist behind the comic gets the royal treatment with this sweet deluxe hardcover, packed with sketches, concept art and a pencil to ink comparison of the entire 100th issue of Adlard’s work for TWD. Who wouldn’t want that?
Hope that helps you take a bite out of that shopping list. With this helpful little reference guide you got all walks of Walking Dead fandom covered, from your boob tubers to your book worms. If you got a zombie in your life, we got a way to make them happy. Well… as happy as a zombie could be.
I don’t mean to purposefully draw themes from all the comics I want to talk about each week, but there was a glaringly obvious coincidence between a lot of the wonderful books coming out today (provided you’re reading this today. (Well, today is always today, but my current today is different from your current today, unless you’re somehow reading this right now, then our today’s are in fact the same) But I digress). Crime! Mystery! Seeecrets! These are driving forces in almost any fictional series, but feel particularly prevalent right now. It could be because we’re rounding the final corner into fall, where a trench coat, lit fireplace, and foggy streets feel so inviting.
Find a warm coffee shop, sip your London fog, and get comfy with these intriguing reads:
One of the most highly acclaimed series to come out of the past couple years is Ed Brubaker’s Fatale. Brubaker teams up once again with Sean Phillips, who illustrated their previous award-winning titles Sleeper, Criminal, and Incognito. It’s safe to say that when it comes to the criminal noir genre, they have their sh*t together. Originally published as a 12-issue maxi series, the story blends intense criminal noir with magical realism to bring us the adventures of the ostensibly immortal Josephine as she journeys from the ’30s and upward, running away from gangsters and dark forces alike. The narrative jumps to various perspectives, allowing us to see Jo through different eyes, and occasionally giving us stand-alone stories of other femme fatales in the 1200’s and the old West. There’s a strong sense of classic dames and cigarettes from the plot’s 1930s beginnings, but the inky noir, aided by Phillips’s heavily shadowed art, allows that sense to pervade the story up through modern times. You can catch up by picking up the three TP’s that are currently out, and stop missing out on all the action.
The impending doom of Thanos, and an alien invasion, have Earth’s mightiest heroes scrambling to keep the destruction of Earth at bay. But with their attention elsewhere, Spymaster, and a slew of classic Iron Man baddies, have decided this is the perfect cover to start pulling off heists of epic proportions. Author Frank Tieri has run the gamut on Marvel titles, including New Excalibur, Iron Man, Wolverine, Civil War, and World War Hulk, so he’s no stranger to titles that round-up insanely large teams to do some damage. Tieri, with artist Ramon Bachs, is tapping into the classic heist narrative (duh, you may be thinking, hence the name; suck it, say I) to combine old-school detective and Tony Stark’s classic wit. The focus with this book is the mass villainy that imitates the Oceans 11 (through 13) round-up of characters from the benches who have mad hoop dreams. I.e. Unicorn, Blizzard, Whiplash, Firebrand, Titanium Man, and Whirlwind. I know you’ve been waiting since 1993 to see a mass reunion of these characters.
If you’ve been reading these reviews at all, which is obvious that you have, you know that I’m a big fan of Matt Fraction. It seems like he has his hands all over the comic book world like a horny teenager, which makes his newest series all the more auspicious. SEX CRIMINALS! Because I feel like it needs to be shouted. What happens when two people who can stop time by doing the horizontal hokey-pokey meet up for the first time? They rob banks to raise money for a closing library. Obviously. This is definitely a comedy that borrows from modern sex comic films, and but aims to do more than just titillate your funny bone. Chip Zdarsky pulls a look together that speaks to the lighthearted, and cartoony elements of the story, and aides in getting a youthful side across rather than a book that exclusively creates long-legged and big-boobed characters.* So far this book is pegged as an ongoing series, or a long form mini series, depending on how busy Matt gets while he writes every other single comic title that exists. Basically, two funny dudes writing about sex; there’s not much to lose.
*Apparently ‘legged’ is a grammatically correct term, but ‘boobed’ is not. Interesting…
Finally. Finally, finally, finally. Cameron Stewart’s beautiful web series, Sin Titulo, is finally getting a print release from Dark Horse. One that stays true to its web origins in terms of format, but offers readers the ability to shove this book in their friends hands and make them read it if they haven’t because they should be reading this book. Phew, there. On the outset, this book is about Alex’s journey to discover the importance of a mysterious blonde woman found in the photos that belonged to his grandfather. The journey takes him unexpectedly down a rabbit hole that is filled with shady people, ghostly haunts, and a murder charge. Described as noir fantasy, Stewart employs slightly surreal instances, served between realistic moments that make us question what we just read, but except these moments as disorientating fact. Such a psychological journey is made that much more haunting through the minimally colored tones, and expert use of negative space. The world of Sin Titulo is engaging, and Stewart urges to pull you straight down the rabbit hole with Alex.
It’s hard to imagine this scenario happening: 30 Days of Night runs for 10 years on IDW; Criminal Macabre’s main character, Cal McDonald, appears off and on since 1990 mainly with Dark Horse and later with IDW; IDW allows author Steve Niles to kill off the 30 Days series in a publisher crossover battle between Cal and the vampire Eben Olemaun, culminating in a new Criminal Macabre ongoing series called ‘Eyes of Frankenstein’, that will continue Cal’s life post battle, which will be put out by Dark Horse. Hard to imagine, but it all happened. And I, for one, am so glad it did. Cal is an occult detective that drinks too much, does too many drugs, and seems to never really get it together, except when he’s kicking ass by solving paranormal cases. Eben has left Cal broken physically and mentally, and this news series follows Cal trying to slowly pull himself together, or at least pull himself out of the bottle. One of the things that will help him achieve that is his newest case. Frankenstein’s monster has lost his eyesight, due to a new disease that has ghouls falling ill and dropping deader than before. The new series brings back favorites from the universe, and introduces new faces promising to aid Cal in his search for healing and truth. Featuring art by “Wasteland’s” Christopher Mitten, this mini-series is the perfect introduction to your new favorite world of crime, drugs, and ghouls.
On Wednesday the 24th of July at Forbidden Planet, artist/writer Ulises Farinas (Catalyst Comix, Transformers: Heart of Darkness, House of Mystery) and Erick Fretias will be in store signing copies of their new book GAMMAfrom Dark Horse on the day of its release!
You don’t want to miss this one folks, trust us. It’s going to be crazier than Ulises’ art (which is effin beautiful)! Pre-orders available here.
Writer Brandon Montclare and artist Amy Reeder were kind enough to drop by the shop last night and sign all our copies of their new one-shot comic, Halloween Eve. Pick yours up from FP at no extra charge while supply lasts!
Eve has an imagination that’s more than active – it can be downright dangerous! Working late at the costume super-store Halloween Land, she gets lost in her own thoughts until something goes bump in the night. The rubber masks and plastic novelties are coming to life, and Eve must face ghosts, goblins, and gorilla suits made real. High fantasy and heartbreak in an oversized holiday one-shot by Brandon Montclare (Fear Itself: Fearsome Four) and Eisner Award nominee Amy Reeder (Batwoman, Madame Xanadu).
SAGA, by Brian K. Vaughan (Y the Last Man, Ex Machina) and Fiona Staples (North 40) is one of the hottest comics of 2012 and on October 10th the first six-issue story arc is being collected in one trade paperback for a paltry $9.99! That’s six comics for ten dollarinos (in the parlance of Navin R. Johnson).
BUT… Forbidden Planet NYC is Saga HQ, so to celebrate the TP release of this critically-acclaimed series we’re offering two HUGE incentives to buy your copy from us.
In-store:Saga Volume 1 will be on sale for 15% OFF through October 17th AND… AND… The first 100 customers to purchase this graphic novel will receive a voucher for a FREE copy of issue #7, redeemable the first week of that comic’s release* (tentatively scheduled for 11/14/12)!!!
Online:Saga Volume 1 will be on sale for 30% OFF through October 17th!
Why would you wanna pick up your copy from anyone other than Forbidden Planet?!
For the G.I. JoeRetaliation line, it seems like Hasbro has been making a big push for the ninjas. You know, as if they never did that before. As a result, we’re getting all sorts of toys released with “ninja” somewhere on the package, regardless of whether or not it makes sense. But hey, most of the time, just slapping a word like that onto a package doesn’t really hurt anything. The days of Ninja Force and the like are thankfully behind us, and it looks like we won’t have to deal with action features anymore. Thank god.
For the next three reviews, I’m going to be covering each figure in one of the first two “G.I. Joe Ninja” sets, the Dojo set, featuring Kamakura, Roadblock, and Beachhead. I’ll be starting with the set’s actual ninja, Kamakura.
Kamakura was one of the few (only?) characters from G.I. Joe’s short-lived affair with Image/Devil’s Due comics to get his own figure. It’s a shame he was all we got, as I would have loved a figure of Firewall. We do have Zanya now, however, but there are still many others that deserve figures. Since he received his first figure in 2003, he’s become a mainstay in G.I. Joe as a whole, and you know something? I quite like him.
Kamakura’s last figure was released during Rise of Cobra. Unfortunately, he was possibly the rarest figure in the line and now fetches quite a premium on the aftermarket. Let’s just say I REALLY regret turning him down the time I saw him for $12 in a CVS…
The parts on this figure come from a rather off assortment of figures. The torso and upper legs come from everyone’s favorite Storm Shadow (30th Anniversary), the head and hood come from Resolute Storm Shadow, and the arms and lower legs from that Tornado Kick Snake Eyes figure that is best left forgotten. If I didn’t know better, I would have taken this figure for a Night Creeper.
That’s mostly due to his rather odd choice of colors, however. They’re very reminiscent of the Night Creeper figures from the Spytroops/Valor vs. Venom Era. It’s not a BAD color scheme per se, it just doesn’t suit Kamakura. Maybe if it was greener it would… Continue reading →