Tagged: New York

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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Quality Control

Wisegeek.com describes quality control as:

…a process employed to ensure a certain level of quality in a product or service. It may include whatever actions a business deems necessary to provide for the control and verification of certain characteristics of a product or service. The basic goal of quality control is to ensure that the products, services, or processes provided meet specific requirements and are dependable, satisfactory, and fiscally sound… The goal of a quality control team is to identify products or services that do not meet a company’s specified standards of quality. If a problem is identified, the job of a quality control team or professional may involve stopping production temporarily. Depending on the particular service or product, as well as the type of problem identified, production or implementation may not cease entirely.

Through the course of decades in business, thousands of brand names purveyed, and millions of products carried, Forbidden Planet has encountered some of the best Quality Control the geek world has ever known. Manufacturers/publishers such as Nintendo, Fanatgraphics, Fantasy Flight Games, Ultra Pro, and Kotobukiya are reliable stalwarts whose products’ mere mention provoke an assured mental picture of quality, dependability, durability, etc. In a world of “buyer beware” such lofty standards are all too commonly thrown out the window in service of greed, or laziness, or a quick easy buck.

While this column is often concerned with shaking up the Yoo-Hoo can, jumping into the plasma pool, and acclimating us all to changing this entropic world, there’s something very positive to be said about knowing whatch’re gonna get out of something. That one can be secure in a purchase. The kind of knowledge that when one buys a “Super Mario” game one is pretty much assured A) it ain’t gonna break on you, nor will it be defective out of the box and B) the value in what you’re purchasing is worth it. That Mario game’s almost assuredly going to be be fun, and give you many hours of pleasure it has that nifty little Nintendo seal of quality.

Remember: Quality control.

So, didja watch the Giants of New York win the Super Bowl? Helluva game. While I’m more of a baseball guy, I nevertheless got real kicks watching football this year. And the season’s climax was, like I said, one helluva game. Some friends and family and I got together to eat a mountain of crappy food, consume many flagons of mead, have a few laughs… just as many a household did this past Sunday. I’ll even admit the spectacular win by Big Blue was enough to warrant a few high fives from gentlemen not normally of the “High Fivin’ White Guy” ilk. Namely me.

The commercials, as much a draw as the actual game itself for most viewers, were however a great source of consternation and disgust for me. One, produced by Dan Wieden and David Kennedy, more so than any I’d suffered in a long time. One in which the Thanksgiving Day balloons of Underdog and Stewie (from Family Guy) vie desperately for a balloon Coca-Cola bottle, its refreshing goodness and sugary caffeine nectar so desirable as to send them bouncing around the city recklessly. All of a sudden a third character rises from the concrete jungle to win the prize.

Charlie Brown.

The commercial ends with him catching the Coke. You could say I was shocked and appalled. You could say dogs and cats living together. You could say mass hysteria.

Now, I’m under no illusions that the Peanuts characters’ likenesses have been lent out to endorse millions of items before, but I cannot recall their character ever having been so soullessly compromised- never so callously, odiously- in the service of corporate advertising. Charlie Brown never kicks the football, doesn’t grow up to marry the Little Redheaded Girl, and sure as shit doesn’t get the Coke!!! Charles Schulz never intended him to win.

Am I outraged by the applause and accolades ignorant TV/Commercial pundits (and a nation so obsessed with the underdog coming out on top that they must proclaim “nobody believed we could do it” as inspiring motivation for damned near everything as simple as breathing) have heaped upon this abomination? Yep. Should I lighten up on this one? Maybe. Do I wish everyone involved in this commercial (including whoever on the Schulz side signed off on this) had better respect, judgement, and quality control of the charge the property’s late creator bestowed upon them? Betcher bottom dollar.

You gotta have standards, kids.

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