Tagged: We3

U.D.’s Review-Dees, Episode 2

FLEX MENTALLO: Man of Muscle Mystery, Grant Morrison (W), Frank Quitely (A), DC

Like the best puzzles, Flex Mentallo can be viewed at many angles. Let’s start on the surface and dive deep.

Flex Mentallo is the bizarre debut of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, the creative team who will go on to create the sensational, yet haunting, We3, All Star Superman, Earth 2 and many other fine titles. It features a leopard bikini-briefs wearing muscleman, who is essentially Charles Atlas, made mystic as he attempts to find his super-hero buddies in order to stop the end of the world.

Layered on top of this adventure is the suicide hotline confessions of a rock star and comic book writer processing his need for comics, rooted in his unhappy childhood, and increasingly questioning the place for such happy-go-lucky faire in today’s reality.

This comic book creator IS the creator of Flex, our erstwhile protagonist, and in his pill-induced death-throes he begs for the superheroes of his youth to save him from his present.

Is Flex’s quest to save the world really about rescuing his creator from himself? Does the entire story take place in the dying mind of a scared twenty-something?

Yes, and no. You’d need a PHD to fully grasp everything going on here.

See, the graphic novel Flex Mentallo is also Grant Morrison’s post-Watchmen dissertation on the state of the comic book industry, as well as a treatise on the origins of ideas and the nature of multiple realities.

Within the context of Flex Mentallo, the graphic novel is a self-contained reality trying to bleed into our universe in order to save itself from destruction. The fictional characters within plead that they are alive, that they want to live, and they intend to bring about a regenesis for themselves by introducing their world into your head as fiction to awaken when you, the reader, become shaman enough to give them physical life in your own reality. Continue reading

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Grant Morrison MBE

Grant Morrison, a writer of trashy “funny-books,” has been made a Member of the British Empire. The decline of Western civilization now seems to be complete.

Morrison is not properly English, nor of gentle birth, having been born to Scottish commoners.  In fact, his father was an active dissident, so deranged as to protest against the construction of direly needed nuclear weapons.

A fan of the Christ-hating John Lennon, Morrison wasted his youth playing in a “rock group,” before achieving fame in the torrid underworld of comic-books.  He has since written hateful screeds against sexual repression, monotony, the joys of wage slavery, and even consensus reality itself – not to mention our beloved Archons – in such works as Doom Patrol, Animal Man, The Invisibles, Kill Your Boyfriend, the Filth, New X-Men, We3 and All-Star Superman.  During this time, he wallowed in the sins of cross-dressing and drug use, communed with extra-terrestrials of unknown origin, and honed his skills in the black arts of Chaos Magic.

There is no future.  And England is dreaming.

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It’s Like Some Wonderful Dream

A few books that were, cosmically speaking, never supposed to see print will be released in the next couple of weeks, giving everybody a chance to get lucky with some amazing reads. While we’re at it, NOW would be a good time to buy a lottery ticket, apply for a job you aren’t, strictly, qualified for and confess your love to a distant crush.

If these comics are finally being released then GOD must have decided to cut all of us a break. Time to push our luck!

SHARKNIFE VOL 1 & Vol 2, Corey “Rey” Lewis, Oni Press

The 2005 first edition of Oni Press’s head turning manga, Sharknife, has an ad in the back promising that Sharknife Vol. 2 would be out in the fall of that year.

It is finally being released this week, as well as a reprint of the first volume. What is this book, why was it so delayed and why should you care?

Corey Lewis is an annoyingly cute cartoonist with a fantastic, frantic style amped up to 11 on energy drinks and pixie sticks. His work is so hip it has to wear a MuuMuu to be comfortable. He’s done some work here and there, most noticeably in UDON’s Street Fighter and Rival Schools titles. He had a fun graphic novel out many moons ago called Peng, about (and remember I did warn you about the hipsterness) a winner-take-all kung-fu ninja Kick-ball tournament.

He lives in Seattle and freely admits that he dropped the ball.

Sharknife was an impressive debut book for the then 22 year old Lewis. Followers of Scott Pilgrim would find the tone and material familiar…Lewis and Pilgrim’s creator Bryan Lee O’Malley were good buddies and positively influenced each other’s work. Lewis stated that, after his debut, he let down his productivity because he thought he had his foot in the door…only to realize that the job was about sustaining momentum, NOT breaking in.

The book focuses on a busboy at a funky Chinese food restaurant constantly under attack from video game monsters. The protagonist can transform into Sharknife, the spikey elbowed brawler who beats these beasties back to win the love of the Owner’s daughter.

It is LESS romantic than Scott Pilgrim, with FAR less angst. It does come off as more fun and genuine. If you like romance, video games, fighting, noodles, monsters slick cartooning than Sharknife is a must read. Continue reading

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Comics Gud. Gud Comics, Take Comics Home.

You are in luck, my friend, as there are so many AMAZING comic books out this week that you could probably buy one at random and still get somethin’ snazzy! Still, my job as a Forbidden Planet columnist is to provide you with some professional perspective to guide the dart of your paycheck towards that big red bulls-eye of a great read.  Please consider the following:

Too Much Coffee Man Omnibus, Shannon Wheeler (W/A), Dark Horse

Back in my day “Hipster” was called “Grunge” and there were several great comics out detailing the finer points of Grunge anthropology. Peter Bagge’s brilliant “Buddy” and “Hate” comics spring to mind, as does Shannon Wheeler’s Too Much Coffee Man.

Too Much Coffee Man is the café culture’s zeitgeist, an armchair super hero who worries about the universe’s gestalt while sipping mocha with his friends Too Much Expresso Man and Too Much German White Chocolate With Almonds Girl. Yes, really.

They don’t fight much crime, but they do ponder their place in the vast quandary that is human existence…and it’s really flippin’ funny! The TMCM Omnibus from Dark Horse collects a snot load of this good stuff for a cheap-oh price! Pick this book up and drop it on your lavatory cistern for easy retro-cool credibility.

Secret Society of Super Villains HC, Various (W/A), DC

When you’re done feeling all erudite and superior after that last book, bring it back to basics with this collection of Super-villains punching brightly colored dufi in their collected bread baskets!

Secret Society of Super Villains HC is a gorgeous, full color reprint edition of silver age comics featuring silly DC villains trying their darndest to get the upper hand on their good-guy foils. It will be weird, it will be stupid, it will be silly…but it sure won’t be boring!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Continue reading

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An Evening with Frank Quitely

Coming this Tuesday, April 5th…  comic artist superstar Frank Quitely (We3, Batman and Robin) in conversation with Jose Villarrubia (Conan, Batman Year 100) a few blocks away from Forbidden Planet!

Frank Quitely Conversation Event CBLDF Forbidden Planet NYC Wonder-Con

Forbidden Planet’s hawking advance tickets in-store.  They’re also available from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, who have prints and signed postcards to commemorate the event.

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New Comics We’ll Love To Read

By Devin T. Quin

We pick our favorites for various reasons. Maybe we remember an enjoyable road trip as a kid with tons of Spider-Man comic books, thus a fascination with the wacky-wall walker ever since. Maybe a deranged baker trapped us in a house of pies one summer and the only way we escaped was by weaving shredded copies of Batman, which he intended us to use as bedding, into a rope ladder.

Whatever your reasoning, we do love our comic books.

AUTEUR

There are some creators that can make us fall in love with comic books all over again! One such creative genius was Mike Mignola, who’s red skinned, gun-toting monster slayer Hellboy pumped a good deal of new cash and interest into a flagging market and captures the flavor for the next ten years.

Mike is rich and powerful now, so the latest Hellboy collection, available this week and titled Hellboy Vol. 10 Crooked Man and Others is not drawn by the man himself. You’ll get some other fantastic artists, most notable Richard Corben and Duncan Fegredo, but does the collection loose points for not flowing exclusively from Mignola’s pen? Continue reading

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