Monday, April 23, 2007

Let's Broaden Our Minds

I sit writing this in San Francisco, chilly, crisp and rainy town right now. I'm here for the Alternative Press Expo to check out new product, shore up some relationships, and generally bring you guys some exciting stuff in the weeks to come. My time here's brought such an odd sense of perspective. It's easy to lose focus amidst all the Civil Wars and 52s of fandom currently out there. Easy to forget that this store's print roots were firmly steeped in the small press. That Dan Clowes once remarked that the only place he could find Love & Rockets in college was Forbidden Planet. Sure we always carried a ton of indie stuff, but there's so much talent out there, so many great things being released, and so much on its way. Though most of the stuff we carry- science fiction and comics and weirdo art books- could technically be considered alternative press (let's face it- fandom ain't necessarily pullin in Oprah numbers just yet) I encourage you to try something new every time you're here. Buy a $2 mini, try a title you've read about, or ask for an insider recommendation. The FP is poised, once again, to be at the forefront of cutting-edge alternative press outlets in New York. Come on board for the big win.

Johnny Hiro #1

by Fred Chao. Newcomer Chao illustrates the first completely ludicrous adventure of Johnny Hiro, Asian-American Brooklynite, thrust into a manic race to save his girlie from Gozadilla, revenge seeking monster. The monster could be a little more bodacious, but Chao's art- from his characters' wildly expressive hands and faces to his nifty panel structure and whimsical storytelling- carries the book well. Also, special guest appearnces are made by Super A-Ok Robot, a terrific Voltron/Japanese robot team send-up, and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. That's right: Johnny Hiro guest stars Mike Bloomberg!!! It's a delight, kids, and after long introspection I shan't blow it for you, nor quote it. Just know it's a hoot. Finally, there's a scant three things I can clearly remember from me school days: How to mess myself up chemically, personality goes a long way in this life, and if you're reviewing/critiquing something it's not enough to say, "Uh yeah, I really liked it." Screw that. I really liked this funny book. A bargain for $2.95.

Windy Corner Magazine #1

by Mr. Austin English and various. Each issue looks to feature serialized episodes of English's "Life of Francis" and "My Earliest Memory" stories. #1 also showcases an in depth interview with cartoonist Andrice Arp, paintings by Paula Salemme, an essay on art school by Steve Lafler, and a stunning 10 page comic about Saul Steinberg from Lumakick artist and Forbidden Planet buddy Richard Hahn. We like Richard and he likes Star Trek. Austin and his magazine can stick around, too.

King Cat Classix HC

His name is John Porcellino and you might remember him from such anthologies as McSweeney's #13, and his book Perfect Example. Coming from the self-publishing and zine movement of the early '90s, Porcellino's terse minimalism focuses on the smallest of details, revealing a wealth of meaning and emotion in everyday events that most of us overlook in our daily hustle and bustle. Since 1989, he has released over 65 issues of his self-published comic King-Cat Comics and Stories. This large collection focuses on the first fifty issues, with extensive endnotes, an index, and selections of all the extra ephemera that makes an individual issue of King-Cat its own unique experience - essays, articles, stories, and letters from friends.


by Jason Shiga, America's most numerate cartoonist! The Eisner-Award winning creator of the genius Fleep and Double Happiness returns with this terrific diddy. What's the story? Special Agent Bay and his team of Library Police put the kebosh on freelance censors and mastermind book thieves Joe Friday-style. A freelance censor is a library patron with a grudge that tears material out of multiple copies of the same book at different branches. The mastermind book baddy would be "Kettle Stitch," Bay's newest and most befuddling adversary- always one step ahead and in possession of a rare book lifted from the Oakland PL. The book features wall to wall lunacy and facts and numbers only a true book lover has any right to know. Shiga's the king of weird comics for smart people. "Do you know what they do to book thieves up at Santa Rita?"

Bart Simpsons Comics #35

Buy some Simpsons comics for you and/or your kids. For the hell of it. That's all.

"I'm a bad man! I shook up the world!"
-Muhammad Ali
Go and do likewise ladies and gents,



Wednesday, April 11, 2007


We here in New York are quite simply in the watery throes of a rather nasty rain storm. Monsoonish, even. Or so the news would have those of us mired in this muck believe. Me? It's just a little rain. I know parts of Jersey and Long Island have been submerged, literally, but this island Manhattan resembled something out of DMZ this past Sunday. Nary a soul insight. Nor a smile. What a downer. We at the Planet were dutifully manning our action stations, anticipating your every sciffy need, and we ended up cleaning the store, ordering books, and scratching each other's back.And I thought... Hey! This is the perfect day for the customers what can't deal with crowds to be here. They could have the run of the store, shop unimpeded, relax.Hey! I could tell FP customers the times to shop when it's dead. So: Sunday mornings, Mondays after 7pm, Thursday lunchtime, Wednesday after 10pm. So drop by these times If you like shopping FP without having to step on the heads of a sea of people to get to the Manga section. See ya then.

Wonder Woman the Greatest Stories Ever Told TP

Wonder Woman

For the Wonder-curious, the world's greatest super-heroine gets the Greatest Hits treatment. This is whatcha need if you've never read an exploit of DC's first lady, as it contains her origin story and a bevy of skirmishes with her unique rogues gallery. Or perhaps you'd like to introduce somebody to her comic book adventures as opposed to her cultural signifigance on TV and underwear. Ya see, there are these things called comic books and Wonder Woman's been a character in 'em for, like, 66 years now. So there you go and now you know.

Will and Abe's Guide to the Universe

Will and Abe

By Matt Groening. This book really came out some days ago, but I neglected to mention it as a pick and/or give it a proper weisenheimer blurb. I do so now: Many of us have given the creations of Matt Groening years of our time and attention, not to mention the buckets of our money that have been driven via dumptruck to his front door. Now this guy comes asking us for 13 bucks more?! WTF? The nerve of this guy! Here's the catch- Mr. Groening might be one of the funniest and talented cartoonists of all time. Take away the Simpsons and Futurama and all that jazz, and whatta you got left? Life in Hell, aka damn good comic strips. Here he takes the ramblings of his creatively twisted children and rolls with 'em. My copy is one day into its reading and my knee is already starting to bruise.

The Salon

The Salon

by Nick Bertozzi. The beginnnings of art's cubist movement, starring Pablo Picasso & Georges Braque in the early 20th Century, The Salon is one of the sexiest original graphic novels we've received in months. While the subject matter sounds like an art history class you'd wanna ditch, the author keeps it tight and interesting, including a bizarre yet welcomingly weird choice to introduce an Morrison-esque element of the paranormal to the story- a blue liquid those crazy artist kids use to jump into and interact with their paintings... to solve a murder mystery, of course!(???) The amazing art of Bertozzi (The Masochists, Rubber Necker) is vibrant and exhilarating as ever, and I'm totally in love with his use of color. I know that sounds like pretentious tripe, but them's colors are damn awesome! Brilliant, but the book fetishist in me can't get down with the flaps on the cover. They end up folding the book about 3" from the endpages, grating the dork in me to the point of wishing I'd paid more for a proper hardcover that doesn't exist. Speaking of which.....

Houdini: The Handcuff King

The Salon

also by Nick Bertozzi (a) and Jason Lutes (w). Cheap hardcover by two of the form's masters detailing the escape artist's handcuffed jump into the Charles River. This, too, was released a few days ago, but as they say on my planet- se la vi. For those of you who don't own this yet- shame on you. Buy it at Forbidden Planet ASAP, cause we got books and books and books and books!

It would appear I, too, am not Spock,



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