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,




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