Tuesday, July 31, 2007


One tumultuous and laborious year later and The Weekly Planet's still chugging along. You're currently reading the one year anniversary issue of this publication; fifty two weeks of deadlines, occasional flubs and frippery to be sure, but also fifty two weeks of (mostly) good times and (hopefully) some useful insight, recommendations, and hahas.

Just as I did with DC's weekly event, 52, I've dutifully collected every issue of the WP and there's some geeky symmetry to that fact -- both publications took the collaborative talents of a good many people to be published weekly, both amusingly frustrated me to no end, and yet, both of them have provided me with hours of entertainment.

I look at my WP issues with healthy cringes at typos and and half-hearted efforts, but also with pride and amusement at the Halloween issue, or a contributor's jackass pun or witty turn of phrase. The pull quote from Thanksgiving comes to mind: "Star Trek can't get down with your mom's gravy."

Which leads me to this: Thank You, dear reader. Thanks for taking the time and the bother to read the Weekly Planet. Whenever I get that feeling that our efforts are in vain, one of you guys or gals come in the store and ask for a back issue you missed, or for some graphic novel I recommended two weeks back. Thank you for making it worthwhile, thank you for your kind words, and thanks for keeping the dialogue going (you kids are always welcome -- and you do -- to let me know I steered you wrong on a recommendation, or to discuss your favorite robots, etc.). It's easy to think, "I'm too busy this week. I can miss an issue." But your dedication keeps it an impossibility.

Our first issue was given only to members of our subscription service. It was pathetic, being a paltry letter to those customers, with listings of new books and taking three employees (myself included) five hours to botch, look like chimps, and copy. These days the Weekly Planet's seen the world over on our website, has a print-run in the thousands, features guest artists and writers, and is bursting at the seams so much so we'll need a bigger page count by fall. Wow.

I strongly urge you to use the coupon on the back of the printed version of this issue. It's a celebratory sale in honor of our anniversary, featuring deeper discounts for anyone who can bring in a copy of the Weekly Planet's #2-10, and a downright terrific discount for you kids who can show us your copy of issue #1. Start digging!

Coming next week: San Diego Comic-Con report.

Releasing 8/1/07 Shopping List:

World War Hulk #3
Transformers Best Of Don Figueroa HC
Whiteout Vol 1 Definitive Ed TP
Ride Home GN
Metal Men #1
Johnny Ryan's XXX Scumbag Party TP

Berlin #13

As I wrote in issue #1, Thank you always for your committed patronage,

Rock. Roll.



Whoaaa dude! Happy birthday Weekly Planet. 52 issues, a whole year's worth. Can you believe we made it? I know we're just a baby but I feel like we've gone through a lot this past year. Plenty of quality reading for you kids... Remember Jeff's favorite robots? Or how about Juan's list of annoying questions he gets on a daily basis?

In the tradition of some of my favorite articles that have graced these pages I'm going to leave you with a list of 52 must-see movies (In no particular order). Now you have a recommendation a week for the rest of the year from an bonafied home viewing expert. Theres no reason for you to ever spend countless hours in your local video store wondering what to rent or buy again. So without further ado...
1. Evil Dead 2 (1982) Sam Raimi
2. This is Spinal Tap (1984) Rob Reiner
3. The Warriors (1979) Walter Hill
4. Repo Man (1984) Alex Cox
5. The Toxic Avenger (1984) Llyod Kaufman

6. The Thing (1982) John Carpenter
7. Suspiria (1977) Dario Argento
8. Night Of The Creeps (1986) Fred Dekker
9. Dawn Of The Dead (2004) Zack Snyder
10. Frankenhooker (1990) Frank Henenlotter
11. Street Trash (1987) J. Michael Muro
12. City Of Lost Children (1995) Jean-Pierre Jeunet
13. Wild At Heart (1990) David Lynch
14. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin
15. They Live (1988) John Carpenter
16. Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) James Whale
17. Critters (1986) Stephen Herek
18. Return Of The Living Dead Part 2 (1988) Ken Wiederhorn
19. Battle Royale (2000) Kinji Fukasaku
20. Feast (2005) John Gulager
21. Oldboy (2003) Chan-wook Park
22. Blood Diner (1987) Jackie Kong
23. Basket Case (1982) Frank Henenlotter
24. Big Trouble In Little China (1986) John Carpenter
25. Space Balls (1987) Mel Brooks
26. The Devil's Rejects (2005) Rob Zombie
27. The Host (2006) Joon-ho Bong
28. Where The Buffalo Roam (1980) Art Linson
29. Super Troopers (2001) Jay Chandrasekhar
30. Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) Peter Hewitt
31. Slither (2006) James Gunn
32. Cabin Fever (2002) Eli Roth
33. Versus (2000) Ryuhei Kitamura
34. Re-Animator (1985) Stuart Gordon
35. Bad Taste (1987) Peter Jackson
36. River's Edge (1986) Tim Hunter
37. The Gate (1987) Tibor Takács
38. Troll 2 (1990) Claudio Fragasso
39. Hot Fuzz (2007) Edgar Wright
40. Groundhog Day (1993) Harold Ramis
41. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985) Tim Burton

42. UHF (1989) Jay Levey
43. A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) Chuck Russell
44. High Tension (2003) Alexandre Aja
45. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987) Rodney Amateau
46. Blood Sucking Freaks (1976) Joel M.Reed
47. Escape From New York (1981) John Carpenter
48. The Beast Within (1982) Philippe Mora

49. Ghost Dog (1999) Jim Jarmusch
50. Nick Of Time (1995) John Badham
51. Chinese Super Ninjas (1982) Cheh Chang
52. Trick Or Treat (1986) Charles Martin Smith

So There you have it, 52 suggestions to keep you busy for the next year. Don't be shy guys, let me know what you think of them. You can always drop me a line at "Mattdfpnyc@covad.net".

- Matt D.



So there I was last week, glued to the Internet looking for news from the San Diego Comic-Con like all of us comic geeks, unfortunate enough to be unable to go. As a big Spidey fan, the one thing I was anticipating the most was the official announcement that Dan Slott (She-Hulk, The Thing) would be one of the four new writers of The Amazing Spider-Man, which will be moving to a three-times-a-month schedule starting with issue #546. (I say "official" because Slott getting the job was probably the worst kept secret in comics.)

So anyway, the announcement gets made online, I'm giggling like a schoolgirl and reading the rest of the article when I come across good news of a different sort -- Bob Gale, another of the announced writers and the man who gave the world Marty McFly, plans on bringing back footnote captions and thought balloons. As he puts it:
"These are tools we have in comics that aren't available in other media, so I want to take advantage of them. Let's celebrate what we can do in comics, and not pretend like we're doing movies on paper."
Amen, Mr. Gale. Amen. I've been hoping for the return of these tools, along with cover dialogue and splash pages (whatever happened to them?) for quite a while now. Sadly, they've been deemed too "hokey" or "outdated" to be used in an art form that has been struggling for legitimacy for nearly its entire existence.

Well, screw that. I want them back, and not just for reasons of nostalgia. Thought balloons let us into a character's head in a more direct way than most movies (voiceover narrations are a very hit-or-miss affair in movies; they can come off as forced and clumsy as bad use of thought balloons). Captions give readers information they may need to follow a story or tell them where to get that information.

In my last article I made a joke about not knowing what S.H.I.E.L.D. stood for anymore. You can bet that wasn't the case when I was a kid and that little box in the corner said, *Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law Enforcement Division, and appeared in every third Marvel comic.

I could go on, and probably will in the future, but I think you know where I stand. Used properly, all these things are NOT corny, but are what separates our funnybooks from all the other ways people pass the time. Embrace what comics are capable of, and be proud of it. After all, does it make any sense to be embarrassed by thought balloons while you're reading about flying people in tights who punch things real good?

- Ken Ip


Monday, July 30, 2007

Welcome to Shibuya-cho

So by now they've hammered home that this is our annual issue. But I've only been writing for eight weeks, so we'll forego the celebration for now. But don't fret, I have other news to be excited about. Now is the time for Air Gear! This past week the fourth DVD was released, which got me happy like Cooking Mama when you score 100%. But in case that wasn't enough to make me squeal, volume 5 of the manga is out this week with a beautiful shot of Agito on the cover. (That would be the crazy one.)

Okay now, for those who are reading this and thinking, "Huh?"; Air Gear is the second series by the artist Oh! Great (whose first series was the awesome Tenjho Tenge). Notorious for his fan service for the boys and the girls, Air Gear keeps up the tradition, only with better art (which should happen after ten years of drawing books).

So welcome to the world of AirTreks -- futuristic rollerblades that have small kinetic engines which allow you to go faster the more you impact against them. The new wheels allow you to catch ridiculous air, and ride up the sides of buildings. When Itsuki (Ikki) discovers the allure of AirTreks, he can't stop trying to soar... and trying to sneak panty shots. When he forms his own team and goes for the top, will the 8 keepers of the 8 paths reveal themselves to clip his wings; or help him fly?

Yeah, I know I got a bit corny at the end there, but that's what happens with a series I love. So action, testosterone, and wackiness ensue. And you don't have to be a rollerblader like me to fall in love with it. Seriously, I've seen proof! Happy fifty-two to us, and see you next time!

Ja ne!
Mat K.


X-Men: Evolution

In my younger days I used to sport a stache. No, not really but I used to watch a bunch of cartoons. Batman: the Animated Series and such, but one always escaped me: X-Men Evolution. During the last con, I decided to buy the whole series. Twenty-five dollars -- practically a steal. I finally finished the series, and guess what? I loved it. Now of course, since I loved it, all my co-workers hated it. Go figure.

Anyone who knows me knows me knows what I'm about. I guess some of you don't, so let me tell you. This is change, growth, evolution... see the tie-in? All great T.V, cartoons and novels show growth. To grow with the characters is one of those little perks we have as readers or T.V watchers. I mean, why bother unless we're on the inside track?

Try not to laugh when I tell you this. One of my favorite movies is "Good Will Hunting". especially because of when the character of Robin Williams explains to Matt Damon his definition of love and what he misses about his wife most is her masterful flatulence. He misses those little intimate moments that only he knows about. Those secrets that she chose not to share with the world. That inside track that only he knows.

That is what we crave. That's what makes us avid fans. When we grow with a show in any media -- books, movies, T.V. -- we feel privileged. That is why there is so much geek-on-geek violence: "Remember episode 25 when he said --" "I know, you mean episode 24. No, if I meant episode 24, I would have said it." We love to grow with a show. Quick, mentally list your favorite shows. Now, think: is what I said true? Did you not see the characters evolve, change?

Anyway, back to X-Men. When I was younger, I saw the first season. It was okay. A couple years later, I saw some of the third season to discover some of the New Mutants characters were involved. I loved the New Mutants -- some of Chris Clairmont's best stuff. The Demon Bear Saga ruled. Some of you reading New X-Men might have heard of the Darkchylde. So I was steaming mad when I saw those characters, knowing I missed the intro episodes. Now seeing the whole shabang, I am definitely a better human being for it.

This animated series was so visually ahead of its time that the X-Men movies heavily borrowed from it. Even some scenes. The final season plot and the final X-Men movie both share the same ideas. Forget about Sabretooth, it's like he was lifted from the animated series and placed in the movie. To see this show was a real joy to an X-men fan like me. The relationships between Scott and Jean, the clever introduction of classic heroes such as Forge. To finally see a cool Gambit was a treat.

So comic people, go to that computer and download some episodes. Hell we might even carry some, hehe...

So until She-Hulk sleeps with Juggernaut again, make mine Marvel.

It happened, swear to god.

- Javier Rodriguez


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 013

UnkieDev: The Creeps 002

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Welcome to Shibuya-Cho

I know you love it so I figured I would start this week by letting you all know that Berserk v.18 is in on Wednesday this week. I mention this because people have been asking almost every day for two weeks. I gotta say, Berserk has actually been coming out pretty frequently compared to how it used to be (not to mention other Dark Horse manga titles *cough* HellSing *cough*).

Ooh! And in the world of toys and stuff, this past week we got a surprise item. Apparently we were able to get in this really awesome statue of Ryuk from Death Note. He's done up all in vinyl and a fur collar, and of course expertly painted in that special way only Japanese toy companies care to do in his dark blues and grays. From his perched base to his head the statue is about 12" tall (though he is sitting hunched over with his arms dangling). Here's the fun part. He comes with detachable wings that stretch out way over his head. And should you want to take them off, he also comes with a back plate that covers the holes the wings plug into. Overall a really nice piece for only a hundred bucks.

And finally, calendar season has arrived folks. I know you're thinking to yourself, "But it's only July." But you know as well as I do that you'll only put it off and suddenly it's April 2008 and you figure to hell with it, you'll wait 'til next year. That being said, now's the time! So far we've gotten a super cute Domo-kun calendar, a nifty new Inu Yasha one (which is much better than last years if you ask me), and an awesome new Bleach calendar. Of course there will be plenty more to come. Also of course, we have a bunch of non-anime calendars in the other parts of the store, but this is "Welcome to Shibuya-cho" for a reason. We don't talk about that stuff here. So use this time to pick up a new series, or catch up on a series you're lagging behind in. 'til next week!

Ja Ne!
Mat K.



Whoopie de doo, it's finally here!!! The DVD Gods have listened to my prayers and delivered better than what ever deity it is that you worship. Now before I continue mocking your religion let me explain all the hub-bub. As a child I spent alot of time watching TV, but not your average serialized crapola i.e. He-Man and Thundercats like most kids at the time. I was more into the after noon and late late movies.

It's through these programs that my tastes were formed. Experiencing quality cinema like Critters, The Jerk, Repo Man and Big Trouble In Little China over and over again. One of the most memorable of these flicks were Fred Dekker's The Monster Squad. A group of kid monster enthusiasts save the world from impending doom by battling it out with Dracula, Wolfman, and all our other favorite Universal Monsters. It's kinda like The Goonies, but with nards.

Monster Squad T-Shirts Available Now at Forbidden Planet!

Now you understand why this movie has been burned into my brain. Being a monster-loving kid myself, how could I not soil myself over having all my favorite monsters in one flick. Now for some unexplainable reason The Monster Squad never had a decent home viewing release. The VHS went out of print god knows when and no one ever though to release it on DVD... until now!

That's right, thanks to the good folks at Lionsgate (one of the only companies that doesn't seem to have their heads up their butts when it comes to horror) we've been treated to a deluxe, double disc, widescreen, 20th anniversary edition. It's got multiple commentaries, documentaries, interviews and deleted scenes!!! I'm so excited I just used three, count em', three exclamation points.

So come on down to the Planet and bring back some fond memmories by picking up a copy, but make sure you spread the gospel and let a few of the young ones get a glimpse. For now all children can experience this classic and possibly grow into fine individual like yours truly. O.K. I know that was pushing it but at least now they have the option.

While we're at it I have to once again mention Fred Dekker's Night Of The Creeps. Another forgotten classic marred by a way out of print VHS and no DVD release. Take everything you love about Monster Squad, replace the classic monsters with alien slugs that turn you into zombies, age it for teens and you've got Night Of The Creeps. Hey Lionsgate, do me right baby!



I'm on my thirteenth version of this week's article, having reworked my words over and over. I'm just gonna say that I'm so excited, and being so I've been trying to tone it down a notch for you- and to not sound like such a spazz.. However, nobody would ever mention the word "chill" in a sentence about me. Thus, I can easily say that this week's events and new releases are leaving this intrepid writer in loopy bugged-out ecstatic freakazoid frenzy. On a week that features so heavily loaded down with humongous releases (among them: Buffy #5, Batman comics from Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Grant Morrison, and Andy Kubert, Silver Surfer #3, new books from Jason Lutes, Los Bros. Hernandez, and Ashley Wood, etc.) the piece de resistance- Paul Pope's new art book, Pulphope, finally arrives as well.

Here's what a couple of genius comics professionals have to say about Pulphope and Paul's art and why you, too, should be so excited:

"You need this book. It is Pure. It manages to be a complete statement and a work in progress all at once: a report from the borders of comics, Paul Pope's view of the territory before he plunges on into the bush, hacking his way through the dark in pursuit of the new and the beautiful. It's a million pages long and it's going to take me years to understand it all. And that's what I want from a book. And so do you. So buy it."
- Warren Ellis

"Paul Pope is my favorite artist of all time. From THB in the nineties to last year's Batman Year 100, and everything in between, the man's work crackles with an unparalleled energy, inventive mischief, and unabashed sentimentality. Pope has easily established himself as THE comic artist of his generation, building off of an eclectic resume of influences, and imbuing the medium with a completely new paradigm. Whether exploring the science-fiction chic of his comics, or the elegant allure of his pin-up girls/erotica and commercial illustration, Pulphope further cements this reputation. This book is necessary."
- Jeff Ayers

And that's my best attempt at curbed enthusiasm.

And speaking of Warren Ellis, the gentleman author of Transmetropolitan and Planetary unleashes four new morsels on an unsuspecting universe himself this week, all of which I'll hip you on to right now:

Black Summer #1 - Poised to become the next Boys, BS #1 begins an all-new blood drenched, no punches pulled superhero sojurn. Art by seminal Avatar Press standout Juan Jose Ryp.

Crecy GN - Warren does war! The story of England vs. the home team, France, on 26 August 1346.

Doktor Sleepless #1 - It is the near future. No one has a flying car. Everyone feels cheated. What America needs now is a Mad Scientist! Part Austin Powers-esque/Scorpio from that Simpsons send-up, part Transmetropolitan social commentary, DS gets my biggest thumbs up.

Crooked Little Vein - Warren.Ellis.First.Prose.Novel. A burned-out private detective is enlisted by an army of presidential goons to retrieve the U.S. Constitution... the real one. With any luck, I'll be reading this on the plane to San Diego Comic-Con.

What a week! Enjoy.



The name Forbidden Planet says it all. We love science fiction. I admit it; I am a total "geek" when it comes to sci-fi television shows and movies. Star Trek? Deep Space Nine = awesome! Star Wars? Darth Vader is the baddest black man in outer space! Doctor Who? If you don't know, now you know! Battlestar Galactica? I haven't watched Season Three yet so don't spoil it for me! Regardless of your favorite show or movie, it's a great time to be a sci-fi fan whether you're a neophyte or a veteran to the genre.

Often when anyone mentions he/she is a fan of science fiction, stereotypes immediately pop up: "Geek," a thick glasses wearing virgin with bad acne and lacking in social skills. But these stigmas are breaking down. Even the "cool" kids are getting into sci-fi. Television and movies have become a great medium for introducing the general public to the nuances of science fiction.

Take for example the movies: Minority Report, Blade Runner, and Paycheck (Ben Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms). Each of these movies originated from the works of Philip K. Dick, the Clyde Drexler of Sci-Fi. And subsequently, each of these movies had major actors in them such as Tom "Xenu is my Lord and savior" Cruise, Harrison "My name contains two surnames of presidents" Ford, and Ben "I was the bomb in Phantoms" Affleck.

These movies were not about flying cars, Martian invasions, and post-apocalyptic worlds. They were grounded in frighteningly all-too-real possible futures. Minority Report deals with the fallibility of a justice system based on preemptive strikes against potential criminals. Blade Runner deals with the consequences of humanity playing G-d and the rights of artificial lifeforms. Do androids dream of electronic sheep? And Paycheck well had Ben Affleck in it. After Phantoms, that boy can do no wrong in my eyes.

Most people will know the three titles aforementioned, and most veterans of sci-fi are already familiar with Philip K. Dick's literary skill. If you're new to science fiction and enjoyed those movies, stop by and cop another one of his books. I suggest Man In The High Castle; it's about an alternate reality where Hitler defeated the Allied Powers. And to you hardcore fans, the Planet has not forgotten about you. From Blade Runner to Zap Gun, we have a lot of Dick; almost two and a half feet of Dick! I'm sure you'll find something that you have not read before, perhaps in The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick.

So if you are a "geek" don't worry. With the current trend of film makers, eventually all your favorite sci-fi stories will be made into a movie. And at that time, everyone will run to you for your expertise. Maybe a new Doctor Who movie? A new Battlestar Galactica movie? Or perhaps a Man In The High Castle film with Ben Affleck? I can still dream, can't I? And isn't that what science fiction is all about: dreaming of the possibilities. Shoo, even android do it.

- The Other Asian Guy


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 012

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Small Wonder

We all like to be a little wicked sometimes don't we? Come on now, who here as never once thought "What if I had super powers?" You know you would sneak a peek into that locker room. If just for laughs if anything. Whenever I find myself walking too much and tired there's that one thought that always crosses my mind. I wish I were the Hulk 'cause then I could jump high 'n stuff, like three miles.

Point is, I want to be a superhero. Just between you 'n me, a small part of me wants to be Ant-Man and not the one who beats his wife. The new one, and if you tell anyone this I will deny. This man has done it all. You know, those dark recesses of your mind the part that looks at your friends significant other and thinks those thoughts. Those impulses that you keep in check, otherwise you would be in jail. Ant-Man is that dark mass. He is that beautiful disaster. Not the kind of friend to give you the clothes off his back, rather the one to strip an Ant-Man suit off of his best friends dead body, then go after his girl. Then methodically stripping that friends life apart to her, saying he was cheating on her. Taking advantage of her grief to the point where they are rolling around on the ground together semi-naked. On his best friends grave.

What? I said a small part of me wanted to be like him. I got morals. Never on a grave -- too dirty. Yet I still consider him a hero. I wonder if that says more about me or him? He did stop a mugging, then he went to her house and spied on her in the shower.

Unfortunately I heard they want to cancel this series. No. I know I am not preaching to the choir. I need your help people. I need some unity. I need my monthly share of this book so I can live vicariously through him. If you can do me a favor, look across the room to that computer and email Marvel Comics. Share those glorious feelings. I mean if they can bring Jericho back, you telling me we can't save Ant-Man?

Pick up the trade. It's pocket-sized. Hell, if you ask me nicely, I might even lend it to you. If I need to tell you more, how 'bout Robert Kirkman? Invincible, Walking Dead and a slew of other books. He writes Ant-Man. C'mon seriously you want more, ok? He came out of the Hulk's nose recently.

He was in there digging around trying to stop him, gave up and came out of his nose. His nose. Name one other Superhero who would even try that. No one has the stones to do that. Ant-Man: America's Hero sounds good, no? Anyways people write letters, E-mail, carrier pigeons, toss letters by bottles in the sea, send psychic messages just do whatever it takes to save this series.

I mean, if I can't enjoy a book where the hero melts a guys face off with his boot jet by accident, hell I might as well read Aquaman.

Oops, sorry just kidding.

- Javier Rodriguez


Welcome to Shibuya-Cho

Once again it's kind of a slow week, a new Fumi Yoshinaga book (for like, what, 15 series now?), XXX Holic v. 9, and a few other new things. So lets take a look at something I have neglected to rave about for the last couple months, and that's the return of "GunSmith Cats". Kenichi Sonoda's awesome action series (which I think can be called a classic now) has begun anew with "GunSmith Cats: Burst". The first two volumes have already been released, and they're looking good.

Also, in honor of the new series, Dark Horse has reissued the once out of print original series in a couple of nice fat omnibuses, the first of which is over 460 pages thick and covers the first 16 chapters.

So, for those of you who haven't heard of them, or just never picked up the series, here's the run down. Basically it's two teenage girls named Rally and Minnie-May who run a weapons shop in Chicago. I know, I know, but bear with me a minute, of course a manga based in America is gonna sound a little bit off. Ok, so as if that's not enough for a couple of teenagers to deal with, they also run a side business as bounty hunters. Then crap hits the fan and wackiness ensues. Trust me, it's a blast. Besides, who can turn down the new sexy revised edition omnibuses? Oh, but I gotta say this one is an 18+ series for action, violence, and some sexual situations, so kiddies beware. Other than that, enjoy!

Ja Ne!
Mat K.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm Fairly Alarmed Here

So here's some Chaos Theory applied to the comics industry. Get ready. Monthly nationwide comics sales numbers for the direct market (comic stores etc.) have been released. Marvel Comics and DC combined for 70.64% of the dollars spent on comics, magazines, and gns available in comic shops throughout the country. And 76.99% of all units bought. Marvel, DC, Image and Dark Horse combined for those numbers 81.79% and 86.58% respectively. 8.7 out of every ten comics sold in this country over the month was one of those four publishers' offerings. Take for granted that most numbers, most anything, posited as "fact" are subject to numerous variables and intangibles that have a direct impact on their application, authenticity, and legitimacy. Take for granted that 100% of those people, no matter how much I'd like otherwise, are not Forbidden Planet customers, sophisticated and savvy folks that you are.

Those numbers are not altogether a bad thing, as many of those books bought are some of the best literature published today. Those books include a ton of revolutionary, creator owned, or impeccably original comics known to man. And know that I'm aware that there aren't a lot of bucks to go around in the world of funny books.

But where's the variety, the curiosity? Why do those numbers reflect such a singularity of selection? Why does an IDW have half the readership of Image? Or Fantagraphics (whose books range from $3 to $40 generally) only have 0.07% more of the comic dollars spent in shops than Archie? And how can something be done about this?

First off- why something should be done about this: a healthy, varied comic market equals better comics. If other publishers' quality offerings are nipping at their heels/market share, the big guys have to continue to put out better stuff. If you have, as a consumer, exposed yourself to the whole spectrum of what's available you'll demand a lot better product. Brand loyalty in art makes little sense. You don't buy bad expensive paintings "waiting for them to get good," do you?

So here's my call to action. To anyone and everyone within the sight of my words: When making a trip to the local comic shop, please try at least one comic or graphic novel that is not published by one of the big two. Try something new. Imagine all the thousands of comic customers out there, buying thousands of exciting and new, different comics. Like the sound of a butterfly flapping it's wings.

Screw Heaven When I Die I'm Going To Mars -- It's finally here! Acclaimed cartoonist, FP buddy, and Weekly Planet contributor Shannon Wheeler's new books hits our shelves Wednesday July 18th, and boy are we excited! Heralded as "the funniest, most sharply executed collection of Wheeler's comics ever," SHWIDIGM is one of our most anticipated new releases in some time, and not a minute too soon. I could use some heartfelt yucks. And how!

Lenore #13 -- Mr. Roman Dirge's cute-psycho-killer-doll comic Lenore is one of the most perennial selling comics this store has ever carried. Celebrating her 10th anniversary, miss Lenore now appears in full color the whole issue. Congratulations, Roman Dirge.

Repo #2 -- More sciffy hijinx from the team that brought you Teenagers From Mars and Dead West. The highlight of this issue? Hover Car chase. Can't go wrong with that! Also this ish: Mutants and Clones (always a recipe for success).

Wolverine Origins Annual #1 -- by Daniel Way (w) and illustrated by Spider-Man: Reign's Kaare Andrews. Patch (aka Wolvie) returns to Madripoor, sleaze and scum crown of the Orient to dole out his usual brand of butt-whoopin. When I was a kid reading comics that took place in Madripoor I always pictured The Muppet Movie's El Sleazo. You know, the bar owned by James Coburn where Fozzie uses that "Drinks are on the House" joke and all the toughs and scuzzy patrons rush to the roof asking each other where all the drinks are? I always had this picture of Wolverine getting away with that same schtick, wiping his hands, pulling off his patch and saying, to no one in particular, "Works every time."

Super Villain Team Up MODOK'S 11 #1 -- So you've got a gigantic head, a tiny body, gingivitis, a chip on your shoulder, and a penchant for crime. So now you're gonna gather together an eclectic team of Marvel Villains to pull off a really, really big score. Let's face it, you're not exactly George Clooney here. The chances of them following your humongous melon to the bitter end are slim to none. Also, the chances of every other fringe baddie wanting a piece of the action are astronomical. Where's Elliot Gould when you need him?

Intersections -- A visual dialogue between Sean Phillips (Marvel Zombies, Criminal) and Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy, Enigma), conceived during a repast of fine wine and nouvelle cuisine. Can you read between the paintings and pick up what they're laying down?

Harvey Comics Classics Casper vol. 1 -- Containing over 100 of Casper's very best stories, from the beginning of the Harvey series in 1952 through the classic years of the mid-1960s and illustrated by the very same nonpareil animators as created the original cartoons, this affordable archival paperback is now in stock and must be seen to be believed. Features over sixty-four pages of restored color. Is Casper the friendly ghost of Richie Rich?

Black Cherry GN -- by Doug Tennapel (Creature Tech, Earthboy Jacobus, Eathworm Jim). Sex, violence, and the supernatural run riot as a Mafioso is charged with steling a dead body from his own boss, only to discover it' isn't human and was itself stolen from a monastery. And to top it off, there's this mysterious gal hanging around the picture who looks just like a stripper he once fell in love with named Black Cherry. This thing's got bad news written all over it.

Modok? "I'm not kidding, that boy's head's like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight... on his HUGE pillow."



Robert Kirkman: if you're not familiar with his work then you must live under a rock. One hell of a writer, working for both Marvel and Image at the moment. He's the mad genius behind such books as Invincible, The Walking Dead, Marvel Zombies, Battle Pope, and one of my recent favorites, The Irredeemable Ant-Man -- which I recently heard was canceled!!!

Sorry to break the news to you if you haven't heard already. Marvel what are you trying to do to me baby? Why would you cancel such a great book? I mean seriously, it's got everything. Action, humor, suspense, sweet art work, and the quality writing expected from Mr. Kirkman of course.

I highly suggest everybody out there to come in and pick up a copy of the first trade, Low-Life. And while you're at it, we should have the rest of the back issues in stock, including the recent World War Hulk tie in which I know you completists are gonna want anyway. I promise you will not be disapointed. Don't think in any way that I'm trying to boost our sales here at FP, I'm just trying to save one of the best comics going right now.

While I'm on the subject of Robert Kirkman, let me tell you about his most recent book, The Astounding Wolfman. Once again he delivers a wild tale with just the right amount of laughs and a story that leaves you fulfilled yet still wanting more. I'm gonna guess most of you have read number one because it was given out on free comic book day, and I'm pretty sure it was the book we distributed the most of. So this guy turns into a werewolf but then a vampire shows up and teaches him how to be a super hero. Sounds like the pure gold that B movie classics are made of. Thanks Rob for a horror/super hero comic, the best of both worlds.

- Matt D.


UnkieDev: The Creeps 001

Please welcome our newest comic strip contributor, UnkieDev!

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A real big (strangely enough) S.O.B. That's what the title character of Marvel's The Irredeemable Ant-Man is: a son of a bitch. Whether it's hitting on his dead friend's girlfriend, sticking a woman with the bill after a date or using his shrinking powers to spy on women showering, this ain't your daddy's superhero. (No, that would be Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, also an S.O.B. for hitting his wife, the winsome Wasp. It must be the powers or something.

Remember kids, unless they're supervillians or are named Cynthia Rothrock, hitting women is a no-no.) Anyway, this new Ant-Man is one Eric O'Grady, a former S.H.I.E.L.D.* agent who steals a new Ant-Man suit developed by Hank Pym and ends up in misadventures way over his head, which isn't too hard when your main ability is being half an inch tall.

As you probably know by now, Marvel is canceling The Irredeemable Ant-Man as of issue #12. Now until recently, this wouldn't have mattered too much to me, as I'm late catching the Ant-Man train. Writer Robert Kirkman is pretty hit-or-miss with me (love The Walking Dead, wanna love Invincible more than I do, same with Marvel Team Up), as is artist Phil Hester, not to mention I never had much of an interest in Ant-Man outside of the occasional Avengers appearance, so I initially passed this book up despite the positive buzz it's been getting.

My mistake. This comic is an irreverent, highly entertaining look at what would happen if most of the guys we pass by every day in the real world ever got their hands on super powers. (If you're reading this and you've done any of the things I listed above, sorry -- but you're an S.O.B. Deal with it.) This book deserves to survive, skittering under the feet of the bigger, more conventional superhero books out there like its title character.

If you already like this title, let Marvel know. If you haven't tried it, the first six issues are collected in a dirt-cheap digest. Hell, even if you don't like it, write Marvel and ask them to save it for all those books you've loved in the past that did get the axe. If Spider-Girl can be saved 17 times, we can do the same for Ant-Man. We can even have a motto for our favorite son of a bitch: S.O.B., or Save Our Book. Now let's go!

* who knows anymore?

- Ken Ip


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 011

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Static Age: Show me your guts

Heads up horror collectors. Forbidden Planet is going to be the one and only store on the east coast to carry Guts -- the new art book by Tim Palen. Guts features Tim's photography and poster art for some of the most loved and respected horror movies to hit screens in recent years.

Dubbed Lionsgate's marketing ninja, Mr. Palen's work has caused as much controversy for the Hostel and Saw franchises as the films themselves. His style mixes just the right amount of sex and scares, to perfectly complement movies like High Tension, Three Extremes, and Bug.

Not only is the work featured something to drool over but the packaging it self is jaw-dropping. The book is a spectacularly over sized 12" by 12" (almost as big as Eli Roth's dong) giving the work plenty of room to be displayed properly. The cover features the same raw meat photo as used in the promotion of Hostel 2, printed all over on a silky type of material that even has a flesh-like feel to it.

But the real kicker is that it comes wrapped in an giant meat tray with a USDA approved sticker on it and everything. When we received our promo copy of this book I was so blown away by the package that I didn't want to open it. I highly suggest buying two copies and keeping one sealed for display purposes.

Now for all you fiends that want to get your hands on Tim's meat but don't live in the big apple, have no fear for Forbidden Planet is no stranger to mail order. Give us a call, drop us an e-mail, send a carrier pigeon, do what you must to get this book in your hands.

- Matt D.



I didn't come for a whisper. I wanna hear a scream. Could it get any better than this. Who would have thought after all these years he would find happiness. Who would have thought that the little boy beaten by his father could be the man he was meant to be. I was never a big fan; I mean there was only so much you can do, smash and stuff. A couple of years ago I started to get back into him, when Peter David started writing the series. I love conspiracies and that what Peter was all about. The Man was chasing Bruce. You know as well as I do What the Man wants the Man gets. He would not stop. There was so much going on. His life on the run was reminiscent of both the fugitive and the X-files series. Then they shot him into space. Um ok.

Unfortunately I only collect Graphic Novels. So when Planet Hulk was coming out I could not read it. To be honest it did not seem interesting. The covers was what had struck me. Those beautiful covers. Then everyone started talking. Planet Hulk this Planet Hulk that. So I had to wait. Kind of Like Powers Vol 10. You just had to wait. Or Ultimate Hulk vs Ultimate Wolverine. Wait. Sorry Iam very Impatient. A couple of weeks ago it was released. My wait was over. I usually read my books on the train ride home. This time however I waited until I got home. It was ok. I chalked it up to the long day. The next day I expressed my feelings to some coworkers. After the boos and hisses I reread it. It was great. To see the transformation of Bruce to who he really was showed us what he was capable of. Even he could change. Throughout the course of the book we find out his real name, his sole purpose. He is the “Green Scar” the Savior and destroyer of this world.

Now we come across W.W.H. The aftermath. We have all felt different in our lives. I mean look at yourself. You read comics, by definition we are outcast. Remember those insults you endured while you were young. How sometimes that rage would boil inside of yourself. How sometimes it was just easier to lash out at whatever was closest. Imagine those feelings coupled with an abusive father and a genius intellect. Losing everything you love because of those unchecked emotions not ever trusting yourself nor those around you. We all sometimes need to be left alone.

This was the case with Bruce. Only you know you wouldn't like him when he's angry n' such. So finally in that crazy world of his he finds his calling first as a warrior then as a reluctant leader. Only a true leader knows how difficult the life is you choose. In this journey he finds the only thing that he longed for the only thing to complete him -- Family. Don't we all strive for that -- to find people who understand us? People who wont let us down. So in this new found happiness he finds peace however fleeting it is. I wonder for the Scar weather it is better to have loved and lost then to have loved at all? I also wonder that for his world also? World War Hulk: buy it or the Hulk will beat Black Bolt to a pulp, I mean Iron Man, I mean Professor X. Yeah he's not dead yet.

- Javier Rodriguez


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mid-Summer Classic

A few weeks back I listed in these pages this year's Harvey Awards nominees. Well those aren't presented til September, baby. The Eisner Awards (the Oscars of comics) are give out in just two short weeks at San Diego Comic-Con, looming like a congratulatory Star Destroyer whose turbo lasers are poised to highlight some of the year's best comic achievements.

So without further ado here is a list of the nominees (handy dandy, especially if you're looking up and down the aisles of your favorite store (FP), browsing for a good purchase.

Best Short Story

  • "The Black Knight Glorps Again," by Don Rosa, in Uncle Scrooge #354 (Gemstone)

  • "Felix," by Gabrielle Bell, in Drawn & Quarterly Showcase 4 (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • "A Frog's Eye View," by Bill Willingham and James Jean, in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

  • "Old Oak Trees," by Tony Cliff, in Flight 3 (Ballantine)

  • "Stan Lee Meets Spider-Man," by Stan Lee, Oliver Coipel, and Mark Morales, in Stan Lee Meets Spider-Man (Marvel)

  • "Willie: Portrait of a Groundskeeper," by Eric Powell, in Bart Simpsons's Treehouse of Horror #12 (Bongo)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
  • Batman/The Spirit #1: "Crime Convention," by Jeph Loeb and Darwyn Cooke (DC)

  • A Late Freeze, by Danica Novgorodoff (Danica Novgorodoff)

  • The Preposterous Adventures of Ironhide Tom, by Joel Priddy (AdHouse)

  • Skyscrapers of the Midwest #3, by Joshua Cotter (AdHouse)

  • They Found the Car, by Gipi (Fantagraphics)

Best Continuing Series
  • All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)

  • Captain America, by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting (Marvel)

  • Daredevil, by Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark, and Stefano Gaudiano (Marvel)

  • Naoki Urasawa's Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)

  • The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard (Image)

  • Young Avengers, by Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung (Marvel)

Best Limited Series
  • Batman: Year 100, by Paul Pope (DC)

  • The Looking Glass Wars: Hatter M, by Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier, and Ben Templesmith (Image)

  • The Other Side, by Jason Aaron and Cameron Stewart (Vertigo/DC)

  • Scarlet Traces: The Great Game, by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli (Dark Horse)

  • Sock Monkey: The Inches Incident, by Tony Millionaire (Dark Horse)

Best New Series
  • Criminal, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)

  • East Coast Rising, by Becky Cloonan (Tokyopop)

  • Gumby, by Bob Burden and Rick Geary (Wildcard)

  • Jack of Fables, by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Tony Akins, and Andrew Pepoy (Vertigo/DC)

  • The Lone Ranger, by Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello (Dynamite)

Best Publication for a Younger Audience
  • Chickenhare, by Chris Grine (Dark Horse)

  • Drawing Comics Is Easy (Except When It's Hard), by Alexa Kitchen (Denis Kitchen Publishing)

  • Gumby, by Bob Burden and Rick Geary (Wildcard)

  • Moomin, by Tove Jansson (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel, by Sienna Cherson and Mark Siegel (Simon & Schuster)

Best Humor Publication
  • Flaming Carrot Comics, by Bob Burden (Desperado/Image)

  • Onionhead Monster Attacks, by Paul Friedrich (Hellcar)

  • Schizo #4, by Ivan Brunetti (Fantagraphics)

  • Tales Designed to Thrizzle, by Michael Kupperman (Fantagraphics)

  • Truth Serum, by Jon Adams (City Cyclops)

Best Anthology
  • Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, by Bill Willingham and various (Vertigo/DC)

  • Hotwire Comix and Capers #1, edited by Glenn Head (Fantagraphics)

  • Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators, edited by Frédéric Boilet (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

  • Kramers Ergot 6, edited by Sammy Harkham (Buenaventura Press)

  • Project: Romantic, edited by Chris Pitzer (AdHouse)

Best Digital Comic
  • Bee, in "Motel Art Improvement Service," by Jason Little, beecomix.com

  • Girl Genius, by Phil and Kaja Foglio, www.girlgeniusonline.com

  • Minus, by Ryan Armand, www.kiwisbybeat.com/minus1.html

  • Phables, by Brad Guigar, www.phables.com

  • Sam and Max, by Steve Purcell, telltalegames.com/community/comics/samandmax/issue-3

  • Shooting War, by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman, www.shootingwar.com

Best Reality-Based Work
  • Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)

  • I Love Led Zeppelin, by Ellen Forney (Fantagraphics)

  • Mom's Cancer, by Brian Fies (Abrams)

  • Project X Challengers: Cup Noodle, by Tadashi Katoh (Digital Manga)

  • Stagger Lee, by Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix (Image)

Best Graphic Album - New
  • American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)

  • Billy Hazelnuts, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics)

  • Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)

  • Ninja, by Brian Chippendale (Gingko Press)

  • Scrublands, by Joe Daly (Fantagraphics)

  • The Ticking, by Renée French (Top Shelf)

Best Graphic Album - Reprint
  • Absolute DC: The New Frontier, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)

  • Castle Waiting, by Linda Medley (Fantagraphics)

  • Mom's Cancer, by Brian Fies(Abrams)

  • Shadowland, by Kim Deitch (Fantagraphics)

  • Truth Serum, by Jon Adams (City Cyclops)

Best Archival Collection/Project - Strips
  • The Complete Peanuts, 1959–1960, 1961–1962, by Charles Schulz (Fantagraphics)

  • Mary Perkins On Stage, by Leonard Starr (Classic Comics Press)

  • Moomin, by Tove Jansson (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Popeye: I Yam What I Yam, by E. C. Segar (Fantagraphics)

  • Walt & Skeezix, vol. 2, by Frank King (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Archival Collection/Project - Comic Books
  • Abandon the Old In Tokyo, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Absolute Sandman, vol. 1, by Neil Gaiman and various (Vertigo/DC)

  • Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries, 1900–1969, by Dan Nadel (Abrams)

  • The Eternals, by Jack Kirby (Marvel)

  • Ode to Kirihito, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • A.L.I.E.E.E.N., by Lewis Trondheim (First Second)

  • De:TALES, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)

  • Hwy 115, by Matthias Lehmann (Fantagraphics)

  • The Left Bank Gang, by Jason (Fantagraphics)

  • Pizzeria Kamikaze, by Etgar Keret and Asaf Hanuka (Alternative)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Japan
  • After School Nightmare, by Setona Mizushiro (Go! Comi)

  • Antique Bakery, by Fumi Yoshinaga (Digital Manga)

  • Naoki Urasawa's Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)

  • Old Boy, by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi (Dark Horse Manga)

  • Walking Man, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

Best Writer
  • Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Daredevil (Marvel); Criminal (Marvel)

  • Bob Burden, Gumby (Wildcard)

  • Ian Edginton, Scarlet Traces: The Great Game (Dark Horse)

  • Grant Morrison, All Star Superman, Batman, 52, Seven Soldiers (DC)

  • Bill Willingham, Fables, Jack of Fables, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

Best Writer/Artist
  • Allison Bechdel, Fun Home (Houghton Mifflin)

  • Renée French, The Ticking (Top Shelf)

  • Gilbert Hernandez, Love and Rockets, New Tales of Old Palomar (Fantagraphics); Sloth (Vertigo/DC)

  • Paul Pope, Batman: Year 100 (DC)

  • Joann Sfar, Klezmer, Vampire Loves (First Second)

Best Writer/Artist - Humor
  • Ivan Brunetti, Schizo(Fantagraphics)

  • Lilli Carré, Tales of Woodsman Pete (Top Shelf)

  • Michael Kupperman, Tales Designed to Thrizzle (Fantagraphics)

  • Tony Millionaire, Billy Hazelnuts (Fantagraphics); Sock Monkey: The Inches Incident (Dark Horse)

  • Lewis Trondheim, A.L.I.E.E.E.N. (First Second); Mr. I (NBM)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Mark Buckingham/Steve Leialoha, Fables (Vertigo/DC)

  • Tony Harris/Tom Feister, Ex Machina(WildStorm/DC)

  • Niko Henrichon, Pride of Baghdad (Vertigo/DC)

  • Michael Lark/Stefano Gaudiano, Daredevil (Marvel)

  • Sonny Liew, Wonderland (SLG)

  • Steven McNiven/Dexter Vines, Civil War (Marvel)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
  • Nicolas De Crecy, Glacial Period (NBM)

  • Melinda Gebbie, Lost Girls (Top Shelf)

  • Ben Templesmith, Fell (Image); The Looking Glass Wars: Hatter M (Desperado/Image); Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse (IDW)

  • Jill Thompson, "A Dog and His Boy" in The Dark Horse Book of Monsters; "Love Triangle" in Sexy Chix (Dark Horse);"Fair Division," in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

  • Brett Weldele, Southland Tales: Prequel Saga (Graphitti); Silent Ghost (Markosia)

Best Cover Artist
  • John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); The Escapists (Dark Horse); The Lone Ranger (Dynamite)

  • Tony Harris, Conan (Dark Horse); Ex Machina (WildStorm/DC)

  • James Jean, Fables, Jack of Fables, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)

  • Dave Johnson, 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC); Zombie Tales, Cthulu Tales, Black Plague (Boom!)

  • J. G. Jones, 52 (DC)

Best Coloring
  • Kristian Donaldson, Supermarket (IDW)

  • Hubert, The Left Bank Gang (Fantagraphics)

  • Lark Pien, American Born Chinese (First Second)

  • Dave Stewart, BPRD, Conan, The Escapists, Hellboy (Dark Horse); Action Comics, Batman/The Spirit, Superman (DC)

  • Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #17 (ACME Novelty)

Best Lettering
  • Ivan Brunetti, Schizo(Fantagraphics)

  • Todd Klein, Fables, Jack of Fables, Fables:1001Nights of Snowfall, Pride of Baghdad, Testament (Vertigo/DC); Fantastic Four:1602, Eternals (Marvel); Lost Girls

  • Clem Robins, BPRD, The Dark Horse Book of Monsters, Hellboy (Dark Horse); Loveless, 100 Bullets, Y: The Last Man (Vertigo/DC)

  • Richard Sala, The Grave Robber's Daughter, Delphine (Fantagraphics)

  • Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #17 (ACME Novelty)

Special Recognition
  • Ross Campbell, Abandoned (Tokyopop); Wet Moon 2 (Oni)

  • Svetlana Chmakova, Dramacon (Tokyopop)

  • Hope Larson, Gray Horses (Oni)

  • Dash Shaw, The Mother's Mouth (Alternative)

  • Kasimir Strzepek, Mourning Star (Bodega)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
  • Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)

  • Comic Art 8, edited by Todd Hignite (Buenaventura Press)

  • The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Dirk Deppey, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)

  • The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon and Jordan Raphael (www.Comicsreporter.com)

  • ¡Journalista!, produced by Dirk Deppey (Fantagraphics, www.tcj.com/journalista/)

Best Comics-Related Book
  • The Art of Brian Bolland, edited by Joe Pruett (Desperado/Image)

  • Cartoon America: Comic Art in the Library of Congress, edited by Harry Katz (Abrams)

  • Dear John: The Alex Toth Doodle Book, by John Hitchcock (Octopus Press)

  • In the Studio: Visits with Contemporary Cartoonists, by Todd Hignite (Yale University Press)

  • Wally's World, by Steve Sarger and J. David Spurlock (Vanguard)

Best Publication Design
  • Absolute DC: The New Frontier, designed by Darwyn Cooke (DC)

  • Castle Waiting graphic novel, designed by Adam Grano (Fantagraphics)

  • Lost Girls, designed by Matt Kindt and Brett Warnock (Top Shelf)

  • Popeye: I Yam What I Yam, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)

  • The Ticking, designed by Jordan Crane (Top Shelf)

Releasing 7/11/07

Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #1 - Various Solar Plexus. Bursting out from the hit Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report - here comes Tek Jansen! In this stunning continuation of Stephen Colbert's critically acclaimed, yet unpublished prose novel, everyone's favorite sci-fi hero must stand against the enemies of freedom, no matter what dark planet they crawl from! Haven't fulfilled your daily dosage of smarm and snark? Long for the days when your heroes got the babes in the end? Your comics missing that extra whizbang? Never fear, citizen of the galaxy, Tek Jensen's on the case.

Bossy Bear - by David Horvath. If you or your kids are as enamored of and embroiled in the Ugly Doll phenomenon as I think you are, you're gonna want this book. Cute and yet ugly as all heck, Bossy Bear spends the whole book bossing everybody around until... Well, I won't spoil the plot for you. Okay. That's the whole plot. David's art (he's co-creator of Ugly Dolls and an altogether swell guy) has some kind of irresistible charm that has enslaved millions around the world, and this, his first picture book, will only perpetuate that claim. No matter what your cute quotient/tolerance is this book'll grab you. And we've also just received a plethora of new Bossy Bear toys!

Martha Washington Dies - by Frank Miller (w) and Dave Gibbons (a). Almost sixteen years after the titular heroine debuted in Give me Liberty, uncle Frank and Mr. Gibbons return to off the vigilant Martha Washington. The year is 2095 and the day is her one-hundredth birthday, and today marks the conclusion of her quest for true, if elusive, freedom.

48 Nude Girls - all new drawings from Ashley Wood (Popbot, Hellspawn). Here's a glimpse of what my life is like, kids. I'm now going to share with you the type of material I have to read to provide our customers with their wonderfully geeky fixins. See, before you ever see or here of a given book, a slew of other industry folks have to be sold on it as well. It's not getting into your hands, dear consumer, unless I as a buyer am sold on it. Unless stores throughout the world are carrying it, their buying departments convinced the item will sell. So here's the last line of IDW's pitch for 48NG, word for word: Soft-bound in an attractive 11" x 11" format, you can finally add some more Wood to your collection. I'm not joking. While I can't tell if I want to live in a world where the above text exists or not, I do know Mr. Wood's work sells. And I do know it sells because it's pretty derned good. And your collection needs good material regardless of the dude's name and any puns one might associate with it.

Recent Reads highly recommended with little to no hyperbole:

  1. Fox Bunny Funny by Andy Hartzell, an intricate and poignant silent graphic novel, anthropomorphically touching upon issues of identity. Terrific!

  2. Sammy the Mouse by Zak Sally. Sammy and his pals Puppy Boy and H. G. Feekes walk around, have epileptic seizures, talk to disembodied voices, drink liquor in a bar the shape of a giant baby, and more!
  3. Judge Dredd Complete Case Files vol.8. He is the Law.
  4. Doomed Presents Ashley Wood - aforementioned illustration maestro adapts stories by Robert Bloch and Richard Matheson. And though she ain't in the buff, DPAW includes a pin-up gallery of Ms. Doomed, the magazine's pitch-woman (Think the Crypt-Keeper, only attractive, minus hanging flesh).
  5. Reading Comics How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean - by Douglas Wolk. This book touches on almost every era and every genre imaginable, and sounds really dorky -- because it is. That's a compliment. The irony here is I highly recommend Reading Comics to people who have already read a bunch of comics, and not, as such a text-booky title would imply, to newcomers.

Well at least I can still outmaneuver 'em!"


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 010

Welcome to Shibuya-cho #5

It's a slow news week this time folks, the biggest news (for me at least) are the super cool, but super expensive Ghost in the Shell die-cast Tachikomas that we're getting in. I already got mine and it's totally worth it! Battery powered lights, sounds, interchangeable nose-gun accessories and it's super poseable to boot! Oh, and not to mention, so so sooo shiny! *Squeal*

And just in case you're still worn out from my last Ghost in the Shell rant two articles ago, I'll move on to my newest favorite thrill "Claymore" written and drawn by Norihiro Yagi. Crisp art, big swords, tons of bad-ass chicks ripping man-eating demons to shreds, and not to mention amazing character development has caused me to fall for this book, and hard. Okay, so I admit the reason I even picked up the first issue was because the main character's eyes on the cover were printed in silver ink and glinted in the light. If you couldn't tell from the Tachikoma I love shiny objects. But each volume only gets better and more intense than the last.

Here's the gist, follow Clare as "The Organization" sends her from town to town to kill demons called Yoma who disguise themselves as humans so they can eat people. Mmmm...fresh organs. What gives the Claymores the edge? They're all girls whose DNA has been spliced with Yoma DNA by "The Organization". In one town Clare saves a boy named Raki whose older brother was a Yoma in disguise who killed his whole family. What is Clare supposed to do when Raki decides to follow her? Or an even better question, why does she choose to let him rather than ditching him like she could so easily do? Like I said, it just gets better from there, especially when you learn that Clare isn't as cool as you thought, but really she's just the runt of "the Organization". See?! Get into it! Even the anime (which hasn't arrived in the States yet) is totally amazing. *Whew* Ok, I'm done. See you next week.

Ja Ne!
Mat K.


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Wonder Woman, by Saskia Lenis


What one does for survival is amazing. Betray, kill, lie -- hell just about anything. The need is imprinted in our being like a tattoo. The comics industry has been around for a little over 70 years -- still a baby if you think of it. During those times we have struggled with issues like race, censorship and Todd McFarlane. However we strive, flourish even. Why? What makes us grow decade after decade?

I believe one of the factors is the people. Seems kind of obvious, huh? Without people, books would not be bought. Think for a second though -- those same people are the ones who can make or break us. Those young kids become parents and grandparents. When I am working in the store, there is nothing better then when a father walks in with his son or daughter and buys him that comic. When he explains to his young one about Spiderman or Archie it brings a smile to my face.

It's difficult, though, to introduce comics to people. Have you ever tried to get someone to read comics who is not a fan? It's almost impossible. Almost. With the influx of movies it has made my job allot easier. V for Vendetta, From Hell and all the others has cushioned the blow. Suddenly it's cool to be a closet geek. Be proud and spread your knowledge.

The only way comics can be recognized as the art form that they are is for them to be a household name. We can do that you n me. How you ask? Simple, FPers: Lend people your comics. How bout having your fav graphic novel on your coffee table? I lend people graphic novels all the time. Hell, I even have a policy. It's very simple. I lend you a book, you lend me _____. Sometimes its comics or DVD's. I have been turned on to many a band or novel like this.

Listen people, think of yourselves as dying breeds. We need to infect the population with our comic disease. Let people know that you love comics. Have those buttons on your bags. Wear those comic shirts. Remind people of their favorite superheroes. Remember the Superman/Flash race. Just get them interested. It's not that hard people love the fantastic.

Comics can bridge many a culture and lifestyle. Look at the different type of people at FP. What do you think unites us? Help us survive.

- Javier Rodriguez


Welcome to Shibuya-Cho

It's the beginning of the month again boys and girls, and you know what that means, another crazy flood of new releases. Now while plenty of great titles are coming out this week like Rozen Maiden v.5, Samurai Deeper Kyo v.23, and Trinity Blood v.3, there is a flat tie for the "it's-about-damn-time" release of the week. The winners are Kingdom Hearts II v.1 and Hellsing v.8.

First up, both the Kingdom Hearts, and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories manga series have been wildly popular and set the pace for the expectations of K.H.2. I know we here have been bugged for it pretty constantly as soon as the first series finished up. Basically you know what to expect, just the manga version of the game again. I just thought I'd let you know it's here!

By the way, yes you heard right! Hellsing Volume Eight! We only had to wait something like 3 years for it! I'm so excited I can't stop using exclamation points!! This probably being one of the most anticipated and desired mangas ever, largely because we have no idea what's gonna happen! The original anime didn't last that long , and the new "Hellsing Ultimate" series is too new to know what its going to do. After all, what does a show that's supposed to be more dedicated to the books do when even the books are clueless? Now we can finally find out, and hope that it lasts us another 3 years until volume 9 comes out, (kidding...maybe). And I'll tell you this right now, Hellsing is one of the few series it's age that still sells out on a rapid basis.

That's all I got for you this time people (though I guess it seems like enough, doesn't it?). I wish I could say more, but I'm typing this up on Monday, and Hellsing doesn't show up until Thursday. All i know is it's first come, first serve. So play hooky this Thursday (or use your lunch break, whatever) and snag your copy before it's gone.

Ja Ne!
Mat K.


Your Country Needs You!!!

My fellow Americans: last night Uncle Sam came down from the planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn't convince you to buy the following books, he'd melt my brain. There's not much left to my gray matter, folks, and what I gots I wantsta keeps! Help a guy out here!

Interworld, M is for Magic, Stardust HC - Count 'em: Three new books by Neil Gaiman! Well, M is for Magic and Stardust are reprints (the former being a new collection of short stories, the latter an oversize fancy-schmanzy edition of the soon-to-be motion picture's inspiration, gorgeously illustrated by painter Charles Vess). But Interworld's a brand new all-ages tale of "adventure, danger, magic, science, friendship, spaceships [!] and... the battle to save all the people in all the worlds in all possible dimensions," written with Michael Reaves, he of voluminous SF street cred (Star Trek, Star Wars, Twilight Zone). First person narrated by likeable mook Joey Harker, Interworld dazzles.

Jeff Smith The Art of Bone - Following in their burgeoning tradition of publishing must-have artbooks by the world's leading cartoonists (past books have focussed on Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, and Stan Sakai) Dark Horse released this gem last week. The cover price is a little steep, but forty bucks is small potatoes for the genius within. Jeff is one of the greatest comic book storytellers of all time, and The Art of Bone explores his beginnings (he's been drawing this series since he was nine!), his process, and just about everything else imaginable in The Valley. Flipping through it's pages I got a little misty recalling how much I treasure and revere my namesake's work (I'm not at all a shy guy, yet for all my opportunities to do so, I've never met Mr. Smith, always my head swimming and finding some excuse to retie my shoes or some such) and how I envy those of you who have yet to experience his magnificent stories. This a must for anybody who likes breathing, let alone comics.

The Early Years of Mutt & Jeff - So the success of Fantagraphics' Peanuts collections have made publishers comic strip crazy? So what? Classic strips are our roots, their reprints an American culture inevitability, nay- necessity! And now NBM presents a best of (no duds here, nor day by day archival nightmare) Bud Fisher's masterpiece. These comics taken from 1909-1913 highlight such screwball antics of the title characters as to make Fisher the first cartoonist celebrity. That's not a typo.

The Artist Within - Photographs of Cartoonists, Comic Book Artists, Animators and Others by Greg Preston. Speaking of cartoonists as celebrities, I must mention how utterly enthralled and transfixed I am by this heavy number. From Kirby on down the line, the hefty collection of artists' profiles is a "living history of the men and women who have shaped the imaginations of countless millions of people around the world." Leaf through it and realize many of their homes and studios resemble yours (filled with toys, comics, reference, and such). Even the ones that don't leave one in awe. Hollywood can keep their "collaborative effort" and nonsense auteurism, and their acre chewing lots; the lifeblood of comics and SF is one human sitting at a desk, their imagination, and their pen.

Some Notable Notes:
July 4th birthdays FP employee James Wrona (30, sucker) and Satchmo himself, Mr. Loius Armstong, who thought his birthday to be the 4th of July. Here in New York WKCR 89.9 celebrates with a two day marathon from The Hot Five to Hello Dolly that I would hook myself up to intravenously if I could.


On Wednesday, July 11th, Forbidden Planet will present an evening with renowned graphic novelists Peter Kuper (Stop Forgetting and Remember) and Kevin Pyle (Blindspot) at 7:00 at the Strand Bookstore 828 Broadway on the corner of 12th St. These co-events are quickly becoming some of my favorite nights- be there.

And let's just keep that whole misty thing between us, okay?


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