Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Deal of the Week

We have a new Deal of the Week!

FP Focus on: Art Books!

We spend a lot of time in these pages talking about movies and comics, Star Trek, and manga, but every so often I like to do tidbits on my favorite section of the store, my baby if you will: the art book department. It's that jam-packed section of wall immediately on your left upon entering the store and it features some of the greatest material Forbidden Planet has to offer. We rotate the books presented, but at any given time it can feature such diversity and amazingness as to boggle the mind and give your imagination that de-pantsing it's been sorely needin; boasting the likes of Frazetta, Froud, Royo, Matthew Barney, Simon Bisley, Shepard Fairey, the Art of 300 to the Art of Ratatouille. The section also features a ton of comic reference and how-to material. That all being said, here's a sampling of what's new and hot in the art book department...

Akira Club - Katsuhiro Otomo's epic manga, Akira, is considered by many to be the finest work of graphic fiction ever created, a work of astonishing power and visionary scope, and possessing a level of illustration skill unmatched. Now available for the first time in an English-language edition, Akira Club is an essential companion to Akira, a dazzling collection of Otomo's mind-blowing visions, including over one hundred title-page illustrations created for the original serialization but not included with the published collections of Akira. The book also features rarely seen alternate art, preliminary drawings, production sketches, and a variety of Akira posters, advertisements, and products, all accompanied by fascinating commentary by the artist himself. No Akira enthusiast, manga fan, or devotee of fantasy and science-fiction illustration should be without Akira Club.

World of Faerie - by Brian Froud. Drawing inspiration from the gnarled shrubbery of England's windswept moorlands, Brian Froud is best known for being the mad genius behind Jim Henson's film The Dark Crystal, and illustrating such best-sellers as Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book. In this volume, a long-awaited sequel to his international best-sellers Faeries and Good Faeries/Bad Faeries, Froud returns to the world of faerie with a wealth of new, never-before-seen paintings, watercolors, and drawings.

Toxic Waste - by Humberto Ramos. Never before seen drawings and plenty of favorites from the world-famous artist of Crimson, DV8, Revelations, and Civil War: Wolverine.

Scrap Mettle - Award-winning storyteller Scott Morse's SCRAP METTLE is the culmination of every spare moment spent away from the creation of his graphic novels and his duties at Pixar. This book is the reservoir of the products of a mind that won't empty of its ideas. SCRAP METTLE, a gargantuan volume of both electrifying images and smaller, personal thoughts, is a must-have for any admirer of sketching and painting, and a sure favorite of any follower of the retro pop art scene.

Lift Off presents personal and professional works by Scott Robertson, Program Director of the Entertainment Design major at Art Center College of Design and. This book features the following chapters: Airships, Spacecraft, Aircraft, Lefty Sketches, Hovercraft, Original "Card Collection" and selected work from the conceptual design of vehicles for the video games Field Commander and Spy Hunter 2.

Comics Introspective Vol. 1 Peter Bagge - From his Seattle studio, Bagge lets journalist Christopher Irving in on everything from just what was on his mind with his long-running comic Hate!, to what's going on in his head as a political satirist. This debut volume features an assortment of artwork picked by Bagge himself, and is printed on deluxe glossy stock to maximize the impact of the art and photography all working to make it as breakthrough as the innovator it covers.

Art of Midway: Before Pixels and Polygons - Sexy pre-production, concept and in-game art from video gaming juggernaut Midway's top selling Gauntlet, Mortal Kombat, and Psiops franchises.

The Art of Von Dutch - He wasn't just a clothing brand, ya know. Rebel, iconoclast, cult hero, curmudgeon, artistic genius, Von Dutch was a master of many disciplines and the source of countless stories and wild tales. This long-awaited book celebrates his artistic achievements and sets the record straight on his important contribution to American pop culture from the late '40s to his untimely death in 1992. Big, hardbound, loaded with photos (mostly color, some b&w). A must own for any fan.

Forbidden Planet art books will make your brain explode and your eyes cry for mercy. And they make a swell gift, don't they?



Let This Sustain You

Well, it's coming close to the end of the hiatus season for some of our favorite television shows. Oh Planeteers, you're probably super-deprived of your old staples of Lost, Heroes, and my personal favorite -- Doctor Who. I've got just the thing to tide you all over until we figure out what Juliet's true agenda is, if our Heroes kill off Sylar once and for all, and whether or not Martha's time on Torchwood will actually develop her character enough to finally step out of Rose's looming, chavtastic shadow. (That's right, I called her a "chav". Wikipedia it. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.)

Right off the bat, we've got the much-anticipated Heroes Season 1 DVD Boxset! Packed with all 23 episodes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, mini-documentaries, episode commentaries, the original pilot, a character map, and 50 deleted scenes; ::takes a breath:: this the perfect remedy to catch all your friends up with the series before Season 2 starts next month.

Lost won't be returning until February 2008 (How can you do this to us, Jay-brams?!), but we have some pretty amazing Lost Boxset Figures Series 2 featuring some of our favorite characters in some of our favorite scenes from seasons past. These four new figures include: the much-missed Mr. Eko with his Bible-Stick o' Doom, Sawyer on the escape raft, Jin escaping from wrath of the Tailies (and who wouldn't run from Ana-Lucia?), and Sun in that lovely Damien Rice-serenaded scene on the beach. You can drop by the store to pick them up, or purchase the whole set online at our Mail Order site if you're out-of-town. (http://fpnyc.com/mailorder)

And most geek-gasmically of all, we carry the hottest UK-exclusive Doctor Who merch this side of the pond! UK-exclusive? In America? Yep, we're just good like that. Again, available both in our store and via Mail Order, gems like a Dalek PC USB Webcam/Microphone can keep you Skype-ing and AIM Video-Chatting with your friends across the world about WTF Russell T. Davies was thinking when he cast Catherine Tate as a regular assistant. And how can you possibly resist having an actual Sonic Screwdriver of your own? Especially since the production crew was so impressed with the toy, that they re-cast the one used on the show using this model. Not only can you look super-cool waving around an alien phallic device like the Doctor does (Erm, if that's your idea of "cool"...), but it comes with an interchangeable pen nib, invisible ink that reveals itself with the UV light, and "psychic paper" to write on!

Remember -- until the new fall seasons come along to relieve you of your jitters, The Power Is Yours!


*Alice Meichi Li


Welcome to Shibuya-cho

Let's start this week off with some DVD news for all you Naruto fans out there, (at least the ones who aren't broke yet from the triple release last week). You know that Naruto movie you may or may not have gotten the chance to see that one day in theaters? Well, we finally got it! I know I kept saying we wouldn't see it until some time in September, but we got it just a bit early. So in case you missed it, or just feel the need to own it now is the time to come get Naruto: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow.

Now in terms of books this week, there's nothing too notorious but that doesn't mean there's nothing good. For instance, if you haven't picked it up yet, I say you should check out Natsumi Mukai's series +Anima. Volume five comes out this week, but just in case you missed 1-4 I'll give you the rundown. Basically +Anima takes place in a world where one in a million people are born with the potential to become +animas, humans that can shift parts of their bodies to have animal attributes.

Such as the case of Cooro who is a regular hyper, happy kid who loves to eat but also is a crow +anima. Cooro can sprout black wings from his back and fly away. Also, there's Husky who is a fish +anima that can turn his legs into a fish tail and sprout gills, (so...basically, yes, he's a mermaid). The catch? First of all, almost everyone else in the world is afraid of them and regard them as freaks, but even darker than that, one can only discover they are a +anima if they go through some deep childhood trauma. Plenty of action, comic relief, and nifty +anima abilities make +Anima a blast. I promise. See ya next week!

Ja Ne!
Mat K.


Avatar: The Awakening

With the onset of fall come the premieres of shows with plotlines that more than a few people think of as worthwhile. Among them is season three of the program produced by Nickelodeon, known as Avatar: The Last Airbender. Suspending your current definition of reality, imagine a world that is comprised of four nations. That is the world of Avatar, four nations of different people: the Fire Nation, the Earth Kingdom, the Water Tribes, and the Air Nomads. Within each group of people there are those who can control the element they associate with and they are called benders, but not everyone can bend. For instance, one of the main characters named Katara is the only waterbender in the Southern Water tribe, but her brother Sokka is not.

We enter this realm of magical elements and four nations in a time of war, waged by the Fire Nation a century prior to the beginning of the series. Those fighting against the Fire Nation's vast armies and those who have retreated into hiding have been waiting for a hundred years for the appearance of a soul who will end the war, restore the peace, one who has the capacity to master all four elements: the Avatar. Just as people are losing hope, Katara and Sokka stumble upon a boy in an iceberg. He has been sleeping for a century and his name is Aang. He is the Avatar, the last remaining airbender.

The seasons, titled as "Books" begin with Book I: Water, where we meet Aang of the Air Nomads, Katara and Sokka of the Southern Water Tribe, Momo the winged lemur, and Appa the flying bison. Season one is, as people might expect, an establishing set of episodes. Villains are met, allies made, battles fought, some of which are won and others, which are lost. However, even within that basic framework there are the threads that help keep this show interesting, which is to say the villain you met two episodes ago might not be as bad as you think. They might even be on your side. This method of gray instead of black and white gives it a refreshingly real presentation for any show these days, for children or otherwise. Book II: Earth (available September 11), continues on the journey and fight of the Avatar and friends to defeat the Fire Nation, but more importantly, to restore peace, which you realize may or may not be the same thing by the time you reach the season finale.

With a story that is both epic and endearing it isn't a mystery as to why Avatar has a following made up of children, teens, and adults alike. The plot is refreshing but not foreign and works from a construct of emotional strength and technical intelligence that is often lacking in kids' shows these days, simply because the creators often underestimate the children the shows are made for. Avatar does the opposite, if that makes any sense. It treats children not as adults, but as children with the full capacity to feel deeply, to regret, to hate, to love, to worry, to manipulate, and even to fail, which in the past would not have been an option. Left with a devastating and wondrous finale to season two last December, September 21st can't arrive soon enough for the avid followers of Avatar. The trailer for Book III: Fire was released at the San Diego Comic Con not long ago and is now available online, linked at the fan site of Avatar Spirit.

If you haven't seen all of this series so far, it's beyond recommended that you pick it up, regardless of how old you are, or if you like animation or not. If you appreciate a good story, you can't go wrong. Book I is available now, here at the Planet and Book II will also be available in less than two weeks. It's worth your money, which is more than can be said for a lot of things these days, but more than that, it is entirely worth your time, which we all know is just that much harder to come by. After you've caught up, don't forget the season premiere, which is what I was really getting at all this time anyway. Episode one of Book III: Fire airs September 21st at 8PM EST on Nickelodeon.

For those of you who do know what I've been going on, and on, and on about, one more thing: the first DVD of Book III is aiming for a release of October 30. Exciting? Awesome? I really think so! Plus, it's not too far off considering how long we've been waiting already. *insurmountable GLEE*

- Space Bunny


Unkie Dev's Amazing Stuff

Urban Legend: There used to be GOOD comic strips.
Status: TRUE!
Go look at the comic strips in a newspaper now. What happened? YOU didn't invent a time machine and go back in time to SAVE comics, that's what! Instead you just hung out in the 21st Century eating tacos or chalupas or whatever, while back in time photography took more and more print space, comics got smaller, and publishing syndicates gained a stranglehold on the artist's vision. Thanks a lot, ya' Taco-Muncher.

Are there still great comic strips? YES. Where are they? Some are still in print. Thanks to R. Crumb and other underground cartoonists; counter culture strips, freed of the greed of the Comic Syndicates, get regular play in alternative weekly newspapers such as the Village Voice, current home of:

Maakies - Tony Millionaire, Fantagraphics Books

Tony Millionaire's Maakies is funny, is entertaining, is brilliant, is... not for kids. A Crow and an Ape, mariners both, drink, fight and commit suicide over and over to the delight of all. Drawn in a vintage 1920's style, Maakies is absurdist humour for the world-weary adult in all of us. So if you are over 16 and like pen and ink renderings of schooners, bird lust, and alligator decapitations then Maakies by Tony Millionaire is available in several volumes RIGHT HERE at Forbidden Planet! If you like those things but are under 16, Millionaire draws a book for you: Sock Monkey from Dark Horse. It's Maakies-lite.

For out-of-print greats, pick up collections of Gary Larson's The Far Side, Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes, George Herriman's Krazy Kat, or the BEAUTIFUL collections of Charles Schulz's Peanuts.

Some of the best comic strips are online, where you don't have to worry about print circulation or sharing your residuals with others. Some print comics artists are all scared of web comics. They're like: "Oooh, icky! The death of print media!", while many web comics view the print world as an impenetrable "Old Boy's Club." One of the best web comics to date has found success both digitally and in print:

Penny Arcade - Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, Dark Horse or penny-arcade.com

Colourful and rich, Penny Arcade did not get to be the 300lb. gorilla of web comics simply from its subject matter of video games, web memes and geek culture. Penny Arcade is a masterful comic, using the simplest comedic tools of timing and spontaneity with great flourish. Each new strip is a joy. You would think I was describing a Rembrandt painting, not Penny Arcade, where juicing robots hump oranges, where samurai wield cardboard tubes, where scat abounds, and mess up gark transpires thrice weekly. Penny Arcade is the comic strip that launched a thousand web browsers.

And some of the best comics on the Earth are MINE! Unkie Dev is a Comics Genius. Here's a funny one about Dinosaurs!

COMEDY GOLD! So whom do you suppose will draw the funny comic strips of the future? The smart money is on cyborgs, but my money is on YOU Chalupa-breath! Grab some pens and let the magic happen. 'Til next time this is your Unkie Dev saying: "I shill for Forbidden Planet, always!"

By Guest Contributor: Unkie Dev


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 017

Unkie Dev: The Creeps 003

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

News and Deals

Out of town? Too busy to get to our store?

Check out new Mail Order site to order your favorite books and toys from the comfort of your computer!


Also, we have a new Deal of the Week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back to School

"Bring us a pitcher of beer every seven minutes until somebody passes out. And then bring one every ten minutes."
This past Saturday I was struck by a sudden, sharp, and sobering realization, with lasting ramifications for the next nine months or so. Y'see, we had brunch at Petite Abeille in sleepy Tribeca, checked out the Moscow Cats Theatre (featuring 35 cats, 5 clowns, death defying balancing acts and acrobatics, and yes: I'm comfortable admitting that, and yes: mom and dad should take your progeny and everybody you know to see this asap) and braved the amassed hordes of Canal Street to take a train back uptown for a stroll before my closing shift at the FP, in what normally would be a calm, bucolic late summer afternoon in my beloved East Village. Friendly confines and all that.

It was pandemonium.

From Houston to 14th, from Ave. B to Broadway, the area surrounding our store was abuzz with so much activity and cacophony so as to only, perhaps, be rivalled by the beach scene in Apocalypse Now.

Now sometimes I can be pretty dense, so I didn't notice til much later that I'd passed dozens of families carrying furniture, computers and other amenities on every block. Didn't notice the sudden influx of 18-24 year olds in the neighborhood. Nor the copious amount of hello and farewell hugs. And why we were selling so many posters? Then it dawned on me: Of course! It's Back to School!

Whether it be NYU, SVA, Pratt, Columbia, New School, Copper Union, whatever... Welcome back, ladies and gents. Welcome here, freshmen. If this is your first visit to the store or fpnyc.com, know that Forbidden Planet has been one of the premeire comic, collectible, and Science Fiction stores in the world, servicing NYC since 1981. We ain't going anywhere, your college student ID nabs you 10% OFF everything in the store, excluding DVDs, and we're in a happenin' location. We also offer a snazzy subscription service for comics, wherein we'll hold your books for you until you dig up the scratch to buy them. We also sell posters for your dorm.

And that goes for the rest of ya!

New Release Highlights:

Halo Uprising #1 - Eisner Award-winning writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist extraordinaire Alex Maleev (Daredevil- 2001-2006) re-team for a sequel story to video gaming's biggest property of the 21st Century, Halo 2. Dude, we're gettin' the band back together!

Ultimate Spider-Man 100 Project TP - brought to you by The Hero Initiative, a deserving non-profit that bails out comic creators in need; creators who can't pay medical bills, buy groceries, or what have you. This book collects the fruits of one of the organization's most creative and successful fund-raising endeavors- a print run of 100 blank-covered Ultimate Spider-Man #100, wherein prominent creators of today would draw their take version of old webhead. Sold as one of a kind collectibles online and at New York Comic-Con and Wizard World Chicago -- for up to $6700 apiece -- this fabulous, limited artbook collects all 100 covers, featuring Mark Bagley, J. Scott Campbell, Frank Cho, Neil Gaiman, Adam and Andy Kubert, George Pérez, Joe Quesada, John Romita Sr. and Jr., Frank Quitely, JG Jones, and dozens more and features a foreword by Stan Lee, who is by no means a creator in need. I'm just sayin.

I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski: Life, the Big Lebowski, What Have You - The ultimate fans' guide to the Coen Brothers cult phenomenon "The Big Lebowski," with a foreword by the Dude himself, Jeff Bridges. I've waited for this book for nearly a decade, convinced that no such thing would ever be released. But thanks to the film's insatiable fanbase, of which I am an unashamed and rabid member, goodies such as this book and Lebowski Fest (the Star Trek Convention of the 21st Century) are possible. "If you will it, dude, it is no dream."

Bunnies & Bees - by Mark Ryden. Beautiful boxed portfolio from Ryden features thirteen 8" x 10" prints from the Bunnies & Bees gallery show. Images include all the paintings, plus some details and drawings from the show. It is a limited numbered edition of 10,000, and includes a certificate of authenticity in addition.

Also in stock: Fushigi Circus HC - A survey of 55 of Ryden's most impressive works from past to present.

And to all you wide-eyed freshmen? All you new New Yorkers? My sincerest welcome once again! I hope you enjoy your stay in our fantastic City! Just leave some polite room on the crowded streets for us "townies," okay? And walk, bike, or use mass transit.

"Now that's what I call Marine Biology!"



When I saw the trailer to Pathfinder, the first ten seconds of it completely captivated my attention. Native Americans (Amerindians) vs. Vikings! My first thought, "Oh, it's on like the break of dawn!" Then I watched the rest of the trailer; the actual plot consisted of a Viking boy left behind, raised by the Amerindians and destined to become their champion against the Norsemen. My following thought, "Crap, it's another one of THOSE films!"

"THOSE films," are in the same category as The Last Samurai, Dances With Wolves, and Malibu's Most Wanted. A European American protagonist becomes the essence and savior of the "foreign" culture. As a non-white American, I always found such stories offensive and frustrating. Paul Mooney with razor sharp wit said, "Maybe they'll produce my movie, The Last [expletive] On Earth, starring Tom Hanks."

In comics, superheroes are also guilty of these appropriations (well at least by the writers). Max Mercury received his powers from an Amerindian shaman; Dr. Strange gained mystical powers in the Himalayas; Iron Fist learned kung-fu in a magical Chinese city, and the list goes on.

However, Brubaker and Fraction tested my stance as I began reading The Immortal Iron Fist. Unequivocally, my favorite comic; Iron Fist features Danny Rand, a white American superhero who learns kung-fu in the mountains of K'un Lun. Created by Roy Thomas during the 70s' kung-fu craze, Iron Fist disregarded its Chinese roots. Even the leader of K'un Lun, Yu-ti, revealed himself to be a white guy. Imagine Black Panther pulling off his mask and T'Challa turning out to be white (the reverse of Clayton Bixby). However, the Bru and Fraction completely have embraced Iron Fist's roots, developing the character in-depth, adding layers of intricacies, and ultimately do not marginalize the Chinese aspect of the character. Danny knows kung-fu and speaks Chinese! This book, in my humble opinion, is flawless!

My point is that while Iron Fist helped me to understand that great writing is great writing regardless of race, we still need to critically examine the material. We must ask ourselves: If Superman looked Mexican, would we still see him as the greatest superhero or an illegal immigrant from Krypton? Could a Chinaman like Shang Chi represent the spirit of the U.S. as Captain America? Would the War on Terror target Moon Knight if he was Arabic and not Jewish? Do you think Mary Jane would still have kissed an upside-down Spider-Man if she pulled down his mask and saw a black man's lips?

If the answers to these questions steer us towards ignorance then we need to find another path... a path that helps us view ourselves through the lens of others.

- Andrew Jung


Good As Lily

It seems as though every one of us has fantasized about what it would be like to go back in time and change something about our lives. Derek Kirk Kim and Jesse Hamm's "Good As Lily" explores this idea in Minx's newest release. The concept had me hooked from the very first time I heard it announced at Minx's first panel at New York Comic Con 2007 -- an 18-year-old Grace Kwon is visited by versions of herself at ages 6, 29, and 70 at a turning point in her life.

Kim has been quoted as describing "Good as Lily" to be his contribution to the genre of 80's and 90's teen movies -- a fitting category, revealing many a relatable coming-of-age story. The book's quirky premise and style could have been easily construed into that all-too-easy "...and wackiness ensued" type of storytelling. True, there is a fair bit of wackiness ensuing, but its simple demeanor disguises a story that touches on some rather poignant sentiments. Regret, loss, nostalgia, innocence -- truly visceral subject matter that Kim is able to masterfully display in one personality, spread out over a lifetime of what is essentially a person's inner monologue wrenched out and forced onto comic book pages.

From the instinctual Id-like naivete of 6-year-old Grace to the jaded 70-year-old crone trying to slowly destroy herself through careless substance abuse, the reader is impacted full-force by lessons of the coming of each age of Grace's life coalescing into one intense bout of conflict and self-reflection. If we could all meet versions of ourselves at different ages, perhaps we would be better off for receiving the opportunity to recapture both the idealism of our youth and the wisdom of our adulthood.

*Alice Meichi Li


Welcome to Shibuya-cho

Here's one for all you Naruto fans out there this week. Now I'm sure you were all excited by Cartoon Network's "Naruto: Hundo" marathon, and for those who haven't figured it out yet, "hundo" is some kind of Japanese-American slang for "hundred". The whole thing was a celebration for playing Naruto's 100th episode in America. And if you didn't get so Narutoed out from this 3-day weekend marathon, then have I got news for you. We got in volumes 16, 17, and 18 of the Naruto manga. Viz is starting they're "OMG-we-totally-have-to-catch-up-before-we-lose-the-american-audience-entirely" plan of putting out twelve volumes in the next four months. Now let me just say, the Sannin are finally here. These three books are wrought with pervy sage Jiraiya, Princess Tsunade, and Lord Voldem... I mean Orochimaru.

Hm, while the week itself isn't too big, (about 21 books, and that's counting the Naruto volumes as three different books), we do have some heavy hitters (yes, other than the big N). Things like Dr. Slump v. 13, Drifting Classroom v. 7 (which I know some of you have been waiting for), Hana Kimi v. 19, Golgo 13 v. 10, Monster v. 10, Hunter X Hunter v. 16, and a new Vampire Hunter D novel (the 8th I believe). So that should keep you all busy for at least 7 days.

But just in case you feel all splurgy and unfulfilled, there is one more thing we've got for you. *Drumroll* Katsuhiro Otomo's new hardcover artbook, Akira Club. "What is it?" you say, "Why should you care?", you say? This book is full of creator commentary, wild new art and original concepts of the world of Akira, including over 100 pages of full color prints of the covers of the original single issue comics. So yeah, total awesomeness. and you know what? It's not that expensive either, should be about $30. Sweet.

That's about it for now. See you all next week!

Ja Ne!
Mat K.



So another summer season at the movies is winding down, and that means another year of Hollywood comic book adaptations is now mostly behind us. True, Neil Gaiman's Stardust just opened and there's still 30 Days of Night by horror writer, Steve Niles, on the horizon, but the big boys of summer are definitely specks in the rear view mirror by now, particularly given the shortness of the pop-culture news cycle.

For better or worse, it seems like comic book movies are here to stay. Oh sure, at first a lot of people (myself included) thought that the A-list characters and books would get their chance on the big screen, some would work, others wouldn't, and notoriously fickle movie execs would move onto the next fad. But it's been nine years since Blade karate kick-started the current wave, and when obscure stuff like The Metal Men is being rumored for a greenlight it looks like Hollywood won't stop until the well is dry or they don't like the water. (And if stinkers like Daredevil and Catwoman haven't poisoned the well, nothing will.)

The result of all this? More people being aware of comics. Naysayers can talk about some of the harm facing the comics industry that comes with all this mainstream interest (increased potential for censorship, works created solely to woo filmmakers, etc...) and they have valid points, but I think the good outweighs the bad this time. I mean, do you know how many copies of 300 we've sold to tourists? I'm not even sure some of them read English, not that that's required to read 300. I guess what I'm trying to say is that after years of cultural obscurity and irrelevance, I for one am glad that the masses know we're here. So they'll screw up some of our books now and again. So they'll miscast Kate Beckinsale in Whiteout and give Preacher to the guy who directed Ghost Rider. So what? Didn't like the film? Read (or re-read) the comic. They're not going anywhere because a bad movie gets made out of them. They're right here at Forbidden Planet where they've always been.

- Ken Ip


Unkie Dev's Amazing Stuff

'Tis time for your weekly forty oz. of funny from Unkie Dev! Last week we focused on the "Top 10 Funniest Comics of All Time," many of which are out of print. Why wait for said classics to return from the beyond? Spend your money NOW on these new INSTA-Classics ©:

Mighty Skullboy Army: Jacob Chabot, Dark Horse. All ages fun with a Robot and Monkey, the two inept lackeys of a grumpy rich-kid skeleton. The Mighty Skullboy Army feels like "Richie Rich," filtered through the Simpsons, fighting Godzilla. Charming and clean lined, Jason Chabot's characters earned their place in the funny firmament by winning Dark Horse Comic's Comic Strip search a few years back. Dark Horse has the collected volume one out now, and Forbidden Planet still has signed copies! Hotcha!

Runaway Comics: Mark Martin, Fantagraphics Books. Spelunk through Forbidden Planet's indie comic's rack for this gem! Mark Martin has been a consistent comics comedian since the Black and White boom/bust of the 80-90's with his Frank Miller parody "Gnatrat" and notable guest runs on the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Wanna' see black and white humour done right for the new millennium? Issues 1-3 of Runaway comics are available NOW!

The Venture Brothers: Seasons 1 and 2 DVDs from Adult Swim. The Venture Brothers is the best show Adult Swim produces: ostensibly a "Johnny Quest" parody, this cartoon is a pop-culture, multi-layered onion slinging warm mud at 60's comics, 70's TV and the 80'alternative art and music scene. Extremely smart, bitingly funny, you will not believe the excitement and depth surrounding a failed bitter scientist, his moron sons, burly bodyguard and their arch villain: A guy in a butterfly costume. Features writing from Ben Edlund, "Angel" TV writer and creator of the Tick!

Ah, reviews are over, time for an interview. NY State Film Regulation 67 REQUIRES the city wide operation of small fortune tellers and mystics to encourage Hollywood to use New York as the location for its romantic comedies, providing wacky yet mystical plot points while building New York's celluloid bankability.

I stopped into a spirit medium's boutique last week where I had the opportunity to interview the late, great Jack "the King" Kirby, X-Men and Fantastic Four co-creator, who passed in 1994. Through spiritual conduit Madam Zororelda we had a great talk. It went like this:

UNKIEDEV: Can he hear me?
ZORORELDA: Yes, he can hear you.
UNKIEDEV: How are you Mr. Kirby? Do you have a moment to talk?
ZORORELDA/JACK KIRBY: Unglub-gool-glob (unintelligible) ...The Twelve shall rise! Cough cough!
UD: Mr. Kirby, let's start with your controversial relationship with Marvel and legendary co-creator Stan Lee. Is there --
Z/JK: Dimi, why you do this to me, Dimi?
UD: Uh, What? Must be a bad connection. Let's try this again: Mr. Kirby, DC is publishing your amazing New Gods storyline with different creators. How does that make you feel?
Z/JK: Can you spare a quarter for an old Altar Boy, Father?
UD: Sir? Jack?
Z/JK: I'll swallow your soul! I'll swallow your soul!
(Note: It was at this point that Madam Zororelda rose off the floor with a levitating lurch, hissing and rotating, as the windows and doors locked themselves tight.)
UD: Waitaminute, you aren't Jack Kirby at all!
Z/JK: NoooOOOooo! We are LEGION!
UNKIEDEV: The Legion of Super Heroes?
Z/JK: HA-HA-HA!! Dead by Dawn! Dead by DAWN!!
UD: Oh-no. Oh No no no...!
By Guest Contributor: Unkie Dev


24/7 Vols 1 and 2

In our culture, we live under the rule of the machine. It is like the first Terminator film where all you can think about is the end of mankind by a Terminator's hand and gun. By the third movie [not as bad as Robocop 2], the machine is a person, a champion, a hero.

We identify with the robot and their story: the robot is the person as a machine, sharing our problems limitations, discovering limitations in design.

24/7, edited by Ivan Brandon, is storytelling in a robot city in tandem with our own, a future present of smoky noir and melodrama, unfufilled dreams, gang crime, and tales of redemption. Most of it looks like New York.

At the collection's best Brandon's selections tell great stories, like the tale of a man who just wants his dog back after getting out of jail ["The Pit" by John Ney Reiber/Chris Brunner, Vol 1], or the story of a heist double-cross ["Getaway" by Ivan Brandon/Calum Alexander Watt Vol 2].

If reading about drugs, cops, and fights in comics is what you're all about, this collection will give you plenty of spilt oil. Stories take cues straight from a video game ["Coast 2 Coast" by Mark Sable Vol 2], or horror film ["Static" by Matt Fraction/Frazer Irving Vol 1].

Adam Hughes or Ashley Wood are here, too, and are some of my favorites. Their work is great in Vol 2, telling stories with one picture and few words.

I also really like the cute ninja robot action story ["Old Fashioned" by Dave Grosland Vol 1]. 24/7 Volume 1 is a great read, with Vol. 2 showcasing very strong visual variations on the theme. It's a good follow up.

Choose your own adventure.

By Guest Contributor: Mark Denardo


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 016

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Busy Bees

The Planet's mad hectic, to use the parlance of our times, gearing up to be a hecticker fall, and our hectickest Holiday Season. That's right, I wrote "Holiday Season". We've been doing this long enough to know that if you don't start preparing in August and September for it the season will sneak up and bite you in the boondoon. And that means a lot of hard work and long hours. And that means I'm gonna need some imaginitive literature, art, and toys to keep me afloat on these tumultuous seas. Luckily I know just the place to procure these items...

Releasing 8/15

Booster Gold #1 - For my money , this is the most intriguing of DC's recent projects revolving around various crises and 52. Titular character and 52 hero/breakout star adventures through time and space, to the greatest moments of the DCU that have ever happened and will happen, righting a time stream in shambles and set to guest star everybody under the sun. I love me some Booster, having followed the charcter since I was a young'n Sounds kinda like a superhero Doctor Who. Cool.

Recently Released and Notable:

The Ganzfeld 5 - One of our most cherishered new books. The Ganzfeld returns with a special issue devoted mostly to Canadian and Japanese artists. From Japan, legendary animator and designer Keiichi Tanaami contributes a 20 page section of new work (my favorite material in the book), while cartoonists King Terry, Shigeru Sugiura, Yuichi Yokoyama, and Tanioka all are represented with substantial amounts of their work printed in English for the very first time. From Canada, Marc Bell, Julie Doucet, Scott Evans, Marc Connery and Destroyer's Dan Bejar will all be featured, while artist Jim Shaw conjures a section of his visionary dream drawings and British illustrator Will Sweeney renders a brand new comic story. This issue is filled out by articles on record cover designer Barney Bubbles, mushrooms, and Steve Gerber (the creator of Howard the Duck).

Tripwire Annual 2007 - As much as I enjoy comics, I enjoy reading about comics -- their creation, the effort and imagination instilled in them, the business, and what's forthcoming. I especially enjoy British publications, as they tend to have a much more insightful and critical slant than, say, Wizard -- Comics International and Tripwire being tops among them, though the latter is now defunct as an ongoing periodical. Thankfully for geeks around the world the fine folks at Tripwire have decided to plow forward with super shiny annual editions, bringing they're wonderfully skewed vision of comicdom to all the boys and girls like Father Christmas. This annual features captivating articles. original art, and interviews with the likes of Mike Carey, Guillermo Del Toro, Duncan Fegredo, Roger Langridge, Jeph Loeb, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, Alan Moore, and Matt Wagner.

Winsor McCay's Little Nemo v.1 - New Hardcover Edition from Checker- While not nearly as bodacious, huge, gnarly, and beautiful as So Many Splendid Sundays (the oversize $120 Hardcover collecting color Nemo Sunday strips that's graced our shelves these last few years) this glossy HC showcases the complete story of Little Nemo from the first episode (1905) until August 15, 1909 for a much more do-able Fiddy Bucks.

My manic schedule last week just recently afforded me the time to read and reread the following, which I will now recommend to you all:

Watchmen - Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons seminal masterpiece and perennial best-seller never quite knocked my socks off as it has so many of you throughout the last two decades. And, like William Gibson's similarly genre bending/defining Neuromancer, I am ashamed to admit that it has taken me multiple readings since its release for me to finally appreciate it. If you've never given this a chance, it's time to. Never been enslaved to the damn thing like so many of your friends? Give it another shot, just remember to maintain your identity and independence.

Batman #667 - Morrison (w) & Williams (a). This is easily the best Bats issue of the last year. The last ten pages are exhilarating and engrossing to the nth degree.



Aiming for the Stars

As a Neil Gaiman fan, I totally experienced what it must have felt to be a Harry Potter reader at a screening of Order of the Phoenix. Stardust was entertaining enough, but I was taken completely out of the story every time I noticed that they awkwardly changed the novel to fit in over-explanation, cut out explanation, or force character development and chemistry. I also noticed that they inserted a re-shot Michelle Pfeiffer looking younger than she was in the previous *and* following scene. Talk about sloppy editing.

As for the actors, Ricky Gervais' only-in-the-film character was pretty much pointless. Robert DeNiro hilariously toed the line between Macho-Arrrrggh-Pirate and Tranny-Pouf even if his character in the book was probably expanded simply because he's Robert DeNiro. Or very possibly, the screenwriter felt that she needed some device to force Tristran into manhood and Yvaine into aquiescing femininity. Michelle Pfeiffer was brilliant, but that goes without saying as hundreds of other critics have already inundated her performance with praise.

Claire Danes was FANTASTIC as Yvaine. So many critics disliked the choice of Danes for the role, suggesting she was reprising her character of Angela from "My So-Called Life" due to the amount of angst. However, I think that Danes' ability to channel teen angst was WHY she was so perfect! The original character from the novel was every bit as snarky and whiny (but humorously and loveably so), after all.

My biggest gripe about the film was that it seemed as if so many aspects of it underestimated the audience's intelligence and therefore tended to overexplain itself. The ending was changed so that it'd be "happier", even though I did prefer the bittersweetness of the original. Some of the more explicit scenes were censored, and they arbitrarily inserted a sex scene between Tristran and Yvaine. The device of making Yvaine "glow" when she was happy was inelegantly timed at points so that it distractingly fumbled some delicate emotional scenes that the actors themselves could have pulled off fine without it.

It wasn't a bad film by any means, don't get me wrong. Some of the changes and takes on the original novel were highly amusing, after all -- the aforementioned flamboyantly hairdressing DeNiro and Pfeiffer's comically-timed struggle with sagging body parts being among them. Not to mention a personal favorite, that Sienna Miller's naively provincial insistence that traveling all the way to Ipswich was a big deal. Perhaps I simply need to re-view it and take it in as a standalone movie rather than keeping a mental tab of comparisons.

* Alice


Welcome to Shibuya-cho

Hey hey people, lots of news this week. First and foremost, we did a bit of remodeling to the upstairs area. so much extra space we're not quite sure what to do with it yet. But more than just stock space, there's alot more space to move around in, so everyone has to come and check it out. Make sure you get used to the new layout, not that it's a tremendous difference, but you'll have to come see for yourselves.

Now for this week's releases. Another fairly large week hits us. We have about 35 or so titles coming in...finally! More importantly, Fruits Basket v. 17 is out this week. Now everyone can run around and jump for joy. Now any of you who were reading since at least last year know that last summer they pumped out the volumes once a month all summer long. We were not so lucky this year. Who knows why the "#1 selling shojo manga of all time" only hits us once every 3 or 4 months. Considering it's not in any of the monthly comics magazines, why would Tokyopop be so stingy with one of their best selling books? *sigh* Alas it is not for us to understand, but only to be blissfully otaku when it does come.

Also coming in this week, again to our patient, expecting arms, long awaited shonen ai titles Loveless v. 6 and Love Mode v. 6 (cute gay coincidences aside). Not that every thing is all girly this week, really. For instance, the release of the once belived to never be printed in America Peacemaker series. The first volume of the new series just goes to show we never know what to expect from manga publishers these days. That's all i got for now. You have to come in this week and see all the new books, but more importantly, our new set up. We killed ourselves rearranging this stuff. seriously. See ya next time!

Ja Ne!
Mat K.


Valiant Prince

Sometimes when customers enter Forbidden Planet, a sudden surge of nostalgia hits them square in the face like bukkake. Their eyes swell up in amazement, their smiles stretch out from ear to ear, and they are transported back to their personal glory days of comics. Recently, I heard news that Valiant Comics will put out a hardcover trade of Harbinger, collecting issues #0-7 with an additional origins story of Harbinger nemesis Toyo Harada by Jim Shooter. And thus, Mr. Shooter unloaded his metaphorical kids into my stunned-gaping mouth.

For those who remember Valiant Comics and for those who don't, let me speak of their transient and glorious history. Founded in 1989 by Jim Shooter, Barry Windsor-Smith and Bob Layton, Valiant focused on strong character-driven and well-developed stories. Think of the complete opposite of the early Image comics. The triumvirate challenged the big Two (Marvel and DC) in sales by offering its readers something called QUALITY! Not to disparage the works of Marvel and DC, but let's kick the ballistics here. Sometimes, you pick up a comic; scratch your head and say, "What are they thinking?" (See Rob Liefeld's Captain America and DC's Extreme Justice)

Enough about Liefeld, this is about my memories of Valiant. One of the greatest aspects of Valiant was the two concurrent timelines: the present and the future. The characters in the 20th century were Bloodshot, Shadowman, X-O Manowar, Dr. Mirage, Turok, and the Harbingers just to name a few. Their comic compatriots existed in the 41st century: Magnus the Robot Fighter and Rai and the Future Force. Seemingly immortal characters like the Eternal Warrior and Solar appeared in both timelines albeit with drastically different personalities. In addition, the actions of the 21st century heroes affected those of the 41st. Rai's appearance was based on the heroism of Bloodshot; Magnus' time-displaced son, Torque, was a founding member of the Harbingers; and the group, H.A.R.D. Corps, would evolve into the beings known as the Starwatchers who fought alongside Rai and Magnus. In all this madness, Shooter maintained continuity. Unlike the big Two's major events, the reader knew exactly where and when all the different storylines occurred.

Unfortunately for Valiant Comics, Acclaim bought the company. Jim Shooter was replaced and the much-touted quality of the company suffered. With the burst of the comic book bubble in the nineties and Acclaim's failed direction of making video game-based off the characters, Valiant Comics finally closed its doors. But conscientious comic readers will never forget the legacy of Valiant Comics.

Thank you Mr. Shooter for showing us how it should be done.

- The Guy You Walk Past at Bag Check


Unkiedev's Amazing Stuff

Ever since Mouse first hit Cat with Brick, comics have been funny. If milk-through-nose level laughs and guffaws are what you crave, you cannot go wrong with any of the titles on:

Unkiedev's Top 10 Funniest Comics
You Can Read, Though Not Necessarily Buy:

  1. Sam and Max: Surfing the Highway (OUT OF PRINT) - Steve Purcell, cartoonist (and now Pixar artist) Steve Purcell's Sam and Max is the funniest of funnies, inspiring a TV show and several video games. Watch Sam the dog and Max the rabbit(?), a.k.a. the "Freelance Police," as they run over criminals, smuggle Mexican frogs and pants aliens in Egypt. This high wire act of art and larffs is out of print, with copies worth hundreds on eBay. Don't worry, Purcell assures fan they'll be back in print soon.

  2. The Tick, Volume 1. #1-12 - Ben Edlund. NEC

  3. Milk and Cheese - Evan Dorkin is a respected "Go-To" funny guy, but it all started with this amazing indie blood-bath: A carton of Milk and a wedge of Cheese "go bad" and attack anyone and anything that gets in their way. It's "Family Guy" stripped of plot or characters. Just jokes, bricks, jokes, eye-gouging and gory dairy glory.

  4. The Magic Whistle - Sam Henderson. Fart and dog-nard jokes for a range of intelligences, Magic Whistle walks a Zen like line 'twix trash and treasure. 3rd Grade art + 6th Grade humor = Comedy Gold under the pen of Sam Henderson, famous for his comedy writing with DC, Nickelodeon, and "Sponge Bob Square pants." Fans of funny: DO NOT MISS.

  5. Cromartie High - Eiji Nonaka, ADV Manga.

  6. SQUEE - "Invader Zim" creator Jhonen Vasquez's single handedly created the Goth comics boom with the black comedy of "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac." While JTHM may be the bigger hit, SQUEE, his follow up book, is funnier. Not Goth? Fear Not: You don't have to wear mascara to have your mascara run from laughing.

  7. Tank Girl - Alan Martin and GORILLAZ artist Jamie Hewlett's cult Australian riot-grrrl is cute and violent. Laugh as she sleeps and shoots her way through many a kangaroo with her eponymous tank. The new series from IDW and Ashley Wood will have fans screaming "YES, She really IS BACK!" WARNING: Though juvenile, this is a "Mature Comic." Warren Ellis fans should buy this NOW.

  8. What The..?! - Like Bizarro only Marvel, What The..?! was a raucous Marvel monthly from the late 80's with top creators lampooning Marvel's biggest sellers. Never reprinted. Hunt down the first few issues, as the fake ads alone make it worth the search. Last year's revival book, "Wha... Huh?" was a tickling treat as well!

  9. Bizarro World - Various, DC

  10. Marvel Monsters - Eric Powell, Keith Giffen and other comedy pros bring you giant monsters making with the laughter and disaster, plus many of Jack Kirby's unintentionally hilarious monster comics from the 50-60's. Fans of this series NEED to pick up "Doris Danger's 'Where Urban Creatures creep and Stomp!'" available now.
Of course that's only the tip of the Zoidberg. Laughs abound, but only 10 can be the top 10. Next week I'll showcase a forgotten funny from the golden age. Till then: buy funny books and floss, floss, FLOSS!

By Guest Contributor: Unkiedev


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 015

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Comic-Con 2007?

"I'd like to talk about my wife... but I'm not allowed to."
-Denis Leary
The more I reflect upon my foray to San Diego last week, the more I realize I have little to reveal to you guys than has already been by various bloggers and on various websites.

I assume you already know that Uncle Grant and JG Jones will be presenting DC's next big event, Final Crisis in the Spring. That smarmy and naive Hollywood types have taken over half the show. That Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi ( Detective covers, Shingn Knight) are the next creative team on Astonishing X-Men. That THB is going to finally be collected in book from. Et. Al.

Me? I can only offer the broadest of summations of my trip. Many things I've been privy to are very hush-hush, and, uncharacteristically so, will remain mum about. Mostly So, highlights (at least ones I can remember):

Thursday - awful plane trip, elation at the sight of palm trees, register at show & hotel, talked with Gene Ha (Top 10, Batman Fortunate Son) and held the original page of Authority #2 I was in, crowded out of the LOST event, Darwyn Cooke panel, Viz party, CBLDF party/fundraiser, bump into old friends.

Friday - walk the floor, business meetings, bought toys for the store, Paul Dini panel (terrific; creatively inspirational; go buy all seasons of Batman Animated Series and Animaniacs now. Also, his run on Detective Comics), 300 screening at Petco Park (!) which I didn't sit through because I'm not overly fond of the film and the screening was basically an advert for forthcoming WB shows and films, Eisner Awards and Neil Gaiman getting snogged by Jonathan Ross on stage, Eisners after-party where I met Ronald Moore (BSG writer/producer).

Saturday - Paul Pope presentation, Alex Toth documentary, JH Williams panel, more walking the floor, checking out new product (Picturebox and Buenaventura are doing amazing books right now), James Jean sketch (his new book Process Recess 2 debuted- it is utterly gorgeous and will be on our shelves soon), chat with grant Morrison about his Area 51 movie script and the art of the aforementioned Mr. Williams, finally met righteous dude Jeff Smith who did a terrific sketch for me in a preview copy of his upcoming Rasl, chill at the Marvel Booth where an Iron Man movie costume was prominently displayed, met Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and Fabian Moon (Cassanova), called it an early night and got some much needed sleep.

Sunday - met writer/swell chap Warren Ellis, got Mike Mignola talking about his next book (Baltimore: or the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire) and Hellboy 2, more walking, more buying/placing orders, talk with former FP employee now DC sales associate Joe Hughes about our amazing experiences and how blessed we are to be so involved in comics as the Hernandez Bros. come up to us and say hi, end of day comes too soon and I have time to kill before my flight so I sit watching baseball in the hotel bar where suddenly I find myself having drinks with my favorite comic creator of all time and his lovely girlfriend, Red Eye home and I'm the only guy awake on the plane, get off and NYC humidity slaps you in the face. Get home and start writing, inspired.

And those are just the highlights I can recall. It all boils down to that conversation I had with Joe. I'm blessed to be doing this for a living, and know that yes, I had a terrific time, but it's in the service of Forbidden Planet and our customers that I go -- seeing new product, working on events, placing orders yadda, yadda. So that we can offer you guys the best store possible. And that being said I'm gonna get back to it...

Releasing 8/7/07

Dome - by Luis Royo. Mr. Royo was commissioned by Muscovite to paint the ceiling of his luxurious new castle, graciously allowing the results to be shown to the outside world in this attractive hardcover collection.

Spook Country - by Willam Gibson. I'm currently just wrapping this book up, so don't blow the neding. Having not quite finished it, I'll quote the glowing review Nathan Lee wrote for the Village Voice this past week as a means to entice you. "...it illuminates our techno-psychic landscape like nothing else in contemporary letters."

And that's all he wrote, folks. See the Simpsons movie asap. Have a good week and Rock and roll, baby!



©2007 Forbidden Planet, L.L.C.
Design by AliceMeichi.com