Tuesday, September 25, 2007


So I'm back from tour, and what a glorious way to return with none other than the coveted front page article -- a slot usually reserved for the J-Man but bestowed upon me in this issue, for I have very important news for all of you fiendish FP followers. Forbidden Planet has formed a most unholy union with none other than Nightmare: "New York's most horrifying haunted house" (Okay, so maybe that description is a direct quote pulled from their advertising campaign but I fully back it.) in order to bring you kids some deep discounts, a most non-heinous event of epic proportions, and a few extra bad dreams this Fall. Now before I go ahead and spill the beans, let me give you a little background on our partners in crime.

For four years now, Nightmare's creator Timothy Haskell and his Psycho Clan have put their blood, sweat and fears into said haunted house hoping to send some stone-faced locals out their exits with tails between legs, crying for mommy. Considering Nightmare just gets bigger and bigger each year I can comfortably say they're a success, and a commendable one at that. Scaring New Yorkers is no easy feat. Remember, we lived through 9/11 first-hand.

What sets this particular haunted house apart from your average bad animatronic Dracula, snakes in the hair, day-glow paint-filled amusement attraction is constant reinvention and a little help from you and me. Last year's house, "Face Your Fear", was based on surveys taken by actual New Yorkers exposing their greatest fears. This year's theme is "Ghost Stories" with 23 rooms (almost twice as many as last year) to walk through, each based on real paranormal experiences (from information gathered through internet polling) and a few classic scary stories you may find familiar. Not to mention the icing on the cake -- as if 23 rooms of phantoms, poltergeists, and demons isn't enough fear fodder for your taste, try to escape The Maze: an optional new addition to Nightmare. Not even David Bowie can comfortably navigate this labyrinth.

So now you're totally stoked! You're sold, all you need now is the where and when. It all goes down at the CSV Cultural Center located at 107 Suffolk St. right in the middle of all that hip L.E.S. nightlife. They open their doors to the eagerly anticipating public on September 28th for a five-week run ending on November 3rd, leaving you with plenty of opportunities to enjoy some good old-fashioned scares.

But why wait? Beat the Halloween rush and head over early. Go on a day like, say... I don't know... Thursday October 4th, which just so happens to be Forbidden Planet Night! That's right, come down of FP night where we will be partying with none other than Arthur Suydam. I'm sure Mr. Suydam would be more than happy to sign your copy of Marvel Zombies, or my copy of Marvel Zombies Vs. Army Of Darkness No.1 2nd printing with that sweet cover featuring zombie Captain America beating the crap out zombie Hitler! (Don't fret, we have plenty copies in stock and other great Suydam stuff for you guys and gals to get your grubby mitts on)

And if that's not enough to get you down there, we will be giving away some sweet swag and having a raffle for the chance to win some neat-o prizes. Be sure to use the coupon on the back of this issue when purchasing tickets for a whopping 5 bucks off admission. I told you there would be discounts involved. But wait, there's more! A special edition of the Weekly Planet with an exclusive coupon for big FP savings will only be available at Nightmare. So be sure to mark your calendar and I'll see you next Thursday, kids.

Oh and when you're there, if you hear someone screaming like a little school girl... It was probably Jeff, not me. Definitely not me. Okay maybe it was me, just don't tell anyone.

- Matt D.


37 Days of Nightmare

By now you know Forbidden Planet is a proud sponsor of Nightmare: Ghost Stories, NYC's most horrifying haunted house. My slant on this partnership is this: I'm real jazzed about this, baby! The amount of time, creativity, and detailed hard work the Nightmare folks is simply awe-inspiring. It's conveniently located in the Lower East Side, a short 20 minute-ish walk from the store. And in NYC, city of billions of things to do and see, this is a seasonal stand out by all accounts.

You can't tell there's a reason not to love this time of year; the weather, baseball post-season, and most of all -- Halloween. That's right. I wrote "Halloween". Where the hell did September go? Time to get those costumes made or bought, kids. Heed my words: the time to get this settled is now! Working three blocks away from the Halloween store I've witnessed, and am doing my small part to avert, the utter chaos the neighborhhod erupts into as the 31st draws closer. The two to three hour line just to get into the joint from, like, the 27th onward just boggles the mind. Did soooo many people not see this coming?

Here's where I'm going with this: The time to check out Nightmare is now, soon, today, early, ASAP, and any other modifier of imminence you'd like to add. The venue's huge, but it's gonna sell out often. And as more and more peops get in the swing of the season it's only gonna get hairier. I'd love to fill it up with FP customers, too. Knowing that, why not join us next Thursday for Forbidden Planet Night? I'll see ya there.

Also! Here's a good book to warm yourself up to the season:

30 Days of Night - by Steve Niles (w) and Ben Templesmith (a). The movie adaptation of this recent classic graphic novel finally releases on October 19th, so make sure you can dismiss or praise it based on your having read and enjoyed the book first.

This week's Hugo winning book and featured SF recommendation?

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester - In the year 2301, guns are only museum pieces and benign telepaths sweep the minds of the populace to detect crimes before they happen. Ben Reich plans to commit a crime that hasn't been heard of in 70 years: murder. That's the only option left for Reich, whose company is losing a 10-year death struggle with rival D'Courtney Enterprises. Terrorized in his dreams by The Man With No Face and driven to the edge after D'Courtney refuses a merger offer, Reich murders his rival and bribes a high-ranking telepath to help him cover his tracks. But while police prefect Lincoln Powell knows Reich is guilty, his telepath's knowledge is a far cry from admissible evidence. Deftly crafted by Bester, this intelligent and suspenseful book was a favorite of mine when I was a kid, and I relish the chance to be reading this again. Also, I was recently recommended the author's short stories, and have picked up the collection Virtual Unrealities. Enjoy.



UnkieDev's Amazing Stuff

So funny, it's SCARY! So scary it's FUNNY! Welcome to UnkieDev's humor reviews spooktacular, presenting the latest and greatest creepy comics makin' with the monsters, mayhem and mirth.

Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #13 - Bongo Comics, Various. I have more fun reading these Simpson's horror/humor annuals then I do watching the specials! The Treehouse of Horror titles are a great opportunity for Bongo to bring top talent from inside and outside the industry to tell their twisted and macabre tales of Springfield's crazy creeps. This year we have such writers as Reno 911's Thomas Lennon and two of the Comedians of Comedy, Paton Oswald and Brian Posehn joining up with cartoonists extraordinaire Hilary Barta, Terry Austin and more.

Where the Simpsons show fails. this title always brings the goods. How? After 22 years the show can be stale. Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror is a creative free-for-all, with each new creator bringing crazy styles of art, jokes and story diversity hot from the oven. There doesn't seem to be a great deal of restriction, and you can imagine Bongo getting giddy over irreverent stabs at the beloved characters in a way Fox could never stand.

This book is always one of the highlights to the Halloween season and it drops this week from Bongo Comics. The $4.99 price tag gets you a big 64 pages of haunted ha-ha! If you didn't pick up the past offerings Forbidden Planet has Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror trades: "Fun Filled Fright-Fest" with Paul Dini, Mike Allred and more as well as "Spine Tingling Spooktacular" to satisfy your horror hankerings.

Showcase Presents: House of Mystery Volumes 1 and 2 - DC, Various. Unclassifiable yet frightening fun from comic legends set in the haunted house to end all haunted houses. DC's "House of Mystery" bounced from humor, horror and sci-fi genres like a mime falling down stairs. While an anthology title its characters and settings work their way into mainstream DC and Vertigo continuities. HOM is "can't be beat" creeps and treats!

Comic book greats such as Alex Toth and Bernie Wrightson rub elbows with Silver Age newcomer Sergio Aragones a.k.a. "That Mad Magazine guy." Sergio cut his teeth at DC drawing grisly stories, links, and hilarious pin-ups as funny as they are grisly. This book is can be another fine example of "funny off-purpose," with a handful of the stories being gassers due to their bizarre anti-humor. At $16.99 for 500 pages you'd have to be a Halloweiner to avoid "The House of Mystery." Comic connoisseurs should track down Sergio's return to the title in 1998's "Welcome Back to the House of Mystery," one of the flat out best horror/humor books ever. "Welcome Back" reprints 10 of the best HOM stories with new chapter links by Sergio and his pal Neil Gaiman... yes, THAT Neil Gaiman!

Scary Godmother - Jill Thompson, Various Publishers. Encompassing four beautifully illustrated children's books and three comic book trade paperbacks, Jill Thompson's Scary Godmother is the undoubted queen of comic book Halloween handing out charming characters and stories for all ages tricks and treats.

A young girl discovers she can travel to "The Fright Side," a haunted though friendly town of monsters, vampires and ghouls, by getting up on the wrong side of her bed. There she meets the Scary Godmother, Halloween's red-haired magical matron whose job is to bring Halloween to our world year after year.

Yeah, those ARE the same plots to Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" AND "Beetlejuice" cartoons but Thompson can be forgiven for cribbing. Younger audiences may prefer Thompson's colourful characters and endless enthusiasm to Burton's flat tones. For younger readers this is a Halloween must have!

THE END...?!

As the Count would say that's "THREE, THREE scary funny-books Ah-HA-HA!" [Cue thunder and lightning.] The Dark Horse "Books of Monsters, Hauntings, Witches and the Dead" as well as Marvel Monsters and Marvel Zombies are such good titles I've assumed you have them already... if you don't, then SHAME ON YOU!

COUNT VON COUNT: Vonderful! That makes NINE, NINE scary comics! Ah-HA-HA!
[Cue thunder and lightning}
UNKIEDEV: Count, please stop making it rain in the store. You're ruining all the books!
UNKIEDEV: *Sigh* Happy Horrors everybody!
By Guest Contributor: UnkieDev


Apollo's Song Review

"Apollo's Song" by Osamu Tezuka, is Tezuka cast of characters in top form.

"'The Song for Apollo' is a science fiction manga for young readers featuring a boy named Chikaishi Shogo, a bad boy who has grown up without knowing love. In the story, he travels in time to search for true love." [Synopsis taken from Tezuka's site]

I also see a similarity between this manga and the novels "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" [1968, Phillip K. Dick] and "Valis," [1981, Phillip K. Dick] due to times in our respective societies when sexuality, technology and identity became subjects of importance in science fiction writing.

"Apollo's Song" is a fever dream of the future, splicing the storytelling gene of the greek myth with the cyberpunk future tale. Both heroes struggle to find love as artificial constructs in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep," and "Apollo's Sun." Both Kilgore Trout from "Valis," and Chikaishi Shogo both suffer a multiple personality disorder that in time reads more like an actual phasing of their real selves through time. This is heavy shit.

As Shogo falls through the cracks of his dream lives to rediscover and suffer love tragically, he willingly accepts his fate to experience the wheel of karma time and time again, combining the Buddhist with the greek myth/cyberpunk hybrid.

"Apollo's Song" is a really great read. This is Tezuka, also known as the "Japanese Walt Disney," in top form. His team of artists render the story with such quality, the likes of his "Phoenix," and "Cyborg 009" stories, with lush vegetation, expressive gestures, and mind-numbing technological epiphany.

Read it.

By Guest Contributor: Mark DeNardo


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 021

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Renew! Renew!

"Galloping the cosmos is a game for the young, Doctor."
-James T. Kirk

As a point of illumination with regards to this week's headline, I am, as of this writing, in the midst of Berfday. My 30th birthday, to be exact. Thank you, thank you. So I'm going to give myself a quasi week off from the WP. But not without saying this; some matter of introspection and temerity predescribed by the milestone age:

On this day, looking back on my adult life I realize that most of what I can see is your faces, the customers, employees, and friends of this establishment. I've been working at the FP since I was released from the prison of high school- all of my adult life. So that means you and I have have shared the best years of mine, together, and I wouldn't have traded it for all the tea in China. You guys and girls make this dimension a sheer pleasure and I'm blessed to know you. You hear me? I'm very fond of you all, and I can only hope that we will share even more of it together. Talking comics and Star Trek, ringing you guys up on Wednesday, basking in the geek oasis of Forbidden Planet, whatever the case may be. Let's live long and prosper.

This week's Hugo winning book and featured SF recommendation?

The Forever War - by Joe Haldeman. Private William Mandella is a hero in spite of himself -- a reluctant conscript drafted into an elite military unit, and propelled through space and time to fight in a distant thousand-year conflict. He never wanted to go to war, but the leaders on Earth have drawn a line in the interstellar sand -- despite the fact that their fierce alien enemy is unknowable, unconquerable, and very far away. So Mandella will perform his duties without rancor and even rise up through the military's ranks... if he survives. But the true test of his mettle will come when he returns to Earth. Because of the time dilation caused by space travel the loyal soldier is aging months, while his home planet is aging centuries -- and the difference will prove the saying: you never can go home... Vietnam vet, Purple Heart recipient, and super talented writer Joe Haldeman's masterpiece!

Rock 'n' Roll,


Who Wants to be a Hero?: Darkon movie review

Do you ever feel like you were born out of time? Does chain mail armor excite you? Do you think your name should be more along the lines of Gonwyn, Elora, or Valkor? If you could be any type of hero, who would you be?

Darkon explores the lives of those who yearn for something greater -- Live Action Role Players. Directed by Andrew Neel and Luke Meyer, this 89-minute documentary follows members of The Darkon Wargaming Club, a full-contact fantasy wargaming group in the Baltimore area. The film primarily focuses on Skip, also known as Bannor of Laconia, and his quest to overthrow the empire of Mordom, lead by Kenyon, or Keldar of Mordom.

Once the audience gets past the first few chuckles at the thought of grown-ups in tights with foam swords, they begin to see the real people behind the costumes. Neel and Meyer take great care to show the role players' everyday lives. Some are stay-at-home moms and dads. Many work 9 to 5 in an office. Through a calm camera lens, the audience sees what is a very normal, suburban existence for those in the game. How they choose to express themselves through their player characters is what makes them individuals. What all of the people of Darkon want is a little control in their lives and to make a difference.

The film is a wonderful combination of fantasy and real life. On one side there is Darkon, where honor and loyalty rule. The audience learns about the inner workings of the game. They see the campouts and the battles. They learn about the weaponry system. It may seem like a completely different world. However, soon it is apparent that the lives of those in Darkon are just like everyone else's. Role players are husbands, wives, and the barista at Starbucks. As Skip points out, "Everybody wants to be a hero."

Perhaps you have picked up a 100-sided die at Forbidden Planet and wondered, "How does this thing work?" Or maybe you've glanced through a Dungeons and Dragons book on your way to the anime. Maybe you know all of this and are a level 50 Mage named Gylggewich. In any case, Darkon is a revealing, fun film for young and old, informed and uninformed, Paladin and Dark Elf alike.

Darkon is playing Sept. 14th - 27th at Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St. www.darkonthemovie.com

- Miyoko Conley


Welcome Back, Tommy

So my most anticipated comic of 2007 comes out this week. That's saying something, considering the volume of material this industry produces. (I mean you've seen Previews, right? Retailer catalogue and blunt instrument of death in one convenient package...) Anyway, people who know me well might say, "Ken, Dan Slott's Amazing Spider-Man doesn't start shipping this week," to which I would just smile and reply, "I know [insert your mother's name here], but Tommy Monaghan is back in comics."

For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Tommy Monaghan was the star of DC Comics' Hitman, a defunct series written by Garth Ennis and drawn by John McCrea. It ran about the same time as Ennis' signature book Preacher (you may have heard of that one). The latter book got a lot more love than Hitman ever did, probably because Preacher had boobs, f-bombs and no stories guest-starring Green Lantern. But I've always thought Hitman was as good as/better than its big brother. It was the story of Tommy, a cocky, smart-mouthed Gotham City punk who was given super powers (don't ask) and proceeded to hire himself out as a specialized, meta-human assassin, backed up by his crew and buddies. But it was so much more than that meager description. It was Ennis and McCrea's love letter to everything from Hong Kong action movies and Clint Eastwood to zombie flicks, war stories and even -- just once -- Superman. It was sometimes scary, sometimes poignant and always funny. And since the book's cancellation in 2001, I've missed Tommy and his friends. A lot.

But all that changes this week, when the first issue of JLA/Hitman comes out. It's a two-part miniseries where Tommy presumably saves the Justice League from some threat that they can't handle because it can't be punched. And somewhere in it Tommy may use his powers to look at Wonder Woman naked. Again. So what are you waiting for? Read it. If you like it and you haven't already bought it, buy it. It just might convince the bean counters at DC Comics to put all the Hitman trades in print, and then your life will be just a tad bit better for it. I myself have all the single issues, but I want you to have all those stories too. And so would Tommy.

- Ken Ip


Welcome to Shibuya-cho

I sit here this week struggling with what to write about. I have been so overloaded as both retailer and fanboy by books, toys, and DVDs for the last few weeks that I totally forgot about those nifty manga exposés I used to do. So I'll just make a quick DVD mention about Air Gear v. 5, Bleach v. 6, and Kyo Kara Maoh Season 2 v. 6 having come in, and then go to a book that if you don't know about yet, you should definitely check out.

I know a lot of you out there are Fushigi Yugi fans. And even if you didn't watch the whole series, you know the death of Nuriko hit you right in the heart strings. You may also know that Season 1 was known as Suzaku Kaiden, and season 2 was known as Seiryu Kaiden (the Phoenix and Dragon respectively). But who was the first priestess, and who wrote the book that got this whole mess started?

That's where Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden comes in. Now Genbu is the turtle god of the south that carries the world on his back, often seen with a snake wrapped around him. And I'm sure some of you actually liked Miaka, but for those of you who thought she was annoying and useless, (as Lily called the series "What would have happened if Kairi was the main character") then you will love Takiko. This priestess comes with a spear (well, a naginata), and she knows how to use it. With a dead mother, a father who was missing most of her life, and her childhood love interest being married to someone else, oh yes, there will be drama. But also plenty of action, and magic, and coolness. Did I mention that one of her Seven Guardians can turn into a woman and can only use his powers in female form?

So yes, I highly recommend this one, and maybe if enough of you take interest Shojo Beat will release the volumes faster! See you all next week.

Ja Ne!
Mat K.


Unkie Dev's Amazing Stuff

It's not every week that I get to talk about the comics from last week, but this week is exceptional. Did you know the 25th anniversary of Groo the Wanderer has come and gone? Dark Horse knew, and to celebrate they published the lovely Groo 25th Anniversary Special. Man, last week was awesome.


"Legend" is the only word to describe all things Groo. Groo himself is a wandering barbarian, a cartoony parody of the Conan-crowd. He is Groo: bringer of destruction, eater of cheese-dip and friend/owner of his faithful sidekick/dog, Rufferto. He is also dumber than deep fried rocks, has a nose like a potato and cannot step on a boat without accidentally destroying it. For 25 years he has rambled and slayed across five different publishers, 150 comic books and two original graphic novels. His creative team, Mark Evanier (writer) and Sergio Aragones (artist) are comic book legends as well, despite working on this goof-ball character year after year.

Evanier is considered THE comic book scholar, cutting his teeth working for Jack Kirby and Wally Wood. Sergio Aragones, the world famous MAD Magazine cartoonist, has more industry awards for cartooning then he knows what to do with. Aragones has a background in engineering, assuring each catapult, castle and medieval torture device depicted was drawn in perfect working order. The art is so incredibly detailed, Mark and Sergio used to hide hidden messages in each book.


Groo is a tried and true "Funny Book," mixing slapstick, bad puns and silly humor with great stories and art for consistent yucks. Groo had comic fans LOLing and ROLFing before such things existed. Loyal Groo readers know the gentle humor and all around sense of fun found in Groo is to be had in NO OTHER comic. Indeed, The Groo panel at the San Diego comic con is usually jam-packed, even for the past 3 years when there have been no Groo books being published at all!

If this all sounds like kids stuff: sorry, IT IS! South Park and the internet have changed what mainstream culture can laugh at. More recent funny books such as "The Pro," and "The Boys." i.e. "Mature" books, have virtually killed off the all-ages humor comic. Reading Groo is reading books from an often funnier, more innocent time when it was okay to laugh at a moron barbarian, his faithful hound and the thousands he accidentally slays behind him. Let the inner ten year old in you have a break from the grim and gritty. Pick up the silly, crazy and wacky world of Groo TODAY with the The Groo 25th Anniversary Special from Dark Horse, or any of the Groo reprint trades also available here at Forbidden Planet. You will never look at "Mulch" the same way again.


Groo ain't the only all-ages funny book debuting this week. For fairy tale good times with a dash of gender politics look no further than Linda Medley's award-winning Castle Waiting from Fantagraphics. Dwarves, witches and enchanted princesses try to live together in a crowded, crumbling castle. It's a fairy tale "Real World" that never skimps on charm.

And if THAT wasn't hoy-falloy enough for you, last week also saw the release of Action Philosophers #9 from Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey. Simple, clean yet expressive art helps break down the tough concepts of philosophy with fists and funny. Think of the "Big Book" or "Cartoon History of" approach to logical positivism or Marx/Engles... and if you didn't understand a single thing I just said then stick with Groo. Unkie Dev AWAY!

By Guest Contributor: Unkie Dev


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 020

Friday, September 14, 2007

Gerard Way Signing

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Deal of the Week

We have a new Deal of the Week!

Blast Off

"Wake me up when September ends," lamented Billy Joe Armstrong. And now as September winds down, I find myself awakening from my dream of working at a comic book store. This is my last week at FP, and when I read this Weekly Planet, I'll be on the other side of the counter. In two weeks, I'll be buying comics at a shop on the other side of the continent. However, I am not sad nor do I regret anything while working here. Instead, Forbidden Planet represents what's great about comics... the people.

Mystery revealed! There are actually TWO of them.

Comic books themselves hold only the value we ascribe to them. They are merely pieces of paper covered with scribbles and bound by two staples. They wrinkle and bend easily and they serve as terrible wrapping paper. What is of value are the characters in the stories and the writers/artists' efforts to create a world where we can connect ourselves when we feel disconnected. When we need a good laugh, we read a comic; when we are sad and think no one else feels our pain, we read a comic; when we are angry and want to smash everything around us, we read a comic. Comics make us feel not so alone and awkward.

Our resident Multiple Men: Andrew (left) and Ken (right)

And here at Forbidden Planet, that's what we try to facilitate. This "geek" shop is for everybody. No matter who you are, you'll find something that either inspires you, captivates your imagination, or lets you in on someone else's world. Here, if you're a Trekkie, you're cool. If you like Doctor Who, you're common. And if you love the Power Rangers, well, we can find someone who knows more about it than you! But ultimately, the message is clear: You're not alone in your awkwardness. Revel in it, embrace it, and cherish it.

Saying "Goodbye" - Forbidden Planet-style

As I help my last customer, I will always remember the wonderful people I have met here, both customers and employees. People, who made me feel welcomed on my first day at the job; people, who have made me smile when I felt like my entire world was crashing down; people who I had long and engaging conversations with about comics; people who accepted me as I am. So, thank you all.

Oh, I have just one thing left to say: Treat the person at bag-check with some respect. He/she is working really hard and taking a lot of guff from people all day. A simple "Thank you" and a smile goes a long way.



Harvey Winners

The comic industry's prestigious Harvey Awards were presented this past weekend and are presented below. The awards, named after comics legend and Mad creator Harvey Kurtzman, recognized some of the best stuff published in 2006, and are voted on by comics professionals. Not only are these selections outstanding, they're also in stock at Forbidden Planet today, baby!
Best Letterer: Stan Sakai. Usagi Yojimbo
Best Colorist: Lark Pien, American Born Chinese
Best Syndicated Strip: Keith Knight, The K Chronicles
Best Online Comic: Nicholas Gurewiich, Perry Bible Fellowship
Best Inker: Danny Miki, Eternals
Best Foreign Reprint: Tie: Abandon the Old in Tokyo, Moomin
Best New Series: The Spirit
Best Graphic Album (Previously Published): Absolute New Frontier
Special Award for Humor in Comics: Bryan Lee O'Malley
Best New Talent: Brian Fies, Mom's Cancer
Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation: Art Out of Time. Dan Nadel
Best Anthology: Flight Vol 3
Best Domestic Reprint: Complete Peanuts
Best Cover Artist: James Jean, Fables
Special Award for Excellence in Presentation: Lost Girls
Best Original Graphic Album: Pride Of Baghdad
Best Continuing or Limited Series: Daredevil
Best Writer: Ed Brubaker, Daredevil
Best Artist: Frank Quietly, All Star Superman
Best Cartoonist: Jaime Hernandez, Love & Rockets
Best Single Issue: Civil War #1
Releasing 9/12/07

Action Philosophers #9 - by Fred Van Lente & Ryan Dunlavey Final issue! ActPhilo goes out with a bang, cramming as many thinkers as they can into one 32-page comic, as voted on by the fans at AP.com! Marvel at "Six Degrees of Francis Bacon!" Reel from the attack of giant Confucius, a.k.a. "Master Kong," on the minds (and skyscrapers) of China! Also, Michel Foucault and Bil Keane team up for "The Foucault Circus!" And many, many more! We'll be very sad to see this incredibly fun comic walk off into the sunset, but some might argue that every ending is something else beginning.

Superman Death And Return Of Superman Omnibus HC - Love it or hate it, this monumental Superman storyline is collected in one massive 784-page hardcover volume featuring an all-new cover by pivotal creator Dan Jurgens, timed to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the event and the release of the Superman: Doomsday DVD. Includes the best-selling trade paperbacks The Death Of Superman and The Return Of Superman, as well as portions of World Without a Superman, plus all the goodies you've come to expect from DC's exhaustive Absolute editions -- 40 pages of bonus extras including promotional material, pre-production showcase and product spotlights.

Hellboy Vol 7 The Troll Witch & Others TP - Older favorites originally published in various scattered sources are collected here for the first time in the seventh volume of the Hellboy saga. Hellboy: The Troll Witch and Others collects short stories from The Dark Horse Book of the Dead, Witchcraft, Hauntings, and Monsters, the 2004 Hellboy: Wizard 1/2, as well as the 2006 miniseries Hellboy: Makoma by Mignola and comics legend Richard Corben, and a previously unpublished Hellboy story by P. Craig Russell and Mike, along with sketches and story notes.

Nightly News Vol 1 TP - Collecting the Weekly Planet-acclaimed miniseries by promising newcomer Jonathan Hickman. As an act of violence spirals out of control to encompass the entirety of the news media, a cult has emerged, seeking attrition for the irresponsibility, errors and retractions (or lack thereof) that have ruined careers, marriages and even lives. Under direction from his cult master, The Hand leads an army of followers willing to die for their cause and committed to revolution. Sleazy Hollywood pitchline? It's Michael Moore meets Fight Club. Whatever. It's terrific.

Drafted #1 - Nifty alien invasion comic.

Also: Speaking of award winners... I'm on a big SF kick recently, rediscovering classics I haven't read in years and jumping head first into the pool of writers and works I've mistakenly neglected. Hence I've decided to share this with our Weekly Planet readers, hoping you guys get hip to some of the best SF novels ever imagined. This feature may also be a great introduction for newbies.

For the foreseeable future I'll highlight a Hugo Award nominated or winning novel worthy of your time and dough. The Hugo Award was named in honor of Hugo Gernsback, "The Father of Magazine Science Fiction," as he was described in a special award given to him in 1960. The Hugo Award, also known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award, is given annually by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS). The distinguishing characteristics of the Hugo Award are that it is sponsored by WSFS, administered by the committee of the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) held that year, and determined by nominations from and a popular vote of the membership of WSFS. Consider this a book club if ya wanna, just pick some of these up!

This week's Hugo book and featured Science Fiction recommendation?

The Man in the High Castle - by Philip K. Dick. It's America in 1962 where slavery is legal and the few surviving Jews hide anxiously under assumed names all because some twenty years earlier, America lost a war and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan. This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel set in a parallel universe is the work that established Dick as a legendary science fiction author.

"Stickin feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken."


Welcome to Shibuya-cho

Welcome to another exciting episode of WTS. I know I mentioned this last week, but I wasn't sure when it would be here, and suddenly it's here this week. That's right, I'm talking about Kingdom Hearts 2 Master Form Sora. Bright yellow and once again containing two keyblades. This time the blades are "Guardian Soul" that he gets from Final Fantasy X's Auron and the "Circle of Life" blade that he gets from the Lion King world. Sexy.

Okay, more big news. Brace yourselves. This might be hard to believe, but Tokyopop FINALLY is releasing volume 4 of I.N.V.U by Kim Kang Won. I.N.V.U. is one of the very first Korean Manwha to be released in America and was (is) crazy popular. It almost makes me wanna cry to think about the delay between issues. It has been about 4 years since volume 3 came out, and while a lot of you gave up hope, I know there are a lot of loyal fans out there who keep asking when the next issue is coming in. If this doesn't prove that patience pays off in the end, then I don't know what will. I can only hope that Tokyopop doesn't do the same thing with the next issues of Tarot Cafe and Legal Drug, but that would be too much to ask.

Also coming in this week (which I'm sure most of you out there are already aware of), is Path of the Assassin Vol. 7. I'm sure I don't have to say too much, since anyone out there reading it already knows Kazuo Koike from the classic mega series Lone Wolf and Cub. I just thought I would let you all know since it has been a little while since volume 6 came out. Okay! I'm making it a short one this time readers, so see you next week!

Ja Ne!
Mat K.



What Would James Jean Do? -- a mantra for aspiring artists everywhere, spawning copycats and envious detractors alike. In my experience with speaking to various editors and art directors, praise for the Golden Boy of cover art flows as freely as Pabst at a Williamsburg (James' former place of residence) party. And it's no wonder, as his prodigious talents scored him the opportunity to do Fables covers for Vertigo a mere six months out of college and more awards than can be humanly recounted from memory alone (including his most recently-won THIRD Harvey Award for Best Cover Artist). Startlingly humble and soft-spoken in person, these achievements have obviously not phased his ego nor his artistic integrity, as he begins to move towards working in the more personal field of fine arts rather than commissioned illustration.

Until then, we have the lovely second edition of Process Recess collecting his various illustrative and personal work in convenient twenty-two 15" x 11" cut-out prints suitable for framing (with handy-dandy instructions, at that!). Furthermore, the backs of his finished pieces feature the piece at various stages of the "process" to shed light on the method behind his madness. "Shouldn't James be concerned that imparting his methods will encourage imitation?" you may ponder. Not to worry! James' progressive work methods allow him to share his genius with others, as he is always steps ahead of whatever he has revealed to his audience. Additionally, there are extra pages of pen sketches of his work space as well as photo-thumbnails from his personal life to shed some light on the artist behind it all, how he works, and what inspires him.

*Alice Meichi Li


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 019

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Deal of the Week

We have a new Deal of the Week!

Everybody's Happy Nowadays

"It just feels like it's a wonderful time in comics right now. The range of creative material seems to be expanding everywhere you look. The reactions to it are getting both warmer and wider. More places are talking about the medium seriously; covering it seriously; Not quite proselytizing it in the literal sense that some of the people in comics have done for years, but really joining in that effort of reaching out because they're buying into what we've been saying for so long..."

-DC Comics Publisher Paul Levitz
Yeah. Isn't it terrific? Isn't it a wonderful time?

So why such hubub about my pal Fantagraphics' schill/publicist Eric Reynolds upset by walking into a comic store in the college town of Pullman, WA, whose extent of independent offerings could be narrowed down to a copy of Watchmen, some Vertigo books, and a copy of Gilbert Hernandez's new Dark Horse books. When Eric asked the store's owner if he had anything by Fanta or Drawn and Quarterly, the reponse was a question: "Are those guys still in business?" And this despite carrying comics ordered from a catalogue that Eric and his company extensively advertise in month after month (Previews).

Now, while I agree with those who contend that the store has every right to carry only what they wish, I do believe that Eric has a right to be overtly incredulous. The fruits of his efforts, and the efforts of everyone that effectively, enthusiastically promotes this wonderful medium (the endless litany of fellow activist retailers, publicists, bloggers, fans, and print and web reporters for that matter), have in this instance fallen on deaf, blind and otherwise unreceptive ears, exemplar of many comic outlets.

You can only please some of the people some of the time. No store that sells comics can be a full-line establishment. There is just too much material published in the last hundred years for that to even be remotely possible. That being said: hopefully Forbidden Planet pleases you as we strive to try. If you're looking for books or comics not currently in stock, please ask me to procure them. I probably have them on order or will bust my butt to get. Either way -- we know Fanta and D&Q are still in business.

Amazing Spider-Man #544 - J. Michael Straczynski (w) and Joe Quesada. Coming from someone (me) who admittedly has no love for the character, rather an idifference really, a good review of Marvel's big Spidey event book will probably fall on the deaf ears of his loyal fans. You're gonna pick it up anyway. It is to you, the casual reader that I say this: It's not bad. #544 is still the soap opera that is Peter Parker's life, still the fallout from Civil War, but a helluva lot better than recent perusals I've given the title. It would seem Joe Mike has been saving his usually excellent writing (dialogue, esp.) for "One More Day" The addition of the dynamic super-hero pencils of Marvel honcho Joe Quesada don't hurt, neither. There's also the nifty long-time-coming showdown with Iron Man, who screwed Spidey over royal last year. Plus, if forty or so years of convoluted Spidey continuity are too intimidating to us lay folks, there's a terrifically terse history and character outline in the back. Not too shabby.

Process Recess 2 Portfolio - Published by Adhouse Books. Eisner and Harvey award winning Fables cover artist James Jean presents his second art collection and includes editorial and annotated pages that give an insight into the working methods of an illustration prodigy blending media such as acrylics, oils, computer work, and sketching. The first Process Recess was one of our best-selling books of all time, and deservedlly so for all its splendor. Vol. 2 is twice the size of that sexy little hardcover (for almost the same price!) so I want double the sales. Highly recommended.

Sentences: The Life Of MF Grimm HC - Here's something interesting. Underground NYC rapper Percy Carey, aka MF Grimm's memoir (deftly illustrated by Hellblazer: Papa Midnight artist Ronald Wimberly) is published by DC/Vertigo this week. Percy, paralyzed after taking eleven bullets in an attempt on his life in 1994, delves into the facets of an extraordinarily troubled life in his first comic work. The streets, to rap entrepreneur, to jail, to comics writer. There's a fascinating profile of him here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=10969. Let's hope this book is his first of many.

Yes, it would seem there's something for everyone out this week. But isn't there always? Highlights include:

Paul Dini's Madame Mirage #2 - Two Garth Ennis treats in the form of a new printing of his hilaiously lewd and unsavory The Pro (hooker super-heroine) and The Boys #10, Exterminators #21, Buffy #6, Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Vol 2.

"Bet you are tired of being upset
Always wanting something you never can get"


Welcome to Shibuya-cho

Howdy folks. We just got an awesome unexpected toy arrival since last week's issue that I know you're gonna love. You've got Sora, you've got him in Valor form, you've got him in his Final form. Now finally, one year later, you can own Kingdom Hearts 2 Sora in his gloriously cool blue Wisdom form. Now this version only comes with one keyblade (as it is in the game), but at least this keyblade is the lovely "Follow the Wind" blade that Sora gets from the "Pirates of the Carribean" world. And just so you guys aren't kept in too much suspense, we do have Sora in Master form on order to arrive hopefully soon.

Now in the wild world of manga, my two picks of the week (until some other unexpected titles show up again), are Dark Horse's titles MPD Psycho volume 2 and XS Hybrid volume 2. Both have fantastic art, and intriguing and and curious stories.

First up is MPD Psycho by Sho-u Tajima and Eiji Otsuka about a homicide detective who was arrested after killing his girlfriend's killer. After a few years in prison a friend and also detective quits the force to start her own investigation firm and hires him onto her new team. So why does she take in a convicted murderer? He's the best profiler the department ever saw, and now he works for her. That's all well and fun, but who's fault is it when the serial killers start getting serial killed? The killer detective, the woman who got him out of jail, or one of the various personalities stored in the killer detective's brain?

And now XS Hybrid by Song Ji-Hyung is a different kinda story but with the same action pace. A young man tries to protect his girlfriend from a thug, but the thug wails on him in a fairly supernatural manner. Not even the cops who rushed to the scene can stop this guy. Shortly after a quick escape, they encounter the thug again, but are saved by this mysterious blond guy with the same strange strength only more so. And suddenly not only one, but international governments are involved. Still not quite sure what it is, but there's a secret about these "hybrids". That's why I'm aching to read volume 2. Ok, just so you know ahead of time, both these titles are quite violent in their awesome action-ness, so they're pretty much for late teens and up. Enjoy and I'll see you next week.

Ja Ne!
Mat K.


Unkie Dev's Amazing Stuff

You know you are a comic book geek when Labor Day does NOT fill you with the happy anticipation of hot dogs and swimmin' pools but with anguish and the apprehensive question: "Will this push back my weekly comic books to Thursday?"

Let's Talk Silver!

Nothing beats the Silver Age of comic books for non-stop excitement and joy! Both Marvel and DC comics are keeping a plethora of their silver age material reprinted at rock bottom prices. Does Forbidden Planet have it all in stock? Let's ask:

UNKIEDEV: Forbidden Planet, would you say you have a plethora of Silver Age Comics?
FORBIDDEN PLANET: Oh yes, El Guapo. You have a plethora.
UD: Forbidden Planet... do you even know what a plethora means?
The Silver Age is the early sixties comics revival started by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and the mighty Marvel Bullpen. For the first time the emphasis in the comics was not on the powers that the super heroes possessed, but on their personality, or their friendships and foibles.

Foibles? Wasn't that an 80's toy line of plush, suction cupped lizards?

Essential Hulk Volume 1 - Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Marvel
Not only is this Essential reading for Marvel fans, it is essential reading for all. Explosive panels of a lumbering beats jumping over mesas and smashing tanks to bitty-bits, all while Stan pours on the prolix about pain and responsibility. Fun, fun, fun. Don't look for continuity; it still hadn't been invented. In one story the Hulk's lungs are his only weakness, another issue has them as his greatest strength! This is Silver Age at its best!

Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 1 - Jack Kirby, DC
Kirby is raw comic book id. After leaving Marvel due to rights, tension and respect Kirby took his fantastic imagination over to DC creating a whole new universe: All the gods that ever were die in a battle, giving birth to two new planets: New Genesis, home of benevolent New Gods and Apokolips, an evil land of power hungry deviants! What follows is the over-the-top shouting, punching and drama of Kirby's unfinished masterpiece. I swear to Pete, every sentence in this book ends with an exclamation point! This is a beautiful volume of reprints, but not as cheap as the Merry Marvel essentials.

There is so much great Silver Age material, and at such low prices, you can't really go wrong. Here's one more of my favorites:

Showcase Presents: The Haunted Tank Vol. 1 - Robert Kanigher (W), Russ Heath, Irv Novick and Joe Kubert (I), DC
This book is a little Golden Age-esque. It's a war comic, and as the Silver Age blazed its trail the diversified topics of the Golden Age: war, romance, western and horror fell by the wayside. Now, maybe you want to go read some new modern comics with long, drawn out stories about attractive teenagers with super powers who still sit around and mope that nobody loves them. Maybe, however, you want a REAL comic book about a Haunted Tank that shoots Nazis in the face! HAUNTED TANK, PLEASE. I could write more explanation on the characters and plots, but "Haunted Tank" sums it up pretty dang good.

Comics should be fun. I have all of literature and cinema for pathos but I have only one time and place for Hulking Green-skinned atomic Monsters, an epic battle of dorky-dressed battle gods or a Haunted Tank piloted by a man named Jeb: The Silver Age.

So this week, blow your paycheck/parent's allowance on some Silver Age treasures. This goes for you too, Hipsters: The Silver Age is Iconically-Ironic. That's it for me, Unkiedev. Have fun and help *CRUNCH* take a bite out of crime!

By Guest Contributor: Unkie Dev


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 018

Unkie Dev: Grampy Bramperson

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