Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gary Wassner Signing

PBF & the JMan

My Stars. Thank the universe for small miracles. I'm up to my eyeballs in the fabulous Previews catalog, the book we order much of our wares from and due tomorrow night, as of this writing. (BTW, when I use the term "fabulous" I mean the exact opposite of its definition, usually through gnashed teeth -- if something's fabulous, it bites Beelzebub boobs) I was gonna take a hostage a second ago, kvetching to the office walls that I also had to write a Weekly Planet on top of swimming through the muck of this 526-page bundle of inane solicitations and ca-ca. But crisis was averted when I perused the list of items hitting our shelves this week! OMG! I've been waiting to write this column for months now! Been eagerly awaiting this one book for years now!The first collection of Nick Gurewitch's Perry Bible Fellowship releases Wednesday, making this your lucky day, kids. Better buy a lottery ticket. Let's delve deeper, shall we? (And I ask your forgiveness in advance for all the superlatives I'm about to use.)

PBF: The Trial of Colonel Sweeto HC - Dark Horse Comics finally presents this collection of Gurewitch's comic strips, which appear online and grace the pages of newspapers and magazines the world over. PBF is my favorite comic strip going these days. It's my opinion that Nick Gurewitch is the greatest young strip artist to break out since Bill Watterson. Possessed of a singular, and disturbingly jagged wit, his strips will make ya laugh to be sure. But, PBF excels when it examines our human frailties, our foibles, insecurities, and our world, skewing them slightly... and then you get eaten by a dinosaur. Enough telling -- let me show you what I'm talkin' about. Here's a reprint of my most favoritest strip of the 21st Century (don't sue, Gurewitch), Punch Bout:

I think that sums it up nicely. Buy the book. Check out his website www.pbfcomics.com. Enjoy.

Also recommended and releasing this week:

Special Forces - Kyle Baker (Why I Hate Saturn, Nat Turner) presents the tale of an army whose recruitment quotas, lagging during the President's troop escalation, calls for a few good men. Whadda they get instead? Follow a small-town autistic teen from his recruitment, through basic training, and then off to war in Iraq. With violent felons, mental patients, a violent mental hot chick and at least one "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", his unit is composed of the military's last line of defense. The very last line, and this is NOT a true story!

Biff Bam Pow #1 - by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer. More titans of comic-dom releasing books this week, this time Evan (Dork, Milk & Cheese) and his lovely partner in crime Sarah bring you superheroes, monsters, monkeys, and the neverending battle between the good, the bad, and the stupid. A steal at three bucks.

Moomin the Complete Tove Jannson Bk. 2 - The Moomins are a family of Scandinavian trolls that resemble hairless hippos. If you're still reading this, your mind is open enough to trust me that these books are magical, and should be cherished by anyone with an imagination.

This week's Hugo Award Winning Novel?

Downbelow Station (1984) - By C.J. Cherryh. - Grandiose space opera at its finest, as war rages between Earth and her Colonies in the year 2352. It also stars a character with the same last name as me! Segust Ayres... Well, it's pronounced the same, smarty-pants!

One More Time!

Orphanage Misfortune

Be Well,


Grand Ole Party

My limited capacity to comprehend books without pictures and politics has put me in a conundrum. I am a simple person who enjoys comics. Thus, in order to understand politics I need to equate them to superheroes. Continuing from last week's article on the Democrats, this week I look at the Republican candidates:

Rudy Giuliani: This former mayor of New York City is the perfect candidate to become the protector of Sector 2814. That's right! Rudy Giu is the Green Lantern. Strong-willed and determined to make the United States into a better nation, who else can wield the Oa power ring? He acted like a top-notch leader during 9/11. Hal Jordan faces these types of threats all the time. In fact, Hal's own city was attacked and destroyed. Oh wait, that was because Jordan was mad with power. But we try to forget that little part of GL's career. Much like Giuliani's iron-fisted reign over NYC.

John McCain: Captured as a POW in Vietnam, the experience changed McCain's life. He dedicated himself to the betterment of his country. Does the Senator's origin sound familiar? That's because he's Iron Man. Tony Stark was also captured by an evil Asian mastermind, the Mandarin! And like Iron Man, McCain's views have turn towards the drastic side, i.e. the U.S. should only have a Christian president. Don't be surprised if the Senator clones Jesus and has Clone-J blast a hole through Joseph Lieberman! Once considered mavericks in their respective fields, both these men need to find themselves again and fight for the greater good.

Mitt Romney: This candidate has drawn the suspicious ire of the right-wing evangelical Christians. His Mormon religion has ostracized him amongst his constituents. Maybe it's his religion or maybe it's because he's a MUTANT! Misunderstood, persecuted, and discriminated, he could be one of Charles Xavier's students. But, Romney isn't an X-Man; he's more of a Morlock. Mitt is Leech. Both Mormons and Morlocks are alienated and prosecuted; not fitting in with their Christian counterparts nor their mutant brethren respectively. Don't worry, Mitt. One day you'll be accepted by the surface-world. One day.

- Andrew Jung


Welcome to Shibuya-cho

All around and back, people. Here we are again. When last we met it was all about blood, sex, and demon-slaying in the Witchblade: Takeru manga, so I figured we'll take a different path this time around and talk about Natsumi Ando's latest creation, Kitchen Princess.

Now some of you might remember her first series Zodiac P.I. which was pretty popular for a while, but it's been just that. A while. Finally she's put out a new series, and I like it. The art is super shojo style with the sharp-jointed stick people much like the Sailor Moon manga or the Utena manga. So as long as you don't have anything against shojo, I'm sure you'll dig it too.
So here's the skinny. This girl named Najika was raised in an orphanage on one of those tiny random Japanese islands after her parents died in an accident when she was little. With both of her parents also being world-class chefs, Najika was born with the sense of perfect taste. Basically if she tastes anything once, she can recreate it perfectly; even accounting for the love, thought, and soul put into the food.

The real story begins when Najika enters one of Japan's most prestigious private schools in search of a mysterious boy. He gave her a cup of flan and a silver spoon back when she was new to the orphanage and feeling super-depressed. Her only clue? The spoon he gave her is made by this school and given only to its students.

Many of the other students can't stand her and don't even know how she managed to get into their school at all, let alone on full scholarship. But Najika does her best to prove herself and help everyone with her awesome cooking abilities. It all might sound a little corny -- these things often do when you're sitting there trying to summarize them -- but what makes this series really awesome is that everything Najika cooks, from dinner to dessert to drinks, the recipes can be found at the end of the book so you can make it yourself (complete with handy doodles). So pick it up, enjoy, and vicariously make yourself hungry. Then eat. See ya next time.

Ja Ne!
Mat K.


Unkie Dev's Amazing Stuff: GET MARRIED EDITION!

OMG. You have got to try this: Go find a nice girl or boy you think is attractive and you can spend a great deal of time with... Okay, ready? Now buy that person a ring, propose marriage and THEN get married! DUDE, it is totally cool. Friends tell you how nice you are, and you get to dance to fun music and folks get you gifts.

The only bad part about getting married is going on your honeymoon. Sure you get to drink daiquiris by the pool in the Bahamas, snorkel, and eat conch fritters; but you will not see one comic book the entire time. You may pass an old comic book store on the way back to the airport. It may have a sad, Caribbean sun-faded poster of Wolverine in the window taunting you with past comic book glory. Yeah, you can come back home afterwards and buy your weekly comics at Forbidden Planet... but it just won't be the same, and Marvel Previews will have sold out. *Sigh*


Last week's Weekly Planet announced Wayne Barlowe as Forbidden Planet's special guest at the Big Apple Comic-Con National Show on November 17th. Hooray for America! What follows are a few scant "do's and don'ts" for first time comic convention-going fans:

1: Respect all, ESPECIALLY creators: There is your favorite writer/artist... they're RIGHT THERE in front of you! WOW! Do go say "Hi", do tell them how much you like their work citing specific examples but DO NOT crowd them. Some artists will draw commissioned sketches at cons, some will draw for free. DO NOT assume they will do either. Ask them whether they do con sketches and if so whether they charge or not. I know Sergio Aragones is going to be there... boy I'll never live down asking him to draw me a free pirate sketch.

2: DON'T buy the first thing you see: there are tons of vendors all with different price schemes. If you see that rare comic book you've been looking for forever: Atari Forces #1 for example, DO NOT buy it outright. Note the price and price shop across the con. You'll be thanking yourself/kicking yourself if you find it cheaper later on.

3: DO attend panels: Conventions are a fun bazaar of toys, books and costumed crazies; but the heart of the con is in the panels. Find out what the pros have to say on a variety of topics. Learn about upcoming trends, products and talents.

4: Keep costumes comfy: I've seen some pretty snazzy Transformers costumes at cons but the folks trapped inside cannot move, cannot shop or attend panels. Do not get trapped by your own brilliant costume design. Two of the biggest con hits are a guy that dresses like an Elvis Stormtrooper and an Unemployed Skeletor. I have seen these two gentlemen on numerous occasions and they are always surrounded by well-wishers, adoring fans and, surprisingly, women wanting pictures. HECK YEAH you can take folks pictures, just ask first and remember rule #1.

5: Bring water/patience: Cons can be crowded, hot affairs. Take your time, pace yourself, and don't lose patience with other con-goers. All of us can get a bit jumpy about our favorite hobbies/creators, but judge not lest yea be judged yourself. It's always smart to bring a bottle of water for refreshment.

6: DO NOT say "Candyman" five times into a mirror: If older kids tell you "It's cool" it is NOT. A murderous, hook handed African-American painter from the 1800's will jump out and swarm you with bees. You've been warned.

There. That is every single thing you need to know about comic book conventions. If you follow all the advice in this column carefully, you will be happily married and attending comic book conventions in no time... or at least in November. I didn't really get around to recommending products this week, so might I mention Forbidden Planet DOES offer Gift Certificates? They make great presents for Halloween, or even... oh, say, friendly columnists who just got married?

By Guest Contributor: Unkie Dev


Unkie Dev: Grampy Bramperson

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Date From Hell

A quick announcement:

Fantasy artist extraordinaire Wayne Barlowe has just been confirmed as our esteemed guest at this year's Big Apple Comic-Con National Show! Mr. Barlowe will be signing to promote his just-released first novel, God's Demons, which is highly recommended and in stock now. Inspired by Milton's Paradise Lost, the book tells the story of the demon Sargatanas, exiled from Heaven eons ago. His dream of returning leads him to amass an army of human damned and demons to aid him in overthrowing Lucifer's regent, Beelzebub, in an attempt to catch God's eye and achieve redemption.

If you're familiar with Mr. Barlowe's art (and if not you oughta get familiar; it's phenomenal) you'll know that demons and Hell are his forte, especially so in the masterful Barlowe's Inferno (a graphic adaptation of the Dante classic). Hence, if that stuff's your thing, I think you should check Wayne's book out. Then I think we need to get the two of you together. How about at a comic book convention in NYC on a Saturday? Saaaay... November 17th? I'm thinking 2ish? Cool? Then it's a date. He'll bring the Roylance Guide and you'll eat and read.

Jellyfist - by Jhonen Vasquez & Jenny Goldberg. First, here's the publisher's solicitation:

"Barely conscious and muttering to himself, Jhonen Vasquez grabbed a fishbone and scrawled on the side of a cat a series of surrealist scripts never meant to be read by anyone. Two thousand miles away, J. Goldberg hears these very scripts whispered to her in her sleep by her pet ferret, devoid of any real direction beyond the dialog. Goldberg awakens to find that she has illustrated these scenes. In Jellyfist, two artists battle with interpretation - however absurd the intent or outcome - with running commentary from the creators on just how wrong or right it's all gone. The first book published as a result of ferret-aided, carved-kitten-transmitted telepathy, Jellyfist's collection of highly important nonsense just might change your opinion of almost all known things. This full-color comic will have production values and bindings far beyond what the content would dictate."
Having witnessed firsthand how Jhonen Vasquez' work (beginning with nigh on hundreds of printings of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squee, Filler Bunny, and his TV show Invader Zim) gains a new and ever vast audience year after year, project after project, I can say with impunity that: Wow. Wow. Like "acceptable losses" in a war, there seems to be a never-draining pool of replacement army of Vasquez fans. Now while these new ranks are always aged around, say sixteen to eighteen and of a certain darkish demeanor and sarcastic humor, they are drawn to it in loving droves. To say that Orson Welles was a hungry guy would be an understatement.

To say Vasquez fans dig his comics is the ultimate understatement. And that's just swell. That's terrific. The guy's produced but a handful of comics in the last fifteen years or so, and yet there's still an audience for it. Moreover there's a perpetually burgeoning audience for the work. And while there's something to be said for the Bart Simpson quote, "Making teenagers depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel," there're a few irrefutable truths here. Kids buy comics, dammit: even though the publisher has no dough to spend on mass market advertising, their customers come to the material through generational word of mouth -- one older brother or sister's old comics become the younger's new hotness, or the hip kids who were juniors or seniors devoured this and yesterday's frosh mimic in turn. Pass on your passion, in this case COMICS, and you can affect the universe. And, if you're the author, find your artistic voice and rock it.

X-Men #204 - Wow. Gambit and Rogue snogging on the cover of an X-Men comic. In 2007. The more things change the more they stay the same, huh? I smell a Xavier Institute mutie baseball game coming soon. Sweet Jesus, where's my New X-Men Omnibus when I need it?

This week's Hugo Award Winning Novel?

The Gods Themselves - by Isaac Asimov. Need an abundant and efficient energy source in the year 2100? The invention of the Inter-Universe Electron Pump, derived from alien technologies from a parallel world, is the answer to all your energy woes, Humanity. Only problem is it affects the rate of hydrogen fusion in the sun, leading, inevitably, to the possibilty of an Earth-engulfing supernova. Kinda puts a cramp on your poker night. Energy's kinda like playing Black in Magic the gathering, folks. It's all about attrition.

P: She says she's the Gatekeeper, does that make any sense to you?
E: Some. I've just met the Keymaster. He's here with me now.
P: Oh, wonderful, we have to get these two together.

Have a Great Week,


Democracy for Donkeys

I don't particularly follow politics, nor do I read books without pictures. So when I encounter real people and real-world topics the only way I can understand them is to relate them to comic books. With elections just around the corner, I started following the candidates and their policies. Luckily, I equate these politicians to superheroes. It makes fighting evil so much easier. Here are the Democrats:

Hillary Clinton: She is Susan Storm A.K.A. The Invisible Woman. Her marriage to Bill is the perfect example of the powerhouse couple of Marvel comics. Former prez Bill Clinton is a great Mr. Fantastic. Future First Husband, Bill, is generally well-liked even after all the missteps of his administration. Kind of like Reed after siding fascist Iron Man (even Spidey asked Reed for help after the war). Sue reconciled with Reed by having a second honey-moon. Hillary stood by her man during the Lewinsky scandal. Anybody remember the waterfall picture of Hillary and Bill having an intimate moment after the scandal? Plus, the very word "invisible" says it all. Hillary is politically acute. It's obvious she influenced Bill during his presidential terms from behind the scenes. If you have any more doubts that Hillary is Sue Storm; let's look at the rest of the First Family.

Al Gore: During his tenure as Vice-President, he was characterized as stiff and robotic. But now, he's Johnny Storm. FIYAH! In the polls, he's as red-hot as you can get! He hosted Saturday Night Live, won an Oscar, and now a Nobel Peace Prize. This once boring politician has turned into a sensational celebrity. His entrance into the election race would out-shine all the other candidates. It doesn't hurt that he was Tommy Lee Jones' former roommate in college. As for The Thing; well, that's former Attorney General Janet Reno. 'Nuff said.

Barack Obama: I don't want to be racialist by analogizing Obama to a black superhero, but let's kick the ballistics: he is BLACK PANTHER. Like T'Challa, he is intelligent, charismatic and willing to speak out against government officials. He saw the consequences of war before all the other politicians. T'Challa predicted the Civil War. Maybe Congress should have read some issues of Black Panther before entering Iraq. Finally, BP would make a great leader for the Avengers if only given the chance. Kinda like a certain politician we know.

Vote unless you're a Skrull.

- Andrew Jung



Two weeks ago I promised DVD reviews, and if you noticed I failed miserably. Who am I kidding? You didn't notice, nor do you care but as long as I have this platform I'm gonna speak my mind and those of you who do read the Weekly Planet will have to put up with it. So anyway... I was slacking off due to my birthday and various other in and out of store situations, but I'm back and here they are.

Metalocalypse Season One - Skwisgaar Skwigelf, taller than a tree. Toki Wartooth, not a bumblebee. William Murderface Murderface Murderface. Pickles the Drummer, doodily doo, ding dong doodily doodily doo. Nathan Explosion! Follow the exploits of the worlds biggest band in this most brutal two disc set. Every episode to mindlessly drool over again and again. They hate their fans, but that won't stop us from obsessing over their every move. With "one cubic metal ton of hidden murder features" including music videos, interviews, and even a guitar lesson by Skwisgaar himself! Buy this now or go forth and die!

Planet Terror - You think Ash had it good with a chainsaw for a hand... well he's got nothing on Cherry Darling's machine gun leg. Toxic gas, mutated zombies, lesbians, and BBQ. What more could you want? For the last 15 years, director Robert Rodriguez has kept the fans happy with such classic out of the box flicks as From Dusk Till Dawn, El Mariachi, Sin City and more. Planet Terror is the first flick of the two-headed monster known as Grindhouse, and just another entry in this versatile film maker's every growing catalog of genre work.

Death Proof - Quentin Tarantino's half of Grindhouse delivers on the feel of a true 70's trash flick, so you'll probably hate it if you don't already. Now if you've been longing to see Kurt Russell be a badass again, don't even remotely hesitate -- just purchase. Then all you gotta do is pop it in the DVD player, sit back, and enjoy because you know what Jack Burton always says... "What the hell?!?"

Murder Party - I was born and raised here in NYC; Maspeth, Queens to be exact on the Bushwick, Brooklyn border, in the industrial area. I've seen this thing that they call "gentrification". I remember being afraid of certain parts of Brooklyn, and now I don't go to that area for another reason. An influx of drugged-up, soon-to-be drop outs living off their parents under the guise of misunderstood artists have taken over. So what if there are more bars and music venues opening up to cash in on these dingbats? Who can enjoy themselves while neck deep in guano? Am I jealous? Yes! I wish I came from money and lived in a loft where I could have bands play and host my own art shows, but that ain't gonna happen so I sit home and watch horror movies instead. Now if any of my rambling here strikes a chord, this is the movie for you.

The Set-Up: So this average guy finds an invitation to a Halloween party and since he's got nothing even remotely going on (that night or in his life in general for that matter) he decides to check it out.

The Twist: It's not a party, its a trap! A bunch of artist wannabes think that killing their guest in the name of art will impress an even bigger artist wannabe in hopes to get their hands on a grant.

The Wrap-Up: These kids obviously have no idea what it means or takes to kill someone so get ready for a bumpy ride with plenty of laughs, some quality gore and a dog on crank.

Spoilers Ahead, Read On With Caution: Murder Party teeters between horror comedy and indie flick without overstaying its welcome in either genre. All in all, I really dug it. How could I not? The dim-witted hipsters get what they deserve, and our unsuspecting guest "the real outcast" gets a happy ending. Next time, just stay in and watch horror movies.
One more week 'til Halloween, duders and dudettes. Hopefully I'll be back next week with another thrilling installment of The Static Age. That is of course if I don't get murdered by a bunch of bohos.

- Matt D.


OMEGA the Unknown

Okay. So, Jonathan Lethem wrote in his book of essays, The Disappointment Artist, about Omega the Unknown, "It's a comic from the 70's from master storyteller Steve Gerber, along with Mary Skrenes and illustrator Jim Mooney."

The original book has a great story, with this very gothic 70's superhero vibe. Somewhere between Power Man/Iron Fist and Doctor Strange from that same period. Within 10 issues a mystery involving a boy, a superhero from another planet, robots, and the greek letter Omega are shown but never really explained.

According to Wikipedia, Gerber objected initially to the retelling of Omega the Unknown, but has since allowed the remake. Gerber's thoughts were "Why not just name the book something else? Why take my ideas?"

This retelling is strong, but has a different tone. The mystery of Omega the Unknown is replaced by irony and personal history of Lethem, whose writing voice in this book mirrors his work in his essays and novels. He drafts great dialogue, and this is a trend in comics I would like to see continue. Comic books should be well written -- not just be wooden good vs. evil smackdowns all the time.

Farel Dalrymple's drawings are very different from Jim Mooney's, who worked closely with both John Romita and John Buscema on the Amazing Spider-Man and the Mighty Thor respectively, and as a result drew Omega very much in that same expressive style. Dalrymple art is more about what is happening inside; the facial expressions giving life to the narrative. The human form is anatomically well-drafted, but still looks like a comic book -- somewhere between Ted McKeever and Dan Clowes. The colors Paul Hornschemeier renders are unique and opaque; I like his robot laser blasts.

But is this a remake? No. It feels like a new book, and the parts which tie in with the original fable even seem forced and ironic at times, probably on purpose. Even if they recreate the comic panel by panel, it will still feel like a new story. This reinforces Steve Gerber's initial argument about the remake: that it did not have to be an Omega remake at all. Still, this is the first issue of the first comic book ever by Jonathan Lethem, the well-known writer and novelist best known for Fortress of Solitude, and it's really damn good anyway.

By Guest Contributor: Mark Denardo


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 025

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Time & Attention

Our sheer existence, our mere experience, is, at its best boys and girls, precarious to say the the least, scatalogical by nature, and limited to a fault. There's so little time and so very much to breathe. I find that often when writing for this newsletter, while I'm very proud of the corner I've carved out for myself on this plane, I rue that which my time and attention limit me from experiencing. I, like Mr. Steve Martin before me, wish to be the All-Being, master of time, space and dimension (and if that comes off as super-villainy: sue me, I'll be your Huckleberry). I, too, wish to be omni-prescient, omnipotent, obsequious, kind, and omnivorous. And in many ways the J-MAN is. But, in rare moments of clarity and self-effacing despondence I'm man enough to realize I ain't. You can't be everywhere at once, and cool gigs can slip through the cracks. There's only so much geekdom one can ingest before one's chest bursts, a la John Hurt.

This was never more recently apparent than when viewing this past weekend's SPX correspondence. (SPX, for those of you not in the know, stands for Small Press Expo, and is THE east coast event for such comickers.) Having to help hold down the fort in NYC, plus having personal plans, meant not being able to attend the show, not even for business, while boatloads of friends and co-workers got to make the trek down to Maryland. I spent much of this past Sunday night and Monday PM catching up with friends and bloggers about what I missed, and, not to diminish the good times this weekend brought me here, jealous of SPX karaoke jams, new books, and a comics community together in one place.

But that's cool. I knew it was coming up, and focused neither my time nor attention to the show, having other concerns. That's life and sometimes that's gonna happen. But in this communication thing you and I have going here, kids, it's our job to alert you to what is worthy of your time and attention. And hopefully we pull that off pretty well. If there's anything you want to share with us, or anything of yours for us to possibly plug, send a merry email to me: jeff.fpnyc@gmail.com.

Oh -- and next year? We're gonna tear SPX up.

There's often little to suppress the twelve-year-old in me, thus the allure of the phrase "time and attention." Sure it has its pragmatic usage (in this case alerting you guys of cool new stuff and happenings), but it also shortens to the wonderful T&A >snicker<. Without further ado, let the T&A fly!!!

Items and To Do's Worthy of Your T&A:


WHEREChildren's Aid Society
219 Sullivan Street
(between Bleecker and W. 3rd St.)
New York, NY
WHENSaturday October 27, 2007
11am - 3pm
3:30 pm - 7:30pm

  • Ever wondered how to play D&D? Is it just for Nerds and Geeks? Are you a Nerd or Geek?

  • This is your chance to find out the answers to those questions and more, and have some fun doing it.

  • Enjoy a great, imaginative, interactive game, run by a DM with over 20 years of experience.

  • There will be treasures available to take home and coupons given away for you to use for cool stuff at your favorite comic shop.

  • There will be adventure, excitement, and perhaps a bit of horror -- PLUS you'll be introduced to a medium for your imagination whose scope is boundless.

  • All for only six bucks.

  • RSVP Zane at sumofallbears@yahoo.com by Wednesday October 24th to reserve your spot.

Persepolis - This past Sunday I was privileged to attend the NY Film Festival screening of Persepolis, the wonderful animated adaption of Marjane Satrapi's splendid graphic novel. Believe the hype. It's that good. All that and a bag of chips, etc. In terms of review the film differs slightly in tone (I feel the 1976 Marjane to be portrayed as a little too cutesy, and some storytelling shortcuts grating), but it conveys the young woman's very heavy story of politics, nationalism, and growing up so magically and so poignantly that I have to make sure that each and every FP adult customer has some desire to read the source book TODAY and see the film when it releases stateside in December.

You lucky boys and girls in Europe get to see it sooner than us, and in its intended French! We Yanks are gonna get a dub, featuring Sean Penn and Iggy Pop (?!). This is not at all necessary, as the subtitles do not hinder the film whatsoever, but I suppose their vocal "stylings" will draw some kind of mundanes to the picture. In a world of pixels and Pixars and cliched done-to-death family animation, Persepolis looms like Citizen Kane (especially apparent in that since I had to turn the anesthetic, odious, idiotic and hollow Happy Feet off fifteen minutes into watching it earlier that day). Go to IMDB to for more details on the film.

Come to Forbidden Planet ASAP to pick up your copy of Ms. Satrapi's masterpiece, Persepolis, or any other of her fine comics (the similarly lovely Embroideries, and Chicken With Plums), as we will strive to have each and every one of them in stock at any time!!!

Forbidden Planet is hooking up with (heh, heh) Comixology.com for an incredibly wild stab at informing our customer base better than ever. Don't believe me? Check out comixology.com/forbiddenplanet for details. But trust me, when you sign up for your free membership, your comics-buying habits'll never be the same.

Last but not least, it's that time of year again! Fall convention season is upon us here in NYC, and two biggies are coming up:

  • Big Apple Con's National is Fri-Sun 11/16-11/18. Big name guests? You got 'em. Hayden Panettierre (Claire from Heroes) and Adam Hughes and Tim Sale and tons more! And as usual, we'll have a big, sexy booth, Their website: http://www.bigapplecon.com/

  • And the inaugural New York Anime Festival sponsored by New York Comic-Con kicks off December 7th-9th, and, even in its infancy is poised to be one of, if not THE biggest east coast celebration of Japanese pop-culture on the East coast. FP will be selling tickets soon! Their website: http://www.newyorkanimefestival.com/

Gotta Jet,


Welcome To Shibuya-cho

I know it's a little late this time folks, but last week the Witchblade: Takeru v. 2 manga came out, and revealed the bizarre conclusion. At the same time, the Witchblade anime is arriving this week -- a little late, but finally. The manga and the anime, while both supposed to be continuations of the american series (not directly, but they exist as some point in a post-Sarah Pezzini world), they actually have very little to do with each other.

The manga, subtitled "Takeru" since that's the name of the wielder, focuses on a high school girl who lives with nuns that have been guarding the witchblade for decades. Her boyfriend is the descendant of demon hunters, and her best friend is a nymphomaniac. I know, it sounds fairly typical, but it is full of gore and action, as well as the basic struggle for control between the wielder and the Witchblade.

What I love about it is that unlike so many American comic companies these days, it is an actual manga version of an American series, rather than the repint of a series in black and white or in digest form. It is a real manga written and illustrated in Japan by Japanese people, hence the meaning of the word manga. And on the other hand, what ticks me off about it is not that the Americans in the series are portrayed as psychotic, war-crazed asses, but rather that the Witchblade itself is some kind of demon hand.

Now I am a Witchblade fan, that's the main reason I started reading this series, and for those who don't know the Witchblade was spawned when the forces of light and darkness had sex and a creepy little bracelet appeared. But for the manga writer to keep so much, and yet change the origin to it being the hand of some great demon that was cut off, eh, just bugs me.

And the anime version puts a strange twist to the story. A woman named Masane is found at ground zero of some unexplained, or even defined, catastrophe in Tokyo lying unconscious holding a baby and wearing a bracelet. some time later, she's using the Witchblade to fend off some huge corporation and the government both vying for the blade. Just had to get that bit out of my system.

Anyway, there are a few titles coming in, including a lot of new books, and number 2's to a bunch of series that premiered a while ago like I Hate You More Than Anything, and In The Starlight. Also, two long awaited yaoi titles Passion v. 4 (and you were surprised when volume 3 appeared), and Constellations In My Palm. If none of that has you interested, I'm sure you're still reading all the books you bought last week. See ya next time boys and girls.

Ja ne!
Mat K.


Unkie Dev's Amazing Stuff

MORE Exclusives

Forbidden Planet has signed an exclusive deal with Orville Redenbacher brand microwave popcorn. We don't have coupons like we do for our arrangement with Nightmare: Ghost Stories, but we must insist you only eat Redenbacher Popcorn on the premises. Failure will be met with physical force: ALL HAIL THE REDENBACHER!


ComicArtFans.com - Comic fans with high speed internet should hit up comicartfans.com, A searchable treasure trove of original artwork, scanned by their fans and owners. Type in an artists' name and instantly convention sketches, original commissions and pre-inked pencils spring up on the screen. The site also features spotlights on active and drool-worthy eBay auctions... right now there are a few Mignola originals as well as an entire Adam Hughes sketchbook up for grabs at insane prices.

I ALSO hope you all check http://www.fpnyc.com, the Forbidden Planet New York web site! Every week the site is updated with the upcoming books, figures, manga and DVD products arriving that week but also all the contents of the Weekly Planet, news, announcements and more!


The mid 80's saw what is now known as "The Black and White Boom," part of an exciting and still controversial period of comics leading up to the great "Market/Speculation Glut" of the late 80's which almost destroyed the industry. Started by now classic black and white comics like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and crazy ole' Dave Sim's Cerberus, the B/B-Boom had many animal imitators. My favorite is Mark Martin's Gnatrat... more on that in another column.

My second favorite was Reggie Depasqualle's "Ultra-Pus: Eight Arms of the Law!" Ultra-Pus was a regular sea-dwelling octopus who was flown to the magical land of EZ in a water spout. EZ is much like OZ, except substitute munchkins, witches and flying monkeys with octopi, octo-witches and flying monkopusses. The Wizard of EZ gives our hero magical powers which Ultra-Pus uses to return to Earth and fight human criminals, feeling himself more akin to humans then sea creatures. He also had a clever secret identity as "just some octopus that hangs out at a science museum."

"Ultra-Pus: Eight Arms of the Law!" ended after 24 issues when its creator, Reggie Depasqualle, was forced into an insane asylum by his brother. Polar Bear Press announced at last weekend's Poughkeepsie Comic-Con they intend to collect and publish Ultra-Pus in its entirely in a black and white anthology tome this December, making some of this material available for the first time in 20 years! Forbidden Planet is currently filing the paperwork to have Depasqualle released as an out-patient for a special in-store signing. Watch this space for more info!


This week's hot humor hits include Umbrella Academy #2, Simpson's Comics #135 and Marvel Zombies II #1. Though late to the game, Marvel Zombies is an interesting bridge between the once popular humor genre and the now status-quo, though over exposed, zombie genre. I'd recommend anyone who likes funny super-hero stuff to pick up Brian Michael Bendis's Mighty Avengers #5. I know Bendis isn't for all, but I think he's a hoot!


This week I have planted a fake news story in amongst the humor news. Post a comment here on what YOU think was the fake story. Wouldn't it be great if you won a lifetime supply of Orville Redenbacher popcorn? Well you won't. You won't win anything. Actually, most of the items this week are made up. Did I mention I'm a ninja?

Alright... I'm not a ninja. [ED. NOTE: Forbidden Planet has signed no such exclusive deals, and does not endorse one tasty popcorn treat over any other. And please don't eat in the store. Thanks. Also -- sorry ladies, but Unkie Dev is getting married this week, and is no longer on the market. Rah, rah, congrats and lord help that poor woman!]

By Guest Contributor: Unkie Dev


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 024

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


WHEREChildren's Aid Society
219 Sullivan Street
(between Bleecker and W. 3rd St.)
New York, NY
WHENSaturday October 27, 2007
11am - 3pm
3:30 pm - 7:30pm

  • Ever wondered how to play D&D? Is it just for Nerds and Geeks? Are you a Nerd or Geek?

  • This is your chance to find out the answers to those questions and more, and have some fun doing it.

  • Enjoy a great, imaginative, interactive game, run by a DM with over 20 years of experience.

  • There will be treasures available to take home and coupons given away for you to use for cool stuff at your favorite comic shop.

  • There will be adventure, excitement, and perhaps a bit of horror -- PLUS you'll be introduced to a medium for your imagination whose scope is boundless.

  • All for only six bucks.

  • RSVP Zane at sumofallbears@yahoo.com by Wednesday October 24th to reserve your spot.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Nightmare Haunted House Coupon

We're partnering with Nightmare Haunted House to bring you discounted tickets!

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By the power of Thor!!! No events, no signings, no in-store TV shoots, no nonsense this coming week. Don't get me wrong; FP loves all of the above! But I write this we're in the midst of receiving oodles and oodles of stock and it's refreshing to only have to deal with the buying, selling, and processing of said wares this week. And by oodles I mean a googltastic plethora of very magnituderific & heavy proportions. To give you an idea of the sheer scope of new stuff, let alone re-stocks, we have to offer you guys I will posit the following rhetorical question: Who knew Columbus Day would be our biggest receiving day of 2007 so far???

Nobody. That's who.

So, like that Anthony dude Billy Joel croons about in "Movin' Out," I hope you've been saving your pennies for someday because that day has arrived, my friend. A broad overview, with pretty pictures, starting with a focus on books cuz they my thing and I gots to do my thing!:


I Am America (And So Can You!) - by Stephen Colbert. Is he for real?

Shortcomings - by Adrian Tomine. All our copies currently in stock are SIGNED, amigo!

America - by James Sturm.

Maggots - by Brian Chippendale. More Picturebox mayhem from the creator of last year's lauded Ninja.

Heroes of the Negro Leagues - by Jack Morelli (w) and Mark Chiarello (a). originally published as trading cards, now a snazzy tome with a DVD included!!!

Exterminators v. 3 - by Simon Oliver (w) and Various (a).

Imaginistix - by Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell. Their first new art book in years. Rejoice!!!

Yearbook Stories 1976-1978 - by FP buddy and Top Shelf publisher Chris Staros about his formative H.S. years and sleazy 70's mustache.

Absolute Sandman vol. 2 - The 2nd sexy-bound volume outta 4.

Best American Comics 2007 - edited by Mr. Happy himself, Chris Ware.


Cult Classic Series 6 - featuring Lost Boys Keifer and Army of Darkness Ash in S-Mart gear!!

7" and 12" God of War Kratos - You kids love them damn video games. Here're figures for ya.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas - McFarlane Toys does 'em justice.

Back to the Future MiniMates - Their destiny has brought them to you. Dork thinks he's gonna drown!

12" Dorothy of Oz - naughty 12" toy. That description could be SO misconstrued.

Death Note - Ryuk and Rem vinyls!

Doctor Who - from Judoon Helmets to Dalek phone charms, we've got more Doctor tchokes than one can shake a stick at!

Disney Princess PEZ dispenser Sets - I think these are just here to kinda clear the palette.


Christopher Lee as Dracula - Slammin' Hammer Horror Action!

Resident Evil - sweatshirts and tees.

Venture Bros. - Monarch Symbol shirts.

And all that's just the proverbial tip of the old timey iceberg -- the one that's not melting. Just blips on the FP radar. Just ripples in the Awesome Ocean. "Ted, you and I have witnessed many things, but nothing as bodacious as" all the stuff Forbidden Planet has in stock!


This Week's featured Hugo Award-winning SF Novel?

Hominids - by Robert J. Sawyer. In dubious honor of last week's Cavemen premiere on ABC TV, may I present a relatively recently released selection? The first volume in a new science fiction trilogy examines the humans of this universe and the Neanderthals of a parallel world where they are the dominant intelligence. When a Neanderthal physicist pierces the barrier between the two worlds and finds himself in this universe, he is quarantined and studied, while in his own world his lab partner is investigated for his murder.


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