Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mortal Kombat With a Friend in Vietnam

Marvel debuted their new online comics venture, Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, last week to much discussion and consternation. Have you checked it out? I played around with it myself, and found about a million things I despise about the interface, but overall was generally surprised by its breadth of content and affordability. Sadly, they won't be getting my sign-up moolah as I can't stand reading comics on a computer screen for an extended period of time, and I have a healthy obsession with books. More on this in a moment.

I was watching Charlie Rose last night (quiet you! I love Charlie Rose. I wouldn't marry him or anything, but his show is a shining beacon of hope in the cultural wasteland that is Televisionland) and his guest was Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of, Newsweek cover boy, pimping his company's new product, Kindle. It's basically an iPod for books; it's about the size and heft of a trade paperback novel and features a current library of 120,000 titles is available for wireless download in under sixty seconds, $10 each regardless of the physical book's cover price. Kindle looks like the biological baby of a Star Trek datapad and an Etch-a-Sketch Animator (remember that thing? Jeez I loved that toy!). It'll store 200 books at a time, and any that you delete are stored on the website's server for future reference. All in all it's kinda nifty. (*Please note: I have no idea the details of Kindle's legal ramifications, nor creator's rights and royalties issues. It appears that Amazon has shored up agreements with most major publishers, but you never know what those pesky writers will do to get paid for the digital reproduction of their work -- see: WGA strike. BTW -- Power, brothers and sisters!).

All this is prologue to the following: This is by no means the death of The Book, nor are these the digital John the Baptist of the great paradigm shift in how we read and enjoy the written word. Not to be presumptuous or overly inclusive, but if you're like me, we love BOOKS, the physical books. The smell of them. The lending to your friends. The joy of giving your favorite as a gift. Owning a 1st Edition of your favorite. When were you last inclined to pay ten bucks for the e-Book edition of a cheap mass market SF novel? With regards to a book's design -- When was the last time you looked at an e-Book brilliantly designed by Chip Kidd or Catherine Casalino? Never, because it ain't gonna happen. When was the last time you wished they'd get the single issues finished so you can wait for the online trade? Never because, frankly, why bother?

We're Forbidden Planet, and we realize you want your BOOKS. And we gots lots of 'em!!! And they smell terrific!

X-Men: God Loves Man Kills Premiere HC - Fancy schmanzy reprint of seminal X-story by Chris Claremont (w) & Brent Anderson (a). One of the best, if not THE BEST, X-Men stories of all time. I carried this book around with me everywhere I went for a year when I was twelve, This book is hardcore. From the opening scene of Magneto discovering the bodies of two executed mutant children, throughout the rest of this gripping yarn, GLMK never feels like a dopey super-hero book. Never treats you like a short bus reject. It also features my favorite X-Team -- Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Storm, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Wolverine and Professor X. It also takes place outside the realm of the soap opera of X-Men continuity. Thusly, GLMK is the least convoluted, most accessible X graphic novel. If you've never read a Marvel mutant book, this is the one to start with. I'll be picking mine up this week -- I need it in sexy hardcover/book form!

This Week's Hugo Award Winning SF Novel?

Dune - by Frank Herbert. The dreaded winter looms (We hates the nasty cold! We does, my precious... we hates it!) so let's read Dune in an attempt to psychosomatically warm ourselves up, huh? The great SF adventure epic for the ages, Dune follows the saga of the desert planet called Arrakis, unassuming power center of a sprawling galactic Empire, and sole source of Melange, the Spice that powers interstellar travel and source of great psychic power. Indigenous religious fanatics, Sandworms that'd dwarf Union Square, weapons powered by a single sound, "I, Claudius"-type political intrigue, more back-stabbing and deception than a novella on Telemundo... Dune's sheer scope is astounding and exhilarating. Dune makes Star Wars look like a quaint movie for a dreary afternoon -- a real yawnfest, Daddy-o! If you've never read Dune it's time for you to take the plunge into the big kids' end of the plasma pool. If, like me, you're old hat at this: The Spice Must Flow.

"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
-Mark Twain

Be Well,


Contributor Art

Death and Dream (Daniel) from Sandman (detail, unfinished) - illustration portfolio

Artist's Note: Drawn upon Mr. Gaiman's announcement that that Death: The High Cost of Living film will be set in London... and the fact that Daniel doesn't get enough love. The finished version can be seen on my site soon!

Labels: ,

Embracing the Inner Bimbo

Well, it looks like this shall be my last of a glorious and well-designed fifteen-issue run as the uncredited ghost editor of the Weekly Planet. (That's okay, the satisfaction of a job well-done is enough credit for me! ...haha.) As a result, I wanted to commemorate this by finally contributing another article.

Now I've been a longtime fan of Sam Kieth since comic book store employees stared in puzzlement at a 10-year-old me using her allowance to purchase floppies of The Maxx during its first run. (Having parents that didn't understand English very well definitely worked to my advantage as a kid!) So imagine my excitement as I found out that #2 of My Inner Bimbo was *finally* releasing after over a year's delay!

Were I more pretentious I would spout a pedantic list of philosophers and psychologists from which Kieth derives his themes, but pretension takes effort and I'd like to focus my energies on other "p"s that come far easier for me -- "proselytization" and "psychoanalyzation". Yes, that's right. My Inner Bimbo is a diamond in the rough -- Kieth's psychedelically surreal art shining through in black and white as well as potent elixir of his personal vocabulary.

Reflecting upon The Maxx, you will find the dynamic between Lo, the protagonist, and Bunny, his inner bimbo, pointedly reminiscent of Mr. Gone's sexist fantasy-play with a kidnapped and pink-enrobed Julie Winters. Indeed, there is a strong visual comparison between the two pairs (a balding, older, long-faced man and a baby-faced, buxom blonde) and suggests that My Inner Bimbo may be Kieth's further extrapolation of the vitriol and emotional dependency between these two examples of his personal pantheon of archetypes.

Both are stories of naive femininity coming into its own after periods of traumatic suppression. While Julie Winters' rape as a college student caused the mental creation of her stronger Jungle Queen counterpart, Lo's premature marriage to a much-older woman froze his emotional development and caused it to manifest in the form of his inner bimbo who is now finally embarking on her own journey of growth.

Parallels are abound in this book, as similarly-drawn juxtaposed panels depict Lo treating Bunny in the same way that he, as a 17-year-old wide-eyed blonde, was treated by his obviously more dominant future wife. Transference, much? Ironically enough, we also found that Mr. Gone's twisted serial-raping ways manifested from his own molestation by an older woman as a child. Names change, but the patterns and character mythologies are reincarnated until they can finally be resolved. Yet, instead of the older male figure acting as the somewhat-otherworldly guiding force for the younger female to face their dark past, it's the opposite in the case of My Inner Bimbo.

The crux of the plot is the evolution of the bimbo. Initially an unquestioning and eager sex slave; she then takes her first steps as a critical Greek chorus, adding sarcastic comments to Lo's woe-is-me monologue from a Kids Say the Darndest Things perspective. In issue #2, Bunny is further tinged with worldliness, her hair occasionally turning black a la the Jungle Queen, and takes an interest in philosophy and personal development. She demands to be addressed as "Liza", taken from Lo's reading of My Fair Lady in the role of Eliza Doolittle, and sets forth to find emotional independence for herself -- and by proxy, for Lo.

My Inner Bimbo is an alternate subtext reinforcement of developing one's inner Anima, first pioneered by The Maxx. It is the painful adolescence of Kieth's portrayal of our feminine side, and an expository and all-too-realistic reinvention of his first beloved characters. Let's just hope we won't have to wait another year for #3 to hit the shelves!

*Alice Meichi Li


The Static Age Part 4: In Space!

Space, the final frontier... or the last place left for a washed-up slasher to stalk. These are the voyages of the dying horror franchise. Its mission: to explore bad ideas. To seek out new viewers. To boldly go where other monsters have gone before (and embarrassed themselves). You may not want to admit it, but you know what I'm talking about. And if you're totally clueless, let me fill you in. You see, when a horror movie franchise's idea pool is running dry there's really only one place left for it's evil doers to go -- outer space. Let's run down a few examples to show you what I'm talking about.

Critters 4 (1991) - The first film to blast off into the unknown and the only one that would actually make sense. The Crits (or critters to all y'all country bumpkins) are actually ALFs (no, not the friendly furry kind from Melmac) so setting their fourth and final film in space brings the series full circle. Although not my favorite, it's still a pretty fun watch.

Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996) - Now let me preface this by saying I'm not a big Hellraiser fan. The special effects are nice and all but I just don't dig on it. Now as far as Bloodline, the concept is really pushing it. On a space station in the future, a relative of the inventor of the original puzzle box decides it's his duty to put an end to Pinhead and his Cenobite cronies once and for all. And how? By making a reverse puzzle box, of course. Not only is the concept ridiculous but it probably would have worked better if it wasn't in space. Pass on this one and pretty much every Hellraiser after this.

Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997) - The Leprechaun movies are some of my all-time favorites but this is the only one in the series that I can't stand. They were too aware of the fact they were making a bad movie so they didn't even try to make it a good "bad" movie. There's no real reason behind having him in space other than to add wacky futuristic elements. I guess they just wanted to jump on the "in space" bandwagon. Notice how each movie so far has been the 4th in it's franchise. So I'll give them credit if they were aware of this trend and did it on purpose, but I highly doubt the masterminds behind this turd were that smart. The most important part of a Leprechaun flick is Leprechaun's silly rhymes, which are non-existent in this installment. Yes, this one sucks, but don't let that stop you from checking out Leprechaun in the Hood and Back to the Hood which are quite possibly some of the best.

Jason X (2002) - People talk a lot of yang on this flick, but I honestly love it. It successfully did what Leprechaun 4 tried to: take your main character out of his element and put him on a futuristic space station. They were aware that they were making an "in space" movie and didn't suck at it. They took everything I love about the Friday the 13th series and super-sized it with uber technology. Whether you wanna admit it or not, Jason hasn't been remotely interesting since part 7 and its other horror movie cliche: the girl with psychic powers (hopefully someday I'll cover those flicks), so I welcomed X in all it's far-fetched glory. A must-see for all true quality schlock fans.

Since then I haven't seen any franchises try to execute an "in space" flick. Why not? Fear of a flop and backlash from fans? Who cares, bring on the cheese. I could only imagine the stuff Chucky would pull on an unsuspecting space crew, Freddy could easily invade the dreams of Elm Street descendants in the future, and pretty much anyone at anytime could pull of a chainsaw massacre. So let's do it, fledging film makers. Shoot me into outer space!

Oh and by the way... if you're not busy this Friday and are into heavy music, check out my band. We're playing just a few blocks from the Planet at Otto's Shrunken Head. All the info is conviently located on this super-rad zombie flyer, that I drew by the way. See you there!

- Matt D.


Welcome to Shibuya-cho

This week I'm starting off with a big "I'm sorry", boys and girls. Last week we had Loveless vol. 7 coming out, and as much as I love the series I told you all that it was over. It turns out I was wrong, but let me explain! Ever since I started reading the series it was always listed as "1 of 7", or "2 of 7". Even as far as Volume Six was "6 of 7". I guess that's as far as there was available back when our distributors put it in their systems.

And, let's face it, volume 6 was really climactic. I mean, we found out Seimei was still alive and everything looked as if it were about to hit the fan. Lo and behold, I'm reading volume 7 and the aptly named "Septimal Moon" chapters, and I finally get to the end and what?! "In the next volume of Loveless..." Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it's not over, I just had to let you guys know I'm sorry about the incorrectness.

Moving on, last week we received an awesome little surprise of Air Gear vol. 6 -- the manga AND the Vol. 6 DVD coming in. The manga showed up a bit early, but the DVD came just in time. The DVD is also the last volume of the series (pending the decision on the second season). And while they changed a few things around to make the ending make sense, you can expect Benkei and Yoshitsune to be their awesome selves.

Now, you all know I'm an Air Gear fanboy, so I'm not gonna hang on that too long. The only other thing you need to know this week is Paprika is finally here! Now the DVD auto-plays in Japanese, but it does come with English subtitles for those of you who want it. And if you don't know Paprika, this is the latest movie from Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers). A group of psychotherapists create a device that allows them to travel into the dreams of their patients to help them overcome their issues, but someone steals a set of the D.C. Minis and starts mixing the crazy dreams of the patients into everyone else's heads... even while they're awake. Action, adventure, and tons of bizarre dream imagery makes for an awesome movie, but this has that extra spice... Paprika.

See you all next time, and don't hold that Loveless thing against me.

Ja ne!
Mat K.


Unkie Dev's Amazing Stuff


Superman stands for all things American, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Superman loves eating turkey. Remember that one issue when a Kryptonian turkey returns from Krypton and ole' Supes destroys Metropolis trying to chop its neck off with an axe-head made of Green-K, and then Jimmy Olsen turns into a mermaid? It was awesome. The next issue had Bizarro superturkey arrive in Metropolis, cackling a hideous "Elbog, Elbog" and trying to eat pilgrims.

Batman, on the other hand, HATES turkey. There was a great Elseworlds story where Benjamin Franklin became Batman... or Turkeyman, rather. Scene One involved Benjamin "Bruce" Franklin-Wayne arguing that the turkey should be our national bird, being versatile, plentiful and indigenous. After this debate England, guns down his parents in an alley. "The British are a superstitious, cowardly lot," says Ben, "though those that fear bats and liberty deserve neither," and donning a turkey costume, beat the red-coats in the streets of Philadelphia with Turkey-rangs, electric kites and a special horse-drawn carriage shaped like a turkey. I think Mark Waid wrote it.


This week we all become sharks in the shopping frenzy as the bleeding corpse of the holiday season floats ever closer. What to buy, what to buy? Drugs and illegal fire-arms make the perfect gift for the young and the old, as they are certainly the catalyst of many a new experience. Forbidden Planet does not sell these items, not even if you wink at the counter and ask to see the *wink-wink* "Back-issues," *wink-wink.*

Gift guides, however, are stupid. Suffice it to say Forbidden Planet is stocked to the snots with DVDs, t-shirts, graphic novels, comic, manga and gift certificates. Why shop anyplace else for gifts this season? Dad would LOVE some Hellboy Heroclix, and Mom is just stupid for Crisis on Infinite Earths. Why not get little sis a scale model replica of Hawkeye's bow and cowl, plus wouldn't Grandma be the talk of the nursing home in her Battlestar Galactica "Frak Me!" T-shirt? Yes. Yes she would.


The Goon: Chinatown - Eric Powell (w/a), Dark Horse. The Goon is a tough-as-nails, battle-scarred mobster who is the only thing standing between the poor schlubs he shakes down for protection money and screaming bog-lurks, giant land squids, zombies, and the occasional bowling midget. He drinks, he fights, and he carries with him deep scars. Chinatown, the Goon's first full-length original graphic novel has been eagerly anticipated by Goon fans. Chinatown promises to be a prequel of sorts, detailing secrets from the Goon's dark and mysterious past... but don't think it'll be too serious. The last time the Goon took trips down memory lane still involved slap-stick, football thugs, and his bearded circus aunt..

Multi-award winning cartoonist Eric Powell got great exposure this year working with writer Richard Donner on the "Bizarro World" storyline in Action Comics. The Chinatown graphic novel marks the beginning of what Dark Horse is calling "The Year of the Goon." Yup, 2008 will bring in new Goon merchandise and the return of the Goon comic going monthly. Indulge the disgusting misanthrope within: Read the Goon!

You should also pick up Street Fighter Volume 4: Bonus Stage (Various creators from Udon Comics). If you have ever liked Street Fighter II you will dig this. Creators like Adam Warren and Ultimates 3's Joe Madureira bring quick, fun stand alone stories of globe spanning beat-downs just in time for Thanksgiving.

DANG. Out of room. I shouldn't have spent so much time making up malarkey about Ben Franklin and his turkey vigilance. Nah, that stuff was gold. Pulitzer, thy name is "MINE!"

By Guest Contributor: Unkie Dev


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 028

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Deal of the Week

We have a new Deal of the Week!

The Future: Far More Futuristic Than Originally Expected

The only cool thing about writing the Weekly Planet later than most everybody else this issue is that most of the grunt work's already been done for me on this week's libro numero uno -- League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier -- as Unkie Dev's article stresses the paramount importance and unmitigated awesomeness of Messrs. Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's new work rather nicely. Which frees me to review the following graphic novel I want you kids to read...

Shooting War
by Anthony Lappe & Dan Goldman

"I'll tell you 1 and 1 makes 3."
-Living Colour
It's 2011 and John McCain is president, America still writhes in an impossible quagmire in the Middle East, Dan Rather and Bill O'Reilly are kickin', gas is fifteen bucks a gallon, and terrorist cells are going at it a la The Invisbles by infiltrating the system from the inside (the popular video game of the moment is Infidel Massacre, secretly developed by the super tech savvy Abu Abdallah -- Big Mac chomping leader of The Sword of Mohammed). Jimmy Burns, small-time activist and hipster, witnesses and inadvertently video blogs the terrorist bombing of a Starbucks in Williamsburg. Global News Network pirates the footage, airing it and instantly propelling Jimmy to celebrity "journalist." On assignment embedded in Iraq's civil war, Jimmy finds himself in the midst of chaos and destruction, faking his way through the muck that we're currently helping create.

Were I a Hollywood jamook I'd pitchline Shooting War as Max Headroom meets DMZ.

Writer Anthony Lappe, unlike the majority of the punditocracy, has actualy been to Iraq, executive editing the Guerilla News Network's website and producing an award-winning documentary on the embattled nation called Battleground: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge. So he's got street cred in spades. Storytelling-wise -- his pacing, dialogue, and media savvy excel. Shooting War is damn harrowing, man. Dan Goldman's art, a technique combining photography, vector illustration, and digital painting is fluid and lucid. Unlike last week's pretty and gussied up Silver Surfer release, the reader can always tell what's going on and the story is only complimented more so by it's art. Congratulations, Dan. You're the only comicker I've ever to pull this style off WELL!

Shooting War was originally serialized online at ACT-I-VATE, but we should all rejoice this hip, relevant and important comic work is now available in a beautiful hardcover. It's accessible by the masses/mundanes and readily available for those of us book fetishists; just check out Dan's provocative cover!

The best compliment I got reading Shooting War on the train to work this morning was the lady next to me sucking her teeth and muttering under her breath why she had to be subjected to such filth. Guess my morning reading wasn't laced with enough pics of Brangelina for her. Good.

- Also of note: Southland Tales, Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly's long-awaited and much-ordealed second film hits theaters nationwide this week. And while many of you will flock to Beowulf (why must every genre film look exactly like Lord of the Rings mixed with a cauldron of 300-style violence? And, yes, I am very familiar with the Anglo-Saxon poem and its influence on Mr. Tolkien -- I'm just sick of Hollywood's exploitation of fantasy classics, and quite frankly need not see some uber-dude actor viciously behead the baddies while gnashing his teeth in front of a green screen for some time to come... ever again, really), I'll be checking out the former. Hope to see ya there. Oh, but make sure you've read Richard's prequel graphic novel first! It features the fantastic talents of artist Brett Wedele (I've gone so far as to have bought an original page from him for someone special to me!) and is sure to enhance the experience.

"How can you tell a network executive is lying? His lips move!"
-Max Headroom

Luv-luv-luv Love Ya,


Welcome to Shibuya-cho

Welcome to another epic end, people. This week comes with bitter-sweet news. And that is... Loveless is over. That's right. Volume 7 comes out this week and I know every yaoi/cat-boy loving one of you out there are going to be sad and excited. Finally we get to learn the truth about Seimei and his mysterious relationships to just about everyone. Talk about dependancy issues, there's the old lady, his mother, Septimal Moon, his brother and of course Soubi. Anyway, yeah, everything to be revealed! And yet, you've loved it so much, you know you're sad to see it end. Well, if you need a fix, there's always the anime.

Also showing up this week is *drum roll* Vampire Hunter D... the manga! Now I know what you're thinking, "Hasn't the manga been coming out for a couple years now?" And the and answer is no. No it hasn't. Those have all been novels. As in books with words and no (or mostly no) pictures. By the way, Volume 9 of the novel series also drops this week, but back to the point. The Vampire Hunter D manga is 100% comic, the kind with lots of pictures, and it looks pretty awesome.

There's also a ton of other stuff coming in this week including a new Dark Crystal manga (following the trend started by Return to Labyrinth). A few brand-new titles that look like they might be worth checking out, like Suppli and Zig Zag. So drop by and enjoy the bounty. It almost feels like they're trying to make up for all those past weeks of nothing.

And a couple things before I go.

1) FRUITS BASKET 18 (almost forgot).
And 2)...there's no 2. See ya folks later.

Ja ne!
Mat K.


Unkie Dev: Grampy Bramperson


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Engineering

In the foreword to his first book, New Engineering [Picture Box, Inc., $19.95], Yuichi Yokoyama states that "there are two kinds of artworks. One carries information and the other is craft. The former expresses new ideas... the later is the kind of work that one desires to purchase and own. I aim for the former."

This is a strange statement coming from an artist just featured in the newest issue of hipster uberzine Ganzfeld 5: Japanda! [Ginko Press, $29.95]; and someone who plans to publish two new books, the next one about travel, in the next two years.

That is how new art can often feel: unfinished and contradictory.

For example, in Yokoyama's work he only uses rulers to draw his lines, yearning to remove the human element from the work completely, to make the perspective of his invented reality more mechanical, objective.

But there is human feeling in the stories: angles of perspective jut out violently, action lines and boulders crash brilliantly, and bold Japanese sound effect scripts deliver compelling dialogue, in his visual narratives of alien paper dolls and plastic mountains.

What are his stories about?

"I like construction sites and traveling." Yokoyama's characters, sometimes an inanimate boulder or book used as projectile weapon within the landscape pop off of the page. Adhesives of no explanation glue together costumes of feathers and rubber. Often his stories are events in progress, such as an unexplained battle or the construction of an underwater viewing station.

Plainly stated: if you, the reader, are looking for what Yokoyama states as a "humanistic work," or "works of a personal nature," I can recommend this book to you with a warning that you may find it an oblique read, especially reading right to left in it's original Japanese format.

If you are the type of reader who loves the alien and the new, the person among friends who preferred the original Andrei Tarkovsky Solaris over the Soderberg remake, this is your cup of tea. Maybe you even saw another Tarkovsky film, Stalker, where alien technology has been left to humanity with no user manual. That is the feeling with Yuichi Yokoyama's New Engineering. It is something new.

By Guest Contributor: Mark Denardo


Unkie Dev's Amazing Stuff

Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neal's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier finally comes out this week. This banishes all other comic book releases to the long box of unworthy trash... yes, even YOU B.P.R.D. Killing Ground #4. When a new League book hits the shelves there ARE no other comic books that week. A new League is a victory for the Earth... but a sad challenge for those of us who have to write about comics.


Since we can't talk about comic books we can talk about, uhm... BREAKFAST CEREAL! Did you know at the height of their fame, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had their own breakfast cereal? And why not? If they're going to give a cereal to C-3P0 then the turtles can have one, too. You DID know C-3P0 had a cereal, right? It was a delicious Honeycomb knock-off with the original name "C-3P0's." Catchy. Relegating such an uninspiring character from a sensational property to "Cereal Box Hero" status is like if they made a Watergate-based cereal and called it "Agnew's."

Turtles cereal was corn Chex with colored marshmallow shapes of their signature weapons. There was a pink Sai for Raph, a blue sword for Leo and a yellow jump-suit marshmallow for April. The corn Chex was SUPPOSED to be a net, but it was Corn Chex.

If the Turtles hadn't had a movie then this comic book property probably never would have made it to the breakfast aisle. Hopefully next summer we'll have The Watchmen breakfast cereal with naked blue Dr. Manhattan marshmallows and sugar coated smiley faces that turn blood red in milk.


I can't write about anything else: L.E.G.: The Black Dossier finally comes out this week! I can't stop thinking about it! I write these things on Monday so that means I have an unbearable two days to wait. I'm a League junkie and could tell you anything you want to know. You could, too if you only bought Jess Nevins' companion books, Heroes and Monsters and A Blazing World, available NOW from Forbidden Planet. You'll learn all about the source material as well as character cameos and hidden facts, for example: Did you know there's a Twin Peaks reference in the second volume, or the hows-and-whys on Dracula ever appearing?


As a funny comics guy I recommend Alan Moore's Top 10 and Tomorrow Stories, home to the hilarious dead-pan child uber-brain Jack B. Quick. Jack is a 10-year-old genius growing up in rural farm country where he experiments with the darkest sciences, much to the suicidal chagrin of his parents. He once tied buttered toast to the feet of a cat and threw it at the ground. The toast and cat, unable to land butter side down or onto its feet, spun uncontrollably creating the world's first perpetual motion machine. Good stuff.

Another hilarious Alan Moore bit comes from Batman Black and White, Vol. 1, a great trade paperback showcasing top b/w artists, such as Jim Lee's first Batman work and inspired outings from top Batman writers like Paul Dini. Anywho, there's a great Alan Moore/Simon Bisley team-up where Batman and the Joker play out a comic book from behind the scenes, palling around off-panel, reading their lines together, working on fight choreography and complaining that the extras eat all the good food at the commissary before they, the stars, get there.

THE REAL DEAL: Forget comics, Alan Moore is one of the best writers in fiction today period. If you've never read the League you should get on that. I feel bad for good books like 100 Bullets, New Avengers, and the DC collection of Sgt. Rockthat all ship this week. You books may as well be gnats at the battle of Normandy. There is ONE comic book this week, and I can't wait to read it. Black Dossier: MAKE MINE MOORE!

By Guest Contributor: Unkie Dev


Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 027

Deal of the Week

We have a new Deal of the Week!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mahna Mahna

There used to be this really boss and fun radio show on WFMU that we'd listen to in the store on Saturday mornings called "Greasy Kid Stuff". They'd occasionally play this song leading in to the DJs that'd maddeningly jingle over and over, "We could be heroes, dah dah dah du-duh dah..." I have know idea any of the other words or who did it, but the derned thing tattoos itself on my nimble, yet susceptible mind about once a week this fall, with no end in sight as the following book hits FP's shelves 11/7/07:

Heroes HC - When this TV show first aired last season I gave it a three episode trial, after which I held it in such low esteem that snorting wasabi was preferable. Customers would ask what I thought about it, affording me a chance to use the tried and true Han Solo quip, "I'm trying not to, kid."

Then I found myself at Shea with my friend MDO one night, idly chit-chatting as Johan Santana made the Mets look like tee-ball rejects. Now this guy and I have many things in common and I usually respect his opinions (except when it comes to his creepy Harry Potter obssession), so when announced his unreserved and unexpected fandom of the show he convinced me to give this thing another chance when it was DVD-ified. And I have. And I really dig it -- even if it is the world's corniest super-hero comic on screen. I know I wrote a few weeks ago about not wasting time for serials to "get good," but some things deserve a second, third, or fourth chance. Nobody ever got anywhere without taking a chance.

Now DC Wildstorm presents us with a comic of television's comic booky. Collecting the online comics based on the show, this volume -- featuring two covers by comics giants Jim Lee and Alex Ross -- also includes an introduction by Masi Oka (Hiro -- this guy's terrific), all 34 chapters of Season One, and Tim Sale's artwork as seen on the show. The comics included have been written and illustrated by some of comics' and television's top writers and artists, including Michael Turner, Phil Jimenez, and more! Now, I know I can happily listen to "Greasy Kid stuff online at, but I ain't got a lot of me time coming up, so if anybody knows or gathers details of the song I refer to up top, contact me so that I might seek it out and further my dementia, will ya? I've got a terrific no-prize to give out!

Acme Novelty Library Vol 18.5 PX Portfolio - Attn. Chris Ware acolytes: You ain't gonna find this book just anywhere, and it ain't gonna be available for long. Act accordingly. This print portfolio contains all four "Thanksgiving" covers drawn by the cartoonist for the November 27th, 2006 issue of The New Yorker, as well as an additional fifth comic strip previously available only in digital form.

Dark Tower Gunslinger Born Premiere HC - collecting Marvel's seven issue series of the year, this is essential for you milions and millions of Stephen King fans.

And in case you won a buncha dough with a scratch-off ticket, or just worked hard for it, or were born into it, here are three more high end books of note from last week that I highly recommend:

Storeyville - by Frank Santoro.

New Engineering - by Yuichi Yokoyama.

Mw - by Osamu Tezuka.

Mahna mahna-ma nana nee nee yee-dee-dee!



Graphic Misogyny

As readers of mainstream comics (read: superheroes) know, sexism in comics is nothing new. True, it exists in other media and genres, but it's always been a bit more noticeable in a world of fiction traditionally aimed at young males and populated by physical paragons in tight-fitting outfits. Hell, even Wonder Woman, icon of female empowerment, has a history of being tied up a lot. (Conveniently, she even carries her own rope around.) Anyway, the question of how women are treated in superhero comics comes and goes from time to time, and a recent comic event made me think a bit about it.

In the latest issue of New Avengers #35, C-list hero Tigra (sorry, is severely beaten by The Hood, a new supervillian and Kingpin wannabe. What's sexist about that, you say? Well, nothing necessarily, but a couple of things set this apart from your typical superhero battle and made it legitimately questionable. First, the beating happens in Tigra's apartment because she's been targeted for a beating. She's not beaten in the line of duty or anything like that -- The Hood breaks into her place, waits for her to get home, and jumps her. Second, perennial Punisher punching bag, Jigsaw, records the whole thing. Y'know, for home viewing pleasure. Creepy. It didn't help that Tigra's costume is literally fur skin and a bikini.

Reading that story made me wonder if it was okay. And judging from the online reaction, I wasn't the only one. Some readers thought it crossed the line and others thought those people were overreacting. Me, I'm not sure. Any story involving violence and women has to walk a very fine line. If you're going to accept female superheroes, then yes, they're going to get hurt. Like I said, as a home assault this was different than a slam-bang fight with a giant robot, but I wondered if it was any different than Luke Cage getting attacked in his home during Marvel's Civil War. Is it just that he escaped? Would people even be talking about this if Tigra had won? If not, why not? Shouldn't the point be that she was attacked, and not the outcome of the attack?

I have no doubt that there are plenty of examples of misogyny in comics, but I don't know if this is one of them. But I think we can all agree that hating on women is dumb. Chris Rock said it best: "I like women. My mom's a woman -- that helps."

Ken Ip


Welcome to Shibuya-cho

Welcome all my friends to the show that never ends (hopefully). First news this week... STUFF! Lots of stuff. We just got in a million Naruto keychains, Deathnote keychains and patches, some new wristbands, necklaces -- oh, and 1:1 scale Naruto emblem iron-ons (like the Konohagakure red swirl, the Uchiha fan, the thing on the back of Tsunade's coat, and the Akatsuki clouds). So much new nifty stuff, that we had to play Tetris with all our other merchandise just to make space for everything.

Oh, and the toys. This week, we obtained a PVC of The Major from the Ghost in the Shell: SAC Solid State Society movie, a PVC of Urd from Ah! My Goddess in a bikini, chibi coin figures for the characters of Lamento (by the same people who did the chibi coin figures for Togainu No Chi), and a bunch of other PVC statues for Rumble Roses, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and many others. The downside? PVC statues get kinda pricey, but they're all so awesome that you know it's worth it (kudos to Japanese sculptors).

Now for the manga. This is a big week, since this is technically the first Wednesday of November. We've got Eden vol. 9, D. Gray-Man vol. 7, Prince of Tennis vol. 22 , One Piece vol. 16, and Ultimate Muscle vol. 18 just for starters. There's also plenty of new yaoi books coming in and a billion other titles I know you're gonna love; but this time I want to focus on a new book that I had once thought was completely over and am so glad to see now.

Now, I don't know if any of you remember a series called Hands Off by Kasane Katsumoto. It was about the two psychic cousins who struggle to restore their once-brotherly relationship that was wrought apart by ghost sightings, deaths in the family, and just growing up. You might also remember their overtly flirtatious and charismatic friend Yuuto thrust in the middle trying to keep everyone's volatile tempers from exploding every step forward. If you remember the series, then I'm sure you loved it too. Well this week beckons the release of Hands Off: Don't Call Us Angels Vol. 01.

By the end of the first series, so many other characters had appeared and while some mysteries and issues were resolved. Now we get the chance to go even further, and I couldn't be happier. This is essentially a mini-series dedicated to flashbacks of the highschool days of Udou and Kiba (the older psychics that appear half way through the original series), and we get to find out more about their relationship and how they came into their own powers. So this week, be prepared with all your saved-up allowance (even if you're the one allowing it to yourself), and all that unused lunch money (or money you were supposed to, but know you weren't gonna use on food anyway), and have a little shopping spree. God knows I'm broke. See you all next time.

Ja Ne!
Mat K.


Unkie Dev's Amazing Stuff: WGA STRIKE Edition!

DOES the Writer's Guild of America's strike affect comic books? MAYBE. That is why us professional and semi-professional comic book entertainment-type writers are taking no chances. I have heard that Chris Claremont plans on recycling the same corny dialogue and plots until AND AFTER the strike is over, while Warren Ellis plans on doing a Transmetropolitan mini-series off of the remaining works of Hunter Thompson he hasn't stolen yet. Besides, if the strike DOESN'T affect comics (And I think it doesn't.) the strike is a good thing: Comic pros like Jeph Loeb who write for TV can focus more on comics, and comic pros like Brian Michael Bendis who habitually WATCH TV can focus more on comics!

I, for one, am swearing off ALL writing just to be safe. That hasn't stopped me from speaking out loud a great deal lately, especially since I've hired a court-trained stenographer to "Hang Out" with me... and if she happens to write down everything I say and I happen to pay her for it, where is the harm in that? [Stenographer's Note: There isn't any.]

Thank you, Mitzy. Where was I? Oh YEAH!


Howard the Duck #2 - Ty Templeton (w), Juan Bobillo (a), Marvel. Howard the Duck is probably the funniest comic book about bestiality Marvel has ever printed, and relaunch has been a blast. Howard's human girlfriend, Beverly, is getting exploited/a leg up in her acting career as Howard is about to become an internet celebrity. Geez, looks like Mitzy and me are not the ONLY ones taking precautions in the wake of the WGA strike: This week sees two Steve Gerber Marvel books recycled: Howard the Duck and Omega the Unknown being helmed by novelist Jonathan Lethem and artist Farel Dalrymple. Pay attention WGA, and all you other writers with integrity: Never stand up for your rights because you can be replaced, years later, by younger and cuter writers without such moral hang-ups.

I keed, I keed.

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash - James Kuhoric (w), Jason Craig (a), DC and Dynamite. I can't copy and paste "CANNOT WAIT" enough to express my joy at this book's arrival. I'll be torn whether to buy the Eric Powell variant cover or the J. Scott Campbell cover... guess I'll get both! Based on the Pretty Darned Good (P.D.G.) Freddy vs. Jason and the Evil Dead movies, this monster mash-up will be bloody good fun for all. You have watched all the movies this comic book is based on, haven't you? Well, another P.D.G. thing about the strike is you'll have more time to watch monster flicks.

May I recommend Friday the 13th Part 4, The Final Chapter (HA, what a title,) and Nightmare on Elm Street III: The Dream Warriors? If you haven't watched em' then "Shame on you!" Freddy and Jason go to all that trouble killing promiscuous teens, so the least you can do is watch.

Way more funny books are out this week: Groo: Hell on Earth by Mark Evanier (w) and Sergio Aragones (a), trades of The Boys and Runaways, a reprint of an old R. Crumb classic Mystic Funnies #2 and kid-friendly books like Archie Digest and Scott Pilgrim and Marv Wolfman's Duck Tales. Read em' and weep... with laughter.


In conclusion, the writer's strike is not to be feared. Current comics and older reprints shall get you through the TV drought, and let's face it... the writing is so bad on most modern movies, who's going miss them? I just hope the stenographers' union stays strong, otherwise I can't return next week with another Forbidden Planet-plugging edition of Unkie Dev's Amazing Stuff! [Stenographer's Note: That and my pay check.]

No, or your pay check. Thank you, Mitzy.

By Guest Contributor: Unkie Dev


Monday, November 5, 2007

Shannon Wheeler : Postage Funnies 026

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Deal of the Week

We have a new Deal of the Week!

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