Size Matters Not

This is fantastic.

Daniel, the lad in the picture, had only picked up a needle once before. But he was a huge fan of Warwick’s work, and came to the signing with this gorgeous little amigurumi Wicket finger-puppet, made by his own fair hands.

Warwick was delighted with it – and Daniel went away with a grin like the sun coming up.

Moments like that are absolutely magical, and make me remember how very, very lucky we are to be able to do what we do.

 

Warm Up for KAPOW! at Forbidden Planet

In a special pre-KAPOW! event, ANDY DIGGLE, JOCK and JAMIE DELANO will be signing at FP London at 6:00pm on Friday 8th April… and may well be in the pub afterwards!

Grab yourself a copy of the Titan Books publications of Rat Catcher and Hellblazer: Pandemonuim – and get a head-start on the hottest, newest Con!

According to underworld legend, the Rat Catcher is a peerless assassin who specialises in silencing mob snitches. There’s just one problem – he doesn’t exist. Now there’s a pile of dead bodies in a burning safe house outside El Paso. The Rat Catcher has finally slipped up, and a washed-up FBI agent has one last chance to hunt him down. Follow Andy Diggle’s tale of two master man-hunters in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, each of them hiding a secret from the other.

In Hellblazer: Pandemonuim, an alluring Muslim woman catches John Constantine’s eye and brings troubles to his doorstep: a bombing in a London museum, mysterious ancient Sumerian artifacts and a terrifying creature running rampant with renegade intentions. To save his life and freedom, Constantine embarks on a desperate trail, blazing from the back streets of London to the detainment centres and battlegrounds of contemporary Iraq. Hellblazer: Pandemonium brings original Hellblazer writer Jamie Delano together with fan-favorite artist Jock to tell a tale about war and terror in a horror story tailor-made for the 21st century.

The best comics events – at Forbidden Planet!

#MADMONTH! BristolCon and Other Stories


Every so often, life at Forbidden Planet goes balls-to-the-wall crazy.

We’ve done Star Wars Days and Hallowe’en Celebrations, we’ve had signings with some of the most exciting names in the industry and we’ve taken our butts and our books to the Bristol Ramada and drunk far too much beer at BristolCon… and had a great time doing all of it. No matter how busy the business may be, there’s a sense of involvement that keep the energy levels high.


As Doctor Tim, manager of the Bristol Megastore said: we do it because we love it.

Honest, guv’nor.!

Seriously, though, sometimes, this stuff is just a privilege. From the wondrous (and hair-raising) tales of Michael Moorcock’s youthful antics, to stealing William Gibson’s ebook signing pen (erm… sorry about that), to remembering the basement days of Denmark Street with Iain Banks, to rediscovering the warm and open friendliness of Simon Pegg… there’s never a dull moment. The tales of Denmark Street remind me that all of these people started in exactly the same place as the rest of us – and each one still values the opinion and input of every single one of his fans. Props to the lot of them!


The #madmonth has ended with a day at BristolCon – a new venture for the local SF/F collective and a perfectly slotted-together event. In the Dealers’ Room as ever, it was still good to see a full and engaging programme of events (we at least got to Nick’s pub quiz – Walters, you’ve missed your calling as a stage comedian!) and (inevitably) to the bar… plus we got to chat to a guest list, all local, that all pitched in to make the event a success.

And the ‘local’ is absolutely the event’s hand-on win. There’s a strong genre family in Bristol, a gathering of authors and bloggers and podcasters and fans who’ve helped build a city hub that’s become big enough to host a Con of its own – and to make it a success. The atmosphere was very chilled – and there was a togetherness to it that can be missing from larger gatherings.


As with the signings at the Megastore – it’s gone to underline that we’re all the same at the root, and we all have the same things dear to our hearts. At the risk of sounding a scrape too cheesy… do we all do it because we love it?

So – props to Jo and her team for a fantastic event that will grow into something even better next year. It was absolutely bigger on the inside!


And yes, we will be back!

Toy Launch: Lunartik at Forbidden Planet!


HAVE A CUP OF TEA!

We’re delighted to be hosting the Launch Event for Matt ‘Lunartik’ JOnes’ latest range of vinyl figures Lunartik in a Cup of Tea: Mini Series 1 at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JR.

Matt JOnes’ debut figure, Lunartik In A Cup Of Tea, was an instant and refreshing success to the UK art toy world; Lunartik was the base design for the gorgeous Custom Tea Tour involving such artists as Pete Fowler and Jon Burgerman, which also made its debut at Forbidden Planet. Now, Matt JOnes brings us his first set of blind-boxed mini collectibles, including 12 fresh favours and four hidden special brews!


And from 1pm on Saturday 20th November, Matt ‘Lunartik’ JOnes will be in our store to make you a cup of tea – as only he knows how – along with beautiful cakes supplied by Hidden Crumbs.

Matt JOnes is also the designer of the 3D version of our famous ‘rocket’ brand, originally created by Rian Hughes.


Forbidden Planet has always been on the forefront of the art toy sensation in the UK, hosting events with Tara McPherson, Jon Burgerman, Pete Fowler and James Jarvis as well as being the only UK venue on the Custom Bart Qee Tour in 2007 and raising money for the Alzheimer’s Research Trust with the MonQee Project, as supported by Terry Pratchett and Toy2R.

Visit Matt’s portfolio at: www.Lunartik.com

What the Fuck Happened?!


You ever have one of those days when you wonder what the fuck happened? When you wonder what the you-of-a-decade ago would’ve thought? When several things, good or bad, all sneak up on you at once and you find yourself looking at your hands/screen/surroundings and wondering quite how you got where you are? (And no, I don’t mean waking up on a mystery couch at 6am).

You know what I mean – yeah, one of those.

I’m having a morning like that. Never mind that it’s Monday, never mind that the not-FP Danie has been sailing the choppy seas of Divine Amusement recently… never mind any of that shit. I’m up to my ears in a sudden and wondrous feeling of gobsmacked surreality.

And what I’m looking at is this:

Pat Mills and Clint Langley
Rob Rankin
Brian Froud
Guillermo del Toro
Iain M Banks
William Gibson
Michael Moorcock
Bryan Hitch
and
Simon Pegg

And there are still more coming – look out for Bryan Talbot in December.

I mean, seriously. I read down that list and my eyes nearly fall out – our signings diary has gone up by a third year-on-year for the last couple of years, but that? That’s a list of childhood heroes and modern-day rock stars that’s verging on scary.

What the fuck happened? I’m not sure I know – but I do know that it’s down to more people than I can list or name, who all work together to make this shit real.

Come on, gobsmacked or no, you got to love it!

The Black Library Invade!


They may have left their bolters at home and checked the Dreadnought at the door… but you can’t underestimate the efficiency and passion of the boys – and girl – from the Black Library.

Writing warriors all, every one of them has an incredible enthusiasm for the stories and characters, which comes across with everything they do. I’m guessing this is why the Forbidden Planet ‘open plan’ event malarkey absolutely suited Dan Abnett, James Swallow, Graham McNeill, Nick Kyme, Nik Vincent and Sandy Mitchell – all of whom were good enough to work their socks off last night.


And it suited the fans too. The chance to actually ‘mingle’ with the authors and creators of the mythology was a new thing to them – they’re not standing in front of a table, they’re actually on ground level and can talk about the characters and the books that they love… as an equal. To me, that’s completely the point.

I’ve ranted about this before.

We had a great night. In the office before the event began, Sandy was talking about kids’ love for gaming, in particular his seven-year-old daughter and her Barbie-pink Tyranid army… and in the pub afterwards, Dan was telling wondrous tales from the ‘set’ (you know what I mean) of the Ultramarines movie. From school kids to international movie releases – nothing illustrates more effectively just how wide a range of appeal the mythology really has.


And between these points, you have two New York Times bestselling authors both still gobsmacked by their own success… and, more importantly, delighted for the profile and credibility it’s brought to all of them, and to the tales they, too, loved as kids.

With every person they spoke to, every interview they undertook, you could see that all six of these writers would be nowhere else. Their own Forbidden Planets are alive, bristling with new potential – and it was all there to be seen our books department last night. Perhaps that’s how the WarHammer worlds get an appeal that goes from children to filmset.


A final thank you to the crew for showing military efficiency in signing so many books for us (I was half-expecting to hear Dan bark, ‘ONE, two, three ONE!’ and have everybody sign in sync). Watching last night work so well was fantastic – as Invasions go, you lot can come again!

Scott Pilgrim Vs… Forbidden Planet!

BRYAN LEE O’MALLEY will be signing the sixth and final title in the massively popular Scott Pilgrim series: SCOTT PILGRIM’S FINEST HOUR at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JR on Tuesday 17th August 6 – 7pm.

It’s finally happened! With six of Ramona’s seven evil exes dispatched, it should be time for Scott Pilgrim to face Gideon Graves, the biggest and baddest of her former beaus. But didn’t Ramona take off at the end of Book 5? Shouldn’t that let Scott off the hook? Maybe it should, maybe it shouldn’t, but one thing is for certain: all of this has been building to Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour!

Bryan Lee O’Malley is an award-winning Canadian cartoonist. He has been working on a series of graphic novels called Scott Pilgrim. He writes the words and draws the pictures.

Now – if only he can persuade Scott Pilgrim to catch up with a couple of exes of mine…

A little Culture culture


How many of you have had a creative idea in your head that you’ve been tinkering with for years… only to see it manifest by another author/artist/muso before you’ve had a chance to shout about how good it is?

My feelings, pretty-much exactly, when I saw the cover of Iain M Banks’ new book.

(On the other hand, of course, it does tell me that the idea was a good one!)

Whatever the personal ironies (they’re all over the use of the fractal eyes theme, dammit!) it’s a kick-arse cover, and Mister Banks himself will be at FP to sign his latest Culture title, Surface Detail, on October 7th at 6pm.

Don’t miss this one – it’s likely to be big!

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Forbidden Planet Bares All!

Thanks to Angry Robot books, LAUREN BEUKES will be signing an exclusive pre-release hardcover of ZOO CITY at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JR on Thursday 29th July from 6 – 7pm.

Zinzi December has a talent for finding lost things. But in a city of black magic, familiars and damaged people, some lost things don’t want to be found. To save herself, Zinzi will have to confront her demons and find the hardest thing of all: the truth. An astonishing second novel from the author of the highly-acclaimed Moxyland.

Lauren Beukes is a recovering journalist who used to hang out with township vigilantes, electricity thieves, trendoid swingers, teen vampires and great white sharks; now she spends most of her time making stuff up as a TV scriptwriter and novelist. She lives in Cape Town with her husband and daughter.

ZOO CITY ART TOY CHARITY AUCTION

As part of the Zoo City promotion, five art toy BARES are being auctioned for the Suitcase Project, helping Johannesburg’s refugee children. These unique customs a have been donated by the Am I collective and decorated by South African artists Joey Hi-Fi, Elise Wessels, Clemi, Willeen le Roux, Carine Nguz and Bia van Deventer.

Lauren will be bringing one of the Bares, Bi-Polar Bare by Willeen de Roux, with her to the event.


And please don’t forget to go and bid!

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Three of the Best Event: When A Plan Comes Together!


I love it when a plan comes together.

Oh all right, all right – there may be a plan, but its execution isn’t mine. This stuff doesn’t happen without the unsung heroes in the books department, without the publisher, without the fantastic triple bill of the boys themselves, and without Sharon Ring who rounded up the critical mass of bloggers and brought them in for the night.

And what a night.

From Adam’s cherry flavoured e-cig to the threat to shave Mark’s head, from China’s choice of entry music (check Mark’s blog for this one) to the winding–fractal queues (suitably squid-like in fact) that coiled across the floor… this was an evening that coalesced flawlessly. Yes, there were books and there were buyers, there were writers and there were readers – but there was also that fantastic, spontaneous combustion of friendliness and badinage that brings tradition down in flames and builds something Phoenix-like (see what I did there?) out of the ashes of what has gone before.

(Breathe).

Question: why do people feel they can @celebs on twitter? Because it’s an even field; when you look at your screen, at your choice of app, Stephen Fry has exactly the same 140-character slot as your next mate down. Suddenly, if you wish it, he’s approachable.

So: we’re breaking tables. Their absence removes emotional barriers, social barriers – barriers that divide an author from their readership, and that readership from each other. Queues formulate readers into ceremonial silence.

And don’t we want to shout about the books we love?

Once again, I return to the sense of community – and the multiple subsequent posts I’ve seen about this event all celebrate the same song. We met our friends and we shared something that mattered.

Yes, we might read a book alone (though if it’s ‘Apartment 16′ you might want the light on) – but being able to share that book, not only with your friends, but with the author that wrote it, really matters.

Thank you to everybody who came down and made that event what it was. I only work there ☺

(The image is Krakencome by Nycopterus. Sadly, my iPhone takes lousy photos. That’s what I tell myself anyway)…

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