Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Raising Hell? Clive Barker!

At gleefully short notice, CLIVE BARKER will be signing his DVD, The Midnight Meat Train at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Thursday 15th October from 6 – 7pm.

The Hellraiser Himself, Clive’s career began as founder, writer and director of a small theatre group staging such plays as The History of the Devil. Short horror stories written in his spare time came to the public eye as The Books of Blood, the popularity of which enabled him to begin writing and directing horror films. In 1987, of course, came Hellraiser, featuring a character that has become an icon of the genre. Referred to by Barker as ‘the Noel Coward of the lower depths’, we remember him as the master of pleasure and pain: Pinhead. More recently, Clive has moved into writing fantasy fiction, revealing that his flamboyant imagination can encompass light as well it can darkness.

In The Midnight Meat Train, a photographer gets far more than he imagines when he tries to capture the grit and grime of the city. While taking pictures of the subway, he encounters Mahogany (Vinnie Jones), a vicious killer who preys on subway riders. And then the nightmare really begins.

Clive is a long-time friend of Forbidden Planet - it's good to see him back!

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Sunday, 11 October 2009

You, Robot

We all know Asimov’s three laws of Robotics: -

1. A robot may not injure….

2. A robot must obey…

3. A robot must protect…

It’s probably down to Asimov, then, that so many Angry Robots at Forbidden Planet didn’t result in lawless chaos. Instead, it resulted in big piles of books and posters, a buzz of energy and a lot of giggling - not to mention too many flapjacks sneaked in between interviews.

Fun was had by Mssrs. Harvey and Remic, refusing to obey any orders whatsoever, by new author Mike Shevdon (who gives a mean tour of London’s West End) and by the ever-irrepressible Dan Abnett, signing a steady stream of copies of Triumff for happy fans.

Protecting their Robot interests, Marco and Lee were on hand to discuss the imprint, the arrival of the eReader and the future of publishing in general – while steering well clear of the Wasabi Pringles.

Thanks to Nik Butler aka loudmouthman, we can prove that all Robot laws were upheld. Asimov would be proud.

Angry Robot Books @ Forbidden Planet from nik butler on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, 7 October 2009

An Evening With Kevin Smith (or: The Irony of 'Silent Bob')

Silent Bob likes to chat.

Signing behind the big merch desk at FP London, he’s made slightly uncomfortable by the elevation and the barrier – something he jokes about to the incoming fans. He’s a strong presence, as you might expect – a tireless enthusiasm of energy, humour, sincerity and spectacularly foul language. He’s happy to see every single person that comes through that door.

And they’re happy to see him.

In spite of the three-hour queue, the evening has a very chilled atmosphere. A relaxed, good-humoured crowd warm to him instantly; he greets every one of them with ‘hey, man, how’re you?’ and he means it every time. Everyone gets a joke and a grin – and they know he’s a mate.

The thing about Kevin Smith: he’s still a fanboy. As comics buyer Del commented, it’s only been ten years since Clerks first aired. Kevin Smith may be a culture hero, massively successful – but, rather like an American Simon Pegg, he’s still one of the guys, a fan himself. Signing one lady’s black leather bra (she wasn’t in it) and another guy’s elbow for a later tattoo needle doesn’t phase him – this is his world, and he totally get it.

You’ve got to love a guy who burns the ‘no photos’ rule within five minutes of the event starting – and who seems actually disappointed that the queue’s moving too fast for his people to really stop and chat.

Perhaps most telling was the half-hour he took to tour FP once the event had closed. While his wife bought gifts, he surveyed the store with the professional eye of a comic book retailer – and later told Nick Grimshaw on Radio 1 that he’d loved what he’d seen.

There’s surely no better example of the New Age of Geek than Kevin Smith – still fanboy and retailer, he’s an all-round streetgeek champion, all about the people, and all about the fans.

And isn’t that kind of the point?

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