Forbidden Planet is about to celebrate its 42nd birthday – a very important figure for this Douglas Adams-loving chain of stores. Dan Slott has conducted a video interview with Forbidden Planet and Titan Comics' Andrew Sumner, going live at forbiddenplanet.com/fp42 on Saturday August 29th. But first, here he is talking about how, as an American living in London, Forbidden Planet was the very first comic book store he had ever seen.
I am honoured to be here. Growing up, Forbidden Planet was my comic shop. My folks, we were American expats and we were living in London for many years and I had come over. Every day as a kid from like around the age of five on, I would go to, I don't know if you have them in the UK – 7-Elevens – and we had spinner racks and that's where I would get my comics and I averaged about five comics a month as a kid on my allowance. And I just I regularly followed comics and then we moved to London and I'd never lived in a big city before and the only place I could find were newsagents like WH Smith and suddenly I went from getting like my little stack of comics every month to nothing to suddenly "Beano? What is this, where's my Spider-Man, where's my Avengers, where's Batman, why am I only getting this Beano thing and this guy Judge Dredd is kind of cool… the only thing I could find were these like Mighty World Of Marvel books that had reprints of comics I'd already read, and some of the pages would be in black and white for no reason and i'd be like "whatever". It's all I can get, it's my morsel, my scraps, I'll get it anyway. And then one magical day someone at school told me about Forbidden Planet on Denmark Street and I was like what and I never had a comic shop before."
On Saturday, August 29th, ForbiddenPlanet.com will be hosting ForbiddenPlanet42, with a huge range of celebrity interviews, as alumni from the worlds of science fiction, comics & popular culture come together to help the store celebrate 42 years of pop-culture addiction – and ponder the answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything with an all-star cast of their oldest friends and customers.
This event will feature new, exclusive interviews with some of their more celebrated customers including William Shatner, DMC, Neil Gaiman, Alice Cooper, Jonathan Ross, Gerard Way, Garth Ennis, Kevin Smith, Michael Moorcock, Simon Pegg, Mark Millar, Dan Slott, V.E. Schwab, Dave Gibbons, Brian Bolland, Dirk Maggs, Chris Claremont & Ben Aaronovich amongst others, hosted by Forbidden Planet and Titan Comics Andrew Sumner.
It will also host a tribute to the late, great Douglas Adams in the shape of a rare, never-before-heard interview with Douglas recently discovered in the vaults conducted by friend of Douglas and author of Don't Panic, a certain Neil Gaiman. who is known for some other things too.
Discussing this special event, Forbidden Planet owners, Vivian Cheung & Nick Landau said "Forbidden Planet 42 (yes, it's our 42nd birthday!) is an auspicious tip of the hat to our old friend Douglas Adams, the genius behind The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy – for whom the number 42 was the answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe & Everything. Douglas was one of the first authors to ever sign at the store and he returned for every new book he wrote. We are joined by a galaxy of stars from comics, music, science fiction, film & TV – friends of Forbidden Planet who have signed at the store over the last four decades. This celebration is dedicated to every creator who has appeared at FP and every staff member who has worked with us over the years – but most importantly, to all our customers and to every pop culture fan who shares this passion with us."
And they have a bunch of quotes to run alongside…
"I look at Jeff Beck, I look at Paul McCartney, I look at the Stones, Clapton, Jimmy Page – they've always been quality. Same thing with Forbidden Planet." – Alice Cooper
"Before I ever visited London, Forbidden Planet was whispered about in New Jersey, you'd read about it in the letter columns of comic books, it actually appeared in the comics themselves. The first time I went over to the UK, one of the most important things to me about London was: we HAVE to go to Forbidden Planet!" – Kevin Smith (Clerks)
"Forbidden Planet has a special place in my heart – it was June 19th 1983 when I realised such a magical kingdom existed. Discovering Forbidden Planet was like discovering an Aladdin's cave!" – Simon Pegg
"I went to university in London because I wanted to stay and enjoy things like Forbidden Planet. That's when the whole new wave of more adult, progressive comics began. It was such an exciting time – there was a lot of new books & new publishers coming out – and the ONLY place you could find them was at Forbidden Planet." – Jonathan Ross
"I'm so glad that your Forbidden Planet stores exist – they are wonderful!" – William Shatner
"Forbidden Planet is amazing! I had always heard about it but I had no idea how phenomenal it was – more exciting than Disney World, more exciting than Coney Island. Walking into Forbidden Planet is like walking into another dimension. For real." – DMC (Run-DMC)
The festivities will continue with special offerings and promotions in-store at all branches throughout the UK.