Comicosity Book Club: #PlanetaryClub Week 1 Roundup


It’s 2015, and we’re back with a brand new edition of the Comicosity Book Club! We are so excited to read Planetary with you all over the next few weeks. This book is written by the amazing Warren Ellis and features art duties by none other than John Cassaday. This seems to be our biggest book club yet, and it’s only going to get crazier as the series continues – don’t miss out!

Starting on January 1, 2015, we began reading Volume 1, or issues 1-6 of the series. Thank you to everyone who contributed their favorite panels, pages, thoughts, and other notes on the #PlanetaryClub hashtag! For those that are new to these roundups, below I’ll share some of my favorite tweets from the hashtag, as well as some extras about the week’s reading. If you want to join the conversation for next week’s reading of Volume 2 (issues 7-12), just use the hashtag!

Let’s get into it!


For the extras section I love to share old reviews, interviews, and other factoids about the week’s reading – in this case, Planetary 1-6. First up we have an old review and “analysis” from a Planetary fan page last updated in 2010 (I love this kind of stuff). In addition to an analysis of the first issue, we get some information about the pulp icons that Warren Ellis wanted to use in the issues as originally presented to John Cassaday. This info is presumably taken from the now-defunct Warren Ellis site. For example:


The character is, obviously, Doc Savage, but with enough alterations to prevent lawsuits (as with all the boys below). RED hair cut very short, tanned, dressed like a hunter, white hunter, all in white…”


We’re not going to go the full Fu Manchu route with this guy. I want him dressed very simply, in a black suit, no tie, the only unusual point being his remarkably long, elaborately painted fingernails.”

For a full rundown of the seven pulp heroes as well as other Planetary goodies, check out this old site here.

2595551-_t2ec16hhjhwe9n8ikmj_bqpe4_uvyq__60_57Next up we have an interview with artist John Cassaday from way back when in the year 2000 on PopImage. There’s all sorts of goodies in here, like the fact that he was a TV news director in Texas before getting discovered at SDCC. Here’s a snippet of the interview:

You’ve just been given a chance to rework the industry, starting with the major publishers and distribution companies, what do you do, what DO you do?

Move them all to the beaches of Thailand, where they can attempt a tan, see the ocean for the shark bait trap it really is and maybe meet a girl who has never cried out the lyrics to “Oh Mickey” while roller skating across an ice rink in utter confusion. Meanwhile, I dance feverishly in the bowels of Battery Park to tribal war chants of the cult of Foghorn Leghorn, leader of the “Chicken Hawk Revolution.”

Hell, I don’t know.

Be sure to check out the full interview here!

A bit later in 2010, David Uzumeri decided to “Unearth the Past” by reviewing Planetary on ComicsAlliance. I absolutely recommend reading the whole review here, but here’s a small taste for you:

“Almost every issue of the series plays homage to a particular pulp/superhero character or trope – the DC Universe, Doc Savage, the Lone Ranger, ’80s Vertigo and Nick Fury are all analogized, analyzed and stored, hermetically sealed, within the pages of Planetary. The entire series is almost an accounting of comics in the 20th century that teaches readers how to say goodbye to them and move to something new. It’s definitely the most baldly optimistic Ellis book I’ve read, largely for that reason.”

Though it might not be totally related to Planetary, I did also want to share “Some Advice on Pitching from Warren Ellis” from I know a lot of people were inspired by this book and probably wanted to write their own after reading this series, so why not take some advice from the best? An excerpt:

“I wrote all the PLANETARY, THE AUTHORITY and TRANSMETROPOLITAN advertising text, taglines etc., and while they may not win me any major advertising awards, I’d rather have them than 48-point type proclaiming the comics’ effect on some suit’s lower bowel.”

And finally, a note that Elijah Snow was voted #54 on IGN’s top 100 comic book heroes. In case you were wondering.

Again, many thanks to everyone that has already participated in reading Planetary with us, and we look forward to talking about volume 2 (again, issues 7-12) with you. Be sure to share all your thoughts on the #PlanetaryClub, and stay tuned for more great panels and extras next week!


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