Tag Archives: Dark Horse

It’s Wednesday! (March 6, 2013)

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Lots of solid continuing books this week, but I’m going to focus on starts and stops.

LOST VEGAS #1 (of 4)
Story by:Jim McCann Art By:Janet Lee

The EISNER AWARD-WINNING team of JIM McCANN & JANET LEE reunite to create a universe filled with intrigue as one gambler-turned-slave has 24 hours to go all in and pull off the greatest heist the universe has seen.

WELCOME TO LOST VEGAS! Aboard this luxurious casino-filled traveling space-station you will find the highest stakes games from every corner of every planet, unheard-of winnings, and the greatest attractions anywhere!

*the fine print- those who bet it all and lose must work it off as indentured servants to the casino. Escape is not possible. No one is exempt from these rules.

From the duo who brought us Return of the Dapper Men comes a new series. I wish I could tell you what that one was about, but I haven’t had time yet to read it. I do, however, know it earned high praise and it’s something I’ve been meaning to get around to for some time. What little more I have read about that book sounds right up my alley, so I’m doubly curious. I’m also curious to see where they are headed in this next series.

As soon as I get around to reading this book, I will let you know (most likely via Twitter, so please follow if you are curious to hear)

The Franceso Francavilla variant cover is featured above. I completely dig his style. He does some fantastic covers on The Lone Ranger and The Black Beetle is a real fun read.

SEX #1
Story byJoe Casey Art ByPiotr Kowalski

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Finally, a good reason for you come in the comicbook store — to buy SEX! Simon Cooke has retired from his own “alternative lifestyle” and returned to the city he’d previously sworn to protect. Now he’s just another average citizen — or is he? The term “adult” has never been so appropriate as it is when it applies to SEX.

Basically the combo of Joe Casey + the blurb + a few preview pages got me intrigued. So here I am. Can’t tell you much more at this point. It might be good. Or…

COLDER #5 (of 5)
darkhorse_colder5_finalissueWriter: Paul Tobin Artist: Juan Ferrerya Cover Artist: Juan Ferreyra

A mental patient battles insanity incarnate in a horrific finale to this mind-bending series.

* From the creative team behind the Falling Skies comics!

* Horror in the vein of Locke & Key and Preacher.

The blurb on the cover of this issue reads: “Basically, if you aren’t reading Colder, you’re making a big mistake. Hugely. Don’t make that mistake.” by FamousMonsters.com.

I don’t think I would be shouting from the mountain top for this book, but I do recommend it for anyone looking for a good horror read. The writing is solid and the art is quite good. I’m glad I took a chance on this series.

The crazy cover to issue #1 (no pun intended) definitely hooked me initially, so some great marketing there (even though that scene doesn’t show up until this issue). I mean that in the most positive way possible. The first few issues of this book are a really great read. And the so-called punchline to this story (spoilers, I guess) about journeying into a world of nightmares that is shared by the minds of the insane is quite clever. So more points for that as well.

Here are some people who liked the book:

Comic Addition reviews issue #3

Comic Attack reviews issue #4

And here is a video review of issue #3 by acomicbookmom, who really enjoys it (“It’s crazy awesome.”)

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It’s Wednesday! (February 20, 2013)

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DARK HORSE PRESENTS #21
Writers: Neil Gaiman, Duane Swierczynski, Geoffrey Thorne, Michael Avon Oeming, Denis Medri, Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Michael T. Gilbert, Simon Roy, Jason Wordie, Shannon Wheeler, Shaun Manning

Artists: Michael Avon Oeming, Denis Medri, Gabriel Hardman, Michael T. Gilbert, Simon Roy, Jason Wordie, Shannon Wheeler, Paul Chadwick, Eric Nguyen, Todd Harris, Steve Lieber, Greg Ruth, Andrew Drilon

Neil Gaiman (Sandman, American Gods) teams with Paul Chadwick (Concrete) for “The Day the Saucers Came”!

Plus, three new series debut this month, including work by Simon Roy (Prophet), Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man), and Arcade Boy by Denis Medri!

* Caitlín R. Kiernan’s Alabaster and Michael Avon Oeming’sThe Victories continue!

“Comics’ best kept secret trove of great comics.”—Comic Book Resources

Do you really need any more reason than that to buy this issue? Take another look at that lineup of writers and artists.

Month in, month out this book continues to impress.

HAPPY #4
Story byGrant Morrison, Art byDarick Robertson

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Christmas is here and the bad men are about to open their presents! It’s showdown time but can Nick Sax save the day without Happy to help him – or will he screw this up like everything else? You must not miss the blood-drenched conclusion of our heartwarming Yuletide classic!

Nick Sax is one sad sack of shit. Seriously. For the longest time I was hoping he would come around. But he had the right idea from the start: who listens to a tiny buck-toothed blue unicorn with wings?

Random line while flipping through the book: “He can see me and he says he’s wasted. It’s Santa Claus on drugs, Nick!” (says the blue flying horse)

REVIVAL #7
Story by: Tim Seeley, Art by: Mike Norton

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Dana tracks down a wolf in sheep’s clothing serial killer.  Talk show pundit, Clyde Birch comes to down and all hell breaks loose.  And, those Check boys are up to something nasty.

This series took me completely by surprise. I stacked up a few issues and when I finally got around to reading them, I was hooked. There are some strange, perverse things going on in these pages. I like Norton’s art, although I’m curious how this book would read were it in the hands of someone like a Bill Sienkewicz?


SAGA #10

Story by: Brian K. VaughanArt By: Fiona Staples

Marko and Alana’s long-lost babysitter Izabel finally returns to the fold, but at what cost?

This is, without question, my favourite comic right now with Prophet nipping at its heels. Not much I can say that does it justice, I just wanted an excuse to post this excellent cover.

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I’ll stop here, but there’s more! I could easily include MIND MGMT #8, and I’m curious about what Valiant has brewing this montH with HARBINGER and X-O MANOWAR, both of which have been surprising me for the better part of this past year with strong writing and art.

That’s all I have time for now!

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J.P. Leon’s covers – one more reason to pick up The Massive every month

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I’m not sure I can describe exactly what it is about J.P. Leon‘s art that gets me so excited. I love the mood he sets. Everything is dark and ever person suspicious.

wintermen1-wildstormMy first recollection of seeing his name attached to the art credits for a book was probably in 2006. (I can’t believe it’s been that long.) I was scanning the racks for potentially good reads that I’d missed during my hiatus from reading comics, and one of the shops still had the first four or five issues of Wintermen sitting on the shelf. It took another couple of years before the last issue was published and I (along with other 8,000 or so people who has purchased issue #5) would be able to read the conclusion to this riveting story about a Russian super soldier program. Amazing stuff. Much better than Peter Milligan’s The Programme, which I say reluctantly because I am a fan of Milligan’s work usually.

Leon also did all that great work on the Brian Wood creation DMZ. And now Leon and Wood are back every month on The Massive.

If you’re unfamiliar with The Massive, in my mind this is sort of a replacement for the now-ended DMZ. Great cast of characters, and Wood’s displays mature storytelling skills. Here is a brief synopsis:

In a post-war, post-crash, post-disaster, post-everything world, the environmental-action trawler Kapital scours the earth’s oceans for its mysteriously missing sistership, The Massive. Captain Callum Israel, a man who has dedicated his life to the ocean, now must ask himself—as our planet dies—what it means to be an environmentalist after the world’s ended. Callum and his crew will come up against pirates, rebels, murderers, and thieves as they struggle to remain noble toward their cause. Can you save a planet that’s already doomed?

You can read a short interview with J.P. Leon on the Dark Horse comics blog.

I’ll just let his The Massive art speak for itself.

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Michael Avon Oeming does ‘Victories’, Joost Swarte asks ‘Is That All There Is?’ and other upcoming releases

Each month, I read and dog-ear the pages of Previews for comics that look interesting. For those unfamiliar, Previews is the catalogue/magazine for Diamond Comic Distributors. (Yes, I’m that much of a nerd.)

People complain about how boring and familiar comic book stories have become, but that’s horseshit once you start digging deep enough. Previews is filled with all kinds of books I won’t find in my local comic book shop unless I specifically ask for them.

With that preamble out of the way, here are a few items from the books shipping in August (next month) that sound interesting. If I had the cash — and time to read them — I’d probably buy them all.

NOTE: There are a few reissues in this list so not everything here are brand new books.

Driven by Lemons by Joshua W. Cotter (Adhouse Books)
104 pages, $20

“Up the stream of consciousness without a paddle.” — From the creator who brought you the Eisner- and Ignatz-nominated Skyscrapers of the Midwest comes a sketchbook replica of recent multimedia explorations in intuitive narrative. Won’t you be his neighbor? (Adhousebooks.com)

Sunset City by Rob Osborne (AiT/Planet lar)
80 pages, $10

Sunset City is a typical retirement community. Its residents enjoy golf and gossip and they all seem content to fritter away their golden years. Except Frank McDonald. A retired widower, he wrestles witht he question: why am I here? Reading the newspaper, Frank keeps up on the minutia of the day; it provides a buzz to an otherwise humdrum life. One morning, Frank is overcome by a startling story, and he does something extraordinary: he takes life by the balls. (AiT/Planetlar.com)

Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition by Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Archaia)
128 pages, $30

Return of the Dapper Men is a tale of a world in between time, where children have played so long it’s almost become work, machines have worked so long they have begun to play, and all the clocks have stopped at the same time. This is how this land has remained, until 314 dapper-looking gentlemen rain down from the sky and set off in different directions to start the world again. Now Ayden, the only boy to still ask questions; Zoe, the robot girl all other machines hold dear; and the Dapper Man known only as “41″ must discover what happened that made time stop, understand what their true places are in this world, and learn what “tomorrow” really means.

This book won the 2011 Eisner award for the Best Graphic Novel category. Archaia is reissuing it with a few extras and fancy binding as a walk-up to the sequel Time of the Dapper Men! coming out sometime this year, I presume.

Rust by Royden Lepp’s (Archaia)
192 pages, $25

Rust is a high-octane adventure set in the prairie lands of an unknown time. Life on the Taylor family farm was difficult enough before Jet Jones crashes into the barn, chased by a giant decommissioned war robot! Oldest son Roman Taylor struggles to keep his family’s small farm afloat as the area heals from a devastating world war. While the rest of his family may not trust the mysterious boy with the jetpack, Roman believes the secrets of Jet’s past may be the key to their survival. (Archaia.com)

Volume 1 is re-issued. Volume 2 launches in next month (August).

The Victories (#1 of 6) by Michael Avon Oeming (Dark Horse Comics)
32 pages, $4

Not long from now, all that will stand between you and evil are the Victories—six heroes sworn to protect us from crime, corruption, and the dark. As one member cracks down on the violence, he discovers himself touched by a painful past through the psychic powers of Link. Will this trauma cause him to self-destruct or continue the fight?

* The raunchiest superheroes since The Boys!

* From the co-creator of Powers!

“Mike Oeming is one of the great people and comic artists on the planet earth. I’ve been dying for Mike to write and draw his own book for years. And here it is! If you like Powers, you will love The Victories!”— Brian Michael Bendis

(Darkhorsecomics.com)

The Milkman Murders by Joe Casey and Steve Parkhouse (Image)
$15

The infamous 2005 mini-series returns in an all-new deluxe hardcover edition! The horror of suburban life explodes in an orgy of mythic violence — and mild-mannered housewife, Barbara Vale, finds herself at its dark epicenter! And when you meet her family, you’ll understand why. This slice of Americana is brought to you by the twisted minds of JOE CASEY and the legendary STEVE PARKHOUSE. If you missed it the first time around, this is your chance to finally join the Tupperware party!

“A truly disturbing and original piece of horror… not for the faint of heart or those looking for spoon-fed niceties, The Milkman Murders is comics as you’ve rarely seen them before.” – ED BRUBAKER

Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte (Fantagraphics)
144 pages, $25

Under Swarte’s own exacting supervision, Is That All There Is? collects virtually all of his alternative comics work from 1972 to date, including the RAW magazine stories that brought him fame among American comics aficionados in the 1980s. Especially great pains have been taken to match Swarte’s superb coloring, which includes stories executed in watercolor, comics printed in retro duotones, fiendishly clever use of Zip-a-Tone screens, and much more. (There’s even a story about how to color comics art using those screens, with Makassar as the teacher.)

“I’ve loved Joost Swarte’s perfect cartoons, drawings and designs for decades and it’s nothing short of ridiculous that a comprehensive edition of this brilliant artist’s work has never been available in America until now. Swarte is considered a national treasure in his native Holland, and if you open this book, you’ll understand why.” — Chris Ware

Loads of review on the Fantagraphics product page.

Freeway by Mark Kaleniko (Fantagraphics)
420 pages, $29

In his first new graphic novel since 2001’s acclaimed Mail Order Bride, Mark Kalesniko compresses an entire life into a single day as the frustrated animator, stewing on a pitiless California freeway, alternately rages, reminisces, fantasizes, and hallucinates — intercut with a series of imagined moments from two generations ago, the Golden Age of animation, when an earlier Alex made his entry into a much different professional world.

One reason I like the Fantagraphics website is they create video previews for many of their books.

Only Skin by Sean Ford (Secret Acres)
268 pages, $22

Featured in the Awesome anthology and listed among the best comics of the year by Indie Spinner Rack, the Daily Crosshatch, and Best American Comics, Only Skin is a grim exploration of the hallucinatory and tragic landscape of modern rural America, as seen through the eyes of a pair of orphaned siblings, searching for answers in a world filled with terrible, terrible questions.

Little Death by Thomas Kriebaum (Soaring Penguin)
96 pages, $14

There’s a knock at the door. You fear the worst. It’s Little Death. But is he here for you – or your cat? Thomas Kriebaum’s little man in the black suit is the ultimate travelling salesman: all deals are final. His dissatisfaction with his vocation is the source of our amusement!

The Voyeurs by Gabrielle Bell (Uncivilized Books)
160 pages, $25

The Voyeurs is a real-time memoir of a turbulent five years in the life of renowned cartoonist, diarist and filmmaker Gabrielle Bell. It collects episodes from her award-winning series, Lucky, in which she travels to Tokyo, Paris, and the South of France and all over the United States, but remains anchored by her beloved Brooklyn, where sidekick Tony provides ongoing insight, offbeat humor and enduring friendship.

Check out some preview pages.

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Did the Internet kill Wonder Woman?

EW.com reports that NBC has rejected David E. Kelly’s pilot for Wonder Woman (and quite possibly saved Adrianne Palicki’s career at the same time).

A lot of people have been crapping on the new series before even seeing an episode. The costume design, especially, was a point of contention among fans chattering away on Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

But let’s be honest: it would have to be some sort of masterpiece to not come off like a cheesy NBC 80s action series. (Who else remembers Manimal?)

Some concepts simply don’t translate to different mediums.

Take Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, which aired on FOX. The concept is intriguing, and better suited to the comic book format. I really wanted to like the TV series but it always seemed fairly cheesy and forced, and I lost interest after season one. Now Dark Horse has taken up the mantle, and I’m ready to give it another chance.

If fan reaction had been more positive for Wonder Woman, would NBC execs have overlooked the weak spots in the series and given the green light to the pilot? While we’ll likely never know with any certainty, one would assume it would have helped.

EW.com has a few other reasons why the series wouldn’t work, as well as some reasons why it would.

(via MTV SplashPage)

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