Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dark Horse / Image Preview Review for January

Jim: Wow, this is way early. Since we do Dark Horse and Image together we usually have to wait for Image solicitation to come out after DC and Marvel solicitations. But this month we get do review them first in our cycle of Preview reviews. Historically January and February are the worse months for retailers and my store was no exception, so I’m not expecting a lot of new things.
Lee: I don’t know. I always thought that Sept/Oct were worse months before the Christmas rush. No matter what, I always look forward to the small press.

So Let’s Start With Image

THE BLOOD IS BACK! Beginning an all-new MONTHLY series starring the original celebrity superheroes in their greatest adventures ever! All your favorites are back: Shaft! Die Hard! Badrock! Cougar! Doc Rocket! Johnny Panic! A new administration demands a new Youngblood team, but there are darker forces at work. Is it just another shot at the fame game... or is there a greater destiny involved? Before The Authority... before The Ultimates... there was YOUNGBLOOD. The media blitz begins here! JANUARY 9 o 32 PAGES o FC o $2.99
Jim: There is a very small part of me that wants to order this book and read it. My memories of the original run was that it was a bad book and I have no enthusiasm for these characters at all and will easily pass on this book.
Lee: The problem is the original characters were bad but they have been handled well since. For example, Moore did a great couple of issues with them. AND, Casey can turn out some great work. Godland anyone? I just might have to try this.

'76 #1 (of 8) story B. CLAY MOORE & SETH PECK art ED TADEM & TIGH WALKER cover ED TADEM

Two continuing tales of Bicentennial street justice, featuring "Jackie Karma," by B. CLAY MOORE & ED TADEM, and "Cool," by SETH PECK & TIGH WALKER. Jackie Karma is a Sixties-era New York City karate master and street fighting legend who comes out of retirement to battle an old foe, while "Cool" features Los Angeles bounty hunters Pete Walker and Leon Campbell as they deal with runaway strippers, geriatric gangsters, drug-dealing dwarves and ex-porn star hit men. JANUARY 9 o 32 PAGES o BW o $2.99
Jim: Apparently this is a continuation of a theme as they are offering Battle Hymn Volume 1 for sale. I’m not real familiar with the creators (although Seth Peck is co-writing Sorrow which I like) and the cover art looks okay, but I’m on the fence on this book.
Lee: I have to hand to Image because every month they seem to come up with interesting ideas. It sounds great but like you I’m not sure I know enough about it to make the investment. Hopefully the store will get an issue so we can look at it.

"THE HAUNTING OF HERNESBURG" Bumbling monster hunters Ridley and Falstaff are hot on the trail of their nemesis, the mysterious sorcerer Orlok. The trail leads them to the town of Hernesburg, where the heroes are asked to dispose of a lurking evil in the woods?only because the town's own hunter has turned up dead! JANUARY 16 o 32 PAGES o FCo $3.50
Jim: Now this book I’m signing up for. Thomas Boatwright did a great job as artist of “The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo” and this book just looks like it will be fun.
Lee: I agree. This sounds great. My only question… is it a limited series or an ongoing???

It's all been building to this. After five long years, the best superhero comic book in the universe has reached its monumental FIFTIETH ISSUE! Invincible and Cecil Stedman face off and after this issue, nothing will ever be the same. Also in this issue, Science Dog returns in an all-new back-up story... and the ORIGIN OF CECIL STEDMAN!
JANUARY 23 o 48 PAGES o FC o $4.99
Jim: Lee will be shocked to see this is one of my picks, but how could I not. Invincible hits #50 and is going strong, plus Science Dog returns. Also when Kirkman states he is changing the status quo I believe him, as he owns the character and is not beholding to any outside interests as to what he can and cannot do with the character.
Lee: These days 50 issues is an amazing achievement. And, even more amazing is the high quality the series has maintained throughout. A really enjoyable series.

Utopia. The quest for it has destroyed the lives of many men. Alan Gaskill has created a beautiful new city, New Venice, at sea off the coast of California: a place with sun, with no crime and with no worries. But that is about to change. A cancer has slowly been growing inside the city, threatening its very existence. Alan won't let that happen - he's willing to put his life and those of his family at risk to stop it. JANUARY 3 o 32 PAGES o FC o $3.50
Jim: Okay this just looks a little off kilter and whacky enough for me to want to try it out. It sounds generic in some ways, but the cover image screams a different sensibility. Sign me up for this book also.
Lee: This was originally done under the A1 (Atomika?) imprint and a single issue was released. It was great stuff then and I am sure it hasn’t changed any. Pugh does some great artwork.

"THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE LOVELY" The girls go wild as Bomb Queen faces the greatest challenge to her authority yet! With special guest stars Blacklight and Rebound - and enough jokes, innuendos and sight gags to make a sailor blush! Let's face it: It's another 128 pages of JUST PLAIN WRONG! JANUARY 23 o 128 PAGES o FC o $14.99
Jim: At least the creator is intentionally and knowingly creating the “Embarrassed to be a comic fan award cover”.
Lee: This is as close to adult entertainment as you can get while still being in previews.

On to Dark Horse

On sale Mar 19 b&w, 176 pages$49.95 HC, 7" x 10 1/2"
First appearing in Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” comic strip in 1948, the oddly shaped (and happily edible) Shmoo became an overnight phenomenon, spawning an unprecedented merchandising frenzy in the late forties and fifties. As part of the Dark Horse Archives series, ALL Shmoo comic book appearances are being collected for the first time ever in a deluxe hardcover edition! In addition to every issue of Shmoo Comics from 1949 and 1950, rare bonus stories, and Shmoo-centric advertisements from yesteryear, Al Capp’s Complete Shmoo: The Comic Books features an introduction and annotations by certified Shmoo-ologist Denis Kitchen. A persistent presence in pop culture, the selfless Shmoo has served humanity for decades—mostly by offering itself as food—but also by entertaining and tickling our funny bones like no other creature can. Treat yourself to these hilarious adventures, featuring Washable Jones, Super Shmoo, Frankenshmoo, Fu Manshmoo and truly a cast of thousands! This archival collection sports a new cover by Peter Poplaski.
Jim: I have no clue about this book and never read any of time, so why it deserves hard cover archive treatment is beyond me. Plus an edible character. I think someone was doing some hallucinogenic drugs back in the day.
Lee: Schmoo was a huge cultural event. Besides comic books he was even a cartoon character in the 70’s. This should be really good! Don’t let the strange name scare you off.

Over the course of its two-decade publishing history, Dark Horse has blazed a trail through the comics industry, setting the precedent for creative freedom and creator rights while consistently delivering the most daring and cutting-edge graphic storytelling. To commemorate the milestone, we take a look back at the writers, artists, and characters that have made Dark Horse the international publishing presence it has become, and a look ahead at the up-and-coming talents that will influence generations to follow. Dark Horse Comics, twenty years down and we’re only getting started! Dark Horse: Twenty Years of Comics is a hardcover anthology showcasing the highlights from the publisher’s first two decades. Featuring excerpts from over forty stories, including Sin City, Black Cross, Concrete, and Hellboy, the book focuses on the work of comics luminaries such as Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Adam Hughes, Joe Kubert, Will Eisner, Joss Whedon, Eric Powell, and more. • A one-of-a-kind collection featuring the industry’s top writers and artists!
Jim: Looks to be an interesting book and a nice way as a publisher to celebrate your history. Having said that it still is not a book that I will be buying, but would not refuse as a late Christmas gift. Which actually begs the question on the timing of publishing this type of book in March.
Lee: Actually, the question that needs to be asked is why are there only part stories in here? Logging in at 500 pages they couldn’t reprint entire stories???

KEVIN FERRARA (W/A) On sale Jan 16FC, 32 pages$2.99Miniseries
The multi-talented Kevin Ferrara saves the best for last in The Deadlander #4!
The plan is set! The cavalry, the witch, and the Deadlander are on a collision course! But nothing is ever easy for our undead six-gunner. And the witch has a plan of her own—to salvage the Crown of Souls and trade it for her own god-like immortality. With a surprise hallucinogenic encounter with the undead to end things up, this one is as awesomely weird as it gets!
A rocking final installment of the The Deadlander in the best Wrightson and Frazetta tradition!
Jim: Just read the first issue recently and it was good and I’m looking forward to the rest of the book. I think putting him in the Wrigthson/Frazetta category is really upping the expectations to impossible levels. The first issue was a little over written and somewhat cluttered in the art, but a nice horror/western. Kevin Ferrara is a talent to watch.
Lee: I am soooo waiting for the trade. This can’t end soon enough.

HARVEY CLASSICS LIBRARY VOL. 3: HOT STUFF LESLIE CABARGA (editor and designer) and JERRY BECK (introduction) On sale Mar 12 FC & b&w, 480 pages$19.95 TPB, 7" x 10"
Who’s the hot-headed little devil with a tail as pointed as his personality? It’s Hot Stuff! This adorably mischievous imp has delighted comics fans since the 1950s, and now Dark Horse is proud to present a new collection of over 100 of the funniest (and hottest!) classic Harvey Comics cartoons featuring Hot Stuff and his pals. Harvey Comics Classics Volume 3: Hot Stuff brings back the beautifully imaginative artwork, inspired humor, and long-out-of-print stories featuring the adventures of the sprightly little demon, his pals the Devil Kids, Stumbo the Giant and other timeless favorites
Jim: The old Harvey books are so much fun, that I’m tempted to buy them and put them in my library in case I ever have to entertain grand kids. Timeless comics that younger kids should enjoy and you can enjoy reading to them.
Lee: I have all of these. Casper was good. Richie Rich was GREAT. And Hot Stuff is one of my favorites. This is for kids young and old. AND, DC/Marvel could learn something from the printing quality of these books. Nice slick pages and even some color. Fantastic collections.

On sale Feb 13Contains six 13 1/2"x 10 3/8" color prints in folderAlso contains six black & white plates with sketch art and a commentary$19.99
One of glamour art’s most gifted illustrators, Jim Silke presents a series of beautiful, painted images of his best-known inspiration, the incomparable Bettie Page. Originally created for Bettie Page Rules, this suite includes previously unpublished pencil studies as well as the finished color pieces. Dark Horse is proud to continue our series of portfolios with this set of charming and provocative renditions of the queen of the pinups.
This set of full-color pictures are text free and suitable for framing. The back of the folder pictures all the interior images, so they can be viewed in the store without having to open the package.
Jim: A different type of “hot stuff”. We joke about the embarrassed to be a fan type covers, but some of the classic illustrators “good girl” is really beautiful stuff. Jim Silke was one of the best and everyone in the world drew Betty Page. Also I have to say that I like my woman to look beautiful but real and Betty was a real girl.
Lee: Uuuummmm so what you’re saying is your Mother caught you with a Bettie Page book??? I assume that was a traumatic experience for you. But, she was beautiful.

Jim: A relatively light month for newer projects, but plenty of the regular series and new mini-series we have highlighted in previous months continue to come out.
Lee: Even light months are fun because of the variety. Westerns, crime, and superheroes all in the same space! These are great comics that you really need to be trying.

Jim: Agreed


  1. Don't forget my new comic New World Order coming out Jan 23. Conspiracies, UFO's, Occult Philosophies and more.

  2. We did not forget it, we just did not pick it as a highlight. Dwight proved us wrong in our view of Archibald Saves Christmas, send us a pdf file of the book and we will review it and let you know what we think of it.