Friday, August 01, 2008

Dark Horse Preview Review for October

You may have been expecting Gwen's Fistful of Reviews post, but she was taken captive by the Dark Side Club, okay she is under the weather, but anyway her column will be missed and hopefully back soon.

Jim: Dark Horse is always finding something new and interesting to publish. If I did not read new comics I could still find more then enough to read and Dark Horse could supply a lot it.
Lee: Lots of love for DH this month. In terms of new there isn’t a lot this month but in terms of constant quality there’s always abundance.

Archie Goodwin (W), Larry Ivie (W), Gray Morrow (P/Cover), Reed Crandall (P), Alex Toth (P), Al Williamson (P), and others On sale Dec 10 b&w, 288 pages $49.95HC, 8 3/8" x 10 7/8" This vein-chilling second volume showcases work by some of the best artists to ever work in the comics medium, including Alex Toth, Gray Morrow, Reed Crandall, John Severin, and others. Each archive volume of Creepy is packed with stories (usually up to eight short stories were featured in every issue!) running the gamut of gruesome subject matter, from reimagined horror classics such as The Cask of Amontillado, to spectacularly mind-twisting shorts such as The Thing in the Pit, or the macabre maritime yarn Drink Deep. This volume collects Creepy #6-10.
Jim: Case in point. This is the second Creepy Archive and we have yet to see the first, but I know Dark Horse will do it right. The talent in this book reads as some of the who’s who in the artist world of that time. Add in Archie Goodwin as a writer and we get to see some classic material. I can’t wait.
Lee: I’m eager for this but I really want to see Volume 1 first. The market is quickly becoming saturated with $50 books. It’s to the point where I can’t get them all.

Various (W/A) and Leslie Cabarga (Editor) On sale Dec 17 FC w/b&w, 480 pages$19.95 TPB, 7" x 10" They’re cute, they’re clever and they’re obsessive! Some of Harvey Comics’ biggest stars were three “little” girls with large dreams, enormous hearts and king-size laughs: Little Audrey, Little Dot, and Little Lotta. Audrey was a Paramount Pictures animated cartoon movie star, who became a major comic-book headliner in 1948. Her comic-book stories were filled with ingenuity and her spunky, proto-feminist antics rivaled those of her cartoon progenitor, Little Lulu. The strangely obsessive Little Dot has become a cult figure through the years. Her love of dots and her unique coterie of eccentric uncles and aunts became the basis for some of the funniest stories in comic-book history. Last, but hardly least, is Little Lotta who defied the “big” girl stereotype with adventures showcasing an incredible strength that equaled her insatiable appetite.
Jim: I remember Little Dot somewhat, but the others I do not remember, but of course these books were targeted for young girls and as a self respecting little boy I would have only glanced at this material. (Yes, I leaving myself open for Lee to crucify me.)
Lee: Thanks for the opening but there’s not much in your statement to work with. I must be feeling kind or sick I’m not sure. But, I really like these classic Harvey stories. I’m not as familiar with the Harvey Girls but I really like the house style. I’ve read the Richie Rich and Hot Stuff so I’m tempted to get this too.

Mike Mignola (W/A) and Dave Stewart (C) On sale Oct 29 FC, 32 pages $2.99One-shot On the heels of the second Hellboy feature film, legendary artist and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola returns to the drawing table for this standalone adventure of the world’s greatest paranormal detective! Hellboy investigates an ancient chapel in Eastern Europe where an artist compelled by something more sinister than any muse has sequestered himself to complete his “life’s work.” First Mignola-drawn Hellboy comic since 2005!
Jim: To exemplify my point with Dark Horse I was just going to pick most of their collected editions solicitations this month, but Hellboy DRAWN BY MIGNOLA. I ain’t missing that.
Lee: Ok. You get it now. I’ll wait until it’s collected later.

Shane O’Shea (W) and Ogden Whitney (A) On sale Dec 31 FC, 256 pages $49.95HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16" Make way for the Fat Fury! Legendary comics publisher ACG had a hit on their hands in the mid-1960s with the adventures of Herbie Popnecker, a plump lump of a kid who secretly possesses nearly unlimited super powers! Join Herbie as he takes on goofy cavemen, joins George Washington’s army, gets the better of pop-culture figures like Gregory Peck and the Queen of England, and dons the unassuming costume of the Fat Fury for the very first time! Collects issues #6-14
Jim: One volume will be enough for me, but if I love volume one I maybe back for more. Again Dark Horse is getting material out there that I do not think anyone else would touch and it is nice to know that they will do a quality job in presenting the material.
Lee: Are you actually getting the first volume? You are the only person I know who is. Even I am not getting the Herbie volumes. Not because I don’t want them but back to the comment about market saturation. I really wish I could see more of the interior before having to commit so much money.

Richard E. Hughes (W), Pete Costanza (P), and Kurt Schaffenberger (P) On sale Dec 17FC, 264 pages $59.95 HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16" Vietnam, 1965: U.S. Army Private First Class Tom Cargill seemed like most soldiers to the men in his squad, but little did they know that he was in truth an immortal! More than two hundred years old, the son of the alchemist and sorcerer Cagliostro, Tom Cargill was the most powerful magician in the world. When Red Chinese soldiers threatened American lives in Vietnam, Cargill donned a mask and costume to battle evil as the supernatural superhero Magicman! Magicman Archives Volume One collects the long-unavailable complete run of the American Comics Group superhero in an affordable format. Co-created by Golden Age legend Pete Costanza, longtime artist throughout the 1940s on Fawcett’s Captain Marvel Adventures, Magicman was one of American Comics Group’s premier superheroes. Includes covers by legendary Superman and Lois Lane artist Kurt Schaffenberger and an introduction by Scott Shaw.
Jim: I had no clue that this comic ever existed. Therefore I would be hard pressed to pay $60 for a hard cover collection of it, but still the depth and breadth of the comics Dark Horse is archiving is impressive. So many jokes about that super-hero name.
Lee: DH is collecting the old ACG heroes. This is obscure stuff even by my standards. But I really like it and really want to see what it’s like inside. I can only imagine the silverage silliness in second tier comics like these.

Matt and Shawn Fillbach (W/A) On sale Dec 10 b&w, 80 pages $9.95 TPB, 6" x 9"
A biological contagion that turns the living into cannibalistic mutants has been unleashed, and it’s up to paranormal trucker Jim Kowalksi to stop it! Jim, along with his talking dog and G.P.S. crystal skull, lead this full-throttle adventure into overdrive. Our heroic trio must battle their way through monster insects, zombie truckers, a crazed country musician, and a doomsday cult led by the insane Reverend Baba-Yaga Boogity. The Fillbach brothers’ prior creator-owned work, Maxwell Strangewell, was ranked #6 by The Onion A.V. Club’s “Best Comics of 2007,” not to mention #9 by both Contra Consta Times and Savannah Morning News.“The Fillbachs’ sensibility is enjoyably left-field and ambitious.” "A.V. Club
Jim: Hell, these just sounds like a heck of a lot of fun. One thing that comic books can do better then any other medium is just have fun with something. No pretense of being a screenplay, no franchise building story line, just a story to enjoy.
Lee: The Fillbachs had a winner with Maxwell Strangewell so I expect more of the same here. If you interested in strange and different then this is a very good place to start.

Various (W/A) On sale Aug 27 FC, 240 pages $49.95 HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16" Happy Trails! Roy Rogers rides again in this deluxe volume presenting the earliest comic-book adventures of America’s favorite Western star! Return to the heyday of the West, when Roy Rogers, with his golden palomino Trigger, conquered the American frontier one thrilling act of daring-do at a time! Pop culture icon, hero to generations of boys and girls, and the straightest-shooting, fastest-riding cowboy of them all, Roy Rogers left an indelible mark on the American landscape. These classic comics, in a handsome hardcover edition fit for the “King of the Cowboys,” are a perfect way to experience the excitement, humor, and romance that captivated millions. With art by critically acclaimed brothers Tom and Charles McKimson, who were famous for Dell and Disney comic illustration for decades, as well as their work in animation and art in their own right. Volume One collects: Dell Four-Color Comic #38, 63, 86, 95, and 109.
Jim: And the archive to really prove my point, Roy Rogers comics. If I wasn’t already overloaded in books, just the fact that Dark Horse considered it worth printing makes me curious to see the material. But I’m not going to pull that trigger (get it, I crack myself up sometimes, will Lee be able to stop giggling and make a comment?).
Lee: Oh, you’re funny alright. You just keep laughing. I’ve very curious about the artists in these books. Very often the art is outstanding and contains some of the top names in the industry. I just don’t know if this is one of those titles.

Jim: And I skipped the Zippo Hellboy lighter, Star Wars statues and the Tim Burton heat sensitive mugs. Dark Horse really covers the gambit.
Lee: Another good month no matter how you cut it.


  1. You guys do a great job of (p)reviewing a wide variety if small-press titles. I don't think my wallet can handle the vast amount of great books out there.

  2. My wallet can't either, that's why I borrow stuff and loan stuff out to people all the time.