Friday, December 05, 2008

Dark Horse Preview Review for February

Lee: After last month’s lackluster choices, DH has a big month! There are lots and lots of cool things to look at.
Jim: Lee got giddy when this month's Dark Horse came out and he ended up doing the picking. Dark Horse's offers have been lacking recently regarding new stuff (their regular series are very solid).

Rick Geary (W/A)
On sale Apr 1b&w, 104 pages$15.95HC, 6" x 9"
Iconoclastic cartoonist Rick Geary chronicles the extraordinary adventures of an equally extraordinary woman of the early twentieth century in The Adventures of Blanche!
Blanche begins her journey with a refined piano professor in New York, but soon finds herself entangled with a brazen portrait painter, subterranean societies, and shocking secrets behind the New York subway system. From there, she's off to Hollywood, where her stirring talents bring to light the labor movement's struggles with the motion-picture studios. Then, in Paris, after a pleasant ocean voyage, Blanche arrives to find a canceled concert tour, a murder, and mysterious old memories.
- Long out of print and collected here for the first time, these quirky and nostalgic tales of Blanche get the deluxe treatment in this hardcover volume featuring an all-new introductory story!

Lee: I am a huge Geary fan so this is very interesting. I just wonder what the material is. Per the hype it’s been “Long out of print and collected for the first time.” I don’t even know where/when it was printed the first time. If I don’t know, I imagine very few others know too. Oh well, it’s still Geary and I’m interested enough to take a chance on it. Yes, Jim, I’ll tell you how it is.
Jim: Thanks Lee. I have gotten some of Geary's stuff since Lee has pushed it and so far I have enjoyed his work.

On sale Apr 1512" fully articulated doll, includes seven accessories Comes packaged in a deluxe collector's box $89.99
One of the most anticipated genre movie releases of the year is My Name Is Bruce, starring the cult hero (or is that antihero?) Bruce Campbell. Campbell is abducted from his trailer-park home to fight against Guan Di, a Chinese war deity. Thinking it all a joke, although thinking clearly is not one of his strong suits in this picture, Mr. Campbell discovers that it all is real, much to his shock and dismay. Mayhem ensues.
The fully articulated doll is formed from a 3-D scan of Campbell himself. Besides a custom fabric miniature version of his actual Hawaiian shirt, which was loaned to us by Mr. Campbell, proving that he's the kind of partner who would "give you the shirt off his back," an array of movie-specific accessories are included.
Two of these are miniature "angel" and "devil" versions of Mr. Campbell. They attach to his shoulders using hidden magnets. Additionally, we have:
Shemps Olde Tyme Whiskey
A Bruce collectible toy in melted package
Refreshing Lemon Drink bottle
A miniature Chins book
A big honkin' gun with price tag still attached
Puzzled? You won't be once you have seen the movie.

Lee: Have you ever noticed that DH always has at least one or two offerings that make you say “Really? Seriously, there was a market for this?” This is most definitely one of them. It looks like a Ken doll! Without that spandex and a molded dayglo uniform it is a Ken doll. And, if that wasn’t enough to keep you away, check the price tag!
Jim: Not sure who would be buying this and then I'm not sure Bruce Campbell would want to meet the person buying this. I guess if the stuff is made to order it can work. The accessories are the best part.

Roy Thomas (W), J.M. DeMatteis (W), Bruce Jones (W), Gil Kane (A), and Ernie Chan (A)
On sale Apr 15FC, 240 pages$17.95TPB, 7" x 10"
The incomparable Gil Kane (Green Lantern, Amazing Spider-Man, Blackmark) is featured in this special 240-page Chronicles of Conan volume--our thickest offering yet! Joining storyteller J.M. DeMatteis on Conan the Barbarian #127, Gil Kane's short but stellar Conan run in 1981 and 1982 thrust readers into a new era of magical quests, strange creatures, and inventive fantasy adventures. In Chronicles of Conan: The Creation Quest and Other Stories, Kane collaborates with DeMatteis, Bruce Jones, and longtime colleague Roy Thomas. In addition to a DeMatteis introduction--an engaging, behind-the-scenes look at his years working on Conan--Roy Thomas provides another insightful afterword, as he discusses working with Gil Kane on their 38-page "King of the Forgotten People!" collaboration. In addition to the "Creation Quest" story arc, readers will enjoy the meticulously restored color pages found in "The Ring of Rhax," "A Hitch in Time," and the heartbreaking "Snow Haired Woman of the Wastes"--where Robert E. Howard's mighty barbarian finds himself unraveling horrific mysteries and testing his thresholds of pain and mental fortitude!
- Special 240-page Gil Kane collection!
- Since rekindling the Conan franchise in 2004, Dark Horse has sold over 300,000 Conan graphic novels!

Lee: I stopped reading Conan around issue 100, so this is well beyond me. But I am surprised that this reprint series is only up into the 120’s for the series. I thought it was farther along. I also didn’t know that Kane had a long run on the series. If I did, I might have gotten the single issues long ago. Anyway, I might get this, I might not but I really, really want a HC of this material! Enough with the crappy trades already.
Jim: I stopped getting the reprints, but I have up to about Volume 12 and regardless of Lee's remarks, these are not crappy trades, these are well done trades, with high reproduction values.

Jim Silke (W) and R. Maguire (A)
On sale April 29FC, 000 pages$24.95TPB, 9" x 12"
In the course of his long and illustrious career, renowned illustrator/painter Robert A. Maguire created gorgeous cover images for more than a thousand books and worked for virtually every mainstream publisher in the U.S. Best known for his incomparably sexy "femme fatale" images for pulp paperbacks in the 1950s and 1960s, Maguire built a long and legendary career showcasing character portraits that were iconic and beautiful, painting subjects that felt simultaneously real and sensually compelling. Now, art historian and living pinup legend Jim Silke casts his curatorial eye toward Maguire's long and fascinating career in his first art collection/artist biography, Dames, Dolls, and Gun Molls. With a keen eye for criticism and his trademark style and wit, Silke explores the legacy of an artist whose work is known by millions the world over.
- Presenting the lush, sensuous "good-girl" art of acclaimed artist R. Maguire!

Lee: This is a pure art book because Maguire was a painter first and foremost. But, he did excellent paintings and his art was present on so many old paperbacks that I would be surprised if you didn’t recognize one or two. This has a limited audience in the comic book but it’s interesting material. Although, the book is for diehards only, I highly recommend image googling “Robert Maguire” and you can see what all the hub-bub is about. It’s worth your time.
Jim: I agree this is a pure art book. I enjoy a lot of this "good girl" art work, but this has to be one of those books I pass on for 2009 as I'm trying to reign in my impulse orders.

Tiziano Sclavi (W), Angelo Stano (A), Andrea Venturi (A), Giampiero Casertano (A), Luigi Piccatto (A), Bruno Brindisi (A), and Mike Mignola (Cover)
On sale Apr 8b&w, 680 pages$24.95TPB, 6" x 8 1/4"
Nightmares can't hurt you. There's no such thing as the walking dead. Monsters are all in your imagination. We tell ourselves these things to make us feel safe at night, to give us strength against the unknown.
But there are things in the dark that can hurt us. Just ask Dylan Dog.
An ex-cop who now battles against evil as a "nightmare investigator," Dylan Dog is unlike any private eye you've ever met. If creatures from beyond the unknown are after you, and if you can hire him, he just might save your life.
- Dylan Dog will take to the silver screen in the major motion picture Dead of Night, starring Brandon Routh (Superman in Superman Returns) as Dylan Dog.
- Unavailable in English for almost a decade, one of the most popular comics in the world--selling more than a million copies every month throughout Europe--returns!

Lee: If you don’t know, Dylan Dog is HUGE in the European comic market. And, I like Euro comics. And, and, I really, really want to see what all the hype is about. BUT, why does DH do the little tiny reprints? 600 pages in miniature reproduction is an awful decision. The book should disintegrate after one or two readings. Sheesh!
Jim: Wow, I sure Dylan Dog is huge in Europe, but so was David Hasselhoff.

Saki Okuse (W) and Sankichi Meguro (A)
On sale Apr 8b&w, 216 pages$10.95TPB, 5" x 7"
If having hallucinations is scary, seeing them at school would be terrifying. But when the hallucinations talk back to you, that's the kind of fright you've come to expect from the world of Ghost Talker's Daydream.
Come join Saiki Misaki, the albino dominatrix necromancer, as she jumps headfirst into another supernatural mystery. This time around, the case becomes more personal, as the power that gives Saiki the ability to see and talk to the dead is the very thing terrorizing her client.
- Each volume of Ghost Talker's Daydream comes shrink-wrapped and carries an 18+ content advisory.
"Good seinen combines humor, horror, violence and fan-service, and Ghost Talker's Daydream has all of that."

Lee: And here I was worried that DH would never have a “Embarrassed to be a Fanboy” Cover. But, the wearing only a leather jacket and ONE shoe is right up there with the best EtbF covers. The half naked chick on a kiddie slide is just gravy on this one.
Jim: LOL - There are times when you have to appreciated the EtbF covers, because they are fun to talk about.

Rick Remender (W), Eric Nguyen (P), and Matthew Wilson (C)
On sale Feb 18FC, 32 pages$3.50Ongoing
To end The United Broadcast Company's malevolent control over Earth, Gigantic must steal a UFO and battle his way to the UBC's heavily fortified base station on the dark side of the universe. Only one thing stands between Gigantic and his mission to free us all--the entire United States army! Fan-favorite creators Rick Remender (Fear Agent, The End League) and Eric Nguyen (X-Men, Strange Girl) continue their modern twist on classic 1950s sci-fi kitsch!

Lee: Is it me or is that John Byrne on the cover running away from a giant robot?
Jim: Regardless this series has started off with a bang and you should hunt down issue #1 and buy it! It does look like Byrne.

Shane O'Shea (W) and Ogden Whitney (A)
On sale Apr 29FC, 232 pages$49.95HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16"
Here's Herbie! Dark Horse Books presents the final volume in its well-received archival series reprinting the wild, wacky adventures of Herbie Popnecker, who may look like a plump lump of a kid but who possesses extraordinary abilities along with an amazing collection of supernatural lollipops! Love-starved ladies, evil governments, monsters from the depths of the sea-nothing can stop him! This surreal, kooky, tongue-in-cheek comic series from the 1960s has been an all-ages cult favorite for decades. Past, present, and future-Herbie is amazing!
- Collects comics from Herbie (issues #15-#23).

Lee: Still glad they are reprinting this material. Still don’t know a single person who’s bought it.
Jim: I got volume one and that is it. This is something nice to have one issue of, but nothing I would want more then that of.

Alberto Giolitti (W) and Matthew H. Murphy (A)
On sale Apr 1FC, 224 pages$49.95HC, 7" x 10"
If you know that "honkers" means "dinosaurs," this is the archive collection you've been waiting for! This deluxe collection contains the first six issues of Turok, Son of Stone: Dell Four Color Comics #596 and #656; issues #3-#6 of the Turok series.
Two young American Indians stumble upon a valley where the creatures of Earth's prehistoric past still thrive. Cut off from their tribe, Turok and Andar must find a way to survive attacks from deadly honkers and encounters with savage bands of cavemen, holding out hope that one day they will discover a way back home . . .
- Foreword by William Stout, introduction by Mark Evanier.

Lee: BUT, I just might have to do this. Turok is a huge cult favorite with collectors that read more than Marvel and DC. Please note, that wasn’t me. But, I am very curious to see what all the excitement is about so I might take a chance on this.
Jim: I was never a Turok fan and do not plan to start being one now.

Lee: Plenty of good stuff to choose from. Skip the Secret Invasion and Crisis trades and get something from Dark Horse.
Jim: Dark Horse is a solid publisher and they have branched out to do some odd things and have been archiving a lot of different material lately. Something for everyone.

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