Thursday, January 08, 2009

Dark Horse Preview Review for March

A little editorial prerogative to get out of the way first and that is a big THANK YOU to Gwen and Lee in covering the extra days this week. I was on both a business and mini vacation and with being as busy as I have been I could have never gotten the normal post done on Monday and Tuesday.

Jim: The timing of all of this gets so confused because we are writing this almost a month before we post them and sometimes are posting February as March is being released on the internet. Still I always enjoy doing these posts.
Lee: This looks like a great month for Dark Horse. Well, a very expensive month as Dark Horse continues to produce archives/masterworks for older material.

Chris Onstad (W/A)
On sale May 20b&w, 136 pages $14.95HC, 9 1/2" x 7 3/4"
Riding high on the success of The Great Outdoor Fight, Achewood and Dark Horse Comics have compiled an extensively annotated collection of the first few years' worth of Achewood comics. This is no mere companion volume to the cult-classic online strip: the entire prehistory of Achewood is set forth for the first time, and all of the celebrated alt-texts are included. Additionally, author Chris Onstad has literally littered the book with observations and rudities. Time magazine named back-to-back Ignatz Award-winner Achewood its 2007 Graphic Novel of the Year, and legions of devoted fans consistently report that it makes them feel the way Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes did when they were young.
- Achewood was Time magazine's #1 Graphic Novel of 2007 when it was online only!
- Achewood won the 2007 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Online Comic.

Jim: I give credit to Dark Horse for always looking for different material and usually finding some high quality stuff.
Lee: Achewood must be something fancy because Vol 2 has quickly followed on the heels of Vol 1.

THE AMAZON #1 (of 3)
Steven T. Seagle (W), Tim Sale (A), and Matt Hollingsworth (C)
On sale March 11FC, 32 pages$3.50Miniseries
Twenty years to the month after its original Comico publication, Dark Horse is proud to re-present The Amazon, some of the earliest work from acclaimed writer Steven T. Seagle and superstar artist Tim Sale!
The Amazon Jungle is among the most ancient and biologically diverse places on earth, but it's being plundered for its resources and destroyed at a rate of thousands of acres a day. Reporter Malcolm Hillard travels to this remote land of mystery to investigate the disappearance of an American worker and sabotage at a timber site. Locals tell him it is the work of spirits of the Amazon, but Malcolm doesn't believe in anything like that--until he sees something he can't explain deep in the jungle.
- This remastered edition has been scanned from Tim Sale's original artwork and recolored by Matt Hollingsworth, with a new cover by Sale and Dave Stewart!

Jim: I picked these originals up for a few bucks recently and I was seriously unimpressed. It is very early work and was not that strong and does not deserve a reprinting in my opinion.
Lee: Well, ok then, I won’t be getting this. Another strong “stake in the heart” recommendation from Jim.

Various (W/A)
On sale May 12FC, 256 pages$49.95HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16"
A circus performer terrorized by mysterious powers from beyond . . . a jade idol of a monkey that carries a curse on a South Pacific island drives a man to the brink of madness . . . an art gallery haunted by paintings that come to life at night . . . a dictator who sees enemies around every corner, but who can't see the threat right before his eyes.
For nearly twenty years, the comic-book series Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery wove stories of intrigue, suspense, and macabre drama. Hosted by renowned actor Boris Karloff, the comic featured contributions from some of comics history's most well-known creators: Alex Toth, Joe Orlando (EC artist and editor), Mike Sekowsky (Justice League of America artist), Frank Thorne, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Arnold Drake, Len Wein (co-creator of Swamp Thing and Wolverine), Al Williamson, Jerry Robinson (creator of the Joker), Dan Spiegle, and many others.
- Originally published by Gold Key and unavailable for three decades, more than thirty spine-chilling stories are compiled in a new collection.
- Features a new introduction by Boris Karloff's daughter Sara Karloff.

Jim: I mean seriously, no seriously who is looking to get this stuff (maybe Lee), but no is there any real fans for this. Dark Horse must have some seriously low print runs on these archives.
Lee: Actually, I’m really really interested in this archive. I might have to buy it outright because the print run will be small. People (including Jim) forget, at one time, there were other companies besides Marvel and DC. Profitable companies that had real distribution channels! Anyway, this has a pile of great artists and great writers. It’s very good material.

Frank Miller (W/A)
On sale May 6FC, 360 pages$49.95HC, 11" x 8 1/2"
Filled cover to cover with never-before-seen artwork by the biggest name in contemporary comics, Frank Miller: The Spirit Storyboards takes you inside the creative process behind this winter's coolest comic-book blockbuster!
Presenting all of Miller's hand-drawn storyboard artwork for The Spirit--almost seven hundred individual pieces of art in total--alongside his screenplay for the film, this volume is the most exhaustive exploration ever published of this comic-book legend's creative process. Witness the evolution from idea to page to screen as this exhaustive chronicle gives you a front-row view of a master at work.- With close to seven hundred pieces of new Frank Miller art, this book is an essential addition to the library of every fan of Frank Miller or of Will Eisner's The Spirit!

Jim: Maybe as an art book, but I think the movie will bomb (by the time we post this we will know if I was wrong or right).
Lee: Wow. Christmas is getting to Jim. YIKES! I have no clue how the movie will do. Sin City did really, really well and it’s carrying the same names. It stands as good a chance as anything else at the theatres these days.

Eric Powell (W/A) and Dave Stewart (C)
On sale Mar 4FC, 48 pages$3.99Ongoing
The Goon's tenth anniversary is upon us! To celebrate, we present this special Goon Anniversary issue, picking up right where Goon Year left off--featuring thirty-two pages of story from creator Eric Powell, and a sketchbook section with contributions from Eric's comic-creator heroes--Mike Mignola! Jeff Smith! Kevin Nowlan! And more!
Put on your party hats for some merriment worthy of this Eisner Award-winning series. (And don't worry we won't forget the funny bits just 'cause this is a serious and special occasion!)
- Thirty-two pages of story!
- Pinups by Mike Mignola, Bernie Wrightson, Jeff Smith, and more!

Jim: I love the Goon and want the first hard cover from Lee (trade the Fell hard cover for it?), but I have to laugh that we are on issue #32 for a ten year anniversary.
Lee: Nope. No trade. Although both hc’s are hard to find. And, it’s not 10 years at Dark Horse. It’s 10 years in print. It was around before moving to the big leagues.

John Stanley (W/A) and Irving Tripp (A)
On sale May 13FC, 200 pages$14.95TPB, 6" x 9"
Containing the never-before-collected Marge's Little Lulu #88-#93 in full color, this volume features masterworks by comic-book legends John Stanley and Irving Tripp that haven't been seen since they first hit spinner racks over fifty years ago!
Perfect for anyone who loves to laugh, these timeless tales of Lulu Moppet, Tubby Tompkins, and the rest of the neighborhood kids will be appreciated by adults and children alike for the unrivaled quality of their craft and hilarity of their hijinks!
- For the first time anywhere, Dark Horse presents two hundred pages of classic Little Lulu comics in their original colors for a paltry $14.95!

Jim: Again, who is looking for this material? I’m not, it is no longer going to be a winner with younger kids (I would guess), so who decided this would be a good idea.
Lee: Again, I’m looking forward to this material. Little Lulu is AWESOME. It’s not just for kids either. The stories are great because they have kids slapstick and adult wink-wink humor. It’s very, very well done. Not to mention the art is almost a primer for artists who need to learn panel composition, layout, and storytelling. Don’t let the simple images fool you, there’s a lot more there.

Robert P. Thompson (W), Gaylord DuBois (W), and Jesse Marsh (A)
On sale Feb 25FC, 256 pages$49.95HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16"
Dark Horse Archives is proud to present the first four issues of this influential Golden Age series in a handsome hardcover--kicking off a comprehensive program that will collect the first nineteen years of the classic title!
In 1947, artist Jesse Marsh left Walt Disney Studios--where he had worked on Pinocchio, Fantasia, and various animated shorts--to work for Western Publishing full time. Tarzan was one of his first assignments, with the iconic character's first original comic-book appearance in Dell Four-Color Comics #134. Tarzan #2 would begin Marsh's long-term collaboration with writer Gaylord DuBois. Their terrific work drew admiration and respect from readers and peers--Russ Manning among them--and Marsh's art inspired future comics creators from Richard Corben to Los Bros. Hernandez!

Jim: My last (for this month), who wants this rant. I love Tarzan, but I’m sure as hell not looking to get this version.
Lee: I would agree with Jim on this one. I was all excited, then I did some research and I wasn’t so excited anymore. Marsh is a good artist but not my flavor.

Various (W/A)
On sale May 20FC, 200 pages$49.95HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16"
In 1997, almost six decades after the character's first appearance in 1940, legendary artist and writer Will Eisner gave permission for a new series of stories to be commissioned featuring his signature creation, resurrected detective Denny Colt, also known as the Spirit, written and drawn by the most famous names in the comics industry. The call went out, and the response was nothing short of remarkable, with contributions from such creators as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (in one of their rare collaborations since Watchmen), Neil Gaiman (The Sandman), Paul Chadwick (Concrete), and Eddie Campbell (From Hell), amongst others.
In these pages you'll find new tales of Central City's protector versus familiar villains such as the Octopus and Sand Saref; witness his undying love for Ellen Dolan, daughter of Commissioner Dolan, the only man to know his secret identity; and glimpse what might be the Spirit's fate in an uncertain future.
- This collection features stories from the following best-selling, multi-award-winning creators from around the world: Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Neil Gaiman, Eddie Campbell, Mike Allred, John Ostrander, Tom Mandrake, Paul Chadwick, Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Joe R. Lansdale, John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, and many others.
- Designed to tie-in with DC's critically-acclaimed twenty-six volume Spirit Archives series.
- Cover by Watchmen artist and co-creator Dave Gibbons.

Jim: Finally a book that I want to get. I enjoy the Spirit (in small doses) and this book has tons of great creators who did work on some stories that should make this a good read.
Lee: THIS IS WORTH THE MONEY! These are all great stories told my modern writers and artists. I have the original series and loved every single issue. Just look at the writers, Alan Moore, Neil Gaimen, Kurt Busiek. And, the artists, Brent Anderson, Dave Gibbons, Tom Mandrake. This is great read and you won’t be disappointed.

Jim: I have to wonder if Dark Horse cut deals with certain parties to get the rights to certain material, but had to agree to publish other stuff. I mean Dark Horse has corned the market on obscure material to publish as $50 hard covers.
Lee: I know I'm one of the few but I really like archives that Dark Horse produces. I just wish they weren't so expensive. I wonder if there's a way DH can produce them like DC's Justice League International collections on lesser paper but more reasonable.

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