Friday, June 05, 2009

Dark Horse Preview Review For August

Jim: So I’m all set to get hard core about reducing orders for comics and hard covers and Dark Horse solicits come out and the first thing I see is two hard covers I have to get. It maybe time to sign up for CCA – Collected Comics Anonymous.
Lee: Dark Horse always has such a weird group of listings. It’s good because there are lots of different style books but it makes it harder to pick them up on a continual basis.

Rob Reger (W/A), Buzz Parker (A), and Cosmic Debris (W/A)
On sale Oct 14 FC, 120 pages $22.95 HC, 8 1/2" x 11"
In her thirteen-plus years in existence, oddballs, outcasts, and art freaks the world over have grown to know and love a strange young girl named Emily. With roots in the punk-rock art scene of Santa Cruz skate culture and an early appeal to European trend spotters, the iconic image of Emily and her philosophy of devout individualism have become deeply rooted in global culture.
The Art of Emily Volume 1 is the first-ever collection of images showing the wide and inspired range of artistic styles and mediums that have been used to create the world of Emily the Strange. From silk-screened vinyl skateboard stickers to custom rock-and-roll album art, large-scale psychedelic paintings, and insanely intricate Mongolian paper cutting, the fantastic and artful imaginings of Rob Reger, Buzz Parker, and a staggeringly talented array of collaborators will give insight and inspiration to any Emily fan.
* The world's affection for Emily the Strange can be seen at futuristic shopping malls in Tokyo, in Dutch Halloween fanzines, on the walls of metal clubs in Germany, and throughout the United States!

Jim: I have never read an issue of the comic, but I have always liked the artwork. If I was a total art guy I would consider buying the book, but I’m not, so I won’t.
Lee: It’s hard to believe but I’ve never seen the inside of an Emily book. The covers have always looked nice but I’m not sure I’m ready for a fancy hc of just Emily art.

On sale Sept 2 Packaged in a special litho-printed, full-color tin box with a vintage-style pin-back button and booklet Limited edition of 650 numbered pieces $49.95
Dark Horse is pleased to continue its new license with Disney. We're giving one of the comic-book medium's most revered casts of characters the Syroco-style treatment in this series of statuettes based on the classic Uncle Scrooge comics. Our third character in this series is Duckburg's most famous inventor, Gyro Gearloose. This statue of Gyro also features his tiny assistant "Helper" sitting in the palm of his hand.

Jim: Who the heck is this guy? I mean come on are they expecting to sell any of these or did they need the tax write off. If Dark Horse is doing all of these duck characters why is this totally almost random unknown being made before Huey, Dewey and Louie? Why make this one at all?
Lee: You don’t know who it is because you don’t know the Ducks. Face it, you can’t handle the ducks! DH has been these weirdo collector tin box * figures for awhile so someone must be buying them. Heck, they produced a Green Lama figure which is way more obscure than this. And, to answer the question, it’s Gyro Gearloose, who had his own stories and worked with Uncle Scrooge. And, he was an excellent character.

Dark Horse has released three putridly popular archive collections of Creepy and one collection of Eerie, with three more in the works, plus an upcoming line of new Creepy comics scheduled to splatter the stands in July. Fans are drooling at the reanimation of their favorite decomposing uncle. We've added a host of ghoulishly great products to the lineup.
On sale July 15
Creepy Button Pack 4-pack of 1" buttons $5.99
Creepy Logo Embroidered Patch Approx. 3" x 3/4" $4.99
Creepy Fan Club Embroidered Patch 3" circular patch $4.99
Creepy Fan Club Large Button 3" circular button $5.99
Creepy Zippo(R) Lighter $34.99
I Heart Creepy T-shirt Women's size S-XL Men's size M-XXL $24.99
I Heart Creepy Button 3" circular button $5.99

Jim: I love it, I’m not buying it, but I love all the merchandize that Dark Horse puts out. I can just imagine having my Creepy Zippo Lighter to heat up the spoon to melt my heroin in.
Lee: I believe this is all going to end up at Spencer’s and Hot Topic. And You, and I, are far to old to shop at those stores. I think it’s neat but it will never end up at my house.

Various (W/A)
On sale Oct 28 b&w, 240 pages $49.95 HC, 8 3/8" x 10 7/8"
Enter a world of the finest in scary storytelling and dazzling artwork! Creepy Archives Volume 5 continues the critically acclaimed series that throws back the dusty curtain on a treasure trove of amazing comics art and brilliantly blood-chilling stories. From the gorgeously painted full-color covers to the exquisite black-and-white interiors, this groundbreaking archival series resurrects some of the finest graphic storytelling ever printed. From "The Rats in the Walls" to "It That Lurks," these are infamous tales to chill the blood.
* Featuring the artwork of comics legends Steve Ditko, Reed Crandall, Angelo Torres, Alex Toth, and more!
2009 Eisner Award nominee--Best Archival Collection/Project

Jim: Hardcover #1 that I have to buy. This is just some great material and while some of the stories were trite and predictable, some of the art is glorious and by artists that are still being copied today.
Lee: This is going to be hard to believe but I’m sorta getting full of Creepy HC’s. Yeah, they’re great but I haven’t read the ones I have. And, they are hard to read in just one sitting. This will probably be a pass for me.
Jim: Not hard to believe at all, you reach a saturation point on some material and when it is enough of it it is enough. I'm not close on Creepy or Eerie, but I understand the sentiment.

M. K. Perker (W/A)
On sale Oct 21 b&w, 80 pages $14.95 HC, 6" x 9"
Peter Kolinsky was among the world's foremost experts on rare books, with a top position at a prestigious auction house, until black marketers took an interest in him. Since narrowly avoiding jail time, Peter's lived a lonely life in a tiny apartment, with a menial job he hates.
Things look like they might turn around when, looking for a late-night snack, Peter wanders into a cafe and meets Angela. She shows him the Archives, where books currently being written are somehow on the shelves. It's a book-lover's dream until the black marketer who ruined Peter's life returns with a grudge. On the run, will Peter find salvation in the Archives, or further ruin? * M. K. Perker's art for Air has just been honored with an Eisner nomination for Best New Series!
Eisner-nominated artist M. K. Perker makes his American solo debut!

Lee: $15 for 80 pages is pretty steep but Perker’s art on Air has been steller. The question becomes, can he tell a story. I’m very, very tempted by this.
Jim: I’m not. Perker’s art is good, but the premise is not grabbing me.

Scott Allie (W) and Kevin McGovern (A)
On sale Oct 7 b&w, 112 pages $9.95 TPB, 6" x 9"
Gage Wallace's day seemingly couldn't get any worse. After breaking up with his girlfriend, he finds himself framed for blowing up his apartment building--the latest in a string of deadly bombings in this doomed suburb. After the neighboring Fat City fell into the river during an earthquake, these hapless exurbanites have been waiting for their own town to sink. The only glimmer of hope is a talking rat, whose drunken ramblings are taken as the prophecy of a better time ahead. Now Gage finds himself being pursued by well-intentioned friends, bored cops, and the bloodthirsty Bald Suzie, a local firearms enthusiast whose brother was killed in a recent explosion. Written by Scott Allie, editor of Hellboy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Umbrella Academy, and The Goon, with dynamic art by newcomer, Kevin McGovern.
* "A complex juggling act of dystopic science fiction, romance gone awry, and murder-mystery chase scene, Exurbia keeps a lot of balls in the air at all times, but brings them together in an effective, dramatic, and satisfying climax. It's like Scorsese's After Hours, reimagined by Terry Gilliam--thoughtful, funny, involving, and human, all in its own off-kilter way."--Kurt Busiek

Lee: But if I have to spend wisely, I think I’ll try this book instead of Insomnia Café. It’s cheaper, longer and looks just as good. Go here to read CBR’s hype with preview pages.
Jim: It sounds too much like a book that did not know what it wanted to be. Pass.

Bryan Talbot (W/A)
On sale Oct 28 FC, 108 pages $17.95 HC, 8" x 11"
Two hundred years ago, Britain lost the Napoleonic War and fell under the thumb of French domination. Gaining independence after decades of civil disobedience and anarchist bombings, the Socialist Republic of Britain is now a small, unimportant backwater connected by a railway bridge, steam-powered dirigible, and mutual suspicion to France. When a British diplomat's murder is made to look like suicide, ferocious Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard stalks a ruthless murder squad through the heart of a Belle Epoque Paris, the center of the greatest empire in a world of steam-driven hansom cabs, automatons, and flying machines. LeBrock's relentless quest can lead only to death, truth . . . or war.
* Following on the heels of his internationally acclaimed graphic novels The Tale of One Bad Rat and Alice in Sunderland, Grandville is a fantastical and audacious roller-coaster ride, visually stunning and rich in memorable detail.

Jim: The Tale of One Bad Rat was a great story and I’m very tempted to order this, but refuse to do it sight unseen, by October I may change my mind.
Lee: So much of Talbot’s material is so good that I’ll likely order it. I’ve been a huge fan since his Luther Arkwright days and he hasn’t failed to entertain yet.

Mark Evanier (W) and Sergio Aragones (A)
On sale Nov 25 FC, 336 pages $24.95 TPB, 6 5/8" x 10"
Behold! The very first omnibus-length collection of Groo.
Originally conceived as a parody of the high-adventure sword-and-sorcery genre, Sergio's well-intentioned but endlessly destructive (and, uh, dumb) warrior has starred in over 150 issues, befriended (and, in many cases, beheaded) an ever-expanding cast of characters, eaten countless bowls of cheese dip, and left an impressive tally of ill-fated comic-book publishers in his wake over nearly three decades.
If you've ever wondered what this Groo character is all about, tried to untangle his early publishing history yourself, or wondered what exactly it is that Mark Evanier does for this book, wait no longer! Look upon Groo's works, ye mighty, and despair!
* Collecting material from Destroyer Duck #1, Starslayer #5, Pacific Comics's Groo the Wanderer #1-#8, Eclipse Comics's Groo the Wanderer Special #1, and Epic's The Groo Chronicles #1-#6.
* Includes hard-to-find bits of Groo history, plus new commentary and strips!
* Featuring the absolute latest in Stan Sakai-generated logo design!
2009 Eisner Award nominee for Best Limited Series--Groo: Hell on Earth

Jim: This is a pre-emptive choice as there is no way Lee would not be picking this book. A lot of great material in this book and Full Color for $25 and 336 pages, you really can not go wrong.
Lee: I would have picked this if you hadn’t. I can’t wait to get it. Groo is amazingly funny and the early material is some of the best. This is well, well worth the read.

Mike Mignola (W/A)
On sale Oct 21 FC, 312 pages $49.95 HC, 9" x 12"
Hellboy Library Edition Volume 3 collects three pivotal stories of Hellboy's journey, as he leaves behind the world of men and journeys into the unknown: the award-winning Conqueror Worm, which brings back some of Hellboy's earliest foes, in the story that ends his career with the B.P.R.D. and marks his first run-in with the fan-favorite masked hero Lobster Johnson; the haunting fairy tale The Third Wish; and The Island, a dark and surreal glimpse into the true origin of the Right Hand of Doom and Hellboy's own destiny; along with a new, expanded sketchbook of never-before-seen Mignola artwork.
* Includes over thirty pages of new sketchbook material!
2009 Eisner Award nominee--Best Publication Design and Best Graphic Album/Reprint

Jim: Hardcover #2 I must get. This is the best deal on the market. 312 pages in a deluxe format, over sized volume done up right. If you enjoy Hellboy you should be getting these books, I’m just waiting for BPRD to get the same treatment.
Lee: This is fancy hardcover I must own too. These library editions are huge. Not to mention chock full of sketches and extra goodies! These are hardcovers done right.

Eerie Von (W)
On sale Oct 7 b&w, 160 pages $29.95 HC, 8 1/2" x 11"
From the deepest depths of punk rock's 1970s primordial wastelands, through the stygian goth swamps of the 1980s, and on into the bloodstained arenas of 1990s heavy metal, Eerie Von witnessed it all. Beginning as the unofficial photographer for punk legends The Misfits and later taking charge of the bass guitar as a founding member of underground pioneers Samhain and metal gods Danzig, the evil eye of Eerie Von's camera captured the dark heart of rock's most vital and bleeding-edge period, a time when rock and roll was not only dangerous, but downright menacing. Eerie Von's lens has documented everything from The Misfits' humble beginnings in Lodi, New Jersey, to the heights of Danzig's stadium-rock glory alongside metal superstars Metallica. As well as an essential visual document of music history, Eerie's road stories of triumph and damnation bring to life an era the likes of which will never again be seen.
* An essential historical photographic document of some of the most influential bands of punk, goth, and rock by Eerie Von.
* Features over 250 photos and a full-color tip-in poster!
* For more information on Eerie Von, go to

Lee: I’ve noticed that DH is publishing more and more music related material these days. From this picture book to the poster books, it’s obvious DH is trying to break out of comics only. In regards to this book, I am a huge punk rock fan and books like this are perfect for me. I doubt Jim will care but if you have an interest in music then this is the book for you. And, let’s not forget the misfits were awesome!
Jim: Yeah, Lee was right this book is not up any alley that I want to see.

ZERO KILLER #4 (of 6)
Arvid Nelson (W), Matt Camp (A), and Dave Stewart (C)
On sale Aug 19 FC, 32 pages $2.99 Miniseries
Thirty-four years after a massive nuclear war, New York City is almost entirely submerged in caustic water and dominated by brutal gangs who live in a semifeudal society in the city's battered skyscrapers. Zero is a "trash man," hunting down renegade gang members while he dreams of escaping across the seas to the now-mythical continent of Africa--a supposedly flourishing land untouched by nuclear fires. In this issue, after a guerrilla strike throws JOCOM's plans into a tailspin and a mysterious metal briefcase goes missing, supposed agents of a powerful African prince have hired Zero to track down JOCOM's precious case. Zero sets out for the most dangerous part of the city, where he will have to face some cold facts about his past and a murderous gang he once led.
"Arvid Nelson's post-apocalyptic series Zero Killer suggests something as complicated and personality-driven as Give Me Liberty in its prime . . . Matt Camp's finely detailed art and Nelson's ear for simple, punchy dialogue and characterization make for solid hooks." The A.V. Club
Arvid Nelson's alternate-history thriller returns!

Jim: Are you kidding me? I was getting this series and enjoying it and it disappeared and now it is back, well forget it. I will not buy this series again and invest my time into it as a series. I may get the trade if they actually publish one, but I do not sign up again when you disappear for at least a year and then show up again.
Lee: And this is only one of the reasons that I switched to trades. I have a strange feeling that whoever was reading the story will probably stop. It’s too bad because I had heard good things about the story.

Jim: Dark Horse has an interesting month going on. I have to say that right now without Rick Remender doing any independent work and Goon back to coming out whenever, that Dark Horse’s lineup has taken a hit in what they are producing, but they always find new projects to publish.
Lee: As always, DH seems to have a little bit for everyone. And, I’m really enjoying all the art and music books.

1 comment:

  1. "a time when rock and roll was not only dangerous, but downright menacing"

    Excuse me while I laugh hysterically.

    THAT was dangerous and menacing? Humanity never fails to entertain!