Jim: The short months (June) are killer as we are barely done doing the August reviews and have the September announcements to deal with. I have to say that Dark Horse is looking a little skinny lately.
Lee: Dark Horse looks very skinny this month. Normally I can add a bunch of stuff because I have better taste than you, but not this month. Maybe you’re growing up to be like me.
BEASTS OF BURDEN #1 (of 4)
Evan Dorkin (W) and Jill Thompson (P)
On sale Sept 16FC, 32 pages $2.99 Miniseries
When supernatural occurrences sweep the community of Burden Hill, it's up to a heroic gang of cats and dogs to keep residents safe from harm.
A bizarre disturbance leads these four-legged neighbors on a wild-goose chase into the depths of the nearby forest, where loyalties are tested and lives come to an abrupt end.
Award-winning comics creators Evan Dorkin (Milk & Cheese) and Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother) first introduced these heroic characters in the anthologies The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings, Witchcraft, the Dead, and Monsters, for which they won coveted Eisner Awards for Best Short Story and Best Painter.
Adventure, mystery, horror and humor thrive on every page of Beasts of Burden--a comic-book series that will capture readers' hearts and haunt their dreams.
The Eisner Award-winning story gets its own series!
Jim: Is it just me that would rather see more Milk and Cheese from Dorkin instead of this book? This could be good, but Jill Thompson’s art is usually too cute for my taste.
Lee: I’m waiting for the hardcover which I will surely, surely buy. How can you not like Thompson’s art? I love it. I love it all. I’m sure this will be good which is why I want a fancy hc.
BLOOD SONG: A SILENT BALLAD
Eric Drooker (W/A)
On sale Nov 25 b&w, 312 pages $19.95 TPB, 6" x 9"
American Book Award winner Eric Drooker brings his second graphic novel--the visually bold and politically charged Blood Song: A Silent Ballad--to Dark Horse in a brand-new second edition!
Consisting mainly of full-page images, spreads, and diptychs, Blood Song is a wordless, full-color tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and the need for that spirit to make itself heard. A young girl travels from her war-torn island to a busy metropolis, from lush jungles to cold concrete and steel, and finds something that eludes most denizens of bustling, noisy, wasteful cities: love.
* This second edition of Blood Song includes a new cover and completely rescanned and remastered interiors.
* If you are unfamiliar with the work of Eric Drooker, go to drooker.com.
Jim: See this is what makes Dark Horse so unique as they are willing to back some different types of projects. I will have to check into this book, but I’m not ready to make the $20 commitment yet.
Lee: I really, really like Drooker’s art. I’ve always his covers to The New Yorker. It’s a magazine… full of words… lots and lots of words, in case you weren’t aware. Anyway, these days $20 for a wordless book is steep. I’m sure it’s beautifully rendered but it may be beyond my price point too.
CLASSIC UNCLE SCROOGE CHARACTERS #4: MAGICA DE SPELL
On sale Oct 7 Packaged in a special litho-printed, full-color tin box with a vintage-style pin-back button and bookletLimited edition of 650 numbered pieces$49.95
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 Disney's classic Uncle Scrooge comics. Our fourth character in this series is Magica De Spell, who believes that if she could somehow steal Uncle Scrooge's "number one dime" for herself, it would allow her to use her magic spells to get mountains of riches of her own.
Jim: I’m now picking the Duck characters so I can have Lee fill me in on who the heck is this character. I’m a little concerned it maybe Donald in drag. Alright Lee, who the duck is this one?
Lee: Obviously, this is the evil witch, Magica. Come on now, everyone knows who she is! She is always trying to get Scrooge’s first dime. These are fun… I’m still not buying them but I appreciate them.
CROSSING THE EMPTY QUARTER AND OTHER STORIES
Carol Swain (W/A)
On sale Nov 11 b&w, 200 pages $24.95 HC, 7" x 9"
Collecting over thirty short stories by London-based writer/artist Carol Swain, Crossing the Empty Quarter and Other Stories is Swain's first career-spanning retrospective! The "graphic lit" love children of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Raymond Carver, Swain's comics first appeared in the late 1980s, and she has since contributed to over twenty anthologies across the globe. Her introspective, boldly executed, and visually unique works are peppered with magical realism, autobiography, and tenacious punk attitudes. While Swain's tales cover a wide range of emotions, politics, and societal ills, they are all tied together with an art style that is universally appealing and undeniably unique. Two bran- new color stories, created for this hardcover volume, are featured in a special color section. Alan Moore describes Carol Swain's work as "dark and full of life, like soil . . . a perfect example of what modern comics are capable of if they only try."
* "Carol Swain has one of the most unique and compelling styles in comics." --Time* "The Raymond Carver of British comics." --Time Out
Jim: Again Dark Horse finds material that they feel is worth publishing and they go out and pull it together. This type of book should have a long shelf life in regular book stores as well as specialty shops.
Lee: Ummmm, did Alan Moore really compare Swain’s work to dirt???? Is that a compliment, because it confuses me. Maybe it’s British for “You’re work is shite but it grows vegetables.” Who knows.
MISTER X: CONDEMNED
Dean Motter (W/A)
On sale Nov 4FC, 120 pages $14.95 TPB, 6" x 9"
Visit Radiant City, designed using the principles of psychetecture to soothe its inhabitants. But something went horribly wrong, and the city instead causes anxiety, insomnia, and madness. As ordinary citizens begin giving in to dementia and a serial killer walks the streets, a desperate City Hall commissions a drastic program of urban demolition, resulting in the deaths of an entire sect of architects. Returning from exile with a mission to recover Radiant City's original blueprints, only one man has a chance of restoring its sanity--the enigmatic Mister X!
* "The crisp and avant-garde ideas alone make this book an arresting proposition."--Comics Daily
* Collects the four-issue miniseries.
Jim: I guess I never “got” this mini-series and therefore I cannot recommend the mini-series although it will read better this way.
Lee: I wonder why they didn’t hc this? I thought DH hc’d everything. Anyway, I really enjoy Mr. X so I’ll be getting this and I’ll let you know how it is.
TUROK, SON OF STONE ARCHIVES VOLUME 4
Paul S. Newman (W), Alberto Giolitti (A), Ray Bailey (A), Rex Maxon (A), Bob Correa (A), Jack Abel (A), and Vince Alascia (A)
On sale Nov 18 FC, 216 pages $49.95HC, 7" x 10"
Trapped in a lost valley, two Indian braves, Turok and Andar, seek a way back home while struggling to survive erupting volcanoes, battling--and befriending--tribes of prehistoric cavemen, and being pursued by hungry dinosaurs!
* This volume collects issues #19-#24 of the Dell Comics run of Turok, Son of Stone. These classic adventures have not been seen since the early 1960s!
Jim: I wonder did Dark Horse have a deal to publish a certain number of volumes or is this popular enough to make it worthwhile. I can’t see paying $200 to get 24 issues of Turok.
Lee: That was my question exactly. There is no way the sales figures could have come in to justify this. Unless, like you say, DH has to do a certain number of them. BUT, if you’re looking to invest, I’m sure this will have a small print run and sell for big bucks on ebay is less than 5 yrs. Then again to buy it one needs an extra $50 today which many people do not have.
Jim: As I said a skinny month for Dark Horse, but always contains a lot of different offerings.
Lee: Way skinny month. Lots of different things but nothing that really grabbed me. That’s good because it means more money for indies.