Jim: Dark Horse is starting to become the fourth place publisher as IDW is clearly passing them at least in the direct market. Of course with their product solicitation I wonder how much they rely on the direct market as their major source of income.
Lee: DH is so diversified that I’m not sure they care. The company is stable and makes money. They have good branding and solid revenue streams. I’m sure they would like to be #3, but I bet they’re ok with #4.
BORIS KARLOFF TALES OF MYSTERY ARCHIVES VOLUME 3
Paul S. Newman (W), Dick Wood (W), Joe Certa (P), Al Williamson (P), Bob Jenney (P), Angelo Torres (P), Al McWilliams (P), Alberto Giolitti (P), and others
On sale Sept 1, FC, 232 pages, $49.99, HC, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16"
A modern gambling cheat is punished by spirits of centuries-old playing cards . . . Three adventurers in pursuit of evil find the greatest evil ever spoken, heard, and seen . . . An enchanted telephone booth brings success to a simple man, but when greed gets the better of him, his good fortune comes to an end . . . A mirror that reflects an antique dealer’s heart’s desire does more than just show him what he wants . . .
These stories and many, many more are collected in Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery Archives Volume 3! Tales of suspense, crime, intrigue, horror, and irony, hosted by the renowned actor Boris Karloff and featuring art from some of the finest comics storytellers from the sixties.
• Features a new introduction by the film director, screenwriter, actor, and producer John Landis!
• Contains issues #11–#16, from September 1965 to December 1966.
• More than thirty chilling tales compiled in this new collection!
Jim: How many of these do they produce, 300, 400? I mean if Dark Horse can make this work and make some bucks why has DC all but abandoned their Archive program?
Lee: They can’t produce very many, that’s for sure. In terms of material, I think this is supposed to be very good. At least the art is supposed to be very good, although the stories might be slightly saccharin.
CONAN: THE NEWSPAPER STRIPS VOLUME 1
Roy Thomas (W), Doug Moench (W), John Buscema (A), Ernie Chan (A), Alfredo Alcala (A), Rudy Nebres (A), Pablo Marcos (A), Alan Kupperberg (A), and Tom Yeates (A)
On sale Sept 8, FC, 280 pages, $34.99, HC, 12" x 9"
From September 4, 1978, until April 12, 1981, thousands of readers across the country thrilled to the daily adventures of everyone’s favorite barbarian, Conan! Now Dark Horse Comics is proud to present the Conan newspaper strips collected for the first time in a handsome hardcover volume. Readers will once again enjoy the talents of Roy Thomas, Doug Moench, John Buscema, Ernie Chan, Alfredo Alcala, Rudy Nebres, Pablo Marcos, Alan Kupperberg, and Tom Yeates as they artfully unfold the continuing saga of Conan in these daily comic strips!
• Conan remains one of the most popular licensed comics, with newly created Conan stories and an extensive reprint program, both from Dark Horse!
• Collects daily newspaper strips from September 4, 1978, through April 12, 1981.
Jim: I never even knew there was a Conan newspaper strip. Dark Horse is republishing everything with the Robert E Howard name attached to it.
Lee: I only know the strip existed because I’ve seen people selling the original art to it. But, I’ve pretty much had enough Conan for awhile. DH certainly has managed to reprint a lot of this material.
DOCTOR SOLAR, MAN OF THE ATOM #1
Jim Shooter (W), Dennis Calero (A/Cover), and Michael Komarck (Cover)
On sale July 14, FC, 48 pages, $3.50, Ongoing
Empowered by a thermonuclear catastrophe, Doctor Solar discovers that he can control energy. . Immeasurable strength is his at a whim. Power beyond imagination courses through his body. But he knows that the same kind of science run amok that created him can also empower the wicked. In the aftershock of the cataclysm that created Doctor Solar, ripples throughout space time imbue one Whitmore Pickerel with the power to create life—which he uses to serve his selfish desires and reckless ambitions. His newly created being, Leviathan, invulnerable and immeasurably strong, clashes with the Man of the Atom in a fierce battle that ravages the city. Meanwhile, for his personal amusement, Pickerel creates Glow, a living fantasy of unearthly charms . . . and deadly possibilities!
• Special bonus for this supersized issue: the very first Doctor Solar story from 1962!
• Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom #1 is but the first act in an explosive program that will also see Shooter reimagine Magnus, Robot Fighter and Turok, Son of Stone for the twenty first century!
• Jim Shooter (former Valiant Comics editor in chief) returns to the character he redefined in the 1990s!
Features a variant cover by series artist Dennis Calero!
Jim: Well the Valiant version of Doctor Solar was great; can Jim Shooter catch lighting in a bottle one more time? His Legion run was well done until a falling out with management which is Jim’s history so I hope all the parameters with Dark Horse have already been hammered out and we can see Shooter stay on something for a few years.
Lee: I was never a fan of the Valiant version so I’m not sold. But, this did change the entire market for awhile so maybe it can do so again.
DOCTOR SPEKTOR ARCHIVES VOLUME 1
Donald Glut (W) and Jesse Santos (A)
On sale Sept 29, FC, 200 pages, $49.99, HC, 7" x 10"
Doctor Adam Spektor is an occult detective and monster hunter who travels the world over in search of the supernatural. Investigating everything from rumors of odd, ghostly occurrences to appearances of strange, deadly creatures, Doctor Spektor spends his time in the field putting his life at risk to save innocents from the sinister and the grotesque. Whether conducting occult experiments on curing vampirism or fighting unearthly behemoths, Doctor Spektor stalks the forces of evil—to record and investigate their existence as well as protect us! Created by writer Donald Glut and artist Dan Spiegle.
• This volume reprints the first seven comic books from the original 1970s Doctor Spektor series, with art by the incomparable Jesse Santos!
Jim: Dr. Spektor? Wow, Dark Horse is publishing the entire Gold Key library of material. I’m not sure what the market place is for this stuff, but two archives in a month for this stuff is pushing their luck.
Lee: I can tell you that I am interested in all the Gold Key material. But, it’s hard to justify $50 on stories that I’ve never seen or read. This is a pure price point issue for me. If it were $30, then I would own all of these.
FEAR AGENT #28: OUT OF STEP #1 (of 5)
Rick Remender (W), Mike Hawthorne (P), Tony Moore (P/Cover), and John Lucas (I)
On sale July 28, FC, 32 pages, $3.50, Miniseries
Heath Huston is mortally injured. His family, all of humanity, has been totally consumed, amalgamated by Tetaldian robotic conquerors. There is no hope. So who will save the asses of the universe this time? A drink is poured, a rocket ship ignited, and a cigar lit—a new Fear Agent will rise.
Four super champions of sci-fi pulp—Rick Remender, Mike Hawthorne, Tony Moore, and John Lucas—reunite, one final time, one final drink. Also includes a special Tales of the Fear Agent by legendary creator Hilary Barta!
• 32 FULL pages of COMIC-BOOK ACTION!
The final tale of the last Fear Agent begins here!
Jim: Yeah! I have been waiting for this for a long time. This is Remender’s best work and I can’t wait to see how he ends it.
Lee: This is where we disagree because I think Remender has run this off the tracks. There were lots of good ideas but they have just gotten wilder and stranger until it’s no longer believable. I’m glad to see a conclusion to the story, I’m just not hopeful that it will be good.
HELLBOY: THE STORM #1 (of 3)
Mike Mignola (W/Cover), Duncan Fegredo (A), and Dave Stewart (C)
On sale July 7, FC, 32 pages, $2.99, Miniseries
A terrible storm is brewing, bodies are missing from their tombs, and the forces of darkness gather against Hellboy for a final bloody showdown.
Mignola and Fegredo reunite for the final arc of the bestselling saga that includes Hellboy: Darkness Calls and Hellboy: The Wild Hunt. The final arc of the Mignola/Fegredo saga!
Jim: So is this just wrapping up this storyline or is this the final Hellboy saga? I have to assume it is just wrapping up this story line.
Lee: I’m going with storyline too. I can’t see Hellboy ending any time soon.
Carlos Trillo (W) and Eduardo Risso (A)
On sale Sept 22, b&w, 480 pages, $24.99, TPB, 6 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Left nameless by his father and sentenced to eternal life by a trick of fate and fortune, the protagonist of Carlos Trillo and Eduardo Risso’s Vampire Boy has spent fifty centuries in a body that never ages, locked in an eternal struggle with a rival as immortal as he.
Acclaimed writer Carlos Trillo teams with legendary artist Eduardo Risso (100 Bullets) to produce a poignantly engrossing twist on the classic vampire mythos, now collected in English for the first time!
• Writer Carlos Trillo has worked with some of the giants of the international comics scene, including Alberto Breccia and Jordi Bernet. Acclaimed artist Eduardo Risso is known for his work on titles like 100 Bullets, Aliens, and more.
• Collected in English for the first time!
Jim: Lee told me this was not that great and it was collected in English before, but Trillo and Risso make this an easy buy for me. It is almost impossible to have too much Risso in your collection
Lee: Yep. DH needs to do some homework. This was originally printed, in English, by SAF productions. Now, based upon the poor translation it’s arguable if the SAF version counts as English. Anyway, Trillo has written a million books and when you’re that prolific, some are good and some are bad. I wasn’t that impressed the first time. I have better Risso in my collection so I am passing on this.
Jim: A good month for Dark Horse as we are getting a little more out of the comic book side and some interesting reprints.
Lee: I really, really like the Gold Key reprints, I just wish they were cheaper.