Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Dark Horse Preview Review For August

Jim: One thing has been odd with Dark Horse is that on a few weeks my store has zero products coming out from them. I believe that Dark Horse is not concerned with having a comic on the shelves every week anymore.
Lee: Or maybe the store doesn’t order as many DH books… or the store doesn’t have enough space on the shelves after all the Marvel and DC books. Lots of reasons there might not be books on the shelf.
Jim: I'm talking no comics from Dark Horse come out some weeks.

Mike Mignola (W/Cover), Christopher Golden (W), Ben Stenbeck (A), and Dave Stewart (C)
On sale Aug 4, FC, 32 pages, $3.50
Months after a devastating plague ends World War I, Europe is suddenly flooded with deadly vampires. Lord Henry Baltimore, a soldier determined to wipe out the monsters, is on the hunt for the creature responsible for this chaos and his own personal tragedy. What he uncovers is a terror as horrific and frightening as any he’s seen on the battlefield.
• Based on the novel by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden.
• Mike Mignola reunites with Witchfinder artist Ben Stenbeck!

Jim: I’m from Baltimore, I’ve been living in the area again since the nineties and I’m a Mignola fan, this is a very easy choice for me. The one caveat I have is that we have vampires. They have become the new zombies of late.
Lee: But these aren't your daughters “Ohhh, I’m just a tortured soul” vampires. These are Mignola “rip, tear, suck blood” vampires! I bet this is good.

Mario Hernandez (W) and Gilbert Hernandez (W/A)
On sale Oct 27, b&w, 136 pages, $19.99, HC, 6" x 9"
Twenty years ago, the most famous, lifelike robot in the world was engulfed in scandal, arrested, and deactivated. Since then, an antirobot movement has developed, while body modification is in and prosthetic limbs have become hot black-market items.
Stories like these are the stock in trade of gossip blogger Sergio Bauntin, whose startling revelations earn him the constant scrutiny of both the mob and the city’s mysterious investigators, the Truth Takers. When Sergio catches wind of sightings of the long-missing robot celebrity CTZ-RX-1, all of these interests will collide in violence and intrigue.
• This handsome hardcover collection also features a new cover by Gilbert, sketches and behind-the-scenes material from Mario, and a special pinup from third Hernandez brother Jaime (Locas, The Education of Hopey Glass)!

Jim: This sounds like a reprint of old material but I can’t be sure from the solicitation. I’m sure Lee will either have or get all the answers.
Lee: This is just a collection of the latest Hernandez brothers series. Nothing fancy except that it’s hc. I didn’t hear a lot about this being good or bad but it’s still the Hernandez bros. I’ll probably get it.

Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon (W/A)
On sale Oct 6, b&w, 112 pages, $19.99, HC, 6" x 9"
From the company that introduced American audiences to Brazilian twins Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Daytripper, Pixu) comes a new hardcover edition of Dark Horse’s out-of-print De:Tales, a collection of the twins’ breakthrough short stories!
After three Eisner Awards and a series of acclaimed projects with writers Joss Whedon (Sugarshock), Gerard Way (The Umbrella Academy), Mike Mignola (B.P.R.D.: 1947), and Matt Fraction (Casanova), Moon and Bá are now among the hottest artists in comics. De:Tales is the duo’s most personal work to date, presenting their work separately, together, and in tandem—as the twins trade off on the roles of writing and illustrating, share those roles, or fly solo. Brimming with all the details of human life, their charming tales move from the urban reality of their home in São Paulo to the magical realism of their Latin American background.
Featuring a brand-new cover, Moon and Bá’s seminal and sought-after work is finally back in this handsome hardcover packaging, proving once again that they are a talented pair to watch out for.
• Named by Booklist as one of the 10 best Graphic Novels of the year, Foreword Magazine gave it a silver medal on the Graphic Novel category of their “Book of the Year” award, and it was nominated for an Eisner Award. Now available in hardcover!

Jim: I missed this, but Daytrippers has sold me on this brother act and I’m buying this one.
Lee: I’ve been a fan of these two for a long, long time so I’m sold.

Paul S. Newman (W), Bob Fujitani (A), Frank Bolle (A), and Richard Powers (A)
On sale Oct 13, FC, 216 pages, $19.99, TPB, 7" x 10"
When industrial sabotage fouls up an experiment in atomic energy, nuclear physicist Doctor Phillip Solar survives the accident but is forever changed into a living atomic reactor capable of astonishing feats! Now Doctor Solar uses his miraculous, energy-based powers to protect the innocent and to thwart the diabolical machinations of a mysterious supercriminal known only as Nuro. Doctor Solar springs to life in this affordable new edition that collects “Solar’s Secret,” “The Remote-Control Traitor,” “Vanishing Oceans,” and other classic stories from the 1960s by comics visionaries Paul S. Newman, Bob Fujitani, and Frank Bolle. These tales are true atomic-age wonders! Fans of Russ Manning, Mac Raboy, and Alex Raymond will be delighted with artist Bob Fujitani’s original depiction of this classic hero in all his radioactive glory. This collection also features two rare cover paintings by legendary science-fiction illustrator Richard Powers!
• A Dark Horse archival collection—now available in softcover!
• This volume collects issues #1-#7 of the original 1960s comic-book series Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom, including all original series covers and the retouched interiors seen in the Dark Horse Archives hardcover.
• Seven original Doctor Solar comics for only $19.99!

Jim: Good to see that Dark Horse is doing some of their archival material in soft cover. It should give others a chance to check out this material at a more reasonable price.
Lee: Yeah, but who’s going to get this? You already have the hc. I skipped the hc because I read yours (and it was bad). So who’s getting this? Maybe boomers who have extra cash but I bet very few under 30.

Jim Shooter (W), Bill Reinhold (A), Wes Dzioba (C), Raymond Swanland (Cover)
On sale Aug 4, FC, 56 pages, $3.50, Miniseries
The continent-spanning city of North Am is a miracle of ingenuity and ambition, a technological paradise where “milespires” pierce the clouds and robots perform virtually all labor, freeing humankind to pursue leisure and bliss. But in the shadows of the sun-drenched towers, human mobsters use robot-muscle “thug-bots” to terrorize the citizenry of North Am. Human trafficking, illegal psychoactive substances, violent crime, and corrosive corruption are suddenly epidemic in the glittering utopia, with only the mighty Robot Fighter to stand against them. When a wealthy heiress is kidnapped, Magnus is drawn into the mob’s deepest sanctuary, where Magnus faces the fight of his life against the immensely powerful half robot, half man known as Big Guns.
Dark Horse Comics proudly presents the rebirth of one of comics’ most iconic heroes, Magnus, Robot Fighter! Reimagined for the twenty-first century by superstar scribe Jim Shooter and illustrated by Bill Reinhold (The Punisher, Wolverine: Origins), Magnus, Robot Fighter #1 joins Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom and the upcoming Turok, Son of Stone in the most exciting launch program of 2010!
• Special bonus for this 56-page issue: the very first Magnus story from 1963!
Features a variant cover by Bill Reinhold!

Jim: I’m very curious to see if Shooter can make this a winning concept yet again. It is difficult to relive your success while trying to make something new again.
Lee: Everyone always doubts Shooter but he’s always succeeded. I’ve always liked the Magnus concept and it seems to translate well with newer readers. I’m betting this is good. Probably only a modest success, but a good read.

Bryan Talbot (W/A)
On sale Oct 20, FC, 108 pages, $19.99, HC, 8" x 11"
Convicted psychotic killer and extremist fanatic Edward “Mad Dog” Mastock violently escapes the guillotine’s blade in the Tower of London to once again terrorize the Socialist Republic of Britain. But dogging Mastock’s bloody footsteps is his longtime adversary and nemesis, Detective Inspector Archie LeBrock, at odds with Scotland Yard and intent on bringing Mastock’s horrific murder spree to an end, once and for all. Aided by his friend and colleague Detective Roderick Ratzi, LeBrock follows the trail of carnage to Paris, otherwise known as Grandville, the largest city in a world dominated by the French Empire and the prime target of Mastock’s sadistic terrorism. Can LeBrock capture the Mad Dog before he can mete out his final vengeance, or will LeBrock’s own quest for redemption be dragged to ground by the demons of his past?
The badger is back! Set three weeks after the finale of Grandville—Bryan Talbot’s critically acclaimed steampunk graphic novel—Grandville Mon Amour explores an alternate art-nouveau world populated by intelligent animals, a human underclass, robot automatons, and advanced steam technology that power everything from hansom cabs to iron flying machines.
• Grandville Mon Amour is the second in a planned series of Grandville graphic novels.
• The world of Grandville is described by Talbot as “like Jules Verne and Sherlock Holmes directed by Quentin Tarantino—with animals!”

Lee: The first Grandville book was AWESOME! It was worth every penny. Don’t let the animals as characters thing scare you off. This is outstanding science-fiction with a great mystery.
Jim: At $20 for a well produced hard cover (which Dark Horse always does) it seems like it would be worth a shot and Talbot is one heck of a creator.

Jill Thompson (W/A)
On sale Oct 20, FC, 192 pages, $24.99, HC, 8 3/4" x 11 1/4"
It’s Halloween night and it’s up to Scary Godmother to show one little girl just how much fun spooky can be! Meet Hannah Marie, who, with the help of Scary Godmother, stands up to her mean-spirited cousin Jimmy and her fear of monsters on her first Halloween adventure with the big kids. Later, Hannah joins forces with Orson, the vampire boy, to unravel a mystery near and dear to their hearts. Some of Scary Godmother’s closest (and most frightful) pals get in on the fun too, including Bugaboo, the Boozle, and Skully Pettibone.
• Four of Thompson’s Eisner Award-winning, fully painted children’s books are collected here, in their entirety, for the first time (Scary Godmother, Revenge of Jimmy, The Mystery Date, and The Boo Flu). This deluxe edition also features some of the earliest concept designs for this haunting and imaginative series.
• Thompson’s Scary Godmother series resulted in a successful stage show and an animated special shown on Cartoon Network, Scary Godmother: Halloween Spooktacular and Scary Godmother: The Revenge of Jimmy.

Jim: If I had grandkids I’d be all over this book. Jill Thompson is a wonderful creator.
Lee: Aren’t you’re girls getting married this year???? Both of them. My, my what a co-inky-dink. Maybe you should invest now…
BUT, it’s a great collection and a wonderful read for kids of all ages. Even if you don’t have kids or grandkids it’s a really fun read.

David Follett (W/A)
On sale Oct 13, FC, 72 pages, $9.99, TPB, 6" x 9"
Silas Mortimer Mulch is an ecological supergenius, with a laboratory greenhouse holding the keys to countless scientific breakthroughs. But when his niece and nephew, Selena and Tommy, come to visit Silas and find him missing, his organic computer SOFIA tells them that he is lost within the ever-expanding and constantly changing greenhouse. Donning high-tech greenhouse suits, Selena and Tommy must go in after Silas, and are soon confronted with astonishing nanotechnology, fungi that act as hard drives of information about the greenhouse, and plants that can create duplicates of people they encounter.
• Written and illustrated by New Recruits winner David Follett, Uncle Silas is an action- packed high-biotech adventure for all ages! Visit Dave’s website here (

Jim: Everybody is jumping into the kids books with both feet. Since my “kids” are both getting married this year I have a few years before I have to stock up on good material for the next generation.
Lee: You can actually read the comic at Dave’s site (See link above and pick comics). It’s a good story but I’m with Jim. I have a lot of all-ages stuff in my collection right now, enough for me and my kids so I’ll be passing. But, if you’re short of all-ages in the collection then this looks to be a worthy addition.

Jim: Dark Horse is struggling right now to decide whether they really want to be in the comic book business anymore. I’m not sure if it is a planned move to more collectables and collections or if IDW hasn’t stolen some of their thunder.

Lee: I was more concerned that I only added one book this month. Usually, I add tons of books. I think it’s because you’re starting to think more and more like me. Bwah ha ha.

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