Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Dark Horse Previews Review for October

Jim: The “fun” thing about working on the preview review columns is that we get most of the prior month done and the next month is on top of us. Plus Lee and I have some crazy schedules for August so we are hoping to stay on top of stuff, but we may recruit Gwen and Greg to do one on their own.
Lee: Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re all busy but DH looks really good this month so let’s get to it.

Just in time to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of Archie comics!On sale Dec 1, FC, 160 pages, HC, 7" x 10", $24.99
Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Jughead Jones, Reggie Mantle, and all the other kids at Riverdale High—they’re more than zany teenagers. They’re the flagship characters for one of the most beloved and long-running series in comics history!This first-ever Archie archive edition is a survey of the first appearance of each major character in the Archie universe, made available at a special low price to appeal to readers from every corner of fandom. Whether you found your Archies at the supermarket checkout or at the first “real” comic-book shop in your hometown, everyone reads and loves Archie comics!• Archie’s first issues, first appearances, and other milestones, collected for the first time in one hardcover volume! Collects the first Archie story from Pep Comics #1, all of the Archie stories from Archie #1, all the Betty and Veronica stories from Betty and Veronica #1, the first Reggie story from Jackpot Comics #5, all the Reggie stories from Reggie #1, and all the Jughead stories from Jughead #1.
Jim: Now I’m not a big Archie fan and when I first saw this solicitation and was reading it I was thinking this is an easy pass. Then I checked the price and said sure. For $25 having this type of material in my collection is worth it, as $50 forget it.
Lee: I’m not a fan of the current Archie but I love the old ones. These really are great stories and full of great art. And, at such a reasonable price this is an easy buy.

On sale Jan 26, Limited to 950 numbered pieces, Packaged in a tin box, with a pin-back button and character booklet, $49.95
Archie Andrews is the prototypical All-American teenager. With his signature red hair, freckles and eternal optimism, Archie is the protagonist of the Archie Comics Universe and the center of a love triangle with his two girlfriends, Veronica and Betty. A classic underdog persona, Archie often comes out on top of a situation even when it looks like the odds are against him.
Jim: Now this is a pass for me, but these figurines are wonderful collectibles. I have Grendel and Goon and they are nice display pieces and for a big Archie fan not a bad thing to own.
Lee: WOW! Until now, I didn’t know anyone who owned these pieces. I haven’t gotten any and I’m not getting this but I bet it looks nice on a shelf. Someone else’s shelf.

Frank Frazetta (A)
On sale Dec 1, FC, 200 pages, HC, 7" x 10", $49.99
The longest comic-book run of Frank Frazetta’s career! First appearing as a backup feature in Durango Kid in 1949, Dan Brand—known as the “White Indian”—is a colonial-era city boy whose life is marred by tragedy. When the death of his fiancée sends Brand through the wilderness on a trek to kill her murderer, he also begins a journey that will transform him into a hardened pioneer survivalist. The powerful sequential work of Frank Frazetta is in the spotlight in this collection, with all interior pages scanned from original comic-book issues and digitally cleaned.
Jim: I can’t do it. I have picked up a few Frank Frazetta books of his comic art, but I have hit my saturation point. I have to pass. I will accept a copy to be sent free to me for review purposes.
Lee: Nice plug… let me know if it works. Frazetta did so little comic book work that this is an easy buy for me. I believe the stories are good too.

An original, western-style comic published exclusively with Dark Horse!
Torajiro Kishi (W/A) and Madhouse Studios (W/A)
On sale Dec 22, FC, 96 pages, TPB, 7" x 10", $14.99
Manga artist Torajiro Kishi (Maka-Maka) and blockbuster anime studio Madhouse (Trigun, Paprika, Ninja Scroll) love comics. So much so that they’ve decided to publish an original, Western-style comic exclusively with Dark Horse! Enter Devil, a thrilling sci-fi take on the vampire genre.A vampire virus threatens humanity, and it may come down to a rogue cop and his strait-laced partner to contain the freakishly superhuman devils from rampaging across Japan. Why did the government create this virus, and what will result from its perfection? And more importantly, have the humans created a being that will now take the throne at the top of the food chain?• Collects the four-issue miniseries. A five page preview and mini interview at CBR here.
Lee: I know the market is saturated with vampire stuff but this looks too cool to pass up. Gory, violent, and done by big names in Manga, what’s not to like? I’m going to check it out.
Jim: I read the series and it was okay, not great.

World-renowned musicians Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley make their comics debut!Amanda Palmer (W), Jason Webley (W), and Cynthia von Buhler (A)
On sale Dec 1, FC, 160 pages, HC, 8" x 7", $24.99
Being a wholly true and accurate account of the tragic events surrounding the extraordinary lives of Evelyn Evelyn, a darling but unfortunate pair of conjoined twins. Including such noteworthy incidents as: the bizarre circumstances of their birth and subsequent bereavement; shocking encounters with depraved gentlemen; the acquisition and loss of loyal friends; and the terrible fate of Elephant Elephant; and concluding with the conjoined sisters’ rise to international fame as Internet celebrities, as told by the inimitably eloquent Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley and illustrated in lifelike detail and color by Cynthia von Buhler! This lavish book set features an insightful introduction by renowned storyteller Neil Gaiman.• Evelyn Evelyn is an elegant set of two hardbound volumes nestled within a single slipcover—a perfect gift for any lover of the exquisite, the eccentric, and the grotesque.• Release corresponds with Palmer/Webley music album Evelyn Evelyn.Visit the official Evelyn Evelyn site here and Buhler’s site here.
Jim: F*** no! I’m so tired of some clowns who are famous in some other entertainment market doing comics as some sort of vanity thing, that this is a total pass for me. Plus it is too clever for words, a 2 hardcover set about conjoined twins in a single slip cover, wow clever stuff.
Lee: Well, it gets even less clever once you realize that this is just a giant marketing ploy to support the album. I bet the books will be on sale on the tour stops this summer.

Mike Mignola’s Hellboy joins the animals’ of Burden Hill!
Mike Mignola (W), Evan Dorkin (W), and Jill Thompson (A/Cover)
On sale Oct 27, FC, 32 pages, $3.50, One-shot
The paranormal activity in the outwardly charming town of Burden Hill has gone from bad to worse, as seen in Dorkin and Thompson’s hardcover graphic novel Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites. Now the occult-investigating team of dogs (and one cat) need some serious help. Contact with the Wise Dog Society has broken off, leaving the team on its own, as a series of unexplained animal slayings have begun to occur. But magic can work in surprising ways, and help is brought to the team with the unexpected arrival of the World’s Greatest Paranormal Detective.Evan Dorkin (Milk and Cheese, Bizarro World) and Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother, Magic Trixie) join forces with Mike Mignola (Hellboy, B.P.R.D., Witchfinder, Baltimore) in an amazing one-shot bringing their supernatural worlds together!
Jim: I skipped Beasts of Burden, but teamed up with Hellboy, oh yeah I need to read this book.
Lee: This cross over is perfect! I just finished the Beasts of Burden trade and it was awesome. It was so good, I’m going to get this as a floppy. I don’t buy many single issue books but this is good enough to get as soon as it hits the shelves.

Turok returns! All-new series written by Jim Shooter!
Jim Shooter (W), Eduardo Francisco (A), TBD (C), and Raymond Swanland (Cover)
On sale Oct 20, FC, 48 pages, $3.50
Turok, wandering warrior from a far land, rescues Andar, son of a Chiricahua chief, from the ruthless King Maxtla and his Aztec horde. Pursued into a vast cavern, prey and predators are swept away by an unimaginable force to a savage, timeless land of nightmares and miracles, where dinosaurs thunder and rampage. Beset by bloodthirsty enemies and beasts, Turok and Andar encounter an even deadlier threat—the fearsome Panther People and their mesmerizing goddess, Aasta. Turok, Son of Stone returns, reimagined by legendary writer Jim Shooter and illustrated by hot new talent Eduardo Francisco (Victory, Executive Assistant: IRIS).• 48-page first issue, includes the very first Turok story from 1954!
Jim: This concludes the trifecta of series from Gold Key that were part of the Valiant Empire. Now let’s see if Shooter and Dark Horse are rolling out any other characters from Gold Key.
Lee: I still remember when Turok was re-introduced in X-O Manowar with art by Bart Sears. I believe I still even have 3 or 4 copies!!!! Since then I’ve always liked Turok and I hope this is good.

Jim: I have been a little unimpressed with Dark Horse lately, but this month has some interesting choices and is a turn in the positive direction to me.
Lee: This is a very good month for DH. There’s lots to look forward too.

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