Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Dark Horse Previews Review for February 2011

Lee: DH seems to always have 4-5 books that are interesting. It doesn’t matter which month, they are just consistent. There’s something to be said for that.
Thomm: They have their niche and know how to work it.

FC, 160 pages, HC, 7" x 10", $49.99
Dark Horse Comics and Archie Comics Publications are thrilled to present Archie Archives! Seventy years ago, a small independent comics publisher in New York introduced a new kind of character to comics fans. He wasn't a superhero or a warrior, neither a spaceman, nor a villain—he was Archie Andrews, the red headed teenaged "everyman" we all grew up with! Volume 1 of the Archie Archives series shines the spotlight on young Mr. Andrews's earliest adventures on the streets of Riverdale, from the budding romances he shares with Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge, to his anxious antics at Riverdale High and all the trouble he's caused along the way!• Collects all of the first appearances of Archie Andrews from Pep and Jackpot Comics, through Pep #31 and Jackpot #8.
Lee: I cannot even express how cool this is. The early Archie adventures are impossible to own in original format and have very rarely been reprinted. If at all! These stories are very good, the art outstanding, and really are the start of something special. This will be coming home to my house… *GASP*… then again maybe not. $50 for 160 pages???? Is DH insane? A full Masterwork, 260 give or take pages is $50. I’ll buy it at deep discount of ebay because this is ridiculous.
Thomm: Even as a kid I never got into Archie. I had a few issues here and there, but somehow he never appealed to me, despite us both being red heads. Maybe I had enough of that idealized high school bit from watching Happy Days. Red headed lead there, too, come to think of it. Anyway, easy pass for me.

4-pack, 16 oz. glasses, $19.99
We're putting the glamour back into glassware! Our favorite 1950s bombshell, Bettie Page, has added to her fashionable list of accessories with this high-quality boxed set of heavy-duty glasses. What can we say? It's just another classy item from Dark Horse Deluxe.
Lee: I couldn’t agree with the hype, nothing says classy like drinking from a glass that has a woman in her underwear on it. I can wait to get my set and then use these for Sunday brunch with Mom.
Thomm: Ah, sarcasm. How do I love thee? I try to avoid turning what should be a practical item into something I can’t really use if I want to keep myself respect, but I do love the wink and nod in the hype.

Marc Andreyko (W), Patric Reynolds (A), Dave Stewart (C), and Sean Phillips (Cover)FC, 32 pages, $3.99The body count is rising fast in the sleepy little town Abby and Thomas call home—but this time, they're not the ones responsible! Desperate times have led to very desperate measures for someone very close to them, forcing Abby to make a life-changing decision. Featuring a regular cover and a foil-enhanced photo variant cover!
Lee: I don’t think this cover was the “foil enhanced” version but it would be cool if it was. Can you imagine the blood in a clear acetate overlay so you could have a non bloody before and bloody afterwards cover. That would be cool.
Thomm: Another good use of tricks in the medium, if that were the case. Don’t count on it, but maybe someone will run with your suggestion to up the “cool”. Is there anything good between the covers?

Rob Hughes (W), Thomas Yeates (P/I/C), Michael Wm. Kaluta (P), Lori Almeida (C), and Esad Ribic (Cover)
FC, 80 pages, 7" x 10", TPB, $12.99
FC, 112 pages, Ltd. HC, 7" x 10", $49.99
This timeless tale unfolds during the tumultuous Second Baron's War, when a young prince is ruthlessly abducted from his royal family, taken into the rugged mountains of Derbyshire, and brainwashed to forget his very heritage. He's trained to become the greatest swordsman the world has ever known—and grows to be the most dreaded name in all of Britain! With civil war looming upon the horizon, the fate of the kingdom of England may very well rest in his hands! Presenting a medieval adventure based on The Outlaw of Torn, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. This deluxe limited edition features an afterword by Burroughs expert Frank Westwood and a cover by artist Alan Lathwell!
Lee: What is it with DH and $50 hc that have a miniscule amount of pages? I’m sure the art will be good because it’s Kaluta but that’s about all I can say positive about this.
Thomm: Did Burroughs really write about brainwashing? If memory serves, the very concept didn’t come about until the post WWII era. Then again, maybe it’s been around since medieval times but washed from my brain. Kaluta’s definitely the high point, though I do like Burroughs. See that little thing up there that says TPB $12.99? That’s the way to go.
Lee: And, let’s mention the cover for a second because Ribic does a great job. Good colors. Huge barbarian, manly man legs and arms…. And Fatty McFatso’s baby face????? What happened to the mean barbarian face? It looks like Tubby’s head on Conan’s body. How’s that for a non positive comment?
Thomm: Very good, grasshopper.

Shannon Wheeler (W/A)
b&w, 536 pages, TPB, 8 1/2" x 11", $24.99
Shannon Wheeler was once just another ambitious cartoonist with some big ideas (and some small ones, too), a wicked sense of humor, a questioning spirit, and a coffee jones the size of a tanker truck. Who would have ever guessed that ten years later, he would have multiple volumes of critically acclaimed cartoons under his belt and a rich, satisfying career? Too Much Coffee Man Omnibus gathers all of the cartoons from four hilarious volumes of work, bringing together all of Wheeler's signature satire and sweetness in one convenient package. Essential for Too Much Coffee Man fans, and sure to convert new ones! • Too Much Coffee Man Omnibus collects four Too Much Coffee Man volumes—Guide for the Perplexed, How to Be Happy, Parade of Tirade, and Amusing Musings.
Lee: TMCM is one of those strips that I never understood. To be fair, I first read the stories at the height of my superhero addiction so I’m not sure I ever stood a chance of understanding it. This is perfect for long time fans, and great to experience it if you’re new to the material. For me, I will see if I can find my single issues and re-read those.
Thomm: Never read it. Probably never will. Nothing is calling out to me here.

Lee: I like the offerings this month but DH pricing policy leaves me confused. The overall economy is down so they are charging $50 for slim hc’s???? It makes no sense.
Thomm: The economy is down, but guys like you and Jim are still spending, spending, spending on these things. Pavlov says when the Previews comes out, pull out your credit card.


  1. Not I. I have cut way back on pricey hard covers and I passed on everything Dark Horse this month (collected editions).

  2. Me too. Lots of the pricey hc's are sitting now. Masterworks yes... but the rest wait.