Lee: After last month’s less than stellar selection, I hope this month is a return to form for DH.
Thomm: I was a lot less disappointed with last month, but then I’m not looking to spend as much coin as the francophone, either.
BALTIMORE VOLUME 1: THE PLAGUE SHIPS
Mike Mignola (W/Cover), Christopher Golden (W), Ben Stenbeck (A), and Dave Stewart (C)
After a devastating plague ends World War I, Europe is suddenly flooded with vampires. Lord Henry Baltimore, a soldier determined to wipe out the monsters, fights his way through bloody battlefields, ruined plague ships, exploding zeppelins, and submarine graveyards, on the hunt for the creature who’s become his obsession. Collecting issues #1-#5 of the miniseries and features an extensive sketchbook section.
HC, 7" x 10", FC, 144 pages, $24.99
Lee: This book is something of a quandary for me. It has Mignola’s name attached to it, which is always a plus. It has art by Stenbeck which is supposed to be pretty good. But the initial reviews were mixed at best. Finally, it has a $25 price tag when the series itself was only $17.50. I understand this is fancy hc but I’m not sure I am sold at this price.
Thomm: I don’t think I’ve ever been sold on fancy HC. I understand different publications of a given story have extras thrown in, but I just want to read the story, most often. Trades, man. That’s the way to go. If there aren’t any yet, I can wait.
Mario Hernandez (W) and Gilbert Hernandez (W/A/Cover)
A bizarre, sexy look into the future from comics legends Mario & Gilbert Hernandez!When gossip blogger Sergio Bauntin investigates the illusive robot celebrity CTZ-RX-1, he provokes the city’s shady power players, who don’t want the story to get out! It’s a surreal sci-fi adventure as only Los Bros. Hernandez can do it! This handsome hardcover collection also features new cover art by Gilbert, an extensive sketchbook section with behind-the-scenes material from Mario, and a special pin-up from third Hernandez brother Jaime.
Collecting Citizen Rex #1–#6. HC, 6" x 9", b&w, 144 pages, $19.99
Lee: This book leaves me just as confused as Baltimore for many of the same reasons. It has great names, great art, but little to go on after that. Sure there are plenty of previews, but there are very few reviews easily googled. Unlike Baltimore, this is below my threshold of pain for hc’s I know little about and I’ll probably take a chance on it.
Thomm: The price is certainly better, but I’ve not been wowed by the Hernandez Bros in my admittedly limited sampling of their work. I don’t see any obvious sexy about the story, either, so I’m a bit concerned sexy will just be force fed into the story instead of being an integral part of it.
DARK HORSE PRESENTS #1
Frank Miller (W/A/Variant Cover), Harlan Ellison (W), Howard Chaykin (W/A), Neal Adams (W/A), Richard Corben (W/A), Carla Speed McNeil (W/A), Michael T. Gilbert (W/A), Randy Stradley (W), Paul Chadwick (W/A), David Chelsea (W/), Patrick Alexander (W/A), and others
The legendary, premiere anthology is back! The 80-page spectacular, Dark Horse Presents returns with all-new stories by Neal Adams, Howard Chaykin, and Richard Corben; a new Concrete story by Paul Chadwick, a new Crimson Empire story from the Star Wars universe, and an exclusive sneak peek of Frank Miller’s highly-anticipated prequel to 300, Xerxes! The celebration continues with a brand-new, all-color Finder story by Carla Speed McNeil, a prose piece from science fiction legend Harlan Ellison, the return of Michael T. Gilbert’s Mr. Monster, and much, much more!
FC, 80 pages with no ads, $7.99
Lee: As much as I love anthology titles, I’m not sure the market needs another one. But, this has a stellar lineup of writers and artists and one of my mostest, favoritest characters ever, ever, ever in Mr. Monster. I’ll stop in for that alone.
Thomm: This is a buy for me. I haven’t read a new Concrete tale in many years, so that alone is draw enough. With Miller’s Xerxes story I’m hoping for at least 2 very good stories and several more that at least meet the level of good.
DEAN MOTTER’S MISTER X: THE BRIDES OF MISTER X AND OTHER STORIES
Dean Motter (W/A/Cover), Jeffrey Morgan (W), Peter Milligan (W), Shane Oakley (P), D’Israeli (P), Brett Ewins (P/I), and Ken Holewczynski (I)
After revolutionizing the worlds of design and storytelling in 1984, Dean Motter’s Mister X returned half a decade later to reinvent alternative comics again for a whole new audience.Returning to the story of Radiant City’s mysterious architect and his sleepless quest to repair the flaw in its design that is driving its citizens mad, the second version of Motter’s creation used the black-and-white format to introduce deeper shadows and more expressionistic angles to its Art Deco world. With an edgier look and starker themes, this take on Mister X is as groundbreaking today as it was twenty years ago.
Collecting Mister X Vol. 2 #1–#12, Mister X Special #1, and stories from A1 #2, Comic Book Artist Vol. 2 #6, and ArtReview #27–#28. HC, 7" x 10", b&w, 320 pages, $49.99
Lee: I am a huge fan of Mr. X so this is an easy buy. Mr. X was one of the original success stories of the early 80’s indie comic scene. The stories were great then and they still hold up today. Unfortunately the collections are a little pricey but they are well worth it.
Thomm: This is something I’d get in trade but I’m not going the HC route. I saw a lot about this 20 years ago but never got around to reading it. Fifty bucks is no way to explore something that’s entirely new to me (in the comics context), though 320 pages is a good deal of pages.
THE STRANGE CASE OF MR. HYDE #1 (of 4)
Cole Haddon (W), M. S. Corley (A/Cover), and Jim Campbell (C)
Sometimes good police work just isn’t enough, as Inspector Thomas Adye of Scotland Yard finds out when he’s assigned to the Jack the Ripper case. He’ll need the guidance of imprisoned madman and amoral libertine, Dr. Henry Jekyll, whose mind-splitting serum Jack might be using to commit his bloody murders. Written by Cole Haddon and illustrated by M.S. Corley, part 1 of Hyde sets in motion events that will pit London’s two greatest monsters against one another. Will Adye —and his soul—survive intact?
FC, 32 pages, $3.50 You can visit MD Corley here.
Lee: DH has always produced good horror comics and this looks like it will be a fine addition to the genre. Corely has a strong art style that really appeals to me. I can’t wait to see this.
Thomm: I’m saturated with Jack the Ripper tales and alternative theories, really. I’ll wait to let you test the waters here to see how it is. But I want to know about plot and script, not just art, so you know when you write up the review.
Lee: This is a great month from DH! It is going to crush my budget but I can’t pass on the Mr. X book!!!
Thomm: The only certain purchase for me is DH Presents, but the rest look either very interesting or at least decent bets. Nothing looks like rank garbage, which given the 90/10 rule, is rather impressive.