Lee: I feel like Dark Horse has been coming on strong this year. I'm feeling the love this month.
Thomm: In like a lion, out like a lamb. Will March’s previews be fierce or mild?
Joss Whedon (W), Brian K. Vaughan (W), Georges Jeanty (P), Paul Lee (P), Cliff Richards (P), Andy Owens (I), Dave Stewart (C), Michelle Madsen (C), and Jo Chen (Cover)
FC, 304 pages, HC, 8” x 12 3/16”, $29.99
This deluxe, oversized hardcover edition contains the first two arcs of Season 8, plus two one-shots.
After the destruction of the Hellmouth, the Slayers—newly legion—have gotten organized, but it’s not long before new and old enemies begin popping up. Buffy, Xander, Willow, and a very different Dawn are introduced to the season’s big bad, Twilight, and are only beginning to understand the incredible reach of this mysterious threat. Meanwhile, rebel Slayer Faith teams up with Giles to handle a menace on the other side of the Atlantic. It’s a dirty job, and Faith is just the girl to do it!
Lee: I love big oversized collections. If I was a bigger Buffy fan I would think this was really, really cool.
Thomm: I’ve read a few trades of the start of this. It’s following right where the show left off. I’m not convinced of the necessity of it. The show reached a good concluding point. I’m fine with leaving it at that.
Brian Wood (W/A/Cover) and Becky Cloonan (A)
B/W, 296 pages, TP, 7" x 10", $19.99
A blistering take on media control in a repressive future America! DMZ and The Massive creator Brian Wood launched an all-out assault on the comics medium in 1997 with Channel Zero, an influential, forward-thinking series that combined art, politics, and graphic design in a unique way. Touching on themes of freedom of expression, hacking, cutting-edge media manipulation, and police surveillance, it remains as relevant today as it did back then.
The Channel Zero collection contains the original series, the prequel graphic novel Jennie One (illustrated by Becky Cloonan), the best of the two Public Domain design books, and almost fifteen years of extras, rarities, short stories, and unused art. Also featuring the now-classic Warren Ellis introduction and an all-new cover by Wood, this is the must-have edition. See where it all began!
Lee: I actually have a signed copy of the first Zero collection because Wood visited our local store back in ’99. Haven’t read it since but I remember really liking it. And, since Wood has continued to produce great stuff over the years this is an easy winner.
Thomm: Wood can get a bit preachy and pedantic in DMZ, but I really like Northlanders. I’d figure this is closer to the former than the latter, but it should be really good, even if he does get hung up on pushing a view over moving the story.
Gainax (W) and Hajime Ueda (A)
b/w, 392 pages, TP, 5 1/8" x 7 1/4", $19.99
The complete FLCL manga adaptation—now with bonus color illustrations and remastered story pages! In this surreal sci-fi romp, a sullen Japanese boy finds himself in the middle of an interstellar conspiracy. As his home life unravels, a sexy space assassin becomes his family maid, and his own head becomes a portal for armed robots. Life as he knows it is quickly falling apart, and Ueda doesn’t know who’s friend or foe! One thing’s for certain—he has to grow up quick and save his hometown, whether he wants to or not!
• A popular Adult Swim cartoon—now read the manga series!
• Dark Horse Manga’s FLCL Omnibus will include remastered story pages, a remastered script, and bonus color pages.
Lee: Lots of pages for not so much money… this is my kind of Manga. I’m willing to take the chance because I won’t be committed to 20+ mini-novels to get a complete story.
Thomm: Ah, Manga. Mostly miss for me, but sometimes hit. It’s a cheap enough item to check out. Is Ueda that common a name in Japan that the boy who’s the central character shares the name with the artist?
Filipe Melo (W), Juan Cavia (A), and Santiago Villa (C)
FC, 112 pages, TP, 6" x 9", $12.99
What do an overweight Portuguese werewolf, a seven-year-old girl who’s actually a six thousand-year-old demon, and a downtrodden pizza boy have in common? In this smash-hit import, the unlikely team bands together to ward off occult evils, Nazis, and impending global doom!
• Werewolves! Demons! Mad scientists! Pizza!
• Introduction by An American Werewolf in London director John Landis!
• The humor of R.I.P.D. meets the action and excitement of B.P.R.D.!
Lee: Everyone at this point should know that I love imports so this is an easy buy for me. My only concern is the small size. If this is done Euro style with lots and lots of panels the reduction is going to make my eyes bleed.
Thomm: I’ve read the installments in the latest incarnation of DHP. There’s no time wasted on background, just right into some amusing stories. I’m guessing this is more of the same, but $13 is a bit much for 112 pages.
Milo Manara (W/A)
b/w, 292 pages, HC, 8.375" x 10.875", $59.99
Milo Manara’s landmark collaboration with Dark Horse continues with the premier volume of Manara Erotica, a sumptuous companion to the Manara Library! A master of storytelling and of the human form, Manara has created some of the sexiest comics ever published, all of which are included in this deluxe three-volume series.
Volume one is anchored by all four parts of Manara’s internationally acclaimed Click! A beautiful but passionless woman is plunged into a hilarious, world-spanning adventure when she is implanted with a remote-controlled chip able to unlock her inner lustfulness. Manara classics Fatal Rendezvous and “Piercing” round out this dazzling compilation, a must-own for any fan of European comics.
• All four volumes of Click! newly translated and collected together for the first time in America.
• Includes introductory material providing historical context for American readers.
Lee: Yes it’s adult material but it’s such good adult material. Click is a fantastic story because (1) it is a story, (2) it is very funny, and (3) it’s very sexy without the offensiveness that smut sometimes devolves into. Intelligent smut for distinguishing connoisseurs.
Thomm: The benchmark for adult material for me is Omaha the Cat Dancer, so I’d like to know how it compares with that.
Lee: Just as good, and probably better. If you liked Omaha, then you will like this.
Lee: This was a really strong month from DH. They are going to damage my wallet more than usual.
Thomm: I’m going to lean toward fierce on March’s Dark Horse offerings. A lot of good quality stuff here.