Saturday, December 01, 2007

Dark Horse / Image February Preview Review

Jim: February has turned out to be a very dull month. While there is still plenty of new material it is apparent that retailing everywhere just tries to survive February. I’m guessing this will be a shorter review then normal.
Lee: The big two were dull so this is our only hope. Come on, no whammy no whammy, BIG EXCITEMENT!

Let’s Start With Dark Horse

CLASSIC COMIC BOOK CHARACTER #12: THE ROCKETEER On sale July 165" tall Each comes hand-numbered Includes a booklet and vintage-style pinLimited to 500 $49.95
Lee: This looks great. To bad it’s sooooo friggin’ expensive. $30 less and it would probably end up at my house. Who thought $50 was a good price point????
Jim: I have ordered one of these, but would be a sucker for more of them if it wasn’t for the price point. $50 is too damn pricey for this type of collectable.

On sale Apr 30 FC, 208 pages $49.95HC, 6 1/4" x 10 1/4"
Chanting "Om Mani Padme Hum," the wealthy Jethro Dumont transformed into the Green Lama--a flying freedom fighter made famous in comics by the distinguished and imaginative artist Mac Raboy (Captain Marvel Jr., Flash Gordon). A unique 1940s Buddhist superhero, the Green Lama used special powers gained in a pilgrimage to Tibet to fight master criminals, monstrous dictators, and inequality across the globe. He made his debut in April 1940 in the pulp fiction anthology Double Detective, but he is most well known in his comic book incarnation--especially the stories drawn by Raboy in the eight-issue Green Lama series. Dark Horse Archives presents the entire Green Lama run in two high-quality hardcovers, starting with these first four issues. In addition to Raboy's classic covers and stories, these issues contain entertaining and adventurous bonus stories following the adventures of Lieutenant Hercules, Rick Masters, Angus McErc, and others!
Jim: I was really iffy on this one as I’m unfamiliar with the Green Lama. The selling point for me is the Mac Rayboy artwork. This guy is one of the few golden age artist that did comic book work that was an outstanding artist. He is on par with a John Cassady of today. Still I have to think some of the stories will be pretty lame.
Lee: The Green Lama is one of those Golden Age books that everyone always talks about. There weren’t very many issues but it is fondly remembered. $50 is pricey to see what all the hype is about but I just may have to.

GRENDEL: DEVIL CHILD DIANA SCHUTZ (W), TIM SALE (A/Cover), and MATT WAGNER (Cover) On sale Apr 9 FC, 56 pages $14.95 HC, 7" x 10" Joining the highly successful Grendel Archives and Grendel: Devil by the Deed as part of Dark Horse's new library of Grendel hardcovers, Grendel: Devil Child features superstar artist Tim Sale as he teams with colorist Teddy Kristiansen and Grendel editor-turned-writer Diana Schutz to tell the story of Stacy Palumbo, adopted daughter of Hunter Rose, and the tragic role she played in passing his legacy onto her daughter Christine Spar--the legacy of Grendel!

Lee: I’m glad they are giving Grendel the HC treatment but would it kill them to do it in any sort of order? Seriously, this is so out of whack it boggles the mind. Why are they doing the HC’s in story time order? Why not do them in the order in which they were published? Would that have been so hard?

Jim: They needed an order so they picked one and went with it. I have no problem with this order as I have not read the material in years, so it will be fun to experience it this way. My problem is stop making every damn arc a separate hard cover, do a few bigger volumes. I like 10-12 issues in a hard cover, the thin ones get lost in my bookshelf.

HELLBOY LIBRARY EDITION VOLUME 1: SEED OF DESTRUCTION AND WAKE THE DEVIL MIKE MIGNOLA (W/A) with JOHN BYRNE (W) On sale Apr 9 FC, 288 pages $49.95 HC, 9" x 12" Since Mike Mignola's Hellboy first hit the stands in 1993, it has become a cultural sensation, racking up a dozen Eisner Awards and inspiring numerous spinoffs, from a novel line,to feature films. Now, Dark Horse is pleased to present the comics that started it all, collected in deluxe hardcover editions. Sized at a generous 9" x 12", and handsomely bound to match The Art of Hellboy, each volume contains two complete story-arcs--the equivalent of two full trade-paperbacks. Each volume of the Hellboy Library Edition also includes extensive supplemental materials, including previously unreleased sketches and designs. Hellboy Volume 1 collects the first two story-arcs--Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil--with the original introductions by Robert Bloch and Alan Moore.
Jim: I have just gotten back into Hellboy so the sucking sound you hear is me being drawn into another hard cover run. Also this is being done right, no thin Grendels collections here. Soon I think I can stop buying all new comics as I have 50 years worth of stuff to read in trades and hard covers.
Lee: Well, I’m a sucker too. I was cleaning out the collection the other night and found these issues. Now I can sell my copies on ebay and replace them with a wonderful HC.

UNCLE CREEPY STATUE On sale Apr 16 14.25" tall Limited edition Comes with certificate of authenticity and title logo plate on base $150.00 The graphic story medium's favorite moldering corpse is none other than Uncle Creepy. Exhumed from his crypt by Warren magazines in 1964, the titular host of Creepy magazine has cheerfully introduced many a scary story. As rumored in dark corridors, the stage is being set for his revival. Dark Horse has finally reanimated the grisly old coot with a statue by none other than top sculpting talent Tony Cipriano. Using himself as a model, Tony has captured every detail--warts and all! Painstakingly (and painfully!) talon-crafted by the claws of demon slaves of the netherworld, this knock-out statue is more fun than a coffin full of maggots. Get one before it gets you!
Lee: This is cool. Not $150 cool but very cool. BUT, if this is being solicited then it means they are getting closer to HC’s of Creepy and Eerie! I can’t wait.
Jim: I really can’t wait for that material. I wonder if they are going to publish everything or pick and choose. The completist in me says print it all, the more logical part says highlights only.

Onto the Image Side of the Equation

SCUD, THE DISPOSABLE ASSASSIN #21 -story & art ROB SCHRAB cover ASHLEY WOOD After ten years, Scud the Disposable Assassin RETURNS! The series ended on a cliffhanger with our robot hit man agreeing to destroy the world. Creator ROB SCHRAB vows to conclude this indie gem in a four-part miniseries. Everyone comes back, but does everyone survive? FEBRUARY 13 - 32 PAGES - BW - $3.50
Jim: I never got into this book, but always knew of it. It is both nice to see this revived and frightening to see so much older stuff come back to life. Too much living in the past is not a good thing.
Lee: It’s interesting to see Image mining it’s own back history. I understand Marvel/DC has to do it because creators don’t necessarily want to give up their creations but I’m not sure Image needs to do it.

GUTWRENCHER #1 (of 3) story SHANNON ERIC DENTON, STEVE NILES & KEITH GIFFENcover KEITH GIFFEN art ANTHONY HIGHTOWER In rural New England, a hiker is infected with an ancient curse days before his 10-year high school reunion. If his soul is pure he will be able to resist its bloodlust, if not... nothing will be able to stop him! FEBRUARY 13 - 32 PAGES - FC - $3.50
Jim: With Steve Niles and Keith Giffen as co-writers and an interesting premise I’m more then willing to sigh up for this series. Should be fun.
Lee: This should be good but I noticed the trend of most Image books being $3.50. Just as Jim predicted, the future is now and $4.00 books are coming.

HAZED OGN story MARK SABLE art & cover ROBBI RODRIGUEZCasual sex. Eating Disorders. Bizarre hazing rituals. All horrible, slanderous stereotypes associated with sorority sisters. And all sadly true. Modern sorority life deserves a serious, sensitive and mature depiction. Thankfully, that's not what HAZED is about. HAZED is a dark comedy about three young girls' perilous journey through the world of sororities and eating disorders. From the creator of the critically acclaimed GROUNDED, HAZED is to comics what "Heathers" and "Mean Girls” are to film, only smarter, meaner and funnier. FEBRUARY 20 - 160 PAGES - BW - $14.99
Jim: this sounds so damn interesting, that I almost ordered it. The thing that stopped me is not familiarity with the writer or artist and I’m not willing to throw out $17 for a good premise.
Lee: Ummmm, you do realize it’s only $14.99 (Not quite $15 and certainly not $17 right?) ANYWAY, Rodriguez is a solid artist who has worked quite a bit with Oni. I recently read the work he did on the series “Maintenance” for them. I agree that $17 would be expensive but $14.99 would be just right.
Check out his art at

THE NEARLY COMPLETE ESSENTIAL HEMBECK ARCHIVES OMNIBUS TP story FRED HEMBECK art & cover FRED HEMBECK Finally: a single massive collection, covering cartoonist Fred Hembeck's past three decades of work! All seven of his early '80s collections - Bah, Hembeck!; The Hembeck Files, et al - are included, as well as rarely seen strips, personal commissions, online pieces, holiday cards, assorted oddities, and over a dozen stories ranging up to ten pages in length! A massive collection featuring the superhero industry's most revered humorist! Foreword by industry legend and creator of Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four, STAN LEE! FEBRUARY 13 - 900 PAGES - BW - $24.99
Jim: Fred Hembeck has so much love for this medium and it shows through in his work. Sometimes funny and sometimes just Fred redoing a book in his own inimitable cartoon style. 900 Pages for $25 is a bargain.
Lee: I have to agree. Not just for parents, but especially for kids of the 80’s this is primo material. Fred was the original when it comes to comic hype satire.

Jim: That’s a wrap for me. As I said not a lot of new stuff, but Conan, Umbrella Academy, Fear Agent, Walking Dead, Invincible, The Circle, Pax Romana, Dynamo 5 and many, many other regular series are still delivering their goodness.
Lee: Not a whole lot of new but some pretty good hc’s coming down the pike. Things are finally looking up for next year.

1 comment:

  1. Fireman Press were the original publishers of "Scud the Disposable Assassin," so Image isn't mining their own back history. Image is publishing the conclusion to the series, which was in limbo over the past decade.