Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dark Horse Preview Review for August

Jim: As we approach the end of summer I already miss the glorious run the Orioles had in late July to get to 5 games over 500 almost guaranteeing a 500 season – oh wait we are reviewing August books. Dark Horse always has some interesting offerings so I assume this month will be no different.
Lee: Baseball??? Let’s talk baseball! GOOOOO Red Sox!!! But, this isn’t a baseball blog so back to comics!

BERNIE WRIGHTSON’S FRANKENSTEIN Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (W) and Bernie Wrightson (A) On sale Oct 29FC, 240 pages$29.95 HC, 9" x 12"
Few works by comic-book artists have earned the universal acclaim and reverence that Bernie Wrightson’s illustrated version of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein was met with upon its original release in 1983. Twenty-five years later, this magnificent pairing of art and literature is still considered to be one of the greatest achievements made by any artist in the field. Now, Wrightson and Dark Horse Books are collaborating on a beautiful new hardcover edition of the book, published in a larger 9" x 12" format intended to show off the exquisitely detailed line art of one of the greatest living artists in comics today. This book includes the complete text of the original ground-breaking novel, and the original forty-seven full-page illustrations that stunned the world with their monumental beauty and uniqueness.
- The original edition of this book is nearly impossible to find. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy one of the most talked-about books of the last twenty-five years, Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein.
Jim: I have already ordered this book. The illustrations that Bernie Wrightson did for this book is some of his greatest work and the man is in the Frazzetta class of illustrators. I have been hearing about this book being done again for a long time and I’m very happy to have it see the light of day.
Lee: I really like the book but I am too much of an art guy for this. Don’t get me wrong, this was some Wrightson’s best work ever but it’s single page illustrations. Having barely managed to plow thru the actual text of the book I just can’t see $30 for 47 illustrations.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER’S TAROT On sale Aug 1378-card deck, instruction pamphlet, 64-page softcover book, in reclosable box with magnetic closure $14.99
Lost hundreds of years ago, the Slayer’s tarot is an important artifact from Slayer history that came into existence after a group of women shared a vision of a rogue Slayer who would love a vampire and who would be aided in her fight against evil by a group of mystical allies. The heretical prophecy led to the suppression of the deck by the Watcher’s Council.
Written and conceived by Rachel Pollack, author of twelve books on the tarot, including the renowned 78 Degrees of Wisdom, she teams with long-time Buffy artist Paul Lee to create this one-of-a-kind tarot card set.
Jim: Sandman had a tarot deck done off of that book. You would think that DC is already lining up a tarot deck for the Madam Xandu book as she actually used the cards in the book as opposed to making Tarot decks for no real reason.
Lee: I thought we were reviewing comic books and not collectible cards! Give me a Mickey Mantle baseball card before this set anyday!!!

THE END LEAGUE VOLUME 1: BALLAD OF BIG NOTHING Rick Remender (W), Mat Broome (P/Cover), Sean Parsons (I), and Wendy Broome (C) On sale Oct 15FC, 104 pages$12.95 TPB, 7" x 10" A thematic merging of The Lord of the Rings and Watchmen, The End League follows a cast of the last remaining super men and women as they embark on a desperate and perilous journey through a world dominated by evil, in hopes of locating the one remaining artifact that can save humanity -- the Hammer of Thor. For his return to the world of comics renowned artist Mat Broome (X-Men, Batman) teams up with critically acclaimed writer Rick Remender (Fear Agent) for this, Dark Horse Comics newest superhero series.
Jim: I may have to switch to trades on this series because I find following bi-monthly series very difficult especially when they are as dense as a Lord of the Rings / Watchmen thematic merging.
Lee: I’m all over this trade. There is no way I can follow bi-monthly books. I’m shocked they even advertised it this way. Wouldn’t it have been easier to “call it monthly” and then just issue press releases all the time stating schedule delays? That’s what Marvel and DC do.

GHOST OMNIBUS VOLUME 1 Eric Luke (W), Adam Hughes (A), Terry Dodson (A), Scott Benefiel (A), Matt Haley (A), Adam Hughes (Cover), and others On sale Oct 22FC, 352 pages $24.95TPB, 6" x 9"
If you’re already dead, you might as well make the best of it. Someone brutally murdered reporter Elisa Cameron, but back from the grave as the spectral avenger Ghost, Elisa intends to find out who killed her and why . . . and grab a double dose of .45-caliber retribution. But Ghost’s journey to the truth follows a dark, twisted path, and the revelations she unearths may lead not to redemption, but damnation.
- Includes a roster of top creative talents, including screenwriter Eric Luke and comics superstar artists Adam Hughes and Terry Dodson.
- Collects Ghost Special #1, Ghost #1-12 (first series), and “Sweet Things” from Decade of Dark Horse #2.
Jim: Now this Omnibus I may have to get just for the art work. A beautiful female lead and art by Adam Hughes, Terry Dodson and Matt Haley – are you kidding me. Plus I remember it being a decent read.
Lee: See, I remember the art being good (in a Bad Girl kinda way) but I don’t remember the story being any good. A rare “art book” pass for me.

HELLBOY LIBRARY EDITION VOLUME 2: THE CHAINED COFFIN, THE RIGHT HAND OF DOOM, AND OTHERS Mike Mignola (W/A), Dave Stewart (C), Matthew Hollingsworth (C), and James Sinclair (C) On sale Oct 15FC, 278 pages $49.95HC, 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 video games, 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" by 12", and handsomely bound to match The Art of Hellboy, each volume contains two full story arcs -- the equivalent of two full trade paperbacks. Each volume of the Hellboy Library Editions also includes extensive supplemental materials, including previously unreleased sketches and designs.
- Hellboy Volume 2 collects fifteen stories, presented for the first time in chronological order, with the original Chained Coffin introduction by P. Craig Russell, and a new, expanded sketchbook.
- Over thirty pages of new sketchbook material.
Jim: The best hard cover bang for the buck ever was Volume 1, this is a steal and great comic books.
Lee: I agree, I just got my copy of Vol 1 and it is amazing. I can’t wait for the second volume.

MISTER X ARCHIVES Dean Motter (W/A), Jaime Hernandez (P), Paul Rivoche (P), Dave McKean (P), Seth (P), Ty Templeton (P), and others On sale Oct 22FC, 384 pages $79.95HC, 7" x 10" When Mister X hit the shelves twenty-five years ago, no one had ever seen anything like it -- a fusion of film noir, Art Deco, and German Expressionism channeled through the talents of the greatest up-and-coming artists of the day. The story of a utopian city with architecture that drove its inhabitants mad and the never-sleeping architect who quested tirelessly for a cure, Mister X captivated a generation of comics fans and creators, transforming the landscape of their chosen medium forever.
- The masterpiece of legendary designer Dean Motter that featured the artwork of young superstars Jaime Hernandez and Dave McKean and helped launch the careers of independent icons Ty Templeton, Paul Rivoche, and Seth returns to print in a fully remastered hardcover collection!
Jim: I never read this material and the solicitation has me curious to try it out.
Lee: I will give you my trades of the material after I buy this. Mister X is one of the great indies from the 80’s and I can’t wait to have this collection of the material.

ROBOTS AND DONUTS Eric Joyner (A) On sale Oct 8FC, 184 pages $99.95 Ltd. Ed. HC, 9" x 12" In the years following World War II the major export from Japan wasn’t electronic equipment, but toys, specifically tin toys. Crafted in the shapes of submarines, planes, trains, cars, and horses, one of the most popular motifs was toy robots. Constructed in virtually every shape imaginable from the 1940s throughout the 1960s, they ranged in appearance from horror to science fiction characters. Today, these toys are not only fondly remembered by collectors but are being re-created for a whole new generation! Capturing this period in history became a passion for painter Eric Joyner and in Robots and Donuts he celebrates this forgotten era with images marrying the metal creations with images plucked from his imagination. And, almost always, with donuts. (Why? Well, who doesn’t love donuts?) This whimsical book also features a look into Joyner’s painting style as well as a glimpse at some of his other non-robot-themed artwork.
- Robots and Donuts: The Art of Eric Joyner appeals to both robot lovers and lowbrow art aficionados!
- With 176 oversize, full-color pages, this beautiful book is a great value!
Jim: If I had an extra $100 that was lying in my pants pocket, I’d still buy something else. This seems intriguing, but boy the $100 price tag has me running away from this book.
Lee: You’re kinder than me. Even if I had an extra $100 laying around I wouldn’t buy this. Joyner has little or no ties to the comic book world (that I know of) so why would I plunk down this much money for someone not comic related.
Jim: Dude I said I would not buy it.

On sale Oct 84" x 4" clear lucite cube $16.99
Joss Wheden’s blockbuster Serenity continues to capture the attention of fans of fantastic adventure. Dark Horse is pleased to support the “browncoats” with the next in our series of Serenity themed ornaments.
We have scanned the Serenity ship and using the wonders of modern science, crafted it as a wire frame 3D image inside a 4" x 4" clear lucite cube. This process has allowed us to acheive an unprecedented level of accurate detail.
We are adding a mechanism of ribbon that can be glued to the cube for hanging display, but as with most ofther “tombstone”-style collectibles, it may be best displayed sitting on a window sill or over a small LED light base. The LED light, commonly available on the open market, is NOT a part of the package.
Jim: WTH! Is this stuff really selling?
Lee: I would make fun of it more if my Uncle didn’t have a light up Enterprise on his Christmas tree every year. It’s really quite embarrassing.

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: APOCALYPSE SUITE Gerard Way (W), Gabriel Bá (A), and Dave Stewart (C) On sale Oct 29FC, 232 pages $79.95 Ltd. Ed. HC, 7" x 10"
unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again. In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born by women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.” These seven children form The Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreevesoversized limited-edition hardcover features an expanded sketchbook with concept designs and original artwork; commentary from the artists; and the short story from the hit 2007 Free Comic Book Day issue.
Jim: It was a good mini-series, not $80 good.
Lee: Uuummm did anyone notice the hype calls it over sized but the dimensions are listed as standard comic size! I’ll get it… from ebay.

Jim: Dark Horse is a full service provider now days, new series, licensed material, reprints, hard covers and high end collectibles. Dark Horse has managed to serve and grow for a long time; you have to admire them as really the number three comic book company.
Lee: Yak yak yak, just say it was a slow month and move on! I just wonder who’s buying all the expensive HC’s?


  1. hey this is doc from the itunes podcast: Heroes of Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Frankenstein book will actually find an audience. My daughter was forced to read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at Tracy High in California. It is now her favorite book. If other high schools across the country are doing the same there just might be a huge market. Eventually these fans are going to find it.

  2. I have this thought that entertainment corporations could make more money with the gaming side of tarot than they would always stressing the fortune telling aspects. Buffy is good for that type of tarot, but in France where tarot is recognized as a game there are all kinds of pop culture tarots. There's even been a Disney tarot published for game playing in France. If American companies knew what the French know about tarot cards, that they could be used for card games, tarot could be like all the different versions of the Monopoly boardgame on the market. We could buy tarot decks based on Star Wars, Elvis, Betty Boop, Looney Tunes, the Simpsons, Scooby Doo and much more!