Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dark Horse Preview Review for February

Jim: A friend of mine who works for a smaller comic publisher stated that they do not launch anything in January and February. This is typical because January and February are normally horrible sales months, but it is a self fulfilling prophecy with nothing new on the shelves. Hell one series could be trotted out. A long winded intro to Dark Horse following suit and therefore February is a thin month.

Lee: It only looked thin to you! Looks like a very good month to me.

Graham Annable (W/A)
On sale Apr 7, b&w, 200 pages, $17.99 HC, 5 3/4" x 8 1/4"
Get ready for the most extensive journey ever into the brilliant mind of Graham Annable! A classically trained animator with credits in film (including as a storyboard artist on Coraline), television, and video games, Annable has for years spent his free time creating some of the funniest, most poignant comics anywhere. As befits his animation background, Annable’s fluid art pulses with life, in stories that practically jump off the page. Alternately poetic and hilarious, Grickle presents a strange twist on the everyday with heart and humor. If you’ve experienced Grickle before, this is the greatest collection yet. If you haven’t, there’s no better introduction than Book of Grickle! Grickle was named one of Wizard’s Top 25 indie books everyone must read! The best of Grickle, plus new and rarely seen material! Graham Annables’s Grickle strips were selected for Houghton-Mifflin’s 2008 edition of Best American Comics. Introduction by Jeff Smith!
Jim: I read the solicitation and I thought this looks like a Lee book. It was given awards, should have great art and is offbeat. It screamed LEE BOOK.
: Oh yeah, this totally and utterly screams me! But everyone knew that. I love the art and the humor looks good to. I’m sold.

On sale Feb 24
Buck Rogers 1930’s Collection Frame $31.99
Buck Rogers 25th Century Frame $31.99
Buck Rogers Collage Frame $31.99
Buck Rogers Logo Belt Buckle $21.99
Buck Rogers Ray Gun Belt Buckle $21.99
Dark Horse is proud to introduce a stunning line of officially- licensed Buck Rogers accessories, produced by our friends at Retro-A-Go-Go for the modern space traveler! High quality stainless steel card cases to carry all your off world identification. Highlight the keys to your rocket car with our Art Deco inspired key chains. Or decorate your moon base with one of the stylish and functional photo frames! Buck Roger was ahead of his time, and guess what? He still is!
Jim: This is just a partial listing of the collectibles they are producing. Two points about this stuff. Number one Dynamite is publishing the comic and Dark Horse is doing the collectibles, how did that happen? The second point I find these to be pointless collectibles and even more of a waste then action figures and I own way too many of those.
: Don’t forget that Hermes Press is doing the hc’s collecting the actual newspaper strips. What a total licensing mess. I wonder why no one has made Buck Rogers action figures? I need a new Twiki.
Jim: Thank god I know what Twiki is or otherwise I was worried that is was some euphemism.
Lee: Twiki was an euphemism. What are you talking about?

Brad Meltzer (W), Georges Jeanty (P/Cover), Andy Owens (I), Michelle Madsen (C), and Jo Chen (Cover)
On sale Feb 3, FC, 40 pages $2.99 Ongoing
Faster than a speeding—you know. More powerful than a—yeah, one of those. Able to leap tall . . . castles in a single bound. Still working on that x-ray-vision thing. In the aftermath of battle with Twilight’s army, Buffy has developed a host of new powers, but when will the other shoe drop, and will it be a cute shoe, or an ugly one? Still reeling from the losses of war,
Willow goes looking for missing allies and discovers a horrifying truth about several of the Slayer army’s recent ordeals.Series artist Georges Jeanty, acclaimed novelist and comics writer Brad Meltzer (The Book of Lies, Identity Crisis), and executive producer Joss Whedon begin the buildup to Season Eight’s climax in the storyline that finally reveals the identity of Twilight! The storyline revealing Twilight’s true identity! Eisner Award-winning series.Best-selling author Brad Meltzer joins Buffy Season Eight!
Jim: When Brad writes a DC book the sales go through the roof, this is already a great selling book for Dark Horse and I believe cracked the top ten one month. I’ll be curious to know if Buffy fans care about Brad writing this or not.
Lee: I’m not a fan of Mr. Meltzer’s writing so I’ll be passing. But I wonder if his name will draw some non-Buffy people to the book.

Jerry Robinson (W), Walt Kelly (A), Winsor McCay (A), Milt Caniff (A), Hal Foster (A), and others
On sale Apr 14, FC, 296 pages $24.99 TPB, 9" x 12"
From Jerry Robinson, legendary creator of the Joker, seventy-year veteran of the comics industry, and prominent figure in monthly books, daily strips, and comics journalism, comes a comprehensive history of the truly American art form! The Comics is a fully reworked and updated edition of the 1974 classic that chronicles the origins and evolution of comic strips, from prior to the Yellow Kid through today, and highlights the game-changing contributions of such creative luminaries as Milton Caniff, Walt Kelly, Hal Foster, and Winsor McCay, among countless others. A fascinating resource of enduring excellence for fans of the art form, historians, and casual readers alike, this edition has been extensively revisited by Robinson and tells the stories behind the newsprint page. The Comics is an authoritative history of the medium from living legend Jerry Robinson! Other books by Jerry Robinson include the biography Skippy and Percy Crosby and The 1970s: Best Political Cartoons of the Decade.

Jim: Fully reworked from the 1974 edition? How? The vast majority of these people are dead now; did he hold a séance for updates? I never got the 1974 book, maybe I will pick this up.
Lee: This is a very interesting selection because I’m not sure what to make of it. Back in 2006, Brian Walker did two books of over 300 pages each titled “The Comics: Before 1945” and “..:Since 1945.” They are huge retrospectives on newspaper strips that are fantastic. Yes, I’ve read both. How can this book, which is half the page count compare? The books I was talking about are here

DEVIL #1 (of 4)
Torajiro Kishi (W/A) and Madhouse Studios (W/A)
On sale Feb Feb 3 FC, 24 pages, $2.99 Miniseries
Manga artist Torajiro Kishi (Maka-Maka) and blockbuster anime studio Madhouse (Trigun, Paprika, Ninja Scroll) love comics. So much so that they’ve decided to publish an original, Western-style comic exclusively with Dark Horse! Enter Devil, a thrilling, sci-fi take on the vampire genre. A virus is raging across the planet, turning people into bloodsucking superhumans referred to as “Devils.” Most victims die within days, sometimes months, but there’s a new strain, a new class of Devil that threatens to overtake mankind with power and bloodthirst. This new class of Devils derive from an experiment to clone a virus victim, and it looks like science has created a true monster this time. Can Takimoto and the Devil Investigation Section of the Tokyo police force stop this societal scourge? We’ll just have to see. Exclusive comic specifically for the American audience and only available from Dark Horse! This disease will devour mankind.
Jim: I blame the popularity of Twilight for this type of material getting green lighted. Speaking of Twilight are half the guys in that movie ambiguous in their sexuality. What happened to the rough and tumble movie stars like Bruce Willis and Clint Eastwood.
Lee: It’s not that they’re ambiguous; it’s that they shave their chests. Real men aren’t meant to be that hairless.
Jim: If true, why do you know that?
: Same reason I know about Twiki. I just know 'things.'

Various (W/A)
On sale Apr 14, b&w, 260 pages, $49.99, HC, 8 3/8" x 10 7/8"
Join Frank Frazetta, Steve Ditko, John Severin, Gene Colan, Angelo Torres, and other legendary artists for an eerie excursion through the haunted halls of comics history, as Dark Horse Comics unleashes the fourth big volume of Eerie magazine archives. Vampires, ghouls, werewolves, and ax-wielding maniacs are only the beginning of the thrills you’ll find inside this huge collection crafted by the most gifted storytellers the medium of comics has ever known. You’ll get 260 pages of luridly luscious artwork collected into a magazine-sized, dust-jacketed hardcover. This series has appeared multiple times on the New York Times Bestseller List. Eerie Archives Volume 4 contains bonus color pages.

Jim: I love these Archives. They contain some terrific work and are really the true inheritor of the EC type of material that was killed. Even better I plan to take the plastic off one or two of these puppies really soon.
: I still love these but you have to be a real die-hard collector to get these collections. They can’t be read in one or two sittings but they are fun over time. If you’re wondering, start with the first collection because it’s still the strongest.

Bryan Talbot (W/A)
On sale Apr 28, FC, 136 pages, $19.99, HC, 7" x 10"
Helen Potter lived a happy life until she got lost in a nightmare of sexual abuse. Now she’s on a journey, a journey which takes her through urban and rural
England along the same path that another Potter, Beatrix Potter, once took. Across the decades, two lives touch, and Helen discovers that the strength of two is far greater than one. Bryan Talbot constructs a very special story in The Tale of One Bad Rat, which immediately endears the reader. The victim of childhood sexual abuse, Helen Potter becomes the armored knight before her own personal demons in this story of heroism and courage. This new deluxe hardcover edition features a new foreword by Neil Gaiman, updated background material, plus entirely new color separations that better highlight the dazzling artwork of this acclaimed, Eisner Award winning graphic novel. “A story of strength and pain and survival.” —Neil Gaiman “Thoroughly excellent.” —Alan Moore
Jim: I read this a long time ago and it was a very powerful story and extremely well done.
: I missed this along the way but I’ve always heard great things about it. It might be time to finally get a copy.

David Malki (W/A)
On sale Apr 7, FC, 96 pages, $16.99, HC, 8 3/4" x 8 1/2"
It’s Wondermark time again! Come along for the ride as Dark Horse returns to David Malki’s silly, bizarre, and hilarious world that’s not quite present day, not quite the Victorian era, and not like anything else you've seen before. (Unless you’ve read the previous Wondermark books, of course!) This newest volume of the Eisner-nominated series contains over one hundred comic strips originally published in The Onion and on, plus many pages of additional material by creator David Malki. More than just webcomic collections, the Wondermark books have been praised for their magnificent design and loads of extra content for casual readers and superfans alike. New installments of Wondermark appear twice weekly at, along with a hilarious blog from David Malki! The Wondermark site enjoys over 140,000 unique visitors per month. Wondermark is nationally syndicated in the print edition of The Onion, enjoying a circulation of over 700,000! Visit Wondermark here
Lee: I feel like we’ve talked about this before but I can’t seem to locate the post so we’ll talk about it again. Or for the first time in case I’m wrong. It’s definitely strange. It’s definitely funny too. It’s in the Onion, how can it not be good!
Jim: I don’t think we have ever talked about this before, but just because the Onion has it is not an automatic, but it does give it some additional street cred.

Jim: Maybe not as thin as I was expecting going in, but still not a big month for anything really new.
Lee: Not lots and lots of new stuff, but the things that are there are good. I’m looking forward to all of this.

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