Friday, January 08, 2010

Dark Horse Preview Review for March

Jim: Dark Horse always is a fun preview review because I can honestly say I never know exactly what they will have as their mix of products is pretty darn eclectic.
Lee: I’m starting to look forward to DH and IDW more and more these days because of that diversity. With Marvel/DC it’s good but always the same. DH is the place to see the truly new and exciting.

Roy Thomas (W) and Barry Windsor-Smith (A)
On sale May 19
FC, 288 pages
HC, 7" x 10"
Nearly forty years have passed since Barry Windsor-Smith began his historical run on Conan the Barbarian—never had anyone conveyed Conan’s gigantic melancholies and great mirth in a more masterful way. Barry Windsor-Smith became the standard by which all other Conan comic-book artists have since been measured. In order to commemorate Barry Windsor-Smith’s lasting legacy and honor one of the most influential Conan artists of all time, Dark Horse presents The Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives Volume 2. This, the second of two handsome hardcovers, collects the final half of Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith’s collaboration on Conan the Barbarian and includes such classic tales as “Red Nails” and “The Frost-Giant’s Daughter”! Featuring the updated colors from Dark Horse’s Chronicles line, this book is a can’t miss for new and old readers alike!
• This volume reprints the second half of Barry Windsor-Smith’s run on Conan the Barbarian and includes his adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s “Red Nails”!
• The two Barry Windsor-Smith archives collect all of the historic and influential Conan the Barbarian comics drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith!

Jim: I hate Dark Horse for publishing this as BWS’s work was so great on this book going from a Kirby clone to a true illustrator that I have to buy it. Of all the various great artist who have come back to comics lately Barry has been missing, wonder what he is doing.
Lee: Personally, I’m glad I passed on all the Conan sc’s that DH released. I’d much rather have these materials in a fancy hc. Hopefully, DH fixed the coloring issues that nearly destroyed the work in the trades.

DEVIL #2 (of 4)
Torajiro Kishi (W/A) and Madhouse Studios (W/A)
On sale Mar 17
FC, 24 pages
Could there ever be such thing as a vampire virus? Sounds like the stuff of sci-fi and horror all wrapped up in one, and that’s what makes Devil such an interesting story. Answers unfold about the government program that created this nasty disease of superhuman power and hunger for blood in the second frantic issue. Who is this Mariko creature? Is she a victim, or is she proud of her new, superevolved existence? And can the government really contain the beautiful monster they’ve created?
Manga artist Torajiro Kishi (Maka-Maka) and blockbuster anime studio Madhouse (Trigun, Paprika, Ninja Scroll) love comics. So much so that theyĆ¢€™ve decided to publish an original, Western-style comic exclusively with Dark Horse! Enter Devil, a thrilling, sci-fi take on the vampire genre.

Lee: It’s not often I get to make fun oooo… point out interesting DH covers. But, dem is some giants feets. I’m wondering what demographic you’re going for with a pair of giant feet on your cover.
Jim: The foot fetish market. Reading the solicitation text it sounds like a great story. I think I may have to get the trade of this down the road.

Paul S. Newman (W) and Jesse Marsh (A)
On sale May 26
FC, 120 pages
TPB, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16"
In 1947, Jesse Marsh—an artist who would inspire generations of comics creators and earn the esteem of professional peers such as industry legends Russ Manning and Alex Toth—won over millions of readers with his four-color vision of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ beloved character Tarzan. To the delight of his readers, Marsh would continue to draw Tarzan comics for the following nineteen years. But his passion for Burroughs’ creations wasn’t limited to the legendary writer’s jungle lord, and in the early 1950s he teamed up with prolific comics writer Paul S. Newman to breathe life into another of Burroughs’ beloved heroes: the courageous adventurer John Carter of Mars!
• Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars: The Jesse Marsh Years reprints all three issues of Dell’s Four Color Comics: John Carter of Mars series in their entirety and is sure to delight fans of science fiction and Golden Age comics alike!

Jim: I love Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Mars series is my favorite, but this is an easy pass. Jesse Marsh’s work is not that inspiring to me and the guys they say he inspired are artists who apparently surpassed him as Manning and Toth are great artists.
Lee: I have to agree that I won’t be getting this but it’s mainly because of the price point. 120 pages for $30 is not cheap. But, I am very interested to see how the 50’s handled John Carter. Personally, I’ve always like Kane and Cockrum’s run on Marvel JCoM in which all the women wore flowing curtains.

On sale Mar 24
Over the years, Dark Horse has been committed to incorporating art into our everyday lives through prints, T-shirts, mugs, and a variety of other items that help make this world more colorful. Now Dark Horse is proud to collaborate with GelaSkins to bring some fresh, new designs to their line of protective and decorative skins for laptops and phones.
This month we feature Frank Miller’s glorious art taken directly from the pages of two of his most revered works, Sin City and 300, these all new iPhone and laptop Gelaskins are the perfect way to protect your technology while showing off your signature style.
Sin City: Worth Dying For iPhone
Sin City: Nancy iPhone

Jim: So this is an interesting product since the Nancy Gelskin for you iPhone guarantees that I will never answer my phone again in mix company again.
Lee: Yeah. That’s not the most tasteful gelaskin I’ve seen. But somehow I bet there’s worse out there.

John Stanley (W/A) and Irving Tripp (A)
On sale May 5
b&w, 664 pages
TPB, 6" x 9"
John Stanley and Irving Tripp’s long run on Little Lulu is a milestone in American comics, as hilarious to grownups as it is to their children. With Stanley’s popularity at an all-time high, Dark Horse is proud to take you back to the beginning of this legendary run.
Collecting some of the earliest, out-of-print volumes of Dark Horse’s acclaimed reprint series, this massive 664-page omnibus contains the first fourteen issues Little Lulu appeared in—featuring Lulu Moppet and her friends in all sorts of clever schemes and silly situations.
• Priced at only $24.99 and containing fourteen comic books’ worth of material, this is the most affordable way to build a library of John Stanley’s masterpiece!
664-pages of Lulu fun!

Jim: This is a pre-emptive pick as Lee will pick this one if I don’t. Not for me, but what I will say is the $25 price tag for 664 pages is a fantastic deal. Well worth it if you are a fan of this material. Lee: You did pre-empt me. I won’t be getting this because I already have some of the trades and while great, that’s enough. But DH is milking the crap out of this franchise. DH now has B&W reprints, color reprints, and now omnibus reprints. I’m surprised there’s that much support of this material.

THE GUILD #1 (of 3)
Felicia Day (W), Jim Rugg (A), Dan Jackson, Georges Jeanty (Cover), and Cary Nord (Cover)
On sale Mar 24
FC, 32 pages
Internet phenomenon The Guild comes to comics, courtesy of series creator, writer, and star Felicia Day (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog)!
Chronicling the hilarious on- and offline lives of a group of Internet role-playing gamers, the Knights of Good, The Guild has become a cult hit and is the winner of numerous awards from SXSW, YouTube, Yahoo, and the Streamys. Now Day brings the wit and heart of the show to this three-issue miniseries. In this origin tale of the Knights of Good, we learn about Cyd’s life before joining the guild, how she became Codex, and how she began to meet the other players who would eventually become her teammates. This storyline fills in details never before revealed on the web show, making it a delightful new chapter for existing fans as well as a perfect jumping-on point for new fans!
• The Guild is “perhaps the smartest (and definitely the funniest) webisodic series of the year.”
—The Los Angeles Times
• The web series is the winner of three 2009 Streamy Awards: Best Comedy Web Series, Best Ensemble, and Best Actress for Felicia Day.
• See the web series at
The Internet phenomenon The Guild comes to comics!
Jim: I think you would have to be a gamer to enjoy this as I’m sure there maybe a lot of in jokes. As I’m not a gamer I guessing I would miss alot. Yet I can still catch the nerd humor in some of this type of stuff, but much of it fails to hold my interest.
Lee: It just shows how old we are when we don’t get the joke anymore. I’m with you, an easy pass.

Larz Bourne (W), Izzy Klein (W), Warren Kremer (A), Dave Tendlar (A), Martin Taras (A), Howard Post (A), Steve Muffatti (A), and others
On sale May 12
FC, 200 pages
TPB, 6" x 9"
Here comes Casper the Friendly Ghost, starring in the first of the new Harvey Comics Treasury compendiums! Following on the heels of Dark Horse’s fabulously successful five-volume Harvey Comics Classics comes this new series of books, each containing two hundred pages of stunning, full-color reprints from Harvey’s golden years! Since the 1950s, the famous Harvey Comics family of cartoon stars has charmed and delighted children and grownups alike. And no wonder: Harvey employed some of the best writers and artists in the business, and their work has an enduring quality that has turned these timeless tales into true classics!
• Harvey comic books, cartoons, and television shows have touched millions and truly helped define the word classic while remaining popular!
• Two hundred pages of stunning, full-color reprints for under fifteen dollars!

Jim: Dark Horse I think offered this as the phone book type collection first with tons of pages but no color and now is offering 200 pages in color. I would think for kids the color would be a big draw.
Lee: This is a really annoying book because I have that other phone book that’s b&w! Now, this is basically the same material in color. WTF!!!! I’ll pass because I’m not a huge Casper fan but this sucks. But, I do think that the other Casper phone book is bigger. So, I guess it all depends if color or size matters most.
Jim: If color or size matters most??? Wow that line has some many jokes to do after it, that I will let the readers do their own joke.

On sale Apr 21
Snoopy Then and Now Set
Charlie Brown Then and Now Set
The year 2010 marks the sixtieth anniversary of Charles Schulz’s enduring creation Peanuts.
When the strip debuted in 1950, the look and style of the characters were different than today. All of the many licensed products have reflected today’s look; few, if any, are in the original style.
As Dark Horse’s contribution to the anniversary, we decided to bring the original look back with these twin-packs of small vinyl figures. Each set shows the characters as they were in the old days and what they are like now.
We found poses taken straight from the strips, and these specific panels will be depicted on the packaging. All four are in a running pose, which makes them look well placed together as a set.
Each figure measures close to four inches in height and is on a grass-green base (not pictured). Sculpted by the great talents at Yoe! Studio.

Jim: This is a prime example of never knowing what Dark Horse will offer. I mean who cares enough about this stuff to buy it. I guess the Charlie Brown fans are still legion.
Lee: The Snoopy fans are legion and this is perfect for them. I’m not $25 sold but I might try to find them cheaper on ebay sometime.

Morgan Spurlock (W), Jeremy Barlow (W), Lukas Ketner(A), Tony Milionaire (A), Ron Chan (A), Ron English (Cover), and others
On sale May 5
FC, 88 pages
TPB, 6" x 9"
Do you dare find out what’s happening behind the counters of your neighborhood fast-food joint? Then grab a bucket and dive into one of the creepiest graphic novels of the year! Supersized: Strange Tales from a Fast-Food Culture is an entertaining—and at times gut-wrenching—series of stories focusing on America’s ubiquitous and potentially destructive fast-food culture. A perfect companion to Super Size Me, the graphic novel will bridge the gaps between humor, fact, and heart, while peering behind the scenes of the fast-food world.
• Written by Morgan Spurlock with writer Jeremy Barlow and drawn by a variety of creators, Supersized: Strange Tales from a Fast-Food Culture is an original graphic-novel companion to the Academy Award–nominated movie and expands on some of the bizarre stories not featured in the original film.
• The creative brain trust behind The Simpsons chose Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, 30 Days, Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?) to direct the Simpsons’ twentieth- anniversary documentary.

Jim: This is very tempting. I will hope Lee tracks down some good previews of this book.
Lee: I agree, this is very, very tempting and I hope they release some cool previews. I’m not sure I’ll pre-order but I’ll definitely be looking for hype as the release date gets closer.

Jim: March is usually when we start to see some major launches from companies, but Dark Horse never seems to follow the same path and only solicits when they are pretty sure they can deliver. Still I’m getting curious to see the new Solar and Magnus Robot Fighters from Jim Shooter, maybe next month.
Lee: DH continues to impress. I love the diversity of material both new and old.

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