Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Dark Horse Previews for December

Lee: DH continues to surprise me. This month it’s a spotlight on overly expensive hc’s.
Thomm: Oh, sure that’s right up my alley.

Adam Warren (W/A)
bw, 712 pages, 6 1/2" x 9", $59.99
Enough Empowered to crush your nuts! The steamy cape-and-tights comedy so outrageous that the bonds of regular graphic novels could not hold the laughs within, Empowered has expanded into a tome so massive that even the superpowered can barely lift it! Empowered Deluxe Edition Volume 1 collects between its rock-hard covers all the material from the first three Empowered volumes, plus several metric tons (okay, like forty pages) of top-secret, never-before-seen extras (except by Adam Warren, a few close friends, and some ninja), including the very first Empowered stories, sketches, logo variants, Adam’s story notes, and more, more, more! That's seven hundred pages, chief, and printed on way nice paper, too! Only you deserve so much! Hardcover edition, limited to one printing!
Lee: Empowered has been around for awhile and seems to have a dedicated cult following. It has always looked really funny and I keep meaning to read it. But, for $60 it just might be too pricey for me right now. And, DH is one of the few publishers that I actually believe when they say there won’t be any more printings.
Thomm: Never heard of it. Not gonna be getting’ it.

Mary M. Talbot (W) and Bryan Talbot (A)
FC, 96 pages, 6" x 8 1/2", $14.99
Part personal history, part biography, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes contrasts two coming- of-age narratives: that of Lucia, the daughter of James Joyce, and that of author Mary Talbot, daughter of the eminent Joycean scholar James S. Atherton. Social expectations and gender politics, thwarted ambitions and personal tragedy are played out against two contrasting historical backgrounds, poignantly evoked by the atmospheric visual storytelling of award-winning graphic-novel pioneer Bryan Talbot. Produced through an intense collaboration seldom seen between writers and artists, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes is smart, funny, and sad—an essential addition to the evolving genre of graphic memoir.
Lee: Talbot’s graphic memoirs have always been fantastic so I expect the same from this. This should be a great read.
Thomm: Now this is more my speed. A very interesting story at a reasonable price.

Hugo Pratt (W), Mino Milani (W), Milo Manara (A/Cover), and Laura Battaglia (C)
FC, 280 pages, 8 3/8" x 10 7/8", $59.99
Dark Horse continues to bring the works of Italian comics master Milo Manara to American audiences with volume 2 of The Milo Manara Library! This deluxe hardcover, newly translated by Eurocomics expert Kim Thompson, features the sweeping historical epic El Gaucho, the second of Manara’s storied collaborations with his mentor Hugo Pratt, author of the internationally acclaimed Corto Maltese. Rounding out this volume is Trial by Jury, a series of shorts, never before published in the US, in which some of history’s most notorious figures undergo a mock trial. The first and only comprehensive English collection of Manara’s work. “Beautiful historical work with gorgeous people and really erotic undertones.” —Neil Gaiman on Manara
Lee: Manara is probably best known for his erotic work but he was a heck of an artist long before that. This, while expensive, is worth the money. It should be noted that Hugo Pratt, while mostly unknown to American audiences, is a fantastic writer. If you like things other than capes and tights then this is an easy winner.
Thomm: I like mythical trials of historic figures. Usually you learn more about the writers than the historical figures.

J. P. Kalonji (W/A) and Dan Jackson (C)
bw, 120 pages, 6" x 9", $12.99
In ancient Japan, a witch seeks to use the warrior-monk Ningen’s enlightened body and spirit to resurrect a demon-samurai and unleash an era of chaos on an already-troubled country. After leaving the safety of his temple to protect poor commoners who are caught in bloody battles between feuding warlords, Ningen soon finds that several colorful bounty hunters are on his trail—seeking his head and his very lifeblood for the witch’s twisted spells! A stylish and violent standalone adventure from the creator of 365 Samurai.
Lee: 365 Samurai was a fun story so I expect this to be good too. I’m always up for a good samurai story.
Thomm: I haven’t read a ninja story in quite a while, and even longer for one authentically Japanese. This looks like a good bet.

THE STRAIN #1 (of 11)
David Lapham (W), Guillero del Toro (W), Chuck Hogan (W), Mike Huddleston (A/Cover), Steve Morris (Variant cover), and Dan Jackson (C)
FC, 32 pages, $1.00
When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Center for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event—an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness.
Lee: This is just an adaption of the book… which wasn’t all that good. I started it because I thought it was going to be like “They Thirst” by Robert McCammon, one of the greatest vampire books of all time. And it was, with the addition of cardboard characters and plot clichés. Maybe it will read better as a comic.
Thomm: Pictures might help. It does have a good premise, but the execution will be the thing.

Lee: I can’t pass up the Manara. I have been wanting to read Pratt’s work for years so I’m gonna spend the money.
Thomm: I’m more likely to get Dotter.

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