Friday, December 02, 2011

Dark Horse Previews For February

Lee: DH is having an interesting month. After last months ‘eh’, there’s really a bunch of good, and cheap (for you Thomm) stuff.

Thomm: My cheap and your cheap tend to be different things. We’ll see whose is present this month.

Brian Wood (W), Becky Cloonan (A/Variant cover), Dave Stewart (C), and Massimo Carnevale (Cover)
Ongoing, FC, 32 pages, $3.50
In this sweeping adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s fan-favorite “Queen of the Black Coast,” Conan turns his back on the civilized world and takes to the high seas alongside the pirate queen Bêlit, setting the stage for an epic of romance, terror, and swashbuckling. This is Conan as you’ve never seen him, with the combination of one of Robert E. Howard’s greatest tales and the most dynamic creative team in comics! A perfect jumping-on point for new readers! A bold, fresh take on the Cimmerian.
Lee: First the b*tch. Why can’t a company ever just keep a book going? Just advertise the jumping on point and new author and people will come to the book. There is no reason to restart the numbering. End of vent. If anyone can do a good Conan it’s got to be Brian Wood. After his run on Northlanders I can’t wait to see what he does with this. And Cloonan is a very unlikely choice for artist which makes me want to read this even more.
Thomm: Off to a good start. And I disagree with the griping, too. I like the new starts to books. I have a good set point for joining or leaving a book. Atomic Robo and the Hellboy ‘verse come to mind as being good uses of this method. As to the content, Wood has a great book in Northlanders and a less great book in DMZ. Since Conan is more akin to Northlanders I’m looking for good things.

DH has a stellar selection this month... look below.

Mike Mignola (W/Cover), John Arcudi (W), Guy Davis (A), and Dave Stewart (C)
FC, 448 pages, $34.99, 7" x 10"
Following the Bureau’s catastrophic encounter with the monster-god Katha-Hem, Kate heads to France with hopes of bringing Roger back to life, and Daimio reveals the truth about his death in the jungles of Bolivia. The coming frog apocalypse heats up as Abe meets a secret society of Victorian cyborgs with ties to his origins, and Liz's visions grow increasingly dire! From Hollow Earth to King of Fear—the entire war on frogs in four volumes! Three Mignola trades in one hardcover!
Lee: How did I miss the second volume of this? I am reading far too many previews these days. Oh well, while I wasn’t completely sold on the first volume in the series it was good enough to get me to come back for more. Getting three trades in fancy hc format is perfect for me.
Thomm: Much as I enjoy these stories, and I have quite a bit of this volume in singles, I couldn’t justify staying with it in singles format. Trades are more my speed for this stuff.

Richard Margopoulos (W), Budd Lewis (W), Bill DuBay (W), Jim Stenstrum (W), Paul Neary (A), Alex Niño (A), Moreno Casares (A), Al Sanchez (A), E. R. Cruz (A), Ken Kelly (Cover)
b&w, 232 pages, $19.99, 8 3/8" x 10 7/8"
Son of a mutant general and a human mother, Hunter is a half-breed warrior who fights for survival on a weird, irradiated alternate Earth. Cursed to remain apart from humanity, Hunter still protects the defenseless with the hope that mankind will someday rise from barbarism and rule again! A perfect synthesis of fantasy and science-fiction storytelling, Eerie Presents: Hunter features the artwork of Paul Neary and collects the stories of all three incarnations of the Hunter character. With a new introduction by Dark Horse Comics publisher Mike Richardson, this deluxe hardcover also includes all Hunter spot art pieces and guest appearances that ran in the original Eerie magazine run! Every Hunter story finally collected!
Lee: I’ve actually read a bunch of these Hunter stories and they are ok. They are schlock 70’s sci-fi if you like that. But the art… oh la la the art. Paul Neary is just amazing in the stories I saw. This is before he got Marvelized which watered down his stuff. I’m sold because I can’t help myself.
Thomm: Have I mentioned I’m not the art guy? Yeah, this is an easy pass, though it is cheap.

Katsuya Terada (W/A)
FC, 160 pages, $16.99, 6" x 8 1/4"
After a seven-year hiatus, Katsuya Terada, one of Japan's most sought-after commercial illustrators, returns to his adaptation of this saga with The Monkey King Volume 2. A rare example of a manga painted entirely in full color, The Monkey King is the epic of Goku, a savage ape once imprisoned by Lord Buddha himself, but now freed by the monk Sanzo to serve as his bodyguard on a journey to the West . . . across a wasteland filled with weird, violent, and sexy demons!
• Terada's long-awaited sequel!
• Features a wraparound cover, French flaps, and special endpapers.
Lee: I’m actually really, really intrigued by this. The cover art looks fantastic and the story sounds great so what’s not to like? Howabout 7 yrs between issues? Yes, it’s 160 pages of goodness now but I’m not sure that I will actually get a full story. That makes me hesitate.
Thomm: Monsieur Lee, what the hell are French flaps? Aside from that, I like a Monkey King story as much as the next guy, as long as Jim’s not the next guy, but “long awaited sequel” isn’t doing justice to the time between volumes. Maybe when the whole thing is done this becomes something to check out.

Richard Corben (W/A)
One-shot, b&w, 32 pages, $3.50
In a bizarre land populated by hungry deadlings, cruel necromancers, and buxom cyclops, Tugat the warrior sets out to retrieve his lost horse Frix. Collecting Corben’s standout run in Dark Horse Presents.
Lee: Corben has been doing a lot of work lately which surprises me. Some creators get slower as they age but Corben actually seems to be speeding up. The Hellboy stuff was a wee bit expensive for me but this is just perfect! Not too expensive and plenty of Corben madness.
Thomm: Yeah, this one definitely fits in as a reasonable price for a good product. That’s the one thing that’s killing me on the current iteration of DHP. It’s a lot of price.

Lee: Two floppy winners with Conan and Corben and a HC of Creepy/Eerie material. DH is taking a lot of my money this month.
Thomm: The Conan’s the sure thing for me. Corben, maybe. The other stuff, not so much, though much of it is intriguing.

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