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Tag Archive: Dark Horse Comics


Angel and Faith Season 10 1 cover

Angel and Faith are working together again and back to clean up the darker corners of the city in Dark Horse Comics’ Angel and Faith Season 10, with its first issue coming in April.  That’s right–fans of Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer will get even more of your favorite brooding vampire and kick-ass vampire slayer.  And the series is again produced by creator Joss Whedon.

Angel & Faith Season 10 is planned for a thirty-issue run, and will be written by Victor Gischler and drawn by Will Conrad, with regular issue covers by Scott Fischer.

Check out these preview pages from Angel & Faith Season 10, Issue #1, courtesy of Dark Horse Comics:

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Beasts of Burden cover

Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson are back again with their expertly realized Burden Hill gang, the canine paranormal investigators and a feline familiar that earned them a Harvey Award and multiple Eisner Awards.  We’ve reviewed previous Beasts of Burden stories before here at borg.com and the animal stories are among the best of the outgrowth of shorts from Dark Horse Presents, the best anthology series around.

This time ’round we find the team defending Burden Hill from a giant monster.  Real or a specter?  A plan is hatched and the whole town of furry ones plays a part.

Here’s a preview of a few pages:

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Look for Beasts of Burden: Hunters & Gatherers in comic book stores everywhere March 12, 2014.

Rusty swordsman

Dedicated to Rusty, borg.com’s mascot, Krypto of my avatar, and my cosplay conspirator, whose smarts and curiosity would have fit right in to the Burden Hill pack.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

TOSHIRO TPB CVR 4x6

A new borg is coming in a mash-up of steampunk and horror.  Steam-powered tanks will clash with katanas in a new graphic novel, Toshiro, from Dark Horse Comics coming in June.  Writer Jai Nitz (Dream Thief, Tron: Betrayal, Kato) and artist Janusz Pawlak have created a “mechano-samurai” named Toshiro whose adventure story will take readers across a Victorian clockwork world, “battling horrors too dark for mankind.”

According to Dark Horse:

With his mysterious partner, the world-famous adventurer Quicksilver Bob, Toshiro must face Earth’s greatest foe yet: the soul-stealing, zombie-creating jellyfish from beyond.  Janusz Pawlak’s jagged inks and moody watercolors create a world of dread and mystery.

toshiro_tpb_page

Toshiro bends and blends genres to make something altogether new.  Janusz and I wanted to play with Victorian steampunk, alternate history, Lovecraftian monsters, and the magic of Tezuka’s Astro Boy to tell a story,” said writer Jai Nitz.  “We wanted to wear our influences on our sleeves, but do the hard work of creating something new.  I think this book will appeal to any fans of adventure.”

Keep checking back as borg.com will preview Toshiro in June 2014.  Toshiro arrives in comic book stores June 4, 2014, but you can pre-order it now at Amazon.com.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Buffy Season 10 issue 2

Wouldn’t it be great if we were looking forward to a live action continuation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, now in its tenth season?  Well it’s not in the cards, but we can look forward to Dark Horse Comics’ third comic book series continuing the exploits of Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang beginning this month with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10, Issue #1, created by Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs.

Buffy Season 10 Issue 1 cover A

We have a first look at three covers for Issue #1, and Willow, Xander, Spike, Faith, and young Giles are back.

Here is a short preview of Issue #1, courtesy of Dark Horse:

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Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy Volume II

Review by C.J. Bunce

Forget about all those post-apocalyptic stories, only Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy could tap the Book of Revelations for a zombie story out of the actual Apocalypse.  Juggling the best parts of John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the humor of Ghostbusters, with high drama, satire, and whimsical blasphemy, Portugal’s creative team of Felipe Melo, Juan Cavia, and Santiago Villa bring the world-saving duo back to the pages of Dark Horse Comics in The Incredible Adventures of Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy II: Apocalypse.

We reviewed the first volume in the series, The Incredible Adventures of Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy, here at borg.com back in November 2012.  In the first book the reader becomes a character walking along with the duo as writer Felipe Melo breaks the “third and fourth walls” in a funny and beautifully drawn story.

This time Dog and Pizza Boy are back in Portugal and all hell is breaking loose.  Locusts, horned beasts, the four horsemen, the sign of the last days, it’s all intertwined with the hilarity of these strange friends, a little girl demon (who was kicked out of Hell) named Pazuul, and a stone gargoyle named Edgar Augustus.  Piled high with pop culture references and in-jokes, Melo’s story is as smart as any book on the newsstands, irreverent and wildly funny.

Juan Cavia’s artistry is as good as it gets.  What’s going on away from the action is often the best part of the scene.  On one page, the top panel shows fire and brimstone raining down on the group as they dodge explosions in their Volkswagen Beetle.  On panel two we see a close-up of Dog and Pizzaboy with looks of horror yet Pazuul has an expression of a gleeful little girl as if on an amusement park ride.  I don’t know why it’s so funny, but it is.

Look for a foreword in this edition by zombie master George A. Romero and a “making of” section as well as “The Untold Tales of Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy.”

The Incredible Adventures of Dog Mendonca and PizzaBoy Volume 2: Apocalypse is available in comic book stores February 26, 2014, or pre-order a copy here at Amazon.com.

Dog and Pizzaboy III

And if you like the first two volumes in the series, you’ll want to catch the final volume, The Incredible Adventures of Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy III: Requiem in stores in November 2014.

Valentines Day Weekend Star Wars sale

Dark Horse Comics is offering a valentine to anyone who wants to catch up on one or more of 38 Star Wars digital comics available on their website.  Their promotion states that you can save up to 50% off cover price but we’re seeing $2.99 books going for as low as $0.99 and even a $0.49 for Brian Wood’s Star Wars, Issue #1.

We recommend the great Star Wars: Infinities books, a “what if?” alternate version of each of the three original trilogy stories.  You’ll also find the classic Dark Empire series, and romantics can check out Star Wars: Union, where Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade tie the knot, and the Valentine’s Day version of the Star Wars Christmas Special in Judd Winick’s one-shot Breaking the Ice issue.  Disney has announced they are throwing aside much of the expanded universe built over the past 35 years, but we think they are nuts if they don’t include Mara Jade.  Find out more about her in Dark Horse Comics.

Star Wars Valentine issue

Click here to check out the available books.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Black Beetle poster

Review by C.J. Bunce

Nailing down what is best about Francesco Francavilla’s comic book craft is a bit difficult.  His five-part, creator-owned series The Black Beetle, Volume 1: No Way Out is now available in a lavish, exquisitely designed hardcover edition, and it is his best work to date, which says a lot considering he won his Eisner for his great 2012 cover art on Black Panther, Lone Ranger, Lone Ranger/Zorro, Dark Shadows, Warlord of Mars, and Archie Meets Kiss, AND his current Afterlife with Archie artwork may ultimately even rival his Black Beetle.

Written by Francavilla, The Black Beetle, Volume 1: No Way Out isn’t an elaborate story.  It’s a straightforward adventure you’d expect from a classic 1940s film noir-inspired, pulp comic character.  But Francavilla’s ability to create his own dark superhero that would fit well in the licensed world of the Dynamite Comics pantheon is the achievement of this mini-series in graphic novel form.  The Italian creator has a good grasp on the mobster world of the 1940s, Nazis as the popular pulp villain, and even his location of the fictional Colt City located in a believable northeast United States culture.  His dialogue is also appropriate to the good guy masked hero whose identity remains a secret, distancing Black Beetle from the obvious attempts to compare him to Batman or the Shadow.  He’s a guy you could see played by mild-mannered George Reeve or Clayton Moore, and his conversational style of speaking directly to the reader in a film noir voice-over endears the hero to the reader from page one.

Black Beetle ad

Francavilla’s storytelling might be secondary to his pencil, ink, and color work–he often does his own lettering, too, although not on this series.  But just like when Alex Ross puts out his rare completely envisioned story and art book, it’s a treat for the eyes to have this single end-to-end work as the vision of one creator.  The hardcover edition of The Black Beetle, Volume 1: No Way Out includes a trove of design concepts and cover art, and Francavilla even lets us in on one trade secret why his action sequences play so well–he hired a stunt choreographer from Hollywood to design a scene for him to adapt to paper.  And then there is his color choice.  Orange, black, yellow, blue, and rarely purple–these colors set up a world of retro film mystique found in poster art and lobby card design of film’s golden era.

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Serenity - Leaves On The Wind #1 by Joe Quinones  Serenity-Leaves-on-The-Wind-1

The next iteration of Mal Reynolds and the crew of his Firefly class vessel is on newsstands now, with Dark Horse Comics’ Serenity: Leaves on the Wind.  Everyone is back, except of course for Wash, killed during the events chronicled in the movie Serenity.  River has taken his place as pilot, Simon and Kaylee are finally a pair, as are Mal and Inara, while Jayne Cobb, hat and all, is gone, currently back home with his Ma.

Writer Zack Whedon knows his world and has easily deposited readers back in familiar territory.  Mal arguing with Inara, saying the wrong things.  River still plagued by her mind.  Jayne still free-wheeling and ready to do anything for the right price.  Simon the responsible doctor.  Zoe is justifiably different, nightmares still remind her of her husband’s violent death.  But replacing Wash is now their baby. What will it be like to have a ship’s second-in-command as a mother?  How do you raise a baby without food on a derelict ship like the Serenity?

Serenity Leaves variant

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Vandroid movie poster

In the 1984 Simon & Simon episode “Almost Completely Out of Circulation,” probably the best comic book tie-in episode ever on television, a comic book creator is murdered, and A.J. and Rick must find the killer.  The brothers have this classic story of having all their comic books thrown away, this time with A.J. tossing out a box of Rick’s that he had no idea contained the collection.  Worse yet, the warehouse for the comics burnt down so the books became quite rare.

In what could be in the same universe of Simon & Simon’s San Diego of 1984, a company called Palm Springs Entertainment is making a generation-defining movie about the end of the classic van era (remember van art, with great murals on the sides of the Ford Econoline van?).  But days into filming the studio burns down.  Lawsuits follow.  The film is no more, with only movie posters, grindhouse lobby cards, and charred film stills left.

Vandroid cover other

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MonstersCover

Evoking the best of the classic Warner Bros. Merry Melodies cartoons, Brazilian artist Gustavo Duarte’s new book of comics is one of those works that you’d mistake for a classic you read as a kid, only maybe slightly a bit more twisted.  The pace and themes of Monsters! & Other Stories recalls Nick Park’s Wallace & Gromit animated shorts, good company for this visual treat completely without words.

Duarte mixes humor and the askew in his first of three stories, “Có!” (the sound of a rooster) about a farmer about to relax with a drink, who suddenly finds himself thrust into a bizarre encounter with his pigs, a giant chicken and an alien spacecraft.  Something here evokes the strange tale of Bugs Bunny and his giant orange monster from the Looney Toons “Bugs the Beautician,” or maybe the other Loony Toons favorite, “A Sheep in the Deep,” with Ralph the wolf and Sam the sheepdog.

Monsters page art

“Birds” follows an anthropomorphic bird in suit on his day at the office who wages war against death itself, and a particularly bad pot of coffee.  The story quickly spirals into a morbid flight from death with the bird’s co-worker, resulting in a nasty–and gory–outcome for the pair.

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