Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo is a modern masterpiece of comic book storytelling, in a way, that's kind of its only problem. The long-running series is consistently and unquestionably one of the best things on the stands month in and month out, but it's been so good for so long that it can be difficult for your ol' pals at ComicsAlliance to talk about. For Usagi Yojimbo, being phenomenally good isn't news, it's the status quo.
That's why I'm always on the lookout for a big shake-up to happen in the story of everyone's favorite bunny rabbit samurai, and this week, Dark Horse announced a good one: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, a new miniseries set 20 years after the events of the ongoing series, where the final battle between Lord Noriyuki and Lord Hikiji is interrupted... by a crashed rocket ship. Really. Check out a preview below!
Some of the stories Americans love most are those that put the lie to our prevailing visions of ourselves. The work of David Lynch, who peels back the the saccharine layers of suburbia to reveal unspeakable horrors within; Mad Men, with its systematic deconstruction of everything we think we believe about success in this country; and Breaking Bad, which shows us how even the most seemingly wholesome members of society can be monsters waiting to break free.
If you think all that sounds well and good but probably a little too stuffy, Josie Schuller would probably agree with you. Josie is a young housewife living post-war America. She sells makeup door-to-door, she takes care of her twin kids and the family dog, she makes dinner for her husband, and she suffers her endlessly disapproving mother-in-law. That is, when she's not murdering people in astonishingly violent ways.
Josie's a highly trained assassin, and the paradox that is her life comes courtesy of cartoonist Joélle Jones and co-writer Jamie S. Rich, whose new Dark Horse series Lady Killer invites readers into a weirdly alluring story that follows a grand tradition of subverting Americana, but with a uniquely wicked, black comedy twist and what Josie might even say is a woman's touch.
Dark Horse is getting its Comic-Con 2014 announcements started with some very good news from the realm of Hellboy. The blue collar apocalypse beast's heretofore unseen first mission with the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense will finally be depicted in Hellboy & The BPRD, and by none other than Alex Maleev from a story by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi.
After spending decades trying to prove that comics "aren't just for kids anymore", the last few years have seen a number of creators and publishers making a concentrated push to bring younger readers back into the industry and create titles that appeal a wide spectrum of audiences. Art Baltazar and Franco are on the forefront of this movement. They're a pair of artists and writers with distinct styles that combine to convey a single, unmistakable, irresistible persona: the "Baltazar/Franco" name is an automatic seal of approval for kids and parents alike.
Tiny Titans ran for 50 issues (plus a three-issue miniseries that co-starred Little Archie), and in the two-and-a-half years since that title wrapped up, Baltazar and Franco have been insanely prolific, producing the 12-issue follow-up series Superman Family Adventures for DC, the Itty Bitty Hellboy limited series for Dark Horse, the Lil' Battlestar Galactica one-shot for Dynamite, the Captain Action Cat title for Dark Horse and Dynamite, drawn innumerable covers for various publishers, and published more than a half-dozen issues of their own crowdfunded original ongoing series, Aw Yeah Comics. The duo have also founded the Aw Yeah Comics! comic shop in Illinois, and partnered with Mark Waid on a second comic shop in Indiana.
And in the midst of all this hubbub, they took some time out to speak with ComicsAlliance about their brand new Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse limited series and talk about their other projects – past, present, and future.
As you might expect from someone who starts relationships by explaining to his dates that they will never truly be able to replace Batman in his heart, I have had some pretty rough breakups in my time. That said, they've never been so bad that I felt the need to dedicate six years of my life to a round trip through interstellar space just to get a little closure, and apparently that puts me one step ahead of Steven Paxon, the star of Dark Horse's new sci-fi series, Deep Gravity.
Written by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko, with art by Fernando Baldo and a series concept by Dark Horse's Mike Richardson, the series starts with exactly that journey, with Steven halfway through a six-year round trip, having journeyed three years just to ask Michelle, the woman who broke his heart, why she had to. Also, and this is key, a giant green alien elephant tree monster is also involved.
If you're heading out to Comic-Con International in San Diego later this month, well, you have my most sincere condolences. The good news, though, is that you'll be able to pick up plenty of convention-exclusive toys and books while you're there, and to entice potential customers, Dark Horse has released a list of everything you can find at Booth 2615 this year.
The list of products includes tie-in items for stuff like Mass Effect, Buffy and an exclusive Usagi Yojimbo print by Stan Sakai, but the real star of what's on offer is unquestionably Mike Mignola's Hellboy, which is featured two exclusive hardcovers and a plush doll featuring a Comic-Con t-shirt.
Even in the world of comics, where crossovers happen all the time involving heroes blundering into each other's books and causing all kinds of trouble, it's rare for a character to team up with their own parody. I mean, I've seen Superman hang out with Bugs Bunny before, but seeing someone in pitched battle against a character created pretty directly to make fun of them? It doesn't happen often.
And yet, next month, that's exactly what's going to happen in Conan vs. Groo, where the world's most famous barbarian ends up battling against the world's most obliviously destructive barbarian, in a crossover Dark Horse bills as featuring "three swords, two barbarians, one brain.
A great comic book cover has a lot of work to do. It’s both an advertisement and a work of art; both a statement and an invitation. Sometimes they convey character, sometimes mood, sometimes moment. Sometimes they pastiche the classics or pay tribute to the past; sometimes they strive to show us something entirely new. Always they show us a glimpse of somewhere else through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the month that was.
Bloodbaths, glowing hands, and sinister animal silhouettes; these are a few of comics' favorite things, judging by the comic book covers from June 2014. Read on for great covers from Riley Rossmo, Christian Ward, Russell Dauterman, Jerome Opeña, and more.
If you're the type of person who really likes collectible statues,then you may already be familiar with the work of Eric So, who designed a vinyl figure of Mike Mignola's Hellboy a while back. Now, he's back with another Dark Horse icon: Marv, the two-fisted, impossibly violent star of the first arc of Frank Miller's Sin City, complete with a billowing trenchcoat and a set of bandages.
The figure stands 13 inches tall with a limited run of 950 pieces, and as you might expect, it's set to be released this September in conjunction with the second Sin City movie with a price of $150. And, just to make things even more fun, Marv's signature bandages are packed separately so that you can apply them yourself as you see fit. Check out the full figure below!
If you missed last year's Dream Thief miniseries by Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood, you missed a lot of explanation about how the series' lead character, John Lincoln, stole an ancient aboriginal mask that causes him to be possessed by the ghosts of people who have been wronged -- who then use his body as a vessel for revenge.
Luckily, the first issue of Dark Horse's new miniseries, Dream Thief: Escape, does a pretty masterful job of setting up the out-there premise to anyone who missed the original series. With the origin part of the story out of the way, Nitz and Smallwood have a chance to dig into other aspects of the story, and here, they spend a considerable number of pages checking in with one of the mask's previous owners. It's clear the creators want this to be a legacy story -- similar to, but not quite the same, as Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker and David Aja's Immortal Iron Fist. In just a few short issues, they've made it happen.
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