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Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): June 2014

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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.

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Eric So’s ‘Sin City’ Vinyl Figure Is Cartoonishly Brutal, Just Like The Original Marv

Marv vinyl figure by Eric So

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!

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Filed Under: , , , Category: Art, Dark Horse, News, Toys

‘Dream Thief: Escape’ #1 Delves Into Character Legacy [Review]

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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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Ask Chris #201: Conan Comic Books That Are Best In Life

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: Chris, what Conan comic is best in life? -- @chudleycannons

A: Folks, I am going to be 100% real with you for a second here: I love Conan the Barbarian. It's in my blood -- long before I was born, Conan was my parents' favorite comic, and while I wouldn't really call my mom and dad "geeks" in the traditional sense, they were definitely people who were really stoked about buying Marvel Magazines with Frank Frazetta art on the cover so they could read about dudes in loincloths chopping each other up with broadswords. These were, I remind you, the people who raised me, which probably explains a lot.

But while I might've been hardwired into loving the character, I didn't really get into reading it myself until I was an adult, and I can tell you that as far as I'm concerned, there is a clear, no-contest winner as far as the best Conan story. It's not even close. It's the one where Conan gets into a fistfight with a gorilla that thinks it's a wizard.

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Blood, Sex and Death: Must Be The New ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ Theatrical Trailer [Video]

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Jessica Alba, Powers Boothe, Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Dennis Haysbert, Stacy Keach, Jaime King, Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Mickey Rourke, Juno Temple, Bruce Willis and Lady F*cking Gaga star in Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, the new Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller film coming out nine years after the pair first collaborated on a filmed adaptation of Miller's award winning Dark Horse graphic novels.

The phrase you often here in connection with the production is is "what took so long?" Based on the latest theatrical trailer, the more common remark is going to be "better late than never."

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The MPAA Bans ‘Especially Bad’ ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ Poster Featuring Eva Green

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Dimension Films/Dark Horse Comics/Frank Miller

The Motion Picture Association of America is less than pleased about a new poster for directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's new Sin City film adaptation, A Dame to Kill For.

The poster depicts the title character, Ava Lord, played by actress Eva Green, wearing a sheer gown that doesn't really cover all that much. Specifially, the MPAA complained about the "curve of under breast and dark nipple/areola circle visible through sheer gown.” To see all that in the full poster, click through.

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Kel McDonald Talks ‘Misfits Of Avalon’: ‘They’re Magical Girls Who Are All Jerks’ [Interview]

Misfits of Avalon by Kel McDonald

I've been a fan of the Magical Girl genre ever since I first saw Sailor Moon make a monster explode with the power of love and justice, so I'm pretty sure I'm right in the target market for what Kel McDonald is doing with her new series, Misfits of Avalon. Inspired by the legends of King Arthur and Irish Mythology, Misfits finds four teenage delinquents who are recruited into a life of battling monsters with magic words and super-powers in the classic style. There's just one problem: They don't know that they're actually the bad guys.

To find out more, I spoke with McDonald about publishing her graphic novel through Dark Horse while also putting it online, the appeal of terrible teenagers, and just what it was that inspired her to take on a group of jerks.

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Adam Warren’s ‘Empowered’ Shatters Superhero Comics Conventions Of Storytelling, Sexuality And Representation

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Adam Warren's
Empowered is one of the best superhero comics being made today. Sometimes I think Empowered might end up being one of the greatest superhero comics ever. The elements are all there: engaging characters, a plot that springs from them organically, an inventive setting, and scads of emotion. Its parodical beginnings -- based in the jokey premise of superpowered woman Empowered de-powering as her delicate, stereotypically skintight super suit gets shredded in battle -- has transitioned smoothly into a darker present, and it’s an evolution that’s been met with little in the way of fan whining for “the good old days.” Yes, Empowered is funny, surprising, moving, and original.

And it's softcore.

Shrinkwrapped, bondage-based, can't-read-it-on-the-bus softcore.

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Fred Van Lente Reveals ‘Project Black Sky’ Secrets At Dark Horse [Interview]

Project Black Sky, Dark Horse Comics

If you've been keeping up with Dark Horse's line of superhero comics, then you've already heard of Project Black Sky -- both the shadowy government agency ostensibly meant to protect Earth from alien threats, and the upcoming event tying in Brain Boy, Captain Midnight, Skyman and more. If have, then you already know that as sinister government organizations go, those folks are pretty creepy, right down to their Latin motto, translated as "Who if not us?"

But to find out just how sinister they are, I spoke to writer Fred Van Lente about his approach to unifying Dark Horse's disparate characters, the stories he couldn't tell, and why he reunited with artist Steve Ellis to reveal the secret history of Project Black Sky in a free webcomic.

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Dark Horse Announces New ‘Usagi Yojimbo’ Mini-Series And Omnibus Editions

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Stan Sakai's name has been in the news lately as the Cartoon Art Professional Society has been raising money to help pay the medical bills for his wife, Sharon, who suffers a debilitating illness. That financial setback hasn't stopped the prolific creator of Usagi Yojimbo from working, however. Indeed a new, six-issue miniseries titled Usagi Yojimbo: Senso is set to start in August. Plus, in celebration of the character's 30th anniversary, Dark Horse will publish The Usagi Yojimbo Saga, a series of omnibus collections will gather the samurai rabbit's adventures.

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