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‘Dark Horse Presents’ Returns with New Format, Legendary Lineup [Preview]

On sale this week is Dark Horse Presents #1, a revival of the legendary indie comics anthology whose original first issue in 1986 launched what was to become one of American comics’ most venerable publishers, Dark Horse Comics. The series was notable for debuting major works and creators including Frank Miller’s Sin City, Paul Chadwick’s Concrete, Eric Powell’s The Goon and many more. Just in time for Dark Horse’s 25th anniversary, DHP returns to print in an all-new format (80 full-color pages) with a host of similarly auspicious contributors like Howard Chaykin, Neal Adams, Richard Corben, Paul Chadwick, Carla Speed McNeil and Frank Miller, who previews Xerxes, the long-awaited prequel to 300.

A kind of proving ground for both new or underexposed creators as well as industry leaders, the original Dark Horse Presents ran for nearly 15 years before coming to an end. The anthology returned in a major way as MySpace Dark Horse Presents, a webcomic produced by Dark Horse and made available for free on MySpace. That iteration of DHP ran for about three years/35 editions, and that material — including Sugarshock by Joss Whedon and Fábio Moon — has been collected in five trade paperbacks.

For the publisher’s 25th anniversary, Dark Horse Presents is returning to print in an ambitious 80-page full-color format, perfect-bound (meaning it has a spine), shipping bi-monthly and retailing for $7.99. Issue #1 contributions include a preview of Frank Miller Xerxes graphic novel; “Marked Man,” a new crime short by Howard Chaykin; the return of Paul Chadwick’s Concrete; a Star Wars: Crimson Empire story by Randy Stradley and Paul Gulacy; Neal Adam’s Dark Horse debut with “Blood”; a new Finder story by Carla Speed McNeil; a monster story called “Murky World” by Richard Corben; and a prose piece by Harlan Ellison, among other works.

Obviously, the new Dark Horse Presents comes with a striking trade dress, which DH Publisher Mike Richardson mentioned in a recent interview with Comic Book Resources.

We wanted it to say ‘comic book,’ but we didn’t want it to be a traditional cover,” Richardson said of the thought behind the new cover treatment. “We definitely set out to catch people’s attention on a crowded newsstand. We’re looking more at a traditional magazine approach where you’ve got different features listed on the cover, give a little glimpse of what’s inside. Because we have many features, one iconic cover image, without the additional text, might not give an indication of what’s inside the book.”

Featuring covers by Frank Miller, Paul Chadwick and Paul Pope, Dark Horse Presents #1 can be purchased this week from finer comics stores or online from Things From Another World.

Dark Horse Presents #1

Writer: Frank Miller, Harlan Ellison, Howard Chaykin, Neal Adams, Richard Corben, Carla Speed McNeil, Michael T. Gilbert, Randy Stradley, Paul Chadwick, David Chelsea, Patrick Alexander, and others

Artist: Frank Miller, Howard Chaykin, Neal Adams, Richard Corben, Carla Speed McNeil, Michael T. Gilbert, Paul Chadwick, Patrick Alexander, and others

The legendary, premiere anthology is back! The 80-page spectacular, Dark Horse Presents returns with all-new stories by Neal Adams, Howard Chaykin, and Richard Corben; a new Concrete story by Paul Chadwick, a new Crimson Empire story from the Star Wars universe, and an exclusive sneak peek of Frank Miller’s highly-anticipated prequel to 300, Xerxes!

The celebration continues with a brand-new, all-color Finder story by Carla Speed McNeil, a prose piece from science fiction legend Harlan Ellison, the return of Michael T. Gilbert’s Mr. Monster, and much, much more!








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