On sale now in finer comics shops is Dark Horse Presents #4, the latest issue of Dark Horse's prestigious anthology series. Featuring no distracting advertisements, the 80-page book contains new material by such reliably entertaining comics creators as Howard Chaykin, Carla Speed McNeil, Neal Adams, Fiona Staples, Geof Darrow, Michael Kaluta, Jill Thompson, Evan Dorkin, Steve Niles and more. More specifically, Dark Horse Presents #4 features the first chapters of new Beasts of Burden and Criminal Macabre stories, not to mention the return of Ricardo Delgado's Eisner-winning Age of Reptiles.

You can check out a 10-page preview after the cut.A series of brilliantly illustrated stories set in the lives of dinosaurs, Age Of Reptiles debuted in 1993 and has since won Eisner awards for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition and Best Limited Series. All of the older material has been collected by Dark Horse in Age of Reptiles Omnibus. Ricardo Delgado (best known for his storyboards and concept artwork for such films as WALL-E and The Matrix, among others) saw the short story format offered by Dark Horse Presents as a compelling "warm-up" challenge for his next Age of Reptiles miniseries, Ancient Egyptians. Delgado elaborated in a press release:

"When [Dark Horse publisher] Mike Richardson invited me to contribute a story to Dark Horse Presents, I felt humbled to be part of such a line of fine storytellers," recalls Delgado. "With my excursion into the short-story format, with an Age of Reptiles tale called 'The Body,' I'm contemplating the last great adventure . . . known as death. 'What would it be like to have a predatory dinosaur chase me down and close its jaws around my neck?' I've wondered. 'How would it feel to have my life force leave me as I know for certain that I am about to be consumed?' Or, even more dramatic, 'How would it feel to be consumed as consciousness slowly drains out of me?' In addition to being sort of a warm-up to my fourth dinosaur-populated miniseries, Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians, this story actually comforts me on metaphysical, universal, and philosophical levels. Everything is linked to everything, and we can find poetry in all things, including newborn flowers growing delicately out of a drying, crushed eye socket."

Dark Horse Presents #4 is on sale now in finer comics shops.

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