Dynamite Joins Dark Horse Digital and Huge 2 Year Anniversary Sale

Dynamite comics will now be avaliable digitally through Dark Horse Digital:

“Dynamite Entertainment has inked a deal to include its comics digitally through the Dark Horse Digital store and apps. Thirty single issues and more than twenty collections are available for purchase today! New titles will be added weekly, with all upcoming Dynamite releases available digitally the same day as print.

 “We’ve been looking for ways to expand our digital presence, and this is our first step to building an even more robust library of digital comics,” said Dark Horse President Mike Richardson.

“We’re proud to add Dark Horse Digital to our retail partners selling our digital titles to their audience. Our wide range of titles, from Vampirella to Battlestar Galactica, Grimm, The Shadow, Red Sonja, and many of our other Dynamite titles, are a perfect fit for the large audience who purchase Dark Horse titles. We’re thrilled to work with Mike and his team at Dark Horse Digital on this new endeavor and excited about new opportunities to come,” added Nick Barrucci, Dynamite Entertainment’s CEO and publisher.”

On top of that Dark Horse Digital is turning two years old, and to mark that milestone they will be doing a huge sale, and will be giving away 50 first issues for free for 48 hours.

“As a sign of appreciation for its loyal digital subscribers, Dark Horse Digital announces that fifty free first issues from many of its best-selling series will be available for the next forty-eight hours (promotion ends Friday, April 26, at 9 a.m. PST).

 Starting Friday morning and throughout the weekend, Dark Horse Digital is offering 10 percent off all bundles in the web store! And confirmed newsletter subscribers will receive an additional coupon! The newsletter coupon stacks with the bundle discount, offering even greater savings.”

Peter Hogan’s Kings Road in Dark Horse Presents

From the Dark Horse press release:

Peter Hogan (Resident Alien) returns to the pages of comics’ greatest anthology, Dark Horse Presents, with King’s Road! 

With artwork from Phil Winslade and lettering by Steve Dutro, King’s Road is sure to be another gem for the Eisner-winning monthly.   

  “King’s Road is about someone from another world—a magical, semimedieval world—who came to Earth about twenty years ago, and settled down and raised a family here. But now he has to go back again, taking his family with him, because he’s inherited the throne of that world. Meanwhile, there are all sorts of nasty magical creatures trying to kill him before he gets there,” said Hogan.

 Catch King’s Road appearing in Dark Horse Presents #23, on sale Wednesday April 24!”

Sounds pretty decent, and you just can’t go wrong with monsters and the people who hunt them!


R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #2 (December – 2012 – Dark Horse)

R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #2

In this second issue of the 4 part mini-series, Ray and Crispin Mathers are on their way to Black Pool, a town that has gotten the attention of R.I.P.D. Writer Jeremy Barlow starts this one out with some action, as Roy Pulsifer tries to board a mysterious train, only to be attacked by a smoke demon in an attempt to stop them from going to Black Pool.

It is here that a religious struggle begins between the two. Crispin, the crusader, is firm in his belief of the Christian God he fights for but Roy presents a more egalitarian and agnostic ideal. His past transgressions seem to have tainted his zeal for religion. Still, in order to do this job, he must know that the crusader is at least partially correct in his beliefs and he just about says as much.

Artist Tony Parker goes to great lengths to illustrate the vast openness of the old west, with long horizons and impressive mountain scenes. The two are on horseback and this lends to some pretty spectacular vistas with wide open spaces in airy panels. I feel that the book could use a little more color. Kind of washed out and bland, Michelle Madsen’s color palette is out dated and stale.

When they finally reach Black Pool, Tony Parker changes gears to cramp the panels and give a sense of claustrophobia to the heroes. Black Pool turns out to be a strange and overly inviting town. The denizens all have an automaton-like way and every conversation ends with them urging the two up to the old mine. This is illustrated with strange angles of character interaction and reminiscent of the films of Sergio Leone. There is a nice little twist when Roy realizes that in order to be here among the living, he is in a different body.

It quickly becomes apparent to the pair that something odd is happening at the old mine and they set off to investigate. What they find there is something of ancient evil (no surprise here since we were told in issue 1 that the mine under Black Pool contained an ancient evil). It is here that Tony Parker shines. He pencils/inks some rather gruesome monsters that are saved for the end of the issue to keep you coming back.

Roy Pulsifer is an interesting character, plain spoken and tough like the movie cowboys we all love. There is a nice subtext happening here between Roy and Crispin that carries the otherwise lifeless plot (you see what I did there?) along in this horror comic.

R.I.P.D. – THE CITY OF THE DAMNED is available now from Dark Horse Comics.

Next Time: The Walking Dead #1


Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness #1 (October – 2012 – Dark Horse)

Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness #1

Billy and his friends, a traveling band of “biological curiosities,” led by Fineas Sproule. Moving from England to Scotland they are still trying to hunt down Callahan who has been kidnapped by a fish person.  While they are there Sproule figures they could investigate Loch Ness which he believes is just another misunderstood person with deformities, not really a true monster.

The group stumbles into a small town that is on the shores of the loch, hopping to get some food and much needed rest.  Unfortunately when the towns folk see that they are freaks they respond really poorly.  Not just the run and scream variety of poorly, but the attack and capture to perform dark rituals on poorly.  The people think that they are, “more abominations from the loch.”  Because apparently they aren’t the first freaky thing to show up in the town, and largely those freaky things are coming out of the loch to eat them up.  The mystical skull of the Iron Saint is produced, the light from its eyes so holy that it burns away anything evil.

Meanwhile Callahan is being dragged across country only to end up on the shores of the Loch as well, but in a very different place.  He ends up in the dungeons of a ancient and rotting castle.  The creature who had kidnapped him becoming even more fish like has promised to deliver him to the master, the one and only Dracula.

This is all about first issue cliffhangers, and because you know that it is a four part series, there is no valid reason to no want to pick up the next issue.  Powell and Hotz work so well together at this point.  You can see that the writing and the art go together seamlessly, and create a fantastic blend of stunning imagery and well wrought back story.  I unfortunately haven’t had a chance to read the middle volume of the the Billy the Kid title (Ghastly Fiend of London), so there are allusions to things that have happened in the past that I don’t quite get.  If I were a first timer to Billy the Kid, this might not be the best starting off point, the trade of the original series would be the place to start.  Aside from that I have nothing to complain about.

Next Time: R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #2


B.P.R.D. #103 Hell on Earth: The Abyss of Time Part 1 of 2 (January – 2013 – Dark Horse)

B.P.R.D. #103

NOTE: This is going to be one of the comics that we go over in the forthcoming HHC Podcast, so you will get to hear all about this again on May 1st, but more in depth, when Nathan Ellis and Gabe LLanas chat it up for your listening pleasure.

The B.P.R.D. is always on the hunt for creatures of supernatural origin and artifacts with mystical powers.  Their goal is to serve and protect the Earth as the policing force against all things that creepy crawl and go bump in the night.  Sometimes the succeed and sometimes they fail.

This issue finds them deep in the bowels of the ruins of a building in Chicago, Illinois.  Leading them deeper and deeper into it is a punk that has a lead on some kind of hidden temple.  As they investigate the premises one of the investigators stumbles upon a sword.  Story transition to our prehistoric past.

The investigator awakes as a man whose tribe has just been attacked by The Cold People.  In this alternate history he is the son of the chief who died in the battle, and he is suddenly thrust into the role of tribal leader.  Clutched in his hands, the very sword that he had grasped in the past/future.  There is more though, an influx of memories from yet another future.  A place where The Cold People aren’t defeated and the world is over run with monsters.  He knows that he must lead his people against The Cold People, first he needs to understand the sword.

The tribal shaman tells the tale of how his grandfather had discovered the sword amid the ruins of an ancient temple.  Then when he was beset on all sides by ghosts, the spirit of the warrior who had once wielded the still sharp sword had come to him and shown him the power of that blade.  The sword is a weapon to be used against all things evil, and that is what the new chief plans to use it for; eradicating the Cold People.

Art here by James Harren is magnificent, there is an aesthetic that mirrors Mignola’s without being a rip off at all.  It is very detailed while still having those dark black spaces that Mignola is so prone to.  Dave Stewart, as always, has that magnificent ability to create these dynamic and saturated color palates that do it for me in a nearly sexual way, they are so beautiful that I literally finding myself staring at pages that transition from one palate to another for way to long.  I feel like I will blush when the page looks up and notices that I’m staring at it’s yellows.  The story is in the firm and capable grasp of Mike Mignola and Scott Allie (who is also doing brilliant on Abe Sapien).  These guys know how to make a “time travel” tale that I’m not annoyed with.

B.P.R.D. is always solid, and always in my pull.  Dear Dark Horse, never let it stop.

Next Time: Gun Devil #1


Abe Sapien Dark and Terrible #1 (March – 2013 – Dark Horse)

Abe Sapien Dark and Terrible #1

Abe Sapien is on the run but from what? Upon awakening from a coma, Abe disappears, leaving the B.P.R.D. questioning his motives, in a time when they desperately need his help.
Thick with story, this 1 of 3 parts begins with a decidedly evil bang. In a satanic ritual that fails, it seems Hellboy: In Hell may actually be sweeping continuity since HB killed “you know who” in that series. Due to the disappearance and unknown whereabouts of Abe, Director Corrigan is having a meltdown amid the bureau’s apathy to the current situation of gigantic demons and crab men.
On a train, inside a boxcar, we find Abe and a small group of hobos. This is significant because of the clues dropped by these hobos about vampire fungus, crab men in Georgia and a strange growth on the arm of one.

Reminiscent of 70’s horror mags and comics, Sebastian Fiumara uses a distinctly retro style that keeps us consciously aware: this IS horror! It’s interesting as well, the layout of panels; from 4 to 8 panels per page, allowing for tons of content without cramping the art. This is not an easy thing to do and Fiumara is kind of showing off for our pleasure. I personally appreciate it.

I hate to sound like a broken record but I REALLY REALLY LIKE Dave Stewart! I literally want to eat this guy’s color palette. Dark in tone, the book is not victimized by muted colors. Instead, Stewart uses gradients to darken the rich colors he is so fond of using. It is very effective and keeps your eyes on the page. The wash-like effects he is creating are stunning and reminiscent of water colors or gouache.

With the launch of this mini-series, one question stands out to me: Is Abe running away from something or to something? Either way, the Abe Sapien character is undergoing some serious development and that makes me very happy.
With the ever-increasing popularity and expansion of the B.P.R.D., Abe looks to be a key figure, as well he should. Is he running to find out more of his past? Is he running away from something to be later revealed? Will I be able to make it until the next issue without completely obsessing? And what about that variant cover by Max Fiumara with Red riding a bat/bull demon thingy and attacking Abe with text that reads May 1982 Calcutta, India? Whaaaaa?

Abe Sapien is a mystery in the DH MIgnolaverse. There are a bunch of questions that beg to be answered and I have great hopes that at least some of them will be answered here.

Abe Sapien: Dark and Terrible issue #1 is available from Dark Horse Comics.

Next Time: The Last Zombie TPB