Tag Archives: steve niles

Preview: Ash and the Army of Darkness #3

ASH AND THE ARMY OF DARKNESS #3

Steve Niles (w)
Dennis Calero (a)
Arthur Suydam (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

An old love returns and Ash finds himself with an ally after escaping Wiseman’s City of the Dead. Now the search for the Book of the Dead is on and whoever finds it first can either escape or destroy the world. Only a book and a few words are all that separate the world of the living and the dead and a new war is brewing.

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A New Twisted Tale From Steve Niles!

Visionary author and celebrated comic creator Steve Niles is returning to IDW in 2014 and bringing the most nefarious fiends along with him. Debuting in March, Niles weaves together a grave team-up between Frankenstein’s monster and Jack the Ripper in the terrifying new series, Monster & Madman.

A lost soul, Frankenstein’s monster seeks refuge from his waking life but finds no comfort in the bitter harshness of his surroundings. He sets out to free himself from his lonely isolation and during this journey he finds himself at the doorstop of a creature more sinister than he could have imagined, the madman, Jack The Ripper.

Niles reinvigorated the horror genre in American comics with his lauded IDW series 30 Days of Night, with artist Ben Templesmith. Since the widely successful and Eisner-nominated series debuted in 2002, 30 Days of Night has gone on to spawn 10 additional series and a major motion picture from Sony.

Joining Niles in this terrifying new series is Damien Worm, whose macabre style brings the undead to life. In addition to penciling, inking and coloring the covers and interior pages, Worm will also be handling lettering chores on the three-issue series.  Niles added, “I’m very excited to be working with Damien. He has that dark edge to his art I love for horror stories. I’m constantly impressed with just how macabre his images can be.”

IDW is eager to share the world of a monster and a madman in this twisted tale from Steve Niles, debuting in March 2014.

Preview: Ash and the Army of Darkness #2

ASH AND THE ARMY OF DARKNESS #2

Steve Niles (w)
Dennis Calero (a)
Ben Templesmith (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

A mysterious fighter comes to Ash’s aid and helps him get away from Wiseman and the Deadites. There’s a new wrinkle in the action though. Ash figures out that a key item has gone missing and if he survives the City of the Dead, he might be able to get home in one piece. Two at the most.

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Review: Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein #2

20131106-082613.jpgThose that already miss Halloween need not fret, Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten have preserved the comedic horror of the supernatural in their well drawn, well written four part series Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein. Plagued by two mysteries, L.A.’s shrinking ghoul population and his own respiratory illness, occult detective Cal McDonald is hoping for a small win by finding a new set of eyes for a recently rescued Frankenstein monster. He must begrudgingly visit Jason Hemlock, a wealthy surgeon and self-proclaimed supernatural expert, who might be able to solve both the ocular issue and that of the dying ghouls.

It is remarkable to see how Steve Niles can transition from his emotionally poignant Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem to the dry, bloody humor of Cal’s macabre world. Some comics, at times, can be consumed by jokes and witty dialogue (cough-Quantum and Woody-cough), but Niles expertly balances morbid banter with paranormal plot lines to keep the story moving. Though he has been oft compared to DC’s Constantine, it is fair to say that after more than two decades in print, Cal McDonald has solidified himself as an entirely unique and different character.

Christopher Mitten‘s illustrations, though supremely different from Ben Templesmith‘s work on Criminal, are unique in it of themselves. The scratchy lines and sunken eye sockets add to the moody atmosphere of an unknowing Los Angeles fraught with undead dilemmas. Although Mitten could still afford to add more panels of a cloudy L.A. skyline or seedy side streets to expand the reader’s view of the city.

This four book series is a great starting point for Niles’ long-running noir horror detective series and will leave readers wanting more of the pill-popping, degenerate protagonist. If Eyes of Frankenstein isn’t bloody enough, look no further than the Criminal Macabre/30 Days of Night crossover trade that came out in September. Either way, for those dreading the Thanksgiving gourds and Christmas commercials, the ghoulish haunts of Halloween don’t have to go anywhere.

Story: Steve Niles Art: Christopher Mitten
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Ash and the Army of Darkness #1

ASH AND THE ARMY OF DARKNESS #1

Steve Niles (w)
Dennis Calero (a)
Ben Templesmith (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

The battle has been fought and won. Ash battled and defeated the Deadite image of himself and saved the world. Now all he wants to do is get home and have a normal life. Too bad he messed up the Book of the Dead incantation. New series. New start. Will Ash ever escape the land of the Deadites? Will he ever find his girl? Will he ever remember the last part of the incantation? Now an army of unbelievable horrors rules the land and only Ash can annoy them.

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Preview: Chin Music #2

Chin Music #2

Story By: Steve Niles
Art By: Tony Harris
Diamond ID: MAR130560
Published: August 21, 2013

Al Capone is dead. Shot through the skull by Shaws cursed slug, the gangland legend lies dead before Eliot Ness could drag him to court of tax evasion. Shaw’s interference has uprooted history and now Ness wants it set straight. The shot also alerted Shaw’s enemies of his presence in Capone era Chicago, and they are coming for him. They took his skin last time. This time they’ll have his eternal soul.

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FanExpo Canada 2013: Dark Horse Announces Schedule!

This weekend, Dark Horse Comics is headed to Toronto for the second largest pop culture convention in North America – FanExpo! Stop by Booth #856 to pick up FREE giveaways—lanyards, window clings, buttons, and posters.  You can also buy copies of your favorite comics, books, and products, including an exclusive Fan Expo Canada variant cover of Halo: Initiation (10 per person per day). All giveaways, exclusives, and items for sale are available while supplies last.

Signings at the Dark Horse Booth

Lines may be capped as needed.

Friday, August 23

1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. THE FIFTH BEATLE: THE BRIAN EPSTEIN STORY

Vivek J. Tiwary (creator/writer)

*FREE The Fifth Beatle print!

5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. ORCHID

Scott Hepburn (artist)

*FREE Orchid comic!

Saturday, August 24

11:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m. BREATH OF BONES and CRIMINAL MACABRE

Steve Niles (creator/writer) and Justin Erickson (cover artist, Criminal Macabre)

*FREE Breath of Bones poster and Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein print!

1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. THE FIFTH BEATLE: THE BRIAN EPSTEIN STORY

Vivek J. Tiwary (creator/writer)

*FREE The Fifth Beatle print!

2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. MIGNOLAVERSE (Hellboy, B.P.R.D., Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Witchfinder, and more!)

Mike Mignola (creator/writer/artist)

*FREE Hellboy poster, Itty Bitty Hellboy window clings, and more!

Special Event

Saturday, August 24

1:15 p.m.–2:15 p.m. BLOODY DISGUSTING PRESENTS: MIKE MIGNOLA

Room 716

Since his first introduction in 1994, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy has gone on to achieve a status in comics typically reserved for characters created 40 years before him. Following up on the first arc of Hellboy in Hell (one of his most popular miniseries to date), an all-new Abe Sapien ongoing series, and the continuing adventures of the supporting cast of the B.P.R.D., we offer you a rare opportunity to enter one of the most intriguing minds of the industry today! Join Bloody Disgusting’s James Wright for a live interview with creator Mike Mignola, along with a chance to ask your own questions about your favorite cast of characters.

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Ash and the Army of Darkness#1 Will Be Returnable for Eligible Retailers

Dynamite is betting big on writer Steve Niles and the first issue of Ash and the Army of Darkness, the highly anticipated reboot of the Army of Darkness comic book franchise. The debut comic will be offered to comic book and hobby specialty shop retailers with a special returnable incentive for qualifying accounts.  As a result, the retail customers of Dynamite’s exclusive comic book distributor, Diamond Comic Distributors, are able to go big with their orders and take minimal risk.

The qualifier for this special incentive is as follows:  Any retailer whose September Previews catalog initial order of Ash and the Army of Darkness #1 (any combination of the Ben Templesmith regular edition and the Dennis Calero subscription-only edition) matches or exceeds 120% of their final Red Sonja #1 orders (corresponding to Diamond item codes MAY130985-89, and MAY130993) will be eligible to return any unsold units during a window after the on-sale date.

This follows the relaunch by Dynamite of Red Sonja with writer Gail Simone.

There’s a lot to feel good about with this reboot of the Army of Darkness comic franchise. Steve Niles is an amazing writer and master of the horror genre. Plus there’s the fact it’s Ash and the hardcore fan base of the Evil Dead movies.

Ash and the Army of Darkness #1 is solicited in the September 2013 Previews Catalog #300, corresponding to items shipping in November 2013; the anticipated on-sale date is Wednesday, November 6, 2013.  Two cover editions are available for order, the regular edition by Ben Templesmith (Diamond Item Code SEP131050) and Subscription-Only variant edition by Dennis Calero (SEP131051); each edition retails for $3.99.  Retailers serviced by Diamond Comic Distributors can place wholesale orders online, via fax, or by contacting their dedicated Customer Service Representative.  Initial orders may be placed on Ash and the Army of Darkness #1 beginning on August 28, 2013, and the deadline for September Previews Catalog initial orders is September 26, 2013.

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Review: Star Wars #8, Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #3

Star Wars #8

19819Brian Wood’s run on the original trilogy-era Star Wars has been great so far, following multiple plot-lines with relative ease while simultaneously developing characters like Leia and Luke to an emotional depth beyond the OT.

Star Wars #8 sees Luke and Wedge board Vader’s Star Destroyer Devastator in the hopes of placing a comm-spy, Leia greets a very odd and out-of-place ship from the Clone Wars era, and Han and Chewie get out of (and then into more) trouble. So, it’s good old classic Star Wars! To top it all off, after reading dozens of 1970s Star Wars comics from the months following the release of Episode IV in 1977, I can now with conviction compare Wood’s writing in this new series to early Star Wars comics. In fact, I’d wager that someone unfamiliar with the franchise could jump right on with issue one and feel completely comfortable. Wood’s writing, therefore, isn’t the high class narrative art of, say, Grant Morrison or Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman, but it works in its own way to create a ‘classic’ Star Wars.

Ryan Kelly’s art, however, does not do justice to the comic—or to the Star Wars saga—and has fallen to the wayside as some Star Wars series have certainly done, especially those that were ushered in following the hubbub of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Characters’ faces look awkward, like forcing their on-screen namesake’s into lines that don’t fit, although Kelly does as great a job as any on the starfighters and cruisers. David Michael Beck’s cover detracts from the work as a whole; if the cover is to be a selling point, Beck’s cover for Star Wars #8 would keep only the most die-hard of fans away.

Star Wars #8 is a solid continuation of a great on-going series; it’s certainly not my favorite Star Wars series right now, with that title falling to Legacy or Dark Times, but it’s the Empire era as it hasn’t been explored in comics for 30 years. This is a must buy if you’re a Star Wars fan, but I’d recommend you only read it if you’re not hard-core into Star Wars.

Story: Brian Wood  Art: Ryan Kelly
Story: 8  Art: 6.5  Overall: 7  Recommendation: Read

Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #3

22774Steve Niles and Dave Wachter have created a series worthy of Eisners and Harveys, a story of true heroics and a tale of faith-in-oneself that is uplifting without being preachy. Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #3 completes this miniseries, but is much too short. Unlike the recently ended and equally fantastic Amala’s Blade and Akaneiro, Breath of Bones #3 does not suffer from awkward plot speed, but concludes a stand-alone story deserving of more pages only because I can’t get enough of it!

Niles’ writing is curt, to the point, and almost non-existent. He is a writer who knows how to lend the reigns to the artist, and his few words are well-chosen and expertly spoken. If anything, the words are entirely unnecessary, except for the child’s, since he delivers the most potent lines of the fearful dangers of an ever-encroaching evil and the good that is waiting to be molded by our own hands.

Wachter provides the most impressive black-and-white sketches which lend gravitas to the emotions of the situation and which create some of the most complex shading work I’ve seen in comics. His Golem is everything a Jewish hero in WWII should be: a juggernaut that silently protects, defeats the enemies with ease, and becomes one with the earth when there is no need for defense. This hero is a defender, not a weapon.

Niles and Wacther’s Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem is a tour-de-force of what the comics industry can produce, a hope-giving triumph of the graphic narrative medium that reminds us what it means to be a superhero—a lesson we could all use in an age when heroes face the apocalypse ever other month.

Story: Steve Niles  Art: Dave Wachter
Story: 9  Art: 10  Overall: 9  Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review 

Review: Dark Horse Presents #26

22732As usual, Dark Horse provides tales of intrigue, terror, fear, fun, and excitement in the latest edition of the everything-and-anything anthology Dark Horse Presents #26. This series is a keystone in Dark Horse’s publishing career, as it draws together all of the elements that have made Dark Horse a fantastic company highly deserving of its spot as the third largest comic book seller in America. More so, it was Dark Horse’s main title starting in 1986, cancelled in 2000, and then revived on MySpace (of all places) between 2007 and 2010, with the current volume restarting in print in April 2011.

This month’s issue features eleven stories, some of them in on-going series that have been featured previously in DHP (e.g. the Trekker, Underground, Nexus, Alabaster), some that are debuts for new DHP series (Nosferatu Wars, Juice Squeezers), others that are one-shots, and a Buffy tie-in by television series writer Espenson. Plus, it continues the “Crime Does not Pay” series, which was the title of a famous 1950s comics series.

There’s just too much to review, so I’m only going to focus on my two favorite picks from Dark Horse Presents #26, “Nosferatu Wars” and “Steggy Wilmot and Spimps,” though my rating reflects the book as a whole. And don’t let my selections deter you from thinking there’s other incredible stories in this volume, because believe me, there are.

“Nosferatu Wars” was my favorite of the stories, a tale of vampires during the Black Plague which had my mind turning to Boccaccio’s Decameron (sorry, obscure), and which has a rather limited narrative. It’s written by Steve Niles, a horror master and current writer of Dark Horse’s Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem (not a horror story), and I was surprised to find that “Nosferatu Wars” reads like a hastily put together, cheesy tale of haute societe vampires, despite its definite narrative hook.

The highly realistic art of mMnton3 reminds one of the trompe-l’oeil style popularized in comics by Neal Adams in the 1960s, and has the ring of the fantastic work by Philip S. Tan on the early Savage Hawkman New 52 books (before that run got pretty bad and waned into nonexistence). But comparisons of Menton3’s art to others don’t do Menton3 any justice, as “Nosferatu Wars” has a nature all its own, unique and complex and lively and dead all at the same time.

Just as appealing, but much weirder…significantly so, is Patrick Alexander’s “Steggy Wilmot and Spimps,” which is a pointlessly hilarious and absurd day in the life of an extremely rich billionaire with a sad pig, an ugly butler, and a desire to write a newspaper. In just four pages, Alexander manages to astound and confuse with his out-of-this-world potato-head cast. I really don’t have a clue what’s going on with this story, and I imagine it’s like a rich British man on LSD, but I certainly hope we get more of Alexander’s “Steggy Wilmot and Spimps” weirdness. It’s just gotta happen, right?

Despite being an anthology—and one might fear that some bad eggs could slip in—editor Mike Richardson has ensured a batch of high-quality comics, which run the gamut of realistic horror to funny strip to classic sci-fi. While Dark Horse Presents #26 isn’t for everyone, I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in sampling the diverse possibilities of graphic narratives, as well as those who are fans of the genres or writers/artists featured in this issue. DHP certainly delivers.

Story: Ron Randall, Steve Niles, Andrew Vachss, Mike Richardson, David Lapham, Mike Baron, Patrick Alexander, Jane Espenson, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Frank Bariere, Dara Naraghi  Art: Ron Randall, Menton3, Dominic Reardon, David Lapham, Steve Rude, Patrick Alexander, Patric Reynolds, Karl Moline, Andy Owens, Steve Lieber, Micah Kaneshiro, Tom Williams
Story: 8  Art: 8  Overall: 8  Recommendation: Read

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