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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

Dark Horse Comics Announces C2E2 2013 Schedule!

Dark Horse Comics is headed to Chicago’s fastest growing pop culture event – Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo! You can join them for signings at booth #801! Free comics and/or prints with each signing while supplies last.

Please note that lines may be capped or tickets issued for any signing as needed. Inquire about your favorite signings as early as possible. Some restrictions apply. All events are subject to change.

Comics, books, and collectibles will be available for purchase from Dark Horse or your favorite retailer.

DARK HORSE SIGNINGS

FRIDAY, APRIL 26

12:00 p.m. AMALA’S BLADE signing with Steve Horton

Free 8” x 10” print featuring art by Michael Dialynas

1:00 p.m. BATTLEPUG and THE ANSWER! signing with Mike Norton

Free copy of The Answer! #1

2:00 p.m. HUSBANDS signing with Jane Espenson and Brad Bell

Free 5.5” x 8.5” print featuring art by Ron Chan

3:00 p.m. THE SHAOLIN COWBOY signing with Geof Darrow

Free 11” x 17” print featuring art by Geof Darrow

5:00 p.m. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: SPIKE signing with Jenny Frison

Free copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike #1

SATURDAY, APRIL 27

10:00 a.m. AMALA’S BLADE signing with Steve Horton

Free 8” x 10” print featuring art by Michael Dialynas

11:00 a.m. CRIMINAL MACABRE signing with Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten

Free 5.5” x 8.5” print featuring art by Christopher Mitten

12:00 p.m. BEASTS OF BURDEN and SCARY GODMOTHER signing with Jill Thompson

Free copy of Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch

1:00 p.m. DREAM THIEF signing with Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood

Free 5.5” x 8.5” print featuring art by Alex Ross

Free limited edition Dream Thief paper in action figures

2:00 p.m. THE MASSIVE, STAR WARS, and CONAN signing with Brian Wood

Free 11” x 17” print featuring art from The Massive by J. P. Leon

3:30 p.m. THE GOON signing with Eric Powell

Free copy of The Goon #38

5:00 p.m. THE FIFTH BEATLE signing with Vivek J. Tiwary

Free 8” x 10” print featuring art by Andrew C. Robinson

Enter to win an exclusive print signed by writer Vivek J. Tiwary and artist Andrew C. Robinson and The Beatles Stereo CD Box Set

SUNDAY, APRIL 28

10:00 a.m. AMALA’S BLADE signing with Steve Horton

Free 8” x 10” print featuring art by Michael Dialynas

11:00 a.m. DARK HORSE SUPERHERO and BRAIN BOY signing with Freddie Williams II

Free 11” x 17” print featuring art by Freddie Williams II, as depicted on the Dark Horse booth superhero mural

12:00 p.m. EX SANGUINE and THE OCCULTIST signing with Tim Seeley

Free copy of Ex Sanguine #1 and The Occultist #1

1:00 p.m. BATTLEPUG and THE ANSWER! signing with Mike Norton

Free copy of The Answer! #1

2:00 p.m. TO BE ANNOUNCED! Come to the Dark Horse Spring Fever Panel on Saturday, April 27, from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. in room W471 to meet two special guests and find out about an exciting new project featuring one of your favorite Dark Horse characters.

DARK HORSE PANELS

SATURDAY, APRIL 27

12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m. SPOTLIGHT ON BRIAN WOOD, Room W471

3:15 p.m.–4:15 p.m. MUSIC AND POP CULTURE featuring various artists and creators, including Vivek J. Tiwary, writer of the upcoming Dark Horse graphic novel The Fifth Beatle, Room W475b

5:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m. DARK HORSE SPRING FEVER with Scott Allie, Jeremy Atkins, Eric Powell, Tim Seeley, Mike Norton, Steve Horton, and surprise guests! Room W471

7:45 p.m.–8:45 p.m. HUSBANDS: TELEVISION AND BEYOND with Brad Bell, Jane Espenson, Sean Hemeon, and moderator Matthew Aaron, Room W471

DarkHorseC2E2

Jane Espenson and Brad Bell’s Husbands is Coming to Your Town!

BBell_  JEspenson_BNFollowing up on the incredible response to last fall’s digital comics series, Dark Horse Comics is thrilled to announce that Husbands will be hitting the road in conjunction with the collection’s release on March 27.

Written by Husbands creators Jane Espenson and Brad Bell with an introduction from literary legend Neil Gaiman, Dark Horse’s Husbands is a comic-book continuation of the sitcom phenom that tells the story of accidental gay newlyweds Brady and Cheeks. In this witty new graphic novel, the couple receive a mystical wedding gift that launches them on an epic adventure—a tongue-in-cheek journey through iconic genre realms—filled with obstacles that threaten to tear them apart: a superhero showdown, a fairy-tale fantasy, a Holmesian mystery, an epic galactic battle, a madcap high-school romp, and a saucy secret-spy thrill ride.

Now, Espenson and Bell will hit the road, making their way through ten cities around the country throughout the spring to coincide with this highly anticipated release!

The official Husbands book tour kicks off on March 27 at the upcoming WonderCon 2013! Complete itinerary is below.

MARCH

WonderCon
Friday, March 29–Sunday, March 31
Panels & Signings
Anaheim Convention Center
800 W. Katella Avenue
Anaheim, California 92802
www.comic-con.org/wca

Barnes & Noble, The Grove at Farmers Market
Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m.
Q&A / Signing with Jane Espenson, Brad Bell, and Sean Hemeon
189 The Grove Drive, Suite K 30
Los Angeles, California 90036
323-525-0270
http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/79334

APRIL

Columbia University Bookstore
Monday, April 8, 6 p.m.
Q&A / Signing with Jane Espenson and Brad Bell
2920 Broadway
Lerner Hall
New York, New York 10027
212-854-4131
http://columbia.bncollege.com/

Midtown Comics
Tuesday, April 9, 5 p.m.
Q&A / Signing with Jane Espenson and Brad Bell
64 Fulton Street (corner of Gold Street)
New York, New York 10038
800-411-3341 or 212-302-8192
http://www.midtowncomics.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/312980665491154/

Meltdown Comics
Sunday, April 14, 4–7 p.m.
Husbands Nerdist Writers Panel / Signing / Screening with Jane Espenson and Brad Bell
7522 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90046
323-851-7223
http://www.meltcomics.com/

C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo)
Friday, April 26–Sunday, April 28
Panels & Signings
West Building at McCormick Place
2301 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60616
http://www.c2e2.com/

DePaul University Bookstore
Monday, April 29, 6 p.m.
Discussion / Signing with Jane Espenson and Brad Bell
1 E. Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, Illinois 60604
773-325-7700
http://depaul-lincolnpark.bncollege.com

University Book Store
Tuesday, April 30, 7 p.m.
Discussion / Signing with Jane Espenson and Brad Bell
University Temple United Methodist Church
1415 NE 43rd Street
Seattle, Washington 98105
206-634-3400
http://www.bookstore.washington.edu

MAY

Powell’s City of Books on Burnside
Monday, May 6, 7:30 p.m.
Q&A / Signing with Husbands cocreators Jane Espenson and Brad Bell and graphic novel artists Ron Chan, Ben Dewey, and Natalie Nourigat
1005 W. Burnside Street
Portland, Oregon 97209
503-228-4651
www.powells.com
Cosponsored by Q Center
www.pdxqcenter.org

MCM London Comic Con
Friday, May 24–Sunday, May 26
Panels & Signings
ExCeL London Exhibition and Convention Centre
1 Western Gateway
Royal Victoria Dock
London E16 1XL, United Kingdom
http://www.mcmcomiccon.com

JUNE

ATX Television Festival
Thursday, June 6–Sunday, June 9
Panels & Signings
Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental
701 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
888-424-6835
http://www.atxfestival.com

JULY

Comic-Con International: San Diego
Thursday, July 18–Sunday, July 21
Panels & Signings
San Diego Convention Center
111 W. Harbor Drive
San Diego, California 92101
http://www.comic-con.org/cci

Check the Dark Horse blog regularly for updates as cities are added to the tour!

Please contact each venue to confirm event guidelines. Events are subject to change.

GLAAD Media Awards Nominees Announced

glaad media awardsThe nominees for GLAAD‘s 24th GLAAD Media Awards have been announced and a solid list for their comic book category has been announced. The GLAAD Media Awards celebrate outstanding representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and our allies on TV, in film, and in the news.

Astonishing X-Men by Marjorie Liu
Marvel

Batwoman by W. Haden Blackman, J.H. Williams III
DC Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Andrew Chambliss, Scott Allie, Jane Espenson, Drew Z. Greenberg
Dark Horse

Earth 2 by James Robinson
DC Comics

Kevin Keller by Dan Parent
Archie Comics

Congrats to all of the nominees! The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York on March 16, 2013 at the New York Marriott Marquis; in Los Angeles on April 20 at the JW Marriott; and in San Francisco on May 11 at the Hilton San Francisco – Union Square.  Special Honorees for each city will be announced in coming weeks.

Preview of Northwest Press’ Leia Weathington’s The Legend of Bold Riley

Northwest Press

The Legend of Bold Riley hits stores this summer!

The latest book from Northwest Press is Leia Weathington’s The Legend of Bold Riley, a sword-and-sorcery epic illustrated by Leia and a host of talented artists.

“Who is Bold Riley?” you might ask. She has hunted the wildest game and dallied with countless beautiful girls, but still longs to know the world beyond the city walls. Princess Rilavashana SanParite, called Bold Riley, leaves behind her station and sets out to travel through distant lands and find forgotten ruins, fearsome enemies, inscrutable gods and tragic love. She’s as capable with a sword as she is with her wits—man, does she carve things up when the need arises—and is a strong, beautiful, confident woman who doesn’t wear a bikini into battle.

“She’s a hero. You’re a reader. You were meant for each other,” says Jane Espenson in her foreword to the book. Espenson is a fan-favorite writer for TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once Upon a Time and a slew of other popular series, as well as co-creator of the webseries Husbands.

The Legend of Bold Riley is 232 pages, retails for $29.99 and is published by Northwest Press, which publishes graphic novels and comics collections by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender comics creators. The book is available to retailers direct from the publisher as well as through Diamond Comic Distributors using item #MAY121226. Northwest Press books are also available through Prerogatives/Pride Catalog, Last Gasp, and Bulldog Books (Australia).

Cover artwork by Brinson Thieme

“Torchwood: Miracle Day” Cast Shocks Comic-Con Goers With Surprise Screening Appearance

Official Press Release

STARZ TO FEATURE ‘TORCHWOOD’ AND ‘SPARTACUS’ AT 2011 COMIC-CON ON FRIDAY, JULY 22ND

Cast of Highly Anticipated Series, ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day,’ Including Stars John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Bill Pullman, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, and Writer Jane Espenson To Appear on Panel at 10am PT/Room 20; Special Advanced Screening of Episode 103 of Series on Thursday, July 21st at 9:30pm PT in Room 6DE

Liam McIntyre, Star of ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’ To Be Introduced to Fans at 5:45pm PT/Room 6BCF Along with Fellow Leads Dustin Clare, Lucy Lawless, Manu Bennett, Katrina Law and EP Steven S. DeKnight

For Immediate Release STARZ will bring the casts of two of its most riveting original series, “Torchwood: Miracle Day” and “Spartacus: Vengeance” to 2011 San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 22nd,  it was announced today.  For “Torchwood: Miracle Day,” set to debut on STARZ,  Friday, July 8th at 10pm ET/PT, the panel will feature: Torchwood alum John Barrowman (Capt. Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), and new headliners Bill Pullman (Oswald Danes), Mekhi Phifer (Rex Matheson), Alexa Havins (Ester Drummand), and writer Jane Espenson.  Highlights of the  “Spartacus: Vengeance” panel (slated to premiere on STARZ in 2012) will include fans’ first-ever opportunity to meet the new Spartacus, Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), along with stars Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), Dustin Clare (Gannicus), Manu Bennett (Crixus), Katrina Law (Mira) and Executive Producer and Head Writer Steven S. DeKnight. The “Torchwood: Miracle Day Panel” will take place at 10am PT in Room 20 and the “Spartacus: Vengeance” panel will take place at 5:45pm PT in room 6BCF.

On Thursday, July 21 at 9:30pm PT, the eve of the panels, STARZ will screen a never-before-seen “Torchwood: Miracle Day” episode entitled “Night of Dead” in room 6DE. This episode premieres on STARZ the following day, Friday, July 22 at 10pm ET/PT.

 

About “Torchwood: Miracle Day”: Premiering July 8 at 10pm ET/PT

Imagine a day when nobody dies.  All across the world, nobody dies.  And then the next day, and the next, and the next, people keep aging.  They get hurt and sick but they never die.  This is the extraordinary premise of the highly-anticipated STARZ original drama series, “Torchwood: Miracle Day,” produced by BBC Worldwide Productions for STARZ, BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Worldwide.  The new series, premiering on STARZ on July 8 at 10pm ET/PT, features Torchwood alumni John Barrowman, Eve Myles, and Kai Owen and new headliners, Mekhi  Phifer, Alexa Havins and Bill Pullman. Special guest starring actors in the cult sensation include: Arlene Tur (“Crash,” Eat Pray Love) and Lauren Ambrose (“Six Feet Under,” The Other Woman). The 10-episode, hour-long series will also feature an impressive list of guest stars: Wayne Knight (“Seinfeld,” Jurassic Park), C. Thomas Howell (“Southland,” The Outsiders), Ernie Hudson (“OZ,” Ghostbusters), Nana Visitor (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”), John DeLancie (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Mare Winningham (Mildred Pierce, George Wallace) and Frances Fisher (Titanic, The Lincoln Lawyer). The show’s original creator, writer/producer Russell T Davies, serves as executive producer along with BBC Worldwide Productions’ SVP Julie Gardner, with Davies also serving as show-runner. “Torchwood: Miracle Day” is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions for Starz, BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Worldwide.


About “Spartacus: Vengeance” (Premiering 2012)

From the time “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” debuted on Starz in January 2010, it established itself as an epic production with rich storytelling and visuals unlike anything seen previously on any TV show. Also starring John Hannah as Batiatus, Lucy Lawless as Lucretia, Peter Mensah as Doctore, Manu Bennett as Crixus and Viva Bianca as Ilythia, “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” was one of the most talked-about and best-loved TV shows of 2010. Season two of the series finds Spartacus and his fellow gladiators now out of Capua and engaged in the massive slave rebellion against Roman society that has echoed through time. “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” the six-part prequel that told the story of the House of Batiatus gladiator school, and the intricate personal, sexual and political maneuverings in Capua five years before “Blood and Sand” was set, debuted in January 2011.

In season two of the popular series, Liam McIntyre takes over the role of the Thracian warrior sold into slavery in the Roman Republic city of Capua – where he rises to become the champion of the city – before leading the slave revolt that ended the first season. The part was played in the first season by acclaimed Andy Whitfield, who was forced to leave the show due to health issues. “Spartacus: Vengeance” recently began production in New Zealand.

About Starz Entertainment

Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® brands with approximately 18.8 million and 33.1 million subscribers respectively.  Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands.  Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation and is attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).


Second Annual Girls Gone Genre Comic-Con Panel

Official Press Release

GIRLS GONE GENRE RETURNS TO COMIC-CON

WITH ALL STAR PANEL OF FEMALE CREATORS

We invite you to attend the Second Annual GIRLS GONE GENRE panel at Comic Con. The panel will be held this Friday, July 22 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in Room 25ABC.

Moderator Jenna Busch is joined by panelists:

– Jane Espenson – Writer/Producer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Torchwood

– Gale Anne Hurd – Producer: The Walking Dead, Terminator, Aliens

– Laeta Kalogridis – Screenwriter/Producer: Shutter Island , Ghost in the Shell, Bionic Woman, Avatar, Fantastic Voyage

– Marjorie Liu – Writer, X-23, Daken: Dark Wolverine, Black Widow, Dirk & Steele novel series

– Marti Noxon – Screenwriter/Producer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Mad Men, Fright Night

Come talk with women who write, read, game, and perform in arenas that are statistically dominated by men. What happens when traditionally “male” genres are reinvented by female writers and embraced by female fans? Sex and the City it ain’t. Meet the women who like to play with trucks and Barbies. And Wolverine action figures. And flux capacitors.

Zeismic