Tag Archives: Darkhorse Comics

Freeze Frame 8/7/2015

From This Dammed Band #1 by Tony Parket
From This Dammed Band #1 by Tony Parker

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Percursors to Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain

TheStrain

With the hit FX series The Strain returning in the summer, I thought it would be fitting to look back at one of the co-creators, Guillermo Del Toro, previous works and how they led to The Strain‘s existence… Continue reading Percursors to Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain

Emerald City Comic Con Announcements

  • unnamedValiant comics will be celebrating there 25 years with a universe spanning event called The Book Of Death. They have also created a series of animated origin shorts on the companies Youtube page.
  • Darkhorse Comics announced ten new series including the return of their Barb Wire & King Tiger properties in addition to creator owned work from Skott Kollins & Aaron Lopestri and more.
  • IDW announced several new series, including the previously mentioned Onyx in addition to a new Godzilla in Hell series and more.

Freeze Frame 3/27/2015

From Captain Victory & The Galactic Rangers #6 by Nathan Fox
From Captain Victory & The Galactic Rangers #6 by Nathan Fox

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Freeze Frame 3/20/2015

From Chronauts #1 by Sean Murphy
From Chrononauts #1 by Sean Murphy

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Creepy #20 Review

26111by MATTHEW SOUTHWORTH,
DAN BRAUN.
PETER BAGGE,
KELLY THOMPSON,
JAN STRNAD,RAMON BACHS
RICHARD CORBEN

I don’t buy many horror books, mostly because I don’t know what counts as a good horror book and where I would look for one. I have a healthy respect for the genre, but it seems tricky to sell on a monthly basis. Take for instance, a horror anthology by Darkhorse with an eclectic mix of creators.

This issue of “Creepy” revolves around the theme of pets and how they relate to their owners. Some were serious, some were macabre, and others were kind of silly.

The top three (which were also the longest) of the five stories to me were “Skinny”, “Verto”, and “Bowser”.

“Skinny” was the story of a young, lonely boy who finds companionship with a Chupacabra that can’t keep its food down. He feeds it, shelters it, cleans up after it, convinced he has found his best friend. After Skinny meets the boy’s tormentor, their relationship ends and the boy remarks on how empty he is now.

“Verto” was a similar story, with a young girl and an ever-growing beetle. “Bowser” was a dog like tentacle monster with a hearty appetite.

Despite being my three favorite stories, they started to feel repetitive in there themes and story structure. Kid meets pet, they grow closer, pet causes problems. While they all ended differently, the stories didn’t complement each other. Instead, I could  come to the conclusion the writers were telling the same story with minor tweaks.

The art was good in every story, with Matthew Southworth and Ramon Bachs standing out most. Southworth’s style on “Skinny” was very atmospheric, while Bachs was very expressive and detailed. Richard Corben’s pencils on “Bowser” were toned down from what I usually expect, but felt very appropriate to the tone of the story.

Overall: The art is a little stronger than the stories in this issue, but I think there is something for everyone here. A 12 year old might like the cartoonish Mad Magazine-esque shorts or the stories of the kids with the supernatural pets, or an adult might like a heartwarming tale of a boy caring for his tentacle monster. If you have room in this week’s budget, I would recommend this over a Convergence tie-in.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

Frankenstein Underground #1 Review

Frankenstein Underground 1

by Mike Mignola, Ben Steinbeck, and Dave Stewart

The Frankenstein monster from Hellboy in Mexico gets his own miniseries.

Traveling around the world, he ends up near some Aztec temples and meets a witch, with whom he shares his story. Unbeknownst to our hero, a collector covets Frankenstein and sends a demon to abduct him. He fights her off, but the witch dies. Frank demands the Gods resurrect her, but then falls through the floor. Meanwhile, the Collector punishes the demon for failing to capture Frank.

Steinbeck’s art is good for this series. It’s remencient of Mignola’s own style, but has its own personality.

If I had one complaint with this issue, its that Mignola seems to make Frank more like Hellboy instead of a Frankenstein monster. It turns out he’s existed for centuries, hunted by a devious person with magic powers, always having bad luck, these aspects make the book seem less original and compelling.

That said, the book has enough action and humor to make the story worth reading. For those anxious about the current Hellboy mini ending, this series should soften the blow.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

Review of Ei8ht #1

EI8HT 1

by Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson

 I try to be understanding when artists try to transition into writing. I imagine it’s challenging and risky for the creator to put their name on such a thing, not counting all the competition from other creators. With Ei8ht, Albuquerque has a decent debut issue but time will tell if it impresses readers with its story.

The plot itself is pretty straightforward, a man called Joshua (no relation) awakens inside a crashed ship in the desert with memory loss. Flashbacks to the past (which is technically the future) explain how and some of the why, he volunteered to do this mission in return for seeing his sweetheart again. He meets some suspicious locals, convinced he is a spy by their enemy, one of whom is Spear who Joshua was sent into the past to find.

The art I found more interesting than the story, which shouldn’t surprise American Vampire fans. Albuquerque kept the color palette restrained to red, blue, and orange. The  daytime sky is orange, the blue is the rest of the environment including the characters, and red is used sparingly. It’s an interesting visual choice to limit the palette to three colors, even more so in which two warm colors with a cool color dominates. The characters and environments never appear murky and almost looks like Albuquerque used an ink-wash technique for shading. Since the red is used sparingly it never takes the most attention from the reader and only accentuates things like word-bubbles or character’s expressions. He also maintains his stylistic detail and the visceral action we’ve come to expect.

Mike Johnson’s role seems to have been laying out Rafael’s story in a script and I would say its a fair job. There are not alot of surprising elements with the actual story: a man using time travel to save his love has been done in Looper, Deja Vu, The Butterfly Effect, Superman, even the movie adaptation of HG Wells’ The Time Machine. Since the locals call the location Joshua ends up in The Meld and there are dinosaurs running around, I’m led to assume this is either an alternate time-line’s past or some pocket of the Space-Time Continuum. Again, this is something I’m seeing in the current arc of DC’s The Flash as well as Land of the Lost. The fact that we never see the woman Joshua is doing this for doesn’t allow for much emotional connection, all we see is that Joshua is doing something possibly suicidal to see her again and that he bought her roses at an earlier time. The flashbacks allow for explanation of the events but if more information were offered we could see what kind of man Joshua is or why he was chosen for this mission. First issues are hurdles for series to overcome in introducing new stories to readers and grabbing their interest in the next chapter, however many books do this every month. East of West by Johnathan Hickman for instance had a superb first issue with characters to latch onto and hints at a larger plot. Here we have a main character who we’re told to root for so he can see a woman we haven’t seen, to do something in the past that will be revealed later. The inclusion of dinosaurs don’t make up for the shaky motivations of the protagonist. If I didn’t know better I would’ve thought this was a sneak peek at Mark Millar’s Chrononauts instead of an original time travel story.

Overall its a decent comic that uses some time-travel troupes without adding much innovation. If you’re someone who enjoys the art in a comic more than the story, I would recommend this. Otherwise, save your money for Millar’s and Sean Murphy’s Chrononauts.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent