What??? Hellboy isn’t dead????
There’s an absurd number of great comics out today but here’s one that hasn’t had too much advance buzz—maybe because author Gilbert Hernandez is SO DARNED PROLIFIC. Anyway, FATIMA: THE BLOOD SPINNERS #1 is his take on zombies, with an eyeball-squeezing mix of a deadly femme zombie hunter and mindless violence. It’s a four-issue miniseries and it also features alternate covers by Peter Bagge.
The LA Times handed out its book prizes at the LA Times Festival of Books this weekend, and the winner in the Graphic Novel category was Carla Speed McNeil for FINDER: VOICE. The other nominees were:
by Casey Burchby
How dangerous or offensive were pre-code crime comics – really? Most of us probably agree that the anti-comics hysteria of the early 1950s was ludicrously overblown, and can probably also think of a few current issues that are similarly hyper-inflated by reactionary gasbags. Dr. Fredric Wertham’s claims (enshrined in his ridiculously titled pseudoscientific 1954 screed Seduction of the Innocent) about the ill effects of comic books on easily-corruptible young minds probably said more about Wertham’s Germanic way of seeing the rest of humanity than they did about observable reality. But how do these Golden Age crime comics look to contemporary readers? A couple of new releases collect some of the best pre-code crime comics and prove that they still pack a wallop, both in terms of their swift, punchy visual storytelling, and in their ability to deliver real shocks.
Twin press releases today that Dark Horse’s digital comics offering are coming to B&N’s Nook and the Kobo Vox, a lesser known but respected platform. Popular titles like MASS EFFECT,HELLBOY, STAR WARS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, SERENITY, and SIN CITY will all be available for both platforms. DH was already on their own store and via various Apple platforms.
Although we’re used to those strategic “print run sellout” press releases coming from publishers at a steady clip, it’s less often that comics publishers tout topping the BookScan sales chart, which tracks sales in bookstores, and other non DM outlets, for the week. However, Dark Horse notes that Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Promise Part 1 “soared” to the top of the BookScan chart last week. This is the Gene Luen Yang-penned bridging story between the popular TV show and the eagerly awaited sequel, Legend of Korra. The art is by the Japanese team Gurihiru.
The video game company behind the popular PROTOTYPE series — NOT the comics company. Dark Horse will create a three-part story bridging the gap between the original Prototype and PROTOTYPE 2 which comes out this year. The series will be released digitally, starting February 15th.
Creators include Paco Díaz, Chris Staggs, and Victor Drujiniu.
After a look week, we’ll leave you with a smile and this announcement of a Conan/Groo crossover in a four-issue miniseries brought to you by the Eisner Award–winning team of Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragonés, Thomas Yeates, and colorist Tom Luth. Groo was created as a parody of the sword-and-sorcery genre as exemplified by the lamentation-loving Cimmerian, so this is a natural.
The first issue goes on sale on April 18, 2012.
Gantz, Hiroya Oku’s popular, super-violent manga about a team of operatives and their mysterious missions, is ending its run in Young Jump next year, it’s being reported. More than 30 volumes of the manga have appeared in Japan — in the US, Dark Horse is up to volume 20. It’s also been adapted into a TV series and two movies.
In an emailed newsletter, artist Steve Rude reports that his rough year is ending on an up note, and he’ll be re-teaming with writer Mike Baron for a new Nexus story starting in DARK HORSE PRESENTS #12 in May. The three installments of the story will then be collected into a standalone 30-page book. The story deals with the “nature of evil”.
Nexus, the spacefaring tale of a superhero who kills mass-murderers — has had a long run with multiple publishers since the early ’80s. Baron and Rude self-published an issue a few years ago but the series has been hit with delays since then.
Add another art all-star to the new DHP lineup: Francesco Francavilla is drawing a three part BLACK BEETLE story that will start in issues #11 in April. Black Beetle is Francavilla’s own pulp tribute character, previously published online and in a scarce ashcan. ANd as you can see from the art, it’s a perfect fit for Franvavilla’s retro style.
CHANNEL ZERO, Brian Wood’s mash-up of cyber imagery, sloganeering and popular dissent, is getting a new edition from Dark Horse. This marks its third edition: it debuted as a miniseries from Image in 1997, with a collection following. Then it moved to AIT/PlanetLar, where it has been OOP for a while.
The new book will reprint the original GN and its sequel, JENNIE ONE (with art by Becky Cloonan), two volumes of related design, and various and sundry other rarities.