Dark Horse Unveils New Projects

Press release below regarding some intriguing new titles coming from Dark Horse this year.


Dark Horse is proud to again deliver a loaded catalog of new projects that exemplify the evolution of the comics medium. Here are just a few of the highlights from this year’s Comic-Con International:

365 Samurai and a Few Bowls of Rice—Swiss artist J. P. Kalonji’s graphic novel comes to America. A young swordfighter must kill 365 samurai on a quest to avenge his master—in a fun, humorous, cartoony style.

Age of Reptiles—Film designer Ricardo Delgado returns with the third installment of his epic (silent) dinosaur comics series. Carnivores hunt herbivores on a migration south.

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War—The 2009 relaunch of the Aliens and Predator series comes together with a creative team of John Arcudi and Rick Leonardi.

Archie Archives—The classic Archie comic books get the deluxe treatment in a series of hardcovers as the newest editions to the Dark Horse Archives series.

Blacksad—Collecting all three of the international award-winning European volumes, the third of which has not been published in English before. This crime noir about a cat detective, PI John Blacksad, is a phenomenal anthropomorphic story with fully painted artwork. By Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido.

goongelCasper Anniversary Special—A 64-page hardcover celebrating Casper’s sixtieth anniversary and featuring his first appearance in comics.

Conan: The Weight of the Crown—Darick Robertson writes and draws our first Conan one-shot since the Conan the Cimmerian relaunch. This comic is part of Dark Horse’s all-new One-Shot Wonders program.

Dark Horse GelaSkins (see above and below and here for more)—Decorative coverings for phones and laptops featuring some of Dark Horse’s most popular properties, including The Umbrella Academy, Yoshitaka Amano, Tim Burton, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, and many more. A select few will be available at the Dark Horse booth during the convention as supplies last. The whole program is set to launch in September 2009.

Devil—Devil is an original Japanese manga being created for Dark Horse by Torajiro Kishi and animation powerhouse Madhouse Studios, featuring genetically designed vampires in a sci-fi police drama set in Tokyo.

Electropolis—Electropolis: The Infernal Machine is the perfect companion to Mister X: Condemned. Visionary artist Dean Motter revisits his unique brand of “antique futurism” in a story full of familiar faces, including a memorable cameo by Mister X himself.

Final Fantasy Boxed Set—A luxurious edition that stays true to the original Japanese collection of the complete Final Fantasy artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.

Furry Water and Mesmo Delivery—Eisner winner Rafael Grampá comes to Dark Horse with two books: Mesmo Delivery, a reprint of his psychedelic small-press debut; and Furry Water, cowritten with Daniel Pellizzari, a six-issue postapocalyptic action comic.

One-Shot Wonders—A new program running from October to December, highlighting some of Dark Horse’s biggest characters and properties in standalone comics retailing at $3.50 each. The program includes “Sugarshock,” Conan, Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Star Wars (two titles), “Dr. Horrible,” and The Goon.

The Art of Blade of the Immortal—Hardcover edition of the original Japanese book with 32 new bonus pages not previously available. This book will be in the style of the Dark Horse The Art of . . . and Library Edition series.


Superman, Batman And Batgirl Motion Comics

The Watchmen Motion Comic is awesome, and now more are on the way. Full skinny below.


First Episode of Superman: Red Son Available for Free via iTunes for Limited Time – Click here now.

Complete Motion Comics Series for “Batgirl: Year One” and “Batman: Black and White” Collection 2 Debuts

RED_S0N_IMAGE1Warner Premiere and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution today announced three new additions to the best-selling Warner Premiere Motion Comics slate. Classic graphic novels Superman: Red Son and Batgirl: Year One, as well as graphic album Batman: Black and White Collection 2 entered the digital age as Warner Premiere Motion Comics on the iTunes Store. Also announced today comrades everywhere, for a limited time, can download the first glorious episode of Superman: Red Son for free and see how Stalin’s most powerful weapon swayed the balance of power during the Cold War.

Continuing to lead the motion comics experience, Warner Premiere’s Motion Comics connect comic fans to authentic DC characters through short-form content. The Motion Comics slate draws on a deep reservoir of source material to bring a visually engaging experience to life through the use of subtle movements, voice-overs, sweeping music scores and stunning comic book artwork.


“Last year we debuted our Motion Comics slate and saw the voracious appetite graphic novel fans had for this digital content,” said Diane Nelson, president, Warner Premiere. “One of the reasons for our success is Warner Premiere working closely with DC Comics to determine if a story naturally lends itself to becoming a motion comic. Another key is the process we use to select the studios that ultimately create these motion comics. They are very passionate comic book fans so creating these motion comics really are a labor of love. We’re very proud of our success and look forward to bringing more titles to comic fans in the future.”

Superman: Red Son

RED_SON_IMAGE2Warner Premiere Motion Comics is proud to bring “Superman: Red Son” to its Motion Comics slate. Based on the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel written by Mark Millar and drawn by Dave Johnson and Kilian Plunkett “Superman: Red Son” takes viewers back in time to the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union where Superman is fighting for the Communists. In this alternate universe, Superman lands in Russia rather than the United States andSoviet Union’s greatest weapon as the world is transformed into a communist state opposed only by a crumbling capitalistic AmericaLex Luthor. Now as Superman stands on the brink of ultimate power, three heroes, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern, each make a valiant stand to destroy the reign of the Man of Steel. The Superman: Red Son Motion Comic was animated by New Zealand-based Karactaz.

For a limited time, the first episode of Superman: Red Son is now available on iTunes for free. To download, visit here or here. Future episodes will debut once a week and fans are encouraged to sign up for a Season Pass to automatically receive future episodes.

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Comic-Con Thursday

2009AnnualFinalCoverI must be the easiest sell the self publishers at the Con floor have ever seen. I filled up 3 bags of goodies today. I also lost count of how many of my cards I handed out, but I have a soft spot for self publishers. It takes guts to put your time and money into putting your own heartfelt art out there for the world to see. I respect that, and there’s some real talent to be seen. Most of the creators were people I was unfamiliar with and they were all willing to have a chat with this man with the strange accent. A few people were familiar with Broken Frontier, which was great and I even got invited to a few press parties and got freebies for review. Ah, percs of the ‘job.’

I visited a few panels today as well. The guys from Tripwire Magazine were up first with their free danishes and witty banter. On the panel were Kody Chamberlain, U.S editor Andy Grossberg, UK Editor-In-Chief Joel Meadows and everybody’s favourite comics columnist Rich Johnson, formerly of CBR and now of Bleeding Cool. It was a casual and somewhat meandering discussion which included, but was not limited to how Twitter is killing English, companies clothing the homeless as sponsors, the merits of facing graphic novels face out or spine out on the shelf and how monthly comics are similar to singles, while TPBs are albums. It’s obvious that the guys from Tripwire love comics and are glad to see Hollywood making non-superhero films, and gaining credibility as an art form. They see being dropped by Diamond as a hurdle not a disaster and are focused on spotlighting the diversity of sequential art. Their 2009 Annual is available at the Con and you can see a preview here.

the surrogatesNext up was the Top Shelf panel. These guys put out some seriosuly good stuff, and I was glad to discover that I wasn’t the only one who discovered the wonders of spandex free stories via one of their books. After the obligatory technical difficulties publisher Chris Staros gave a visual rundown of the company’s 12 year history. Fun Fact: Top Shelf was originally the name of an early anthology series. Moderated by PR guy Leigh Walton, the guests included Robert Venditti, writer of The Surrogates, Far Arden creator Kevin Cannon and Nate Powell of Swallow Me Whole fame. Staros mentioned that although they are known for their high-end mature books such as From Hell and Blankets, their all-ages line is turning heads too, thanks to series like Owly, Korgi and James Kochalka’s stuff.

Things became more interesting when the creators revealed their artistic backgrounds. It’s well known that Venditti started in Top Shelf’s mail room (according to Leigh, he’s “a demon with a tape gun”) and now his first book is a movie starring Bruce Willis! Surrogates comes out on September 25, and the great trailer was shown.

Powell mentioned that he’d been self publishing since 1992 and back then had made a list of 25 people in the biz who he admired. Staros and co-publisher Brett Warnock were pretty much the only ones who responded and critiqued his work. Powell also mentioned that although he does have an autistic older brother, Swallow Me Whole was more influenced by his own grandmother, who after being diagnosed with cancer began painting and then in the last few months of her life experienced delusions. Powell lifted a lot of her dialogue in his book from those experiences.

Staros mentioned that although many of the Shelf’s creators’ works are very literary that they could give most fanboys a run for their money in a superhero quiz. He also seems genuinely inspired by Top Shelf’s success and critical praise and revealed that at Christmas time their orders go up, as fans buy their fave books as presents for others, which is always a good sign.

My final panel was the one focused on The Clockwork Girl, Arcana’s widely praised all-ages OGN, in which a trailer for the CG film was shown,which is in the works now. It looks very impressive.

Tomorrow’s another busy day. So much to see and buy.


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