Dark Horse

‘Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins’ TPB (review) at FORCES OF GEEK

Jeff Lemire’s vision of a superhero universe, rooted deep in his indie roots comes to fruition today in the release of the first volume of Black Hammer (Dark Horse Comics).

Drawn with a Mignola-esque sensibility, the art by Dean Ormston (2000 AD, Sandman Mystery Theatre) drops you into this new universe that is as much Kirby as it is Lemire’s own Sweet Tooth.

Let us back up a couple of steps. Why should you read this book about a superhero team from another dimension trapped within a 10 mile radius of a simple farm house?

The answer is simple: This book is very good.


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THE NEW DEAL By Jonathan Case (graphic novel review) at FORCES OF GEEK

Written and Illustrated by Jonathan Case
Published by Dark Horse Comics
ISBN: 978-1-61655-731-7
Price: $16.99
Publication Date: 9/23/15
Buy it HERE

While based in 1936, Jonathan Case’s The New Deal is not a hum-drum historical drama based on FDR’s realignment. 

No sir, this is a beautifully rendered period heist comedy based the Waldorf Astoria highlighting income disparity from the bellhops and chamber maids kowtowing to the needs of the very rich that choose to make the ritzy hotel their home.

Published under Dark Horse’s seldom used, but high end Dark Horse Originals imprint, The New Deal looks as if it was published at Fantagraphics or Drawn and Quarterly, not necessarily at the home of Barb Wire and Itty Bitty Mask. 

Nice production design, classy art deco endpapers and a black and white plus wash look to the pages make for an excellent looking hardcover.



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Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952 TPB (review) at FORCES OF GEEK

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952 TPB
Written by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Art by Alex Maleev
Colored by Dave Stewart
Cover by Mike Mignola
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $19.99
Diamond ID:APR150064
ISBN: 978-1-61655-660-0
Published: August 12, 2015


Hellboy embarks on his first mission with the B.P.R.D. Team and wouldn’t you know it, there are demon monkeys, drunken priests and someone out to get the Big Red One.

Returning to Hellboy for the first time since 2003 is frequent Bendis collaborator Alex Maleev for art duties on this Mike Mignola & John Arcudi penned tale set in 1952.

Of course, regular Hellboy colorist Dave Stewart joins the fun on this fantastic adventure.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952 is part mystery, part adventure story and explores some growth and development to how Hellboy came up in our world.

The 5 issue series is collected in one volume to hit shelves next week. This is a highly recommended addition to your Hellboy collection and also a great introduction this world as it focuses on a younger Hellboy and Maleev’s art fits the world of the B.P.R.D. so well.

Hellboy fanatics have likely grabbed these issues in floppy form, or perhaps are waiting until this trade drops to line up the spines perfectly with their other Hellboy volumes. However you end up consuming this (Dark Horse is finally onComiXology, FYI), be prepared for some familiar faces as well as some creepy introductions.

Mignola admits to being a bit of a control freak when it comes to other artists drawing his stories. What evolved from tweaking camera angles on Alex’s initial sketches eventually became Mike sending his own thumbnails to the artist. I’m sure the two got along fine, however. The pages and storytelling have the patina of classic Mignola Hellboy tales or old vampiric horror movies. You know how you feel when you read Hellboy Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction? You feel the same here.






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Three new number ones this week for our Triple Shot!

Ming Doyle teams up with James Tynion IV for the DCYou take on Constantine: The Hellblazer, Liz Prince (Tomboy) and artist Evan Palmer (Munchkin) step into the world of Cartoon Network’s newest creation, Clarence and we preview next month’s Negative Space #1 from Ryan K Lindsay.

WRITER: Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV
ART:  Riley Rossmo
Publication Date: June 10, 2015
Price: $2.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194133011200111
Buy it HERE









New creative team Ming Doyle (Mara, The Kitchen)
and James Tynion IV (Talon, Batman Eternal) relaunch Constantine for the #DCYou.

The much beleaguered title and main character has to be an
intimidating one — Constantine has seen many forms, from
a Vertigo comic to a movie starring Keanu Reaves (what?)
and riding the recent wave of comic book television with 2014’s Constantine (RIP).

Getting a handle on the character is no easy task —
Vertigo writers in the past include Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis,
Peter Milligan, Andy Diggle and many more.

Constantine in the DCU is a younger character and Doyle and Tynion
are allowed to play him that way, hopefully to generate a new
audience for Constantine as well as bridge the gap with older readers.

This being a DC Comic and not Vertigo hurts the book in my opinion.

John Constantine should be able to swear and be raunchy.

Issue #1 isn’t a bad go at the old guy, though.
Our demon whisperer shows up naked in a clothing shop covered in blood
and brains. Later in the story, he is drafted by Blythe for a quick shag
and his first ‘mission’ against some demons.

Riley Rossmo has great stylistic choices for his art, including a
landscape splash page cutaway view of the club and by the end of the book gets to draw some cool looking demons.

I’m interested to see where this goes, issue #1 had enough bite to
want me to pick up the next issue. This book doesn’t seem to be
pandering to any fans of any Hellblazer incarnations — that could be a blessing or a curse once the story develops more.



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The Revolution with be immortalized in The Order of The Forge coming from Dark Horse later this month.

In the tradition of super-sizing some of our past presidents with powers of the dark arts (see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), crime author Victor Gischler (Ink Mage, Spike, Angel and Faith, Sally of the Wasteland) joins us to talk about our founding fathers in a new way.

Starring a pre-Revolution Geo. Washington with pals Paul Revere and “Baudy” Ben Franklin — The Order of the Forge is coming at you by land and sea!

FOG!: Thanks for joining us, Victor! You’ve got a new take on a founding father with The Order of The Forge at Dark Horse. How did you come aboard on Donn D. Berdahl’s original concept?

Victor Gischler: Well, I guess they needed a writer to implement this great idea they had, and Dark Horse editor Dan Chabon suggested I might fit the bill. They wanted to take their story in a pulpy, irreverent direction, and a lot of my work suggest I’m the sort of fellow who can do that. I was just lucky that I’d worked with Dan on a couple of previous projects, so he knew what my strengths were.

I’m a big fan of alternate history. Would you like to go back and hang with George, Paul and Ben?

Not really. It turns out they didn’t have air conditioning back then. Also the toilet paper was not the best. Also, my guess is that the guys I depict in the comic are a lot more colorful than our actual founding fathers — although I’ve heard Ben Franklin was something of a party animal.

I suppose I couldn’t really say no to a time travel adventure if I had the chance. Although whenever I watch a time travel movie that shit NEVER goes right.





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With Dark Horse declaring March 22 Hellboy Day, we decided to bring you HELLBOY WEEK. Today is Part 2 of Clay N. Ferno’s interview with the masterful Mike Mignola.

If you missed Part 1, shame on you. To make amends, it’s right here.


Unlettered cover to Hellboy in Hell #6: The Death Card, due out in May.

Unlettered cover to Hellboy in Hell #6: The Death Card, due out in May.


Just curious now, what is it like for you when you meet a Will Eisner? You’re a giant yourself, and you are rubbing shoulders with your heroes. Are you sort of intimidated to meet other artists like that? Or are you all pals? How does it feel for you?

I’m trying to think of guys like that that are still around. It is very strange to me now, that people I’ve known for a very long time have achieved a sort of legend status. I knew them when they weren’t that. It is very cool. And the 16- and 17-year-old version of me — if that kid I was could have ever imagined that I’d be eating lunch with Richard Corbin!

Richard was probably the guy that I worked with in the past few years that I grew up in awe of his stuff. He is one of those guys that never in a million years would I have thought I’d have any contact with that guy, let alone work with him, or go to his house to eat lunch with him. That is possibly the biggest leap for me, as far as being a fan to the intimacy of working with the guy. I can’t think of another case like that.

The weirdness or another one of those, is Bernie Wrightson. I’ve had lunch with Bernie Wrightson, I’ve hung out with Bernie Wrightson. As a kid, I wanted desperately to be Bernie Wrightson! So, even though we haven’t really worked together, the fact that he even knows who I am is pretty amazing. I have been very fortunate to interact with some of my heroes.

Wrightson's handiwork.

Wrightson’s handiwork.

I even met Frazetta once, and he said something very nice. He was one of those guys I didn’t want to meet because I was so in awe of him, he was such a huge influence on me. (But) I heard some not terrific stories about Frank as a guy. Someone had introduced us, Hellboy had just came out, I showed him a copy and he made a nice comment. I just thought, “Holy shit! I just met Frazetta. I’m not gonna push it, or make it a longer conversation.”

But it was very nice and it is a wonderful memory. I have been very fortunate to have met a lot of these guys.

And then you have your peers, who are all absolutely amazing.

And it is weird when your peers are guys like Art Adams, and I knew him as a kid. To me, while I think if him as a phenomenal artist, to me, he will always be the guy who broke into the business around the same time I did. It is very cool to sit back and watch, your contemporaries are guys that are legendary and people are in awe of.

One of my best friends from art school was the co-director of the last Pixar movie, “Brave.” It is wild when you grew up with these guys who grew up to do these things.

Adams print at his website.

Adams print at his website.

As a fan, it makes you feel good that there is a) reverence and b) respect for one another. I know there can be rivalries but besides that, it seems very nice.

It is always nice when there aren’t rivalries. I am very fortunate that my group of close friends, and not a lot of us went into the comics field, but a lot of us went into such different places and we achieved success in completely different ways. I was never going to be Art Adams, we weren’t going up for the same jobs. Steve Purcell (Pixar) went in a completely different direction.


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The first Hellboy collection.

The first Hellboy collection.

Dark Horse has dubbed this Saturday, March 22 as Hellboy Day. If you’re reading this, you’re probably well aware of who Mike Mignola is and how considerable his impact on the comics industry has been. But it’s still an eye-opener to read his official bio:

MIKE MIGNOLA’s fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age; reading “Dracula” at age 12 introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore, from which he has never recovered. Starting in 1982 as a bad inker for Marvel Comics, he swiftly evolved into a not-so-bad artist. By the late 1980s, he had begun to develop his own unique graphic style, with mainstream projects like DC’s Cosmic Odyssey and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. In 1994, he published the first Hellboy series through Dark Horse. As of this writing there are 12 Hellboy graphic novels (with more on the way), several spinoff titles (B.P.R.D., Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien, and Sir Edward Grey: Witchfinder), prose books, animated films, and two live-action films starring Ron Perlman. Along the way he worked on Francis Ford Coppola’s film “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992), was a production designer for Disney’s “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” (2001), and was the visual consultant to director Guillermo del Toro on “Blade II” (2002), “Hellboy” (2004), and “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (2008). Mike’s books have earned numerous awards and are published in a great many countries. Mike lives somewhere in Southern California with his wife, daughter, and cat.

In this first installment, Mignola and our Clay N. Ferno jump right in and talk about the literary and pulp influences behind everyone’s favorite demon — such as Conan and Solomon Kane.


Clay N. Ferno: Tell us what sort of literary influences come up in Hellboy.

Mike Mignola: It’s funny, I was doing an interview the other day and trying to pin down the roots of the Hellboy stuff — not comic book roots as much as they are pulp magazine roots.

I was listening to the 8 billionth comment about H.P. Lovecraft and I said “Yeah, that stuff is in there, but I think that the bigger, fundamental structure of the Hellboy stuff came from pulp magazine guys like Robert E. Howard and Manly Wade Wellman. Specifically the idea of this kind of character who kind of wanders around and runs into stuff. Also, the short story format, which, at least in most mainstream comics is not the most common way for doing stories, but after the first miniseries, I went quite a bit to doing short stories, and not just short stories, but short stories that don’t take place in a chronological order.

We saw this with Robert E. Howard doing Conan and Solomon Kane and these kind of characters that kind of wander all over the world and they’ll run a story on a character who is old, and then about when he is young, and it is for other people to cobble them all together into some kind of coherent order. I think that was very much informing the way I did Hellboy.


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300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (review)

Produced by Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, 
Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Bernie Goldmann
Screenplay by Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad
Based on Xerxes by Frank Miller
Directed by Noam Murro
Starring Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, 
Hans Matheson, Rodrigo Santoro, Callan Mulvey 

The sequel to the 2006 epic comic book film 300 is an impressive one, taking place at a similar timeline to the first movie as Greeks defend their land against Persia.

The beginning of the movie shows the mystical origin of the God King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) as well as the rise of Athenian general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton).

In a refreshing breath of balance not seen often in Hollywood action movies today are the two female leads, Persian ally Artemisia (Eva Green) and widow of King Leonidas, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey).

At points, it seems the God King Xerxes’ origin was a red herring, allowing these ladies to shine and spill copious amounts of blood with their own blades, while the golden king sat on the safety of this throne—quite literally the backseat for this movie.

Embrace the 3D version of this movie if you can! “Tonight we dine…in spectacle”!

Though not a requirement for enjoyment of the movie, most FOG! readers may want to give themselves a refresher on the original movie, directed by Zack Snyder and based on the comic book series by Frank Miller.Xerxes by Miller isn’t even out yet, so fans of the writer artist will need to wait.

The closest you can even get is a preview in Dark Horse Presents #1!
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DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for November 20, 2013


What do band managers do? Nothing! Just kidding! Read about Brian Epstein’s role in making The Beatles the world’s most influential Rock and Roll band! Dark Horse is proud to present The Fifth Beatle, the story of a man facing homophobia, Anti-Semitism and a someone who died all too young. … The countdown to issue #200 continues as Savage Dragon is strapped to the electric chair and is begging for the end! Savage Dragon #172 today!… Feel bad for poor Aric of Dacia because Unity is on his ass? Venditti & Nord return for X-O Manowar #19, a great jumping on point for new readers at the start of the huge Valiant Universe Unity Event as X-O defends his legacy, the land of the Visigoths aka Romania! … Picks this week from LeaguePodcast.com!

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New York Comic Con, October 10-13, is the biggest East Coast show of the year, and we are headed down there to fill our Adventure Time WeLoveFine oversized Con bag with swag, original art, and business cards to continue to deliver the fine comic book journalism you have come to expect from Earth Prime Time each week. Here’s a preview of some of the weird and wonderful delights the con has promised us from the many media announcements making their way to our inbox this fall.

This is truly a nerd’s holiday weekend! We here at LeaguePodcast make it a tradition of heading to Gotham once a year since our inception there, four years ago at a New York Comic Con afterparty. Hometown friends, miles from home, delighted in the smells of Hell’s Kitchen over beers at an iFanboy party and made an honest swing at weekly comic book podcasting ourselves and now we’re 166 episodes in, with events and our own after parties to attend to!

With a small bottle of Spider-Man hand sanitizer attached to our backpacks, a Mophie Juice Pack on the iPhone, we are getting on the safest and cheapest early bus on Friday to live it all again.

This time, it’s bigger. This time, it will be better. How do we know? The con has grown from 105,000 people in 2011 to 116,000 in 2012. And there’s gonna be a new Walking Dead episode this weekend and a ten year anniversary celebration of the comic with issue #115.

Walking Dead 115 - Charlie Adlard

Walking Dead 115 - Charlie Adlard

Hollywood certainly takes a fair amount of floor space in San Diego and New York. Besides everyone’s favorite zombie show, you could catch a screening of the doll of our nightmares, Chucky returning in Curse of Chucky. The 25th Anniversary of Chucky is celebrated at a panel on Friday.




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DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for October 2, 2013



October means Halloween! Halloween means comics specials, and here’s the first, Shadowman #11 from Valiant Comics written by Jim Zub (Skullkickers). This ish comes with a detachable Shadowman mask cover variant and is drawn by superstar Miguel Sepulveda. Is NOLA safe from the undead threats lurking in the shadows? Jack to the rescue! … Today’s the day to visit EARTH PRIME TIME for our interview with Glen Brunswick and pick up issue #2 of Reality Check. An artist’s comic book hero creation comes to life and he needs more help than you’d think! Also available today is Glen’s Non-Humans TPB with Whilce Portacio. … Keeping it spellbound and weird is The Occultist #1 from Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash) and Mike Norton as our young mystic takes heed of the book of spells called The Sword. … Picks this week from LeaguePodcast.com.


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DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for June 12, 2013




It’s Superman week. Man of Steel hits theaters. Will fans be disappointed (Superman Returns) or is this the start of a beautiful friendship (Batman Begins)? May as well hit you over the head with the big two DC heroes in the picks this week. …Superman Unchained drawn by co-publisher Jim Lee and written by our man Scott Snyder. … Where do you go when the Year One story has been set in stone? Head backwards for another Scott Snyder book starring the shadow to Superman’s cape in Batman #21 - Zero Year. … Black Beetle #4 of 4 concludes this week as Colt City’s noir vigilante takes on Labyrinto. We hope to see more of Francesco Francavilla’s best-selling throwback crime story soon! … Picks this week from LeaguePodcast.com.


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DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for May 22, 2013



Aw, Yeah New 52! Our favorite all ages comic artist/writer team and famous cartoonists Art Baltazar and Franco put down the pen and pick up the typewriter for Green Team Teen Trillionaires #1 this week. Let the 1% finance your next important project! They’ve got more money than Scrooge McDuck! Art by Ig Guara … What’s going on with the glitchy tech in Mega City One? Judge Dredd investigates while being targeted for being killed by a fellow Judge. Judge Dredd #7 from Duane Swierczynski is THE LAW this week! … A new take on Little Red Riding hood takes the form of Akaneiro #1 from Dark Horse, based on American McGee’s new Spicy Horse video Game and Japanese folklore. … Picks LeaguePodcast.com.


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Stan Sakai created the rabbit ronin Usagi Yojimbo nearly 30 years ago. Usagi may seem familiar to hardcore fans of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for his guest appearances there. This weekend, as part of a special event and samurai exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Sensei Sakai and game developer Mike Levine of HappyGiant are slated to talk about the first Usagi video game in over 25 years, Usagi Yogimbo: Way of The Ronin (iOS / Android). We spoke with Mike about what to expect about from the game, the exclusive MFA Samurai Saturdays level, and about working with a master of the comic book form by way of bringing this fun side-scrolling sword and slashing game to market.

DIGBOSTON: Hi Mike – Thanks for coming! Can you tell me please about HappyGiant and what your role is there?

MIKE LEVINE: HappyGiant is my company, most of the company and myself have been in the games industry for 10-20 years. I worked for LucasArts in the ’90s for most of it and worked for some startups out in San Francisco. I came back here and started my own companies includingPileated Pictures, which was well known in Massachusetts for working with Hasbro and other properties. We were lucky to make some money and we’re now focused on mobile and the new company, HappyGiant.

Have you been a developer for a long time, or writing games for that long?

At LucasArts, I worked in the art department, constantly developing new techniques to create art. I would sit between really amazing artists and the programmers and we were in the middle making it all work in the games.

I’ve been a writer, designer and art director. We’re a small company so we all wear many hats.

Is this your first mobile game?

No, we’ve been doing it for a few years. We slowly crawled into it. We’ve done Zhu Zhu Pet Hamsters and last summer we did the app for The Dictator film. We are also known for our high end pet sims Dolphin Paradise: Wild Friends. There’s another one that just came out, Orca Paradise: Wild Friends. We did Orca at the same time as Usagi. We used the Unity game engine to make both the games.


Very cool. Can I ask…are you a comic book fan?

Yes I am.

Usagi Yojimbo No. 1 - Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo No. 1 - Stan Sakai

Have you been a Usagi Yojimbo fan for as long as I have?

Probably not. I grew up reading comics, now my kids are reading my comics. I was a heavy Marvel guy, Walt Simonson’s Thor, Frank Miller’s Ronin and Dark Knight Returns. I read all the Lone Wolf & Cub books. I knew of Usagi, but don’t remember reading it. The story goes that a couple of years ago, my friend brought me 5-6 Usagi books and urged me to read them.

As soon as I started reading them, I couldn’t put them down, I read one after the other. When I got to Book 10 or 12, I decided, “This needs to be a game”!

It came together very smoothly with Dark Horse and Stan and getting in touch with them. I like to think when things are meant to be, things go smoothly, and this was one of those cases.