Berserk’s Back: Have You Got The Guts To Read It?

berserk38
 

Okay, I’ll admit it. I have almost NO experience with Berserk outside a poring over a few borrowed issues of the manga back in the 90’s and playing through three video games based on the manga and anime (Super Famicom, Dreamcast and PS2, FYI). That said, with Koei Tecmo set to release the gloriously violent Berserk and the Band of the Hawk on February 21, 2017, Dark Horse Comics has put out the word that Volume 38 of Berserk will be slicing its way to comic stores and online retailers July 5, 2017. Why post this so early? Well, I think I need to play catch up and I think that’s enough time to play catch up on the other 37 volumes, of course!


 

I’ve been following the game closely, but not reporting much on it or watching any videos other than trailers and official gameplay videos like the one aove because I want to go in as cold as possible and not have stuff spoiled by yakky streamers who got early access even if they love what’s coming. In any event, I need to co clear up some room on my calendar I guess. Slowly going Berserk is a lot better than the alternative, right?

– GW

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Trump: Playboy + MAD+ Dark Horse = Something MUCH Better Than You’re Thinking

trump-no-not-that-one 

Oh, that cartoon guy with the funny hair tooting his own horn may look familiar, but trust me, he’s not only got NOTHING to do with what’s going on down in D.C., he was around before that name was a big deal. Dark Horse Comics’ second volume in its Essential (Harvey) Kurtzman series just so happens to be the complete collection of Trump, a swanky satire magazine published by Playboy from 1956-57. While only two issues made it to newsstands and a third was aborted, the talent on display was tops (Mel Brooks, Will Elder, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Al Jaffee, Russ Heath, Arnold Roth and more). Unfortunately the upscale satire mag folded up shop and pretty much sunk into obscurity save for hard core collectors who’ve tracked down and saved a handful of copies over the decades.

trumped-tranq 

Dark Horse comes to the rescue once again with another find hardcover collection, Trump: The Complete Collection – Essential Kurtzman Volume Two (MSRP $29.99). Both full issues are here plus what would have been a third issue had the magazine stayed around. As both a slice of magazine history and collection of outstanding comic illustration from some of the greats of the era, the detailed notes on every bit of art, letters to and from principals involved and other elements lend a great insight into what worked and what went wrong. It’s a “Come for the curiosity, stay because you’re learning stuff’ read that comes highly recommended even if you’re not a fan of top notch late 50’s satire.

Granted, I’m as old as dirt, so I love the corny but reliably amusing jokes here as well as that gorgeously detailed art. As with Harvey Kurtzman’s Jungle Book: Essential Kurtzman Volume 1, plopping this on your coffee table will automatically make your friends think you’re a sly, sophisticated guy or gal with a super cool sense of humor. Hmmmm, perhaps Dark Horse out to zip over both tomes to that kinda cranky guy who needs a big laugh? Provided he makes it past the cover without blowing a gasket, I think it might generate half a laugh. I hope.

– GW

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Happy ALIEN Day! Go Get Scared or Win Some Stuff (Or Both)

Pin-Up

“Hey, baaaaaaby…. ‘sup?” Photo Credit: Desmond Mo

 

ALIEN DaySo yes, it’s officially ALIEN Day and if you’re a fan of the franchise with some time and a bit of disposable income on your hands, there are a few ways to get involved in the festivities today.

The Alien Anthology page on Twitter has a big deal contest where video questions about the film pop up like chestbursters and you can answer them for a chance to win some awesome ALIEN to Prometheus-themed merchandise from what’s looking like every company that makes officially licensed swag based on the series. Continue reading

Can Dark Horse Comics See The Future? I Kind of Hope Not

PANIC 

Ha and double ha, Dark Horse Comics! Getting Volume 1 of PANIC ($49.99) out in this rather panicky election year that’s giving plenty of people the heebie-jeebies for any number of reasons. Yeah, yeah – it wasn’t planned to happen this way, but it’s still funny (to me at least). I’d only seen a few very ratty issues of the mag at a comic convention way back in the 80’s, so finally getting to read through the first six issues in a sturdy hardcover tome was a great exercise.

It’s interesting to see everything intact from the nicely recolored art to the editorial pages that note the climate of the time that was VERY anti-comics at the expense of killing of companies left and right that couldn’t or wouldn’t conform to the crazies. Great satire and parody hold up to even the most pointed of criticism, so despite some very dated references, there are still plenty of laughs to be had. So, remove that stick from where it’s lodged, have a nice seat with your feet up and prepare to exercise those smile muscles that of late have probably turned into a near-permanent scowl. Oh, and one more thing: consider a good moisturizer before reading as Dark Horse is not responsible for cracked faces from perusing what’s here.

READS: The Haunt of Fear Still Packs A Moldy Wallop

The Haunt of Fear DH
 

Sometimes a good old scare is all you need and with Halloween right around the corner (with a baseball bat in claw), you can stay safely indoors and get your fright on thanks to Dark Horse Comics. They’ve been reprinting a bunch of lovely volumes of classic EC Comics and the latest, The EC Archives: The Haunt of Fear Volume 2 comes highly recommended. Coming to a comic shop near you October 28, this 216-page full color hardcover collects The Haunt of Fear #7–#12 and features art from Johnny Craig, Graham Ingels, Jack Davis, Jack Kamen, George Roussos, Ed Smalle, and Joe Orlando. I’ll tease you with a page from the very first tale in the book, a real corker called Room For One More:

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I think that rather unbalanced Rodney needs to reconsider his greed for that last space in the family mausoleum before it’s too late, right? As usual, the book compiles the issues in their entirety including all the original ads, text pieces, and letter columns. Nope, you can’t order anything from those well-aged adverts, but reading the letters should get you smiling at how some took these illustrated tales of terror to heart back in the day. Feel free to also check out previous volumes in Dark Horse’s EC Archives for even more variety in classic horror, sci-fi, crime, humor and more stories from the pre-Comics Code days.

READS: It’s Free Comic Book Day Tomorrow. Go Get Some!

Dark Horse Fight Club Freebie Dark Horse Kids Freebie

 

So, it’s May already! That means a few things of note for you fans of a few things pop culture-like. One of them being FREE COMIC BOOK DAY which is tomorrow. If you’ve never participated in this event, it’s a simple and enjoyable thing to do. just find a comic book shop near you, walk in and claim your free comic. That’s it. As you can see above, Dark Horse Comics has some nice freebies this year, but you’ll have about 50 different free comics to choose from at some larger retailers with room to spare.

I actually want to check out that Fight Club sequel, as it’s got Chuck Palahniuk writing every single word. Hopefully the guys at the comic shop near me get themselves open before 1 tomorrow afternoon. Sometimes I’ve run by there only to find the gate down and no one answering the phone. Boo. Well, we’ll see what happens this year. If I post pics tomorrow at some point, that means things went according to plan.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Get the Coffee Table Book Treatment

The Art of He-ManOkay, I’ll admit to not being much into He-Man and the Masters of the Universe way back when it was on TV and those beefy action figures and massive playsets were selling like hotcakes in stores. However, I was a big fan of Earl Norem‘s fantasy artwork as well as some of the cool animation Funimation had been doing since the late 60’s. As soon as I heard Dark Horse Comics was putting out a massive 300+ page regular and limited edition hardcover called The Art of He-Man And The Masters of the Universe, it went on my long list of books I needed to check out.

After getting a digital copy to peruse last week, color me impressed and a *kiiiind of* new convert to the old kid’s show. Granted, I’m not about to run out and buy up a box set and binge watch myself into a coma anytime soon. But thanks to the wonderful art and well-done interviews with many involved with the show, toys, comics and even that weird live action film, I respect the show a lot more on the art side of things. It’s still a big toy-selling chunk of nostalgia, but that sort of thing is why many now adults loved the show back in the day. I’m sure some of their parents had an eyebrow raised every time a new figure was requested and I don’t even want to think about holiday shopping for a hot new playset with a bunch of other parents eyeballing the same big box. Anyway, if one or more of those links floats your boat, go make a purchase. The regular edition is in stores on April 15 and the LE hits retail in May.

Me-Man Norem Art 

Oh, and someone needs to track down Earl Norem and send him a nice letter of thanks for all his gorgeous artwork, as his Wikipedia page is kind of depressing near the end. Personally, I think more people including younger illustration fans WOULD indeed be interested about the career of an 81-year-old artist. Hell, they’d better be, as his work was always consistently grand in just about anything he did.

Archie vs. Predator? Okay, I’ll Bite.

archie vs predator 

Ha. Oddball legal issues with one of its former employees a few years back aside, Archie Comics is clearly having a great time cooking up all sorts of alternate universes for its characters to mess around in. The latest and possibly greatest thing coming down the pike is this collaboration with Dark Horse Comics, Archie vs. Predator. Yeah, it’s on the way to a comic shop near you soon (as in April 15 at a comic shop near you). Here’s the rundown on what to expect in this four issue mini-series:

Archie vs. Predator Full Cover 

HE’S IN RIVERDALE WITH A FEW DAYS TO KILL!

Archie vs. Predator #1 (of 4)

Alex de Campi (W), Fernando Ruiz (P/Cover), Rich Koslowski (I), Jason Millet (C), Eric Powell (Variant cover), and Francesco Francavilla (Variant cover)

On sale April 15

FC, 32 pages

$3.99

Miniseries

America’s favorite teen meets the galaxy’s fiercest hunter! Archie and friends hit Costa Rica for Spring Break, where party games and beach games are soon replaced by the Most Dangerous Game! What mysterious attraction does the gang hold for the trophy-collecting Predator, and will the kids even realize they’re in danger before it claims them all?

The wildest Archie crossover ever (and that’s saying something)!
From Alex de Campi (Grindhouse, My Little Pony)
Variant covers by Eric Powell (The Goon) and Francesco Francavilla (Afterlife with Archie)!

If you want more laughs than you can shake a stick with a head on, check out the variant covers and other fun (and feel free to pre-order the book if you’re rolling off your chair laughing) here.

Astro Boy Omnibus 1: Manga Classics 101 At An Everyman Price Point

Astro Boy Omnibus
 

If you already own the complete 23-volume set (which I believe is out of print), you probably don’t need Astro Boy Omnibus 1 at all. If on the other hand you’re new to the manga scene or have never read the late, great Osamu Tezuka’s seminal work, Dark Horse Comics is making sure to get your full attention with this 700-page volume. For $19.99, you’re getting quite a deal that won’t take up a lot of physical space. Yeah, some of us still read and buy real books, folks.

Anyway, September isn’t all that far away when you think about it (yeah, time flies, doesn’t it?), so make sure to keep an eye peeled for this one.

Richard Corben’s RAT GOD #1 Preview: The Squeamish Reader Gets The Quease…

Rat God 1 Corben Cover Art

Well, there’s a face only a mother could love, huh? Dark Horse Comics is going to be publishing Richard Corben‘s latest work, RAT GOD in February. Here’s a sneak peek of the first five pages plus the cover to issue #2 of this three issue limited series. Corben’s ink work has grown a lot more uniquely stylized over time, but still works excellently in conveying his storytelling skill.  The story is Lovecraft inspired with a Native American twist and from the teaser below, seems on par with some of Corben’s older work for assorted Warren magazines back in the 70’s.

 

Rat God 1 page 1 Rat God 1 page 2 Rat God 1 page 3

Rat God 1 page 4 Rat God 1 page 5 Rat God 2 cover art

A little synopsis for you if you’re now curiouser:

There’s something in the woods… Eisner Award Hall of Famer Richard Corben is set to deliver an original backwoods tale of terror inspired by H. P. Lovecraft.

Terrible things stalk the forests outside Arkham in this chilling series from comics master Richard Corben! An arrogant city slicker on a quest to uncover the background of a young woman from the backwoods finds horrors beyond imagining, combining Lovecraftian mutations with Native American legends.

And since you’ve been good, take a peek at the cover to issue 3 (if you dare!). Now that you’re hooked in, each issue will be available at your nearest comic emporium for $3.99. Issue one should be in stores February 4, 2015 with March and April ship dates for the remaining issues.