Lit The Dark Horses of Dark Horse

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Now that we've only got a month left for DHC's original SW material, I thought it would be nice to have a thread in which we can examine, discuss, and recommend their non-SW output. I have to admit I haven't bought much else from them historically outside of the occasional Serenity material, but hopefully those of us who are making the attempt to continue giving them our business can use this to crowdsource things that might draw our interest. As such, here are the titles I'm currently looking at:

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    For a couple years now they've been releasing three-part digest-sized stories by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru that continue the story from The Last Airbender and establish the status quo seen in Legend of Korra. I expected bland tie-in stuff at first but these have proven to be really good at continuing the series' story in a way that doesn't feel tacked on, and dealing with serious, complex questions about the fallout from the show's Hundred-Year War. They've also jumped more than a year ahead already, meaning that if they keep it up for a while we could actually get to see the characters age. Each digest is normally about $10 but they're all on sale for $4.99 at the digital store right now.

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    'nuff said. The art was inconsistent in this recently-concluded miniseries but it's really great to see them actually continuing the story at last and I'm excited for more--maybe even something analogous to "Firefly Season Two" someday.

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    I don't know much about this miniseries but it's got Bechko and Hardman on its writing team (and awesome covers by Hardman, though the interior art doesn't look quite as good) so as a Legacy fan I'm going to give it a shot. Here's the official synopsis:
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    Pariah is about a group of teenagers genetically engineered to be supergeniuses and then exiled into space for some reason. I'm still figuring this one out--apparently there's a graphic novel-length first volume that deals with their time on Earth, and the current volume is after they're sent to space. It seems way more in the "psychological sci-fi" vein and I like the art a lot, so I'm probably going to get all the old stuff and binge at some point. It's also got a pretty nice website explaining the premise, though it's out of date which is part of the reason I'm not totally clear on what was released when and how.

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    This series follows the new game, I guess--I tried the first issue because Gail Simone, but I dunno if I'll keep going; Lara Croft's never really done much for me.

    Helpful links:

    New Releases

    Upcoming Releases

    Digital Store

    Other things I'm curious about if any of you are familiar: Matt Kindt's Mind MGMT, Greg Rucka's Veil, and well, it's hard to argue with a series called "Axe Cop".

    Oh, and they also do Halo and Mass Effect comics, which I means means something to you people. :p
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Jul 19, 2014
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  2. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    You all need to be reading:

    Lone Wolf & Cub Omnibus

    Usagi Yojimbo

    The Mignolaverse - Hellboy, BPRD, Abe Sapien, Witchfinder, Lobster Johnson, Sledgehammer 44.
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Jul 19, 2014
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  3. Protectorate Jedi Master

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    Hellboy is really the only other DH series that I have followed. I've sampled other DH tie-in series, but haven't found much that really drew me in.
  4. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    I've seen the two movies and the whole Hellboy concept just doesn't grab me--though I like his art. Usagi and LWaC I am interested in, though.
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Oh, how could I forget?

    Fear Agent
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  6. blackmyron Chosen One

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    There was that early issue of X-Force - #8 I think - that was a colossal embarrassment, because there was a flashback illustrated by Mignola flanked by a couple pages by Liefeld. I don't think they could've highlighted the latter's lack of artistic talent in a more glaring and harsh manner than that.
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  7. darklordoftech Chosen One

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    Hyrule Historia, a book documenting the production of the Zelda games and finally providing a timeline for them.
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  8. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    Serenity: Those Left Behind is the only other Dark Horse material outside of the Dark Empire Trilogy I have had the pleasure of reading, I have never been that interested in comics. Though since I don't know Mandarin, its even harder to follow than Firefly and Serenity where it is at least spoken.
  9. Darth_Henning Force Ghost

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    I will definitely be buying the collections of all their Serenity stuff. Other than that though, I must sadly submit a lack of interest in their other material.
  10. Rogue Five Jedi Master

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    Not a big comic reader here, but I do occasionally pick up their Halo, Buffy, and Firefly work. I might check out that Tomb Raider comic too, didn't know about it until now.

    Other than that, I've never read anything else that wasn't Star Wars from Dark Horse.
  11. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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  12. Zorrixor Chosen One

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    Ohh, nice idea for a thread. :)

    To be honest, up until the last year or two, I'd barely read any other comics outside Star Wars, but I've been following their Mass Effect and Avatar comics and have enjoyed both. The Avatar ones especially. Like you, @CooperTFN I was expecting them to be bland tie-ins, but I love how much they perfectly capture the television series. I originally got kinda upset about some of the cliffhangers they left "just for a comic", but they feel so "real", as they capture the feel of the TV in a way that's far, far, far better than any of the TCW tie-ins.

    @darklordoftech what's Hyrule Historia like beyond the "timeline"? I'd been pondering grabbing it, but the timeline struck me as a bit of a cop out with all the alternate timelines and stuff in it, and it's left me unsure if the rest is worth getting it for or not...?

    I'm not that familiar with many of the other ones anyone's listed, but the non-tie-in ones sound interesting, so I'll probably look some of those up too. :)
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  13. darklordoftech Chosen One

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    Concept art, creator interviews, and a manga that takes place during the war described in Skyward Sword. As for the timeline, there's a "foggy window clause" and Zelda has had alternate timelines since 1998.
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  14. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    For those of a more cultural inclination, DHC will be issuing P Craig Russell's adaptation of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung in August, it'll be a 420 page hardback collecting the entirety of the work previously issued as 2 volumes about a decade back.

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    Also, DHC issue quite a few of Bryan Talbot's work in the US market, (Jonathan Cape issue the UK editions) a British writer-artist, whose most recent work is the Grandville series, for which there are 3 stories:

    Grandville
    Grandville: Mon Amour
    Grandville: Bete Noire

    Expected to be around 5 volumes in total, with the next due November 2014 - Noel.

    Look, if the below images don't at least incline you to try it, you clearly have no soul!

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    October sees the release of Arkwright Integral hardback, which collects the two Luther Arkwright series.

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    EDIT: For those considering Usagi Yojimbo, wait until October then grab this:

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    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Jul 19, 2014
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  15. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    I've kind of dropped out of this, despite having loved it for a very long time. I was about six issues into the Bêlit stuff and... I dunno, stuff.

    Any sign of anyone picking up Busiek's Prince - Vizier/Thoth-Amon future-plot? I miss it.
  16. Nobody145 Force Ghost

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    Nice idea for a thread, I plan to still keep buying at least a few Dark Horse comics for years to come.

    I would also recommend Angel and Faith, the first season at least, I liked it a surprising amount. Don't much care for Buffy season 8/9/10, things just get more depressing and stupid. The spinoff series is mostly Angel trying to make up for at least one thing he did during his colossal mistakes during the Buffy comics, with Faith along to prevent him from messing up again.

    Can't really recommend the Mass Effect comics, most of the comics are just backstory to game characters, and the art is so-so. And keeping track of canon un ME is confusing, especially with how they all dance around the issue of the player character.

    Current Halo comic hasn't been anything memorable, though that Spirit of Fire from Halo Wars tease was awful.

    Avatar has turned out to be a pretty faithful continuation of the cartoon series, just hope the Rift doesn't end up being too much like the Promise was with the Gaang arguing with each other. The release schedule is a bit slow but decent for the quality of the artwork. Though the relationships might be taking an odd turn after how conclusively the series ended.

    I'm reading the Hellboy series right now and its quite good, though it is classified as horror but not that scary relatively speaking. Hellboy in Hell isn't so bad, though I've the spinoffs might be worse in the horror department.

    I liked Hyrule Historia a lot, plenty of great artwork and some interesting comments on the way some things mught be related to each other. As well as a Skyward Sword prequel comic that has the very first Link I think.
  17. Dr. Steve Brule Force Ghost

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    I like DH as much as anyone, but how is this really appropriate for a forum specifically about Star Wars literature? Should there be a thread about Del Rey's non-SW output, or Disney's non-SW movies? Or, for that matter, Marvel's non-SW comics?
  18. Zorrixor Chosen One

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    Oh, I just thought of something else I plan to buy from Dark Horse in a couple of months:

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    I had a friend introduce me to these earlier this year on the ElfQuest website, and although I could just read them all online for free there, I far prefer having something to hold in my hands when I read, so I'm intending to buy the physical copies.

    The one catch with the Dark Horse releases is it says on Amazon they'll only be black and white, which will be a shame, and so I admit I'm currently unsure if I will get them, or if I'll try and hunt down previous releases from ElfQuest's previous publishers. But that's got the problem of (i) finding them, and (ii) finding them at an affordable price. So... I don't know yet. I'm inclined to go with Dark Horse's though, in the hopes that if sales are high enough they'll hopefully want to publish more of the back issues-- and hopefully in colour.
  19. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    That's one of the things I like about it--obviously Kataang is a OTP thanks to Korra, but by and large I'd like to see them growing apart at least a bit as the years go by. Nobody is the same person at 18 they are at 14--let alone 25 or 40. Based on recent episodes of Korra, Toph certainly got around over the years.

    I thought it'd be a nice way to send them off (as opposed to your examples which remain ongoing SW partners), but you're not wrong, I admit. If the mods feel this doesn't belong I won't object.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Jul 19, 2014
  20. Todd the Jedi Mod and Inquisitor of SWTV

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    I just kinda realized that Dark Horse does all of Whedon's stuff, minus the Avengers of course. Buffy and Angel, Serenity, Dr. Horrible, hell I think they even did some Dollhouse comics. I've enjoyed the Serenity stand-alones I've read, though I haven'g gotten to this latest series. The Doc Horrible comics were awesome; hopefully with Dr. Horrible 2 coming eventually we'll see some more comics.

    As for their books, yeah Hyrule Historia was great, and I hear Mogworld is pretty good too.
  21. Havac Former Moderator

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    That new Serenity mini isn't out in TPB yet, is it?

    And Ben, is that a steampunk badger detective series?

    How much Conan stuff has DH done?
  22. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    A lot. They also re-released the Marvel Conan comics.
  23. BoromirsFan Jedi Grand Master

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    I don't know anything about Conan, but I saw that Kotor artist Brian Ching was behind the art in one of its arcs
    Last edited by BoromirsFan, Jul 19, 2014
  24. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    1. Nope, the new mini will be Volume 4, due in hardback Nov 2014.

    2. Damn straight! And it's awesome.

    3. I think they are up to about Volume 14 on the trades. They also issued Colossal Conan, a 1000+ page hardback monster collecting the Busiek run, not cheap, but it does have about 50 issues of material.

    EDIT: Couple more Grandville images from the first story:

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    From book 2:

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    Plus one more recommendation: Representing a foray into translating European material, Blacksad is superb stuff. The first collection covers the first 3 albums, Volume 2 has the 4th and making of features, while Volume 3 is due October and has the 5th album.



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    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Jul 20, 2014
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  25. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    I haven't read the new Serenity series (and the newer one shots), mostly for one reason: the previous ones weren't really good. Firefly always struck me as a series that's great to watch because of the actors and because of the look. The stories always fell flat for me. With the comic books, great actor chemistry and directional timing gets reduced to a possibly witty script. The look inevitably gets swapped for a comic book look. And both Those Left Behind and Better Days don't do much good with their stories. I actually read Better Days in single issues, and the first one was the best because it was just setting up stuff. Next, the plot was so-so, and the climax was unbelievably meh. Those Left Behind adds the expectation that it bridges the differences between series and movie, and it... doesn't really do that. Anticlimatic reveal of the series' "phantom menace", the writer's admission that the movie is choosing another villain for the exact same role, closure for a show villain who didn't ask for closure and finally last minute out-of-the-blue "oh by the way" scenes in which the characters who left the ship leave the ship. Oh, and they get a piece of equipment that they have in the film, I'm glad that aspect got cleared up.

    What I heard about the Sheperd Book graphic novel sounds roughly the same, and the new "Firefly Class 1234" series adresses the complaints that the movie with its larger than life story forgot what made the series great... by continuing on (and possibly one-upping) the larger than life level.

    Which probably isn't really Dark Horse's fault, I'd guess Whedon is fully capable on his own to be so confident in his use of tropes that he's flying past what would be really great. Do Buffy fans like the Buffy stuff better?