Tag Archives: Dark Horse Comics

The Whispering Dark

While I acknowledge that good, spooky entertainment shouldn’t be relegated to a certain season, I am particularly excited each October to see movie marathons on streaming networks, horror blockbusters on the big screen, and an inordinate number of creepy titles popping up on the new release comic rack. Of course, this could just be because I’m looking for something in that vein, but… whatever the case, I was glad to see Dark Horse’s The Whispering Dark #1 on the shelf this week. The comic, by Christofer Emgård and Tomás Aira, combines two of comics’ most popular genres of ages past — horror and war — and offers something that would have made Bill Gaines proud.

The Swedish author, best known for his acclaimed video game writing, is crafting a slow-burning mystery that combines the psychological terror of combat with elements of the supernatural. The series opens with an Army pilot, Hannah Vance, taking over as de facto commander of a party of soldiers shot down and caught behind enemy lines in the mountainous forest of some unnamed war.

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Aliens: Dead Orbit

Happy Alien Day, folks. What began in 2016 as a celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of James Cameron’s Aliens (and cleverly tied to the planet name – LV-426 – from Ridley Scott’s first film), bursts to life for a second straight year. April 26 is a day to squeeze your facehugger plushy, watch the trailer for Alien: Covenant (again), and head down to your local comic shop for Dark Horse’s latest entries into this terrifying science-fiction universe. This week, James Stokoe debuts Aliens: Dead Orbit #1, a story with a familiar feel, but told with an impressively fresh style.

The book opens on a desolate Weiland-Yutani space station, and a familiar, eerie whirring of electronic circuits. A flashback sequence begins to tell the story of how this station ended up with just one, haggard occupant. Its crew had gone to investigate a freighter, dead in orbit around the gas giant, resulting in all the usual Alien tropes. What the hell happened here? Where is everyone? What burned through this bulkhead..?! And before issue one concludes, it’s clear that the acid-blooded predator responsible is back on the station, and one poor bastard has his work cut out for him.

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30 Years of Dark Horse Comics

250px-Dark_Horse_Presents_01In 1986, at the vanguard of the black & white comics boom, Mike Richardson launched Dark Horse Presents #1 and Dark Horse Comics was born. Thirty years later, still publishing from Milwaukie, Oregon, Dark Horse has weathered the rise and fall of hundreds of publishing rivals to stake an impressive claim on comics shop real estate alongside “The Big Two,” as well as fellow upstart independent publisher Image Comics. This Saturday is Dark Horse Comics Day, and comic shops around the around the country will be joining in the celebration.

Although the company’s bread & butter has been its excellent licensed property-based series, such as Aliens, Buffy, and, until recently, Star Wars, there are a wealth of creator-owned gems in the DHC catalog. This weekend, when you’re out perusing the racks, look for some of our favorites.

concConcrete by Paul Chadwick
Chadwick’s Concrete made its debut in that very first Dark Horse Presents, and his short stories appeared in a number of that anthology’s issues over the next few years. These are the stories of -, a political speechwriter whose brain was transplanted into the body of a hulking stone-like giant. The genius of the comic, and the reason it became such an important breakthrough for the medium, is that every story follows a genuinely human response to this one bizarre character development. What would it really be like if you were suddenly seven-feet of near-indestructible alien construct. How would the MaureenConcworld, completely unaccustomed to things like billionaire weapons designers with flying exoskeletons or the unexpected effects of radioactive spiderbites, react? How do you live? How do you love?

Chadwick’s art is some of the most affecting, tender linework you’ll ever see. And the fragile beauty of his brushstroke underscores the guiding premise that we often take for granted our most human of actions and reactions. Speaking of fragility, if you need one collection to get started, check out Concrete, Vol. 3: Fragile Creature, which collects the mini series of the same name, as well as some of his earlier short stories.

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