Tag Archives: comicbooks

Our “Weekly” Dark Horse Presents Volumes 21, 22, and 23

Our almost kind of weekly review of Dark Horse Presents tackles volumes 21, 22, and 23! For those who might not be familiar with DHP it was one of the greatest comic book anthologies ever made and was the flagship title of Dark Horse Comics! I’m reading through it one week at a time and sharing my thoughts on these awesome comic books from the 80’s and 90’s! I decided to cover a few issues in this post to see if I enjoy covering more than one issue a week. Onto to the comic books! 

Dark Horse Presents issue 21 features the last installment of Masque by Mark Badger and I feel like singing “Ding-Dong the witch is dead….” because this story is not for me. Honestly it almost sank my wanting to read DHP itself! Glad that confusing and odd story is done. 

Delia & Celia by Gary Davis is the prehistoric tale of two young women fleeing for their lives and encountering adventure in a strange and wonderous world. Davis has the ability to create ancient civilizations with apparent ease and spin entertaining tales. 

Trekker by Ron Randall is always interesting and this episode brings a story arc to a close with a difficult ending. After facing life and death our hero is forced to look inward for answers to some difficult questions. 

Dark Horse Presents issue 22 features the ever incredible Paul Chadwick’s Concrete which won the 1987 Harvey Awards for Best New Series and Best Cartoonist! Concrete always offers a glimpse into the heart of humanity and in this issue we see a little bit of the wonder of the mind of a child. Another beautiful tale told well. 

Reflections by Andrew Murphy is a SciFi tale on the difficult morality of cloning and a peek into how that might play out in the real world. This one was very thoughtful and thought provoking and had implications that reached beyond the surface. 

Trekker by Ron Randall featured finishing art by Dave Dorman who is a personal favorite artist of mine! This issue is a segueway issue that shows that comic book stories can be thoughtful and take time to develop. Good character building. 

This issue featured two quick bonuses: Duckman by Everett Peck is a funny look at the stressful world of business and Police Beat by Rick Geary is an offbeat look at some of the odd calls police in the rural Midwest deal with. 

Dark Horse Presents issue 23 starts off with a bang. Filipino Massacre by William Stout reminds everyone that the history you were taught is only ever a part of the full story. 

Gateway To Hell by John Arcudi and Gary Barker shows a little of the difficult nature of PTSD but in truth felt more like a focus on a monster than a thoughtful addressing of a topic worthy of discussion. Maybe they were trying to raise awareness but this seemed an ill considered method. 

Police Beat by Rick Geary leaves you shaking you head, chuckling at, and worrying for humanity. 

Finally! One of the reasons I love DHP: Race Of Scorpions by Leopoldo Durañona is simply incredible. Breathtakingly detailed artwork and thoughtful story combine in this SciFi look at a post climate apocalypse earth. In this future water has become scarce and the commodity we live off of. It is an intriguing and engaging story that tackles multiple topics with each installment! I’m excited to have reached the start of it!


Our Weekly Dark Horse Presents Vol 20

Our (almost back to) weekly review of Dark Horse Presents volume 20. TWENTY! It’s a big issue. No really Dark Horse made issue 20 huge! They were celebrating (and rightly so) that a black and white indie anthology comic book made it to issue twenty, because it is a big deal! And what better way to celebrate than with a big comic book?

Published in August of 1988 this giant comic book contained 64 pages of mostly awesomeness, some ok-ness, and a few wtf-ness. With anthologies you tend to get a mixture of everything from excellent to what were they thinking. Ok on to what this volume contained! I’ll post the title and my thoughts. For the creators’ names please look at the photo immediately below!

Mr Monster: Cheesy!!! Oh dear lord this was cheesy. Maybe they were poking fun at how silly comic books used to be? Maybe. But still this was cheese. 

Anomoly: Amazing!!! Not just because I love Gary Davis’ work, ok maybe a little because of that, but I love his work because it tends to be first rate! I loved this little SciFi tale of suspense and quiet horror that is accompanied by amazing artwork. A good example of what comic books can achieve. 

A Mother’s Tragedy: Slightly strange and off-kilter like most of Rick Geary’s work. Still quite enjoyable! You’re left reading between the lines a little, and there is a lot written in there. 

Trekker: This continues to be a solid story. SciFi bounty hunter meets old school private eye. Although this is a continuation of an outside story you are still entertained. 

The Mystery Men: Many comic books try to confront the what if super heroes were real question. I agree that lawsuits would abound. 

The Visit: A well illustrated tale that would truly speak to the hearts of those that have faced similar family situations. This shows that a comic book story can be much more than just that. 

Masque: I look forward to the end of this nightmare. The only positive I really have for Masque is that some of the inking is really nice. 

Concrete: This comic book will always peek into the heart of human nature and reveal a truth. 

Bob The Alien: These stories are always fun and I enjoy how they look like they were scribbled with a pen. 

Mindwalk: I’m not upset to see this story return! If they continue it I would be interested to see where it goes. 

Wacky Squirrel: Cheap laugh. 

Black Cross: One of the flagship stories of Dark Horse Presents. Dark, gritty, dangerous, and somehow still touching. 

There you have it! The giant twentieth issue of Dark Horse Presents! We’re getting closer to the volumes that captured my heart and made me a Dark Horse fan!

My Top Ten Comic Books Part One: The (Second) Runners Up! 

While creating my Top Ten Comic Books list I had quite a few runners up (twelve) so I decided to split my posts up a little and introduce the winners and almost winners separately. The runners up weren’t really in a particular order as it was more how they fit together well in the photos of six, but they sort of ended up in the two groupings I would have placed them into so we’ll pretend it is intentional. 

Trees by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard is a beautifully told SciFi story about humanity set against the backdrop of alien life slowly revealing itself to us. 

Revival by Tim Seely and Mike Norton is an intriguing tale of the dead returned to life in a rural Wisconsin town and how that would affect the citizens within that area. It does an incredible job of maintaining mystery without becoming dull, unlike the second season of Lost. Thankfully Lost picked things back up later on, but more thankfully Revival has yet to let up on the quality! 

Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez is quite simply phenomenal. It is perhaps one of the greatest horror/mystery comic books ever created. The story and artwork combine seem lesson to weave a spell over the reader and draw you deeper and deeper into its pages, but be careful or you may never escape. 

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons would probably be on anyone’s top ten list and rightfully so. This is one of the comic books that all modern comic books are judged by and I enjoy and appreciate it. Just not as much as the top ten I’ve already chosen 😉

Cerebus by Dave Sim and Gerhard is a controversial masterpiece of a lifetime’s work by the creators. I have only read a third of the 300 issues and one year I intend to read the entire series but until then it is safe to add this work up here for what I’ve already appreciated from it. The concept of a comic book series that maintains its continuity for 300 issues is amazing to me. 

Sin City by Frank Miller is without a doubt the height of crime fiction in comic book history. Dark. Gritty. Vicious. And artfully done. 

Next post will feature the First Runners Up to my Top Ten Comic Books of all time!