Posts Tagged ‘Dark Horse’

CBF 40 : 2012 Comics In Review

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012


I’d like to say that’s the appropriate theme for the 2012 comic book review edition of the CBF podcast. Bringing both Daniel M. Clark and Jon Stump onto the show together will do that.

This is where we dissect the year of comics and its future. Many bold topics were discussed:

  • DC losing ground with its New 52 and the falling of Vertigo
  • The good (Marvel NOW!) and not so good (AvX) of Marvel
  • Image having probably its best year since their inception 20 years ago
  • Our favorite series and what you should be picking up that’s under the radar
  • Our concerns for the industry as a whole and what 2020 is going to look like
  • Who the heck may becoming a Brony?

Agree? Disagree? This was definitely the most honest podcast we’ve done and it speaks a lot to where comic books are supposedly heading. Give it a listen.

I’ll be back soon to close out the year of 2012 with the Quick Pick of the Year!

BREAKING NEWS : Disney Acquiring Lucasfilm With New Star Wars Movie In the Works

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

A little over 3 years ago, Disney set the pop culture world on fire with its $4 billion purchase of Marvel Comics. Fast forward to today and looks like Disney wants to light it up one more time with a shocking deal.

According to a Disney press release, it’s about to purchase Lucasfilm, Lucasarts, ILM, and Skywalker Sound for a reported $4.05 billion dollars. Much like with Marvel, Disney seems to want to take advantage of the vast history the Star Wars franchise has explored and build upon it amidst its under franchises under its belt.

What’s more shocking is that right off the bat, Disney reportedly has plans to get a “Star Wars 7” movie in the works. George Lucas would still be around as a creative consultant.

Speaking of the man who made sci-fi blockbusters possible, he had this to say in the press release:

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

I have to be honest – I’m conflicted. It’s definitely big news and Disney knows how to market and merchandise. That being said, this is also the same company that almost damaged Pixar’s creative vision before coming to terms and purchasing them. I’m sure people are ready for a change after Lucas’ prequel trilogy left bad tastes in their mouths along with Lucas himself of late saying he is tired of the fanboyism (although to be fair – some of that is justified).

Now you have to ask – what does all of this have to do with comics? Look no further than Dark Horse. Other than Hellboy and B.P.R.D., Dark Horse relies heavily on their licensed properties to compete in the direct market – Aliens, Predator, Terminator, Conan and yes – Star Wars too. Marvel was originally the go-to publisher back at the peak of Star Wars’ popularity in the early 1980’s. Disney now owns Marvel. You get where I’m going with this?

Obviously, this all just happened now, so we know nothing more about Disney’s plans with the companies. But you got to feel for Dark Horse and an uncertain future that’s been brought upon them.

CBF 36 : 2011 Comics In Review

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

2011 was a banner year for comics. Whether it was DC’s New 52 initiative, Marvel bringing the X-Men books back to prominence, or every other publisher bringing something unique to the market – there was something for everybody here and that can only mean great things for the industry.

Jon Stump and I give you the final main CBF podcast of the year and bring you opinions on everything:

  • The State of DC
  • The State of Marvel
  • The State of the indies
  • Best Ongoing
  • Best New Series
  • Best Graphic Novel / Trade
  • Best Writer
  • Best Artist
  • Break-out Talent

Thanks for listening and have a great Christmas and New Year’s!

CBF Interview : John Ostrander On Star Wars : Agent Of The Empire

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
John Ostrander is no stranger to the Star Wars lore. Having spent close to a decade in the universe writing the past with Star Wars : Republic and the future with Star Wars : Legacy, Ostrander knows how to get the best out of the galaxy far, far away.

Now he returns with a new mini-series called Agent of the Empire, taking a James Bond approach to the war between the Empire and the Rebellion. We discuss the title, his past work, what’s to come, and general opinions about where the industry is heading next.

Special guest star : John’s phone 🙂

Music provided by ARCTIC – Through the Spaces

Review : Star Wars – Darth Vader And The Lost Command

Monday, November 28th, 2011

I don’t talk about it enough on this site, but I am a die-hard Star Wars fan. The movies are typically the first start for anybody who becomes a fan of the franchise and of science fiction in general. Count the endless amounts of novels, video games, TV shows, and, of course, the comics and you see how its influence has affected generations.

Having not dipped into the Star Wars pool for a while, I decided to check out the latest offering in this hardcover edition delving into more of Darth Vader’s past during the days post-prequel trilogy. Vader is tasked with locating Admiral Tarkin’s son and his forces in the Ghost Nebula. One would think this would be an easy task for a Dark Lord of the Sith, but he encounters the presence of the planet’s religious leader in Lady Saro, who bargains for complete control of the sector in exchange for helping Vader find Tarkin’s son. One betrayal leads to another, which allows the artist to show off the full might of Vader’s power. I don’t usually get this excited for art in a Star Wars book, as it tends not to do anything too special, but the pencils show a bit of a Sean Murphy vibe that I appreciated.

The standout from this series was a look into a future that will never come to be for Vader. During restoration sessions, Vader imagines a world where he was still Anakin, Padme was still alive, and they had their son. It’s not a lot of panels, but it conveys a great ‘What If?’ scenario that plays into how Vader handles his situation as he embarks on a plan to kill Tarkin’s son to push Tarkin himself to become more loyal to the Emperor’s cause. The prequel trilogy may have weakened Vader’s stature as a tough and powerful figure, but give credit to the novel and comics writers for trying to make the most of the situation and trying to build it back up.

Haden Blackman and Rick Leonardi gave us what you would come to expect from a Star Wars story – the continuing battle of good versus evil, space dogfights, great characterization, and great art. I only hope whenever the next movies come out (you know they’ll bring it) that this story be used as a template of how to do Star Wars right.

UNDER THE RADAR – House of Night #1

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Normally, I’d get this into my Quick Picks show, but I was so fascinated by its premise that it had to be a post of its own.

We’ve all seen the variations of the vampire mythology. Lately, it’s been swamped by the massive amounts of teenagers that believe vampires should be sparkly (and the upcoming Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 movie will keep that trend going unfortunately). Scott Snyder’s American Vampire has kept the bloodthirsty side of vampires going for a couple of years, but besides that, not much else to please that side of the mythology.

Dark Horse must have been hearing the cries of that hardcore crowd because in my inbox was a sneak peek of House of House of Night #1, based on New York Times best-selling book from P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast.

Upon looking at the cover and preview images, one could easily dismiss to be a Buffy the Vampire Slayer knock-off but in Hogwarts, with the premise of a high school girl named Zoey Redbird coming to terms with her “vampyre” blood. But only when you start to learn about how she and her friends come to be part of this species that things to start get intriguing. The goddess Nyx plays a role in defining the vampyre culture, as shown by a flashback to medieval times that gives us some insight as to how this new academy came about. There’s a lot of layers to this mythology to hook you in, while keeping the teen angst that you come to expect from those struggling to accept their place in the world as they grow older.

The art is as fluid and clean as you get. Facial expressions are drawn really well. The flashbacks to a more savage period have a Northlanders and manga vibe to it if you could picture that. Overall, these are pages and panels that you’d want prints of hanging on your wall for sure.

And if that doesn’t entice you, it’s a freaking buck to purchase.

Dark Horse unfairly at times gets classified as a publisher that relies much on big name licensing in stories like Star Wars or Aliens, but they definitely have an eye for the smaller stories that would translate well to larger audiences. Give this one a shot and get a taste of the hemoglobin.