AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER—THE PROMISE PART 1 TOPS BOOKSCAN AT #1!

In an amazing show of demand for Dark Horse’s newest graphic novel, Avatar: The Last AirbenderThe Promise Part 1 soared to the top of the Bookscan charts last week!

Written by Gene Luen Yang, author of the National Book Award-nominated American Born Chinese, Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise Part 1 marks the continuation of Airbender and the link to its upcoming sequel, Legend of Korra!

Ever since the conclusion of Avatar: The Last Airbender, its millions of fans have been hungry for more–and it’s finally here!  This series rejoins Aang and friends for exciting new adventures, beginning with a faceoff against the Fire Nation that threatens to throw the world into another war, testing all of Aang’s powers and ingenuity!

Avatar: The Last AirbenderThe Promise Part 1 is a must-have for any Airbender fan! This is the latest release in an ongoing partnership between Nickelodeon and Dark Horse to bring you the very best in Airbender books.

Avatar: The Last AirbenderThe Promise Part 1 is on sale now!

Avatar: The Last AirbenderThe Promise Part 2 is on sale May 30th

GOOD LUCK TROLLS RETURN IN 2012!

DARK HORSE DELUXE OFFERS UP A NEW TWIST ON A CLASSIC TOY WITH AN ALL-NEW MYSTERY-BOX ASSORTMENT TO DEBUT AT TOY FAIR! 

MILWAUKIE, OR, February 9—The Good Luck Trolls became one of America’s biggest toy fads in the early 1960s, and again in revivals over the years. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association commemorated them as one of the hundred most creative toys of the twentieth century. History repeats itself like never before in 2012, when Dark Horse Deluxe offers up these beloved and timeless figures in various iterations!

Thanks to a law passed by Congress, the US copyright for the Good Luck Trolls has been restored to its rightful Danish owner. Now Dam Things has licensed to Dark Horse the right to issue the Good Luck Trolls in the ever-popular “mystery box” style assortment, marking the first new troll products in the US in many years.

Dark Horse’s vice president of Product Development, David Scroggy, notes, “When we considered developing the Good Luck Trolls for the first time, we were confident that they would resonate with our audience of pop-culture fans and modern collectors. We think that they are likely to be embraced by our young-adult consumers.”

“Dark Horse has been very successful with the mystery box and we look forward to seeing them include the Good Luck Troll in their program,” says Calle Østergaard, CEO of Dam Things in Denmark.

This all-new assortment of colorful designs, featuring an array of hair colors and exotic surface treatments from glitter to metallic to flocked, are sure to stun both collectors and casual fans as they make their first appearance at Toy Fair 2012!

Please contact Dark Horse’s director of public relations, Jeremy Atkins, if you would like to set up a walk through at the show, where Dark Horse Deluxe will debut products to be released in spring and summer, including the Good Luck Trolls mystery-box assortment.

Retailers, check out your April-dated Previews for more information on this exciting new Dark Horse edition to Dark Horse’s mystery-box program!

 

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Review-King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel TPB

By  Alex Vazquez

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King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel TPB collects all four issues of the masterful adaption of Robert E. Howard’s short story. Once again Tomas Giorello, Timothy Truman, and Jose Villarrubia combine their talents to bring us a comic for the ages.

Truman once again takes REH’s original story and expands upon it beautifully. Any self respecting Conan fan will tell you that the original story was narrated by some unknown, omniscient character. (I think of actor Mako’s voice, thanks to the 80’s flick). This time around the tale is told in the first person, by the Cimmerian himself. Truman’s bold take on the story works, and serves to add another dimension to the events.

The artwork is perfection. Tomas Giorello can do no wrong with the world of Hyboria. I find his detailed and kinetic style perfectly suited for REH’s pseudo-historical tales. I especially love Giroello’s pale inks, which gives the pages a ‘pulpy’ look. Oh, and the splash pages are exquisite and poster worthy.

I’ve stated before that the drawings in these books work perfectly well in black and white. That being said, Villarrubia comes along and makes me happy that they’re not. His tones are vibrant in the right spots but appropriately drab all around, complementing the faded inks.

We’re also treated to a few ‘special features’ in this TPB, such as: chapter divider pages featuring artwork from Derrick Robertson, an art gallery, and an insightful introduction from Timothy Truman (which pays off at the end of the story).

This is a great package that should be in any Conan fan’s collection. Read, enjoy, and dream of the days of high adventure.

 

Follow Alex on Twitter @Net_Lex

MURDER AND MUSIC ON THE BAYOU! DÍAZ CANALES AND GUARNIDO’S BLACKSAD IS BACK!

Eisner and Harvey Award–winning duo Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido are back with another incredible tale to shock and awe crime-fiction fans and comics-art aficionados alike!

Detective John Blacksad returns, with a new case that takes him to a 1950s New Orleans filled with hot jazz and cold-blooded murder! Hired to discover the fate of a celebrated pianist, Blacksad finds his most dangerous mystery yet in the midst of drugs, voodoo, the rollicking atmosphere of Mardi Gras, and the dark underbelly that it hides!

Dark Horse’s Blacksad collection is already in its fourth printing, with 20,000 copies sold. Artist Juanjo Guarnido was voted the winner of the 2011 Eisner Award for Best Painter, and Blacksad Volume 1 won the Harvey Award for Best American Edition of Foreign Material.

“A lovingly crafted homage to the Hammett-Chandler chestnuts of old . . . and Guarnido’s watercolor panels feel like the unearthed film-noir storyboards of a master…A.”—Entertainment Weekly

Blacksad: A Silent Hell features an extensive making-of section, with tons of prelim sketches and watercolor studies, written by artist Juanjo Guarnido! This volume also includes two never-before-collected Blacksad short stories!

Blacksad: A Silent Hell is on sale July 11, 2012.

DARK HORSE COMICS’ OWN RESIDENT ALIEN! THE DOCTOR IS IN!

Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse bring their epic Dark Horse Presents tale of an alien hero named Harry to a fully fledged series beginning with Resident Alien #0!  

“I blame Steve Parkhouse. Having collaborated with him long ago on a couple of stories for The Dreaming, I was keen to do so again—and anyone who’s ever seen Steve’s work (on The Bojeffries Saga or The Milkman Murders, to name but two) already knows the reason why: he’s stunningly good,” stated Hogan. “We introduced our friendly alien to the world in the pages of Dark Horse Presents last year, and those installments have now been collected into Resident Alien #0. Over the next few months, you’ll learn a bit more about Harry and his supporting cast and watch as he attempts to catch a murderer—and that’s just for starters. This alien is here to stay.”

A stranded alien seeks refuge in the small town of Patience, USA, where he hides undercover as a semiretired doctor, masking his appearance using his unique mental abilities. Now known as Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle, all the alien wants is to be left alone until he’s rescued. However, when the town’s real doctor dies, “Dr. Harry” is pulled into medical service—and also finds himself smack dab in the middle of a murder mystery! He’d rather be fishing. Acclaimed creators Peter Hogan (2000 AD, Tom Strong) and Steve Parkhouse (Doctor Who) deliver a truly unique sci-fi adventure tale!

Resident Alien #0 is on sale April 18, 2012.

Resident Alien #1 is on sale May 23, 2012.

Review: Conan the Barbarian #1

By Alex Vazquez

Conan the Barbarian #1brings us Robert E. Howard’s short story, ‘The Queen of the Black Coast’, in highly demanded comic form. To my knowledge, I haven’t read the original, but given how well Dark Horse handled King Conan (another great adaption of an REH story) I feel I am in good hands.

Most of the story in this issue is told in retrospect by the characters and serves as set up for thing to come. Moreover, it manages to be entertaining without any sword fighting or bloodletting (a feat for any Sword n’ Sorcery tale). I attribute this to Wood’s excellent character writing. He presents a young and very charismatic Conan whose rebelliousness is tempered with signs of greatness. I instantly found myself wanting to adventure with this Cimmerian lad.

Becky Cloonan’s art suits this point in Conan life. She draws us a more svelte hero in his early twenties, not the one with the gigantic mirth we have come to know (damn you Frazetta and Arnold).

Dave Stewart’s colors area appropriately morbid, especially in the pages where we glimpse the Black Coast Queen in question (drool). If she doesn’t haunt your dreams then you are no barbarian (I chide, I chide).

If you’ve never read the short story, then you owe it to yourself to pick this series up. Know ye now, O Prince!

Follow Alex on Twitter @Nettomono

REVIEW: Gantz

By Jeff Steward

 

 

Written By: Hiroya Oku  Published By: Shueisha (Japan) and Dark Horse Comics (USA) Age Rating: Mature (18+) Genre: Horror, Science Fiction

Synopsis:

Two high school students Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato are trying to save the life of someone who had fallen off the platform in a subway but wind-up getting killed in a horrific accident that leaves them asking a lot of question because even though the where killed somehow they did not die. After mysteriously being saved they are transported from the subway to a small house that is filled with total strangers who have just as many questions as them. Besides the people who are in the room with them there is a strange large black ball in the middle… The ball is called Gantz. After a few tense moments and some introductions’ Gantz starts playing music and we start to find out what is going on. The Gantz ball suddenly opens up to reveal a naked man with a breathing mask inside and racks of weapons protruding out of both sides of the sphere. At the same time text appears on the front of Gantz letting everyone in the room know that their “Lives have ended and now belong to” Gantz. A picture is also displayed on Gantz along with a description of a target that the group has to track down and kill. Gantz starts transporting the group out of the room and they cannot return until their target is eliminated or they end up being killed themselves. And so begins the mystery that is Gantz…

Review:

Gantz is one of the most messed up things I have ever laid my eyes on! The story is very original and highly entertaining. It is very graphic with some serious kill scenes, lots of blood and some nudity. Kei is the main character in the story and he is kind of a pervert with an over active teenage sex drive. He is extremely attracted to the main female in the story mainly because she is the first real live woman he has seen naked and because she has huge breast. When Kei Kishimoto is transported into the room with the rest of the group she is totally naked and Kei Kurono starts kissing her while she is passed out which pretty much sums up what kind of sex crazed kid he is.

Now Masaru Kato on the other hand is a protector of the week and a pretty up standing guy. He and Kei are friends from childhood but lost contact over the years until their fateful encounter at the subway. I like the balance that Kato brings to Kei in the story. The characters are well developed with some decent depth through the first four volumes; the art style is great with fantastic attention to detail. The enemies are not to over the top for a science fiction story which in my opinion is great for some level of believability. I am enjoying the manga so far and I’m really looking forward to getting more volumes to find out how the story ends up. I highly recommend this manga to any fan of the horror sci-fi genre; it is a very enjoyable read. Otakustew.net gives Gantz the manga…

 

Go To Jeff’s website http://www.otakustew.net/

Follow him on Twitter @CrazedOtakuStew

TRACKERS PIONEERS B.P.R.D. TRAINING CAMP!

GOING OUTSIDE JUST GOT FUN AGAIN!

January 23, MILWAUKIE, OR—Do you or someone you know have a penchant for the supernatural? Do you like spending time in the great outdoors? Are you between the ages of 9 and 17? Will you be in Portland, Oregon, from July 16 to July 20? If so, Trackers Earth has the ultimate summer-camp experience for you!
 
Dark Horse Comics is proud to announce a partnership with Trackers Earth offering officially licensed B.P.R.D. and Hellboy camps, made possible through the generous permission of Mike Mignola, creator of B.P.R.D. and Hellboy.
 
“Trackers Earth is part of what makes Portland such an interesting place to live, and the most fun place in the country to raise a kid. This year my 6-year-old did Trackers camps focusing on forest ninja skills and stealth archery, and attended a school of magic. I wish he were old enough for B.P.R.D. camp, and I can’t wait to participate myself,” said B.P.R.D. editor Scott Allie. 
 
Trackers Earth is looking for a few good recruits that have got what it takes to join an elite team of paranormal investigators combating the forces of darkness from all across the globe. They immerse you in tactical training of all forms, including survival skills in any environment (both earthly and non), martial arts and self-defense specific to preternatural entities, hand-to-hand weaponry (foam swords, bows, and more) and forensic investigation. All these are key skills that every agent must have; plus, you will be steeped in the history of the Bureau and the legacy of paranormal research.

Call to Action

Recruits get actual field time during the entire camp. Learning is hands-on, with essential survival skills such as shelter building, stealth, and tactical and martial-arts training.

Younger Recruits

Ages 9–10: Younger recruits train in survival and field skills in local green spaces. They also spend their day investigating the haunted history of our city, piecing together the larger mystery revolving around the legend of Adolph Aschoff.

Older Recruits

Ages 11–13 and 14–17: Older recruits also investigate nearby “haunts,” then finally travel to Camp Trackers near Sandy, Oregon, to investigate reports of dark figures and strange happenings at the remnants of the old, defunct town of Marmot. Here they search for a legendary and lost pioneer cemetery (true story) to ask local specters and spirits about the town’s history and the legend of Adolph Aschoff, the man who is said to have sealed away an ancient evil upon the founding of the town.
 
Wednesday–Friday Overnight: Older recruits culminate their week with a two-night stay at Camp Trackers’ outdoor wilderness site in Sandy, Oregon. This is the perfect opportunity to focus on many of the skills taught at the camp.
 

The B.P.R.D. Training Camp includes:

• Tactical training
• Survival in any environment
• Martial arts and self-defense specific to preternatural entities
• Hand-to-hand weaponry (foam swords, bows, and more)
• Investigation and forensics
• Folklore and mythology
• Potions and charms 101
• Telepathy training
• Gadgets of the occult: EMF detectors, polarized lenses, and other paranormal investigative gear
• Comparative analogy and physiology of monsters
• Construction of your own quality foam swords and training weapons
• Meeting with the artists of the comic book that documents the adventures of the B.P.R.D.
• Bureau history and paranormal research

“It’s good to be a kid in Portland. Which other camp teaches you not only survival skills but also telepathy.”—Bleeding Cool

To find out more about B.P.R.D. Camp (AKA Hellboy Camp), head over to the official website: http://trackerspdx.com/youth/summer-camp/day/hellboy-camp.php.

 

RADICAL ENTERTAINMENT® AND DARK HORSE JOIN FORCES


TO UNLEASH THE ULTIMATE SHAPE-SHIFTING COMIC SERIES

 

All-New Comic Series Bridges the Enigmatic Conclusion of the Original PROTOTYPE® and the Action-Packed Beginning of PROTOTYPE®2

 

Santa Monica, CA – January 17, 2012 – Radical Entertainment, the creators behind one of 2012’s  most anticipated open-world/action games – PROTOTYPE 2 – and Dark Horse Comics, the leading publisher of gaming comics and graphic novels, have joined forces to create an all-new comic series set in the PROTOTYPE universe.  With the game due out April 24, 2012 from Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), fans looking for a jumpstart at getting a deeper look into the world of PROTOTYPE 2 should keep an eye out for this exciting collaboration launching February 15, 2012.

 

The all-new digital comic series will be broken into three original stories that bridge the gap between the original blockbuster game and the highly anticipated sequel, PROTOTYPE 2.  The first entry, “The Anchor,” illustrated by Paco Díaz, continues the story of Alex Mercer, the protagonist from the first game, while the second story, “The Survivors,” illustrated by Chris Staggs, follows a small group of residents of New York trying to escape the city after it has been transformed into NYZ with the outbreak of the Blacklight virus.  The third and final story, illustrated by Victor Drujiniu, is “The Labyrinth” and provides fans a deeper look into the backstory of PROTOTYPE 2’s new protagonist, Sgt. James Heller.  Each comic in the series will be available at Digital.Darkhorse.com every other week beginning February 15, 2012.

 

“We’re always looking for meaningful ways to expand the PROTOTYPE universe, and Dark Horse Comics is an industry-leading creative powerhouse delivering best-in-class graphic storytelling that integrates deeply to the core of our IP,” said Ken Rosman, Studio Head, Radical Entertainment.  “With this partnership, our fans will finally be given answers to some dramatic loose ends from the first PROTOTYPE game, as well as the truth behind Alex Mercer’s descent and evolution into a twisted shadow of his former self for PROTOTYPE 2.”

 

“Sgt. James Heller’s heart wrenching backstory meshed with the sheer amount of over-the-top shape-shifting action in PROTOTYPE 2 lend themselves perfectly to a comic book series,” said Dave Marshall, Editor, Dark Horse Comics.  “We worked extremely close with Radical Entertainment’s story team for PROTOTYPE 2, and can’t wait to visually walk fans through the many dark secrets strewn throughout the tattered world of New York Zero!”

 

The sequel to Radical Entertainment’s best-selling open-world action game of 2009, PROTOTYPE 2 takes the unsurpassed carnage of the original PROTOTYPE and continues the experience of becoming the ultimate shape-shifting weapon.  As the game’s all-new infected protagonist, Sgt. James Heller, players will cut a bloody swathe through the wastelands of post-viral New York Zero with unparalleled locomotion, building up a vast genetic arsenal of deadly, biological weapons and abilities as they hunt, kill and consume their way toward the ultimate goal – to kill…Alex…Mercer!

 

To find out more about PROTOTYPE 2, follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/radical_ent or check out www.prototypegame.com for the latest trailers, screenshots, special promotions and more!  And for the truly dedicated, go to www.facebook.com/prototype and join the PROTOTYPE Army – a community of over 360,000 (and growing) fans that receive constant updates from the team at Radical, and early sneak peeks at new information and assets.

 

PROTOTYPE 2 is currently in development for Xbox® 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.  The game is currently rated “RP” (Rating Pending) by the ESRB, with an expected “M” (Mature – Content that may be suitable for persons 17 and older) rating.