Dark Horse Partners with Game of Thrones!!!
Buffy Season 9 FREEFALL Their Way Into the DAMM Review Mailbox:
There is DARK MATTER on the Horizon and UXB in Presents #10
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is as big in my life as any property; you see most all the girls in my life are die-hard fans I recently received. Later on this page I review the first 3 issues of Season 9. But first let me say I am excited to finally be in the Dark Horse Universe talking news and books coming up. A preview or two are in order as well. Dark Horse has carried Star Wars for many years and done a fine job of it. Conan, Hellboy, Buffy all call Dark Horse home. I remember classics like Concrete. From all original series and anthologies to novel and movie adaptations Dark Horse has made me happy in that respect. But when you talk Dark Horse there are so many great ongoing creator owned and commercially licensed both over the years and currently that they are literally dark horse coming up the rail.
However there is Dark Horse News so I thought we would go there first - first!!
I have been reading George R. R. Martin for years. I was there for the original release of the Wild Cards novels because I am such a fan of Roger Zelazny that when I tuned in for Croyd the Sleeper, Dr. Tachyon and the rest of the universe entranced me. I am a POPINJAY loving, Hiram Worcherster fearing, Turtle cheering Puppet Man loathing ace and joker reading fool. I have read every chapter I can get my hands on. Well Martin has comics based on those series of books so there is a comic connection. There is a very special commentary throughout the series deeper and more complex than the personalities than Mark Meadows. I always liked Jumpin’ Jack Flash. Oh and beware Ti Malice and Bloat! I digress.
Well, there is this OTHER series of books like Song of Ice and Fire containing a story you may have heard of - Game of Thrones. You might have heard of it. In another comic book connection this news has come across the wire and here is the official release from Dark Horse:
HBO AND DARK HORSE ANNOUNCE
GAME OF THRONES PARTNERSHIP!
DARK HORSE DELUXE TO PRODUCE PRODUCT LINE BASED ON THE ACCLAIMED TELEVISION SHOW
MILWAUKIE, OR, NOVEMBER 10 — One of the most popular and critically acclaimed cable television shows of 2011 was Game of Thrones, created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for HBO. The hit series is based on A Song of Ice and Fire, the best-selling fantasy novel series by George R. R. Martin.
Dark Horse Deluxe is proud to announce, in partnership with HBO, a vast Game of Thrones product line debuting in the spring of 2012, leading up to the show’s second-season premiere in April. Licensed product categories derived from the series will span a large range, including statues, busts, and action figures; prop and jewelry replicas; and barware, stationery, and other collectibles. This exciting new line of products debuts with a range of branded magnets, patches, playing cards, coaster sets, and more.
“We are delighted to be part of HBO’s licensing roster for Game of Thrones. We are big fans of the television adaptation,” said Dark Horse’s VP of Product Development, David Scroggy. “We are working closely with HBO to develop a line of products inspired by the series that will delight the fan base.”
Look for the first round of items in Diamond’s January Previews catalog; they will arrive in specialty retailers everywhere in March of 2012.
Based on the best-selling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones debuted on HBO in March 2011. In a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime, trouble is brewing. From the scheming south and the savage eastern lands, to the frozen north and the ancient Wall that protects the realm from the darkness beyond, two powerful families are engaged in a deadly cat-and-mouse game for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. As betrayal, lust, intrigue, and supernatural forces shake the four corners of the Kingdoms, their bloody struggle for the Iron Throne will have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences.
End of Official Press Release
So go and get all the Game of Thrones stuff you can get your hands on because this craze is just getting started and he who slices the most hands off to get a mug or book…wins. What they win is the coolest stuff and bragging rights about the Dark Horse/HBO collectibles which as you can see are quality. I am already drooling over that set of patches (though I may need a new denim vest) and think coffee would taste better from a Winter Coming Stark mug. I must find out.
To me this partnership is another example of what is right with licensed properties and comics much like the Dr. Who comic from IDW and the Army of Darkness titles from Dynamite. When there is a working property with a loyal fan base only the right handling of those properties by someone who innately understands the heart of the property can do it right. Finding the deepest desires of the fans without carbon copies in story and presentation or low quality merchandise offshoots coupled with ludicrous promotion is nearly impossible. Dark Horse of course (haha) has a rich successful history with licensed properties and does it better than anyone else in my opinion as evidenced by the Star Wars and Buffy lines to name only two. HBO/Game of Thrones and Dark Horse is big news indeed for lovers of the books and the show.
*ATTENTION SPOILERS AHEAD – as few and as low impact as possible
BUFFY the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #1-3
Andrew Chambliss/Georges Jeanty/Dexter Vines/Michelle Madsen/Richard Starkings
Covers by Steve Morris
Designer - Justin Couch
Executive Producer – Joss Whedon – Script issue #1
Dark Horse $2.99
“With the destruction of the seed, the fight against Twilight was brought to an end, and magic’s connection to our earth was severed. No more Slayers will be chosen. No more Slayer army. No more gang: Buffy’s a waitress in San Francisco; Dawn and Xander are attempting normal domesticity; Willow is struggling with the loss of her powers. It’s a new(ish) world, but there are still demons and vampires to slay—even as their popularity with the masses continues to grow—and
Buffy is on point to do what she has always done . . . She is the Slayer.”…From the inside cover
Sunnydale’s Vampire Slayer returns for Season 9 with a great lineup, crazy plot twists and beautifully rendered covers with the first story arc Freefall from artist Georges Jeanty and writer Andrew Chambliss and what they have dished out in the first three issues. Buffy and her friends as well as all the magical and otherworldly beings are dealing with Buffy’s destruction of the seed and the change to their lives. This is Freefall.
Chambliss is phenomenal with his dialogue and it feels like an episode of the show in flow and in tone. The interchange between Xander, Dawn and Buffy in issue #2 is a perfect example of how seamless to feeling of the show it feels. In so many licensed adaptations there is a sense of “these are two different things” with this three issues it was like being in front of my TV and in my memory seems like episodes. Which I believe was the point. I felt the plotting was perfectly paced and logically propelled. The Spike representation in this story (which I considered the hardest characterization to pull off) is spot on and the road the cast appears to be on is intriguing fresh and for once in the tenure of the Buffyverse the end of the supernatural in Sunnydale looks to be a real consideration.
Severin is a great character and his ability and the mystery surrounding it are elements I found bursting with potential and the side story with the police is filled with great personalities. For the first time in my entire history with Buffy there was is some confusion as to who I am rooting for here and as to whether Buffy was right to destroy the seed and if she is right period after the effects of that act. I had reminiscent impressions of the way I felt when the black suit was first taking over Peter in Spider-Man and there is a marvelous sense of suspense. Here is something really cool – the vampires turned post seed destruction are more 30 Days of night than Buffy style. Modern, vicious ruthless killers that see humans as food these newly turned pose real threat to all life on earth despite the media and pop culture appeal of vampires.
Now let’s talk about the art. I have to admit it took me a minute to understand the art style. I was immediately impressed by the technique which is what an animated series would look like if rendered by a more traditional artist – that is to say it has an easily inviting style without the cartoony simplifications animated series often make for children and cereal commercials. But I was unable find what the arts pulse was. By that I mean the undertones in the illustrations. In every good comic’s art there is an overt and a hidden story a story and a theme. This is undoubtedly good art but I was lost as to how to tell you why so I read it a few more times, slowly pouring over it. In the middle of the night by keyboard light it dawned on me. Isolation. There is a sense of the world being cut off that comes from the backgrounds and the theme seems to me to be isolation.
The art so inviting and easily approached with familiarity of character and perfect show tone holds a “world has gone a degree dimmer” quality once acknowledged is blaring and spooky. With that understanding know that I believe the unsung hero of this arc to be the designer Justin Couch who has managed to communicate perfectly to the team this notion. Storytelling technique is clear and compressed. A lot happens in each issue and there is no second rate or rushed panels. The art is consistent, deliberate and there is not a single error I could find in the color palette choices. So while the well rendered likenesses are a plus, it is the background pencils and the colors that separate Freefall from the pitfalls of the hum drum and corny. A great kudos to this team of Jeanty, Vines and Madsen.
The TV audience army of purist Buffy fans can stop their fussing and get on board right now, with me. No I don’t bite…much. Buffy Season 9 so far lives up to every expectation the longest and most dedicated Buffy fans could hold. It is snappy and broody with crucial elements of characterization, likeness and mood perfectly delivered; included is an art ride for a Buffy experience of the highest order. Go buy this book. Unless you don’t like good times then buy it for the art. All and all I give the first 3 issues of Freefall an A.
AND NOW THE REST OF THE DAMM PICKED DARK HORSE EXTRAVAGANZA!…..
Dark Horse has a whole new batch of new irons in new fires! Whew! That is a lot of new! I am amazed at everything from the Mass Effect books and the Tom Morello comic Orchid. There is such a boon of risk and quality at Dark Horse currently that ANYONE fed up with the current frontrunner companies or simply looking for a change of pace and eye indulgence then Dark Horse is clearly a quality option. I mentioned Star Wars earlier and their latest endeavor in the Knights of the Old Republic line of books The Lost Suns continues doing the unthinkable making a triple way successful cohesion of film, game and comic. I went ahead and rifled through (very carefully) the press releases sent my way and read some great books, more on THAT later
As a bonus I have my eye on this beauty for sci-fi fanatics and when the official release came down I wanted to share it. Dark Matter is going to blow your minds. Trust me you do not want to miss this from the Stargate creators.
DARK MATTER RISES FROM DARK HORSE!
NEW SERIES FROM STARGATE CREATORS!
November 9, MILWAUKIE, OR—Fresh off their long tenure on Stargate, one of television’s most successful science-fiction epics, series writers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie flex their comic-book storytelling muscles to create a thrilling new science-fiction universe for Dark Horse Comics!
Mallozzi and Mullie, best known for their work on the Stargate franchise series (Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe), give you:
A derelict ship floating in space. Its troubled crew awakened from stasis with no memories of who they are or how they got onboard. Their search for answers triggering the vessel’s deadly security system, awakening a relentless android bent on their destruction. Facing threats at every turn, they will have to work together to survive a dangerous voyage charged with vengeance, redemption, betrayals, and, ultimately, hidden secrets best left unknown.
Science fiction by science-fiction veterans is sci-fi action at its best!
Dark Matter #1, the first in a four-issue miniseries with kinetic artwork by exciting newcomer Garry Brown, is on sale January 11, 2012.
eXcited? I know I am.
Also there was this that I found very interesting. UXB has descended on Dark Horse Presents and I couldn’t be happier in issue #10 you get this. Again the official presser.
COLIN LORIMER’S UXB COMES TO DARK HORSE PRESENTS #10!
November 9, MILWAUKIE, OR—Dark Horse Presents is renowned not only for publishing original work of comics luminaries but also for presenting powerful emerging voices of graphic fiction. Such is UXB by Colin Lorimer (Earp: Saints for Sinners), debuting in Dark Horse Presents #10.
In a shattered future postwar London, powerful experimental “life suits” that permanently graft to human bodies are created to counter the threat of terrorism. Given to three brothers, the suits could make the trio the saviors of mankind—if they can ever get past their obsessions for film, violent video games, and porn. Following in the dark footsteps of dystopian visions such as The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, DMZ, and Give Me Liberty, Lorimer’s UXB is challenging, thought provoking, laced with gallows humor, and illustrated with consummate skill.
“I’m thrilled that UXB has found a home within the hallowed pages of DHP. The journey of UXB is going to be rather dark and twisted and there’s no better place for that story to be told than Dark Horse,” says Colin Lorimer.
While you wait for Dark Horse Presents #10, be sure to check out Colin’s work at UXBComic.com.
Dark Horse Presents #10 is on sale March 21, 2012.
All in All,
I am lucky.
eXpect eXcellence. eXpertComics.com. I am eXPress.
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