Punchy, concise examples of short storytelling, often funny and seldom boring; anthology comics are great. From childhood staples like The Beano to Alan Moore’s nostalgic Tomorrow Stories, via the cultural behemoth of 2000AD, anthology comics are densely packed clusters of wonder and imagination. Where else can you finish a jolly romp about the spirit of Davey Jones adventuring with some kids and an alien, turn a page, and immediately begin reading a bleak tale of soldiers falling apart amidst the devastation of a horrific ebola-like virus?
Unlike many other anthology titles, like 2000AD orEerie Comics, that are loosely bound together by a genre – such as science-fiction or horror – the main connective tissue in Dark Horse Presents is the shared publisher. Otherwise, this is a beautiful deluge of ideas and styles that bear little in common. It’s weird and exciting; a little like flipping through television channels in a world where TV executives have been putting mescaline in their tea for years, and the main trends for the year were anthropomorphic animals and noir infused sci-fi instead of cookery and reality shows.
As always, with these types of deal it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Some stories don’t appeal as strongly as others and some are hard to understand, but there’s generally something cool in all of them, even the weaker ones. The next issue of Dark Horse Presents is the last in this 80 page format, when it returns it will be half the page count for around half the price. It’s a bummer. The world needs more of this kind of thing, not half the amount.
The writer of this piece was: Joe Morrison
Joe is Freelance film journalist based in Glasgow.
You can also find Joe on Twitter.