Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Mike Mignola, Justin Aclin, Stan Sakai, Luciano Saracino, Jaime Hernandez, Patrick Alexander, Kel McDonald, Christopher Sebela, Dennis Culver, Martin Conaghan
Artist: Stan Sakai, Jaime Hernandez, Patrick Alexander, Kel McDonald, Dennis Culver, Ben Stenbeck, Nicolás Daniel Selma, Juan Manuel Tumburús, Brian Churilla, Jimmy Broxton
Release Date: 21st May 2014
Beginning with another of Mike Mignola’s wonderfully weird, period-set pulps, and ending with Patrick Alexander’s surreal tale of the most bizarre job interview in history; Dark Horse Presents once again covers a full spectrum of graphic storytelling within its pages. There are dozens of wild ideas and scenes of action in the rest of the book as well. Flicking through the book offers stories with future soldiers, rabbit samurai, stage magicians, aliens, high school nerds, dogs, disembodied heads and ghostly pirates. It’s really quite a treat.
With this being the last issue in the series current 80 page format (don’t worry, it’s coming back as a forty pager soon) all of the ongoing stories are neatly wrapped up here. Still, for new readers worried that they’ll find only conclusions to stories they’ve not read the rest of, there are plenty of strange, amusing and strangely amusing one-shot stories too. Mignola and Stenbeck’s Victorian era, detective/monster mash-up is thrilling, while Saracino and Temburús’ Sunstroke is enigmatic and heartbreaking.
With vibrant and diverse artwork, ranging from the brightly coloured lunacy of Patrick Alexander to the grainy black and white of Jimmy Broxton, there is something for all sorts of tastes. Stan Sakai’s work on Usagi Yojimbo has a timeless quality, while the digitally augmented art and colouring of S.H.O.O.T. First (by Nicolás Daniel Selma and Marlac respectively) are utterly modern. The fact that they are placed next to each other in the running order of the stories only adds to the thrill of seeing these different techniques in the same book.
Funny, weird, beautiful and horrifying, each new story brings something unexpected and new to the table. I don’t care how much it costs, Dark Horse Presents is the best value for money comic available.
The writer of this piece was: Joe Morrison
Joe is Freelance film journalist based in Glasgow.
You can also find Joe on Twitter.