And Then I Read: DARK HORSE PRESENTS 4

Images © Dark Horse Comics and the respective copyright holders.

First up this time is a new short story featuring “Beasts of Burden” by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson. I loved the BofB miniseries, and this is just a delightful, a great combination of realistic animal art and behavior (to a point) with talking animals who battle supernatural menaces, in this case a goblin who’s been stealing the animals’ food.

Part 3 of “Rotten Apple” continues to have interesting art with characters that seem appealing, but a storyline I find somewhat confusing. A lot of shifty characters in search of a special rock, that part is clear, but motives and allegiances are not, to me.

“The Adventures of Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy” is another story whose plot is a bit weird and confusing. The main character is apparently a werewolf, and he tells a story about rescuing other monsters from the Nazis. At this point, Nazis as villains and misunderstood monsters seems pretty old hat and derivative to me. The art is nice.

“Number 13” chapter 3 takes us into the mind of the title character, a robot-like boy, as he witnesses an argument between the girl he saved and that child’s  father. Interesting, want to read more. Incidentally, the lettering on this one is huge compared to the rest of the book. Okay with me, but kind of an odd choice.

“Resident Alien” is a new serial by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. I like the work of both, and this read well for me. A murder has been committed, and the police need a doctor to examine the body. The only one in this wilderness vacation area is a man on a fishing vacation, so they round him up. The police and everyone else seem to find nothing unusual about Dr. Vanderspeigle, but we the reader can clearly see that he’s an alien creature, an interesting idea, and in a flashback we see him walking away from a crash-landing on Earth a few years earlier. Looks like lots of good things to explore in future chapters.

“Criminal Macabre: Die, Die, Die, My Darling!” is by Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten. Niles’ detective Cal McDonald is on a new case, even though he’s apparently a zombie. He’s accompanied by a much older zombie as they visit a very weird client. I feel like I’m dropping into the middle of a story here instead of the beginning, but it’s still not a bad read. The art has a Mike Mignola feel.

Howard Chaykin’s “Marked Man” continues, as his anti-hero assassin finds the tables turning on him. Still don’t care for this one much.

“Age of Reptiles: The Body” is a wordless dinosaur tale by Ricardo Delgado. Nicely done, the art style suggests Moebius mixed with Joe Kubert.

Part 3 of “Finder: Third World” is another chapter in the life of a future dystopian delivery man, this time helping a girl reach her wealthy parents with a very personal delivery. Nice work, I’m hoping to read more of “Finder” one of these days.

“The Protest” is a story of kids in Iran, 1978, and while it has political elements, it’s mainly a story about a bully and his surprising turnaround.

In all, didn’t find as much I liked in this issue, but “Beasts of Burden” made it worthwhile alone, so I recommend it.

 

One thought on “And Then I Read: DARK HORSE PRESENTS 4

  1. Jonathan Petersen

    This new Dark Horse Presents anthology is my favorite title right now. Even at the relatively high “per-issue” cover price, it is an amazing bargain on a “per-page” basis and the quality is top notch. (And the diversity means that you might not like everything, but there’s usually *something* to like.)

    I’ve been a fan of Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder for a while now. After self publishing for a long time, this new partnership with Dark Horse is a win/win: more regular Finder pages in the anthology and DH is printing new books of the old material. There should be some additional pages online at her website, http://www.lightspeedpress.com/.

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