Dark Horse Presents Annual 1999 (August 1999)
It’s a “theme” annual—characters in their youths.
It opens with Wagner, Chin and Wong on Xena. The art’s a little rough, but Wagner’s writing is solid.
Mignola’s Hellboy is adorable (as young Hellboy stories tend to be). It’s a cute couple pages.
Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo drags. It’s way too didactic. Sakai’s art some okay moments and some not okay ones.
Shockingly, the Ghost story is good. Zanier and Mariano’s artwork is excellent and Kennedy’s writing isn’t bad. It’s confusing for a new reader, but quite decent.
This issue also has the first Groo I’ve read. Though Aragones’s art sometimes gets a little too dense, he and Evanier write a fine story.
Chadwick’s Concrete story is lame. It’s maybe the worst writing I’ve read from Chadwick.
Norwood’s Star Wars thing bores. Surprisingly weak art from him too.
The finish is Geary’s take on The Mask. Some decent art, but pointless.
Xena: Warrior Princess, The Worm; story by John Wagner; pencils by Joyce Chin; inks by Walden Wong; lettering by John Workman; co-edited by Scott Allie and Dave Land. Hellboy, Pancakes; story and art by Mike Mignola; lettering by Pat Brosseau; co-edited by Allie. Usagi Yojimbo, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Tournament; story, art and lettering by Stan Sakai. Ghost, My Sister’s Keeper; story by Mike Kennedy; art by Christian Zanier and Marvin Mariano; lettering by Steve Haynie. Groo, Groo for Sale; story by Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier; art by Aragones; lettering by Sakai; co-edited by Allie. Concrete, Orange Glow; story and art by Paul Chadwick; lettering by Bill Spicer. Star Wars, Walkabout; story and pencils by Phill Norwood; inks by Shannon Denton; lettering by Amador Cisneros. The Mask, Angry Young Mask; story, art and lettering by Rick Geary. Edited by Randy Stradley, Adam Gallardo and Chris Haberman.