Dark Horse Presents 47 (January 1991)

If it weren’t for a one page Rich Rice cartoon of an apologetic Godzilla, this issue would be really scraping bottom. Okay, not exactly true. Buniak’s got a beautifully illustrated jungle adventure featuring Tarzan and Kong stand ins. Lovely ink washes. The story’s not strong, but the art’s the point. Otherwise, it’s a weak one. The art from the Trumans is pretty good. While the plot has a solid finish, their writing is disastrous. The first person narration is… Ugh. Wolfer and Warner have some future story about an earth invaded by alien dinosaurs and the Japanese building humans battle … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 47 (January 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 40 (May 1990)

You know, I think Matt Wagner’s Aerialist is homophobic. Every man is forced to be gay. Anyway, it’s not at all impressive, a Rollerball knockoff. When his characters aren’t in costume, Wagner’s art is rather weak. I guess the hot air balloons look good. Bob the Alien is absolutely amazing as a) Bob moves to a black neighborhood in Brooklyn and b) discovers God. It might be the funniest installment so far. I can’t believe this comic isn’t more appreciated. The Argosy is a really wordy retelling of Jason and the Argonauts. It’s fantasy, introduces about forty character names in … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 40 (May 1990)

Dark Horse Presents 39 (May 1990)

I think Davis’s Delia & Celia has definitively made me hate all fantasy, if I didn’t already dislike it enough. It’s like he sits around trying to think of how much blathering exposition he can fit in each panel, like it’s a contest to one up himself. The story’s completely incomprehensible at this point, but I’m pretty sure it’s never, ever going to end. On the plus side, Ron Randall’s artwork has gotten fantastic on Trekker. Some of it’s the inking–maybe all of it’s the inking. It’s just gorgeous. Too bad his writing is still terrible. He spends maybe five … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 39 (May 1990)

Dark Horse Presents 32 (August 1989)

Ugh, another “annual.” Sixty-four pages of Dark Horse Presents tends to be a little much. The American is a little long here–it’s very passive and not at all dramatic. On the other hand, Peterson shows he used to be a lot more interesting of an artist. The Wacky Squirrel strip from publisher Richardson is dumb. Davis’s Delia & Celia is a complete bore, big shock. He manages to make a pterodactyl boring. The longer than usual Bob the Alien just shows with more space Rice does an even better story. It’s funny and touching The Concrete story is better than … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 32 (August 1989)

Dark Horse Presents 31 (July 1989)

It’s a banner installment of Race of Scorpions. Two things I never thought would occur do this issue… first, Duranona uses shadows to give the reader some sense of depth. Well, only for half the story, but still. Second, he comes up with an interesting detail! In this miserable future, cookbooks are bibles. I’m stunned by these developments. The Zone story is on the low side of okay. Kraiger spends too much time on the boring Zone character (before he douses some guy in toxic waste or something, which is funny). But the art’s good and the plotting is decent. … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 31 (July 1989)

Dark Horse Presents 30 (June 1989)

Oh, good, Race of Scorpions is back and just as incomprehensible as always. It turns out the mysterious stranger is really the brother of the evil emperor. There’s palace intrigue, an assassination attempt, machinations, it goes on. And it’s still awful. Maybe the writing’s a little better. Or it’s at least more understandable. Luke and Norwood’s Project: Overkill is good. It’s a simple, Terminator thing, but Norwood’s art is excellent. Luke’s writing isn’t bad either, but it’s somewhat confusing. I don’t know if it’s an ongoing feature, but it might help it it is. Norwood is manga influenced, but it’s … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 30 (June 1989)

Dark Horse Presents 29 (May 1989)

I remember when Homicide started it was all right. It finishes here (I hope) and Arcudi’s dialogue is so laughably bad, I can’t believe I ever had a nice thing to say about it. While my inclination is to pause and mock it, I think I’ll move on. Murphy’s back with another prose story with some brief illustration. He tries for potential fiction here, like Borges sometimes does. Murphy’s no Borges and the whole thing feels like some kid in high school wrote it. The art isn’t special, so I assume he knew someone at Dark Horse. Bob the Alien … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 29 (May 1989)

Dark Horse Presents 20 (August 1988)

This issue is a sixty-four page giant–only most of the extra is filler. They could have gotten away with a lot less pages. The Mr. Monster story is real short (and lame). Gary Davis has a short space alien story showing he’s read some Arthur C. Clarke (it’s long, wordless filler). Rick Geary’s got a nice two page story, which is filler but really excellent filler. Then there’s the start of a Trekker serial. It’s incomprehensible if you haven’t read the Trekker series and probably even if you have. Doug Potter has an excellent story about homelessness. Oh, I missed … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 20 (August 1988)

Dark Horse Presents 19 (July 1988)

Finally; it only took eighteen issues, but this one is essential reading. It’s not as simple as there not being a weak story… every single one of them is good. I suppose, in this company, the weakest is Badger’s Mask. It’s starting to get old, with no real plot progression. He’s also doing the ink washes every other page, making it feel formulaic. Those complaints made, it’s still fine work. Though I notice the CIA’s no longer after a Cuban priest, just a South American one. Rice’s Bob the Alien extended strip is really funny this time, not just amusing. … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 19 (July 1988)

Dark Horse Presents 18 (June 1988)

Badger’s ink washes on The Mask are real nice, but they’re so much easier to comprehend than his regular art, I almost wish he’d done the whole thing with that process. It’d be worth the wait. With the ink washes, when he does something crazy, it just works better. Maybe because it feels realer when the Mask appears and reality splits. Chadwick uses his Concrete spot for some more old stuff–in the letter column, the editor reveals these “Sky of Heads” stories are nothing but old Chadwick material from a drawer, which I said the first time. The story in … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 18 (June 1988)