Dark Horse Presents 100 4 (August 1995)

I guess Dave Gibbons had no quibbles about Frank Miller ripping off Watchmen for their Martha Washington story this issue. Nice art, bad writing. Forney’s got an anecdote about meeting Tom Waits. It has some charm, but not enough to sustain it. Then Geary’s back with a one page strip, as are Pekar and Sacco. They’re both harmless (but thank goodness they’re short). Warner brings in a Black Cross piece. His writing has gotten a little better in terms of dialogue in the hundred issues since he introduced the character. The story’s useless though. Art’s not terrible, not good. Sendelbach’s … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 100 4 (August 1995)

Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special (April 1991)

This special is far from an accurate representation of Dark Horse Presents. Everything looks very professional. The Aerialist and Heartbreakers installments are both long needed establishments of the series’ ground situation. I even liked the Heartbreakers one (Bennett’s writing is far stronger from the clones’ perspective, versus their creator). There’s also lots of disposable stuff–Concrete, The American and Black Cross are all weak, though Warner’s art is better on Cross than I’ve ever seen it. Chadwick and Verheiden use their stories to blather about American culture. Of the two Miller’s–Give Me Liberty and Sin City–I almost prefer Sin City. Liberty‘s … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special (April 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 28 (March 1989)

The Concrete story goes on forever. It has some of Chadwick’s better art in a while, but also some Liefeldian body mechanics. It’s metaphysical nonsense about the environment. These Concrete stories are best as time capsules–things haven’t gotten any better in the last twenty years. Zone debuts this issue; Kraiger’s illustrating is fine. The story’s harmless and uninteresting. It seems like it’s going to follow in Concrete‘s footsteps in terms of passivity. Hedden and McWeeney do a wordless Roachmill. Great art, mildly amusing story. The art’s what’s important here. Gilbert and Beatty do a Mr. Monster story all about EC … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 28 (March 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 3 (November 1986)

Yay, Warner’s back with Black Cross–featuring a bunch of expository dialogue recapping the first story. With all that useless exposition, one might think Warner would explain the ground situation to the reader. But he doesn’t. It’s confusing and a lot of work thinking about something so dumb sounding. Stradley and Emberlin’s Mindwalk has its weakest entry so far, with Stradley inexplicably using two narrators here. A mediocre first person narrator is one thing, but then he brings in a female narrator who sounds like a six-year-old. Emberlin’s art is similarly problematic, though he draws Kirby-esque monsters well. The Concrete story … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 3 (November 1986)

Dark Horse Presents 1 (July 1986)

You know, I really didn’t expect Dark Horse Presents to open its first issue with a male overcompensation piece like Black Cross. Warner’s art’s amateurish and I guess it shows movie optioning is a comic book tradition (the character looks like Sylvester Stallone). It’s a dismal story. Chadwick’s two contributions are all right. The Concrete one is charming and at least hints at some kind of social consciousness for the comic (which Black Cross feigns). More impressive, as far as the art goes, is Brighter!, a Vertigo ready story about some young woman who can produce optical illusions. So she’s … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 1 (July 1986)