Dark Horse Presents 55 (October 1991)

Sin City is really bad this time. The amount of white space suggests Miller didn’t spend a lot of time drawing it. It also doesn’t seem like he spent much time writing it. Even with his terrible narration, this installment is a new low. Though I guess some of it does sound a lot like the Spirit movie narration, which doesn’t seem appropriate. Johnson’s art is a little better on this installment of Earth Boys. He clearly worked at it more. But the story itself is still terribly written (by Biggers and Brooks). Byrne continues his Next Men with a … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 55 (October 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 54 (September 1991)

The big surprise this issue is Byrne’s Next Men. It’s actually pretty solid (though I think it features all four Byrne faces). The art’s great–nice flow of action–and the story’s intriguing. I think it’s the strongest narrative structure I’ve ever read from Byrne (though it might just be because it’s a prologue). Geary’s got a few Transgression Hotline strips. They’re solid, amusing and unremarkable. Geary’s a professional though and they’re well-produced. The Homicide closer from Morrow and Arcudi is fabulous. Morrow transforms the strip from Arcudi’s regular bore to something out of a film noir. During this installment, Arcudi even … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 54 (September 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 53 (August 1991)

It turns out all I need to like Homicide is a good artist. I think Arcudi fashioned the story to fit Morrow’s sensibilities, but it’s easily the best dialogue Arcudi’s written on the series. Morrow really shows how important an artist is in making a mediocre (at best) script work. Geary’s got a single page again. It’s a little more profound than usual and not entirely successful. Paley’s got a crazy cat strip and it’s simply lovely. She breaks the comic strips panels and lets loose this swash of ink. Even with Morrow in the issue, it’s the best art, … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 53 (August 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 49 (March 1991)

Geier’s art on the Homicide installment is pretty weak, but Arcudi actually comes up with an interesting case. It is, of course, unfortunate then Arcudi relies on the art for the final panel. I had to read the page three times, staring at it, before I noticed the big reveal. It’s also too bad about Arcudi’s lame dialogue. Edginton writes a regular Downtown here. The holiday special was a lot better. It turns out the protagonist is a zombie private detective and he has all sorts of wacky adventures. The Pugh art is excellent at times, only good at others… … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 49 (March 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 48 (February 1991)

Between Gaudiano and Pugh, this issue is just an art feast. Csutoras’s writing on the Gaudiano story, Harlequin, is decent, concerning a European living in the States, his loony acquaintances and some intrigue. Gaudiano makes the protagonist’s monologues atmospheric and the regular action somewhat continental in feel. The narrative is intentionally confusing, which may get annoying. But for now, it’s a very solid entry. Pugh and Edginton do Downtown, which is seemingly a British reprint. It’s hard to gauge as a series, since it’s not the first installment. It’s deals a little with the fourth wall and is very funny. … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 48 (February 1991)

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 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 27 (February 1989)

Duranona wraps up The Race of Scorpions here and threatens a second series. The story’s mostly nonsensical, partially due to the lack of perspective but mostly because of the writing. The conclusion relies on the reader being able to identify a character from the first chapter when he’s drawn in miniature. At least it’s over for now. Homicide has gone off the deep end into sci-fi here. Arcudi doesn’t seem to realize how ludicrous and absurd his stories are getting, which makes them painful. I think Mahnke’s big influence here, in terms of figures, is Jaime Hernandez. I keep seeing … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 27 (February 1989)

Dark Horse Presents 26 (January 1989)

Arcudi has sort of taken reality and chucked it out the window of Homicide. I mean, I assume he’s basing the story about the assassin who eats his victims’ eyes on a real case… but it’s not believable the same detectives who had the cannibal case are going to have this one. And he’s done nothing to give them any personality, it’s all caricature. The Race of Scorpions, allegedly in its penultimate chapter here, is a little better than usual. The exposition does a better job establishing where the characters are situated in relation to each other and there’s no … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 26 (January 1989)

Dark Horse Presents 25 (December 1988)

Duranona has something like two action scenes this part of Race of Scorpions. Two completely incomprehensible action scenes. Did the editor see something different or did they really get this material in and think it’d look good? At least this installment doesn’t rip off Star Wars. Speaking of incomprehensible, Davis is back with a new story–The Twilight of Langdarro. I guess he’s not so much incomprehensible just really, really boring. He loves writing exposition. He probably writes four hundred words a story of exposition. And he still hasn’t gotten any better at getting his people down. His faces and figures … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 25 (December 1988)

Dark Horse Presents 24 (November 1988)

And here debuts the licensed property… Aliens. Luckily, it’s a really decent eight pages. Nelson and Verheiden almost make it feel like it’s just a comic book, not a movie tie-in. What’s really interesting is the aliens. Nelson’s able to draw so much fluidity into his own creatures, when he’s got to draw the movie alien, it feels awkward. The shape is defined by being able to be a costume worn by a person, a hampering Nelson doesn’t have with his own creations. Duranona’s Race of Scorpions continues to be unimpressive. Some more Star Wars homage and a lot of … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 24 (November 1988)