Sunday, September 9, 2012

Myspace Dark Horse Presents Vol. 6

Written by Mac Walters, LeVar Burton, Mark Wolfe, Frank Stockton, Art Baltazar, Scott Morse, Andi Watson, Larry Marder, Stan Sakai, Ron Chan, Jaime Hernandez, Jason Little, Garaham Annable, Matt Kindt, Gabriel Bá, Mark Crilley, Justin Aclin, Simon Spurrier, Jackie Kessler, and Evan Dorkin
Art by Eduardo Francisco, David Hahn, Frank Stockton, Art Baltazar, Scott Morse, Andi Watson, Larry Marder, Stan Sakai, Ron Chan, Jaime Hernandez, Jason Little, Graham Annable, Matt Kindt, Gabriel Bá, Mark Crilley, Ben Bates, Christopher Mitten, Paul Lee, and Hilary Barta

I'll be completely honest - most of the comics collected in this book are completely skippable.  That's probably one of the main reasons why the whole Myspace Dark Horse Presents experiment failed (well, that and the fact that just about the whole world stopped using Myspace).  It was a commendable concept, and I believe it did lead to the resurrection of the monthly Dark Horse Presents, which has been a very good thing, but it's clear that Dark Horse was rarely coming through with their A-game on this thing.

Because I want to stay positive though, I will focus on what is good about this collection.  Scanning the credit list above, one name should immediately stand out to anyone who knows what I like - Gabriel Bá!  He provides a short piece called Fiction that could only work in comics.  A writer appears at a festival, where he grumbles about how his readers think they know him by reading his books, but they don't.  After a few pages though, Bá pulls a switch on the reader, and we find out that that character is a character in someone else's writing.  The whole thing has a very Borgesian feel to it, and is beautiful to boot.  Easily worth picking up this book for, as so far as I know, this story hasn't been collected anywhere else.

Among the other things I liked were the Giant Man story by Matt Kindt, a companion piece to his 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man graphic novel.  I've read this before though - it was recently collected alongside two other stories in a one-shot.  It's still good though.

Likewise the Beanworld story by Larry Marder.  I think it was included in the recent Tales of the Beanworld collection.  Every day needs a little Beanworld in it though, so it's also all good.

I was also pleased to see a Bee story by Jason Little.  I read Motel Art Improvement Service a little while ago, and enjoyed it.  In this story, Bee spends a day in New York with her friend, and goes through some of the existential issues of Bá's story.

Simon Spurrier and Christopher Mitten provide a creepy horror story involving a man whose pregnant wife was killed in a car wreck, and who is visited by the fetus's ghost (in a really disturbing way).  Also of note are the collection of Brody's Ghost stories by Mark Crilley.  These aren't exactly my cup of tea, but I like the fact that Dark Horse gave over a fair amount of space to them, making them stand out a little more through sheer volume.

The rest of the book is a melange of licensed properties (Mass Effect, Buffy), children's comics (which never feels like a good fit), and stuff that just didn't resonate with me.

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