Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dark Horse Presents #21

Written by Caitlin R. Kiernan, Michael Avon Oeming, Geoffrey Thorne, Neil Gaiman, Shaun Manning, Denis Medri, Corinna Bechko, Gabriel Hardman, Simon Roy, Duane Swierczynski, Shannon Wheeler, and Carla Speed McNeil
Art by Steve Lieber, Michael Avon Oeming, Todd Harris, Paul Chadwick, Andrew Drilon, Denis Medri, Gabriel Hardman, Simon Roy, Eric Nguyen, Shannon Wheeler, and Carla Speed McNeil

I really don't understand the thinking here.  This issue of Dark Horse Presents has a story written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Paul Chadwick, and yet the cover is given over to Caitlin Kiernan's middling Alabaster series, which has been running for a while, and is not all that interesting.  Sure Gaiman and Chadwick get their names on the cover, in rather small print, but I would think that picking any of Chadwick's beautiful splash pages, and putting Gaiman's name in larger print under the comic's title, would have grabbed a lot more new readers at the comics store.  Their story is quite wonderful - a bit of a prose poem about the different ways the world can end, with a last one that is most devastating, and most personal.

Other than that, this is again a pretty mixed-bag issue of DHP.  There's a new chapter of Finder, by Carla Speed McNeil, which is the main reason why I buy this book.  I was disappointed to see that the story ends with the words "The End", and I'm hoping that refers to this 'Third World' storyline, and not the end of McNeil's regular contributions to this book.

Simon Roy, the brilliant semi-regular artist of Image's Prophet, and Jan's Atomic Heart, debuts his new story, Tiger Lung, here.  We don't know a lot from this first chapter, except that the story involves a young man journeying deep into an ice cave or glacier, despite the protestations of his people.  I love Roy's work, and can't wait to see where this leads.

Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman's Station to Station ends this issue.  It's been a good story, with a real BPRD feel to it, but I think it didn't really get enough space to breathe in these few chapters.  I just like looking at Hardman's art though.

Denis Medri starts off his Arcade Boy story here, and it's a fun look at teenager-dom and video games, set in a near-future that has hoverboards!  It's kind of derivative, but enjoyable.  I've never read work by Shannon Wheeler before, and I enjoyed the first chapter of Villain House, which has a pair of supervillains breaking out of jail.

Beyond that, there's not much to say.  Journeyman continues, and grabs my attention a little more than the first chapter did.  X is finally over, and Michael Avon Oeming's The Victories continues to do absolutely nothing for me.

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