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Dark Horse Comics Solicitations for product shipping April, 2003

Featuring the works of Frank Frazetta!

AL CAPP'S LI'L ABNER: THE FRAZETTA SUNDAYS VOLUME 1 (1954-55) TPB

FRANK FRAZETTA

On sale May 28, SC, 128pg, FC, $???

Before legendary artist Frank Frazetta became an American institution for his lush paintings, he was drawing muscular hillbillies and scantily clad women for an earlier American institution: the comic strip Li'l Abner, which boasted 60 million readers daily. From 1954 till 1961 Frazetta toiled as a ghost for Al Capp, the most famous and successful cartoonist of his era. Except for a brief 1954 dailies sequence (when Frazetta drew himself as "Frankie the Biker" in a send-up of Marlon Brando's contemporary motorcycle film The Wild Ones) Frazetta's energy was focused on the Li'l Abner Sunday strips. For the first time ever these gorgeous full-color Sundays are being collected! Dark Horse is publishing four comprehensive 9" x 12" volumes. Each quarterly volume will contain an introduction and extensive annotations by Li'l Abner expert Denis Kitchen. Volume 1 features The Bald Iggle (from Capp's Shmoo and Kigmy school of creatures with social messages), Loverboynik (a thinly disguised Liberace) and Milton the Masked Martian (an early superhero parody) as well as Indian princess Minnie Mustache, Moonbeam McSwine, The Tigress, Daisy Mae Yokum and Gloria Van Wellbilt as only Frank Frazetta can draw them!!

ASTRO BOY 15

OSAMU TEZUKA; translation by FREDERIK L. SCHODT

On sale May 28, SC, 232pg, b&w, 4 1/2" x 7", $9.95

With the rapidly expanding explosion of manga and anime, the vast creative and spiritual influence of the late, great Osamu Tezuka is being recognized worldwide, the skill, depth, and humanity of his storytelling placing him among the giants of the comics medium. Astro Boy is the action/adventure archetype for the 21st century, an action-packed roller-coaster ride for all ages imbued with humor, warmth, and wry commentary on humanity in the technological age.

Translation by Frederik L. Schodt , author of Inside the Robot Kingdom and translator of Barefoot Gen.

o The classic and endearing adventures of Astro Boy will be captured on the big screen in a 2004 release from Sony Pictures.

BLACKBURNE COVENANT #1 (of 4)

FABIAN NICIEZA and STEFANO RAFFAELE

On sale April 2, FC, 32pg, $2.99

A new world of modern horror opens its pages in this sweeping saga of transformation and terror. Fabian Nicieza, one of the best-selling writers of superhero comics, teams with Italian horror artist Stefano Raffaele, for a story he's been waiting to unleash since the 1980's. Someone is following popular fantasy novelist Richard Kaine. Not a demented fan, not a jilted lover. Someone interested in finding out how Richard came up with his runaway bestseller first novel. Because unbeknownst to Richard, his book was really non-fiction. How could Richard have written about an event no one should have known about, because it was meticulously eradicated from human history? Who are the Blackburne Covenant? And how could the secrets they've been concealing for hundreds of years completely change life on Earth? They're willing to kill Richard Kaine in order to keep him quiet…

o Featuring Buffy the Vampire Slayer ongoing writer Fabian Nicieza!

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #78: FALL FROST part 6 (of 6)

HIROAKI SAMURA; produced by STUDIO PROTEUS

On sale April 9, b&w, 32pg, (6 of 6), $2.99

Yaaaargh! Cliff hanger indeed. And so we return to the cliff and let the hanging begin. Hiroaki Samura has never been one to let a tense moment pass too quickly, and this issue is a testament to the art of hanging by a thread, for a little while longer. But rest assured, there will be a break to this tension, on of our dueling swordsmen will fall victim to a cruel fate, and then we'll even rejoin sad, lost little Rin on her grueling solo adventure in the woods of Kaga. Still seeking vengeance, poor samurai girl Rin is at wit's end, and only a surprise can save her from death by exposure. Another exciting and fantastically rendered samurai comic from the heavy metal sensei, Hiroaki Samura.

FOR MATURE READERS

BLOOD WORLD #2 (of 3)

EDDIE PARK and DIGITAL CHAMELEON

On sale April 9, FC, 32pg, (2 of 3), $2.99

On Blood World contestants battle mutated freaks, giant monsters, and each other to win The Blood Bath, a galaxy-wide, free-for-all killing tournament. Here victory means prestige and power. Defeat equals death. See what contestants will do to survive in a world where there is no room for loyalty, friendship, or compassion. In this world, BLOOD RULES.

Dark Horse Comics brings you the second issue of Blood World hyper-violent, sci-fi epic written and illustrated by Eddie Park, Korea's comics phenomenon.

FOR MATURE READERS

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #56: SLAYER INTERRUPTED part 1 (of 4)

SCOTT LOBDELL, FABIAN NICIEZA, and CLIFF RICHARDS; cover by PAUL LEE and BRIAN HORTON

On sale April 30, FC, 32pg, (1 of 4), Lee/Horton or Photo cover, $2.99

Buffy returned from her runaway road-trip with Pike…only to discover that Dawn has read her diary, and shared what she found with their parents, who see no other choice: after she's burned down the school gym, run off to Vegas, and apparently lost her mind . . . they have her committed. Buffy #56 begins the first of a four-issue arc, "Slayer Interupted" by Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza and Cliff Richards, in which we finally see what happened to Buffy in that mental institution.

OFFERED AGAIN!

COWBOY BEBOP ZIPPO® LIGHTER

Zippo® Lighter w/Spectrum finish (NOTE PRICE), $34.99

Cowboy Bebop is cool, slick, and quick with a light-just like anime hero Spike Siegel. This official Cowboy Bebop Zippo® lighter by Dark Horse is made using a never-before-seen super-sharp finishing process called Spectrum. So yeah, this is a Cowboy Bebop Spectrum-Finish Zippo® Lighter, each and every one has a unique finish, and that's all you need to know.

THE DEVIL'S FOOTPRINTS #2 (of 4)

SCOTT ALLIE, PAUL LEE, BRIAN HORTON, and DAVE STEWART

On sale April 2, FC, 32pg, (2 of 4), $2 99

Desperate measures for desperate times: Brandon Waite digs up his dead father in hopes of finding some clue to what's killing his family. While this supernatural force threatens those he loves, Brandon finds himself the victim of a good-old witch hunt, in the fine New England tradition. And this night's just getting worse. Before it's out, he'll be covered in blood, all too aware that he can't protect his girlfriend…without resorting to even more desperate acts. Brandon's own deal with the devil is just one issue away.

Fray returns!

FRAY #7 (of 8)

JOSS WHEDON, KARL MOLINE, and ANDY OWENS

On sale April 23, FC, 32pg, $2.99

The wait is over!

Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, completes his vision of the future, the story of the future slayer. One of the fiercest battles in the history of comics, drawn in grand style by Karl Moline and Andy Owens, begins the climax to Dark Horse's runaway hit. So what do we have left for next issue? It just gets worse for this poor, young Slayer.

GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: MAN-MACHINE INTERFACE #5

MASAMUNE SHIROW

On sale April 2, FC, 32pg (no ads), $3.50

Cyber-agent Motoko Aramaki remains hot on the trail of the shadowy terrorists making life hell for Poseidon Industrial. Motoko deploys a cyborg surrogate, Chroma, for on-the-ground operations to pick up needed information, but while waiting for an e-brain private eye to pony up the data, Chroma is jacked into a no-holds-barred virtual combat game-at least she hopes it's virtual! The synapse-frying followup to the manga/anime heavyweight champion, Ghost in the Shell, Masamune Shirow's Man-Machine Interface crushes to powder any previous notions of what is or is not a comic book with its dizzying storyline and cutting-edge, digitally enhanced visuals, unlike anything comics have ever offered.

o Special deluxe format with no interior advertising!

FOR MATURE READERS

GRENDEL: GOD AND THE DEVIL #3

MATT WAGNER, JAY GELDHOF, and JOHN K. SNYDER III

On sale April 9, FC, 32pg, $3.50

Still reeling from the social and political shock waves left behind by the appearance of the new Grendel, corrupt Pope Innocent XLII withdraws from the public eye, pulling his own circle tighter as he tries to figure out how to turn the deadly situation to his advantage. Meanwhile, as Orion Assante tightens his grip on the Church's shady dealings, so too does COP officer Pellon Cross put the squeeze on Assante and his associates. Convinced of a connection between Assante and the maniacal Grendel, Cross digs deeper into Orion's dealings. And unknown to all around him, poor Eppy Thatcher, the man behind the Grendel mask, slides further into despair and madness, his tortured soul forever caught in a tug-of-war between God and the Devil!

HELLBOY: WEIRD TALES #2

JASON PEARSON, JOHN CASSADAY, MARK RICKETTS, RANDY STRADLEY, and others; cover by Jason Pearson

On sale April 23, FC, 32pg, $2.99

Jason Pearson makes his grand return to Dark Horse with a story about firestarter Liz Sherman. Pearson writes and draws half this issue, plus provides the cover. John Cassaday continues his classic Lobster Johnson serial, while Mark Ricketts (Nowheresville) and Eric Wight (Art Director for Buffy Animated) reduce special agent Kate Corrigan to tears and temper tantrums at the hands of her dead mother. Finally, Randy Stradley and Seung Kim, artist from the Jackie Chan animated show, place Hellboy himself in a demonic hot spring.

This eclectic mix of stories about the World's Greatest Paranormal Detective and his friends and foes continues, driven by some of the most interesting mainstream and up-and-coming artists in comics.

INTRON DEPOT 3: BALLISTICS

MASAMUNE SHIROW

On sale May 7, SC, 128pg, FC, $44.95

Dark Horse Comics is proud to present the third volume of Masamune Shirow's best-selling art book series Intron Depot. Ballistics features a treasure trove of spectacular full-color illustrations featuring high-caliber treatments. Often a sci-fi military theme is evoked, with special emphasis on detailed weaponry, but there is also a healthy batch of fantasy themes and outer space action. In addition to his traditional drawing and painting expertise, Shirow is also one of the foremost talents in computer graphics. Not only does he create exceptionally realistic backgrounds and vehicles, but in this volume presents alternate "takes" on the main image, presenting different color combinations, daytime/nightime versions and other variations on the primary theme.

MATURE READERS

JUDGE DREDD/ALIENS: INCUBUS #2 (of 4)

JOHN WAGNER, ANDY DIGGLE, and HENRY FLINT

cover by KEV WALKER

On sale April 16, FC, 32pg (2 of 4), $2.99

Judge Dredd, the gritty, gruff hero of Britain's award-winning sci-fi anthology 2000 AD, faces off against 20th Century Fox Films' Aliens in a battle that just may bring Mega-City One to its knees! With a special extermination unit called The Verminators now on Dredd's side, it's lawmen versus nature's best killing machines in a bloody battle that leads straight to the packed Eisenhower General Hospital! The unflinching Judge Dredd and his elite group of Judges struggle to fend off an infestation of the deadly, acid-drooling Aliens and to discover their origins. Dredd initially thought that the Aliens were part of an illegal pit-fighting ring, but it's possible that they are linked to Mutant Jack and his anti-Judge activists…and only time will tell if more Aliens are hidden in the city!

KISS #9

SCOTT LOBDELL and MEL RUBI

On sale April 30, FC, 32pg, $2.99

KISS continues to rock in part two of Scott Lobdell's story arc, "This Man, This Monster" in which the Four Who Are One explore their dual identities. Is there a man inside the Beast King, and is the Demon headed down the same inhuman path? And is the Celestial completely above the world of men, or can the Starchild bring him back? Who are the Four Who Are One? And who are they meant to be? "This Man, This Monster" part two is in your face this April from Scott (Buffy, Highroads, X-Men) Lobdell and monthly KISS artist Mel Rubi. Don't miss it!

o The cover to KISS #9 is part two of an amazing mini poster when combined with part one KISS cover #8!

MAAKIES STICKERS

On sale May 14

Maakies Sticker #1 - Drinky Crow . . . $1.99

Maakies Sticker #2 - Boat . . . $1.99

Maakies Sticker #3 - My Poor World . . . $1.99

Maakies Sticker #4 - Maakies Logo . . . $1.99

Also available as a four-pack in a polybag and printed headercard with j-hook . . .$6.99

Life is a bucket filled with joy, or so says Uncle Gabby from Tony Millionaire's Maakies. If your happy bucket has a hole in it, try plugging it with a Maakies sticker. It couldn't hurt.

NIXN STATUE

On sale June 16, fully painted, limited to 500 copies, $175.00

Dark Horse Comics presents Nixon, the maniacal mercenary from Hard Boiled. Translating the meticulous intricacy of Geof Darrow's art into a visual masterpiece, master sculptor Kent Melton has created a sumptuous feast for the decadent imagination-guaranteed to make the hardcore collector drool. This piece was originally released in 1997 as an oversize, unpainted polyresin kit. Only 100 were made, and they sold out at a whopping $695.00 each.

This new version is approximately 11" and was recreated in a collaboration between original sculptor Kent Melton and the talented team at Gentle Giant Studios. It comes prepainted, with all the detailing of the original statue.

OH MY GODDESS!: MYSTERY CHILD TPB

KOSUKE FUJISHIMA; produced by STUDIO PROTEUS

On sale May 7, SC, 272pg, b&w, 6" x 9", $18.95

It's not every day you get a call from the creator of the universe! But when

the Almighty calls to summon Belldandy's goddess sisters, Urd and Skuld, back home to investigate a problem with the universe's time management program, it can only mean one thing: college boy Keiichi's alone with Belldandy at last! But don't get your hopes up, buddy. Who's this little boy who just appeared out of nowhere in the garden? He's certainly not human, but is he a god, a demon, or something in between. And why is he treating Belldandy like his long lost…lover?

Oh My Goddess! is a frolicking fantasy like no other, a little bit naughty, a little bit nice, and a great big bit of full-on fun!

"There's just a sense of fun that goes on in an issue of Oh My Goddess!, able to bring levity to even the worst situation. If you're looking for grim and gritty, look elsewhere, but for fun and happiness, you're doing fine with Oh My Goddess!." - icomics.com

RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT TPB

HADEN BLACKMAN, CARY NORD, and MARK LIPKA; cover by CARY NORD

On sale May 21, SC, 80pg, b&w, $9.95

Join us on a journey into the bizarre and unexplained as Dark Horse Comics presents Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Collecting a series of short stories that examines the mysterious disappearance of people down through history in "Into Thin Air," the ability of some individuals to seemingly cheat death in "Grim Reaping," oddities of humanity in "Human Wonders," and strange and otherworldly visitors in "Strange Invaders"! This is one volume of strangeness that you won't want to miss out on!

SHREK #1 (of 4)

MARK EVANIER, RAMON BACHS and RAUL FERNANDEZ

On sale April 30, FC, 32pg, (1 of 4), $2.99

The big green ogre is back-this time in COMICS! Join Shrek, Donkey, and the gang as they embark on their latest adventure. The tale begins as Shrek, Princess Fiona, and their constant companion, Donkey, set off for a honeymoon at Fairytale Tales. But the ghost of Lord Farguaad, intent on taking his fearsome revenge, interrupts the honeymooners' bliss. Written by master sribe Mark Evanier (Groo) and illustrated by Ramon Bachs and Raul Fernandez (Star Wars). Shrek is sure to please readers of all ages

o Featuring Groo artist and Eisner-Award winner Mark Evanier as he embarks on an all-new adventure with everyone's favorite ogre.

Long lost missing issue finally found!

SPYBOY #13.1: THE M.A.N.G.A. AFFAIR part 1 (of 3)

PETER DAVID, POP MHAN, and NORMAN LEE; cover by POP MHAN

On sale April 23, b&w, 24pg, (1 of 3), $2.99

When Japan's premiere spy is both the nation's leading comedienne and an expert secret agent, it's often tricky to sneak away to spoil the latest evil villain's global plot…but SpyGirl does her best! The beautiful Yukio, A.K.A. SpyGirl, finds an old photograph on the set of her television show that throws her into a complete frenzy. Why was she photographed with Japan's Minister of Defense? More importantly, why doesn't she remember any of it? And what does SpyBoy have to do with it? This manga-inspired tale features a brand new art style from fan-fave Pop Mhan, hallucinating secret agents, close calls, high-speed chases, and hilarious quips from Peter David, the master of quirky plots and hilarious quips. Join us on this three issue excursion into madness, ninjas, action, and laughs!

STAR WARS: A LONG TIME AGO... VOLUME 6 WOOKIE WORLD TPB

BRETT BLEVINS, SAL BUSCEMA, JO DUFFY, JAN DUURSEMA, RON FRENZ, TOM MANDRAKE, DAVID MAZZUCCHELLI, BOB MCLEOD, ANN NOCENTI, TOM PALMER, RANDY STRADLEY, and others

On sale May 21, SC, 360pg, FC, $29.95

Dark Horse Comics presents the latest volume of Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... featuring classic Star Wars stories not seen in over twenty years and an amazing, "All Star" line-up of creators! Originally printed by Marvel Comics, these stories have been meticulously re-colored and are sure to please both new and old Star Wars fans. Wookie World collects issues 82 to 95 of the original Marvel run, taking place after Return Of The Jedi, as our beloved Star Wars gang establishes a base of leadership for their newly freed galaxy on the planet Endor. The stories in this volume take us on solo and team adventures with our favorite galactic heroes. In "The Alderaan Factor," a stranded Princess Leia fights for her life with another native of her destroyed home world…an Imperial trooper! Lando Calrissian goes to the aid of an old flame and becomes enmeshed in a planet's struggle between democracy and aristocratic rule in "Sweetheart Contract." Han Solo and Chewbacca set out on an old-fashioned treasue hunt in "Seoul Searching" and manage to twart an Imperial plot. And much more! Introduction by Star Wars writer and editor Randy Stradley!

STAR WARS: EMPIRE #8

"Darklighter" part 1 of 4

PAUL CHADWICK, DOUG WHEATLEY, and CHRIS CHUCKRY

On sale April 2, FC, 32pg, $2.99

Everybody remembers the scene in A New Hope where Biggs Darklighter heroically sacrifices himself during the attack on the Death Star. Fewer people know is that before that fateful battle, Luke and Biggs were childhood friends. In fact, it was Luke's dream to follow Biggs to the Imperial Academy. But what Biggs learns from his time with the Empire pushes him to become one of the earliest heroes of the Rebellion. Eisner and Harvey award winner Paul Chadwick (Concrete) writes, Doug Wheatley (Superman: Last Son of Krypton) and colorist Chris Chuckry provide the stunning artwork.

STAR WARS: JEDI-SHAAK TI

JOHN OSTRANDER, JAN DUURSEMA, and DAN PARSONS; cover by JAN DUURSEMA

On sale April 16, FC, 48pg, $4.99

A Double-Sized Clone Wars Special!

Among the Jedi, Master Shaak Ti is known as a peacemaker; the calm voice of reason. But caught on the ground on war-torn Brentaal IV with a rapidly dwindling platoon of clone troopers, Shaak Ti is forced to go on the offensive!

A Magna-gun emplacement is preventing Republic ships from landing reinforcements, and to save the mission-and the lives of Ti's own troops-the guns must be silenced. To accomplish the task, Shaak Ti will accept whatever help she can get-even that of a killer convicted of murdering Ti's former pupil!

Fire up you lightsabers and get ready for the biggest Clone Wars battle to date, with guest-stars from all over the Star Wars galaxy!

STAR WARS: REPUBLIC #53

"Blast Radius"

HADEN BLACKMAN and BRIAN CHING; cover by BRIAN CHING

On sale April 19, FC, 32pg, $2.99

An all-Jedi strike force is assembled for a secret mission to infiltrate a Skakoan Techno Union base that is supporting the Separatists. Among those selected for the mission is Obi-Wan Kenobi, who finds himself teamed with several legendary Jedi Masters. Surrounded by so many powerful individuals, Obi-Wan feels there is little he can bring to the mission.

But when the base turns out to be a trap designed to kill Jedi, Obi-Wan finds himself in a leadership position, fighting for the survival of the team! Jedi powers, Jedi sacrifices, and another surprising confrontation!

SUPER MANGA BLAST! #31

MASAMUNE SHIROW, MOHIRO KITOH, MAKOTO KOBAYASHI, YUZO TAKADA, and HIROYUKI UTATANE & YO MORIMOTO; produced by STUDIO PROTEUS

On sale April 30, b&w, 128pg, $5.99

We're still rolling out the best manga in America! Manga like Shadow Star which is entering its fifth fantastic volume by introducing new characters, and bringing Akira face-to-face with the evil dragon empath, Satomi Ozawa. And the mystery continues to slowly unravel and tie itself back up in Seraphic Feather where we'll learn a bit about the past while recovering from the explosive battle against the cold-as-ice Apep Heidemann. And speaking of battles, the quest to the sacred land has found Yakumo, Pai, and Jake in one heck of a spat. What's worse, now Yakumo has to face the incredibly formidable wu of the Kaiyan Wang. On the lighter side, "Hello"-chan is having a good time driving her pink Testarossa around town and partying down with manga artists, not a bad life, eh. But something has to go wrong. Count on it. Finally, we've got EVEN MORE APPLESEED HYPERNOTES to give you that Shirow fix you need for the month. We've got all of that stuff packed into 128 bursting pages. Come and get some!

FOR MATURE READERS

XENOZOIC TALES VOLUME 2 TPB

MARK SCHULTZ

On sale May 28, SC, 176pg, b&w, $14.95

Dark Horse Comics is proud to present the second volume of Mark Schultz's award-winning Xenozoic Tales. Schultz's vision of our Earth's future includes guano-powered Cadillacs, warring factions of humanity battling for ruined cities, reborn dinosaurs, and their intelligent, humanoid descendants. The tough-as-nails shaman, Jack Tenrec, and the beautiful scientist, Hannah Dundee, seek to uncover the origins and secrets of their violent world while dealing with their own rocky relationship. Xenozoic Tales became a major network cartoon as "Cadillacs and Dinosaurs", and the storytelling talents of Mark Schultz earned him three Harvey Awards as Best Cartoonist. Schultz recently finished writing a critically-acclaimed run on Superman and is writing the upcoming Superman/Batman vs. Aliens/Predator series. Once you let the profound creativity of Xenozoic Tales sink its teeth in you, you'll be screaming for more! Featured in this volume are the grippings tales "Primeval," "Last Link in the Chain," and "The Growing Pool." Also, for the first time ever, Xenozoic Tales #13 and #14 are collected in book form. This volume has a new cover and additional sketchbook material by Schultz.

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