ECCC 2008: Dark Horse Panel

Being the largest comic book publisher based in the Pacific Northwest, Dark Horse welcomed a particularly big audience of fans at the publisher’s panel at the 2008 Emerald City ComiCon in Seattle. Jeremy Atkins, Director of Publicity for Dark Horse, co-mediated the event with editor/writer Scott Allie. Joining them on stage was editor Katie Moody, writers Rick Remender (“Fear Agent,” “The End League”) and Josh Dysart (“B.P.R.D.: 1946”), and, curiously, artist Eric Canete, known for his work on Marvel’s “Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin.”

Naturally, Canete’s appearance at the Dark Horse panel led to some confused looks amongst the crowd. However, it was quickly announced that Canete would be the artist for the next four issues of “The End League” while regular series illustrator Mat Broome takes a break. In addition, Remender said he was pleased to announce that “The End League” would begin shipping monthly as of Canete's debut on issue #5.

The panel then broke down the following projects and announcements readers can look forward to in the near future:


Dark Horse had a huge hit on their hands last year when they collected the “Perry Bible Fellowship” webcomic. Fans can expect a second volume of the webcomic in the “Perry Bible Almanac,” coming to stores soon. In addition, Dark Horse will be collecting Chris Onstad’s “Achewood” webcomic in a volume titled “The Great Outdoor Fight.”


The online comic series continues to showcase talent -- both new and old -- and will be collected in a trade paperback (for those who prefer comics the old-fashioned way) this September. The collection will include the Joss Whedon “Sugarshock” tale and Eric Powell’s story of “a zombie who lost his pecker.”

Down the road on MDHP, fans were told they could look forward to more stories from writers such as Joss Whedon and Tara McPherson, a “cockroach western” tale, plus a Robert E. Howard month in June.


A cover for the first “Umbrella Academy” trade was revealed, and it will collect the first six issues of the book plus the “hard-to-find” Free Comic Book Day story. The second volume of the series will begin in November, but fans will get a treat before that time as an “Umbrella Academy” short story will be appearing on MDHP in July. It will relay a story of when certain characters of the book were in a punk band in the early 80s.


Josh Dysart reminded everyone present that “B.P.R.D.: 1946” will be wrapping up this week. He is already at work on “B.P.R.D.: 1947,” which he said will have a different feel than “1946.” He said it will be “more image oriented” and less intense than the “masturbatory pulp” that “1946” is. Dysart then quickly clarified his comment and assured everyone that masturbatory pulp was a “good thing.”

The writer also said he has plans for “B.P.R.D.: 1948,” which he expects will be more like “1946.” He also told fans that they should expect to see more and more of Hellboy with each series, until he eventually gets his first mission.


This fall, Hellboy fans will get a treat with the “Crooked Man” miniseries which takes place in the Appalachians. Hellboy will be forced to deal with “real witchcraft and real Appalachian folklore.” Richard Corben is providing the gruesome covers for this adventure.

It was also announced that the “Wild Hunt” miniseries (illustrated by Duncan Fegredo) that many readers have been anticipating has been pushed back. The reason is a good one though -- Hellboy creator Mike Mignola wanted to write and draw a Hellboy one-shot first. The book will be called “In the Chapel of Moloch.”

Dark Horse also wanted to remind fans about the upcoming “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” movie, which arrives in theaters on July 11 of this year.


Coming up in “The Goon,” readers will learn about the history of Chinatown and why the place is so strange. Additionally, “The Goon” issue #26 will come out with two covers: one features the book’s “good guys,” while the other will obviously showcase the “bad guys.”


“Rex Mundi” is heading into its final six issues. To commemorate this, these issues will have covers from guest artists including Guy Davis and John Cassaday.


Some early art by Eric Nguyen was shown for “Gigantic” -- Rick Remender’s third ongoing title at Dark Horse. The writer explained that he was inspired to do this series after reading Grant Morrison’s “All Star Superman,” which, to him, is “everything that’s fun about comics.” He described the book’s pitch as “a superhero in 'The Truman Show,’” and promised lots of robots destroying cities.


“Conan” will be relaunching with brand new #0 and #1 issues. He will now be embracing his role as Conan the Cimmerian. “It’s time for him to pursue life as a mercenary.”

This December, Kull (a barbarian creation of Howard’s that actually precedes Conan) will get his own series. It will be written by Arvid Nelson (“Rex Mundi”) with art by Will Conrad (“Serenity: Better Days”).

As previously announced on CBR News, Solomon Kane will be getting a series as well, with a cover by Joe Kuber. The cover will connect with two other covers that Kubert is drawing for both “Kull” and “Conan.”


Dark Horse will be celebrating its 20th year of manga this year. In addition to its regular manga books, the publisher will be putting out a “Clover” omnibus from the Clamp creative team. They also had one other interesting announcement with regards to Clamp: the publisher will be releasing new Clamp material as it is simultaneously released in Japan and Korea.


Dark Horse plans to republish the first twenty-one issues of Larry Marder’s “Tales of the Beanworld” -- a hard-to-find, out of print series. Fans can also look forward to a new “Beanworld” short story on MDHP in September, a holiday one-shot at the end of the year, and a brand new graphic novel.

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