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Thursday, July 10, 2003

DARK HORSE COMICS FOR OCTOBER

Following are Dark Horse Comics' solicitations for October, with information and images coming from the company.

ASTRO BOY TPB

By Osamu Tezuka.

In the wake of the widespread critical acclaim for the Metropolis animated feature, interest in the work of master storyteller and cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, creator of Metropolis and the godfather of Japanese comics and animation, has never been greater. Astro Boy is Tezuka's most beloved body of work, a visionary series that laid the groundwork for the international phenomenon that are the comics and animation industries of Japan. Innovative, exciting, and as fresh today as when it first appeared nearly half a century ago. Translation by Frederik L. Schodt, author of America and the Four Japans and translator of Masamune Shirow's Orion.

232 pages, black and white, $9.95, in stores on Nov. 26

AUTOBIOGRAPHIX TPB

By Frank Miller, Matt Wagner, Will Eisner, Linda Medley, Sergia Argones, Stan Sakai, Paul Chadwick, William Stout, Jason Lute and others.

Dedicated readers have long known that the medium of comics and graphic novels isn't all about caped superheroes. In fact, the combination of words and pictures can be the perfect vehicle for telling all kinds of stories. This collection of short stories illustrates, quite literally, the effectiveness of the medium for telling the most personal of stories-the autobiography-and does so by showcasing some of the first published autobiographical stories from living-legend artists, mainstream greats, and young "indie" up-and-comers.

104 pages, black and white, $14.95, in stores on Nov. 19.

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #83

By Hiroaki Samura.

"Path of Shadows." Anotsu Kagehisa and Asano Rin have followed separate paths in search of revenge. Now they find themselves travelling the same path together. Each of them will come to learn that they have been walking in circles. And because of another's quest for vengeance, Anotsu will lose someone who is very dear to him and one of the fiercest warriors to ever spill blood between the pages of Blade of the Immortal will die.

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 8.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #62

By Fabian Nicieza, Scott Lobdell and Cliff Richards, cover by Brian Horton.

"A Stake to the Heart," part 3 of 4. Buffy Summers, the Chosen One, the Slayer, is dealing with a horror she is powerless to stop-the divorce of her parents. Adolescence is tough enough without the added distress of parental separation, not to mention the responsibilities of the one who stands alone against the powers of darkness. Now, in a failed attempt to alleviate Buffy's anxiety, the vampire with a soul, known as Angel, has unwittingly unleashed the Malignancy Demons upon her and her family. They feed on the pain of the Summers' family and bring to life the negative emotions which grip them. Buffy has faced Deceit and Guilt she must now face Abandonment.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 22.

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CANNON GOD EXAXXION #18

By Kenichi Sonada.

Everything is twisting and turning in the world of Cannon God Exaxxion. Hoichi is pretty mad at his grandfather, and will turn to some drastic, but short-lived measures to prove how angry he is over the killing of innocent civilians. Meanwhile, the Riofaldians will also turn against their own in an attempt to secure another XXX unit so they can do battle with Hoichi and his giant robot. This is a lynchpin issue, starting what feels like a new arc in a series that defies story arcs. Now the fight is very political, yet no less physical, and the back story is about to start pouring forth.

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 15.

THE CHRONICLES OF CONAN VOL. 2: TOWER OF THE ELEPHANT & OTHER STORIES TPB

By Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith.

Compiling the early Conan the Barbarian stories by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith, this collection contains some of the most powerful and compelling comic stories ever created. Following Robert E. Howard's pulp hero Conan through the early part of his life, Thomas and Windsor-Smith (then going by the name "Barry Smith") wove together pieces of the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres, all built around the framework of Howard's original fiction. Featuring completely remastered color and text corrections, these stories have been unavailable in color since their original publication, nearly thirty years ago.

160 pages, $15.95, in stores on Nov. 26.

CRUSH #1

By Jason Hall and Sean Murphy, cover by Murphy.

In a world of subtle horrors Elizabeth Crush is about to meet one monster she never counted on- herself! On the day of her 18th birthday, Elizabeth undergoes a strange metamorphosis which, for reasons unknown, causes her to transform into monster called Crush. But what at first seems to be a curse, may in fact be the very thing that leads Elizabeth to understand who she truly is.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 22.

THE DEVIL'S FOOTPRINTS TPB

By Scott Allie, Paul Lee, Brian Horton and Dave Stewart.

The youngest son of a deceased sorceror, desperate to protect his family from a mysterious curse, digs into his dead father's bag of tricks. But his desire to protect his loved ones leads him to mix deception with demon conjuration, isolating himself in a terrible world where his soul hangs in the balance. The townspeople always knew something was wrong with the Waite family, and their worst fears are proven true in the fiery climax when the devil returns to New England.

144 pages, $14.95, in stores on Nov. 26.

DRAWING ON YOUR NIGHTMARES

By Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, Eric Powell, Brett Matthews and Sean Phillips, cover by Templesmith.

The Dark Horse horror line offers up a special bag of tricks for autumn. Following up their series Criminal Macabre, Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith present Cal McDonald's latest case, in which the foul-mouthed private dick rubs elbows with undead gangsters in Las Vegas. The Goon creator Eric Powell introduces readers to the even seedier side of life in his zombie-infested burg, featuring the Goon's eight-armed, hard-luck poker buddy Spider. Brett Matthews, writer from the Angel TV show, and artist Sean Phillips give readers a twisted taste of the upcoming Tales of the Vampires, the new series of comics written by Joss Whedon and the writers from his TV show.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 1

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FRAY: FUTURE SLAYER TPB & LTD. HC

By Joss Whedon, Karl Moline and Andy Owens.

Hundreds of years in the future, Manhattan has become a deadly slum, run by mutant crime-lords and disinterested cops. Stuck in the middle is a young girl who thought she had no future, but learns she has a great destiny. In a world so poisoned that it doesn't notice the monsters on its streets, how can a street kid like Fray unite a fallen city against a demonic plot to consume mankind? Joss Whedon, the celebrated creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, brings his vision to the future in this unique tale. As inventive in the comics medium as in that of television or film, Whedon spins a complex tale of a skilled thief coming of age without the help of friends or family, guided only by a demonic Watcher.

216 pages, $19.95, in stores on Nov. 26.

GALACTIC #3

By Jim Krueger, Sanford Greene and Greg Adams, cover by Jason Pearson.

In "Mirror Mortals," Heath and the rest of the Galactic team must travel to the surface of a hostile, death-filled planet and determine whether it's worth saving or better off being destroyed. Heath is still getting used to his new role on the Galactic team, and he's trying to master the powers bestowed upon him by the mysterious Galactic gem imbedded in his head. As thoughts of Earth and his mother haunt him, the young adventurer and his bickering teammates face off against the deadly, carnivorous Spider-Apes and their horrific, techno-organic queen. With the future of a strange world in their hands, the members of Galactic must set aside squabbles and apprehension or face their own extinction!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 29.

GHOST IN THE SHELL II: MAN-MACHINE INTERFACE #9

By Masamune Shirow.

Deep inside the electronic infinity of the enemy Decatonale supercomputer, cyber-agent Motoko Aramaki plays hide-and-seek with the system's digital defenses to get the root of the terrorist attacks plaguing Poseidon International. It's been a tough cyber-fight, but one that becomes even tougher when Motoko Aramaki encounters a new adversary, the one-and-only Motoko Kusanagi, whose personality is embedded in the core of her own multi-identity. And when the entities begin to spontaneously fuse, the existence of each-or both!-hangs in the balance! The consciousness-altering sequel to the manga/anime classic Ghost in the Shell, Masamune Shirow's Man-Machine Interface takes graphic fiction into unexplored territory, a hallucinatory dreamscape of unforgettable visions and unimaginable ideas.

32 pages, $3.50, in stores on Oct. 15.

GO BOY 7: HUMAN ACTION MACHINE #4

By Tom Peyer, Jon Sommariva and Kris Justice, cover by Francisco Ruiz Velasco.

Go Boy 7's grief over his murdered parents fuels the Cultist's cruelest bid yet to destroy him. But it's a mistake to make the Jonny too angry, as the Cultist learns when the Human Action Machine tracks him down to his lair. Plus: Jonny learns a terrible secret Professor Zero has been keeping from him.

On sale October 1, FC, 32pg, $2.99

THE GOON #3

By Eric Powell.

The Goon and Franky have been best friends for as long as we can remember, ever since they was rotten, little tykes. This month you're gonna find out how the two of them became best pals, and how they muscled their way into the rackets of big-time crime-boss, Labrazio -who, incidentally, nobody's seen in a while. This trip down memory lane ain't gonna be no joyride, neither. There's gonna be zombies, voodoo priests, swearin', ugly people, and a whole bunch of getting cracked on the head wit' a heavy object. You better pick up yer flippin' copy of The Goon before yer dancin' at the end of a rope without any music.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 22.

GRENDEL: GOD AND THE DEVIL #9

By Matt Wagner, Jay Geldhof and Jeromy Cox, cover by John K. Snyder III.

In this penultimate issue of the most hell-bent Grendel series to date, the focus is on just a handful of key players: blood-crazed C.O.P. officer Pellon Cross, the extremely hallucinogenic heretic calling himself Grendel, and a very determined little rat who's had just about enough, thank you very much. This is where it all comes to a big, painfully swollen head-Grendel makes his most determined and effective strike (so far!) against God, and the horrendous, bloody truth behind the church is revealed in shocking display. just in time for Easter Sunday. Re-presenting the original Grendel #32, with new color and new cover art.

32 pages, $3.50, in stores on Oct. 8.

HELL #4

By Brian Augustyn, Todd Demong and Tim Kane, cover by Carlos Meglia.

Things are heating up in HellL as human and beasts team up to march against the shadow-like Chimera who threaten to extinguish all life on the island. But the nightmarish swarm of Chimera is seemingly unending and our heroes may be up against more than they ever expected.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 15.

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HELLBOY: WEIRD TALES #5

By J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman, Scott Morse, Ron Marz, Jim Starlin and John Cassaday, cover by Williams.

While investigating reports of a goatman stalking a small town's Lover's Lane, Hellboy is teamed with a female Bureau agent whose obsession with monsters makes the World's Greatest Paranormal Investigator a little uneasy. J.H. Williams and Haden Blackman put their knowledge of mysticism and folklore together for this truly unique Hellboy adventure. Ron Marz teams with legendary creator Jim Starlin for a psychedelic South American adventure, and Scott Morse presents a more contemplative look at Hellboy, while the retro Lobster Johnson serial by John Cassaday just gets more and more strange.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 15

LONE #2

By Stuart Moore and Jerome Opena, cover by Ben Templesmith.

Welcome to East John's Fireworks Shack! We've got everything any inhabitant of the Western Wasteland would need, from supplies and rations to firearms and ammo! Need explosives? No problem! We even offer credit to anyone the law allows (which doesn't include mutants or zombies)! And if it's some rest and relaxation you're seekin', make sure to check out our convient saloon right next door. So come on down and see us before you head off to your next zombie massacre! You'll be glad you did. The West just got a little weirder...

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 15.

MOTHER, COME HOME TPB

By Paul Hornschemeier.

With his clean, distinctive art style and poignant storytelling, up-and-coming indie comics sensation Paul Hornschemeier has earned comparisons to and accolades from today's top graphic novelists.  Mother, Come Home is Hornschemeier's graphic novel debut-the quietly stunning tale of a father and son struggling, by varying degrees of escapism and fantasy, to come to terms with the death of the family's mother. The story seamlessly weaves through the surreal and the painfully factual, guided by the careful, somber colors and inventive pacing unique to Hornschemeier's storytelling. Mother, Come Home extracts almost tangible drama from the most tranquil of moments, making that which is unspoken in each panel easily audible, and almost uncomfortably experienced.

128 pages, $14.95, in stores on Nov. 16.

OH MY GODDESS! #102

By Kosuke Fujishima.

"Dr. Moreau," part 3 of 5. This issue of Oh My Goddess! promises wild robotic antics. Keiichi and Belldandy have stumbled upon the robotic experiments of a mad scientist. Now his cybernetic creations are running amok! Can Keiichi and his girl Goddess stop the crazed Doctor from unleashing mechanized mayhem on an unsuspecting college campus?

32 pages, black and white, $2.99.

OH MY GODDESS!: TRAVELER TPB

By Kosuke Fujishima.

It looks like Earthbound goddess Belldandy's powers are on the fritz-she can't even make a penny levitate! And to make matters worse, members of Earthling boyfriend Keiichi's motorcycle club come for a visit...with a bunch of junk for Keiichi to store, and now the crew is a bit short on space. But not to fear, it's sister goddess Skuld to the rescue, creating a computer that will alter space! With the click of a makeshift video game controller, a room becomes larger. Does it matter that the device, if used incorrectly, creates a room infinitely larger? It does if Keiichi and a powerless Belldandy get lost in that room and have no idea how to find their way out! Collecting issues #91 through #95 of the ongoing series.

256 pages, black and white, $17.95, in stores on Nov. 19.

THE RING VOLUME 1

By Hiroshi Takahashi and Misao Inagaki.

Have you seen the movie yet? It's creepy, dramatic, somehow a little funny, and intense. The Ring, a Japanese multi-media frenzy based on the best-selling horror novels by Koji Suzuki, has already made its way to America in both a Western adaptation of the film, and an equally popular dubbed Japanese version. Now from Dark Horse Comics comes the equally fantastic manga, and it will be published, respectfully, in the increasingly popular "non-Western" format, meaning you get a kick out of reading from the back of the book to the front. For those of you who love your media in comic book form, you'll love seeing this creepy tidbit panel to panel, and for those who love film, step forward and find out why filmmakers idolize comics.

On sale November12, SC, 304pg, b&w, 5" x 7", $14.95

SPYBOY: THE M.A.N.G.A. AFFAIR TPB

By Peter David, Pop Mhan and Norman Lee.

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? Collecting the three-issue mini-series.

80 pages, $9.95, in stores on Nov. 19.

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STAR WARS: EMPIRE #14

By Jeremy Barlow and Tomas Giorello, cover by David Michael Beck.

This issue delivers a rare view of the days of the Rebellion from the perspective of a soldier of the Empire-specifically that of a Stormtrooper who is transferred to the newly commissioned Death Star! Trooper TK-622 is proud to do his duty in the service of the emperor, but he suspects that that may not be the case for every member of the battle station's crew. Strange "accidents" and equipment malfunctions point to the presence of a saboteur, but can the trooper prove it before the station goes into action above Yavin?

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 1.

STAR WARS: JEDI-DOOKU

By John Ostrander, Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons, cover by Duursema.

A double-sized Clone Wars special! Liberator. Tyrant. Hero. Villain. Renegade. Visionary. Jedi. Sith lord. The enigmatic, charismatic Count Dooku is all of these things. Posing as a renegade from the Republic, Jedi Quinlan Vos has been given the assignment to earn Dooku's trust and learn his secrets. When he discovers that Dooku's targets include Vos' birth planet of Kiffu and his own people, the Guardians, Quin must decide how far he is willing to go to protect his cover. Dooku, ever the master manipulator, always has another card to play, and his goal is not always what it seems. This is a story of the Clone Wars and the Jedi seen from a very different perspective.

48 pages, $4.99, in stores on Oct. 29.

STAR WARS: REPUBLIC #59

By John Ostrander, Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons, cover by Andy Brase.

"Enemy Lines." In the aftermath of a battle on the desert moon of Aargonar, Anakin Skywalker finds himself stranded behind enemy lines with the last person in the galaxy that he wants to be with: fellow Jedi A'Sharad Hett -from a Tusken Raider clan on their native Tatooine. For Anakin, their struggle to make it back to the Republic's lines also becomes a test of whether he can control his hatred of the Tuskens-and whether or not he can keep the shameful secret of his murder of the Tusken tribe.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 15.

STAR WARS: THE STARK HYPERSPACE WAR TPB

By John Ostrander, Davide Fabbri and Christian Dalla Vecchia.

Before the outbreak of the Clone Wars, the Jedi were involved in another major battle: the Stark Hyperspace War. Smuggler and pirate Iaco Stark's "commercial combine" has disrupted the production of bacta, the most important healing agent in the galaxy. By cornering the market on bacta, Stark hopes to amass a fortune. But other forces within the Republic have aligned themselves with the Trade Federation, and are hoping to use Stark's aggression as an excuse for military build-up. It's up to the members of the Jedi Council to untangle the many deceits and intrigues and bring the criminals to justice before the galaxy is plunged into war!

96 pages, $12.95, in stores on Nov. 12.

SYN #3

By Keith Giffen, Greg Titus and Julian Washburn, cover by Titus and Washburn.

Syn undergoes a transformation the likes of which the universe has never before witnessed. Machine has become human. But it may be more than Syn was prepared for as she has now become the only human in a world filled with machines, and when her presence is discovered she may be in for the fight of her life.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 8.

TRIGUN VOLUME 1 TPB

By Yashuhiro Nightow.

It's a western, it's sci-fi, it's punk, and it's popular. It's Trigun and it's become one of the most popular anime in America, but before it was animated, it was a manga. Now Dark Horse has finally brought that manga to America! Continuing our foray into the world of non-Westernized manga publishing, Trigun promises to be entertaining with its huge guns, signature characters, wild shoot-em-up action, and funny writing. Vash is a nice guy, but everyone wants to kill him. An enigma of a man with a coat full of bullet holes, he's widely feared because of the destruction left in his wake. And he's also highly valued for the price on his head. But he's no easy man to kill. Of course, that doesn't stop people from trying. What's his mission? Where's he from? This volume may have the answers to those questions, and more.

360 pages, black and white, $14.95, in stores on Nov. 5.

ULTRAMAN TIGA #3

By Tony Wong and Khoo Fuk Lung, cover by UDON.

The blistering action's only starting to heat up as the monster-fighting, sci-fi super-hero from the stars, Ultraman Tiga, goes toe to toe with a pair of terrifying beasts that have staked out our planet for destruction. Gone are the wires, the rubber suits, and the campy tone-this incarnation of Ultraman means business, and God help any extra-terrestrial invaders that think they're gonna take the Earth down without a fight.

40 pages, $3.99, in stores on Oct. 29.

USAGI YOJIMBO #70

By Stan Sakai.

Stan Sakai's loving homage to the seminal manga Lone Wolf and Cub wraps up this month with the second thrilling issue of the two-part "Fathers and Sons" story line. Usagi and Jotaro are trapped in an isolated fishing cabin with Yagi-the badly wounded renegade assassin known as Lone Goat-and his young son, Gorogoro. Meanwhile, the local gang lord is amassing swordsmen from the area, waiting for his chance to attack the beleaguered samurai and claim both the reward for the assassin and the chance to name himself killer of the legendary Lone Goat and Kid! It's a tough situation for our ronin rabbit, but Usagi and Yagi know something the others don't-there's more to a samurai than his swords.

24 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 22.

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