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Thursday, January 13, 2005

DARK HORSE COMICS FOR APRIL

Following are Dark Horse Comics' solicitation for April, with information coming from the publisher.

APOCALYPSE NERD #2

Written and art by Peter Bagge.

In this issue, our two hapless heroes, the high strung Perry and the gruff Gordo, are still stuck way out in the woods trying to fend for themselves. Eventually, Perry decides he can't take it anymore and heads back towards civilization (or what's left of it) and takes his chances there instead. Will he go? Should he go? Is he doomed either way? Also in this issue: more amusing warts-and-all anecdotes about our beloved Founding Fathers!

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on April 6.

BILLY THE KID'S OLD-TIMEY ODDITIES #1

Written by Eric Powell, art by Kyle Hotz.

Billy the Kid having faked his own death is now free to roam America, and start a new life, unhindered by his past crimes and criminal record. Free, that is, until someone discovers his true identity. Fineas Spoule and his band of traveling sideshow performers blackmail the Kid into joining their troupe. These performers are the rarest breed of human oddities and deforms: an alligator man, a dog-face boy, a wild man, a miniature boy, a psychic, a tatooed woman, and Sproule, himself, also known as "The Human Spider." Billy begrudgingly agrees. Spoule, on top of everything else, is something of a treasure hunter. He and his band are set to travel to Europe to steal a priceless artifact from a mysterious scientist, a Dr. Victor Frankensteain; with Billy as their hired gun.

This series combines Hotz's quirky macabre visuals and Powell's humorous fast-paced storytelling into an off-beat epic adventure full of interesting characters combining the unlikely genres of spaghetti western and Hammer horror.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on April 20.

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #100

Written and art by Hiroaki Samura.

"Trickster," part 2 of 4. A double-sized dose of Samurai suspense and violence, as Blade of the Immortal reaches its one-hundredth issue! Armed with kessen-satsu, the only poison known to damage Manji's immortal blood, three Itto-ryü warriors target Manji and Giichi. Crippled and sightless, will Manji be able to fend off a vicious, new Itto-ryü foe? Giichi, still reeling from the events in the "Twilight" storyline, finds himself trading swings with Magatsu, another fan favorite! This issue also features pinups by Francisco Paronzini and Andy Tong, along with a Blade of the Immortal parody strip, "Rumble to Kaga," by Jhomar Soriano.

64 pages, black and white, $5.99, in stores on April 13.

CONAN #15

Written by Kurt Busiek, art by Greg Ruth.

. This story looks deeper into Conan's earliest adventures. Having crippled a bullying playmate, young Conan's become a solitary figure. Born on the battlefield and destined for greatness, the boy's shown a fierce independence and bravery. The adults don't know what to do with such a formidable child and the other boys are afraid of him. When he discovers an Aquilonian wizard and daughter living in the woods outside his village, Conan is torn between his respect for their rogue existence and his chance to become a real Cimmerian warrior by exposing the foreign spies.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on April 20.

CONAN AND THE JEWELS OF GWAHLUR #1

Written and art by P. Craig Russell.

She's made a string of bad choices, and now a young woman has let herself become the pawn of mercenaries‹and one of those mercenaries is Conan of Cimmeria. As the former dancing girl poses as the dead oracle of a primitive cult, Conan puts his military and thieving experience together in one of his last adventures before becoming King.

P. Craig Russell, the award-winning artist who's made his reputation adapting literature to comics, takes the greatest hero to ever make the leap from books to comics in this dazzling adaptation. With stories like The Jewels of Gwahlur, Robert E. Howard invented the genre of sword and sorcery fiction, and no matter how many times the master has been imitated, stories like this one have not been surpassed.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on April 6.

CONCRETE: THE HUMAN DILEMMA #5

Written and art by Paul Chadwick.

Life as Concrete changes for good in these pages. Recently, former speechwriter Ron Lithgow has been using his high profile as Concrete to promote the population-control agenda of a wealthy CEO. While subjecting himself to a gauntlet of public criticism for Walter Sageman's controversial program, Concrete's back has gone from causing severe itching to causing nausea and painful swelling. What on earth is happening to his body now? And what is this delusional stalker planning to do with a gun?! Meanwhile, aide Larry Munro meets with Astra, his fiancée ... who knows he cheated on her. Following the shock ending of issue #4, this installment changes everything.

32 pages, black and white, $3.50, in stores on April 27.

DAMN NATION #3

Written by Andrew Cosby, art by J. Alexander.

The vampire epic, which began with the entire country in the hands of mindless blood-starved undead, climaxes with revelations about the cure for vampirism--which in this case is definitely worse than the disease. The plot to suppress the cure and keep America on its knees comes to light, and the biggest threat‹that of human betrayal--is amplified with a terrible vampire transformation.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on April 20.

DARE DETECTIVES VOLUME 2: THE ROYALE TREATMENT TPB

By Ben Caldwell.

Luck's no lady for the Dare Detectives! They've tracked femme fatale criminal mastermind Madame Bleu and her snowpea-swiping gang of pandas and abominable snowmen to the ruins of the infamous Royale casino, but a traitor threatens to close the case on Dare -- permanently! Will old friends and new enemies save the day? Can Toby go a whole issue without breaking something? And what's with the snowpeas? Created by cartoonist extraordinaire Ben Caldwell, Dare Detectives is a runaway freight train of hyperkinetic action and laughs that will rattle your cage and shake your tree--if you dare!

96 pages, $6.95, in stores on May 25.

DARK HORSE BOOK OF THE DEAD HC

By Mike Mignola, Jill Thompson, Kelley Jones, Eric Powell, Gary Gianni and others.

Mike Mignola presents a Hellboy yarn combining Shakespeare and graverobbing in this followup to Dark Horse's Eisner-nominated Books of Hauntings and Witchcraft. Also returning this volume are Jill Thompson, who won a 2004 Eisner for her painted work in Hauntings, and her collaborator Evan Dorkin, with another occult canine adventure. New additions for this volume include Goon creator Eric Powell, celebrated B.P.R.D. artist Guy Davis, and the artist who spent the last twenty years making superhero comics more scary--Kelley Jones. Cover artist Gary Gianni also returns, mixing prose with comics, with a rare tale by the man ultimately responsible for Dark Horse's biggest hit in years--Conan creator Robert E. Howard.

96 pages, $14.95, in stores on May 26.

FREAKS OF THE HEARTLAND TPB

Written by Steve Niles, art by Greg Ruth.

Under the weathered skies of America's heartland, and in the wounded hearts of every family in one tiny rural town, a terrible secret has been kept for too many years. Now, a young boy named Trevor must try to keep his younger brother Will from falling victim to the worst fears of a troubled town that can't begin to understand the tragic secret that binds its families together. Some folks would call Trevor's brother a monster. But to Trevor, Will is just another kid trapped in a dark reality he can't comprehend. When the situation moves from bad to worse, and their father threatens to do away with Will, Trevor learns that they're not alone--that "freak" children were born to other families in Gristlewood Valley. And just as they were all born at the same time, it seems their sad, frustrated, and emotionally spent parents seem to be hatching a plan to see that they disappear at the same time. Against all odds, and with nothing but love for his brother in his heart, Trevor is going to do whatever he can to get Will--and the other freak children--out of harm's way, if it's not already too late. Collecting the six-issue miniseries.

144 pages, $17.95, in stores on May 26.

GO GIRL! VOLUME 2: DOUBLE TROUBLE TPB

Written by Trina Robbins, art by Anne Timmons.

Oh nooooo! It looks like Lindsay Goldman -- AKA GoGirl! -- has robbed a bank! But that's impossible! The plucky teen superhero and her mom have been sitting at home all evening, watching television and minding their own business. But try telling that to the police, who show up at Lindsay's door with a warrant for her arrest! Now she has to stay out of jail and find out who's behind the nefarious scheme to destroy her good reputation. Hiding from the cops, and at the mercy of an unbeateble adversary, Lindsay finds herself in "Double Trouble!"

96 pages, black and white, $5.95, in stores on May 4.

KING OF WOLVES TPB

Written by Buronson, art by Kentaro Miura.

A bright-spirited young historical scholar, Iba, disappears while on a lone expedition to study the ancient Silk Road. A year later his girlfriend, Kyoko, sets out for the Silk Road in order to find clues that will help to unravel the mystery of Iba's disappearance. When she arrives, she finds the charm she gave Iba for protection and moments later she is sucked into a black vortex and loses consciousness. Koyoko awakes to find herself in a very different place and discovers that that Iba is not only alive but is a warrior-slave under the reign of Genghis Khan in 13th century Mongolia! At last, when Iba and Kyoko reunite, they find that there are a series of fates, crueler than the ones they have already endured, awaiting them...

200 pages, black and white, $12.95, in stores on May 11.

MAGNUS, ROBOT FIGHTER 4000 A.D. VOLUME 3 HC

By Russ Manning, Robert Schaefer and Eric Freiwald.

In the year 4000, when the human race is threatened by robots that would enslave mankind, one man alone has the power to fight back: Magnus, Robot Fighter! Dark Horse delivers another fantastic collection of rare classics from a comics legend! Russ Manning, famous for his spectacular work on the Tarzan newspaper strips of the late sixties, brought fans his "Tarzan of the future" in Magnus, Robot Fighter. While his work on the original comic series lasted only 21 issues, Manning's creation has survived generations, influencing countless science fiction artists and writers to this day. Fans of Alex Raymond, Mac Raboy, or Wally Wood should not miss this beautifully bound hardcover--the third Magnus archival collection and the latest addition to Dark Horse's line of science fiction classics.

176 pages, $49.95, in stores on May 25.

MICHAEL CHABON PRESENTS THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE ESCAPIST #6

By Will Eisner, Thomas Yeast, Chris Offutt, Steven Grant, Howard Chaykin, Jason, Dan Best, Eddie Campbell and Norm Breyfogle.

In these pages, the Spirit meets the Escapist! That¹s right‹legendary comics godfather Will Eisner returns to his world-famous creation for a meeting that neither WWII-era hero will soon forget. This is the first new Spirit story both written and drawn by Eisner to see print in decades!

Also in this issue is the comics writing debut of Lannan and Whiting award winner Chris Offutt! Thomas Yeates (Conan) lushly illustrates this celebrated author¹s tale of the Escapist in Vietnam. Dan Best and Eddie Campbell (From Hell) present a fully-painted story of the Empire City 1939 World¹s Fair, and Howard Chaykin (American Flagg!) returns to concoct "Liberators," a fact-based tale of art looted by the Nazis, set in 1945 Paris! Norwegian indy cartoonist JASON contributes an Escapist spoof, and Steven Grant and Norm Breyfogle proffer the first Weird Date story of the anthology! One of the myriad classic titles created by Kavalier & Clay, Weird Date featured mixes of classic Alex Toth romance comics and outrageous Jack Cole crime comics of the sort that put Dr. Freddie Wertham's undies in a twist.

80 pages, $8.95, in stores on April 13.

SAMURAI: HEAVEN & EARTH #5

Written by Ron Marz, art by Luke Ross, colored by Jason Keith.

The epic mini-series roars to its climactic issue! After thousands of miles and countless battles, the samurai Shiro has found his love, Yoshiko, amidst the fabulous wealth of Louis XIV's palace at Versailles. Even if the mirrored halls must run red with blood, Shiro will make good on his vow that he and Yoshiko will be together... "If not life, then in death." Nothing can stand in his way‹not the King's Musketeers, not even a plot to assassinate Louis himself.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on April 6.

STAR WARS: CRIMSON EMPIRE BOOK AND EXCLUSIVE BUST-UP SET

By Mike Richardson, Randy Stradly and Paul Gulacy.

Dark Horse has teamed up with Gentle Giant Studios to bring you an exclusive Star Wars graphic novel and micro-bust package. Enclosed in the box is Dark Horse's classic Star Wars tale, Crimson Empire, and 2 Gentle Giant bust-ups, including an exclusive blue holographic Darth Sidious figure. This figure will never to be replicated and is only available in this highly limited package! The other bust-up is a gorgeous ruby red Royal Guard. Both bust-ups are between 2"-3" tall.

Crimson Empire is one of Dark Horse's most popular Star Wars titles. In all the Empire, there are no more fearsome warriors than the Emperor's Imperial Guard, and none is more loyal than Kir Kanos. But when Carnor Jax‹the most formidable of this elite brotherhood‹betrays the Emperor and orders the murder of the Guard, Kir must escape to carry out his duty to avenge his master.

$24.99, in stores on April 27.

STAR WARS: EMPIRE #32

Written by Thomas Andrews, penciled by Adriana Melo, colored by Michael Atiyeh, cover by Tomas Giorello.

"Sons," part 4 of 5. On the planet Jabiim, Luke Skywalker's situation has gone from bad to worse. Having managed an escape from the rebel group who wants revenge for his father's actions during the Clone Wars, and having fought his way clear of the Imperial stormtroopers who are after any Rebel on which they can lay their hands, Luke ends up the captive of third party players. A group of wealthy Jabiimi have made a deal with the Empire: in exchange for their own freedom, they're going to give the rest of the planet's population to the Empire as slaves. Luke¹s only hope lies with Leia and the droids--but they have problems of their own.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on April 6.

STAR WARS: EPISODE III‹REVENGE OF THE SITH #1-#4

Written by Miles Lane, penciled by Doug Wheatley, colored by Chris Chuckry, covers by Dave Dorman.

Based on the screenplay by George Lucas‹the official comics adaptation of the most anticipated of the Star Wars films! The action of the Clone Wars comes to a dramatic conclusion, and events are put in place for A New Hope. Battles rage in space, armies clash on alien worlds, heroes become martyrs, and friends become enemies‹and the galaxy is forever changed.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on April 2, 13, 20, 27.

STAR WARS: GENERAL GRIEVOUS #2

Written by Chuck Dixon, penciled by Rick Leonardi, inked by Mark Pennington, colored by Lucas Marangon.

General Grievous and his forces invade the planet Gentes and take it's population and their production facilities as trophies of war. Meanwhile, Flynn Kybo and the Jedi, who seek to kill Grievous, team up with a grizzled band of space miners who hope to see Grievous dead as well. But they're unaware that the General holds hostage a group of Padawan children captured during a raid on a Republic fleet. And what Grievous has planned for the Padawans is a fate far worse than death...

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on April 20.

STAR WARS: REPUBLIC #76

Written by John Ostrander, penciled and cover by Jan Duursema, inked by Dan Parsons, colored by Brad Anderson.

"The Siege of Saleucami," part 3 of 4. Two Jedi heroes have fallen and the Republic forces on Saleucami are on the verge of being overrun by the Separatist¹s Morgukai clones. As the Sith move toward their final revenge, it seems only one Jedi can help piece together a plan that might yet give the Republic a chance for victory. Unfortunately, that Jedi is Quinlan Vos‹and his plan may be the final betrayal of all the Republic forces on Saleucami!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on April 27.

STEVE RUDE'S THE MOTH TPB

Written by Gary Martin and Steve Rude, art by Rude and Glenn Whitmore.

Jack Mahoney is an acrobatic circus member by day, masked vigilante by night! In this collection, the charismatic Moth battles a savage lionman, a bounty-hunting thug, bloodthirsty mob hit men, and a trio of mischievous cat burglars! Toss in celebrity heroine American Liberty, an outlaw biker gang, circus hijinks, African witch doctors, and a bearded lady, the virtuosic Steve Rude action spills effortlessly from the pages.

168 pages, $17.95, in stores on May 26.

SUPER MANGA BLAST #51

By Mohiro Kitoh, Makoto Kobayashi, Kenichi Sonoda, Hiroyuki Utatane and Toshiya Takeda.

The final Club 9 story arc rolls through a heartbreaking homestretch as Haruo Hattori begins to respond to the three dear friends and suitors who yearn to marry her. Will she remain true to her humble, apple-farming boyfriend or fall for a wealthy bachelor in Tokyo? At the Cannon God Exaxxion home base, Hoichi takes some punches from Akane's angry father, and a group of his former schoolmates is freed from Riofaldian captivity. The latest Shadow Star story arc comes to an end, as battle lines are drawn between two groups of teen Dragon Bearers. In Seraphic Feather, Stray captures Kei, and the Crimson Angel is trapped between two armed terrorists.

128 pages, black and white, $5.99, in stores on April 27.

TRIGUN MAXIMUM VOLUME 5: BREAK OUT TPB

Written and art by Yasuhiro Nightow.

Vash the Stampede and his cohorts remain locked in a frenetic and terribly destructive battle with the remaining members of the Gung-Ho Guns, who are terribly resistant to defeat. The bitter fued promises to reveal secrets about both Vash and his mortal enemies. Just when you thought this series had reached its most feverish pitch, Yasuhiro Nightow turns up the heat in his wildly popular manga series, Trigun Maximum!

208 pages, black and white, $9.95, in stores on May 4.

VAMPIRE HUNTER D VOLUME 1 NOVEL

Written by Hideyuki Kikuchi, illustrations and cover by Yoshitaka Amano.

12,090 A.D. It is a dark time for the world. Humanity is just crawling out from under three hundred years of domination by the race of vampires known as the Nobility. The war against the vampires has taken its toll; cities lie in ruin, the countryside is fragmented into small villages and fiefdoms that still struggle against nightly raids by the fallen vampires--and the remnants of their genetically manufactured demons and werewolves. Every village wants a Hunter‹one of the warriors who have pledged their laser guns and their swords to the eradication of the Nobility. But some Hunters are better than others, and some bring their own kind of danger with them...

300 pages, black and white, $8.95, in stores on May 4.




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