Steve Niles spills family secrets in Freaks of the Heartland

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Comics rising star Steve Niles (Cal McDonald, 30 Days of Night) teams with Greg Ruth (Matrix comics) for a bizarre tale of horror unlike anything you’ve seen before!

Trevor Owen’s younger brother has spent his young life chained in a barn, considered too dangerous to be let into the house. Only six years old, the boy towers over his older brother, and possesses monstrous strength. For years, Trevor has looked after his baby brother, keeping him from the light, but now that’s all about to change. Dark visions begin to torture the younger boy while a gruesome incident in the town leads their father to make a terrible and horrifying decision. His family’s profane secret is about to be revealed, uncovering the horrible truth of the small midwestern town the boys have grown up in.

“On the surface Freaks appears to be a sort of horror Sling Blade, but the heart of the story is about two brothers who have helped each other survive…even though one is a monster,” commented series writer Steve Niles. ” It’s horror for people like me who like and often side with the monsters.”

“Freaks is a departure for Steve-it’s every bit as crazy at its heart as Cal or 30 Days of Night, but it’s quieter, really takes its time with the story, lets the art do the talking,” commented editor Scott Allie. “And the art speaks volumes. It’s very evocative. Greg Ruth delivers the atmosphere Steve’s setting up to excellent effect. This is a really smart, unsettling book.”

Prepare to have your expectations about horror comics changed with this bizarre tale from the writer of the best-selling horror comics in years! Freaks of the Heartland is a five issue miniseries with issue one arriving on sale January 21 with a retail price of $2.99.


MORE MEGATOKYO!

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Has your conscience ever squeaked like a hamster? Have you ever saved Tokyo from a zombie invasion? Have you ever spent your life’s savings on video games? Have you ever read Megatokyo?

Dark Horse will give you the chance this January with the second volume of the popular American “manga” series. With new comics three times a week at www.megatokyo.com, Megatokyo has garnered a huge following of devoted fans who check in every other day for the latest misadventures of Piro and Largo.

Megatokyo is now a genuine smash that showcases the awesome potential of the internet. Fans have gravitated to Fred Gallagher’s hilarious and touching story of two gaming fans stranded in Tokyo. Occasionally trying to go home, they are continually foiled by Japan’s gaming, manga, and collectible culture which provides a paradise that they only dream of back in the States.

In January 2004, Dark Horse presents Megatokyo Volume 2, picking up where previously published Volume 0 left off. In March, Dark Horse will bring you Megatokyo Volume 1, which recollects the material collected in the original Volume 0 with a few extras to make the new volume even better than before. After finding success in small publishing, Megatokyo has found the perfect home at Dark Horse.

“Years ago I was asked what publisher I would want to work with if I had a choice, and Dark Horse was always my answer. I used to point to the Dark Horse manga collections as examples of how I wanted my books to look, if I ever had any,” Fred Gallagher explains. “I’m glad to say that since I started working with them, my initial impressions about Dark Horse hold true. They are great people to work with. I am excited and feel honored that they feel my work is worthy of their imprint.”

Creating Megatokyo, Fred Gallagher was uniquely attuned to the cross-section of the video game, internet, and anime culture explosions. The daily trials and tribulations of Piro and Largo captured the imagination of these burgeoning audiences, including the new American “otaku.” This unique vision is at the heart of one of the warmest and funniest comics from any company and any country.

Megatokyo is available January 21, 2004 for the retail price of $9.95.


Steve Niles serves up a twisted dish in Love Me Tenderloin: A Cal Mcdonald Mystery

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Working as a private dick is weird business, no matter how you look at it. But working as a private dick in a world populated by ghouls, monsters, and other creatures of the night-well, that’s as weird as it gets. Welcome to the world of Cal McDonald. When a bizarre string of strangulation murders hits the streets of Los Angeles, and the bodies are found covered in blood, at first it seems like a madman is on the loose. But when it’s revealed that the blood isn’t from the victims-and in fact, it’s not even of human origin-Cal sets his sights on a rendering warehouse close to where the bodies were found. 30 Days of Night creators Niles and Templesmith give whole new meaning to the phrase Meat Is Murder!

This standalone story is the perfect jumping on point for readers who missed the 2003 hit series Criminal Macabre!

Love Me Tenderloin: A Cal Mcdonald Mystery one-shot by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith arrives in stores January 7 with a retail price of $2.99.


Iron Empires reign this January

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The critically acclaimed science fiction epic brought to life by master painter and storyteller Christopher Moeller returns to comic shops and bookstores in January! Iron Empires was created, written, and painted by Christopher Moeller, the creator who blew Justice League fans away with his fully painted A League of One.

Faith Conquers, the first in the series of Iron Empires collections from Dark Horse, kicks off the release of the highly anticipated Iron Empires role-playing game and will be followed by a second trade paperback, Sheva’s War, in April. An ongoing series of new Iron Empires adventures will arrive in the months to follow. Volume 1 collects the four- part series originally titled Shadow Empires, published in 1994, and features the three-part story “The Passage,” originally published in Dark Horse Presents, now in full color for the first time!

Iron Empires Volume 1: Faith Conquers is available January 21, 2004 for the retail price of $17.95


Hellboy: redesigned!
New Hellboy trade paperbacks available soon

To celebrate the release of the new Hellboy movie, Dark Horse and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola have designed new editions of all five Hellboy graphic novels. The new editions feature new cover art by Mike Mignola, a bolder title treatment on the front cover, and volume numbers on the spines. All the changes come after urging from comics retailers, and are designed to make the books as accessible as possible to the wide audience that the Hellboy movie will enjoy.

“We did a series of retailer visits earlier in the year. When I saw how many retailers rack their trades spine-out instead of face-out, I realized that the Sandman books were the only ones with a spine treatment that caught your eye,” Hellboy editor Scott Allie said in a recent interview with Newsarama. “The new designs were overseen by Mignola, who’d been looking for an excuse to draw new covers for the books.”

The new Hellboy editions will be available in January 2004 for the old-fashioned retail price of $17.95.


Buffy creator Joss Whedon returns for Tales of the Vampires #2

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[/blockquote]Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunites with Brett Matthews, with whom he wrote the Angel comics series, and Jane Espenson, longtime writer of the TV series, as they continue this bizarre look at the lives of vampires in the world of Buffy and the Slayers. Whedon and newcomer Alex Sanchez continue their framing sequence, in which a group of young Watchers-in-training learn the secrets of the undead from an ancient vampire kept in chains in the basement of the Watchers Council. Scott Morse (Ancient Joe, Barefoot Serpent) illustrates Jane Espenson’s poem “Spot the Vampire,” a cross between a New Yorker cartoon and a children’s book, in which evil hides in plain sight. And the centerpiece of the issue is the fourteen page “Jack” story by Spider-man/Wolverine creative team Brett Matthews and Vatche Mavlian-a Victorian vampire mystery. Under a cover by Cal McDonald and 30 Days of Night artist Ben Templesmith, the second installment of Tales of the Vampires digs deeper into the dark side of Joss Whedon’s girl empowerment myth.

Tales of the Vampires #2 arrives January 14 with a retail price of $2.99.[/blockquote]


More monkey mayhem in The Collected Works of Tony Millionaire’s Sock Monkey (Volumes 3-4)

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Here is a beautiful collection of work from Eisner Award winner Tony Millionaire. This book collects his latest four comic books, including the scandalous issue in which Uncle Gabby is so distraught over the accidental killing of a baby bird that he attempts suicide. The evolution of the Sock Monkey is evident in these books, as he grows from innocent gatherer of salamanders to maniacal burner of planets in the final issue. A lovely book designed by the award-winning graphic designer, Lia Ribacchi. Collecting volumes 3 and 4 of the popular comic book series.

The Collected Works of Tony Millionaire’s Sock Monkey (Volumes 3-4) arrives January 21 with a retail price of $12.95.


Raw talent discovered in Strip Search collection

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Only Dark Horse Comics, the publisher that introduced the world to Concrete, Sin City, and Hellboy, could publish a book this full of new, undiscovered talent. More than a dozen young artists and writers strut their stuff in this hefty collection. These strips are culled from Dark Horse’s on-line comics talent search/contest, Strip Search (darkhorse.com/stripsearch) and represent the best of the strips posted.

“I looked through these comics and I am amazed at the quality, it’s almost scary. There seems to be a giant bubble hovering on the horizon, a bubble filled with a genuine Renaissance in cartooning and these comics are a big part of it. Beauty and creative thought pervade as this fresh army of young cartoonists prepares to plunge the world into the fearsome tentacles of a new era.” said Sock Monkey creator Tony Millionaire on Strip Search.

By more than a dozen creators guaranteed to make comics history featuring Ben Stenbeck, Nir Paniry, and George Pfromm ii. Strip Search arrives on sale January 21 with a retail price of $14.95.


Talent abounds in Star Wars Tales Volume 4 collection

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Collecting issues thirteen through sixteen of the quarterly anthology smash sensation, Star Wars Tales Volume 4 features an astonishing collection of stories featuring Jedi Master Mace Windu, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and of course the big man himself-Darth Vader! Tales has explored every corner of the Star Wars galaxy and kept readers coming back for more! Collected for the first time into one prestigious volume, Star Wars Tales Volume 4 is sure to delight fans both young and old!

Star Wars Tales Volume 4 features the talents of Fabian Nicieza, Timothy Ii, Haden Blackman, Michael Zulli, Jim Krueger, Bob Harris, Jerome Opeña, Jason Hall, Jimmy Palmiotti, Ramon Bachs, Stan Sakai, Adriana Melo, Chris Eliopoulos, Jon Sommariva, Kilian Plunkett, Todd Nauck, Scott Lobdell, Sean Murphy, Brian Augustyn, Paco Medina, Tod C. Parkhill, Joey Mason, Howard Shum, Paul Lee, Brian Horton, Lucas Marangon, and many more! It arrives January 21 with a retail price of $19.95.

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