Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Of german rabbits, italian dogs and other things

A new month has begun so it´s time once again for one of the popular ( or not ) link and news / comic reviews posts.

Horst - the blog

Deja vue. The strange feeling you´ve seen or experienced something before. Okay, only kidding. I know I already did a post to announce the HORST blog. The thing is in my last post I mentioned the next step in world domination of HORST and that I would make an announcement when the time is ready.

Well, the time is now. HORST is being translated into english and spanish since there has been a lot of traffic on the german HORST blog from abroad and especially Spain. The translations are done by Yours truly and will appear as fast as I can finish them. The english and spanish version of the first story is already online with much more to fallow as soon as I can finish them. Here are the links :

  • horst the bloggeth

  • horst el bloggo

  • There is also a german trade in the works which I will have to buy because of something I only realized when I went back to my old issues of HORST for the translation. Starting with the first translation I was working on the computer for almost 15 minutes till I realized that I have all the issues and don´t need to strain my eyes with the computer screen.

    So I went and searched all the issues ( there are two I couldn´t find but I´m sure they will appear as soon as I start looking for something else ) and to see them in the classic black and white version is quite a shock. The colored versions just look soo much better. Thank god Geier colored them. Anyway, I will do an announcement when the german trade will be available.

    Darkness / Pitt 1 for free !

    Yes, it´s true. Dale Keown´s signature character The Pitt is back. As an old fan of the series - that was more famous for the long periods between issues and the huge jumps in the story due to the publishing schedule - I had to get the issues. I have to say that Dale Keown does his usual magic although I found the " The first PITT comic in a decade ! " blurb on issue 1 pretty hilarious. I mean, whose fault was that ? Come on, Dale. If you don´t get the book out there is none.

    Okay, for the first five years or so you could probably live from the money the trades brought in. But PITT 1 - 4 must be the issues that hold the world record for " comics most often re-packaged for a trade ". How often can you sell the same four issues to the same readers ? But okay, that´s all water under the bridge. Dale Keown did the first issues of the relaunch of THE DARKNESS but as soon as he was gone ( or his contribution to the book shrank to less than four pages per issue ) I was out.

    There were some sporadic issues by Dale like the DARKNESS / HULK crossover but now PITT - the real deal - is back in a new mini. For new readers there is the world of PITT to discover ( I´m pretty sure you can find the old PITT trades cheap or the old issues in dollarbins ). And for old readers it´s like coming home. The comic has the usual high level of writing and art one has come to expect so no surprises there. Of course there´s one point I don´t like but that´s the inclusion of Jackie Estacado a.k.a. The Darkness.

    I have never liked the idea of a professional killer as the hero because for me the hero should also be a role model. Don´t get me wrong, he doesn´t have to be the shiny hero without flaws. He´s allowed to stumble and fail. But he has to be a good guy deep down inside who at least tries to do good and not harm other people intentionally. And for me that´s just totally opposite to killing people for money. It´s not so bad when the character is someone likeable like Thommy Monahagan in HITMAN but Jackie has always come across as a bit of a whiner and someone who kind of lies to himself. The life of a killer is most often a short one and whoever they come in contact with is bound to get sucked into their world.

    To think you can have a relationship to someone outside of that world that won´t end in violence and bloodshed is illusory. But hey, that´s just me. Aside from that I really liked the first issue which is the reason for the post ( not to do a short review ). The interaction between the three main characters is pretty hilarious as Timmy ( the Pitt´s travelling companion ) and Jackie hit it off pretty good while Pitt and Jackie - not so much.

    There´s an uneasy atmosphere of mistrust and not without reason. They are both killers and as the old saying goes : it takes one to know one. While Pitt is a warrior who has killed in battle for honor but who can be ruthless when it was deemed necessary. Jackie on the other side has killed for money or revenge and probably knows every trick of the trade. So I guess each one has his own opinion or preconceptions about the other guy.I wonder if that will change during the course of the story. Issue 2 has already hit the shelves and is also already available in Germany but it seems the first issue has sold out.

    I have no idea if a reprint is planned but for those who have missed the issue TopCow has put the entire issue on the net together with a link to a preview of issue 2. So there´s no excuse not to check it out :

  • darkness pitt 1 - complete issue

  • jenkins on darkness pitt

  • waiting to be Invincible

    Last week I spent a lot of time opening the mailbox because I had ordered some comics online. Since the end of the month was getting closer and closer I didn´t want to go to the comic shop. Usually I empty my bank account at the first of the month and then go to the comic shop to get the newest comics from my pull list. But I had already read all the comics from my last visit so to have something to read I ordered a few comics online.

    For that I went to Andi´s Comic Express which - as the name implies - is usually pretty fast. Or I always had the luck to fall into a period where they are not very busy. Anyway, of course the more you need comics the less you get. I waited and waited and waited. The order confirmation arrived on Monday ( last week ) but the comics didn´t. So on Friday I had to go to the comic shop anyway if I wanted to survive the weekend.

    Aside from the FLASH issues I have almost completely diminished my backlog but I bought the first two issues of BLACKEST NIGHT SUPERMAN because Eddy Barrows does the art. He´s the reason why I´m still reading TEEN TITANS even if he has left the book in the meantime. I also got the LIST : X - MEN issue which has terrific art by alan Davis. I really would like to see more art by him and I still can´t wrap my head around the fact that he´s not doing his creator owned character.

    As the comics still hadn´t arrived before I went to the comic shop I also ordered some INVINCIBLE trades online.

    I wanted to order all of them from amazon.de since they have them at a lower price than the comic shops but they didn´t have volumes 8 and 9 anymore. So I ordered volume 10 and 11 through amazon.de and volumes 8 and 9 through an online comic shop. Of course the volumes 10 and 11 have already arrived while I have to wait two weeks for number 8 and 9. Which means that I can´t read the ones I have for a full two weeks. But that´s one of the downsides of following a title in the trade format. If you don´t keep it up you have to get three or four trades at once.

    Well, maybe I will get around to post the INVINCIBLE review I did for Phil & Lamond in the meantime.

    A dog and his boy

    When I was at the comic fair in Leonberg ( read all about it here ) there was one table that had the latest german issues of DYLAN DOG. I´m not more than acasual reader but that´s one series I always want to read more of but most times I just forget.

    Well, when I was at the comic shop last Friday I reminded myself to check out the half price section because they have quite a few issues there. I even found one whose art I liked which is not so easy because they have different artist on the book and the one artist I like has only done three issues before moving to the famous TEX comic.

    DYLAN DOG is the most successful comic in Italy and it is published by the publishing house Sergio Bonelli Editore. A few years back Dark Horse tried to publish the series. They even had Mike Mignola providing the covers but only 6 issues were published.

    They also published two other series by Bonelli NATHAN NEVER


    In Germany CARLSEN COMICS started the book but due to low sales numbers ( I´m guessing since in Germany sales numbers are not revealed under any circumstances ) they had to cancel it. Now the company SCHWARZER KLECKS is printing them. I guess a smaller publisher can be more successful but the downside to it is that the price is pretty hefty.

    DYLAN DOG is the name of the main character, an ex - cop and recovering alcoholic, who got fired from Scotland Yard and who now works as a paranormal investigator calling himself The Nightmare Detective in his newspaper ads. He lives in a house with an actor who is the double of Groucho Marx ( whose mustache was shaved off for the american version to avoid legal troubles ) who is constantly cracking jokes. Aside from that his main function seems to be to throw Dylan Dog´s revolver at the last possible moment ( Dylan always forgets his gun ).

    I had four issues so far and I bought my fifth - which was the german issue 50 - last Friday.

    Dylan Dog is in the pocket book format and usually the issues have over 100 pages. The reason why the comic is so successful in Italy and not in other countries remains a mystery. It may have something to do that it pays homage to a lot of popular movies and other pop culture classics. Another strange thing is that 40 percent of the readers are female which is a pretty high number for a comic.

    There are some speculations if this is because of the sensible nature of the attractive main character but as I have only read five issues so far I can´t say. Anyway, the issue I bought, the big 5o, has all kind of information about the series as well as interviews with the writers, artists and translators involved. It gives you a good overview of the series if you´re a newbie and it also includes a lot of interesting things for Dylan Dog afficionados. The stories all revolve about the background of the characters and show Dylan Dog´s beginnings as a paranormal investigator as well as how he wound up with Groucho.

    Now if I had to recommend one issue to start reading the book for people who find the 12 EURO price tag for issue 50 a bit high ( I only could afford it because it was at half price ) it would probably be JOHNNY FREAK

    a story that is reminiscent of the cult movie FREAKS ( as you might have guessed from the title ) and THE HEART OF JOHNNY which is kind of a sequel. There are some issues drawn by Claudio Castellini but I don´t think any of them have been released in german so far.

    There is a movie being made starring Brandon Routh as Dylan Dog but it hasn´t reached theaters yet. As usual Hollywood has made it´s usual changes like relocating Dylan Dog from London to New Orleans so the question remains how faithful it will be to the source material. Maybe it will have only a few elements in common with the original concept like the JOHN CONSTANTINE movie with Keanu Reaves. There are rumors that italians have already called it a " kind of Dylan Dog movie ".

    more info about Dylan Dog :

  • dylan dog wikipedia

  • an overview of dylan dog

  • hellboy vs dylan dog

  • italian dylan dog homepage

  • brandon routh on dead of night

  • artists corner

    Over the last few months I have collected some links which might be interesting for my readers. But since I haven´t posted as much as I like they have started to pile up so it´s time to start posting them before they are outdated. Things like links for BLACKEST NIGHT or X - MEN FOREVER ( which I promised to write about ) will be posted accordingly but there are also other links that I will put in groups.

    The first one are some interviews with artists :

  • joe kubert on the korean war

  • carmine infantino interview

  • in depth erik larsen

  • in depth darick robertson

  • in depth peter bagge

  • dave gibbons on computers in comics

  • drew geraci on why there will be no new inkers

  • german cover artist marko djurdevic

  • And that´s all for today. Next time I will possibly take a look at BLACKEST NIGHT, DC´s answer to MARVEL ZOMBIES or maybe I will write about why I´m still reading FANTASTIC FOUR after kicking it off my pull list.

    New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

  • top ten posts

  • more posts of interest

  • MY name is Evelyn Salt.

    Then you are a russian spy.

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