Comic Fodder

Dark Horse Presents something new

Generally, the promise of an impending major announcement gets the mind racing to the point that by the time you actually hear about it, your first response is along the lines of "meh." But Dark Horse's Comicon announcement of an online partnership to publish original content with MySpace did not disappoint. This really has the potential to significantly change our reading habits, and it should free up Dark Horse to take more risks with content that may not be viewed as commercially viable. The official name of the venture is MySpace Dark Horse Presents.

The best part of all of this (besides it being completely free) is that they put the first issue up simultaneously with the announcement. To illustrate that this is a priority for the company, Dark Horse went right to the top and put a new Joss Whedon property in the inaugural issue. Head to the url and you will find:

* Sugar Shock, the debut new comic from artist Fábio Moon and Joss Whedon

* The Umbrella Academy by artist Gabriel Bá and Gerard Way, lead singer of the band My Chemical Romance

* Samurai by Ron Marz and Luke Ross

* Comic-Con Murder Mystery by Rick Geary

The reputation and influence of the original Dark Horse Presents series does not need to be belabored, but the name itself--"Dark Horse Presents"--definitely carries some cachet. This online component is pretty new territory, as far as I know. I am not a webcomic expert, but it is my sense that they occupy a separate universe from the publishers. I know that Marvel keeps a few stray issues available to read for free online, but nothing of this scale. It will be very interesting to see how this evolves. I was just a bit too old for the MySpace phenomenon (though I do have friends with pages) but this is really exciting even for an old-timer like me.

Dark Horse does still publish floppies too, but it's a very light week. We do have a new omnibus though, and that will last you a long time. What to look for this week:

Predator Omnibus Volume 1

If I ever meet the guy who green-lit all of these affordable omnibi reprints, I will buy him a drink. There is some great stuff in here: reprints of the first Predator minis Concrete Jungle, Cold War, and Dark River, along with some other stories. Creators involved here include Mark Verheiden, Dan Barry, Chris Warner, Ron Randall, and more.

Conan and the Midnight God #5 (of 5)

The Conan mini from Josh Dysart and Will Conrad concludes.

Manga:

Old Boy Volume 7
Eden: It’s An Endless World! Vol. 8