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Tag: Dark Horse comics (1-3 of 3)

On the Books: Dave Gibbons named the first-ever comics laureate

- Renowned graphic novelist Dave Gibbons became the United Kingdom’s first comics laureate this week. Gibbons—the co-creator of and artist behind the acclaimed Watchmen series—received the title from Comics Literacy Awareness, a U.K. nonprofit that seeks to use comic books to promote child literacy and reading. Gibbons will begin his two-year ambassadorship in February. “He will be championing the role of comics in getting children to read as well as visiting schools and attending training events for staff and education conferences,” according to The Guardian

Gibbons’ influence on the genre has been well-articulated by Lev Grossman in Time, who called him “one of the major comic book artists of the 21st century, or the 20th, or really any other century you care to name.” Gibbons has also worked on esteemed titles like Green Lantern, Batman, and 2000AD.

- While Gibbons champions the power of comics for young people, writer and anthropologist Dana Walrath says they have the potential to benefit another generation, too. Earlier this month, writer and anthropologist Dana Walrath illuminated how comics can play an important role for the elderly in a TEDx Talk called “Comics, Medicine, and Memory.” After her mother fell victim to dementia, Walrath discovered that graphic novels were the optimal storytelling medium to entertain and engage her. She contends that most of the memories Alzheimer’s are able to retain are visual—similarly to very young children—and that the “visual-verbal combination [of comic books] makes up for some of the memory loss and lets content stay sophisticated.” Walrath penned a graphic memoir last year, Aliceheimer’s, chronicling her experiences with her ailing mother Alice. [GalleyCat]

- Speaking of the accessibility of comics for everyone: Offering a free Humble Bundle of Star Wars digital comic books, Dark Horse is.

Last week, the comics publisher democratized a collection of Star Wars graphic novels with the release of a massive digital package at a pay-what-you-want price. Dark Horse says, “fans of the epic sci-fi franchise can pay what they want for up to $190 worth of digital comics, all while supporting a great cause.” Buyers (or freebie-grabbers) can choose whether they want their contributions to support Dark Horse or the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Download it now, you should—the offer began last week and continues until Oct. 29.

- For more comics reading, consider picking up the bestseller The Best American Comics 2014, a comprehensive compilation of the latest and greatest in graphic novel publishing. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s annual collection spotlights comics from print and digital mediums, fiction and nonfiction, in and outside of the mainstream. This year, comics scholar (yes, that’s a thing) Scott McCloud guest-edited the anthology with Bill Kartalopoulos. McCloud is the author of the classic 1994 comics primer Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. 

Exclusive preview of 'The Strain: The Night Eternal' comic book adaptation

Guillermo del Toro’s vampire series has been infectious, to say the least. From the original novels with Chuck Hogan, to the comic adaptations from Dark Horse Comics, and now the current hit TV series on FX, The Strain is going viral.

The Night Eternal is the third volume in The Strain Trilogy, building toward the ultimate conclusion of the vampiric apocalypse that began in volumes one and two, The Strain and The Fall. Those two previous novels have been adapted into a comic book series by writer David Lapham (Stray Bullets) and del Toro’s handpicked artist for the series, Mike Huddleston. Combining the grit and humanist nature of Lapham’s writing with Huddleston’s amazing ability to capture the creepy in an abstract, yet thoroughly grounded manner has made for some quality, chill-inducing comics.

The first issue of The Strain: The Night Eternal is on sale this Wednesday, August 20. Check out the cover artwork and exclusive 10-page preview below:

It’s been two years since the Master’s plan succeeded and a near apocalypse coated the world in darkness. Now able to roam freely, the Master’s legion of vampires rule the world—a horrifying police state where humans are harvested for blood. As humanity despairs, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and an unlikely team of heroes continue their fight against extinction and hope to unlock the secret to the Master’s demise.

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Image Credit: Dark Horse Comics

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Image Credit: Dark Horse Comics

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Image Credit: Dark Horse Comics

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Image Credit: Dark Horse Comics

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Image Credit: Dark Horse Comics

The comics of Comic-Con, part 3: Much more than superheroes

With all of the TV and movie news coming out of Comic-Con, it’s easy to miss the flurry of comic book news that started it all. Be sure to read part one, which covered preview night and day one of the convention. Part two covers the various Marvel announcements made over the weekend. The third and final part is a recap of the convention’s (mostly) non-superhero news.

A disclaimer: Comic-Con is more than a hype parade. While a lot of new things are announced at comics conventions, panels aren’t just trailers for upcoming books. Creators answer questions, discussions are held, and fans are engaged. So note that if a publisher doesn’t seem to have much going on in a news roundup like this (for example, DC didn’t announce a single new book), it doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t have a big presence. Also, many publishers present (like Dynamite Entertainment) chose to announce their upcoming titles before the convention.

For a feel of what SDCC is all about from a comics point of view, read this excellent piece by David Brothers.

On to the news:

TITAN COMICS
Riding high after launching a number of new Doctor Who comics at the start of the year, UK-based Titan Comics announced a number of new creator-owned titles at this year’s convention. Scheduled to debut in 2015, the books vary in tone and genre, from sci-fi adventure Thunder Hunter by Mark A. Nelson, to environmental horror book Surface Tension by Jay Gunn.

DRAWN & QUARTERLY
Drawn & Quarterly had a number of titles to talk about this year. From a special 25th-anniversary retrospective to new books like Shigeru Mizuki’s Hitler, the publisher’s track record of putting out interesting new alternative comics and collecting lesser-known but still vital work remains consistent.

FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
The sole new book announced by Fantagraphics Books is a print version of Liz Suburbia’s webcomic Sacred Heart (which you can still read for free in its original format). It’s a story about teens trying to keep their small town together after all the adults disappear. An interesting wrinkle: Comics Beat reports that Suburbia will be entirely redrawing the graphic novel for the print edition.

DARK HORSE
While Dark Horse announced most of their comics in the 12 days leading up to the convention (like Fight Club 2), the publisher released a master list of all their new titles the day SDCC began. Check it out here.

BOOM! STUDIOS
The folks at Boom! sure like to tease. Just before the convention, the publisher stoked curiosity with a teaser image that turned heads: Grant Morrison was starting a project with the publisher. Bleeding Cool’s coverage of SDCC’s Boom! panel reports more of the same going down—a number of acclaimed creators teasing new books at the publisher without saying much about what they’d be. Among the creators doing the teasing were Mark Waid, Paul Jenkins, JG Jones, and Roger Langridge.

IDW
From G.I. Joe to Samurai Jack, IDW has established itself as a place where licensed characters from movies and TV get a lot of love. As such, some of the new titles announced out of SDCC are downright crazy, with the weirdest team-ups you’ve ever heard of. Angry Birds/Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters, and Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossovers are all real things that are happening. And they’re also putting out an Orphan Black comic. Check out the full list of announcements here.

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