“Colonus,” script by Ken Pisani, art by Arturo Lauria
Ken Pisani has always been balancing a number of interesting things. Right now, there is a focus on “Colonus,” a sci-fi dystopian work that will appear in Dark Horse Comics Presents and subsequently be published as a graphic novel by Dark Horse Comics. As Pisani explains, this is a story of what happens when the bad guys go after the even badder guys!
As you will see when you check out the 8-page opener, “Colonus” is set on Mars and Venus, after the demise of Earth. The elite made it to Mars. Everyone else made it to Venus. Somewhere along the line, Mars got dumped on by its inhabitants to the point where Venus started to look good. And, to the credit of the crew on Venus, they created something remarkable through their blood, sweat, and tears. Are they going to let the new Martians take over their new Venus? Not very likely! Check out the opener here.
“Cruel Biology,” by Christopher Sebela and Brian Churilla, in DHP #33
Another awesome issue of the celebrated, and critically acclaimed, Dark Horse Presents is out. In Issue 33, we kick off with the first chapter to “Cruel Biology,” written by Christopher Sebela, drawn by Brian Churilla, with colors by Dave Stewart. It’s an 8-page beauty of an opener set during WW II on a isolated little South Pacific island. The three main characters have been deemed by Uncle Sam to be “undesirable but useful.” The narrator, Private O’Brien, would just as soon tip back a few cold ones. PFC Zimmerman attempts to maintain order. Captain Curtis is a medic who has been left broken from his tour in Italy. All three guys don’t expect much from their current tour in the middle of nowhere until, one day, a strange item hitched to a balloon comes in for a landing.
Kids and bugs go together like peanut butter and jelly, right? Not if it’s a story by David Lapham. In issue #27 of “Dark Horse Presents,” we get part 2 of “Squish: A Juice Squeezers Tale” and it gives a whole new meaning to bug juice. It’s up to an A-team of kids to save the family farm. You get a feeling of kid power akin to “Stand By Me” as Eric, the leader, barks out orders and all the other kiddos follow.
Them bugs are big and juicy! Nice and crunchy too. It’s going to be a long and weird fight ahead. Considering Mr. Lapham’s amazing work for more mature readers, it’s cool to see this engaging all-ages story from him. The man writes and draws his own work and he’s versatile too. What a guy.
The subterranean is depicted with gusto. It reminds me of what Steve Lieber and Jeff Parker did with the spelunking thriller, “Underground.” While the story appears pretty simple (bugs vs. kids), I don’t know exactly where it’s headed. I am anticipating some of that Lapham element of surprise. It all adds up to another breakout title from DHP. Cause that’s what you can expect from this mighty eighty-page comics anthology series. Your latest issue is available as of August 21. Visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics here.
David Chelsea has a wicked sense of humor and a wicked way of conveying it in his comics. The stuff here in this Dark Horse One-Shot, “David Chelsea’s Snow Angel,” is prime Chelsea, served to droll and surreal perfection. This is a guy who loves to draw comics and can easily whip up a snow angel as he can William Henry Harrison.
In this collection of stories, which first appeared in the mighty monthly anthology, “Dark Horse Presents,” (which you can check out here, next one out April 24) you’ve got as your main character, a little girl who can turn herself into a snow angel whenever she darn pleases. Well, there needs to be some snow around. Then she plops down on said snow and vigorously flaps her arms, all snow angelly, and just like Lynda Carter used to spin herself around silly, poof, the little girl turns into her version of Wonder Woman, a sweet little snow angel…and not all that sweet either since she can get into a lot of mischief. Very odd stuff that, I suspect, required some heavy drugs to inspire. Or maybe not. Maybe not at all. Could be that Chelsea is totally all Steve Ditko when it comes to that. No drugs required. It’s just the power of the mind, right? That, and maybe it has to do with a regular habit of drawing late into the night, if not right into the next morning.
I have grown to love 24-Hour Comics Day challenges and David Chelsea must be a master at it having done fifteen of these. He definitely has the chops for it and the wit. I don’t think he has it all planned out ahead of time. Some of it, but not all of it. That’s what I’m thinking. It’s the way I have approached it and the reasoning behind that is that this sort of activity is so process oriented. Don’t you think? I do. It simply cries out for it. What might strike you as profound or hilarious at three in the morning needs to make its way into the final work is what I say. You just have to admire good ole stream of consciousness. Not for the faint of heart. The more you bring to the game, the more you are likely to net.
This giddy feeling of accomplishing this controlled spontaniety is evident in all the little touches to his work: the quirky facial expressions; the unexpected poses; the abrupt changes in scenery. It is very dream oriented, which makes sense for a 24-Hour Comics event. A 24-Hour event, just so you know, in case you don’t, is when you stay up for 24 hours and draw a comics project, preferably 24 pages, if you want to be official and all. But the main thing is to creat some sort of comic. I don’t adhere to the need for it being completely finished. I just don’t think that is essential but, then again, if you can do that, more power to you. Chelsea is the sort who would complete the whole thing in one go. He’s crazy, crazy like a very talented sleep-deprived dreamy fox lost in Slumberland.
Check out this Dark Horse One-Shot which is currently out. You can visit Dark Horse Comics to get a real good look at it here.
And, then, go one step further, which you know you really want to do, and pick up Mr. Chelsea’s collection of his first six 24-Hour comics collected in a nifty hardcover edition published by Dark Horse Comics, due out June 5, 2013. Check it out here.
“Buddy Cops” is weird, absurd, and addictive. Why would an alcoholic peace officer from another galaxy end up being “demoted” to the NYPD and teamed up with an android created in the 1970s and programmed to be too exacting? If you really have to ask, then you don’t know Dark Horse Comics humor. Sometimes, it’s best to just roll with it. This one-shot first appeared as part of the ongoing anthology series, “Dark Horse Presents” and has some new material to even things out. This is a great opportunity to remind everyone about “Dark Horse Presents.” Check it out for a tantalizing assortment of new comics each month. “Dark Horse Presents #22” arrives March 20 and you can learn more about it here.
Getting back to “Buddy Cops,” there is something so annoyingly politically incorrect about this comic along with a bent toward the surreal that makes you want to read more. As it is, we’ve got a set of interesting scenarios that sort of go off a cliff. That is all well and good for this sort of thing. Number one, you’ll find the plot, dialogue, and jokes, amusing. Number two, Evan Shaner’s art is pleasing and there are some moments of brilliant composition. I especially like the 90 foot tall orangutan. Rounding out the package, Rus Wooton does a great job with lettering, adding some extra touches where needed.
“Buddy Cops” is a March 13 release. It is 32 pages. File under: Action/Adventure, Humor, Sci-Fi. Visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics.