I’ve been waiting for some new Paul Pope work.
Sure, there have been covers, short stories and the other whatnots in the comic book industry, but what I would really like to see is something a bit longer-form. I’m curious to see what comes next from the writer/illustrator and acclaimed Eisner Award winner of Batman: Year 100, the sci-fi Heavy Liquid, 100% and the absolutely amazing Adam Strange weekly serial that ran within the pages of Wednesday Comics, published a few years ago.
All of these works (available in smart hardcover compilations, too) point to new directions from a beloved creator of sequential art. But even with today’s release of The One Trick Rip-Off + Deep Cuts, we’ll all still be waiting for that new material (his Battling Boy is on the way, we’re promised). You see, today’s release compiles work from the 1990’s – early stuff in Pope’s career.
But to see where an artist is going, you need to see where an artist come from.
Last week I told you to stay at home and not make the Wednesday run to your local comic book shop – crazy head games, huh?!? Instead, I said that all you had to do was hit the internet superhighway and make your way to Dark Horse Digital and pick up the free online prequel comic book, MIND MGMT: Secret Files #’s 1-3.
Well today, get on your horse and visit your bricks and mortar comic book shop because the highly anticipated first hardcopy issue of the new MIND MGMT monthly series is waiting for eager hands to thumb through. You know, old school style!
There are actually a number of interesting comics out this week. Marvel Comics has Astonishing X-Men #50 wherein Canadian Alpha Flight hero, Northstar, proposes to his beau, Kyle. DC Comics publishes the first issue return of Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated #1 as well as the Absolute version of Batman: Dark Victory. Speaking of dark, Dark Horse Comics has the return of Dean Motter’s beloved Mister X in the pages of Dark Horse Presents #12. But it’s MIND MGMT, also published by Dark Horse that’s got hold of my <a-hem> mind.
I’m a die-hard digital comics convert, for many reasons. I’m not going to get into them all now, but I will let you in on one particular reason. You get to discover series’ that you might miss otherwise. Such is the case with Beasts of Burden, which I came across one day while going through the Dark Horse Comics App Store. I took a chance on the first issue about the town of Burden and its supernatural investigators, consisting of dogs and cats, and completely fell in love with it. Written by Evan Dorkin and illustrated by Jill Thompson, the series is a fantastic horror tale, one of the best I’ve read in forever. With talking animals as your stars, you might think Beasts of Burden would be all cutesy. How wrong you would be.
Evan Dorkin was kind enough to answer some questions via email about Beasts of Burden - where it came from, his collaboration with Jill Thompson, and much more, including his other work appearing in the legendary anthology series, Dark Horse Presents.
Andy Burns: I was a late comer to Beasts of Burden, having first discovered it on the Dark Horse Digital App. For Biff Bam Pop readers who might also just be discovering the series, could you give me the background on how Beasts of Burden was developed?
Evan Dorkin: In 2003 Scott Allie asked me to contribute to a horror anthology called The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings, and I came up with an idea for an 8-page story about a haunted dog house and how the neighborhood animals help solve the mystery behind it. I had Jill Thompson in mind for the art, specifically her watercolor work, which I knew from her Scary Godmother books. Jill agreed to illustrate the story, which was called Stray, and which got a nice reaction. Stray was done as a standalone story but when Scott was putting together a second anthology, The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft, we ended up doing a follow-up with the characters dealing with an invasion of black cat witches familiars in their neighborhood. Then we did two more stories for the Book of the Dead and the Book of Monsters, by which time we realized we were developing a series with a continuity about these dogs and cats dealing with the supernatural. That led to a mini-series, which is when we actually started calling it Beasts of Burden. The series developed in fits and starts into an ongoing concern, and Jill and I work on it whenever schedules permit. We’ve done twelve stories so far, the first four anthology appearances, a four-issue mini-series, a one-shot crossover with Mike Mignola’s Hellboy and three short stories in Dark Horse Presents. The first eight stories were collected in a hardcover book called Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites which is currently in a second printing. That’s probably more than any of your readers wanted to know, but there it is.
The Comic Stop Exclusive Interview: Caitlin R. Kiernan on Alabaster: Wolves, now appearing in Dark Horse Presents
One of the great things about the return of the legendary anthology series Dark Horse Presents is the great tastes of various authors readers get to check out in every issue. Lately, we’ve seen the return Beasts of Burden from Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, along with new stuff from Brian Wood (you can read our interview with him regarding The Massive here). The latest issue of DHP presents a first look at Alabaster: Wolves, the new series from author Caitlin R. Kiernan. Caitlin was kind enough to talk to Biff Bam Pop! via email about the series, its protaganist, Dancy Flammarion, her creative process and much more.
Comic book fans know writer Brian Wood from critically acclaimed titles like DMZ and Northlanders, along with writing the limited series Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega for Marvel and Conan The Barbarian for Dark Horse (starting February 8th). Along with those writing duties, on February 1st Wood introduces his latest creator-owned title, The Massive, in the pages of Dark Horse Presents #8. Working with longtime collaborator Kristian Donaldson, the story begins as a prologue before going…massive…later this year. We had a chance to talk with Brian Wood via email about The Massive, writing for the legendary anthology Dark Horse Presents and more.