Alphabetical Index of Dark Horse

How to Talk to Girls at Parties

Ten years ago, Neil Gaiman wrote a short story called “How to Talk to Girls at Parties“. Set in the 1970s, it’s narrated by a teen boy being taken to a party by his more experienced, charming friend, and most of it is a monologue about how uncomfortable the narrator feels about almost everything. (Very appropriate for the age!) Girls are alien to him, in every sense including the literal. The appeal of this story is the language, glorious in […]

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The New Deal

I have never before seen a graphic novel that so beautifully captures what I enjoy about watching 1940s movies. The New Deal is a rich-vs-poor caper set in 1936 at the New York Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Jonathan Case (Green River Killer, Dear Creature, Batman ’66) isn’t doing a purely retro piece, though, since he also incorporates class and racial distinctions that we’re much more aware of now. The time period allows Case to draw gorgeous settings and time-period fashion, but […]

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Founding Fathers Funnies

Peter Bagge returns to historical biography. I enjoyed his Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story, but Founding Fathers Funnies takes a much different approach: short tales of 5-8 pages with little respect for the subjects. Instead of focusing on historical events, the well-known milestones take background to showing famous men arguing with or sniping at each other. Bagge’s loopy, snaky lines lend themselves well to caricature. His goal is to humanize these historical figures, to demonstrate how their “big personalities… […]

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Zodiac Starforce #1

With the success of Lumberjanes, we’re seeing more comics with girl teams, a trend I welcome. Zodiac Starforce takes its influences from the manga-style magical girl group, such as that seen in Sailor Moon, but layering it with American schoolgirl life. There’s a twist here, as written by Kevin Panetta and illustrated by Paulina Ganucheau — the team has broken up, split apart after defeating a villain and now pursuing normal lives. Except, of course, that trick never works, and […]

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LARP! Volume 1: To Geek or Not to Geek

LARP! Volume 1: To Geek or Not to Geek is a short, predictable graphic novel written by Dan Jolley (Bloodhound, My Boyfriend Is a Monster) and Shawn deLoache and illustrated by Marlin Shoop. Kids, especially those who don’t fit in and dream of being popular, might enjoy it; others will find it lacking in surprises, although it has a certain amount of charm. Pete’s going to a new school, and thanks to a sudden growth spurt over the summer, he’s […]

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Resident Alien: The Sam Hain Mystery #3

The literary mystery concludes in this issue, wrapping up another satisfying small-town miniseries. Dr. Harry doesn’t have to use his alien abilities to figure out who the real author-in-hiding is, or why the writer went underground for so long. He just has to ask the right questions and understand how difficult it can be for a woman to leave an abusive husband and survive as a single mother. Writer Peter Hogan and artist Steve Parkhouse have come up with a […]

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Angel & Faith Season 10 #16-17

Now that Fred has returned, we get to see her helping out Faith on a new undercover mission. And keeping in mind that the Buffy the Vampire Slayer has always been best when the kids were in school, we’re back in that environment — only this time, Faith is undercover as a teacher. Given my dislike of the writing of Victor Gischler, I was surprised that there were certain scenes that worked for me in these issues. They don’t add […]

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The Paybacks #1

The concept is well-suited to today’s economy: Some heroes who borrow money for their super-gadgets and secret hideouts can’t pay their bills. When they get caught, they’re pressed into acting as debt collectors for others in the same situation. The Paybacks are thus a repo team, sent to repossess fancy weapons and such. It’s a risky job, since those convinced they’re doing the right thing don’t want to have their toys taken away from them. The Paybacks is written by […]

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