DH Pony Express for May/June 2007

by Jeff

Welcome to the Dark Horse Newsletter!

May marked the thirtieth anniversary of a film that has become a cultural phenomenon–Star Wars. George Lucas’s epic saga has touched the hearts and minds of generations across the world, and to celebrate, we are holding a Star Wars contest of galactic proportions. Plus, make sure to check out our Star Wars: Celebration IV coverage!

This month sees the release of Rick Remender’s eagerly anticipated sci-fi series, Fear Agent, which explores the origins of how the Fear Agents came into existence, and the events which shaped Heath Huston into becoming the inebriated intergalactic alien exterminator he is now.

Also premiering this month is one of the most requested manga series of the decade, MPD-Psycho. We are proud to present this unabridged and uncensored masterpiece of horror in all of its controversial glory. Pick it up for yourself and find out what’s got everyone talking about this book. However, a word of caution: Read at your own risk.

Until next time!
–Matthew Parkinson, Pony Express Editor
(e-mail your comments to sireditrix@darkhorse.com)

More goodies, you say?

* Make sure to read our exclusive interview with Hell’s Proprietor creator, Glenn Barr!

* It’s a wild galaxy out there! Check out these great pictures from Star Wars: Celebration IV.

* The Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron DVD is on sale now! You can watch the preview here.

* Flip Book Featurette: turn the pages of Star Wars: Panel to Panel Vol. 2 and The Artist Within. Go on, you know you want to!

* Dark Horse is happy to announce that, with the help of master sculptor Tim Bruckner and significant guidance by Wendy and Richard Pini, a new series of Elfquest limited-edition busts are coming in November. Click here to find out more.

From the Publisher

Dark Horse publishes work by Andrew Vachss, a well-known author and children’s advocate. I’ve long respected Andrew and the work he does. We’ve had a long and fruitful professional, as well as personal, relationship. I must admit, however, that I’ve done him a great disservice by not disputing the contents of an online blog column written by columnist Steve Duin last year. In it, Steve wrote the following:

“I’m a creature of habit. I tend to hang on far too long. I read at least four too many books by Andrew Vachss before abandoning ship. I signed off with a critical review that precipitated a showdown with Vachss five years ago in the offices of Dark Horse, which has published both of us. In a glorious outburst of paranoia and spite, Vachss accused me of threatening his livelihood by criticizing the latest in a series of increasingly tedious and predictable books. As a favor to both of us, I haven’t read him since.”

I suppose Steve’s account makes for good copy. The problem is that the event, as he described it, never happened. Steve had written off Andrew’s work in a previous article (actually, within the review of another author) and, with that in mind, it seemed odd that he would then ask to review a new novel by Andrew. Steve is not his paper’s book critic. I wondered why he would go out of his way to review a book he knew he wouldn’t like by someone he professed to respect. I asked that very question of him, but Steve insisted that he had read the novel with an open mind.

A short time later, Andrew was scheduled to visit me at the Dark Horse offices. I mentioned this to Steve, who asked if I could arrange a sit-down with Andrew so that he could explain himself. While Andrew had no interest in the meeting, he agreed to meet Steve in my office as a favor to me. A meeting took place in my office behind closed doors. In it, Steve denied any predetermined intent in the tone or content of his review. He also claimed that he wanted to restore the “friendship” that he and Andrew had shared. Andrew listened quietly and then calmly responded by reading Steve’s earlier criticism (the one preceding the review) to him. Steve had a difficult time explaining why it had no bearing on his book review. Andrew ended the conversation by stating that the review meant nothing to him, that he had come and listened to Steve only as a favor to me, and that they (he and Steve) had never been friends. Steve offered his hand. Andrew refused to take it. Steve walked out of the room and left the building.

This entire episode lasted but a few minutes. While I’m sure the meeting was uncomfortable for Steve, there was no “showdown” or “outburst.” I saw none of the “paranoia and spite” Steve mentions. The only accusation made was that Steve had already written Andrew off as a writer when he asked to review Andrew’s book, a point Andrew proved with Steve’s own writing.

Why Steve would decide to write about this supposedly private “event” years after it happened is a mystery and smacks of the very spite he accuses Andrew of. The danger is that, unchallenged, his story will become the truth. It was not, and I apologize to Andrew for taking so long to correct it.

Mike Richardson, Publisher

Congratulations to Quill Award Nominee Bryan Talbot

Founded by Reed Business Information to honor the “most entertaining and enlightening titles” each year, the Quill Awards celebrate the best books of the year in nineteen popular categories, ranging from romance to biography to graphic novel. Check out a preview of Bryan’s nominated book, Alice in Sunderland.

Comic Feedbag

The origin of the last Fear Agent revealed! Fan-favorite creators Rick Remender and Tony Moore reunite to tell the most pulse-pounding yarn yet. Tired and broken down, trucker Heath Huston returns home after months on the road to find his troubles have only just begun as Earth is attacked by the three feuding alien races. Don’t miss Fear Agent #1.

* B.P.R.D.: Garden of Souls #4
* Blade of the Immortal #126
* City of Others #3

Book Barn

Police detective Kobayashi Yousuke’s life is changed forever after a serial killer notices something “special” about him. That same killer mutilates Kobayashi’s wife and kick-starts a “multiple personality battle” within Kobayashi that pushes him into a complex tempest of interconnected deviants and evil forces. Discover the edge. Discover MPD-Psycho.

* XS Hybrid Vol. 1
* Penny Arcade: Birds are Weird Vol. 4
* Maxwell Strangewell

Product Parade

Glenn Barr’s robots, creatures, and vixens live in a seedy yet swinging 1960s universe, drenched in the haze of a post-industrial hangover. From Detroit, Glenn’s artwork mixes pop culture elements with pulp art and cartoons, creating paintings that are mesmerizing in both their simplicity and depth. Check out our great line of Glenn Barr products!

* Hellboy Animated Mini-bust: Liz Sherman
* Tokidoki Journal and Stationery
* Classic DC Character #2: Batman

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