January 28th, 2012


H.O.F. Update: Beasts of Burden, Dark Horse Presents, Milk & Cheese

Dark Horse Presents #8 hits stores next Wednesday, in it you'll find a new 8-page Beasts of Burden story by Jill Thompson and I (along with a new Hellboy/BPRD story, a new Brian Wood project, a new Skeleton Key story by Andi Watson and a bunch of other stuff).

MTVGeek gave the new DHP a nice write-up and had some very nice things to say about the new Beasts strip in particular ("... one of the most haunting tales they’ve ever told"). Here's the first page of the story without dialogue to show off Jill's watercolors to full effect:

This is the last of the new Beasts material for a while, but hopefully we'll have an announcement about what we're doing next before too long. If you're interested in the series you can read the first issue of the last mini for free here at the Dark Horse Digital store. I think there's a preview on the page as well in case you don't want to sign up or whatever you have to do to read the free DHC digital comics (there's lots, though, so why not give it a look?).

In other Dark Horse Presents news, I'm wrapping up the last of the House of Fun material for DHP #11. Six pages of Fun strips are done. Sarah's working on the colors, and putting a hex on me because, as usual, I don't know how to draw for color and she's dealing with 120 fairly cluttered panels over 6 pages.

Two uncluttered panels!

I can do uncluttered panels. I must learn to do them more often. And not draw Dr. Who logos for color. And maybe not for black and white, either. The new Fun strip pages now carry five gag strips per page instead of seven, by the way. Seven strips per page was killing my hand, five only maims it, and to be honest, the pages look a hell of a lot better with some breathing space. I'm doing the art larger and it's led to better-looking strips all-around, I think. One day I'll wise up and do one or two gags on little pages and fill books like smart people do.

The Broken Robot strips above are not for DHP #11, just a reminder of the character, because I did a new batch of strips with him that are in the mix. So, in case anyone can't figure it out...he's a robot. That's broken. Another H.O.F. one-joke concept -- for you, the H.O.F. faithful. The reader that reads that kind of stuff.

The two single Milk and Cheese pages are...almost done. Getting there. One is the Milk and Cheese Fight Song, to be sung (Mad song parody-style) to the tune of "Meet the Mets". Yeah, that's me, keeping things current and hip for the kids. The second strip is a "Day in the Life" kind of thing.

The following image does not appear in either of them, although it was intended for one of them:

In case you forgot, or didn't know -- or I forgot, or didn't know -- the new Murder Family strip will be running in DHP #10, along with a two-page Milk and Cheese strip called "X-Ray Spectacles". The last HOF segment isn't scheduled yet, but will contain an Eltingville strip of some sort. It's sort of figured out in my head. The last M&C strip isn't worked out, but that's never stopped them before.

Speaking of Milk and Cheese, Dark Horse Presents has made the Milk and Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad collection available digitally, for folks who like to read their funnybooks on screens. Crazy. Me, I like print, but I know folks who love the digital. I'm still grappling with the idea that comics aren't still printed on instantly-yellowing newsprint.

Also, here's a write-up on The Beat about Bongo Comics, with a ton of preview art and PR announcements from the publisher, for whom Sarah and I do some work for here and there (the recently-released Simpsons #185 features our last story for them, I'm currently working on a short story for the Bart Simpson comic). Bongo makes fun comics, people ought to recognize.

Okay, that's all from here. Over and out. Thanks in advance to anyone who picks up DHP #8 next week. Hope you enjoy the story, I think it's a good one.