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Horror News Network’s Comic Awards 2016: Best Series

Horror News Network presents our best on-going series of 2016 award to Dark Horse Comics’ Abe Sapien.  The series, written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie, illustrated by Sebastian and Max Fiumara, colored by Dave Stewart, and lettered by Clem Robins, finished as it started with a strong focus on the exsistential crisis of Abe and his struggles with his place in the B.P.R.D., the human world, and the universe.  

After a number of mini-series and one shots featuring Hellboy’s closest friend and ally Abe Sapien, his on-going series started in April of 2013 and wrapped up in August of this year.  With no permanent Hellboy book to speak of (and the small problem of Hellboy’s death), Abe took center stage as one of the original humanoid characters in the Mignolaverse.  Abe was always an introspective, intelligent character that balanced Hellboy’s “shoot first and ask questions later attitude”, but this series allowed fans to fully understand the man inside the monster and the difficulties that Abe often struggled with, trying to balance his own well-being and quest against the needs and safety of others.  Invariably, Abe almost always picked the selfless route and the final seven issues released this year ended in a typical bitter-sweet fashion for the lovable, blue “gill-man”. read more

Horror News Network’s Comic Awards 2016: Best Artist(s)

Horror News Network is happy to select Max and Sebastian Fiumara as our artists of the year for their work on Dark Horse Comics’ Abe Sapien.  

The Fiumara brothers have consistently provided both the interior and cover art for the majority of the series, which sadly ended this year with issue #36.  Max and Sebastian often alternated issues or covers throughout the entire run and this year was no exception.  The high standard that the Fiumara brothers set from the beginning of the run was one of the reasons fans returned to a series known for their distainct style. read more

B.P.R.D : Hell on Earth #145 Early Review

BPRD: Hell on Earth #145 Review

Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi

Artist: Laurence Campbell

Publisher: Dark Horse

Release Date: September 21st, 2016

Rating: 10 out of 10

Synopsis: The end of the BPRD looms, as does the world!

Our Thoughts:

Mignola, Arcudi, and Campbell are weaving an epic, emotional end to the BPRD, and this may be the most harrowing story yet;  beloved characters seem to meet their demise, others are left exhausted after insurmountable battles, and some just want to “free the butterflies”. read more

Harrow County #16 Early Review

Harrow County #16 Early Review

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Tyler Crook
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: September 14th, 2016
Rating: 9 out of 10

Synopsis: Emmy fights to save her home against the ravages of her new family.

Our Thoughts:

The “Family Tree” storyline reaches its fateful conclusion with some dubious consequences for Emmy and both the human and non-human residents of Harrow County.  Since the start of the series, Bunn and Crook have continued to expand the world of Harrow County and the amount and influence of its magical residents.   This issue brings this build full circle and also helps to bring the amount of magical influence back to a manageable level. read more

Abe Sapien #36 Early Review

Abe Sapien #36 Early Review

Writer: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie

Artist: Sebastian Fiumara

Publisher: Dark Horse

Release Date:  August 31st, 2016

Rating: 9 out of 10

Synopsis:  Abe and a transformed Gustav Strobl battle to the finish in the final issue of the series!

Our Thoughts:

 Abe Sapien’s solo title has always been focused on the emotional and harrowing journey of Abe; a “new” man searching for his humanity and place in an unforgiving, cruel world.  Allie and Mignola have expanded on his story over more than 50 issues (including mini-series and one-shots) and it comes to an end with the inevitable showdown with dark sorcerer Strobl, which has been set-up since issue one. read more

Dark Horse Comics Announces a New Hellboy Graphic Novel for 2017

Dark Horse Comics announced today that they will be publishing a brand new original graphic novel starring Hellboy in the Spring of 2017.  Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea will be illustrated by Gary Gianni and co-written by Gianni and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.

In terms of Hellboy continuity, the story takes place directly after the events of “The Island” and involves ghost ships, pirates, and a mad quest for giant sea creature.  With elements like these in the mix, any Mignola-verse fan is bound to sign on for this journey! read more

Aliens: Defiance #3 Early Review

Aliens: Defiance #3 Early Review

Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Ricardo Burchielli
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: August 17th , 2016
Rating: 7 out of 10

Synopsis: Davis One and Hendricks face off against the rest of the android crew as the Weyland-Yutani corporation attempts to regain control of the mission.

Our thoughts: An artist switch in the middle of a series is a pet peeve of many comic book readers.  Most fans will begrudgingly accept changes to their favorite writer/artist team on an on-going title at the start of an new arc, but switching artists mid-storyline often changes the dynamic and tone of an already established “look and feel” of a comic book.  Tristan Jones’ extremely detailed style is replaced this issue with the talented, but more realistic style of Wood’s frequent DMZ collaborator Ricardo Burchielli. read more

Harrow County #15 Early Review

Harrow County #15 Early Review

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Tyler Crook
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: August 10th, 2016
Rating: 9 out of 10

Synopsis: Emmy learns more about the gathering of witches and what it may mean to her and her hometown.

Our Thoughts:

This issue does an excellent job of weaving more of the tapestry that makes up Harrow County.  Bunn takes readers for a stroll with Emmy and Odessa as Emmy learns more about Hester’s relationship with the enclave and why they didn’t intervene with her “world building” experiments.   One of Harrow County’s greatest strengths has always been the unique location and the variety of people and spirits that populate it.  With the introduction of this diverse group of witches, necromancers, and boogeymen, the universe that makes up Harrow County on a monthly basis is about to expand exponentially. read more

Harrow County #14 Early Review

Harrow County #14 Early Review

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Tyler Crook
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: July 13, 2016
Rating: 9 out of 10

Synopsis: Emmy’s world of magic grows a lot bigger as a host of witches make her acquaintance.

Our Thoughts:

Recent issues of Harrow County have greatly expanded on the supernatural world that Emmy inhabits, introducing a variety of local magicians and backwoods sorcerers.  This issue takes the biggest step so far in the series, introducing an entire “family” of magic folk with undetermined intentions for Emmy and the rest of Harrow County.  The most interesting of this group is the long haired, smooth-talker Levi who appears to be the titular head of the new group.  His introduction to Emmy and Bernice is made through the enchantment of local child Clinton and a mysterious ghost that leaves bloody footprints. read more

Abe Sapien #35 Early Review

Abe Sapien #35 Early Review

Writer: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie

Artist: Max Fiumara

Publisher: Dark Horse

Release Date: July 13, 2016

Rating: 9 out of 10

Synopsis:  Abe struggles with returning to the dangerous world after finding “paradise”.

Our Thoughts:

Answers regarding Abe’s past and Gustav Strobl’s master plan are coming fast and furious as this story arc (and possibly title) heads for an explosive climax.  After the backstory of the original struggle against the Ogdru Hem was revealed last issue, Abe finds himself in an idylic setting for a change. And he’s not the only one, as his friend Grace and her companions from the early issues of the series and Abe’s journey are seen adjusting to a new way of life, without the horrors they were so used to.  The “too-good-to-be-true” vibe that Allie establishes is perfectly encapsulated in this scene as Alice writes a hopeful letter to Abe and send it “seaworthy” in a bottle. read more