Dark Horse Comics panel presentation was, as usual, fast and fun, highly entertaining and not without a few surprises. I love attending a Dark Horse panel because those guys from Oregon know how to put on a show. There is always something exciting and newsworthy announced, and I love the product they turn out. This year was no exception and the surprises started early.
My nephew Nathan, and I were on our way to the convention center from the parking lot on Market Street when we ran into Jeremy Atkins, Dirk Wolf and Bruce Campbell on their way to the panel - which kind of gave me an inkling that Bruce would be their special guest. Many thanks to my nephew, Nathan Quintero, for his videotaping of the whole panel, as I doubt I could have captured how wild panel was by just writing about it. Nathan took 18 videos of the panel, and they’re all here. Videos include information about new comics, Eisner awards that Dark Horse talent won, Hellboy, Rex Mundi, Star Wars, Bruce Campbell, a trailer for Bruce's new film, cover art, news about Gerard Way, Buffy, etc. Exciting stuff!
I'm excited about the new Buffy (she's heading to the future!) and the second iteration of Umbrella Academy, the highly successful and Eisner-nominated Gerard Way/Gabriel Ba webcomic that is part of MySpace DarkHorse Presents. What completely floored me and had me cheering was the astounding news that Dark Horse has partnered with world-renowned CLAMP, a Japanese manga-ka group. Dark Horse is celebrating its 20th anniversary of publishing manga in English in a big way by publishing a new original manga created by Satsuki Igarashi, Mokona, Tsubaki Nekoi and Ageha Ohkawa - the manga-ka all-female supergroup known to their millions of fans worldwide as CLAMP. These four brilliant writers and artists work together to produce award-winning, best-selling manga, including RG VEDA, X, Chobits, Tsubasa, and xxxHOLiC.
CLAMP's original manga with Dark Horse will be launched simultaneously in the United States, Japan, and Korea. The story will come out in a small digest consisting of about eighty pages each, which will then be collected into trade paperbacks with bonus material. CLAMP and Dark Horse are coining the bilingual term Mangettes to describe this innovative new format for manga distribution. This digest format, or Mangette, signifies CLAMP's personal wish to reach their large international readership by now speaking to them directly as artists through Dark Horse and on a basis of equality with their Japanese fans.