Smash Pages Q&A: Veronica Fish

The artist of ‘Archie,’ ‘Silk,’ ‘Slam!’ and more discusses her latest project ‘Blackwood,’ collaborating with Andy Fish and Evan Dorkin, and more.

Veronica Fish has made a name for herself with her work for Archie (Archie) and Marvel (Spider-Woman, Silk), as well as with books Slam!, the roller derby comic that she created with writer Pamela Ribon, and The Wendy Project, written by Melissa Jane Osborne. The latter overlaid the story of Peter Pan with a girl’s real trauma and was a visually stunning work by Fish that really showed off a masterful sense of design and color.

Fish’s new comic is Blackwood. Written by Evan Dorkin (Beasts of Burden, Dork) and published by Dark Horse Comics, the miniseries follows a group of students who arrive at a small college to learn magic. The Dean kills himself in the opening scene, and the students find the only thing stranger than the locals are the teachers. The setup may sound familiar, but the characters and the creatures in the book really stand out. And the art is as accomplished as it is different from Fish’s other comics. The second issue of Blackwood came out this week, and I asked Fish a few questions about the book.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Emma Beeby on ‘Mata Hari’

The UK-based writer discusses her work on the Dark Horse/Berger Books title about the famous femme fatale.

Emma Beeby will perhaps always be known as the first woman to write Judge Dredd in the pages of 2000 A.D. She’s written other comics including Robbie Burns: Witch Hunter, Judge Anderson, Doctor Who, and created series for 2000 A.D., in addition to writing audio plays and games and films. She’s a contributor to the amazing (and all female) lineup of creators responsible for the 2000 A.D. Sci-fi Special, which was just released in the UK.

This year Berger Books has been publishing Mata Hari, a comics miniseries written by Beeby that explores the life of the titular spy and femme fatale. People might know the name Mata Hari, but much of what is known about her is myth and lies and misinformation. In the miniseries, Beeby tries to explore all of these things. Mata Hari is a hard character to love, a complicated antihero who dealt with a lot of things in her life that sound very contemporary and relevant.

Mata Hari #4 is out this week from Berger Books/Dark Horse Comics, and Emma was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book and how she worked.

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Dark Horse announces ‘Stranger Things’ comic books

Jody Houser and Stefano Martino take a trip to the Upside Down this September.

Dark Horse Comics is heading to the Upside Down with their latest project, as the company announced they’ve acquired the license for the hit Netflix TV series Stranger Things.

The first miniseries is set to launch in September, according to Entertainment Weekly, and will focus on Will Byers and his time in the other dimensional Upside Down, set during the first season of the show. The miniseries is written by Jody Houser, illustrated by Stefano Martino, inked by Keith Champagne, colored by Lauren Affe and lettered by Nate Piekos.

Houser celebrated the news on Twitter:

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‘Black Hammer’ Library Edition coming this fall

Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s series gets a deluxe edition, due out Oct. 24.

Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer has delivered an interesting take on superheroes, playing off the archetypes of the genre and creating some pretty great characters in the process. The Eisner-nominated series has proven popular enough to warrant several spinoffs, and now Dark Horse has announced Black Hammer Library Edition Volume 1, a deluxe, oversized hardcover collecting Black Hammer #1-13 and other material from the series.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this deluxe library edition,” Lemire said. “I love the world of Black Hammer so much, and I love seeing the stories Dean and I worked so hard to create collected in such a gorgeous volume.”

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‘Beasts of Burden’ returns in August from Dorkin + Dewey

Guest artist Benjamin Dewey heads to Burden Hill to help Dorkin tell a tale featuring the Wise Dogs.

Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson’s Beasts of Burden has appeared as a series of miniseries and one-shots over the years, winning awards and sharing tales from the fictional town of Burden Hill, where a group of dogs and cats defend their world against supernatural threats.

In the background of these stories has been another group called the Wise Dogs, who seem to have a much bigger jurisdiction than just Burden Hill. Dorkin and guest artist Benjamin Dewey (The Autumnlands, The Tragedy Series) will explore this other group in Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men. Nate Piekos will letter the four-issue miniseries.

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‘She Could Fly’ lifts off from Berger Books

Christopher Cantwell and Martín Morazzo team up for a new title from the Dark Horse Comics imprint.

Dark Horse’s Berger Books imprint, from former Vertigo editor Karen Berger, will add another comic to its flight plan this summer — She Could Fly by writer Christopher Cantwell and artist Martín Morazzo.

Cantwell is the co-creator and showrunner of the AMC drama Halt and Catch Fire, while Morazzo has been the artist on such comics as Nighthawk, Elektra, Great Pacific and Ice Cream Man. Miroslav Mrva, who has worked on Ghosted and Foolkiller, will provide colors.

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Dark Horse to adapt in-game novel from ‘Dragon Age’ video games

‘Hard in Hightown’ brings Varric Tethras’ classic story out of the game and into your hands as a hardcover in July.

Fans of the Dragon Age video game series know that the best supporting character in the game, the enterprising dwarf Varric Tethras, wields a mean writing pen in addition to his automatic crossbow. Dragon Age 2, for instance, details the creation of a book called Hard in Hightown as a side story, giving you the opportunity to collect chapters of the story as you play. Hard in Hightown features somewhat familiar-sounding characters and was a source of contention between Varric and other members of Hawke’s party.

Next July, Dark Horse plans to release a hardcover of Hard in Hightown, adapting that story into comic form. “Ghostwritten” by Mary Kirby, who wrote Varric for both Dragon Age II and Dragon Age: Inquisition, the book will be illustrated by Stefano Martino, Álvaro Sarraseca, Andres Ponce, and German Ponce, with a painted cover by E.M. Gist.

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‘300’ prequel gets a release date

Frank Miller’s ‘Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander’ arrives from Dark Horse Comics in April.

Frank Miller’s prequel to his hit graphic novel, 300, will arrive in April from Dark Horse Comics.

Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander follows Persian King Xerxes as he sets out to conquer the world to avenge his father Darius’ defeat and create an empire unlike anything the world has ever seen — until the hardy Greeks produce a god king of their own, Alexander the Great. This five-issue series boasts issues with 30+ plus pages of story and features wrap-around covers in a deluxe collector format. Miller will write and draw it, while Alex Sinclair will provide colors.

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‘Black Hammer’ saga continues in ‘Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows’

Artist Max Fiumara joins writer Jeff Lemire on a new miniseries spinning out of the Eisner Award-winning series.

Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s award-winning, best-of-2017 list making and genre-defying Black Hammer returns next year with a new series, but that isn’t the only Black Hammer story to look forward to. Dark Horse has announced another spinoff miniseries, Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows by Lemire, Abe Sapien artist Max Fiumara, colorist Dave Stewart and letterer Nate Piekos

Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows follows the first Black Hammer spinoff, Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil, which is out now. The “dual-narrative” story stars Golden Age superhero Doctor Star, an aged crime fighter trying to reconnect with his son, who he hoped would take over his superhero identity.

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