March was a shockingly good month for comics, and the hardest yet for coming up with ten, excellent books who stood above the rest. So we chose eleven. What didn’t make the list? I’ll include most of ‘em below, but Marvel’s excellent Age of X titles started canceling each other out; and L’il Depressed Boy from Image was so very, very close to making the top ten – but not quite yet. And a few titles, including Locke & Key, Action Comics, and Osborn released their penultimate issues. Near perfect all, but we’re waiting to see whether they stick the landing in April.

That all said, ten titles did stand heads and tails about the rest. These are the ten best comics of March, 2011:

Honorable Mention: Finals #1

I can’t really include this on the main list as it’s a reprint of Will Pfeiffer and Jill Thompson’s little-seen Vertigo miniseries. But if you didn’t read it before, this 100ish page spectacular is as subversive and hilarious as when it was first released. Set at a college that specializes in real world experience – from starting a cult, to building a nuclear bomb – the book is laugh out loud funny, and should be required reading on all college campuses as a case study in how to not go over the top.

10. Knight & Squire #6

We’ve been big fans of Paul Cornell’s England-set Batman & Robin series since the beginning, and are supremely sad to see it go. Though it’s hard to surpass Knight & Squire #3, which brought an iambic pentameter spitting Richard III back to life, the final issue matches any point in the series for bittersweet emotion and earnest, honest hope. The Joker has come to England, pissed off about how happy and bright everything is, rather than the grim, gritty world of Gotham City. He decides to bring his brand of “humor” to the British Isles, and finds he’s just not wanted, as villains and heroes alike team up to take him down. There’s a real sense of loss as Jarvis Poker, the British Joker sacrifices himself to save the soul of England… And also a sense that, in the world of the comic, as well as in the real world, for a little while, someone was bringing actual fun back to comics. More, please.

9. Bad Dog #4


Dark Horse's Jeremy Atkins, Scott Allie, and Sierra Hahn were on board at WonderCon to give fans the skinny on what they can expect from their several titles based on Joss Whedon creations:

- The Buffy Season 9 artist will be Georges Jeanty, and will be written by Joss Whedon and Andrew Chambliss (chosen based on his writing for the Dollhouse comic)

- Spike will be a part of Buffy Season 9!

- IDW's Angel series leads into Buffy Season 9, but the panel would not yet divulge the connection between them. Read More...

It’s still weird to think that there will be a 9th season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This isn’t some kind of thing where I’ll segue into saying “9th season in comic form, that is” or something like that—it’s just genuinely fascinating to me that the movie that failed to light up the box office years later becomes the little TV series that could, gains a loyal following, changes networks, survives that transition, then years later still finds another life on the comic shelves. I say this with all respect to the incredibly rabid Firefly fans, but this is likely the show that Whedon will be long remembered for.

Also, for your extra does of feeling the absolute slippage of time, next year will mark the 15th anniversary of the show first hitting the screen.

So, yeah, there will be another season of Buffy comics, and more Angel comics as that property makes the leap from IDW over to Dark Horse later this year. Dark Horse editor Scott Allie explained that both series would be getting new #1’s—Angel in August and Buffy in September. Production is well underway for both titles with Whedon still actively involved despite the huge time-sink involved in the making of the Avengers movie.

                                       ECCC 2011: Scott Allie Dishes On Buffy Season 9

Allie noted that he and the rest of Dark Horse continued to be thankful for the series creator’s continued involvement, in spite of the demands of big-budget Hollywood productions. Allie said that instead of being an obligation, shepherding Buffy’s stories along seem to be a kind of catharsis for Whedon, who is ultimately responsible for deciding the plotting of the seasons. Read More...

March 16th saw the release of the tie-in comic to this summer’s sword and sorcery comedy, Your Highness. Titled, Your Highness: Knight and Dazed the one-shot was written by one of the film’s stars, Danny McBride (Eastbound and Down, The Foot Fist Way, Pineapple Express, and also the co-writer of his latest film along with Ben Best), and is being released through Dark Horse Comics with art by Sean Phillips.

McBride says he used the book as an introduction to the film’s two leads: noble knight and heir to the throne Fabious (James Franco) and slacker Thaddeus (McBride). Of his character, McBride describes Thaddeus as another in a line of big-talking underachievers—think Kenny Powers in ye-olden times. “He tends to kind of slack off, spends his time in the pub, smoking weed instead of being a good knight and slaying dragons,” explains McBride.

                                    C2E2 2011: Danny McBride Talks The 'Your Highness' Comic

The book was inspired by his love of classic tie-in comics like Star Wars during the Marvel days, allowing him to parlay his film and writing experience into a new medium. McBride appears to be something of a lapsed comic fan who’s rediscovered his passion for the output of the big two and the indies, pointing to his Hot Rod co-star Bill Heder as the reason he returned to reading comics. Read More...

This year at C2E2 Dark Horse made it pretty clear they’re getting serious about the whole digital comics thing. We’ll soon be able to catch up with Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. right in the palm of our hand with the new Dark Horse digital comic’s app for iOS devices!

Dark Horse developed the upcoming app in-house and I have to say it looks great on the iPad. The storefront lays out a cover for each series available -- when you click on one, all the books in that series pop up. It looks like most books will cost $1.99 through the app and users will also be able to make purchases from Purchases made on the web will sync up with your iPhone or iPad so they're always available.

Reading through comics works just as it does on similar apps, we can go page by page or frame by frame. However, there are some pretty cool features Dark Horse has added. First there's the page scroller. Slide it like you would to turn up the volume on a song and it shows you what page you’re headed to in the lower corner. Another great feature is the archive system. When you finish reading a book you can store it in your "Collection." This frees up space on your device by transferring your digital copy to a magical Dark Horse comic box in the clouds -- it will be safe there until you want to download and read it again.

MTV Geek! is on the floor at C2E2 and had a chance to stop by the Dark Horse booth for a little demo action. Though the app is still in beta form, and won’t be available for another month or so, it's looking good. See it in action after the break! Read More...

The big buzz at Day One of C2E2 was the giant Thor hammer at the Marvel booth (the perfect place to snap a photo), Brightest Day action figure exclusives that sold out almost as fast as they were offered, and, as fate would have it -- a debate over Wonder Woman's pants.

Let's start with that hammer.

A giant replica of Thor's hammer was on display at the Marvel Comics booth, promoting of course the upcoming Thor movie. Also in heavy promotion was the Fear Itself event, the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon, and the Captain America movie (which also received a nice huge banner featuring Chris Evans).

A pair of con attendees came up to me with not one but two cameras, asking me to take snapshots of them with good ol' Mjolnir. A popular pose was at the handle, straining to pick the giant hammer up. Read More...

Looking around for a "Geek" Chicago reference to start this post about C2E2, I guess I could bring up that old "Is Gotham City New York or Chicago?" debate. According to classic Batman writers Dennis O'Neil and Frank Miller, Gotham is New York (albeit primarily at night) -- but to Batman Begins and The Dark Knightdirector Christopher Nolan, it's definitely Chicago. Whatever the case, the Windy City is the honorary U.S. capital of the comic book world this weekend, as the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo is held at the West Building at McCormick Place. Held by ReedPOP, the same people who bring you New York Comic Con and the recent PAX East, C2E2 serves up to fans a mix of comics, movie & TV, and general Geek happenings and news. Let's take a look at some of the highlights:

The cover for this year's show program features Green Lantern as rendered by Ivan Reis:

Marvel Comics is featuring a whole slate of activities and giveaways at their booth at #411, including "Marvel Super Happy Giveaway Hour,"  the "Marvel Your Universe Game Hour," Marvel Cosplay, and a demo of the upcoming Sega "Thor: God of Thunder" video game. And to keep track of all the Marvel happenings at C2E2, you can download the "Marvel Events App" from iTunes! Read More...

In our last FCBD piece, we talked with Criminal Macabre creator Steve Niles about his half of Dark Horse’s flipbook. Today, novelist Christopher Golden tells us about his work with Mike Mignola along artist Ben Stenbeck and colorist Dave Stewart on the Baltimore story on the other side of the book.

Golden is the author of dozens of novels and short stories, including existing franchises like Hellboy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as his own series including The Menagerie and Hidden Cities (and really, the man has a pretty diverse body of work). Chalk this latest Baltimore story into the mix. Titled “A Passing Stranger” it’s a bit of a departure from the regular stories featuring the title character. But enough from me—I’ll let Mr. Golden explain.

MTV Geek: Could you tell our readers a little about Baltimore and his FCBD outing, “A Passing Stranger?”

Christopher Golden: We only had fourteen pages to do it, but Mike and I wanted a story that would accomplish several things at once. First, though Baltimore's nemesis is a vampire, we wanted something that would show readers that there are all kinds of evils in this world. We wanted to paint a picture of what an unforgiving place the world has become, post-war, post-plague (although the plague is still ongoing). And, most of all, of course, we wanted a story that would stand on its own as a chilling horror story, while introducing Baltimore to FCBD readers in a way that requires no knowledge of his history. I have to say, I love the result. The artist, Ben Stenbeck, and colorist, Dave Stewart, have outdone themselves on "A Passing Stranger." It makes me very, very happy that people will have the opportunity to get this glimpse into Baltimore's world for free.

Geek: The vampire infestation in your story is being portrayed as a plague. What’s your approach to vampires in the story—supernatural beings or a type of biological threat?

CG: They're very much supernatural, but not in the way that has become so common in modern fiction. These creatures are an ancient evil. There are new vampires, of course, and lots of them, but Baltimore's nemesis, Haigus, and his kin are practically prehistoric in nature. Once upon a time they were more numerous, and the world changed, and humanity began to spread and evolve, and the supernatural creatures of the world died off or went into hibernation, like Haigus and his clan. The war—all the blood and death and suffering—woke them up, and their evil has been spreading ever since. The plague is both biological and supernatural, but we may never go into the fine details of that. Read More...

This Free Comic Book Day, Dark Horse is bringing the horror with a Criminal Macabre/Baltimore flipbook bringing together Steve Niles’ whacked-out supernatural investigator with Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden’s WWI vampire hunter.

For those of you who may not read a lot of horror comics (and really, you should be reading more horror comics), Niles is the creator of the runaway arctic vampire hit 30 Days of Night and has seen his writing in comics, film, and video games. And wouldn’t you know, it, he was kind enough to talk to MTV Geek about his work on his FCBD entry, his character Cal Mcdonald and a bunch of other things under the setting sun.

MTV Geek: For readers coming in fresh, what’s Criminal Macabre about?

Steve Niles: The best way to describe Cal McDonald is to explain how he came about. I created him back in the eighties. At the time I was reading a lot of Raymond Chandler and other pulp detective stuff. I started out trying to do just that and quickly found that the old hardboiled didn’t necessarily translate into modern hardboiled, so I made Cal a recovering junkie instead of just a drunk, and added the macabre to make sure he was miserable. I’ve always said Cal is a combination of Chandler and Hunter S. Thompson. Cal is a miserable old soul, but he has a lot of heart and is always looking out for others despite being really grumpy about it.

Geek: Could you tell us a little about how your collaboration with series artist Chris Mitten came about?

SN: All credit for Chris Mitten goes to my editor Scott Allie. Scott has an amazing eye for art. Over the years he has teamed me with Greg Ruth (Freaks of the Heartland) and Kelley Jones, who I’ve worked with since. When Scott showed me Chris, I immediately thought he was perfect, and he is not disappointing. Mitten is the perfect Criminal Macabre artist. He has grit, but he can also be funny and creepy. I love working with Chris and I hope we go on to do a lot of work together.

Geek: Was there a deliberate approach to the visual style of the book you were looking for when initially planning it?

SN: There have been so many artists who have done renditions of Cal, it’s always been a revolving door of styles, which I love. I’m not an artist at all, so I wanted to feel around. I figured when we found the right artist, it would stick, but I always liked trying out different looks. Read More...

Dark Horse Comics -- along with LucasArts and BioWare -- will be publishing starting in June a new chapter in the Star Wars: The Old Republic saga, The Lost Suns. Star Wars: The Old Republic acts as a companion series to the upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game of the same name, and BioWare’s senior creative writer, Alexander Freed, will have a story in The Lost Suns that ties in with the game's plot. Read more about The Lost Suns below, and check out the trailer for the Star Wars: The Old Republic video game!


Yesterday we profiled artist Guy Davis on his exit from his long-running stint on B.P.R.D. . Today, we’re catching up with the series’ new artist, Tyler Crook, who’ll be joining Mike Mignola and John Arcudi on the upcoming Monsters arc. Check out what Crook had to say about his early career, how he got drawn into the B.P.R.D. universe, and what’s next for him.

Geek: Who is this Tyler Crook character and what’s he been doing up until now?

Tyler Crook: Mostly I've been making video games. I've done some other art and design work – kids clothing, yellow page ads, website design – but the bulk of my career has been as a 3D modeler in the video games industry. For the last two years I've been working on an original graphic novel with my buddy, Phil Gelatt called Petrograd. It's historical fiction about the assassination of Rasputin. I had always had the comic bug and wanted to get into it and after working on Petrograd I knew I had to make comics my full-time job. Read More...

It had to come as a shock to fans of the long-running Hellboy spinoff B.P.R.D. that Guy Davis, the longtime artist for the series would be departing at the conclusion of the current "Gods" storyline. It was such an unlikely end to a pairing that brought the artist and series writers Mike Mignola and John Arcudi to the brink of the end of the world in recent months. Davis is taking a break to focus on his own creator-owned project, The Marquis which is being published through Dark Horse as well as another project he's unable to talk about. No, it wasn't some kind of acrimonious split: "As much as I loved working on the main B.P.R.D. book with Mike and John, it was a hectic monthly grind and I realized I just didn’t have enough time for all the projects I wanted to do."

Not to get all cliched, all good things must come to an end, right?

As unexpectedly and quietly as the collaboration ended, its beginning was actually pretty gradual. Prior to joining B.P.R.D., the artist had done work for Vertigo and Caliber and had his own indie project, The Marquiswhich he originally published through Oni. Davis credits a simple meeting with Mignola "at some random con" where they were both guests as the first meeting between the two talents, and from there the duo struck up a friendship.

I would call to talk monsters and catch up and he would always ask what I was working on~ which usually was something work-for-hire that didn’t involve monsters. He would say he never understood how after seeing me doing the stuff I wanted to draw on my own series, The Marquis that other companies wouldn’t hire me for monster/horror type books. I didn’t know why either, but when he mentioned he was thinking of spinning off B.P.R.D. from Hellboy into its own series I jumped at the chance to work with him on it!


Jill Thompson is no stranger to the world of comic books. With dozens of credits to her name, including Beasts of Burden, Sandman, and more, the talented writer/artist has etched out her own niche, creating beautifully painted works that walk the line between adorable, and terrifying.

However, outside of the comics community, she may be best known for her Scary Godmother series. Over the course of several books and comic strips, as well as two well received animated films on Cartoon Network, Scary Godmother has told the continuing story of a kind-hearted witch, her supernatural buddies, and the humans they befriend/torture. Dark Horse will be releasing a black and white collection of her Scary Godmother work this Spring, so we touched base with her about the enduring appeal of her Halloween based stories, as well as checking in a few other projects:

MTV Geek: I read – and correct me if this is wrong – that you wrote Scary Godmother because you felt there were no good Halloween books out there. Has that changed since? Do you think you were able to bump holiday books up to the next level?

Jill Thompson: Actually, I wrote and illustrated Scary Godmother because I love Halloween, and I wanted to create a book for the birth of my first niece. I also wanted to be her Godmother. But being fond of Goth clothing and a black motorcycle jacket at the time, I thought, "I can just see me at the catholic church, up on the altar for the baptism... I'd be a pretty scary godmother." And when I said those two words out loud I got an image in my head of this little witch/fairy with bats wings in a black tutu… And then things kind of took off from there. Read More...

So before getting to any of the other announcements from the Dark Horse Panel, the big news which came towards the end was that Guy Davis, the longtime artist and collaborator with Mike Mignola and John Arcudi on B.P.R.D. is leaving the book, with the free ECCC-exclusive B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth story being the last work by the artist for the series. Series editor Scott Allie says that it’s hard to overestimate Davis’ impact on the look and feel of the book—he and Mignola visually defined the look and feel of the universe, with Davis getting extra credit for lending a sense of animation and subtle refinement to characters like team leader Abe Sapien and the spectral Johannes.


Click the images for previews of Dark Horse Comics new releases for March 2!

Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #1


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