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Photo ©2013 Marnie Ann Joyce

By Patrick A. Reed

This year's Free Comic Book Day is the biggest and craziest yet, with more than 50 different comics from various publishers vying for shelf space and room in your shopping bag. Some titles are geared for kids, some feature mature content, some are fit for everybody – and thus, we present this handy field guide, so you can know what to look out for.

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In this exclusive clip from the upcoming anime based on the "Mass Effect" trilogy, see how even the most determined, battle-hardened Krogan warriors fare against a group of industrious humans.

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Dark Horse and Bioware hope you're ready for a deep dive into the Mass Effect universe with their New York Comic Con announcement of a 2013 collection bringing together the previous miniseries, shorts, and digital comics in a hardcover library edition.

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Kotobukiya's Bishoujo statue line has encompassed a wide variety of pop culture franchises from the Ghostbusters to Marvel Comics; and while a version of Mass Effect's Commander Shepard was shown previously, it wasn't the last we'd be seeing of the video game heroine. Now, Kotobukiya is releasing an exclusive version of their Commander Shepard Bishoujo statue at the BioWare Store! That's right Mass Effect fans, here's another high-end collectible to blow your cash on as you replay the ME Trilogy and pat yourself on the back for getting the last ending changed. Fitting with the Bishoujo (pretty girl) theme, this is the female version of Shepard and looks different enough from the regular version to warrant a closer look.

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Shephard!
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Last month Dark Horse announced a new initiative to help out our local comic shops -- the Digital Retailer Exclusive Program. Under the new program local comic shops will hand out redemption codes for exclusive, retailer-only, digital comics that be claimed through Dark Horse Digital.

Well, it’s July 1st and the program is officially underway kicking off with B.P.R.D. Casualties! Over the next 3 months the program will release free, monthly stories from Dark Horse’s most popular titles. Did I mention we get them for free? Read More...

Cosplayers are getting better and better at creating amazing costumes for their convention outings. We recently saw some incredibly accurate Mark I Iron Man armor created from scratch and before that we were put back by this awesome LEGO Master Chief armor. Now, Robert Rodgers of My Wicked Armor has created a remarkable Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect 2) costume.

Apparently, the suit took weeks of on-and-off work to complete and features over 75 LED lights to finish the futuristic effect. As you’ll see in the video below, the mouth actually moves and the feet are shaped just like the in-game character’s -- essentially making Rodgers walk on his toes to pull off the look. Read More...

There are some pretty cool announcements coming from Dark Horse Digital this week. First of all they’re having a killer sale -- all digital issues of The Goon will only cost .99 cents this weekend! If you’ve never read this hilarious and over-the-top creator-owned book this is a perfect chance to jump in.

The bigger news actually has a lot to do with your local comic shop. In an attempt to help out the brick-and-mortar comics retailers Dark Horse has created the Digital Retailer Exclusive Program. The new program with last for three months and gives readers a chance to check out never before seen material from B.P.R.D, Mass Effect and Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Read More...

One of the biggest North American distributors of Japanese animation and one of the leading video game publishers are teaming up to create an anime of the popular Mass Effect franchise. Funimation and BioWare are collaborating on the project, along with T.O. Entertainment, which is set for a Summer 2012 digital and home video release.

Production on the Mass Effect anime has already begun, and they promise to extend the pre-existing Mass Effect storyline through the anime medium.

The Mass Effect franchise has already gone beyond the games with a series of comics from Dark Horse and novels from Del Rey.

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The fine folks at Dark Horse Comics have clearly made a New Year's Resolution to be very giving in 2011 as the company wants to award one lucky fan the chance to win Dark Horse's entire digital comics library for 2011!

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PRESS RELEASE

October 8, 2010, MILWAUKIE, OR–Today at New York Comic Con, the publisher that revolutionized creator-owned comics announced a new and ambitious digital publishing plan that’s set to do the same for sequential storytelling in the digital medium! By creating and managing its own digital publishing program—the Dark Horse Bookshelf app—Dark Horse Comics has eliminated third party fees on its digital editions. Not only will readers be able to enjoy Dark Horse comics at lower prices, but comic creators will receive a greater percentage of each digital sale. In short, readers pay less for their comics and creators make more money.

“We are excited by the opportunities offered through this new channel of distribution,” Dark Horse president and publisher Mike Richardson said. “The comics and graphic novels published by Dark Horse will now reach more readers than ever, while creating new customers for traditional brick and mortar stores.”

The Dark Horse Bookshelf app will be available on iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. Comics can also be purchased and read on modern web browsers at the Dark Horse Digital Store.  Launching in January 2011 with comics priced at $1.49 per issue—50 cents lower than the industry standard—the Dark Horse Bookshelf app will be available for download from the iTunes Store and online at digital.darkhorse.com. To drive customers to brick and mortar retailers, the app and Web site will also include links to local comic shops.

Launching with over 150 titles including Dark Horse’s wildly popular horror anthology Creepy, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy and B.P.R.D., Joss Whedon’s Fray and Serenity, Felicia Day’s The Guild, BioWare’s Mass Effect, Robert E. Howard’s Conan, Gerard Way’s Umbrella Academy, Eric Powell’s The Goon and many more, the pricing at the Dark Horse Digital Store offers readers unprecedented value. While single-issue comics will be available at the low price point of $1.49, Dark Horse will also offer an extensive list of free introductory #1 issues. The Dark Horse Digital Store’s comic bundles will group together story arcs spanning multiple issues into easily affordable packages, allowing readers to get the three or four issues that comprise a complete narrative at manageable prices from $2.99 to $5.99. Starting in February 2011, some Dark Horse titles will feature synchronized release in both the digital and print formats.

Dark Horse also has a plan in place that will allow retailers at comic shops and bookstores to offer readers exclusive digital content through the Dark Horse Digital Store. The specifics of this plan will be announced at a later date.

To celebrate the announcement of the Dark Horse Bookshelf app, Dark Horse Comics is offering eight of its current digital comic apps completely free throughout the weekend. Comics enthusiasts can head to the iTunes store and download free copies of Dark Horse’s current SerenityBeasts of BurdenB.P.R.D.ConanFrayTroublemakerUmbrella Academy andTerminator: 2029 apps.
Fans are invited to sign up for additional news at our official website:

http://digital.darkhorse.com/

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