An extreme cold snap in the U.S. is reminding a lot of people that it’s winter for them, but for a lot of us comic book fans the only season that really matters is con season! Wizard World is already ramping up, and one comic book publisher expected to make a very big splash at their first event of the year in Portland is Dark Horse Comics. Personally I’ve been reading more Dark Horse than ever, so if you tell me they’ve had a great year I’ll believe it. I’ve been sucked into minis like Clown Fatale, Kiss Me, Satan, and Buzzkill, as well as their proper superhero revival with books like X, Ghost, and Captain Midnight making my list every month. A lot of comics outside of the “big 2” rely heavily on deconstruction for their stories, and while the non-traditional superhero genre is easily one of my favorites, the great thing about Dark Horse’s hero line is that they are classic costumed vigilantes, but just from a different company than maybe you grew up reading.
It’s hard to talk about Dark Horse now and not mention the Star Wars situation. With Disney owning both Star Wars and Marvel, it was only a matter of time before Star Wars comics became a Marvel only venture. There is encouraging news to come out of it though, for both the publisher and comics in general. The first bit concerns the digital world. Digital comics often come under scrutiny for fears of how the medium will handle adversity, but rest assured you will still be able to read any Dark Horse published Star Wars comics you have paid for after their license expires. As long as Dark Horse still has the license (the rest of 2014), you will be able to buy Star Wars books online through them as well, until Marvel takes over. Now I just mentioned that the license hasn’t expired yet, so expect them to make the most of the time they still have with it! They’re already planning on giving a comic book ending to the long-running animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which promises to include plenty of Darth Maul! What else could they possibly have in store? Perhaps they will make a big announcement to their hometown fans when they visit Wizard World Portland Comic Con, January 24-26 at the Oregon Convention Center. At the very least expect to see Christos Gage, Eric Powell, at least three panels, and of course the obligatory but always awesome exclusive con items, if you stop by booth #201.