Dark Horse Month at The Comic Book Bin
By Hervé St-Louis
June 22, 2007 - 01:24
The products offered by these alternate publishers were crude, but the topics they raised cultivated an increasingly older comic book audience seeking mature products, complex storytelling and stories outside of the super hero’s genre. With an anthology title, Dark Horse’s offer more than met demand.
Dark Horse officially celebrates its 20th year in 2007. Partly because of that and to highlight the contribution the publisher has made in the North American comic book industry and entertainment, in general, The Comic Book Bin dedicates a month to Dark Horse Comics. What pushed me to propose this was the many similarities I found with Dark Horse and The Comic Book Bin, in general.
Dark Horse proposes a wide variety of contents and genre to its audience, just like The Comic Book Bin. Dark Horse is not the most significant player of its industry but has an accumulated roster of hits and misses. Most of all, what makes me relate the most to Dark Horse Comics, as the publisher of The Comic Book Bin, is its unsung nature.
It’s easy to overlook what Dark Horse is doing these days. Super star hits like Mike Mignola are rare. Dark Horse’s business model is not based on promoting house brands, like Batman or Spider-man. Every new comic book is a new experience for the reader and a new venture for the publisher. It’s not easy to score every time. This is so similar to The Comic Book Bin.
At The Comic Book Bin, we seek to be an impartial and fair source of information on comic books and related industries. We’re definitely not the most popular guys in town. In fact, many people mistakenly think we started about a year ago, instead of the half decade we have under our belt. Check out our Internet Archives for a look at the early version of the site. Our main problem is sustaining a constant stream of high quality articles that will attract you, our reader, day after day. We try to do our best with limited resources.
Although the industry seems stable and capable of offering more diverse contents than ever before, the North American angle of things is dominated by marketing properties. If it’s not marketed as part of a universe, like the DC Universe, The Batman Family, Ultimate Marvel or Marvel Knights, a comic book series has less chance of breaking out. Comic book readers have become lazy and only trust brands they know.
To survive in such a difficult industry, Dark Horse has had to use brands too. Well, it borrows most of them. Star Wars, Buffy, Aliens, Predator, these are some of the brands a comic book reader can associate with Dark Horse. But Dark Horse does not own these brands, and although the ultimate goal is to attract a readership that spans beyond the current borders of the current comic book market, it’s a different proposition.
Speaking of toys, it's something we at The Comic Book Bin are very found of. Dark Horse has its own merchandising unit, creating props and action figures based on properties it publishes and others. Are they doing a good job on that front? How does this merchandising unit help in keeping the parent company solvent? These are some of the questions the dedicated staff at The Comic Book Bin will try to answer.
Dark Horse Month will run roughly from June 22, 2007 to July 21, 2007. Depending on the amount of material we can publish, we may overlap onto the San Diego Convention week. Making this month possible is of course, the many girls and boys who write for The Comic Book Bin. Unlike other sites, none of us gets paid. This is something we do out of love. And that’s why, I’d like to thank all of the writers and editors at The Comic Book Bin, for taking up this challenge.
But most of all, this month has been possible through the collaboration of Dark Horse Comics. In particular, we have worked with their behind the scenes’ department, headed by Jeremy Atkins and Krystin Overstreet. Many other editors and Dark Horse creators are also landing a hand to make this theme month possible. I would like to thank all of them.
That means that you can learn more about a publisher that you may have overlooked or are already passionate about. We certainly won’t limit ourselves to covering Sin City and Hellboy, although you can expect some of that too. I have a special fondness for Concrete. I want to share this passion and the one I have for other Dark Horse properties with you.
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