Dark Horse Presents 139 (January 1999)

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It’s a strange Roachmill because it’s very confined—Hedden and McWeeney set it at a public school where Roachmill’s after the school bully. So it’s sort of an all-action story. Dark Horse seems to have included both parts in this issue (there’s a very clear break, with cliffhanger), which is nice. McWeeney’s art is still good though it lacks the vivacious enthusiasm of the early days. The story’s also less about the inappropriate laughs. Maybe because it’s set at a school. Still, it’s a nice piece of work and it’s good to have some more Hedden and McWeeney.

As for Chichester and Barberi’s Saint Slayer? Umm… I don’t get it. Dark Horse had the Buffy license, so why did they print this kung fu Buffy knock-off. It’s an unpleasant read—Chichester’s writing is awful and Barberi’s art isn’t much better. It’s all action… but it plods along. Ick.

CREDITS

Roachmill, School Bully; story by Rich Hedden and Tom McWeeney; art by McWeeney; lettering by Amie Grenier. Saint Slayer, Last Bus to Pandemonium, Part One; story by Dan Chichester; art by Carlo Barberi; lettering by Clem Robins. Edited by Randy Stradley and Terry Waldron.

Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special (April 1991)

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This special is far from an accurate representation of Dark Horse Presents. Everything looks very professional.

The Aerialist and Heartbreakers installments are both long needed establishments of the series’ ground situation.

I even liked the Heartbreakers one (Bennett’s writing is far stronger from the clones’ perspective, versus their creator).

There’s also lots of disposable stuff–Concrete, The American and Black Cross are all weak, though Warner’s art is better on Cross than I’ve ever seen it. Chadwick and Verheiden use their stories to blather about American culture.

Of the two Miller’s–Give Me Liberty and Sin City–I almost prefer Sin City. Liberty‘s a little overbearing, though the Gibbons art is nice.

Prosser and Janson do a great adaptation of an Andrew Vachss. The Roachmill, Aliens and Aliens vs. Predator entries are all fantastic.

I’m a little peeved Bob the Alien is on the cover but not in the issue.

CREDITS

Give Me Liberty, Martha Washington’s War Diary: April 16, 2012; story by Frank Miller; art by Dave Gibbons. Concrete, Objects of Value; story and art by Paul Chadwick; lettering by Bill Spicer. Aliens; story by John Arcudi; art by Simon Bisley. The American; story by Mark Verheiden; pencils by Dougie Braithwaite; inks by Robert Campanella; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Roachmill; story and art by Rich Hedden and Tom McWeeney. Placebo; script by Jerry Prosser, based on a story by Andrew Vachss; art by Klaus Janson; lettering by Michael Heisler. Black Cross; story and art by Chris Warner; lettering by Jim Massara. The Aerialist, Part Three; story and art by Matt Wagner; lettering by Kurt Hathaway. Heartbreakers, The Prologue; story by Anina Bennet; art by Paul Guinan; lettering by Willie Schubert. Aliens vs. Predator; story by Randy Stradley; art by Phill Norwood; lettering by Brosseau. Sin City, Episode One; story and art by Frank Miller. Edited by Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 28 (March 1989)

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The Concrete story goes on forever. It has some of Chadwick’s better art in a while, but also some Liefeldian body mechanics. It’s metaphysical nonsense about the environment. These Concrete stories are best as time capsules–things haven’t gotten any better in the last twenty years.

Zone debuts this issue; Kraiger’s illustrating is fine. The story’s harmless and uninteresting. It seems like it’s going to follow in Concrete‘s footsteps in terms of passivity.

Hedden and McWeeney do a wordless Roachmill. Great art, mildly amusing story. The art’s what’s important here.

Gilbert and Beatty do a Mr. Monster story all about EC Comics and censorship. It’s incredibly well-intentioned but boring and poorly illustrated. The inks on these Mr. Monster stories are hideous.

Then there’s the Homicide. Arcudi… it’s… I don’t know where to start so it’s probably not worth talking about.

Oh, and lame Black Cross pages litter the issue.

CREDITS

Black Cross; story and art by Chris Warner. Concrete, Stay Tuned for Pearl Harbor; story and art by Paul Chadwick; lettering by Bill Spicer. Zone, Of a Feather; story, art and lettering by Michael Kraiger. Roachmill, The Terror of Canal St.; story, art and lettering by Rich Hedden and Tom McWeeney. Mr. Monster, Inklings; story and art by Michael T. Gilbert and Terry Beatty; lettering by Ken Bruzenak. Homicide; story by John Arcudi; art by Doug Mahnke; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 17 (April 1988)

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Roachmill is the quality level I expected the entire time from Dark Horse Presents, only it’s coming in the seventeenth issue. The art from Hedden and McWeeney is lovely stuff–reminds of Eisner in black and white. There’s a lot of work put into this issue. They aren’t inking with Bics here.

The writing is sort of good. You’re not reading Roachmill for the writing, you’re reading it for the art and the decent enough writing is just a bonus. Their problem is the protagonist, Roachmill, is the weakest character in the comic.

The character, if they gave him enough page time, would be a Dirty Harry of the future… well, with some added future concepts (apparently, it’s okay to exterminate any sentient aliens in the future).

Hedden and McWeeney do come up with a solid surprise for the ending.

Only other thing–the roach arms on Roachmill? Very gross.

CREDITS

Roachmill, The Adventures of the Rooftop Raider, Part Two; story, art and lettering by Rich Hedden and Tom McWeeney. Edited by Randy Stradley.

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