Dark Horse Presents 33 (September 1989)


What can one say when the best story in the issue is the Mr. Monster… it just seems wrong.

Pollock’s Mike & Viv has a lame plot, a couple funny lines and decent art. A bickering couple gets stuck in the Cretaceous period. Dark Horse was picking from the bottom of the stack here.

Race of Scorpions is confusing, weakly written and Duranona isn’t pretending to use shadows. In other words, it’s the norm for the series. It has a incomprehensible cliffhanger this time too.

Zone‘s okay, with Kraiger tying together the previous story threads to imply something significant. However, he ends the issue with some kind of slapstick routine, ignoring all the social commentary he was doing in the rest of the pages.

Buniak, not Gilbert, does the majority of the Mr. Monster story. He’s funny and his artwork’s fantastic.

Kesel’s Nick ‘n’ Nora is weak, but the art’s competent.



Mike & Liv, Mike & Liv Go To Las Vegas; story, pencils and lettering by Jack Pollock; inks by Jorge Pacheco. Race of Scorpions, Eaten by the Earth; story and art by Leopoldo Durañona; lettering by Laura Davis. Zone; story, art and lettering by Michael Kraiger. Mr. Monster, The Movie; story by Michael T. Gilbert and Brian Buniak; art by Gilbert, Buniak and Donnie Marquez; lettering by Mike McCarthy and Ken Bruzenak. Nick ‘n’ Nora; story, art and lettering by Karl Kesel. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 28 (March 1989)


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.


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 14 (January 1988)


Reading Mr. Monster, I thought a lot about how much I love Will Eisner’s Spirit in black and white. Not because Gilbert’s art in any way reminds of Eisner, but because it doesn’t. Because instead of publishing wonderful black and white comics, Dark Horse Presents is publishing Gilbert’s Mr. Monster and it looks like pencils run through the photocopier to darken it. Art aside, it’s still atrocious.

The Concrete story is completely depressing. While visiting his parents’ grave, Concrete contemplates his future. It’s bleak. Chadwick’s art isn’t particularly special here (why is Concrete the one thing he doesn’t draw well), but it’s one heck of a lovely downer.

Badger’s Mask story is just a filler, maybe announcing Badger’s leaving or maybe not. It’s hard to tell.

Nelson has a one page Dinosaur Tales, which is more design than anything else, but still nice.

That Mr. Monster story was really awful.


Concrete, Now is Now; writer and artist, Paul Chadwick; letterer, Bill Spicer. The Mask, Gone Fishing!; writer and artist, Mark Badger; letterer, David Jackson. Mr. Monster, His World; writer and artist, Michael T. Gilbert; letterer, Ken Bruzenak. Dinosaur Tales; writer and artist, Mark A. Nelson. Editor, Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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