Concrete

Dark Horse Presents 100 3 (August 1995)

The Concrete story goes on forever, but it’s actually pretty funny how it turns out. Not funny enough to laugh at, but Chadwick definitely comes up with something amusing. Oh, I’ll just spoil it–a mom and son pull a long con on Concrete for something he did back in his first appearance. Decent art, nothing […]

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Dark Horse Presents 100 0 (July 1995)

This teaser for Dark Horse Presents 100 has some great stuff in it… but it also has some unbearably long entries. Chadwick’s Concrete—though it’s always fun to read Concrete assuming the worst about humanity—goes on forever and turns out to be a prologue. It’s a little lame, though Chadwick’s art is decent. LaBan’s Emo and […]

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Dark Horse Presents 87 (July 1994)

This issue is fairly weak. The Eighth Wonder finishes. Plunkett’s art is good and Janes’s scenic writing–his dialogue, for example–is fine, but the story lacks any real heft. It feels like they hurried or ran out of pages. It ends with a great unanswered questions–why no boats? They’re building a bridge from Europe to Colombia. […]

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Dark Horse Presents 66 (September 1992)

Obviously, the major attraction is the second chapter of An Accidental Death. The pace changes throughout; it opens with the body being hidden, then Brubaker moves to summary, then to scene again. The final scene–the discovery–comes after the two boys (the protagonist and the murderer) start to discover where they really live. Reality, in more […]

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Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special (April 1991)

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, […]

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Dark Horse Presents 38 (April 1990)

Chadwick’s Concrete isn’t so interesting this issue for what he does say, but for what he doesn’t. Concrete’s sidekicks get lost in the ghetto and a bunch of black guys attack the car–presumably to beat the guy and “gang rape,” Chadwick’s words, the woman. When Concrete and the guy are sitting around calmly discussing it […]

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Dark Horse Presents 32 (August 1989)

Ugh, another “annual.” Sixty-four pages of Dark Horse Presents tends to be a little much. The American is a little long here–it’s very passive and not at all dramatic. On the other hand, Peterson shows he used to be a lot more interesting of an artist. The Wacky Squirrel strip from publisher Richardson is dumb. […]

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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 […]

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Dark Horse Presents 20 (August 1988)

This issue is a sixty-four page giant–only most of the extra is filler. They could have gotten away with a lot less pages. The Mr. Monster story is real short (and lame). Gary Davis has a short space alien story showing he’s read some Arthur C. Clarke (it’s long, wordless filler). Rick Geary’s got a […]

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Dark Horse Presents 18 (June 1988)

Badger’s ink washes on The Mask are real nice, but they’re so much easier to comprehend than his regular art, I almost wish he’d done the whole thing with that process. It’d be worth the wait. With the ink washes, when he does something crazy, it just works better. Maybe because it feels realer when […]

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Dark Horse Presents 16 (March 1988)

Wow, what an issue. Chadwick uses Concrete to bookend a short story. Or he uses double bookends to frame a story. It’s kind of pointless, so it fits with the other Concrete stories… At least the story’s mostly about people, so Chadwick’s art is strong. Strong enough. It really feels like something he had in […]

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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 […]

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Dark Horse Presents 12 (November 1987)

Okay, The Mask is supposed to be incomprehensible. Badger’s first line in the story is about it being incomprehensible. In a lot of ways, it’s the best continuing serial in Dark Horse Presents so far. I can’t understand it, not with Badger’s art purposely intended to confuse, but at least the writing is ambitious. It’s […]

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Dark Horse Presents 10 (September 1987)

This issue Concrete gets into a fight with a bear and nearly loses. In some ways, since Chadwick isn’t going for the saccharine, it works better than any other Concrete story so far. Except it’s basically a reluctant superhero story, so it’s not the traditional Concrete story. Again, somewhat weak art from Chadwick. It’s hard […]

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Dark Horse Presents 8 (June 1987)

I can’t believe I missed Concrete–well, actually, I can, given Vitruvian Man is in here, but I can’t believe I was “looking forward” to it. This issue’s story is… it’s hard to describe. Chadwick’s writing is kind of like if you took “Seinfeld” and made the characters care about other people’s feelings. This time, Concrete […]

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Dark Horse Presents 6 (April 1987)

This issue drags. It opens with Trekker‘s story line ending. Hopefully Dark Horse just gave Randall his own series so I don’t have to read any more of it. The story nearly gets okay on the last page, but it’s still got Randall’s awful writing to bring it back down. The art’s real lazy too. […]

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Dark Horse Presents 5 (February 1987)

There’s very little to say about this issue’s Concrete story. It’s not a bad story, just another waste of time–though I guess the art is nowhere near as strong as usual. The story’s about this young woman who wants to be an artist and wants Concrete to be her subject. When she meets him, does […]

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Dark Horse Presents 4 (January 1987)

It’s a real toss-up this issue for worst writing. Randall’s script for Trekker is laughably bad, but there’s something almost confrontational about Stradley’s Mindwalk script. It’s like he’s punishing the reader for taking the time to read the story, as though he or she isn’t being punished enough by Emberlin’s artwork. Randall’s Trekker art, on […]

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Dark Horse Presents 3 (November 1986)

Yay, Warner’s back with Black Cross–featuring a bunch of expository dialogue recapping the first story. With all that useless exposition, one might think Warner would explain the ground situation to the reader. But he doesn’t. It’s confusing and a lot of work thinking about something so dumb sounding. Stradley and Emberlin’s Mindwalk has its weakest […]

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Dark Horse Presents 2 (September 1986)

Wow, does Chadwick ever try hard to be cute. His Concrete story this issue is a completely useless, inconsequential diversion… Maybe I’m missing the point. Maybe it’s supposed to be charming, but it just seems like he wastes a lot of energy. The art’s okay, Concrete being a really boring looking character but the desert […]

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Dark Horse Presents 1 (July 1986)

You know, I really didn’t expect Dark Horse Presents to open its first issue with a male overcompensation piece like Black Cross. Warner’s art’s amateurish and I guess it shows movie optioning is a comic book tradition (the character looks like Sylvester Stallone). It’s a dismal story. Chadwick’s two contributions are all right. The Concrete […]

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