Dark Horse Digital
In celebration of Halloween, Dark Horse is offering 50 percent off more than 800 digital horror titles — for today only.
Given the publisher’s penchant for horror, the selection is pretty extensive, ranging from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hellboy families to The Strain and The Goon. There’s even a bit of manga — they include MPD-Psycho, Hellsing and two of my favorites, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and Mail — in the mix. So prepare to browse and browse. No specific ending time is mentioned, but I’m guessing midnight Pacific.
In a similar seasonal vein, comiXology’s Halloween sales — with discounts on Marvel Zombies, Locke & Key Vol. 2, Tales From the Crypt and Afterlife With Archie #1 — end today.
Just ahead of New York Comic Con, Dark Horse has announced Mandala, an upcoming sci-fi graphic novel by Stuart Moore and Bruce Zick. The first chapter is available beginning today on Dark Horse Digital for $2.99.
In Mandala, humanity is secretly enslaved by a mind-control cage galled the GRID, and it’s up to Mike Morningstar and his spiritual special-ops unit The Thirteen to alter time and take down the GRID before it’s too late.
“Mandala is probably the biggest-scale epic I’ve ever worked on: a saga of original sin and possible redemption that spans millennia and crosses the timelines” Moore said in a statement. “At its core, it’s the story of Michael Morningstar, a guy who — like many of us — has to find his way in a world he doesn’t quite understand. The characters’ alliances shift constantly, along with the timelines.”
The creators will be signing throughout New York Comic Con at the Dark Horse booth (#1175).
With a click of the “Buy Now” button, readers could download 50 first issues through the company’s online storefront. Worth $168.50, the titles ranged from from the first issues of 1994′s Hellboy: Seeds of Destruction and 2002′s B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth to far more recent series, like The Massive, Mind MGMT and The Black Beetle: No Way Out.
“The success of our digital promotion illustrates the growing reach of digital comics, which we believe are an important element in the recent resurgence of physical comic book and graphic novel sales,” Dark Horse President Mike Richardson said in a statement.
To mark the second anniversary of Dark Horse Digital, the publisher is making 50 first issues available for free with a single click of the “Buy Now” button. Sure, it’s not nearly the magnitude of last month’s 700-issue offer from Marvel and comiXology, but remember what happened with that.
The digital giveaway gets you $168.50 worth of comics, ranging from the first issues of 1994′s Hellboy: Seeds of Destruction and 2002′s B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth to far more recent series, like The Massive, Mind MGMT and The Black Beetle: No Way Out.
Although no date is given for the end of the offer, Dark Horse cautions “this is a very limited time offer.” The publisher also announced this morning that it will offer comics from Dynamite Entertainment through its digital storefront.
Following up on Kevin’s post from last week on holiday-related sales, here area few more comic-related deals for Cyber Monday — plus a few that extend into the month of December:
• Fantagraphics will hold a 30 percent off sale on almost 100 items on their site Monday, where you can also get their exclusive minicomics.
• Dark Horse Digital is offering comics fans 50 percent off their entire order ($15 minimum) for 24 hours on Monday, if you use the code “dhdcyber” when you check out.
• The Devastator kicks off a round of holiday deals tomorrow on their site. “Subscriptions, single issues, art prints and other goodies will be bundled up for Christmastime Consumerism.” They’ll have deals tomorrow through Dec. 15.
• Writer Ron Marz once again has kicked off his annual “Comics for Tots” drive, where you can buy comics autographed by Ron and others, and he’ll use the money to buy toys for Toys for Tots.
• Any books purchased from the Cartoon Books store through Dec. 19 will be autographed by Jeff Smith. If you haven’t read RASL, you can pick up all four volumes of it for $50, plus they’ve got some cool Bone hoodies available.
Fans who can’t get enough of Dragon Age have the chance to return to Thedas today and revisit three of the characters they got to know over the course of the original video game and its sequel, as Dark Horse Comics and BioWare team up for a new story starring the saucy pirate Isabela, wisecracking Varric and the king of Ferelden himself, Alistar Therein. The bi-weekly series is available through Dark Horse’s digital comics store starting today, with a collection due from the publisher in July.
The other piece of good news for fans is that the comic is written by David Gaider, BioWare’s lead writer for both Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, as well as the author of the three Dragon Age novels that have been released. Gaider teams up with Alexander Freed, who is writing the script, and artist Chad Hardin to bring the characters from your Playstation 3, X-Box 360 or PC to the comic page.
Gaider was kind enough to answer a few questions about his background, the comic and his work on the Dragon Age franchise in general. My thanks for his time.
JK Parkin: I hear you were a comic fan and even a budding comic artist back in the day. What were some of your favorite comics, and do you still read them today?
David Gaider: I don’t read any of the comics today that I used to follow—which were mostly superhero titles like the X-Men, though I doubt that’s surprising. The comics I read today are almost exclusively collected editions: The Walking Dead and Fables being current examples.
Just like we did with Black Friday, we’ve rounded up various deals on comics and comic-related stuff that you can get on Cyber Monday. And since at least one of the deals kicks off at midnight Pacific time, I thought I’d go ahead and post the list now instead of waiting for tomorrow morning. I’ll add any additional deals I discover throughout the day.
Also, if you did check out our Black Friday list, some of these are repeats from it, as several places have deals that have been running all weekend and go through Monday. I’ve put the new stuff up top, after the deal that starts at midnight …
Dark Horse Comics has another digital deal set up for Cyber Monday: the first 500 customers through Dark Horse Digital will get a 50 percent discount. There’s a $20 minimum, and the deal runs for 24 hours beginning at midnight Pacific Time on Nov. 28; you’ll also need a coupon code: dhcyber. You can find more details here.
And if you buy $100 worth of stuff from Things from Another World on Monday, they’ll give you $10 worth of digital Dark Horse Comics.
If you’re like me, instead of heading out to the mall to face the hectic Black Friday crowds (some of whom are apparently armed with pepper spray), you’re sitting at home nursing a turkey hangover and looking for good deals on the internet. Here are a few places you may want to check out for your gift-giving or personal shopping needs, and if you’re up for adventuring outdoors, Bleeding Cool has a great roundup of shops holding sales today.
ComiXology has a bunch of digital comics for 99 cents today. DC Comics is holding a Blackest Friday sale, allowing you to buy each issue of the Blackest Night crossover for 99 cents each. Marvel has Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four issues on sale for 99 cents, while IDW has their Star Trek comics on sale.
As they announced last month, Dark Horse has begun its digital retailer exclusive program with an eight-page B.P.R.D. comic that will be available only through brick-and-mortar comics stores. The comic is free, and honestly, the whole thing seems a little loose: Each store gets 100 single-use download codes to distribute to customers as they please. The idea is to reward loyal customers, although since each retailer gets 100 codes, regardless of size, and there don’t seem to be any specific criteria (i.e., buying a particular comic or combination of comics), it seems a bit capricious—it’s likely that small retailers will end up with unused codes while large retailers (who may not even know who their most loyal customers are) will have a shortage. Anyway, the codes were distributed to stores on Friday so this is probably the week to get one.
If you can, that is: There are huge swaths of the country that have no comics shops at all, and even in my area, Boston, none of the three shops I am most likely to go to is participating, which means I’d have to drive out of my way to get the comic. I suppose a sharp retailer would keep a handful of codes on hand for new customers as a way to build loyalty—giving me a freebie is a sure way to get me to come back to your store. Anyway, I’d be interested to hear from people who did get the comic—did you have to ask for it or did your retailer offer it? And was it worth the trip?
When Dark Horse announced their digital comics program last October, one element they called out was how they planned to offer digital comics through traditional brick and mortar comic retailers. Today via press release they revealed the specifics, as well as the first three comics you’ll need to visit your local comic shop in order to download.
So how does it work? Let’s go right to the press release:
During July through September 2011, Dark Horse will e-mail exclusive retailers a sheet of one hundred unique (one-time use) digital-download codes at the beginning of every month. The store simply prints out the codes and hands them out to loyal customers!
Customers redeem the coupon code and get their free digital comic by visiting Digital.DarkHorse.com/RetailerExclusive.
Fans should head over to their local comic shop and tell them to sign up today! Retailers can simply e-mail their business name, business address, e-mail address, and Diamond account number to email@example.com to be a part of this exciting new program! Please note: In order to be eligible for this program, you must sign up by June 22.
The program launches in July with B.P.R.D.: Casualties, with a Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic slated for August and a Mass Effect comic for October. Each digital comic is eight pages long and is free.
If you didn’t have a chance to make it to your local comics retailer this past Saturday, never fear — it’s always Free Comic Book Day on the web. Here are a few places you can find digital editions of the FCBD comics released on Saturday, plus a few more freebies because, hey, free comics:
- Both of Dark Horse’s FCBD books, Criminal Macabre/Baltimore and Avatar: The Last Airbender/Star Wars: The Clone Wars, will be available for download from Dark Horse Digital starting today through the end of the month.
- Image’s offering, the Super Dinosaur Origin Special, can be downloaded for free from comiXology.
- BOOM!’s Elric book can be read in full on Comic Book Resources, along with Th3rd World Studios’ The Intrepid Escapegoat.
- Jay Hosler has posted an eight-page story he did for Evolution of Adventure, a minicomic given away at The Comic Swap in State College, Penn.
- Dr Pepper is serializing a Thor and Sif comic on their website. It’s titled “Rescue,” I wonder if it’ll end with Thor’s thirst being rescued by the cool taste of Dr Pepper? Joking aside, it’s by Jeff Parker and Kev Sharpe, which definitely makes it worth checking out.
- Paul Maybury has made an eight page comic called “Clock” available for free.
- Eisner nominee Frank Stockton has posted his nominated short story, “Hamburgers for One,” on his blog.
- Finally, ACT-I-VATE today posted a one-shot comic called “Hurricane Wilma” by Omar Angulo.
Retailing | Borders Group says it’s determined that fewer than 150 customer names and emails were “obtained” by outsiders when a website published a searchable database of information associated with the retailer’s Borders Rewards loyalty program. The site, apparently set up by the marketing firm that helped the bookseller design and implement the program, was shut down over the weekend after Borders learned of its existence. A spokeswoman said the company is continuing its investigation. Borders Rewards has more than 41 million members. [AnnArbor.com]
Retailing | Amazon’s first-quarter profits tumbled 33 percent, even as revenue rose 38 percent, due largely to the costs of expanding its warehouse and data centers. [The New York Times]
Conventions | For the first time, organizers of the American Library Association’s Annual Conference & Exhibition will make space available for an artists alley — for free. This year’s conference, which will draw about 19,000 librarians, is held June 23-28 in New Orleans. [American Library Association, via The Beat]