Tentacle Tuesday: Dark Horse, Pt. 1

Today’s Tentacle Tuesday is dedicated to Dark Horse Comics, one of the largest independent comic companies (the third largest, period, after Marvel and DC – at least according to their website). That being said, I’m not a huge dusky stallion fan – one of my gripes is that this publisher tends to reprint older comics (like the Harvey Comics Treasuries) on inappropriately glossy paper, as well as ramp up the contrast on the art until the background is so dazzlingly white you could probably blind yourself with it. On the other hand, a lot of mangas translated to English are published by their imprint, Dark Horse Manga – I am profoundly grateful for What’s Michael?, for instance (even though it’s not the first thing that comes to mind, manga-wise).

Throughout DH’s run (it was formed in 1986), it has housed the work of quite a few influential artists and writers, as well as published many long-running and award-winning series. Overall, this publishing house is a force to be reckoned with… and a lot of their pet series (like Hellboy) have tentacles galore. Shall we take a look-see?

Ragemoor#2-JanStrnad-RichardCorben
Ragemoor no. 3 (May 2012), cover by Richard Corben.

I’ll get around to reading Dept. H one of these days, but in the meantime, some tentacles from this suspenseful (or so say the reviews!) deep-sea who-dunnit:

DarkHorseDept.+H+hardcover+v1
Dept. H no.1 (April 2016), cover by Matt Kindt.
DeptH7
Dept. H no. 7 (October 2016), cover by Matt Kindt, colours by Sharlene Kindt.
DarkHorseBlack Hammer Justice League#1
Black Hammer / Justice League no. 1 (July 2019), a variant cover by Yuko Shimizu.

I mentioned Hellboy earlier – speaking of that, unsurprisingly, a large chunk of today’s post features covers from this ever popular series. But am I going to show you regular covers? Naah, too obvious.

«Dark Horse Comics printed a precious few blank covers on the landmark Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952 #1, and the Hero Initiative commissioned 100+ top artists to do an original drawing on each cover. Presented here is the gallery of ALL 109 original covers!» (See them here.)

I picked a few that I liked, but make sure you click on that link because about three quarters of those commissioned covers are awash in tentacles. Now that’s what I call good, nay, great commission art!

HellboyandtheBPRD1952-ChrisIvy
Cover by Chris Ivy. Chosen because despite the abundance of all manner of creatures, the eye is automatically drawn to the Cthulhian horror that’s politely waiting its turn for devouring and whatnot.
HellboyandtheBPRD1952_lanagan_walter
Cover by Walter Flanagan. They’re somewhat, shall we say, timid tentacles, but that’s what I like about ’em.
HellboyandtheBPRD1952_glendenning_ben
Cover by Ben Glendenning. Chosen because of the WTF factor of a creature with a dozen scaly, plant-like tentacle-arms.
HellboyandtheBPRD1952__crain_clayton
Cover by Clayton Crain. Probably the most gruesome cover of today’s post, included for the blood and entrails and disquieting albino-ness of it all.
HellboyandtheBPRD1952__allison_grace
Cover by Allison Grace. I hope that cigarette isn’t implying anything… untoward has happened.

And a last cover, just to leave you on a quiet, peaceful note…

AliensDefiance-no6- October2016
Aliens: Defiance no. 6 (October 2016).

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list – stay tuned for a Part 2, coming to your computer and cellphone screens sometime soon (when you least expect it!)

~ ds

4 thoughts on “Tentacle Tuesday: Dark Horse, Pt. 1

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