Title: MySpace Dark Horse Presents Volume 5.
Author: Jane Espenson, Felicia Day, David Malki!, Scott Allie, Jesse Reklaw, Matt Sundstrom, Rock Geary, Roman Muradov, Matt, Kindt, Adam Gallardo, Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca, Damon Gentry, Ananth Panagariya, Cody Goodfellow, Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier, Jeff Parker, Dean Motter, John Arcudi, Scott Allie, and Darick Robertson.
Artist: Karl Moline, Jim Rugg and Juan Ferreyra, David Malki!, Jill Thompson, Kevin McGovern, Jesse Reklaw, Matt Sundstrom, Rick Geary, Roman Muradov, Matt Kindt, Todd Demong, Jim Rugg, Aaron Conley, Yuko Ota, Jeff Wamester, Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier, Ben Dewey, Dean Motter, M.S. Corley, Guy Davis, and Darick Robertson.
Genre: Fiction, graphic novel, anthology, short stories.
Publication Date: August, 2010.
Summary: This volume contains 21 graphic short stories, many already part of or spin-offs of existing canons. In Harmony Comes to the Nation, a part of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe, Harmony does a TV interview and remains very much herself. In The Guild, a young woman tries to justify herself and others playing a role-playing game, but ends up defeating her own argument. In The Gax of Life:, a Wondermark tale, Gax, a dinosaur-like creature who is the last of his species, asks for love advice from a good friend of his, but the species he is a part of may have irreconcilable differences with the human way of courting. In Here Comes Suzy Snowflake is a graphic short story about some mischievous and cruel snowflakes. In No Return, a part of the Exurbia story-line, a homeless man struggling to survive and a corporate tight-ass late for work, get taught a valuable lesson by a strung out rat-man. In Going to Work, an ambitious and over-confident man borrows and lies to get his comic book shop off the ground, but his lies and loans pile up, and soon enough he has to face the music. In Scraps, a young man helps a young woman get some hands on some ill-gotten wire, and though they live in a bleak, post-apocalyptic world, she puts the wire to a hopeful and magical use. Our Boarding House describes the movements of the residents of a boarding house one morning, when a body is found under the stairs, and all clues point to one tenant. In Antlers, a strange man with deer antlers offers some magic coffee beans to a stall owner, with dire warning, and when the old man doesn't act prudently, a wise and underappreciated young woman working for him puts things back in their place and prospers. In The Secret Files of the Giant Man in Egypt, the giant three-storey man visits Egypt on his world tour, but the cuisine doesn't agree with him, which puts a strain on some unfortunate workers. In Dalton: Promise Kept, Dalton, a young female outlaw, chases down a police convoy with her gang, to liberate the prisoner in order to fulfill a promise she made him when he abandoned her. In Duke Armstrong: The World's Mightiest Golfer, the best golfer in the world, Duke Armstrong, takes down war planes during a battle with his precise and powerful golf skills, but when he sinks a slightly odd-looking submarine, it turns out to be much more than that. The Horror Robber explores what makes terrors of the night flee in terrors. In Callie Eats Feathers, a Johnny Wander story, Johnny describes meeting a haunting and darkly beautiful Callie, who begins eating crow feathers, and transforms into something horrible. In Numeat, a newly laboratory engineered humane meat that is humane but very addictive, has some horrifying side-effect on a family. In The Hogs of Horder, a part of the Groo the Wanderer universe, Groo's poor grasp on metaphors gets a bunch of hogs in trouble instead of some guilty capitalists. In Blighter: Licensed Tracker, a bounty hunter comes from a divergent, true Earth to hunt a monster with the help of lateral time-travel. In The Vanishing Breed, a part of the Mister X universe, the mysterious Mister X comes back to the city and, with some help from old friends and a mysterious disappearance drug, takes on the newly all-powerful Central Administration Authority. Mens Iniuria in Corpore Sano crosses the Sherlock Holmes and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde worlds, pairing Holmes and Watson against Jekyll and Hyde, but all is not quite as it seems on Baker Street. In All the Damned Souls at Sea, a part of Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane universe, Solomon slays a witch before boarding a ship, who then possesses the ship and attacks on the open ocean, causing Solomon to recall his own time as a sailor and eventually Captain in the Navy in his youth. Conan and the Mad King of Gaul, a part of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian universe, recounts Conan meeting the mad and vicious king of the Valley of Gaul and his army, and though he pilfers from him and is caught, they find a kindred spirit in each other and Conan joins the King with a set of new ambitions.
My rating: 7.5/10.
♥ "Listen, Gax. I'm glad you came to me with this. It's an important step in one's life when you stop simply taking whomever is drawn in by your horrific squeal and start following your heart. You do have a heart, right? Or some equivalent organ?"
"I have a collection of human hearts that I keep as trophies from past encounter with your soft kind."
♥ "Flowers? Oh, I think I see the logic! Any woman who reacts positively to a sudden offering of severed plant genitals is likely to respond equally well to a subsequent and immediate offering of my own."
"No! Gax, people who do that get put on lists. They can never live near a school."
♥ "Take it one step at a time. Maybe try a backrub? See where it goes from there."
"Capital! My species is excellent at backrubs. In fact, we have an organ designed specifically for it!"
"Is it your genitals?"
~~The Gax of Life: A Wondermark Tale.
♥ "There are things you find out on your own. There are things that you don't. And then there's good coffee.
♥ When I met her at a shopping mall outside the city, I thought Callie was pretty. Beautiful. A dark-eyed dream.
But when I really got to know her, I knew she would die alone. Something about her at her brightest was cold, intense, lumbering, out of place.
Wrong time. Wrong place. Wrong world.
♥ Callie was clumsy enough that every conversation was honest.
~~Callie Eats Feathers.
♥ When Kane eventually became a captain himself, his own boldness was not backed up by the quality of his men. He had found, in the Navy, leadership is not worthy to follow, and men not worth leading.
Thus God had shown him to walk alone. That he must find his true calling.
♥ He'd been a Captain himself. And this thing had been a boat. No witch or demon - boat. Whatever it was now - whatever Kane was now himself - he must be master.
Though he bled from head to foot, though he'd exhausted himself miles before he'd ever reached the sea, this was his service. This was his Commission. And his vengeance would not be denied - however hard it might be.
~~Solomon Kane: All the Damned Souls at Sea.