I had an opportunity to speak with Aub Driver, the Publicity Coordinator for Dark Horse Comics. He was very gracious when answering my questions, and I could tell by the way he talked that he really likes his job. I mean come on, the guy gets to talk about comics all day. And not just comics, but all of the stuff that Dark Horse has their hands in; movies, action figures, vinyl statues, collectible pint glasses, and all manner of kick-ass entertainment merch. The first time you meet Aub, you immediately know that he’s not your typical PR person. Just look at him. Long blond hair in a tight ponytail, big black boots, a black jacket with Dark Horse buttons all over it, and piercings. And that’s why he’s perfect for Dark Horse, because they aren’t your typical publishing company.
First, a little background on Aub and how he landed such a great gig. He started out working for Roadrunner Records in NYC doing pomotions for Slipknot and a bunch of other bands that I didn’t pay attention to because they aren’t Slipknot (okay, he mentioned Theory of a Dead Man and Nickelback). When the music industry started going south (because of all of you damn torrenters) he jumped ship and headed out to Seattle to try his luck there. After a couple of years banging around doing promo stuff for some independent bands he found out about a job working at Dark Horse and the rest is history.
Now the reason I say that Dark Horse isn’t your typical publisher is because they don’t generally create their own superheroes with crazy other-worldly abilities. They work with other companies and license their intellectual properties in order to give you, the fan, more of a story than you would get from the original source. Serenity (bitches love the Whedonverse), Dollhouse, The Guild, Star Wars, Turok (that damned crazy dinosaur hunter), Mass Effect, Rage, Left 4 Dead, Portal, Team Fortress 2, Axe Cop (you don’t know Axe Cop?? You need to educate yourself. Now.) and the list goes on. These are the universes that you already know and can’t get enough of. You prove that time and again when you stay up for just 1 more mission; when you watch every episode over and over again; when you buy a lightsaber just to smack things with it and hear the impact sounds… Dark Horse is here to give you more of what you already love. Ask any Browncoat if he wants more Firefly and the answer will be an emphatic “YES!” every single time.
For anyone that has ever seen any of the Dark Horse products, specifically the comic book line, you know that they put a lot of work into making a genuinely good product instead of just shoveling something out the door and hoping that the name sells the product. Certainly the name is enough to draw you in, but the quality makes you stick around for more. With names like Valve, Bioware, and Star Wars (among many, many more) there is a lot to pull from and some deep storylines that they are able to dip into. They know that they people they are creating for are a very particular and discerning lot, so they make sure to get the details right.
They took they level of detail from the books and moved it into the collectables. They put everything into the Normandy and it looks positively amazing. I’ve been reading a lot of the stuff that’s coming out in the next coupe of weeks and I can say that it is some of the best I’ve read in terms of both art and storyline. The Valve properties are especially fun, since I’m a bit of a fan.
Along with the new comic book properties, they are also winding the clock back quite a bit on some of the collectables. They have vinyl statues of some classic Marvel heroes on display here at NYCC. Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, and all of the Fantastic 4 including Dr. Doom all faithfully recreated in great detail. Each one of them comes in its own metal case, none of that cheap-ass plastic. And then right next to all of the comics and video game collectables we have a Bettie Page pint glass set. They’ve got their hands in a lot of cookie jars, but they are putting just as much love and dedication into every one of them.
If I have mentioned anything in this article that interests you in any way (and I know that I did because you’re all a bunch of geeks), you need to check out the Dark Horse lineup. If you’re not the kind of person that would want to walk into a comic book store, or you don’t want to admit to your friends that you read comics (liar), they have you covered there as well. BOOM! Digital copies, straight from the publisher. I have personally fallen in love with digital comics because it allows me to zoom in on each panel and really enjoy the intricate detail that a lot of artists throw in, but you can’t really see due to the standard size of the books.
Dark Horse. Go. Read. Watch.
Stay tuned for photo galleries!