Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dark Horse Presents

Hands down, the very best.

I've made no bones about my preference for Dark Horse Comics over every other company in the business today. Their books rock, they still have room for a letters page, they maintain the best web presence of any company out there and they are home to both Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. which happen to be my two favorite comic book titles. Today I'd like to take a look at what makes them the best web presence of any comic book company on the internet.

Dark Horse has taken the novel approach of using the internet to supplement their books instead of using it to supplant their books. The Dark Horse method seems to be one of integration instead of elimination with both components working together to compliment each other rather than compete against each other. Comic books and the internet working together to enhance the overall experience of each other? What a novel concept!

Until the day comes where comics are exclusive to the internet why shouldn't the two mediums work together? Two of my favorite comic book websites are D. H. P. and the Hellboy Zone. Both offer free material and both are updated on a regular basis. There's always something fresh online and I've numerous times found myself reading something there first before adding a new title to my pull file. (Rapture for one.) Yeah, I hear those voices asking the question that always comes up when talking about an internet website; How much money are you making from it?

Let me tell you a little secret about making money. (I think it's one Dark Horse knows very well.) Are you paying attention? Here it is. If the only thing you care about is the customer's money, it's the last thing you'll ever get out of him. Did you catch that? Dark Horse gets my comic book dollar because they make me feel as valuable as my money. Who else in comics today has a letters page? What other comic book company offers email addresses where fan questions and comments receive actual responses?

Go here, here, here and here. What do these websites all have in common? They all talk at you about their product, but they don't give you an address to talk to them about it. They don't care about the fan. All they care about is our money. The message is loud and clear. And most of these websites rarely update their content. Again, they just don't really care...

The Dark Horse message seems to be, "What do you think and what do you want?". They care about comic book readers like the big two used to do. Visit Dark Horse. Visit some of the zones and check out the reading material offered on Dark Horse Presents. You'll find a fan friendly environment that welcomes both you and your input. You'll find yourself part of a dialog where fans are encouraged to participate, give voice and not just told to shut up and purchase.

Dark Horse Comics earn my money, they don't expect it. I think there's a lot to be learned from the Dark Horse business model right now and I wish some other companies would take a long hard look at how they do things and learn from the way they treat their customers. Respect is a two way street. Dark Horse gives as good as they get.

Seriously, go give these guys a look. Do it for no cost on "Free Comic Book Day" this Saturday May 2nd, 2009 at a comic book store near you. Aliens versus predator! Good stuff.


  1. Hello Dirk.
    I work at Dark Horse Comics. I was just forwarded this link by another member of our staff. The link was shared company wide, and I just wanted, for my part, to say thank you.
    you've make me proud to be a part of this company, more so then I already was.

  2. Thanks!

    I'm a fifty-four year old guy who has been reading comic books for a long time now.

    I thought the golden days were were long gone. Dark Horse is the best of what comics used to be and what they can be again.

    Marketing numbers, as in unit sales figures are not the number one standard to strive for.

    Quality story telling and customer satisfaction (in my opinion)will always result in sales figures and more importantly, "return sales figures".

    You people earn every single dollar you get from me. I mean it too. Yes, I read books from other companies too, but not nearly in the numbers I do yours.

    Please, keep up the good work.


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