JULY 21, SAN DIEGO, CA–Dark Horse is proud to again deliver a loaded catalog of new projects that exemplify the evolution of the comics medium. Here are just a few of the highlights from this year’s Comic-Con International:

365 Samurai and a Few Bowls of Rice—Swiss artist J. P. Kalonji’s graphic novel comes to America. A young swordfighter must kill 365 samurai on a quest to avenge his master—in a fun, humorous, cartoony style.

Age of Reptiles—Film designer Ricardo Delgado returns with the third installment of his epic (silent) dinosaur comics series. Carnivores hunt herbivores on a migration south.

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War—The 2009 relaunch of the Aliens and Predator series comes together with a creative team of John Arcudi and Rick Leonardi.

Archie Archives—The classic Archie comic books get the deluxe treatment in a series of hardcovers as the newest editions to the Dark Horse Archives series.

Blacksad—Collecting all three of the international award-winning European volumes, the third of which has not been published in English before. This crime noir about a cat detective, PI John Blacksad, is a phenomenal anthropomorphic story with fully painted artwork. By Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido.

Casper Anniversary Special—A 64-page hardcover celebrating Casper’s sixtieth anniversary and featuring his first appearance in comics.

Conan: The Weight of the Crown—Darick Robertson writes and draws our first Conan one-shot since the Conan the Cimmerian relaunch. This comic is part of Dark Horse’s all-new One-Shot Wonders program.

Dark Horse GelaSkins—Decorative coverings for phones and laptops featuring some of Dark Horse’s most popular properties, including The Umbrella Academy, Yoshitaka Amano, Tim Burton, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, and many more. A select few will be available at the Dark Horse booth during the convention as supplies last. The whole program is set to launch in September 2009.

DevilDevil is an original Japanese manga being created for Dark Horse by Torajiro Kishi and animation powerhouse Madhouse Studios, featuring genetically designed vampires in a sci-fi police drama set in Tokyo.

ElectropolisElectropolis: The Infernal Machine is the perfect companion to Mister X: Condemned. Visionary artist Dean Motter revisits his unique brand of “antique futurism” in a story full of familiar faces, including a memorable cameo by Mister X himself.

Final Fantasy Boxed Set—A luxurious edition that stays true to the original Japanese collection of the complete Final Fantasy artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.

Furry Water and Mesmo Delivery—Eisner winner Rafael Grampá comes to Dark Horse with two books: Mesmo Delivery, a reprint of his psychedelic small-press debut; and Furry Water, cowritten with Daniel Pellizzari, a six-issue postapocalyptic action comic.

One-Shot Wonders—A new program running from October to December, highlighting some of Dark Horse’s biggest characters and properties in standalone comics retailing at $3.50 each. The program includes “Sugarshock,” Conan, Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Star Wars (two titles), “Dr. Horrible,” and The Goon.

The Art of Blade of the Immortal—Hardcover edition of the original Japanese book with 32 new bonus pages not previously available. This book will be in the style of the Dark Horse The Art of . . . and Library Edition series.

Millennium Prime Minister Vol 1 by Eiki Eiki Manga Review

Title: Millennium Prime Minister Vol 1

Author: Eiki Eiki

Publisher: Doki Doki

ISBN: 9781569700921

May Contain Spoilers

Minori’s life was rather hum-drum, until the day she decides to play hooky.  Dropping into an arcade, she trashes an unseen opponent in a video game – and ends up engaged!  All she wanted to do was add a little excitement to her life, but now she’s gone and over done it!  How can she get rid of the very persistent, and equally attractive, Kanata Okazaki?

This book has a believability factor of zero, but that didn’t bother me one bit.  Minori is your average high school student who unexpectedly turns her life upside down when she skips school.  She meets the very pushy Kanata Okazaki, who insists that she’s the only girl good enough to be his first lady.  Minori doesn’t understand a word he’s saying, until she gets home later that day and discovers that she’s just met the new prime minister of Japan.  Not only is he the youngest prime minister in history, he’s also the best looking. Oh, and don’t forget he’s also the most self-assured and pompous one as well.

The personalities have me hooked. Minori isn’t really cut out for all of this attention, but she’s got a no-nonsense attitude that helps her deal with all of the chaos.  Not only is Minori suddenly a media darling, she is also surrounded by a group of the prime minister’s beautiful friends.  These guys are hot, and they all add another level of complexity to Minori’s new life.  Her parents are a riot, and seeing a promising match for their daughter, and a self-assured future for themselves, they practically pack her up and trundle her off to her new home.  To protect her from the lime-light, she is forced to move into the prime minister’s residence.  Oh, my! This delightfully wicked living arrangement doesn’t yield any juicy moments in this volume, but down the line, we can always hope.  Now not only does she have to deal with Kanata, but there’s also the surly Sai, his aide, Matsumoto, a reporter, and Makita, the head of security, to get under foot.  Not all of them are very happy to have the interloper in their midst, either.

This book plays off of some fun fantasies, and makes me wonder how I can round up my own little harem of drop dead gorgeous guys.  This is brain candy through and through, with pretty pictures and a fluffy plot that entertains and amuses.  So far, all of the Doki Doki books have delivered light and enjoyable stories, and the line has become my favorite DMP imprint.

Grade: B+

Review copy provided by Doki Doki