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Dark Horse International was a subsidiary of Dark Horse Comics based in London[1] responsible for publishing Dark Horse material in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1992. Dark Horse International was responsible for producing Aliens (1991 magazine), after taking over the publication from Trident Comics, and the spin-off publication Alien3 Movie Special, as well as the anthology magazine Total Carnage, which serialized several Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comics.

In addition to its various Aliens/Predator/Aliens vs. Predator-related publications, Dark Horse International produced several other comics magazines, all of which primarily reprinted American comic books from its parent company for the British market. It ultimately went bankrupt in 1994, just two years after it started operating.

History

Dark Horse Comics established their International branch to take advantage of the demand for their comics in the UK, where they were only available as expensive imports from a limited number of speciality comic shops.[2] However, rather than simply reissuing the comics in their existing form, the company incorporated them into monthly magazines that also included exclusive content such as news and interviews. The UK operation was run by Liliana Bolton, wife of long-time Aliens comic book cover artist John Bolton.

The company produced several magazines during its brief period of operation, with Aliens arguably being its flagship title, being its longest-running publication, in print from the company's beginning until its end. Other notable monthly magazines produced by Dark Horse International included the film-based publications Alien3 Movie Special, The Terminator, Star Wars, Dracula and Jurassic Park, as well as the anthology magazines Total Carnage, Manga Mania and Max Overload!.[2] Several of these magazines included additional material beyond the titular franchise — for instance, early issues of Aliens included Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comics, while The Terminator and Star Wars included RoboCop and Indiana Jones stories, respectively. Both Aliens and The Terminator were taken over from Trident Comics, who had previously performed a similar role of reprinting Dark Horse comic books in the UK. Dark Horse International publications were easily recognized by the prominent colored stripe, approximately half an inch wide, that ran down the left edge of the front cover, inside which publication information (title, issue number, publication date, price etc.) was printed.

The comapny went out of business in 1994 as a result of the collapse in comic book sales during the mid-1990s, resulting in the premature cancellation of many of its publications.

Publications

  • Aliens (Jun 1992-Apr 1994)
  • Alien3 Movie Special (Aug-Sep 1992)
  • The Terminator (Oct 1992-Feb 1993)
  • Star Wars (Oct 1992-Jul 1993)
  • Dracula (Jan-Oct 1993)
  • Total Carnage (Apr 1993-Jan 1994)
  • Manga Mania (Jul 1993-Sept 1994)
  • Jurassic Park (Jul 1993-May 1994)
  • Max Overload! (Mar 1994)

A RoboCop magazine was also announced for early 1994, but due to the financial troubles at Dark Horse International it never materialized.[2]

Trivia

  • After Dark Horse International went bankrupt, the company's Manga Mania magazine was continued by Manga Entertainment, before later passing to Titan Comics.[2] Titan would produce their own (short-lived) Aliens magazine in the late 90s, which shared many similarities with the Dark Horse publication of the same name.

References

  1. Dave Hughes, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Alien3 Movie Special #1, p. 1 (1992), Dark Horse International.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Hasslein Blog - The Alien/Predator Comic Strips, Part Two". Retrieved on 2015-06-15.

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