The width and breath of the Dark Horse creative team is displayed in Dark Horse Presents #13.
Dark horse Presents #13 showcases a preview of 9 creator owned stories, all of very different genres and styles. From the Vampiric horror story criminal macabre to novella profile: a cross story, supernatural hero the occultist to war era hero black beetle and even an aliens tie in story, the net is cast far and wide regarding the talent on offer.
However, despite the impressive and diverse array of talent, I struggled to fully invest myself in this issue. This I feel was due, to a main extent, by the books size. At 83 pages, this book is a great deal bigger than any normal issue.
That said, despite the obstacle of its size, much of the content was incredibly entertaining. Ghost, by Kelly Sue McCormick and Phil Noto (the second time I've seen his name this week) was a beautiful piece which could easily be a done in one (although I suspect it's set-up for its own ongoing), As was Mike Richardson's The Occultist, which felt very similar to a Witchblade or Darkness book. Criminal Macabre was a fun Dog soldier’s style story with great art similar in vein to Richard Corben's work. There was also Black Beetle, by Francesco Francavilla, had gorgeous gothic art that I really liked and Dean Motter's Mister X, where the style felt very reminiscent of the Who is Jake Ellis? series.
Of course, this books content is not without lesser works. While enjoying it, I struggled with the novella piece Cross, although this may have been due to the unexpected change in medium (I never seem to expected novel format in a comic book, shame on me). However, other pieces had no such excuse with an untitled story (well I assume it was, I look but couldn't see one) having very unkept art which was detrimental to the story (which wasn't much better), and the piece entitled Finder which made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.
With an anthology book like this, there are bound to be more parts of the whole which are a struggle to read (unlike a normal issue which is simply one long continuation of themes). However, despite the problem entries in this book, and its massive size, it is still a worthy read, if only to see some ideas before they become bigger and determine if they are worthy for future buy piles.