The PopCult Comix Bookshelf

Murky World
by Richard Corben
Dark Horse Books
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1506734743

I’ve been a fan of Richard Corben’s work, probably, since I was eight years old. My older brother bought Warren’s Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella comics magazines, and I fell in love with Corben’s art. Nobody drew like him, with a unique mix of cartoon dynamism and ultra-realistic rendering.

Dakr Horse is collecting Corben’s work in a series of deluxe hardcovers, and this first release, Murky World, collects, for the first time, stories that were originally published by Dark Horse and in Heavy Metal Magazine over the last ten year’s of Corben’s life.

It is remarkable that in his long career, he never lost a step. This work is as rich and vital as the first stories I saw by him, over fifty years ago.

In addition to Corben’s entire Murky World series, this book features never-before-seen sketch material, the Dark Horse Presents one-shot, and an introduction by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, all presented in a gorgeous hardcover with a dust jacket.

The story is in the spirit of Corben’s Den and Mutant World sagas, sword-and-sorcery epics with sci-fi overtones, set in a surreal barren wasteland and populated with grotesque mutants and hyper-muscular heroes. We take a quick detour for the publisher’s blurb…

In Murky World, Tugat the warrior wakes from a strange dream only to find himself in a bizarre land populated by hungry deadlings, cruel necromancers, buxom cyclopes, evil cults, and more as he sets off on a dangerous journey with his beloved horse Frix.

The story moves briskly, filled with Corben’s trademark humor, sexuality and action and the presentation is just beautiful, with Corben’s art fully restored and remastered and impeccably printed.

Murky World has been selling briskly in the few weeks since its release. It’s long-overdue for Rich Corben to get his proper recognition. His career has been amazing, starting out at a Kansas City commercial film house before breaking into professional comics at the age of 30. He retained ownership of his characters until he branched out to work for DC, Vertigo and Marvel in his 60s. Along the way he painted the cover of Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell album and had a large segment based (poorly) on his Den comics in the Heavy Metal movie.

His comics work ranks among the best ever produced, and while it sucks that we lost him at the age of 80 in late 2020, it’s great that his work will live on in a series of deluxe hardcover collections. I’s telling that, among the complimentary blurbs on the back of the book, two of the come from Alan Moore and Moebius.

Murky World can be ordered from any bookseller and select comic book shops by using the ISBN code. It’s currently sold out at Amazon, but may be restocked soon.