Orders open for “Den”, the first volume in the new Richard Corben Library from Dark Horse, an appeal goes out for original art for future volumes

Work is proceeding apace on the Corben Library, a series of deluxe graphic novels from Dark Horse, featuring the work of renowned creator Richard Corben.

The project was announced by the American publisher last year, and you can now pre-order Den Volume 1, due for release in August 2023 as an oversize (8 x 11″) hardcover book from your favoured retailer.

But can you help colourist and Project Art Director José Villarrubia in his quest for original art to help make this series truly definitive?

Den Volume 1 By Richard Corben (Dark Horse, 2023)

The first volume presents the long-out-print masterpiece “Den”, by fantasy legend Richard Corben. This special edition features art pages restored by long-time Corben collaborator José Villarrubia, who is the series Project Art Director, new lettering by Nate Piekos of Blambot, and plenty of bonus material, including an introductory essay by José, and a introduction by Emmy award-winning actor, comedian and longtime comic book fan, Patton Oswalt, all presented in a gorgeous hardcover with a dust jacket.

Thrust into a bizarre fantasy world called Neverwhere, the muscular adventurer Den goes on an exotic adventure through ancient ruins meeting an evil queen, her sacrificial doppelganger, bizarre lizard men, giant insects, and more strange and dangerous madness in this legendary saga brimming with horror, magic, and violence.

The story, for Mature Readers, was the inspiration for the Den segment of the cult classic film, Heavy Metal.

Richard Corben (1st October 1940 – 2nd December 2020) should need no introduction to most downthetubes readers. Described by writer Alan Moore as “a genuine giant of his chosen medium”, he’s well known for his legendary fantasy underground masterpieces published by Fantagor Press, as well as Heavy Metal, his work has been recognised internationally.

During his lifetime, he was awarded the Grand Prix at Angoulême as well having been inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame, and was the winner of the 2009 Spectrum Grand Master Award. He was elected to the The Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2012.

“Richard Corben stands among us like an extraterrestrial peak,” once noted fellow artist, the late Moebius. “He has sat in his throne a long time, above the moving and multi-colored field of world comics, like an effigy of the leader, a strange monolith, a sublime visitor, a solitary enigma.”

“The artist I most want to aspire to is Richard Corben,” film director Guillermo del Toro has said. “His style is visual and it tells the story just as you see it… …my favourite is Corben. I love everything he does, I love his stuff …he’s an amazing artist.”

Richard Corben art from the private collection of Corben Library Project Art Director and colourist José Villarrubia
Richard Corben art from the private collection of Corben Library Project Art Director and colourist José Villarrubia

Earlier this month, José announced he had completed restoration work on Volume 1 and 2 of the DEN series.

“All pages have been scanned from originals and I am reproducing the original colours. They look sensational!”

The acclaimed colourist, whose incredible colour restoration on DC Comics new Absolute Swamp Thing collection has received deserved acclaim, is also reaching out to the comics community to source original Corben art to work from on future volumes in the series.

“I am working on Volume 3, Children of Fire,” he explained on his Facebook page, “and some of the pages have been scattered in private collections. If you or someone you know, has access to any originals from Children of Fire (#1, #2, #3) and the Den Comic (#8, #9, #10), please DM to make arrangements to get a scan or scans.

“This will be Corben’s legacy, so it is very important to do it right.”

José is also seeking scans from original art of New Tales of the Arabian Nights, Rip in Time, Jeremy Brood, and Corben’s underground stories.

If you can help José in his quest for the original Richard Corben art he’s seeking, please Direct Message him via Facebook

Den: Neverwhere will be available in comic shops 26th July 2023 and in bookshops 8th August 2023 | ISBN 978-1506734729 | Pre-order it here from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Corben Studios: corbenstudios.com

Official website of Richard Corben, comic book, fantasy, and horror artist, run by his partner, Dona. Offers original art sales, gallery, information on all things Corben

Murky World HC will be available at comic stores 26th April 2023 and in bookstores 9th May 2023 | ISBN 978-1506734743 | Pre-order it here from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

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, a buxom cyclops, evil cults, and more as he sets off on a dangerous journey with his beloved horse Frix.

This special edition collects the entire Murky World series in print for the first time, and also features never-before-seen sketch material, the Dark Horse Presents one-shot, and a foreword by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, all presented in a gorgeous hardcover with a dust jacket.

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