This May marks the debut of Joshua Williamson‘s newest Image Comics series, “Nailbiter.” In collaboration with artist Mike Henderson, Williamson will explore the tale of Edward Charles Warren, one of the sixteen serial killers spawned by Buckaroo, Oregon since 1969. The story opens with Warren’s capture, though there’s still a mystery surrounding Buckaroo, which raises the suspicions of NSA agent Nicholas Finch, who travels to the town to investigate any connection between the serial killers.
In anticipation of the series’ debut in May, CBR has an exclusive first look at “Deadly Class” artist Wes Craig‘s variant cover for “Nailbiter” #1, along with his pencils and uncolored inks.
“I pretty much always do thumbnails first but this was one of those extremely rare situations where I saw exactly what I wanted in my head, I told Joshua the idea, he was cool with it,” Craig told CBR News. “I decided to just draw out the final piece and see how it looked, I was really happy with it so I just went straight on to the inks and colors, and voila. The inspiration behind the piece was mostly Mike Mignola’s ‘Hellboy’ covers; trying to achieve that simple, perfect design he gives everything (also you can see Mignola’s touch in the way I drew that trail of blood at the bottom). And the other thing was the opening for the show “True Detective.” That kind of “image within an image” thing they do. And of course Joshua sent me a bunch of beautiful art from Nailbiter’s artist Mike Henderson, and that helped a lot too to see what the tone was going to be.”
“One of the challenging things Mike Henderson and I have been dealing with is the number of serial killers. Originally, we were going to have like, thirty killers from the town,” Williamson told CBR at this year’s Image Expo. “Then we started talking about it, and another editor told us to make it sixteen. He knew, for whatever reason. Mike and I sat down to try and create sixteen serial killers, and it was way harder than we thought it was going to be. We wanted each of them to be unique, to have a motive, some sort of method to their madness. We wanted them to have some sorts of code among themselves.”
“Nailbiter” #1 launches in May.