Official Press Release
After Valentine’s Day warms your heart, Oni Press is preparing to send a shiver back down your spine with SPOOKED, a new original graphic novel by Antony Johnston (THE COURTYARD, THREE DAYS IN EUROPE) and Ross Campbell (TOO MUCH HOPELESS SAVAGES). The first of three new projects by Johnston scheduled for early next year, SPOOKED looks at the creepier side of London through the eyes of an extremely unusual fine artist named Emily Spook.
“SPOOKED is one of those books that took some time to come together,” said editor James Lucas Jones. “Don’t get me wrong, Antony’s pitch was fully formed and realized, but there were some stumbling blocks along the way. Format changes, artist changes, title changes-but it’s true what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and the challenges that arose in getting Emily’s story from concept to completion only helped to shape into one of my favorite projects.”
Emily Spook’s reputation in the indy art scene is growing. Her paintings have a devoted following and the ranks of that group continue to swell more every day. Emily should be thrilled but instead she’s terrified. You see, ever since she was a young girl, Emily has been somewhat of a hostel for ghosts. Visitors from the ether would drop in for a few days or a month or even years and from those specters Emily would draw inspiration. But lately the ghosts have disappeared, leaving Emily alone and unable to touch a canvas. When Simon’s consciousness first shows up inside Emily’s skull she’s relieved, but before long she fallen into the same web of mystics and murder that ended Simon’s life. Can the unlikely pair discover the truth about Simon’s gruesome death or will Emily join the spirits she’s played host to all these years?
“My website is called ‘MostlyBlack.com’ and I’ve worked under the name for almost ten years,” Johnston joked. “So it can hardly be a surprise that I’m finally writing a book about a goth artist and ghosts. And it’s plain to anyone who’s seen Ross’ work that it’s where his tastes lie, too. It’s a perfect marriage of sensibilities.”
“And talent,” added Jones. “Antony and Ross just go together like nose rings and black hair dye. They’re both incredibly versatile talents with long, varied careers ahead of them, but this project is something truly special. It’s not often the wavelengths overlap so perfectly and the shockwave is going to knock the comic reading public on its backside.”
“But the gothic art-world setting is just that, a setting,” Johnston said. “Underneath it’s a spooky mystery that anyone in the appropriate age-group can enjoy. My wardrobe may be all black, but yours doesn’t have to be to get into this story. Mind you, it probably wouldn’t hurt.”
“I love how you both talk in total PR speak,” chimed in Campbell. “You sound so authoritative. Whenever anyone asks me about the book, I just go quiet. You’ll have to teach me how to be so convincing.”
Relative newcomer Ross Campbell is an alumnus of the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design where he honed his sequential art skills, skills he put to use on the flashback sequences of the miniseries TOO MUCH HOPELESS SAVAGES!
“As soon as I saw Ross’ samples, I knew he was going to be going places,” commented Oni editor in chief Jamie S. Rich. “It was just a matter of finding the right project for him. His short sequences in HOPELESS SAVAGES really allowed him to get his motor all revved up. With SPOOKED he’s doing laps around the track at Mach 1 and there isn’t anything that could stand in his way. It’s exciting to see someone go from a group of five or six page scenes to an entire graphic novel and not miss a beat.”
SPOOKED joins the growing list of OniGNs-original graphic novels from veteran comic publisher Oni Press that explore a variety of themes and genres. It joins books from critically acclaimed creators like Steve Rolston, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Andi Watson, and Ande Parks & Eduardo Barretto.
“Emily has had ghosts in her head for as long as she can remember, and she’s been in my head for almost as long,” Johnston laughed. “Ross and I are both very excited that she’s finally seeing the light of day, ready to show the world what she’s got.”
SPOOKED is a 160 page black-and-white graphic novel for $14.95. The digest-sized volume features a new color cover by Campbell and Johnston and contains mature situations. It ships to comic book stores on February ??, 2004.