CCI Xtra: Dark Horse's Horror Line Revealed

Editor Scott Allie announced Dark Horse's new line of horror comics on Saturday at Comic-Con International. Also present were editor Shawna Gore, writers Arvid Nelson, Eric Powell, Steve Niles, Greg Ruth and artists Bernie Wrightson and Jason Alexander.

The biggest announcement was that Wrightson and Niles will collaborate on a new book called "City of Others." Veteran horror artist Wrightson said the book has "vampires, werewolves, zombies, and giant bugs. It runs the gamut… and there's more blood than you can bathe in." The audience was shown one page from the book featuring what can only be described as a decapitated head inside a woman's stomach. Niles and Wrightson didn't say much more about their project, Wrightson saying instead, "the fun is in the finding out."

Next up was Nelson's project "Rex Mundi." Nelson described the book as "Similar to the Da Vinci Code in some ways" and said it explores "what it means to be a Christian and to grow up in a Christian culture…" Nelson discussed the research he did into the Middle Ages for this book. "Fear means different things to different people at different times," Nelson said. "In the Middle Ages, people weren't afraid of the devil -- they were more afraid of heresy -- which says that maybe your understanding of religion, or God is somehow incomplete, maybe what you understand of Jesus is actually wrong… [Rex Mundi] awakens that old fear, that old fascination with heresy." The book, with art by Juan Ferreyra, will be out next month.

Alexander then discussed his collaboration with Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson on "The Secret." Alexander described the book as "teen horror" and said, "It's genuine, it's good, it's disturbing…it's got a fantastic bad guy, and it's scary as hell." The panel also mentioned in passing "Abe Sapien," Alexander's project with Mike Mignola (Hellboy) and showed some art from the book.

Ruth discussed the book he is writing and drawing, "Sudden Gravity:" Ruth said it is the first graphic effort that he's done longer than four pages. "It's about the horror that happens to your family and friends," Ruth said. The book, which was inspired by research he did about the security in mental institutions and prisons, and the constant feeling of being watched. "It's about the way people watch each other," Ruth said. "Sudden Gravity" is on sale now.

Powell talked about his new three-issue anthology, "The Goon Noir." The series will feature stories by comedian Patton Oswalt, Niles, Bill Morrison, Powell himself, and many others and will be on sale in September.

Allie announced that Joss Whedon has signed on for a new "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" comic and has "an outline for about 20 issues." The book is "season 8 of the [TV] series," Allie said, and picks up a few months after the end of the series. The book will feature art by Georges Jeanty and covers by Jo Chen.

Due in November is the hardcover "Dark Horse Book of Monsters" with a collaboration between Mignola and Gary Gianni, stories by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, and an homage to Jack Kirby from Kurt Busiek and Keith Giffen. On the collaboration between Giffen and Busiek, Allie said, "It takes the hero world of Jack Kirby and the monster world of Jack Kirby… and mashes them together."

Also briefly mentioned was "The 13th Son," a 4-issue series from Kelly Jones about "the ultimate monster" and a possible follow-up series "The 13th Son of the 13th Son."

In response to an audience member's question, Allie said EC and titles like "Creepy" and "Eerie" were big inspirations. With the new line, Dark Horse seems on its way towards what Allie said is founder Mike Richardson's goal, to be "the EC of the Modern Age "

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