Avatar Press has announced they'll be publishing a new book from CBR's very own Steven Grant called "Mortal Souls." The series begins in March of 2002, written by Grant with art by "Heavy Metal" and "Frank Frazetta Illustrated" artist Phil Xavier.
In the release Avatar describes the series as "A project grounded in both crime and horror, Mortal Souls reaches beyond both of those nightmare genres. Pursuing an unpredictable killer, police detective Eric Sharpe watches his life turn into a waking nightmare as the killer, in her last living act, gives him 'the sight.' He discovers the existence of 'Qelipoth,' which literally means the husks of the dead. They're dangerous creatures, once men but now without souls, consumed by their own emptiness and hunger and hating the living for the mere condition of being completely alive. The Qelipoth not only exist, they control the world. Now the only one who can tell who they are, Sharpe becomes their #1 enemy and target, and possibly the last hope of humanity on Earth."
"Lots of people can write stories that tug at your heart or make you smile," writer Warren Ellis said of Grant in the release. "Only Steven Grant can write stories that punch you in the face and steal your keys. He remains the best crime writer in comics."
Grant is excited to be working with Avatar on this project, particularly for the creative freedom they provides him.
"You can't do what you want for corporate comics, which are now focusing on "safe" projects," said Grant in the release. "They're not interested in creator-owned projects. They want to be polite, to not rock the boat, to maintain control. Only companies like Avatar Press now give writers free reign to do truly interesting or innovative work, especially work like 'Mortal Souls,' with ideas and themes that really haven't been tackled before in comics, that mixes genres and hopefully breaks new ground. I don't get notes from Avatar saying things like, 'make it more like Hellblazer' or 'make the hero nicer so we won't scare off movie studios.' The work is pure, it's clean, it's what I want it to be."
The first three pages of the book have been released by Avatar and can be found below. Click each image for an enlarged image.