DC Comics and Joe Hill team for horror comics
The Hollywood Reporter has brought word that DC Comics, who recently shuttered their long-running Vertigo imprint, are keeping the ball rolling on creator-controlled content with the signing of writer Joe Hill (NOS4A2) for a pop-up horror imprint, Hill House Comics.
The Locke & Key author, and son to horror icon Stephen King, has written two of the five stories set to be featured in the miniseries, with the other three stories being penned by The Girl with All the Gifts author Mike Carey, The Good Fight screenwriter Laura Marks and acclaimed short story writer and essayist Carmen Maria Machado. Sandman and The Unwritten veterans Kelley Jones and Peter Gross will be the artists for two of the stories.
“Anyone who’s paying attention knows we’re in the middle of a new golden age of horror: films like Get Out, Hereditary, It Follows and plain old It have raised the bar higher and higher,” Hill said in a statement. “Meanwhile, ongoing shows like AMC’s The Terror and Netflix’s Stranger Things have shattered preconceived notions about what’s possible in episodic terror TV. There’s great stuff happening in comics, of course — in a field of unbounded creativity and wacko visionaries, there’s always great stuff happening — but greedy me wants more.”
Hill House Comics is set to launch on October 30 just in time for Halloween with the first issue “Basket of Heads” from Hill, follwed by “The Low, Low Woods,” “The Dollhouse Family,” “Daphne Byrne” and “Plunge,” with more information set to be revealed at San Diego Comic-Con.
The official descriptions of the titles are as follows:
Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill and Leomacs; covers by Reiko Murakami
The rain lashes the grassy dunes of Brody Island, and seagulls scream above the bay. A slender figure in a raincoat carries a large wicker basket, which looks like it might be full of melons…covered by a bloodstained scrap of the American flag.
This is the story of June Branch, a young woman trapped with four cunning criminals who have snatched her boyfriend for deranged reasons of their own. Now she must fight for her life with the help of an impossible eighth-century Viking ax that can pass through a man’s neck in a single swipe — and leave the severed head still conscious and capable of supernatural speech.
Each disembodied head has a malevolent story of its own to tell, and it isn’t long before June finds herself in a desperate struggle to hack through their lies and manipulations…racing to save the man she loves before time runs out.
The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado and Dani; covers by J.A.W. Cooper
A mysterious plague is afflicting the small mining town of Shudder to Think, Pa. It strikes seemingly at random, eating away at the memories of those suffering from it. From tales of rabbits with human eyes, to deer women who come to the windows of hungry girls at night, this town is one of those places where strange things are always happening. But no one ever seems to question why.
The Low, Low Woods is a gruesome coming-of-age body-horror mystery series about two teenage women trying to uncover the truth about the mysterious memory-devouring illness affecting them and the people of the small mining town they call home — and the more they discover, the more disturbing the truth becomes.
The Dollhouse Family by Mike Carey and Peter Gross; covers by Jessica Dalva
On Alice’s sixth birthday, her dying great-aunt sends her the birthday gift she didn’t know she always wanted: a big, beautiful 19th-century dollhouse, complete with a family of antique dolls. In hardly any time at all, the dollhouse isn’t just Alice’s favorite toy…it’s her whole world.
Soon young Alice learns she can enter the house, to visit a new group of friends, straight out of a heartwarming children’s novel: the Dollhouse family. As the years pass, Alice finds herself visiting their world more frequently, slowly losing track of where reality ends and make-believe begins. What starts as play concludes in an eruption of madness and violence.
Childhood ends — but that little house casts a long shadow over Alice’s adult life. When the world becomes too much for her to bear, Alice finds herself returning to the dollhouse and the little folk within. The house can offer her a shelter from all her sorrows…but only if she gives it what it wants, and god help her if she tries to walk away again.
Daphne Byrne by Laura Marks and Kelley Jones; covers by Piotr Jabloński
In the gaslit splendor of late 19th-century New York, rage builds inside 14-year-old Daphne. The sudden death of her father has left her alone with her irresponsible, grief-stricken mother — who becomes easy prey for a group of occultists promising to contact her dead husband.
While fighting to disentangle her mother from these charlatans, Daphne begins to sense a strange, insidious presence in her own body…an entity with unspeakable appetites. And as she learns to wield this brutal, terrifying power, she wages a revenge-fueled crusade against the secret underworld that destroyed her life.
Plunge by Joe Hill and Artist TBD; cover by Jeremy Wilson
In 1983 the Derleth disappeared, wiped out in a storm on the edge of the Arctic circle — the world’s most advanced research vessel in the hunt for oil, lost in the aftermath of a tsunami.
Almost 40 years later, the Derleth begins to transmit its distress signal once again, calling in to Alaska’s remote Attu Station from the most forlorn place on earth, a desolate ring island in the icy faraway. A U.S. salvage team made up of experts, scientists and mercenaries helicopter in just ahead of a storm — and the Russian competition — to find the abandoned wreck hung up on the island shores of the atoll.
As a wintry blizzard clamps down, anomalies begin to surface: first the samples of an oil with unlikely properties, and then the sonar readings of a sunken prehistoric civilization just offshore. Still, nothing could prepare the salvage team for the reappearance of the Derleth’s crew from the island cave, no older than they were four decades ago, every one of them struck blind by an inexplicable infection…and yet capable of seeing in new ways, possessed of extraordinary powers and stripped of all but their last vestiges of humanity.