Dark Horse Comics has been vastly expanding its line of horror comics. There was a whole panel dedicated to them at New York Comic Con, moderated by Bloody Disgusting columnist Lonnie Nadler. On hand to discuss their books and horror in general was Dark Horse Comics Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie, Tim Seeley (Ex Sanguine), Christopher Golden (Baltimore), Eric Powell (The Goon), Evan Dorkin (Beasts of Burden), Tyler Crook (B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth), and Tom Mandrake (To Hell You Ride).
The panel started out with a quick look at some of the upcoming horror titles. Ex Sanguine from Tim Seeley just started this week with its first issue. It's described as a detective story meets vampire romance where the main character is not a wuss.
Some scenes from the recently completed Baltimore: Dr. Leskovar's Remedy were shown. Golden pointed out that there's an upcoming one-shot called The Play that centers on Baltimore's nemesis Haigus. It's not what you'd expect from the story. I don't know what that means, but more Baltimore is always a good thing.
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Allie chimed in about some upcoming B.P.R.D. stories, specifically 1948, which is a bit of a sequel to a previous story done, aptly titled 1947. It features Professor Bruttenholm on a visit to Utah where he encounters someone who is capturing vampire spirits in his body. Max Fiumara is handling the art on the book.
Some images from Hellboy in Hell #1 were shown. The book is set to debut in December and has been building up for ten years. Hellboy will be encountering characters that he knew about before but now on their playing field. We also meet Hellboy's family. Look for more on Hellboy in Hell soon in my interview with creator Mike Mignola.
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A cover for the Beasts of Burden one-shot was shown, but there's not much to talk about here. Dorkin said that they're working on a second series. Allie said that the second issue has "the creepiest thing." I'm not sure what that might be, but I'm interested.
Also on the slate for the next few months is the Criminal Macabre / 30 Days of Night crossover. Writer Steve Niles basically destroys Los Angeles. This is set to debut in December as well and one of the titles will end. I have my bets on Criminal Macabre.
Mandrake talked briefly about To Hell You Ride. It's written by Lance Henrikson and was originally made as a movie script twenty years ago. Henrikson lost it but always had the story in his head. Mandrake described it as a "supernatural story mashed up with bad science."
The first issue of the next series of Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities has now hit the stands. Powell said it's "…like Young Guns Part 2 but with more deformed people and monsters and less Bon Jovi." There's a small crossover with The Goon.
The rest of the panel was spent discussing horror in general. Everything from movies to how to scare people was brought up. The panelists seem to agree that it's very difficult to scare readers in a comic. The closest thing they have to a quick edit is the page turn. They might not be able to frighten someone, but they can certainly disturb them. That's a great way to describe it.
On the subject of horror movies, Powell said that he's gotten into arguments because he doesn't see Jaws as a horror movie. It's an adventure movie. Someone brought up the idea of a Rob Zombie remake of Jaws. It was called a "Rape-ier version of Jaws." I would see that movie.
The panel was closed with Dark Horse Director of Publicity Jeremy Atkins asking the crowd how they'd feel about a movie adaptation of The Goon. The crowd reacted very enthusiastically. Atkins told everyone that they can help make that happen by contributing to their Kickstarter campaign.
What's clear by this panel is that Dark Horse is committed to horror in comics. There have been some pretty stellar books coming out from the publisher as of late. The people that are working on the spooky funny books are committed to the genre and are genuinely interested in making the creepiest stuff they can.
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