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As the aftermath of Valentine's Day bleeds into the weekend, AfterShock Comics is sweet on one of its most anticipated titles of the new year starring blood-guzzling vampires aplenty, and SYFY WIRE is sinking its fangs into an exclusive preview of March's premiere issue.
Written by industry veteran Tim Seeley (Batman Eternal, Hack/Slash) and accompanied by riveting art courtesy of Corin Howell (The X-Files: Origins, The Girl in the Bay), Dark Red is a sharp-edged horror series striking from the heartland of America that will make you look twice at convenience store clerks handing you back your change.
This is Seeley's second title with AfterShock Comics, the first being Brilliant Trash, and here he indulges his deep love of the horror genre with an unsettling take on the modern vampire mythos with a decidedly classic tint to its terror.
The disturbing tale centers around Charles “Chip” Ipswich, one of the "forgotten men" of America who doesn't have an Ivy League diploma, the latest green-technology sports car, and isn't settled into an upper management position at a social media titan.
Chip resides in a boring rural area in the dead center of the country where life moves at a snail's pace and Jesus holds an honored spot at the supper table. But Chip has one unpleasant distinction that defines his daily life ... he's a vampire! Laboring away as a gas station clerk, Chip's existence is upended when a mysterious female vampire arrives in town and the bloodbath begins.
“With this project, both Tim and AfterShock felt that returning to Tim’s roots might be the best approach to initiating a new project," AfterShock EIC and Co-Founder Mike Marts tells SYFY WIRE. "The elements of both shock and horror that Tim’s best known for in series like Revival and Hack/Slash were the building blocks for what would eventually become Dark Red."
“The story features a rural vampire named Chip, who works full time at an all-night convenience store," Seeley revealed in a release. "He has to make sure his shift is over before the sun comes up. It’s a pretty miserable existence, because he doesn't have access to any of the flourishes and community urban vampires do. And that pisses him off, because he also knows what those fancy bloodsucking fops think of people like him. Then, of course, a stranger comes to town, the bodies start piling up, and Chip is forced to confront everything he thinks he knows about himself, vampires, his home, and America itself."
"It’s a story influenced by current events, but told with a down-on-his-luck vampire and a cast of some of the best characters I’ve ever managed to make up," Seeley added. "And there’s a lot of my own life in here too. I love to write some good old-fashioned honesty next to some decapitations and eviscerations. Plus, I get to work with Corin Howell, who is doing some really beautiful work on the interiors, and my old friend Aaron Campbell on covers, who has become an absolute master at creeping people out.”
Brace yourself for a frightening look into the more supernatural corners of country living in our exclusive preview of Dark Red #1 in the gallery below, then let us know if you'll kick up your heels when it arrives in comic shops March 20.