Following up the success of NOS4A2 and Locke & Key, author Joe Hill — the son of legendary horror author Stephen King — has been tapped to spearhead a brand-new pop-up line of horror comics for DC," the publisher announced today.
“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."
Even with Vertigo closing down shop, the imprint's legacy for publishing scary stories will live on with Hill House Comics, which is clearly named after the Shirley Jackson novel that gives its name to the popular Netflix series, The Haunting of Hill House. Joe will get the ball rolling with these five limited series:
Basketful of Heads (written by Hill and illustrated by Leomacs): a woman comes into possession of a very special axe that cuts off heads in one fell swoop, but keeps them alive to speak.
The Dollhouse Family (written by Mike Carey and illustrated by Peter Gross): Alice continues to revisit the magical family of dolls inhabiting the dollhouse she was given as a child.
The Low, Low Woods (written by Carmen Maria Machado and illustrated by Dani): a Pennsylvania mining town grapples with a strange plague that feasts on memories.
Plunge (written by Hill with the artist TBD): an homage to the works of H.P. Lovecraft and John Carpenter, this tale takes readers to the frozen Artic, where a research vessel, thought to be missing for 40 years, has mysteriously resurfaced.
Daphne Byrne (written by Laura Marks and illustrated by Kelley Jones): a girl in 19th Century New York discovers that her body is playing host to an evil being.
Feast your eyes on the cover artwork for all five in the gallery below:
Each book is also set to come with an additional two pages of a "back-up feature" written by Hill called Sea Dogs. Set during the American Revolution, this supplementary story finds the revolutionary side (USA! USA! USA!) recruiting three patriotic werewolves in a desperate attempt to defeat a British warship.
“At Hill House Comics, we aim to shock the senses and soak the page in red, with new, hooky horror from seasoned old hands and young masters of the field, all set free to share their most disturbing nightmares…for your pleasure!" added Hill. "The books are backed by DC’s second-to-none comic book craftsmanship, and we’re working with the very best editors on parole from Arkham Asylum to craft unputdownable tales of menace and madness. I can’t wait to share some fresh scares with comic book readers everywhere. It’s going to be fun."
Hill House Comics will enjoy a panel next month at San Diego Comic Con on Friday, July 19. The first issue of Basketful of Heads will ring in Halloween on Oct. 30 with the following issues (as well as the other books) following in the months after that.
NOS4A2 (starring Zachary Quinto) is currently airing its first season on AMC, while Locke & Key is in development at Netflix after Hulu decided to pass on the series.