Back in July, Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine signed a historic deal with Boom! Studios that would allow him to pen four horror-based graphic novels under the publisher's KaBOOM! imprint, which mainly focuses on younger readers.
Now, we have our first glimpse of one of those graphic novels, the middle school-set Just Beyond. Using a school as the main setting for the story was an intentional way for readers to connect with the characters.
“None of the Goosebumps books take place in a castle in middle Europe. They always start out in someone’s basement or right in the kitchen or somewhere on the playground,” Stine told EW. “You want the kids to be able to identify with the characters, so they have to be familiar. Then, when you have these familiar characters and suddenly horrible things are happening, it makes it that much more frightening.”
The first Just Beyond comic is titled The Scare School and follows an education establishment that sits on "a nexus between two realities." In other words, two schools from two different dimensions are occupying the same space at the same time. Readers will follow three 12-year-olds, who come from the alternate dimension and bring with them strange fashions and information. And as if that weren't enough, they're also running from a cyborg monster called a "Drogg" that wants to take them back to their proper reality.
“Kids spend a lot of time in school. So it's the perfect place for scares. What if everything you thought you knew about your school was wrong?” Stine said in an official release. “What if your school held a secret so terrifying it could threaten your life? That's where the idea for The Scare School began. Where the story ended surprised even me!”
Just Beyond is set to hit shelves in the fall of 2019. Sibling duo Kelly and Nichole Matthews handled the illustrations, while Julian Totino Tedesco did the cover.
“R.L Stine's books were something we grew up with (there was always one or a dozen around the house), so when we were approached with the chance to work with him on The Scare School, we jumped on it,” said the two Kelly and Nichole. “Getting to design a cast of characters and creatures from the ground up is always fun, and getting to go a little wild on how scary they are is even better. This book will leave you in stitches as many times as it will leave you screaming! We hope fans will enjoy all the jumps and frights as they enroll for a spooky good time in Scare School.”
Head on down to the media gallery below for a look at the comic interior.