I am super-stoked to finally, finally, finally announce that Dale Halvorsen, Ryan Kelly and I are bringing out an original creator-owned horror comic called Survivor’s Club for Vertigo (part of DC Comics). It’s part of their hot new Fall line-up announced at San Diego Comic Con.
Here’s the high concept: What if the 80s horror movies were real? And where are those kids today?
It’s been a year and a half in the making, since Dale Halvorsen first pitched me the idea over a whisky on a hot summer night in Cape Town, and we’ve just finished the final edits on the first issue with the most excellent team that Shelly Bond put together. The first issue will be out in October and it’s ongoing monthly.
The co-creators are Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen writing together as one, and the dark genius, Ryan Kelly on art.
Colors are by Eva de la Cruz, lettering by Clem Robins and covers by the legendary Bill Sienkiewicz.
You probably know Dale better as award-winning cover designer Joey Hi-Fi. We’re longtime friends and collaborators. His first-ever book cover was for my first-ever book.
He’s since gone on to do the covers for all the South African editions of my novels as well for books by people like Nnedi Okorafor, Chuck Wendig and Charlie Human. He’s won the BSFA Award twice, as well as a British Fantasy Award and France’s prestigious Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire.
We talk about weird story ideas all the time and then he hits me with this killer concept and I just happen to mention it Vertigo’s editor queen, Shelly Bond, and she was sold. She started assembling a monster squad of talent to bring it to life at Vertigo – the same imprint that brought you a greatest hits of some of our favourite dark and edgy comics, including Sandman, Fables, V For Vendetta, Hellblazer, Lucifer, American Vampire, Sweet Tooth, Unwritten and I, Zombie.
I’ll let Dale tell it in his own words:
“I’d been watching Child’s Play and I started wondering what happened to those kids from all the 80s horror movies after the credits rolled. The stuff they’ve seen would probably traumatise them for the rest of their lives. That would mess you up. And what if there was no escape from their dark pasts?”
We started kicking the idea around and developing the characters and playing with the classic tropes. It’s been so much to subvert them in really interesting ways.
Survivors’ Club is the story of the boy from the haunted house, the girl with the killer doll, the kid with the man-eating neighbour, the Japanese schoolgirl with a horrible secret, the little boy with the terrifying imaginary friend, the girl who played the arcade game that opened a portal to hell. But we’ve put our own horrible twists on all of them.
Now they’re all grown up, drawn together by mysterious phenomena that suggests it might all be happening again.
And what if they’re not survivors? What if they’re… the Chosen Ones?
I’m excited that we get to write a genre we both love. Our writing sessions involve lots of caffeine and freaking each other out, upping the ante on scary ideas.As Dale says, “It’s creepy play-time.” He also says, ““Finally I can put all my encyclopedic horror movie knowledge to good use.”
The official announcement got made Thursday 9 July at San Diego Comic Con at 6pm, which is 3am South African time, so we’re not awake for it, but trust us, we are so excited and really proud of this horrible mutant thing that we’ve made with Ryan Kelly and our awesome team.
You can follow us all on Twitter:
Lauren Beukes @laurenbeukes
Dale Halvorsen @joeyhifi
Ryan Kelly @funrama
If you’re a journalist and you want to get more information on this, please direct media enquiries to Kelley Popham at DC Comics. Email: Kelley.Popham@dcentertainment.com.