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Joe Hill Will Write and Oversee a Line of Horror Comics for DC Black Label

DC keeps on making news with the latest being that novelist Joe Hill will be returning to his first love and comics. Hill will be overseeing a “pop-up line” of horror comics for the DC line DC Black Label dubbed Hill House Comics. He’ll also be writing a few himself. Hill’s had success in comics, most notably his series Locke & Key with artist Gabriel Rodriguez that’s currently in development for television.

Hill House Comics will initially consist of five limited series:

  • Basketful of Heads, written by Hill and illustrated by Leomacs – In a mansion filled with Viking artifacts exists an ax that has supernatural powers in this “grindhouse Rashomon.”
  • The Dollhouse Family, written by Mike Carey and illustrated by Peter Gross;
  • The Low, Low Woods, written by Carmen Maria Machado and illustrated by Dani;
  • Daphne Byrne, written by Laura Marks and illustrated by Kelley Jones – set in the gaslit 1800s New York the main character discovers a strange, insidious entity within her body.
  • Plunge, written by Hill with an artist to be revealed at a later date – Hill’s riff on John Carpenter’s The Thing.

Each comic will also come with two-page installments of a back-up feature called Sea Dogs, written by Hill. Sea Dogs is set during the American Revolution where American werewolves are set upon an enemy ship to destroy it.

The line-up of creators brings old and new voices to comics. Marks comes from tv and has worked with Hill on the Locke & Key television adaptation.

To kick off the ALA Conference, DC announced it would be “closing” its Vertigo imprint as well as folding in their popular DC Zoom and DC Ink imprints into a new branding of three different lines. It left some wondering DC’s commitment to these types of comics. DC initially calmed those concerns with an announcement of more than 20 graphic novels that would have fallen under the Zoom and Ink imprint.

This latest announcement would have absolutely fallen under the Vertigo imprint. It also answers the question as to what will happen with “pop-up imprints.” DC has a few liked Wonder Comics curated by Brian Michael Bendis, Gerard Way’s line, and the announced line-up of Geoff Johns’ comics.

The first issue of Basketful of Heads will hit stores Oct. 30 and will be followed up in the following months by other books. A Hill House Comics panel will take place at San Diego Comic-Con on July 19.

Check out the covers for the first issues:

About the series:

BASKETFUL OF HEADS

Written by: Joe Hill
Art by: Leomacs
Covers by: Reiko Murakami

The rain lashes the grassy dunes of Brody Island, and seagulls scream above the bay. A slender figure in a raincoat carries a large wicker basket, which looks like it might be full of melons…covered by a bloodstained scrap of the American flag.

This is the story of June Branch, a young woman trapped with four cunning criminals who have snatched her boyfriend for deranged reasons of their own. Now she must fight for her life with the help of an impossible 8th-century Viking axe that can pass through a man’s neck in a single swipe—and leave the severed head still conscious and capable of supernatural speech.

Each disembodied head has a malevolent story of its own to tell, and it isn’t long before June finds herself in a desperate struggle to hack through their lies and manipulations…racing to save the man she loves before time runs out.

BASKETFUL OF HEADS

THE LOW, LOW WOODS

Written by: Carmen Maria Machado
Art by: Dani
Cover by: J.A.W. Cooper

A mysterious plague is afflicting the small mining town of Shudder to Think, Pennsylvania. It strikes seemingly at random, eating away at the memories of those suffering from it. From tales of rabbits with human eyes, to deer women who come to the windows of hungry girls at night, this town is one of those places where strange things are always happening. But no one ever seems to question why…

THE LOW, LOW WOODS is a gruesome coming-of-age body-horror mystery series about two teenage women trying to uncover the truth about the mysterious memory-devouring illness affecting them and the people of the small mining town they call home—and the more they discover, the more disturbing the truth becomes.

THE LOW, LOW WOODS

THE DOLLHOUSE FAMILY

Written by: Mike Carey
Art by: Peter Gross
Covers by: Jessica Dalva

On Alice’s sixth birthday, her dying great-aunt sends her the birthday gift she didn’t know she always wanted: a big, beautiful 19th-century dollhouse, complete with a family of antique dolls. In hardly any time at all, the dollhouse isn’t just Alice’s favorite toy…it’s her whole world.

Soon young Alice learns she can enter the house, to visit a new group of friends, straight out of a heartwarming children’s novel: the Dollhouse family. As the years pass, Alice finds herself visiting their world more frequently, slowly losing track of where reality ends and make-believe begins. What starts as play concludes in an eruption of madness and violence.

Childhood ends—but that little house casts a long shadow over Alice’s adult life. When the world becomes too much for her to bear, Alice finds herself returning to the dollhouse and the little folk within. The house can offer her a shelter from all her sorrows…but only if she gives it what it wants, and god help her if she tries to walk away again…

THE DOLLHOUSE FAMILY

DAPHNE BYRNE

Written by: Laura Marks
Art by: Kelley Jones
Covers by: Piotr Jabłoński

In the gaslit splendor of late 19th-century New York, rage builds inside 14-year-old Daphne. The sudden death of her father has left her alone with her irresponsible, grief-stricken mother—who becomes easy prey for a group of occultists promising to contact her dead husband.

While fighting to disentangle her mother from these charlatans, Daphne begins to sense a strange, insidious presence in her own body…an entity with unspeakable appetites. And as she learns to wield this brutal, terrifying power, she wages a revenge-fueled crusade against the secret underworld that destroyed her life.

DAPHNE BYRNE

PLUNGE

Written by: Joe Hill
Art by: TBD
Covers by: Jeremy Wilson

In 1983 the Derleth disappeared, wiped out in a storm on the edge of the Arctic circle—the world’s most advanced research vessel in the hunt for oil, lost in the aftermath of a tsunami.

Almost 40 years later, the Derleth begins to transmit its distress signal once again, calling in to Alaska’s remote Attu Station from the most forlorn place on earth, a desolate ring island in the icy faraway. A US salvage team made up of experts, scientists, and mercenaries helicopter in just ahead of a storm—and the Russian competition—to find the abandoned wreck hung up on the island shores of the atoll. As a wintry blizzard clamps down, anomalies begin to surface: first the samples of an oil with unlikely properties, and then the sonar readings of a sunken prehistoric civilization just offshore. Still, nothing could prepare the salvage team for the reappearance of the Derleth’s crew from the island cave, no older than they were four decades ago, every one of them struck blind by an inexplicable infection…and yet capable of seeing in new ways, possessed of extraordinary powers and stripped of all but their last vestiges of humanity…

SEA DOGS (backup story)

Written by: Joe Hill

Art by: TBD

The Revolution is screwed.

In 1779 the pathetic American navy is a pile of smoldering wrecks choking the Penobscot River. Imperial Britain has amassed the mightiest fleet the world has ever known, led by the HMS Havoc, a 90-gun second rate that has sunk a forest of French, Spanish and American frigates, sketching a trail of devastation that stretches all the way from St. Kitts to Machias, Maine. The faltering Continental Congress can’t hope to match England’s sea power, and they’re just desperate enough to make a deal with the devil…or even three.

Spymaster Benjamin Tallmadge proposes allowing three lycanthropes to be pressed into British service aboard the Havoc. Three patriotic werewolves might be all it takes to butcher the ship from the inside out and paint the decks red. It’s true, their powers are infernal, their minds are mad and their loyalty can in no way be trusted. And yet what else can a desperate nation do…but let slip the dogs of war?

It’s Grindhouse Nightmares and High-Octane Chills in Coffin Bound

Dan Watters teams with artist Dani for an all-new action series full of grindhouse nightmares and high-octane chills in Coffin Bound. The ongoing series will launch from Image Comics this August. Dani is joined by Brad Simpson on colors.

Chased by an unstoppable killer, Izzy Tyburn has decided that if the world won’t have her in it, it can have nothing of her at all. She’s retreading her life, leaving nothing but burned rubber, ash… and the sun-scorched bones of those who get in her way. 

Readers won’t want to miss joining in on this road trip through a blood-splattered life.

Coffin Bound