Hill House Comics

Joe Hill is headed back to the world of comic books with DC’s Hill House Comics. The new horror series will feature five miniseries set to debut in October, each with their own particular brand of terror. Hill will write two of the tales himself, and curate the rest. Other stories will be penned by Mike CareyLaura MarksCarmen Maria Machado and more. This entire endeavor looks like a must-have for horror fans.

EW was first to report the story about Hill House Comics, described as a “pop-up line” of horror comics due out in October. “I’ve always been a comic book writer first,” Hill said. “When I started writing comics, I felt almost instantly that I had discovered my element. It was the version of writing I liked best. I felt, when I worked in comics, that my strengths were amplified, and the stuff I struggled with as a writer almost completely vanished. Working on Locke & Key was one of the most satisfying creative experiences of my life. But it’s tremendously exciting to get back into it: scripting again, working with artists, working with other writers. Working in comics is the closest you can get as a storyteller to feeling like what it must be like to be in the Rolling Stones.”

Hill, the son of Stephen King, has penned several horror novels and short stories, as well as the comic series Locke & Key. AMC’s currently running NOS4A2 is adapted from one of his novels. I have to confess I’ve yet to pick up Locke & Key, but I have read most of his short stories and novels, and I count myself as a fan (more of the short stories than the novels, truth be told).

The author isn’t writing the series alone. The initial five offerings hail from the following group of writers and artists: “Basketful of Heads, written by Hill and illustrated by Leomacs; 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; and Plunge, written by Hill with an artist to be revealed at a later date. Each comic will also come with two-page installments of a back-up feature called Sea Dogs, written by Hill.”

Mike Carey is the author of The Girl With All The Gifts, Laura Marks is a writer on The Good Fight, and Machado is responsible for the fantastic short story collection Her Body and Other Parties. This is a strong line-up.

And the stories themselves sound incredible (per THR):

Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill and 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 eighth-century Viking ax 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.

The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado and Dani; covers by J.A.W. Cooper

A mysterious plague is afflicting the small mining town of Shudder to Think, Pa. 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 Dollhouse Family by Mike Carey and 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….

Daphne Byrne by Laura Marks and Kelley Jones; covers by Piotr Jablo?ski

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.

Plunge by Joe Hill and Artist TBD; cover 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 U.S. 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….

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I would like all of these immediately, please and thank you. While this is already a lot of info, Hill is expected to reveal even more during a San Diego Comic-Con panel on July 19 at 4:15 p.m. in Room 6DE.

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