Comic-Con 2011: Dark Horse Fall Preview – Big Names with Big Upcoming Titles Equals Lots to Look Forward To!

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The Dark Horse fall lineup is exciting for science fiction, fantasy, and horror fans across the board. Along with its regular line of comics, Dark Horse announced three new comic book titles set to debut consecutively from October through December: Orchid by Tom Morello, House of Night by P.C. Cast, and The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Morello, Cast, and del Toro all were eager to talk about their new comic series at the Dark Horse Fall Preview panel at Comic-Con

October 12th, 2011 – Orchid by Tom Morello

Orchid comes from a completely different mindset than most comic books. Musician Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, The Nightwatchman), is not just telling this story through pictures and words – Orchid actually includes a free exclusive music track by Tom Morello with the purchase of each issue. This music serves as a soundtrack to the story meant to be played as the comic is being read.

Orchid is an epic fantasy story set in a dystopian future infused with Morello’s worldview and the politics of terror.

Part Suicide Girl, part Joan of Arc – Orchid is the tale of a 16-year-old street prostitute who learns that she is more than the role society has imposed upon her. When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed. Human settlements are now ringed by a dense wilderness from which ferocious new animal species prey on the helpless. The high ground belongs to the rich and powerful that overlook swampland shantytowns from their fortress-like cities. Iron-fisted rule ensures order and allows the wealthy to harvest the poor as slaves. Welcome to the world of Orchid.

Morello described the music as a combination of Celtic, African, and rock. The comic series will be in 12 issue arcs, and therefore 12 tracks will exist in total.

Morello, a long-time comics fan, specifically chose to tell Orchid in this format because one can “tell an intelligent story in this medium.” He saw the potential in the structure of comic books to hold all the epic grandeur of this story. As if these descriptions of the book weren’t intriguing enough, he described his main character as the “Spartacus of whores.”

Orchid boasts the variant cover art of street artist Shepard Fairey with interior art by Scott Hepburn

November 9th, 2011 – House of Night by P.C. Cast

House of Night, the acclaimed fiction series by P.C. And Kristin Cast is soon to be available in comics format! See all your favorite characters come to life in through the artistic hands of Joelle Jones and the comic prose expertise of writer Kent Dallan. This comic series will fit directly into the book series, set in between the novels Marked and Betrayed.

If you are not familiar with the Casts’ House of Night series, this is how Dark Horse described it:

Until recently, Zoey Redbird was an average high-school student worrying about grades, boys, and breakouts. But priorities have a way of changing when you are marked as a vampyre, enroll in the vampyre academy House of Night, and have to figure out a whole new social hierarchy, affinities for elemental magic, and physiological changes that make you crave blood

Cast was positively beaming about this new medium for her story. She revealed herself as a graphic novel fan since she was a kid in the 70’s. “While most girls were Barbie-ing, I was Swamp Thing-ing,”she laughingly declared to the crowd. And just so you know, Superman is still her boyfriend.

When it came to actually seeing her own work turn into a comic, “it’s like ahhhhhhhhh … I’m just a fan girl goin ‘wow, that’s so cool!”

December 14th, 2011 – The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Guillermo del Toro is one blunt mother $*#($%. He pulls no punches in his stories – or his panel interviews. When he says the third book of his horror series, The Strain will be brutal, you best believe him. Expect the comic series to be much in the same line, because the first eight issues will be an adaptation from the first novel of the trilogy.

When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Center for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event—an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness.

Del Torro is probably best known for his amazing production of Pan’s Labyrinth. He is also one of the screenwriters on the upcoming The Hobbit movie. Even though his background is in movies, he knew that was certainly not the medium to tell the story of The Strain. It wouldn’t survive as a movie adaption, he said. “I have flatly refused … I live in that neighborhood. It’s not a safe neighborhood,” he stated to his fans in the audience who were intently listening to these updates. Del Torro expressed his wish to be completely involved in every aspect of this story, no matter the medium. Therefore a movie deal was out. A television adaptation, however, is possible – perhaps even likely.

The Strain has been adapted to comic book format by writer David Lapham with art by Mike Huddleston.

Each of these comics will be available digitally upon release for $1.99. But, in an effort to bring new readers to the comic shops, the physical copy of each initial #1 issue will only be $0.99.

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