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Although I couldn't be at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) this year, I'm still plugged into the comic book pipeline to bring you the updates on all the horror goodies coming out of the convention.  Dark Horse Comics has announced a big slate of spooky stuff coming your way for the rest of the year and I've pulled the relevant info together here for your reading pleasure.

First up is an all new Hellboy original graphic novel entitled Hellboy: The Midnight Circus.  The tale follows a young Hellboy as he runs away from the B.P.R.D. and comes across a strange circus inhabited by some demons from Hell.  It's the character's first brush with the land of fire and brimstone.  Mike Mignola will be writing it (of course) and frequent collaborator Duncan Fegredo will be handling art duties, which is a welcome return.  The pair worked together on a number of comics, including The Storm and the Fury, which killed off Hellboy and sent him down the underworld.  This is obviously set well before the events of that book.

“This one owes a lot to Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes (pretty much my favorite circus story of all time), but even more to Pinocchio—especially all the spooky, disturbing bits Disney left out. And the work Duncan is doing here is just flat-out amazing,” said Mike Mignola.

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“Growing up is tough enough, even when you don’t know the weight of the world rests on the future of your yet-diminutive shoulders. Mike has woven a tale of coming of age for the young Hellboy made all the more poignant for knowing his future. Wonderful, magical, terrifying, this is epic Hellboy on a smaller stage,” Duncan Fegredo added.

Hellboy: The Midnight Circus will be 56-page hardcover graphic novel, similar to Hellboy: House of the Living Dead.  The new OGN arrives in stores on October 23rd, retailing for $14.99.

Of course, that's far from the only announcement that Dark Horse had up their sleeve this weekend.  Sticking with the Hellboy train, if you've ever hoped for a version of the character for kids, you're in luck.  Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, the creative team behind the adorable Tiny Titans, are bringing their talents to Dark Horse with Itty Bitty Hellboy.  From the sound of things, this will be a great introduction to the character with a fun twist.  

Itty Bitty HELLBOY! WOW! Such awesomeness! I haven’t screamed so much AW YEAH SHOUTOUTS in all my life! It is truly an honor to be the next creative team to add to the HELLBOY saga! I have been a fan of Mike Mignola since Hellboy’s early days at Dark Horse Legends! It’s true. Can’t wait! Itty Bitty has never been so HUGE! AW YEAH HELLBOY!” said Art Baltazar, famous cartoonist.

“We get to work on HELLBOY? HELL YEAH!” exclaimed Franco Aureliani. “One of the most iconic characters in all of comics, and we get to bring our own style and story to it! Truly a dream come true! We’re big fans! Itty Bitty Hellboy is going to be a lot of fun...and we get to actually say HELL(BOY)!”

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“Given the recent developments in Hellboy’s life—falling in love, discovering that he’s the rightful king of England, having his heart torn out and dropped into hell—this is clearly the next logical step in his evolution,” said Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.

Itty Bitty Hellboy #1 arrives on comic shop shelves on August 28th.

Keeping the announcement train chugging along is a new horror series from Victor Gischler and Juan Ferreyra entitled Witch Hunt.  The series will focus on Cassian Steele, a boss in the werewolf mafia in New Orleans who sets up an open contract on a witch, Verona, who knows his secret.  Now it's open season for every werewolf mobster, vampire maid, voodoo wizard, zombie ninja, and rogue priest to collect the bounty.  Unfortunately for them, Barnabus Black, a demon looking for redemption, is protecting her.

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“Victor came up with a very interesting story for me to draw. I was able to portray a varied array of weird stuff, which makes the book a really fun ride visually. So if you like werewolves, angels, demons, witches, zombies, ninjas, vampires, etc., you might find something to your liking,” added artist Juan Ferreyra.

This sounds like a fun read, but honestly I didn't have to read anything past Ferreyra's involvement.  He just came off of a fantastic mini-series with Colder, where he drew some of the scariest and interesting pages I've seen in the past few years.  I can't wait to see what he has in store with Witch Hunt.

The first issue of Witch Hunt will be available on September 18th.

Next up is the return of one of my favorite recent comics: The Occultist.  This was a short lived mini-series written by Tim Seeley about a college screwup named Rob who finds an artifact called the Sword.  Rob uses it to fend off a bunch of big bad magic users and keep his own life together.  It was a fun book that I hoped to one day see more of.  It looks like Dark Horse paid attention, as the follow up series was just announced with Mike Norton on interior art and Steve Morris on covers.  

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The sequel features an evil witch doctor who decides that Rob is not a fit host for the Sword and sets out to try to get it to reject him.  The solution to this problem seems to be in a Catholic schoolgirl who plays with death for a quick high.

The first issue of The Occultist will be available on October 2nd.

Also returning this year is Resident Alien.  The series by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse follows an extraterrestrial who crash landed on this planet and now lives in secret among humans as a doctor in a small town.  The original mini-series was a great read, so I'm happy to see it coming back for more.  Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde picks up with what looks like a straightforward suicide but that changes quickly.  Then things get personal for Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle when one of his best human friends becomes a suspect.  Plus, the feds figure out where Harry's hiding!

Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde #1 hits shelves on September 11th.

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Finally, Dark Horse wrapped up its horror announcements with Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight, an eight issue mini-series comprised of four 48-page stories.  Alex de Campi headlines a B-movie compilation with covers from Francesco Francavilla, Dan Panosian, and Coop.  The series promises to bring the flavor of midnight exploitation flicks to comics starting with the Chris Peterson illustrated "Bee Vixens from Mars", where a one-eyed southern Latina deputy dukes it out with lusty alien chicks looking to lay eggs in the entire male population.  I'm so reading this.

Future stories include "Prison Ship Anteres" with art by Simon Fraser, "Bride of Blood" illustrated by Federica Manfredi, and "Flesh Feast of the Devil Doll" drawn by Gary Erskine.  With titles like these, I need this comic right now.

Grindhouse is the comic your mother warned you about. Seriously. You know when grownups told you comics were filthy, immoral trash? They were talking about this comic specifically,” states Alex de Campi. “Books like Grindhouse were the reason the Comics Code was invented. And if you’re in a very conservative or evangelical part of the US, you should be careful where you read it. Each story is two issues of solid gore, gratuitous nudity, and over-the-top badassery. It’s filthy. It’s violent. It’s really, really fun.”

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Bee Vixens” colorist Nolan Woodard added, “You do know I colored 28 Days Later, and this is still way more blood, right?”

The first issue of Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight will be available on October 2nd.

That wraps up Dark Horse's horror announcements from this year's C2E2.  Which one was your favorite?  It was Grindhouse, wasn't it?  It's okay.  No one's going to judge you here.


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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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