MISKATONIC #1 / $4.99 / 32 pages / Color / On sale NOVEMBER 11th
Writer: Mark Sable
Artist: Giorgio Pontrelli
Colorist: Pippa Bowland
Letterer: Thomas Mauer
Main Cover: Jeremy Haun w/ Nick Filardi
Incentive Cover: Tyler Crook
Miskatonic Valley holds many mysteries – cultists worshipping old gods, a doctor deadset on resurrecting the recently deceased, a house overrun by rats in the walls – but none more recent than a series of bombings targeting the Valley’s elite.
These horrors reach a breaking point when the brilliant, hard-nosed investigator Miranda Keller is sent to stop the bombings. To J. Edgar Hoover, there can be no other explanation than those responsible for similar actions during the Red Scare of the 1920s…but when Miranda digs too deep, she uncovers an unimaginable occult conspiracy, one that may cost Miranda her job – and her sanity.
From writer Mark Sable (GODKILLERS, Graveyard of Empires) and artist Giorgio Pontrelli (Dylan Dog), MISKATONIC is a mix of historical crime fiction and Lovecraftian-horror that dives deep into the American nightmare.
MARK SABLE ON WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT AND WHY HE IS EXCITED FOR IT TO BE RELEASED:
“MISKATONIC a 1920s horror/crime book that’s H.P. Lovecraft meets James Ellroy.
It’s the story of Miranda Keller, one of the first female agents in what would eventually become The Bureau of Investigation, and Tom Malone, one of the few protagonists to survive H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction. They’re sent by J. Edgar Hoover to the Miskatonic Valley – the setting of many of Lovecraft’s stories – to investigate a series of bombings. At first the terror seems be to the work of radicals, immigrants and other “undesirables” that Hoover wants rounded up, just as he did after a similar series of real life bombings ten years earlier when he conducted the infamous “Palmer Raids”. In reality, it’s a white supremacist occult conspiracy, and can only be stopped by the very people that Hoover detests.
It takes what’s thrilling about famous Lovecraft stories such as “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”, “Herbert West: Re-Animator” and “The Dunwich Horror” (among others) but reworks them so that the characters that Lovecraft had issues with – like women – are center stage.
At its heart though, it’s a kind of reverse X-files. Miranda is the highly capable but skeptical FBI agent, while Tom is the true believing ex-cop, traumatized by his contact with the supernatural.
I’m a huge Lovecraft fan that wants to celebrate what’s great about his cosmic horror while turning some of his backwards thinking on its head. I’m also a history buff and a fan of crime fiction, and it’s a chance to tell a noirish tale set against the backdrop of the Red Scare. There are a lot of parallels between Lovecraft and Hoover’s period and today – a country coming out of a pandemic, about to fall into the a depression and a federal government obsessed with demonizing anyone it deems subversive or alien. It’s a way to explore forgotten history and let the reader draw some parallels with some of the real life horrors we’re dealing with today.
And most of all, Artist Giorgio Pontrelli is master of blending crime and horror and he brings our characters to vivid life…even the dead (and undead) ones.”
MARK SABLE ON SOME OF HIS INSPIRATIONS BEHIND CREATING THE BOOK:
“-H.P. Lovecraft’s work, for sure. Since I first read them when I was younger, I was obsessed with trying to find a way to link his stories in a single tale. He created one of, if not the first, shared universes but few writers have explored it as such.
-I’ve also been inspired by some of the work deconstructing Lovecraft – Lovecraft Country (the book – the TV show wasn’t out when I started this), Alan Moore’s Providence and Neonomicon, and Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom.
-My first contact with Lovecraft was through Call of Cthulhu, the classic role-playing game, second only in longevity and popularity to Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve run a weekly table top RPG game (often with other comic creators) for years and that was a huge inspiration. Aside from the horror, there’s a certain improvisation that goes into being a Dungeon Master/Game Master (or “Keeper of Secrets” in Cthulhu) that lends itself well to comics, which is such a collaborative medium.
-I was also inspired by the work of crime authors like James Ellroy and Don Winslow, who tell fictional crime stories set against the backdrop of historical events – 1940s/50s LA for Ellroy’s LA Confidential, 60s assassination conspiracies in Ellroy’s American Tabloid and the Mexican Drug war in Winslow’s Cartel books.
-That meant like them, I drew from history itself. J. Edgar Hoover rose to power after the anarchist bombing of Attorney General Mitchell Palmer led to the so-called “Palmer Raids’, where Hoover over-reached and rounded up tens of thousands of suspected radicals, many of them immigrants who found themselves deported. When he took over the Bureau of Investigation, he got rid of the few female agents, one of whom wound up committed into a mental institution. That was often the fate of Lovecraft’s characters, so I saw away to turn someone they’d see as a victim into a hero (albeit a flawed one, in traditional noir style).”
MARK SABLE ON IF THE BOOK WAS MADE INTO A FILM OR TV SHOW, WHO HE WOULD WANT TO STAR IN IT:
“Felicity Jones would make a GREAT Miranda. She’s proved she can be an edgy action hero in Rogue One and a brilliant legal mind as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On the Basis of Sex. I could also see Hayley Atwell, who stole the show in Captain America and had an all-too brief run in Agent Carter. And Charlize Theron can do ANYTHING. All three of them deserve a star-making part worthy of their abilities.
I’d love to see Tom Hardy as Tom Malone…as much as I love The Dark Knight Rises and Dunkirk, it would be fun to see him without a mask again. If Charlize was cast as Miranda, it would be the Furiosa/Mad Max reunion we’ve all been waiting for.”
MARK SABLE ON (3) REASONS WHY READERS SHOULD ADD THIS TITLE TO THEIR PULL LIST:
“1) You’re a fan of horror. If you’re a Lovecraft fan you’ll be rewarded with Easter Eggs and see his work in a new light. If you haven’t been exposed to his work…MISKATONIC was designed to be super-accessible and scary as hell as.
2) You love crime, especially noir period that shed light on the darker aspects of American history. pieces like only Ed Brubaker seems to be doing anymore.
3) You want to see a kick-ass heroine as part of a reverse X-Files duo, and see who are more dangerous villains – entities from beyond space and time or J. Edgar Hoover and a cabal of America’s corrupt power-brokers”
FUN FACTS ABOUT MARK SABLE:
-He is Overeducated! Holding a BA in English from Duke, MFA in dramatic writing from NYU, and law degree from USC
-In addition to writing comics, he teaches writing for an MFA program he helped create at The School of Visual Arts in New York (where he is from)
-An even more fun “day job” – he works as a futurist, advising the military, intelligence and scientific communities on the future of conflict. Mostly that’s done through the non-partisan Atlantic Council’s Art of Future Warfare program, but he’s also worked with the US Air Force and Marine Corps (teaching at Quantico), the Royal Australian Navy, Johns Hopkins and more.
– In a bit of life imitating art…imitating art. Years ago he wrote a book called UNTHINKABLE for Boom! Studios about a fictional writer who joins a real-life think tank the Department of Homeland Security formed where novelists and screenwriters were tasked to come up with worst case terror scenarios. Thankfully, unlike the protagonist of UNTHINKABLE his terror scenarios haven’t come true:) (Although he was detained by the TSA carrying the first issue of Unthinkable because it had a jihadist with an AK-47 on the cover).
-He interned and then worked for Howard Stern
-He went to high school with Amy Fisherhttps://www.firstcomicsnews.com/miskatonic-announcement/https://www.firstcomicsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Aftershock-Logo-600x253.pnghttps://www.firstcomicsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Aftershock-Logo-150x63.pngNewsannouncement,miskatonic