Writer James McCulloch & artist Johnny Cannon put their indie heads together to co-create a brand new title featuring some classic horror characters for Transylvanian Knights and after a strong Kickstarter campaign the first issue became a reality.
The story sees them mash together the likes of Dracula, Van Helsing, Frankenstein’s Monster & Wolfman which may well be something we’ve seen before but in the hands of James & Johnny it had more than a good chance of offering something unique.
It all takes place a decade after the “Vampire Wars” and while there’s a definite air of hope to start with, its not long before the dark creeps into the everyday lives of the survivors. Celebrations in the Kingdom are brought to an abrupt halt with the disappearance of the Prince and it’s time to call in the big guns with Van Helsing back on the hunt for those responsible for taking the Prince…….and there’s more going on than you might expect.
Woven into that central plot is the story of a group of Circus performers who have had their plans turned upside down with the kidnapping but two members in their ranks have more to offer the wider story with some comic relief AND a discovery that changes the course of the whole story. The blend of characters from old movies and the vein of humour gives this an intriguing mix but it’s the creative minds of James & Johnny that have really brought out the best from a set of well-known themes.
Their story breathes new life into a horror-filled world and with the pacing & timely additions of humour it all becomes one of the most evenly paced and well-balanced story’s I’ve read in a while. Johnny’s art takes it to another level with some intricate layouts and he pours a great deal of planning into each panel within those layouts to bring energy & fun to the whole story. Rob Jones swoops in on lettering duties to add the indie comic final touches with his usual deft touch on getting the dialogue & narrative eased onto the page without any distractions. An extra nod goes out to Gavin Boyle on his editing and having a hand in creating that glorious cover with Johnny too and this is a new series that has everyone on the creative team hitting their A game.
James & Johnny are holding a launch/signing at Forbidden Planet in Glasgow this week (7th March) – check out the event page for more info.