Exclusive Excerpt: The Harrowing by Rye Hickman and Kristen Kiesling

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cover of The HarrowingOn April 16, Abrams Fanfare will publish the genre-bending graphic novel thriller The Harrowing by illustrator Rye Hickman and writer Kristen Kiesling. This stylish, surprising, suspenseful, and unsettling book follows a psychic teen who hunts potential killers — until she discovers the boy she loves is her next target.

Abrams Fanfare has supplied Cemetery Dance with the following exclusive excerpt. Before you dive in, the comic’s creators offer some insight about this part of the story.

“It’s a vision time warp,” said Kiesling. “Up to this point, Rowan believes the serum will prevent her from losing her mind. We learn in this scene that like many of the medications currently on the market, the unintended side effects are useful. It’s not a diabetic drug used for weight loss but it does possess unexpected, yet beneficial side effects. Rowan’s mother discovered the medication protects Harrows’ minds but also grants them the ability to manipulate their visions. Having this opportunity sets up Jackie’s motives.”

Hickman adds: “There’s actually a delightful amount of synchronicity here in what Rowan is learning how to do (move through time inside the killer’s spree) and what the art must do in order to take the reader along on the ride. Anchors, in comics, are objects and people that appear consistently from panel to panel in order to help the reader understand movement in space. But here in The Harrowing, movement/space is secondary to time, so the people and objects on the train are performing a slightly different little trick.”

Enjoy the excerpt, and order your copy of The Harrowing today!Continue Reading

Zac Thompson on Catching a DreamWave

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In the new comic Cemetery Kids Don’t Die from writer Zac Thompson and artist Daniel Irizarri, people are obsessed with the gaming console DreamWave, which works while you’re sleeping. But maybe NightmareWave is a better name, as this horror/science fiction story shows friends known as the Cemetery Kids get in over their heads. Cemetery Dance spoke with Thompson about the comic’s inspiration, his interest in horror comics, and how shonen manga (Japanese comics aimed for boys) inspired the artwork. Continue Reading

Review: Thirsty for Love by Carmen Pizarro and David Ocampo

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cover of Thirsty for LoveThirsty for Love by Carmen Pizarro and David Ocampo
Independently Published (2022)
48 pages; $15.00 perfect bound collector’s edition of 100
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Thirsty for Love is a clever monster graphic novel written by David Ocampo and illustrated by Carmen Pizarro. When Emily goes missing, her friend Josie thinks she knows what happens. She’s aware of the new girl, Charlotte Smith, and suspects she’s responsible for Emily’s disappearance. When she confronts Charlotte, Josie discovers that her suspicions are not only wrong, but that the truth is far worse than she could ever imagine. Continue Reading

Getting INVASIVE with Cullen Bunn

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cover of Invasive #1 Eisner Award-nominated writer Cullen Bunn is no stranger to horror, but he says his new comic, Invasive, haunts him and signals a signpost on the road to his approach to the genre. Invasive, which is published by Oni Press and illustrated by Jesús Hervás, has a debut date of December 13. Bunn spoke to Cemetery Dance about how a nightmare influenced this work, why Invasive is different from previous projects, and what else he has going on. Continue Reading

Review: The Scarecrow Man by Miguel Goncalves

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cover of The Scarecrow ManThe Scarecrow Man by Miguel Goncalves
Dark Pine Publishing (September 2023)
40 pages; $4.75 paperback; $0.00 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Do you dare enter the Scarecrow Show? 

From the pages of Devil’s Reject (by Dark Pine Publishing) comes Miguel Goncalves’s short story, “The Scarecrow Man,” where the line between reality and nightmare blurs into a devilish dance of psychological horror and crime fiction. As I devoured this debut, I couldn’t shake the echoes of Robert Bloch’s Psycho and A24’s cinematic masterpiece Pearl. Continue Reading

BROOMS Discusses the Art of Making Magic

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cover of BroomsBrooms, a new graphic novel written by Jasmine Walls and illustrated by Teo DuVall, takes place in an alternative 1930s where only some people are allowed to use magic, and unsanctioned broom racing is forbidden. Walls and DuVall spoke to Cemetery Dance about their backgrounds in graphic novels, the research that went into Brooms’ creation, and what they hope readers take away.Continue Reading

The CURSES of George Wylesol

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George Wylesol
George Wylesol

George Wylesol is an illustrator/designer/writer in Baltimore who creates unusual graphic novels. Curses, a collection of short stories, uses surreal and avant garde techniques to show the horrors in everything from a hospital to the wilderness to hell itself. Wylesol spoke to Cemetery Dance about how he worked on this book, his background, and what he’d like readers to take away from Curses.Continue Reading

Comic Creators on PROJECT: CRYPTID

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AHOY Comics’ new anthology PROJECT: CRYPTID, which has its first issue debuting this month, offers up scares and silliness as different writers and artists take on creatures from legends. Seven of the anthology’s writers — Mark Russell, Paul Constant, Bryce Ingman, Melissa F. Olson, Jazzlyn Stone, Henry Barajas, and Alisa Kwitney — all spoke to Cemetery Dance about their creatures of choice, the process of mixing horror with humor, and what makes comics a good medium for scary stories.Continue Reading

Michael Schwartz on Stine, Comics, and Haunted Armor

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Screenwriter Michael Schwartz, a longtime fan of comics, has a live Kickstarter through Clover Press to launch his own comic, Armored. The horror comic follows Andy, who finds a haunted suit of armor and its ghost, Sir William. The comic is illustrated by Ismael Hernandez, and is set to have covers from Jae Lee, Nick Pitarra, Chrissie Zullo, Scott Kolins, Matthew Therrien, and Jeff Dickson. Schwartz spoke to Cemetery Dance about his love of comics, working on R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town, and what real-world influences led him to writing about haunted armor.Continue Reading

Interview: Anya Davidson on NIGHT AND DANA

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cover of Night and DanaAnya Davidson’s new graphic novel, Night and Dana, is being released on September 12 by Graphic Universe. It’s a coming-of-age story about horror-obsessed teens that also involves environmental activism. Davidson (no relation to the interviewer) spoke to Cemetery Dance about her long interest in horror, her influences, and how horror tales can tackle real-world issues.

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Exclusive Excerpt: LIGHTS from Brenna Thummler and Oni Press

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cover of LightsLights, the final graphic novel in the Sheets trilogy, is being released by Oni
Press on September 6. The stories follow Marjorie Glatt, ghost enthusiast
Eliza Duncan, and their ghost friend Wendell, who wants to know more about his past life.

As a special exclusive, Cemetery Dance is able to publish the following excerpt before publication day. Creator Brenna Thummler, who says that ghost stories were part of her daily routine growing up, said in an exclusive quote to Cemetery Dance, “Lights is the last step in the trilogy’s healing process, and proves that the best kind of self-growth is the lifting up of others rather than the lifting up of oneself.”Continue Reading

Jay Stephens Takes Readers Inside His DWELLINGS

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cover of DwellingsDwellings #1, from Emmy Award-winning animator and Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist Jay Stephens, was published by Oni Comics on August 9, 2023. Don’t let the innocent, childlike art fool you — this is a horror series about a small town dealing with murder, possession and more. Stephens spoke to Cemetery Dance about his Harvey Comics influence, the pathway to getting Dwellings published, and what he hopes readers take away from the series.Continue Reading

Horror/Western Hybrid THE SIXTH GUN Rides Again

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There is a lot of stuff going on with Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt’s comic series The Sixth Gun, including a Kickstarter for deluxe hardcover omnibus editions. This is the longest running creator-owned series released by Oni Press, and it mixes horror, fantasy and Westerns into a unique and popular story form. Both Bunn and Hurtt spoke to Cemetery Dance about their Kickstarter campaign, their upcoming Sixth Gun comics, and what it is they like about writing and drawing in the horror genre.Continue Reading

Eric Palicki Returns to Black’s Myth with The Key to His Heart

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Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart, a new punk rock horror comic from writer Eric Palicki and artist Wendell Cavalcanti, is debuting this month from AHOY Comics. It stars a werewolf PI and a djinn assistant working in Los Angeles’ supernatural underground, and Palicki spoke to Cemetery Dance about its connection with Black’s Myth, his influences, and where people can find out more about his various comics. 

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Review: Grendel, Kentucky by Jeff McComsey and Tommy Lee Edwards

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cover of Grendel, Kentucky by Jeff McComsey

Grendel, Kentucky by Jeff McComsey and Tommy Lee Edwards
Upshot (March 2021)
96 pages; $9.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Grendel, Kentucky by Jeff McComsey is an incredible graphic novel that takes the Beowulf saga and modernizes it. The story focuses on Marnie, who leads the all-women biker gang The Harlots. She’s called back to her hometown of Grendel for the funeral of her adoptive father, Clyde, who was supposedly killed by a bear. When she finds out the truth, which is much worse, she seeks vengeance for her father and learns about what it means to be a family and what it means to hold on to family secrets.Continue Reading