What's up with Cullen Bunn? Bleeding Cool has kept an eye on Boom Studios launches of late, including series like Wynd, Seven Secrets, and We Only Find Them When They're Dead in 2020, and Once & Future and Something Is Killing The Children in 2019. 2021 has had strong launches such as The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, Eve, and grand champion BRZRKR even as long-running series like Once & Future and Something Is Killing The Children continue to grow in sales as readers discover them in trades and start buying the monthlies.
Boom is also trying to increase sales and build audiences for creators who make the publisher home for multiple series like Maria Llovet, Si Spurrier, and Saladin Ahmed, as each series sells better than the one before it, even with Grant Morrison, who enjoyed the biggest original series launch of his career with the publisher, and most recently award-winning novelist Victor LaValle. LaValle's Eve not only was ordered higher than Once & Future and Something Is Killing The Children, but I'm hearing it may have also sold out the day of release. It appears that this latest trend will benefit another longtime creator – Cullen Bunn.
Bunn began his relationship with Boom back in 2014 with The Empty Man before coming back to the publisher with The Unsound and Bone Parish. Not only has Bunn been able to increase his sales with each subsequent series, but it's also resulted in his first movie from The Empty Man… which not only has become a critically acclaimed horror pandemic era release but the final release to feature the classic 20th Century Fox fanfare during the opening credits. The Unsound is in development at Netflix and there have been rumblings about Bone Parish being optioned (but no official word). All and all, it's pretty easy to see why Bunn keeps bringing projects to Boom… and why they keep saying yes.
Well, both Bunn and Boom have another reason to continue working together thanks to Basilisk, which reunites Bunn with Bone Parish co-creator and artist Jonas Scharf. As we understand it, the new ongoing series is not only already the highest-selling launch based on initial orders for any series Bunn has done with Boom, but his highest-ordered creator-owned series ever. Higher than The Sixth Gun and Harrow County, and previous high watermark from creator-owned rival Image, Regression. And the series hasn't even hit Final Order Cut-Off yet.
The new supernatural horror series may be Bunn's most commercial series to date, featuring a group of five people known only as The Chimera each gifted and cursed with a power tied to one of the human senses. As we pointed out earlier, Basilisk shares a number of characteristics with Boom's runaway smash hit, Something Is Killing The Children by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell'Edera… albeit in a "mirror universe" sort of fashion. Main character Regan, the estranged member of The Chimera, reminds us of the iconic Erica Slaughter. Both books are about ordinary people in small towns being confronted by supernatural monsters, although in the case of Basilisk the monsters are the star of the series. Both series also force ordinary survivors into heroic roles of monster hunters. And with SIKTC breaking the six-figure barrier with issue #16, perhaps retailers will be looking for the next series to recommend to all those new readers?
Another thing retailers will have to factor in as they finalize their orders this coming Monday, is that Basilisk was previewed in every copy of BRZRKR #2 with the bloody reveal of Regan's powers matching the tone of BRZRKR. Basilisk #1 FOCs this coming Monday, May 10th. It will certainly be the biggest creator-owned launch of Cullen Bunn's career, but with Boom seeing massive leaps in orders at FOC… how much bigger will it get?