Dark Horse To Publish Mark Sable and Kristian Donaldson's The Dark

The Dark is a comic book series by Mark Sable and Kristian Donaldson that launched in 2019 on ComiXology Originals. Now Dark Horse Books, as part of their ComiXology deal, will be publishing The Dark as a graphic novel in December 2021, in print for the first time. Mark calls The Dark "the first 'post-cyberpunk' graphic novel." Well, I guess something has to be.

Dark Horse To Publish Mark Sable and Kristian Donaldson's The Dark
Dark Horse To Publish Mark Sable and Kristian Donaldson's The Dark

The Dark is described as "a futuristic politically-charged thriller, set in the year 2045 after a worldwide cyberwar with Russia ends our hyper-connected technological world as we know it." It was initially inspired by writer Mark Sable's work as a futurist with The Atlantic Council's Art of The Future program, where members of the military, intelligence, scientific and entertainment communities help envision the future of conflict. They describe themselves as "Driven by our mission of shaping the global future together, the Atlantic Council is a nonpartisan organization that galvanizes US leadership and engagement in the world, in partnership with allies and partners, to shape solutions to global challenges."

This is the sort of thing that some folk call soft propaganda, or diplomacy, using fiction to make certain ideas more palatable to people through cultural changes. This is nothing new, Doctor Seuss and Stan Lee were up to it, plenty of comic book folk have taken very suspicious tours of the CIA, and it seems Mark Sable has been doing similar.

Especially when the comic depicts a war on China in the offing as well. And so Carver, a former special forces super-soldier whose eyes were destroyed in combat has been healed, using advanced biotech. Which allows him to return to the field on a dangerous mission hunting down Camille, an NSA analyst who has stolen dangerous information. And so Carver and Camille are thrown together to get the world back on track while a shadowy force is manipulating events. Which, as I understand it, it pretty much what shadowy forces always do.

The art was also created using posed 3-D characters, objects, vehicle, weapon, building, and cities modelled with computers. It looks like things have moved along since the early days of Poser.

Trans sensitivity reader Mey Rude was also hired by Sable to consult with and develop the book's main themes, including transhumanism, with Master Sargeant Carver, a blinded soldier equipped with biotech eyes tasked with a dangerous secret mission and Camille, a trans woman and biopunk fugitive on the run from Carver's masters. The book was also coloured by Lee Loughridge, lettered by Thomas Mauer, and edited by Will Dennis, 

The Dark will be published on December 7th 2021.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.