It's Grant Morrison time! With all the understandable industry attention on Boom Studios' record-shattering BRZRKR by Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt, and Ron Garney over the last couple of weeks, followed by Image Comics' next big series Nocterra by Scott Snyder and Tony Daniel, a new series from another industry heavyweight may be flying a bit under the radar. Unless you are reading Thank FOC It's Friday on Bleeding Cool.
It's been five years since one of the industry's biggest writing stars launched a new original series when back in 2015 they launched Klaus with Boom, then the company's highest-selling launch, and Nameless with Image. Why has the normally prolific Grant Morrison written so few comics in the last five years?
No doubt due to all the time spent in Hollywood adapting their own series, Happy, for SyFy followed by working on the television adaptation of Brave New World for Peacock over the last five years has something to do with it. And that time at both SyFy and Peacock, both owned by NBCUniversal, seem to have paid off when it comes to Proctor Valley Road. After all, it appears that Morrison's new series is already getting the adaptation treatment with another NBCUniversal subsidiary, Universal Content Productions, which will develop it for television with Boom producing.
That connection may also explain why Morrison is co-writing the series with fellow screenwriter, Alex Child, whose credits include BBC's medical soap opera Holby City and Sky One's unwatched Temple. Rounding out the creative team are Harrow County artist Naomi Franquiz and Once & Future colourist Tamra Bonvillain. Proctor Valley Road tackles the real-world urban myth of a stretch of road that connects Chula Vista with Jamul in San Diego County reputed to be haunted by monsters, ghosts, and yes, even a demon car.
With Morrison's work, we tend to see either highly conceptual explorations like The Invisibles or Nameless or smart, highly commercial blockbusters like their work on Batman or Klaus. Our early look at Proctor Valley Road indicates this will be the latter, albeit a hell of a lot more bloody and foul-mouthed than Bruce Wayne or Father Christmas. Morrison describes the series as "a spooky rollercoaster ride that feels like Nancy Drew on 'shrooms."
Given the hot streak Boom has been on, along with creator-owned rival Image, this could bode well for fans, collectors, and retailers. Morrison discovered and broke Peach Momoko in the pages of Heavy Metal Magazine and she returns the favor on Proctor Valley Road. With the 1-in-25 incentive cover already selling for double ratio at $50 could this be the next Boom series to break out? After all, if Keanu Reeves' first comic book warrants over 615,000 copies ordered and Scott Snyder's newest series fetches over 150,000 copies, what will the first original series from Grant Morrison in five years garner in the current market?
Boom seems to believe in it as they just added their first-ever open-to-order one-per-store variant featuring the undressed "monster" art by hot cover artist Christian Ward last week. That means that any store that orders the first issue can order the cover, but only one copy… which puts small comic shops on the same footing as giants like Midtown Comics and automatically makes this a rare variant for collectors to chase.
Proctor Valley Road #1 by Grant Morrison, Alex Child, and Naomi Franquiz FOCs today, Monday, February 15th.