Appearing in the back of this week's The Dreaming: Waking Hours #2 and American Vampire 1976 #1, an advertisement for the Razorblades horror comic book anthology created by James Tynion IV that Bleeding Cool has been keeping up to date with (and I just received my own copy of the first issue.) Buying advertising space for a non-DC Comic book inside a DC comic book is quite the rarity – must have been an interesting negotiation.
This is the comic I have been calling Project Nightmare in my last few newsletters. It is a 76-page self-published horror anthology book, curated and co-created by myself and Steve Foxe. It is the first book wholly published by my production company, Tiny Onion Studios.
I came up with the name Razorblades. Steve came up with the best justification for the name. Razorblades is meant to evoke a collection of small, sharp things, that can cut you. The goal here was to create a modern horror anthology, with a focus on the most exciting young voices in the comics and horror art communities.
The cover illustration is by the amazing Trevor Henderson, creator of Siren Head, and a whole host of amazing horror illustrations. You should all go follow him here.
The issue features comic features by Me & Andy Belanger, Sam Johns & DaNi, Steve Foxe & Michael Dialynas, Marguerite Bennett & Werther Dell'Edera, Lonnie Nadler & Jenna Cha, Michael Walsh, and Trung Nguyen. There are Ilustrations by Brian Level, Francine B/WitnessTheAbsurd, Nick Robles, Aaron Campbell, and Jock. There is a prose short story by Danny Lore, and I have an in-depth interview with Scott Snyder about horror as a genre.
The first issue sees the start of one incredible serial feature, A DREAM OF TIME, by Ram V & John J Pearson. It also sees a 2-page preview advertising my upcoming serial feature, THE ADVENTURES OF KILLBOY, by myself and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz.
Razorblades was lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Aditya Bidikar, and Serge Lapointe, and designed by Dylan Todd.
I have two stories in the book:
THE WASHING MACHINE
Andy Belanger and I have been talking about doing a horror comic together for ages. I think the first time I pitched him on doing an anthology book with me was back when I was on Talon. I absolutely love Andy's work. The story comes from a real place. Well… Real to an extent. It's based on the most horrible nightmare I've ever had. The down-in-your gut horror at what I thought I did has always stuck with me. And so, I processed it the best way I know how, by turning it into a comic book, and convincing Andy to draw what I am proud to say is the most disturbing image in the entire first issue.
THE ADVENTURES OF KILLBOY
Killboy, in my head, is the mascot of Razorblades. I was chatting with Matt Rosenberg the other day and I described the feature as I see it as "Johnny The Homicidal Maniac, if it were a Shonen Manga." I've already laid out the first full length feature, which will run in the Halloween issue, and when I sent it to Steve Foxe, he responded with a very simple "Jesus Christ. What are you trying to work through with this?!" This is the most obscene violent thing I have ever conceived, and I fucking love it. I cannot wait to bring you the Halloween gift of Ultraviolence. I've loved Ricardo's work for years. I actually have a comic I bought off him at Mocca back around 2015/2016? I'm thrilled I get to work with him on this… I might have a second RLO project in the works, but that's still very top secret. But we've got big plans for Killboy.
Sincerely, we have big plans all around (The above pages are by Trung Nguyen, and John J. Pearson). Razorblades is not a one-and-done project. As I said before, we're going to be releasing the book Quarterly and we've got the first year mostly already lined up. We've have some incredible horror creators from all corners of the comic book and horror art community lined up to create some truly stellar issues for you. Now that the project is out in the public, I'll probably start teasing these out more in the lead-up to Issue #2.
This first issue, which I am extraordinarily proud of, was first and foremost to prove that we could do it, and pull a full-sized anthology project together. Now the goal is to keep the beast alive. And what this beast needs to live is some money.
And with news of a second issue.… with a rather gynaecological cover.
Check out this amazing cover for the issue by the phenomenal Ian Bertram, with colors by SIKTC coloring master, Miquel Muerto. And check out a couple of quick glimpses of interior work by some of the astonishing creators we've lined up for this issue. Joshua Hixson. Marie Enger. David Romero.
I am ALSO thrilled to announce that we are going to be featuring an interview between Zack Davisson and Gou Tanabe, the phenomenal artist behind the Eisner-Nominated manga adaptation of AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. There are plenty more big surprises to come inside the pages of Razorblades. We have stacked the decks for the Halloween season.
There's another aspect to all of this that is going to be top secret until the day of the announcement. An idea that Sam Johns, one of the key members of the Razorblades Brain-Trust, cooked up that I think will be a game-changer for the entire Razorblades project. More on that on the 16th.