A big box store opening up in a small community can mean a lot of things. For some, it can be a boon in the form of employment opportunities or easier access to certain products. For others, like the small business owners of the community, it can be a major threat to their way of life. In Christopher Cantwell and I.N.J. Culbard‘s Everything, the arrival of the titular superstore in Holland, Michigan in the early ’80s brings with it both of those things, plus something else entirely: a series of mysterious deaths, and a sinister plot to control the minds of the populace.
The five-issue first volume of Everything introduced a handful of characters, from residents of Holland like city manager Eberhard Friendly, loan agent Lori Dunbar, and stereo store owner Rick, to Everything employees like Shirley, her apparently sentient Mister Bear doll, and a mustachioed man in a large helmet who’s known as The Interlocuter (his name-tag says his name is actually Steve). The series oozes with hints of a mystery that’s just out of reach and an ever-present sense of foreboding, as throughout the five issues Cantwell and Culbard wove a fascinating series of connected storylines that all collided in the pages of the final issue with a parade, a job opportunity, and an attempted assassination. Now, with a collection of the first five issues due in stores in April, Dark Horse Comics has revealed, exclusive to The Beat, the cover for the first issue of Everything Volume 2.
Culbard’s cover features dozens of dead-eyed riders on an M.C. Escher-esque set of escalators that all apparently lead to nowhere but a salmon-hued oblivion. If that’s not a perfect metaphor for the perils of unchecked consumerism, I don’t know what is.
Along with the cover reveal, we had the opportunity to ask series writer Christopher Cantwell about what readers should expect from Everything Volume 2, from new additions to the cast to where the story finds some of the characters.
Joe Grunenwald: The climax to Everything’s first volume saw many of the threads you’d been weaving throughout the series come together in a big way. How much story-time will have passed between the end of the first volume and the beginning of Everything Volume 2?
Christopher Cantwell: It’ll have been a little over two weeks I think since the big parade that ended Issue 5.
Grunenwald: Should we expect to see all of the characters from the first volume back for the next one? City manager Eberhard Friendly wasn’t looking so good health-wise, and the owner of Sounds Good Stereo was in a pretty tight spot.
Cantwell: Big yes. We’re basically picking up right where we left off. Lori is still working at Everything. Steve the manager is there. Marshall Gooder has decided to stay in Holland following the incident with Shirley. And Shirley is still around, along with her modified Mister Bear. And Rick’s been captured, and Elwood was about to kill Gooder so… yes, I guess I could’ve just said yes, everyone is still in the story.
Grunenwald: What kind of new additions can we expect to the series cast? Might Marshall Gooder be hanging around, for example (provided he wasn’t, you know, assassinated)?
Cantwell: Marshall Gooder is a big part of Volume 2. He’s staying in Holland following the parade because the store branch is becoming such an issue. We’re going to learn a lot more about him and he’s going to more actively figure into the story now.
Grunenwald: With the pressure Lori had already started to receive from her new Everything coworkers about her knowledge of the lighthouse, what’s her mental state like as the new volume begins?
Cantwell: Lori is actually doing great. She’s moving up at Everything and actually… happy. She’s so happy that others are beginning to wonder what’s up with her. Everything employees have plans to dig deeper into what’s going on with her.
Grunenwald: What else do you want readers to know about Everything volume 2?
Cantwell: It’s good. They should read it. Somebody should fucking buy the goddamn book. INJ’s art is just perfect for this story. The sci-fi goes off the charts in this volume. But it’s still this moody freaky mystery story about capitalism and how it fucks with everyone’s mind and soul. Just read it already!
Everything Volume 2 #1 goes on sale later this year. A collected edition of the first volume of Everything is available for pre-order physically and digitally now, and will be out in comic shops on April 8th, 2020 and everywhere else on April 28th, 2020. It’s great and you really should just fucking buy it.