Described as “a horror story that’s part The Revenant and part At the Mountains of Madness” Vault’s Black Stars Above for its Nightfall imprint offers a creepy, moody tale of terror that plays on the palpable fear of the dark and the unknown. Now the series is getting the trade paperback treatment this week in the Black Stars Above: The Complete Series.
Written by Lonnie Nadler and with art by Jenna Cha, Brad Simpson is on colors and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou is on letters. Designs are by Tim Daniel. Read the official synopsis from the publisher below.
A young fur trapper flees her overbearing family only to get lost in a dreamlike winter wilderness that harbors a cosmic threat. The year is 1887 and a storm brews. Eulalie Dubois has spent her entire life tending to her family’s trapline, isolated from the world. A chance at freedom comes in the form of a parcel that needs delivering to a nameless town north of the wilderness. Little does Eulalie know, something sinister hides in these woods and it yearns for what she carries.
Nadler and Cha also chatted about the book here:
Cha said in a statement:
“As an artist, Black Stars Above has been a gift. It’s a story catered to exploring the craft of visual storytelling founded on a marriage of beauty in nature and horror of the unknown. For a story that allows an artist to reap from such a landscape, I’ve found that the world rather prefers to illustrate itself. The pitch for Black Stars Above intrigued me for how the face of its world immediately unraveled in my head, which was indicative of the care and research invested in the storytelling. It was pretty clear after first talking to Lonnie Nadler that we share the same visual creative bank and we share the same amount of love for visual storytelling in both comics and film. Black Stars Above, for how artistically challenging it can be as my first publication, is a dream project.”
Nadler chimed in:
“For me, horror without a sense of intimacy is superfluous. I love the genre but I’m also very particular about what I consider great horror stories. At its best, I see horror as a means to willfully confront the nature of our being, and thus it must be coupled with intention. It’s about connecting with a readership who experiences similar anxieties about the world at large. If you’re not doing that, what’s the point? I knew that if I was going to write a story of this ilk, it needed to have weight, that I would have to dig into the crevices of my personality to uncover a narrative that explored who I am and the limits of my understanding. While Black Stars Above tackles a lot of ideas, at its core it was born out of the fear of lineage in forging one’s own identity, the desire to escape home, and the dread in knowing that no matter how far you run, family always has a way of finding you.
However, Black Stars Above goes back further than this. As with most stories, it began as a simple, provocative image. A few years ago I was reading Margret Atwood’s book, Survival, which serves as a study of Canadian literature, and it filled me with a desire to tell a distinctly Canadian horror story with wider appeal. One that exhumed the roots of the country and the notion of survival, in its many meanings, and to tie that to our contemporary understanding of self, family, and history. While reading Survival, I couldn’t get this image out of my head: a young woman trekking through a snowstorm in the dense Canadian wilderness, holding a mysterious parcel, and a black star watching her from the sky with apathy. For some reason, I had it in mind that this was all happening during the fur trade era. “
Black Stars Above: The Complete Series is on sale today, July 29. Before grabbing your copy at your favorite local comic shop, read an exclusive preview of the first full issue for free below.