Zero-hour contracts and food delivery work is tough at the best of times but new 2000 AD comedy-horror serial Portals & Black Goo adds a little extra eldritch danger  to the perilous profession (without the hazard pay). Portals & Black Goo is a seven part series starting in July 12’s Prog 2340 from writer John Tomlinson, artist Eoin Coveney, colourist Jim Boswell, and letterer Simon Bowland. This prog hits UK stores and the 2000 AD web shop next week – and later in the year from Diamond for US readers. 

The Rebellion synopsis for the series:

“…when the job market is more perilous than ever, you’ll take any job that comes along!

“Kroy Plemons is a Devouroo delivery driver, who has to overcome the obstacles and perils of working the kind of zero-hours shift that can often be … lethal to his own health. From bags of fresh plasma for vampires, bloody bones for djinn and steaming viscera for werewolves, Kroy delivers it from the back of his moped – all while dealing with a haemoglobin-intolerant vegan vampire, a self-styled vampire hunter, claim-jumping delivery riders from rival service DaHunga and so much more!

Portals & Black Goo is the SF horror strip with a streak of mordant humour, incorporating a cast of hunger-maddened night creatures as predators and misfits of ancient legend struggle to integrate with a tech-driven post-modern world.”

Editor of 2000 AD Matt Smith talks about commissioning this new series: 

“I thought John’s pitch was very interesting, combining comedy-horror with social satire of the zero-contract culture and the prejudice a section of the populace can face, and Eoin has brought the creatures to life wonderfully, giving them real character.”

On the origins of Portals & Black Goo, writer John Tomlinson says: 

“I wanted to combine SF and horror in a familiar urban setting, and it all came together one night when a confused Deliveroo [UK food delivery service] rider stopped me for directions after his phone conked out. Walking home after, it struck me that they must have to deliver to some pretty scary places and people. Later I scribbled down the line ‘Hungry Horrors: food delivery for children of the night. Charnel@£1.99!’ The basic series premise for Portals & Black Goo soon followed.”

Series artist Eoin Coveney adds: 

“After several read throughs of John’s script, I was struck by the sensibility; an intriguing combination of horror, comedy (I laughed out loud on several occasions!) and the simple drudgery of making one’s way in a big city.

“Big cities at night are quite intimidating, I think. The smells of rubbish and traffic fumes along with the constant noise create quite an unnerving atmosphere and I strove to capture that.”

2000 AD has been on a bit of a roll of late when it comes to brand new series in the weekly prog. Two new scifi series are currently running – David Hine and Boo Cook’s Void Runners (which began in May’s Prog 2334), and Azimuth from Dan Abnett and Tazio Bettin (debuted in June’s Prog 2337).  

Don’t forget 2000 AD will be at SDCC this month – with exclusive posters and a special Judge Dredd hardcover.

You can also check out a few pages from new series Portals & Black Goo below: