By Zack Quaintance

David and Maria Lapham, co-creators of the seminal noir comic Stray Bullets, will bring a new crime/thriller mini-series to Shelly Bond’s Black Crown imprint, Bond announced Saturday at IDW’s Big News panel.

Titled The Lodger, the book is slated for release in October, with David drawing it while his wife Maria joins him as a co-writer, just as the couple has done for Stray Bullets. The new book’s titular Lodger, Bond said, is a villain who hides in plain sight, posing as a handsome drifter while renting rooms in the homes of people whose lives he destroys. The comic will be about a woman he has wronged seeking revenge. Oh, and The Lodger may or may not be a shape shifter.

The book seems a natural fit for the eclectic Black Crown line, which has to date launched everything from a quarterly anthology comic (Black Crown Quarterly) to a poetic and ethereal meditation on life and death (The Euthanauts).

“As an editor/curator, I knew I wanted a crime thriller for the Black Crown line, and there’s only one name that comes to mind,” Bond said. “…David and Maria Lapham are coming to Black Crown.”

Stray Bullets, for those who don’t know, first launched in 1995 before following an irregular publication schedule that continues to this day.

Their work changed my life,” Bond said. “From the day I read Stray Bullets #1, I just knew I was going to be a comics lifer, and I had the pleasure of working with David and Maria when I was at Vertigo. We did two projects together. We always had a great relationship and real understanding of gritty, grimy, psychological crime.”

The IDW Big News panel covered a variety of other forthcoming projects for the publisher, too, reviewing its recent Go Bots news, announcing books related to George A. Romero and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and detailing a newly-unveiled collaboration with Marvel.

“We’re going to be working with Marvel to create brand new comics for middle grade readers, the fastest-growing demographic of comic book readers,” said IDW editor-in-chief John Barber.

A Spider-Man comic for this line will launch in November, an Avengers comic in December, and a Black Panther comic January. The Spider-Man comic will be written by Delilah Dawson and illustrated by Fico Ossio.

IDW also announced a new Star Wars comic aimed at kids. Titled Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader’s Castle, it will come out weekly throughout October, telling five thematically-connected horror-tinged stories, involving many different Star Wars characters. For example, one issue will star Young Han Solo and Chewbacca, another Obi Wan, and still another the most terrifying Star Wars creations of all—the Ewoks (this joke was actually dead-panned at the panel by the series writer Cavan Scott). That series will be drawn by Derek Charm and a number of guest illustrators.

Other big news at the IDW Big News panel included Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder in Hell to be written and drawn by Mateus Santolouco, and to be kind of a Dante’s Inferno sort of journey story, but about Shredder and probably also somehow involving Bee Bop and Rock Steady.

Jonathan Maberry was also on hand to announced that he was writing a new three-issue mini-series comic titled George Romero’s Road of the Dead, which he described as “Death Race 2000 meets Night of the Living Dead.” Maberry also announced that another property he has worked on, V Wars, was being adapted for television by Netflix.


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