Writer/artist Bob Burden (Flaming Carrot, Mystery Men) is expanding his reach with a new supernatural crime thriller from Dark Horse, Hitman For The Dead.

The radically different new series centers on Anthony Harken, a wandering assassin. After losing his soul in a card game, Harken joins a crew of vagabond serial killers roaming the country and administering one of the last surviving rituals of the Spanish Inquisition. It includes avenging the wrongfully killed and freeing their souls so they can move to the next realm to find peace. This is where Harken becomes the “Hitman for the Dead.”

Famous for his surrealist stories, Burden explains the new direction he’s taking for the series:

“This project started out as a strategy to promote the new 400-page Flaming Carrot Omnibus that we have coming out in September from Dark Horse. The story was an experiment. I wanted to change directions, blow out the pipes so to speak, and do a down-and-dirty hardcore thriller/horror/detective thing that would diverge from my humor stuff. Unlike Flaming Carrot, people instantly get what Hitman For The Dead is about and we feel it has a very viral potential. I had a completed comic book script from a few years back – a good, solid story – but could I turn that script into a novel in the few weeks I had left in June and have it ready for San Diego Comic Con? I had to go for it. Originally called Silence Of Night, Hitman For The Dead was an idea that I had been kicking around for a while. Will it work as collateral promotion for the now obscure and seemingly forgotten Flaming Carrot and get it on people’s radar screens? It’s an experiment, and we’ll see how it goes.”

A limited edition Hitman For The Dead novella in a vintage paperback format will be sold for $10 at the Dark Horse Comics booth (#2615) at San Diego Comic Con this year. The novella serves as a prequel to the upcoming new series. Burden will also be signing copies.

If you can’t make the show this year, a free sample download of the book will be available at hitmanforthedead.com for fans. This digital version of the book will be on the site for free starting Sunday night.

Hitman for the Dead