Described as “a horror story that’s part The Revenant and part At the Mountains of Madness,” Black Stars Above is the next title added to Vault Comics’ annual horror imprint Nightfall. Written by Lonnie Nadler (The Dregs, Marvelous X-Men) and drawn by debut artist Jenna Cha, colorist Brad Simpson (Coffin Bound, Fair Lady) and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (Test, Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt) complete the creative team for this chilling, historical cosmic horror survival tale.
Set in 1887, a storm is brewing. A young fur trapper, Eulalie Dubois, flees her overbearing family. The fur trade is on the decline, and the world is changing. She 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 there, and it yearns for what she has. She must now face the cosmic threat lurking in the dreamlike winter woods.
“While the horror in this story is deeply personal in its exploration of family, Black Stars Above, as the title implies, is above all else, a cosmic horror story,” says Nadler. “I’ve always found this subgenre appealing because it deals with sublime threats that are by definition undefinable. These stories are terrifying because in exploring that which we cannot know, we come to learn more about ourselves and our place in the cosmos.”
“How can we continue to survive in the face of the unknown?” the writer continues. “This project is very much an attempt to tell a story that fits in line with Lovecraft and his contemporaries, while also coming to terms with the author’s unfortunate xenophobia and hopefully telling a story that addresses those issues by seeing these ‘horrors’ through the lens of a character who cannot help but be impacted by them.”
“As an artist, Black Stars Above has been a gift,” says Cha. “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.”
Black Stars Above #1 will receive a Vault Vintage B Cover by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel that pays tribute to Frank Miller’s iconic cover to Whiteout, by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber (Oni Press, 1999). The Vault Vintage cover line celebrates the artistic achievements of both modern and legendary comic artists.
Black Stars Above #1 will be available in comic shops on November 6th. Head over to Vault’s website for more on the new series.