The announcement was made earlier today that comic book creators Scott Snyder and Tony Daniel are launching a new horror series at Image Comics called Nocternal. The series will be the first under Snyder’s new creator-owned imprint Best Jackett Press and is set to be published in early 2021. Snyder and Daniel are also offering a Kickstarter Special Edition of the first issue. In an interview with IGN, Snyder had this to say about launching the book through Kickstarter, “To launch, though, we wanted to do something that allowed us to reconnect with fans, an edition that was all about process, and gave access to folks, let them see the work going into the series, and also offered something personal and collectible in a time when we can’t go to conventions or sign anything for them. In the end, creator-owned is all about connection – connection with fans willing to take a leap of faith with you into something new, connection with the community, connection with your own ideas and hopes and fears… This book, and this campaign are all designed around that idea and will give pretty unprecedented access to fans to jump in.”
Part of that connection Snyder is talking about was evident when the Nocternal team broadcast live on YouTube after the Kickstarter funded in only 4 hours. The link to the live broadcast was shared only with those who had already backed the project and it was a fun and interactive chat with co-creators, Snyder and Daniel as well as the series editor Will Dennis and Kickstarter comic outreach lead Camilla Zhang. Snyder led the chat off by thanking all the backers, “Everybody watching, we can’t thank you enough. Sincerely, this is brand new for all of us. We’re really floored by how supportive all you guys are. We are so grateful to the best fans in the world because we believe in this new model we are trying here. We wanted to give you something that was personal and collectible and use it to make sure we could make this book no matter what happens with Covid and the indy comics industry.”
The series will focus a “ferryman” Valentina “Val” Riggs who transports people and goods along the dark and deadly roads of the Nocternal world in illuminated eighteen-wheelers. The idea for the series came from Snyder’s own fear of the dark when he was a child as well as him seeing those same fears affect his children. It certainly is a common childhood fear that could bring a relatability to the series for most readers. Snyder also mentioned in the chat that the series was almost called “Full-Throttle Dark” and he still hopes to use that name for at least a chapter of the story “because it’s truckers in the nighttime with weaponized lights”. The series is set in the real world and Snyder says we will definitely see places that look familiar.
Additionally in response to several questions from backers in the chat, he spoke to wanting the series to be one, in Snyder’s own words, “that we live in for awhile”. Providing the sales are good and the series continues Snyder had this to say about the setting and wanting to explore how this 10 years of darkness has affected everything, “The mythology and the big questions we pose in the first arc are things we want to answer by the end and we have answers for. Like American Vampire, Undiscovered Country, series we that we’ve continued with for a long time or right from the beginning we had a plan for, this is that kind of model. We want to show the rest of the world. We want to show why all this began and we want you to get to the end and be like, I can’t believe it began in such a small way and then ended in such a massive worldview, crazy place. If you guys keep supporting it we’ll go every where, there’s no where that isn’t fun to go and there’s nothing we don’t want to ratchet up.”
On the artistic side of things Daniel commented that this project is different from his previous work because it is so much more “personal”. He went on to say, “For me to do something that I am co-creating from the ground up, it speaks to me more than an IP from DC Comics or something. This I really feel like is a part of me and you are seeing something a lot more personal from me. I’m doing my best artwork and it’s hard to explain, but I feel like I can turn it up a notch with this.” Daniel also mentioned a sense of freedom he has with this project unlike working and Batman or Superman where deadlines come into play as well as him thinking about how to do those long-standing heroes justice and what others have done artistically before him.
They creative team had a lot more to say about what to expect from the series and about using the campaign as a way to connect with fans during a time when comic conventions aren’t possible. If you want to be sure not to miss these chances to learn more about Nocternal from the creators themselves, you will need to go and back the Kickstarter. Snyder and team have said more AMA’s are planned as well as other special surprises for backers.
With the recent news that Snyder is planning on reducing his creative output at DC Comics, this looks like his next step in that direction. Along with the Kickstarter the announcement of the Black Jackett Press imprint today is further evidence of that. Other series we expect to see under this imprint are a third volume of Wytches with Jock that has been mentioned by Snyder previously, as have independent projects with Greg Capullo, Francesco Francavilla, Becky Cloonan and Francis Manapul.
You will find the full story description of Nocternal below and you can back the Kickstarter HERE
Imagine that tomorrow the sun simply doesn’t rise. You wait. And you wait, but night just continues… You can still feel the sun’s warmth –it must BE THERE– but for some reason, light no longer reaches the earth. And this new darkness, there’s something strange about it, something terrifying. Because anything (or anyone) that stays in it too long starts to change…
NOCTERNAL takes place ten years after the world is plunged into an everlasting night that turns all living creatures into monstrous “shades.” The only way to survive is to stay close to artificial light. There are rumors of sanctuaries –perpetually-lit bunkers– where the shade-transformation can even be reversed, but most people assume these are just legends. Enter Valentina “Val” Riggs, a skilled “ferryman” who transports people and goods along deadly unlit roads with her heavily illuminated eighteen-wheeler.
When an old man promising sanctuary offers Val a job to drive him and his granddaughter up through the Rocky Mountains, she takes it, hoping there might be some truth to his claim. What she finds in the end, though, is something much more horrifying than any shade…
Quotes from Scott Snyder and Tony Daniel have been edited for clarity