Joe Hill's Blog
February 26, 2014
WRAITH: WELCOME TO CHRISTMASLAND #4 is out today and already has a very kind review from the Big Comics Page. Go get a face full.
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Delighted to learn that NOS4A2 has landed on the final ballot for this year’s Bram Stoker Awards, up against some distinguished competition. I don’t know what to say to the H.W.A. except fangs so much for smiling on my book; it’s claws for celebration; and I hope everyone who attends the Stoker weekend has a great slime!
I’m so ashamed of myself for writing that last sentence. I’m going away now.
February 5, 2014
LOCKE & KEY: ALPHA & OMEGA is out, everywhere comic books are sold and that aren’t buried under twelve feet of snow. Fight your way past the man-eating polar bears and pick up your copy!
It is also possible to buy the book with a gorgeous slipcase that will hold all six volumes. The slipcase comes with the hardcover of Vol. 6 in it, and cardboard filler, so if you already own the first 5 books, you don’t have to buy them all over again to get the slipcase.
No, I don’t know if they’ll be selling all six books in the slipcase as a gift set. I hope they will.
Want a signed copy? You can order from River Run Books in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, right through Sunday the 9th. Books will go out after the 12th. I’ll sign up to three books for each order, but one of the books has to be Alpha & Omega. River Run will do everything in their power to get your books to you mint, but if it gets banged up in the mail, that’s on the Postal Service, not them. Also, er, no promises on doodles this time. I’ll probably randomly doodle in a few, but in the interest of getting everyone’s book signed and in the mail in a timely fashion, I’ll prolly mostly just sign things. (Sorry! I love doing the doodles. And I love that you guys love them, considering how bad they are.)
I’m also signing this Saturday, February 8th, at the amazing Stairway to Heaven Comics in Exeter, New Hampshire, from 4:30 – 5:30. You can find Stairway down the steps, beneath Water Street Books. I might do some bad doodles, you never know. And even if I don’t doodle, I’m confident I will be able to correctly spell my name. Come see me! Water Street Books is also having a cookbook author in at the same time, so you can sneak upstairs and listen to her and maybe snag a cupcake.
Thanks for reading Locke & Key. Gabe and I had the time of our lives.
January 17, 2014
The cover above features some art from NOS4A2… a drawing by the 8-year-old Millie Manx, showing a happy afternoon with Dad in Christmasland.
As it happens this started out as a sketch of my own, but I’m such a bad artist, I couldn’t even convincingly fake the work of an 8-year-old kid. So Gabriel Rodriguez went back over my original illustration with his own pen and somehow made it scary and believable and that’s the version we used in the novel. Which makes this (a) my first visual collaboration with Gabe, and (b) my first cover! I’m still waiting on the check from IDW for my cover art.
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While I wasn’t paying attention, NOS4A2 climbed back onto the New York Times Bestseller list, this time in the eBook category. That’s the first time I’ve ever been on the eBook list! NOS4A2 also surfaced on the outer limits of the print & ebook combined list. My week hath been made AND MADE WELL.
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NOS4A2 is not the only thing I have for sale in the eBook market, koffkoff.
January 7, 2014
My short story, “Wolverton Station,” is out today in pretty much every ebook format you can imagine, for the el cheapo price of .99. Here’s the dust jacket copy (or what would be the dust jacket copy, if eBooks had dust jackets):
Saunders made his fortune as a hatchet man for hire and “The Woodcutter” has brought his sharpest axe to England to do what he does best: maximize corporate profits by chopping down the little guy. But his train north is about to make an unexpected stop in the deep dark woods, to let on some hairy-handed gents straight out of the darkest kind of fairy tale. Now “The Woodcutter” is up to his ankles in blood and finding out just what it really means to live in a dog-eat-dog world…
I wrote it longhand over the course of three days, while riding the rails with my friend Jon Weir, for the UK book tour of HORNS. That’s a bit of a rarity for me. Most short stories take at least a week, and at the time I hadn’t yet started the practice of handwriting all my first drafts.
It was first published in Tales of Dark Fantasy 2 (Subterranean Press). I don’t believe it’s ever had a wider release.
The loutish football-fan werewolves may or may not have been inspired by actual passengers.
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I will be in New York City on January 15th, to do a reading as part of the ongoing Fantastic Fiction series, hosted by the KGB bar and organized by Ellen Datlow. Come on out and see me and author Ennis Drake. All information here.
At the moment this is my only planned appearance in 2014. I’m sure I’ll wind up doing one or two other things, but for the most part would like to spend the new year flying under the radar to get some writing done. I have a novel to finish (THE FIREMAN) and a pair of novellas I’d like to write and a few projects to work on with Gabriel Rodriguez later in the year. I’m also curious to see what I come up with when I don’t have to write anything… when I can just sort of free-associate in a lazy way.
Don’t worry, though, I won’t completely disappear. WRAITH will continue throughout the winter and spring, and there might be some more eStories popping up in the year to come.
December 18, 2013
December 10, 2013
WRAITH: WELCOME TO CHRISTMASLAND #2 drops on December 11th. The Prologue is over. It’s time for the main event. Bring on King Geek (pictured above).
The first two issues were reviewed together by Pop Mythology. They liked ‘em.
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NOS4A2 is out in trade paperback, and I’m doing just one event to promote it: I’ll be at River Run Books this Thursday for a Holiday Horror party with Christopher Golden (Snowblind), Jason Ciaramella (The Cape, Thumbprint), and James Patrick Kelly (Strangeways Magazine). There’ll be readings, a raffle, and carols WITH AN ACCORDION. There will also be one big mass signing. You don’t want to miss it. It’s the next best thing to an all-expense paid trip to Christmasland! Come see us. Party information here.
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NOS4A2 landed on a couple of them crazy year-end best lists, including the AV Club’s Best Fiction of 2013, Book Riot’s Best Of The Year, and Time Magazine’s Top 10 Fiction of 2013. This seems like a good excuse to show off this creepy crimson cartoon of the Wraith by Francesco Francavilla. The AV club also schmeered some love all over LOCKE & KEY, finding a spot for it on their list of the best mainstream comics of 2013. Oh, yeah, about the final issue of LOCKE & KEY…
… next week.
November 13, 2013
Look what just slid down the chimney! WRAITH: WELCOME TO CHRISTMASLAND #1 is in comic stores everywhere today and available on all digital platforms. WRAITH expands on the world and ideas to be found in NOS4A2… which leads to a logical question: do you need to read the novel to enjoy the comic? No. Neither do you need to read the comic to enjoy the novel. Fans of one will (I hope) find a lot to explore in the other, but each is its own work.
By the same token: there are no NOS4A2 spoilers in WRAITH, and no WRAITH spoilers in NOS4A2. One will inform the experience of reading the other, but will not ruin it. Least not if I’ve done my job right.
I should add that WRAITH is not a 5-issue miniseries as has been widely reported. I expanded it to 7; it turned out I had a lot more to say about Charlie Manx and the nightmarish playground of Christmasland then I originally anticipated. WELCOME TO CHRISTMASLAND is also 3 stories for the price of one… a standalone prologue, a standalone epilogue, and a five-issue adventure packed in the middle. My collaborator on this one is artist Charles Paul Wilson iii (Stuff of Legends) and I am so proud and delighted with the work he’s done here. CPiii does work that reminds me of what John Landis once said about Texas Chainsaw Massacre: “other movies were about psychopaths, but Chainsaw seemed like a movie made by a psychopath.”
I hope you’ll come along for another ride in the Wraith with me. I promise me’n CPiii will do everything in our power to make each chapter like a perfect little Christmas present!
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This is as good a place as any to mention that NOS4A2 (NOS4R2 in the British Isles and Commonwealth nations) is available in trade paperback, pretty much everywhere, pretty much now, with festive holiday covers! Just in time for all your yuletide gift-giving fun! After all… nothing tells someone what you really think of them like giving them an all-expense paid trip to Christmasland.
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There’s a crazy story goin’ around that I’m working on a reinvention of 80s TV horror fav. Tales from the Darkside for the CW, along with Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci. The craziest part of the story is it’s true. The only thing I’d add to the Deadline article is that “reinvention” is the proper verb, and that what we’re doing honors the original show, but isn’t quite the same thing; comparisons to Tales from the Crypt and Twilight Zone are also prolly not quite accurate. Hopefully it’ll be good and everyone will have fun with it. We still have a ways to go on this one, but if there’s interesting news, I’ll post about it.
October 8, 2013
… Slay bells? Get it? GET IT? Like Sleigh bells, only not? Do you get it do you – oh nevermind. Sigh. How about you just feast your eyes on the glorious holiday cover for NOS4A2, which is now out in trade paperback?
My understanding is that William Morrow will only be offering the holiday cover for a couple months, and then, just like the Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s, it’ll be gone! And there’s nothing worse than getting your face fixed for a Shamrock Shake, and getting to MickeyDees, and finding out they stopped selling them the day before. You understand what I’m saying to you.
Besides, the holidays are almost upon us, and NOS4A2 is the kind of gift book that can do double duty. It’s a great All-Hallows Read gift, but also, nothing says Merry Christmas like a ride with Charlie Manx! Let everyone in your family know how much you love them by sending them on an all-expense paid ride to Christmasland! They’ll scream for joy!
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So something wild happened to me last month. Amazon made the Kindle edition of HORNS a .99 Daily Deal, and the book zipped to the #1 spot on the Kindle chart, where it hung out for three days, absolutely the highest I’ve ever had a book go. They had such a good time with that, they decided to offer the eBook of Heart-Shaped Box, my first novel, at $2.99 for the entire month of October.
They’ve kept the price on HORNS low as well, slinging it for $5. Big thanks to everyone who picked up either of those books, whether you bought ‘em for Kindle in the last month, or picked them up in some other form, from some other bookseller, at some other time.
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Next month sees the release of WRAITH, a story I wrote about Christmasland, the sadistic wonderland cheerful amusement park at the heart of NOS4A2. You don’t need to have read the novel to enjoy the comic, and you don’t need to read the comic to enjoy the novel, but the two do play nicely together. The fella drawing it is Charlie “Talent” Wilson iii, and his work reminds me of something someone said about Texas Chainsaw Massacre: “Before Chainsaw, there were plenty of movies about psychos, but Texas Chainsaw Massacre was the first film I ever watched that felt like it had been directed by a psycho.”
Here’s a page.
First issue should be out in four weeks.
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Which reminds me, there’s another comic I write. Gabriel Rodriguez is drawing the final issue of Locke & Key right now, and as far as I’m concerned he’s doing the best, most moving, most beautiful work of his life.
I was surprised by reviewers who thought that after Locke & Key: Alpha #1, there was no more story left to tell. Plenty more where that came from. And besides… Locke & Key isn’t over until Dodge says it’s over.
And don’t you forget it.
September 11, 2013
Locke & Key: Alpha #1 drops into stores today… one of two extra-long issues leading up to the end. Next issue, Gabe and I turn out the lights, close the door, and lock it behind us. We both hope like hell you enjoy how it ends.
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HORNS premiered in Toronto last weekend, and while the film won’t be in theaters for a while, here’s a clip:
Daniel Radcliffe is such a perfectly perfect Ig.
There have been some questions on Twitter about why the film isn’t in theaters NOOWWWWWWWW. Without going into the knotty details, it’s an indie feature, and releasing an indie feature is as different from releasing a big studio tentpole film, as acupuncture is from a knifing. HORNS won’t be out until it has the right distributor and they’ve figured out the ideal window to put it in theaters and they’ve prepared the right promotional campaign. Look for it sometime in 2014.
September 5, 2013
So HORNS has a premiere this Friday night at the Toronto International Film Festival. I’m dropping in for it; director Alexandre Aja, screenwriter Keith Bunin, Juno Temple, and Daniel Radcliffe will be in the haüs as well. I’m nervous. How could I not be? But I’ve seen the film and I loved it and am hopeful other people will love it. Daniel Radcliffe gives a wrenching, vulnerable, emotionally naked performance that isn’t like anything he’s ever done on screen before. He is such a wonderful Ig Perrish.
There’s a lot more I could say, but I won’t just yet. I do hope if you’re at TIFF this weekend you get a chance to see the thing. My understanding is that the two scheduled screenings are sold out, but they’re looking to add a third.
This is the only opportunity to see HORNS for the time being. Although IMdB and Wikipedia claim the film is scheduled for an October 12th release, you will be shocked – SHOCKED – to learn you can’t trust everything you read on the internet. There is no scheduled release date yet. There ain’t even a trailer. Don’t worry. You won’t have to wait until hell freezes over; you’ll just have to wait a little while longer.
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Yeah, okay, it’s a pretty busy weekend for me. I’m out of Toronto first thing Saturday morning. You’ll be able to find me at Baltimore Comic Con that afternoon. Here’s my schedule:
Saturday, September 7th, 5PM: LOCKE & KEY PANEL – moderated by Dirk Wood.
Saturday, September 7th, 8PM: The Harvey Awards (I’m a presenter)
Sunday, September 8th, 12 – 1:30 PM: Signing at the IDW booth.
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All that and Locke & Key: Alpha #1 is all set to whack you in the eyeballs on Wednesday the 11th. Pretty much exactly like this:
(HORNS image lifted from Entertainment Weekly. Photo credit, Doane Gregory)