Famous Monsters of Filmland, the horror film magazine created by legendary editor Forrest J. Ackerman in 1958, is expanding its publishing lineup into comic books with the creation of American Gothic Press, a new comics imprint. Famous Monsters has a historical relationship with comics: Ackerman co-created the long running comic series on lady bloodsucker Vampirella in 1969 for Warren Publishing, which published Famous Monsters alongside Vampiella, Creepy and Eerie for many years.
The first series to debut will be Gunsuits by Paul Tobin and P.J Holden, due in June 2015. July will see the debut of Bornhome by Tobin and Jeff Johnson, followed by Broken Moon by Steve Niles and Nat Jones in August.
“For years we have had relationships with comic writers and artists through coverage of their work in the pages of FM,” says Famous Monsters Publisher Phil Kim. “When we imagined what FM's American Gothic Press would be publishing we knew we couldn't compromise any part of the story so we came up with a short list of writers and artists that could interpret our vision. When you read these stories you will agree that Steve Niles and Paul Tobin did an exceptional job.”
The creators American Gothic Press is launching with are an experienced bunch. Paul Tobin, while winning an Eisner Award for the digital comic Bandette, has floated under the radar of the comic shops for years, writing titles like Plants Vs. Zombies and Marvel’s “Marvel Age” all-ages line that have consistently proved popular in the bookstore channels. Steve Niles is one of the best known current horror comic writers, whose 30 Days of Night franchise has made it to big screen. P.J. Holden is best known for his work in the UK with 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd franchise. Jeff Johnson has worked on everything from the Justice League franchise at DC to Weapon X at Marvel. Nat Jones is best known for a short run on Spawn and the zombie comic ’68.
Kim says American Gothic Press titles will be available to the comics Direct Market outlets through Diamond Comics Distributors and directly through the Captainco.com website. The titles will also be available in digital formats and plans are in place for collected editions, but Kim declined to elaborate on specifics.