Continuing its efforts in literary/graphic novel crossovers, IDW Publishing has announced a major licensing agreement with the estate of acclaimed author Robert Bloch. IDW has the rights to develop 100 of Bloch’s short stories for various formats, to be known as the Robert Bloch Collection.

Best known as the author of Psycho, Bloch’s was varied, from being mentored by H.P. Lovecraft to writing three episodes of the original Star Trek series. Working in the horror, suspense, crime and science fiction genres, he influenced writers in all of them, and won Hugo, Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Awards along the way.

IDW publisher Ted Adams is among Bloch’s fans and had long sought a way to adapt the master’s works for the comics medium. To that end, he set himself the task of reading all 350 of Bloch’s short stories—“three stories a day for 100 days,” said Adams—to find the best 100 to license.

Each story will be developed independently, whether as a four- or five-issue series, a single issue or a graphic novel—and the new versions will be reinterpretations or reinventions, rather than straight adaptations. The collection will have a unified design, however, most likely by IDW mainstay artist Ashley Wood.

With the new line just announced, no talent has been assigned yet, but Adams expects to sign up a variety of new and established comics creators as well as screenwriters. The first two stories to be developed will be the Hugo Award—winning “That Hell Bound Train,” about a man who makes a deal with the devil to freeze his life at its perfect moment, followed by “The Cheaters.”

The effort continues the line of such IDW literary adaptations as The Hunter, Darwyn Cooke’s graphic novel version of Richard Stark first Parker book, and a line of Clive Barker comics. Previously, IDW adapted one of Bloch’s stories for the B&W horror magazine Doomed. A new edition of Bloch’s classic horror novel Lori will be released in September.

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