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Necronauts Tells A Dark History

Posted: Wednesday, October 15
Posted By: Markisan Naso
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"An unsettling, provocative secret history - playful, gruesome, mind-expanding and weirdly convincing."
- Kim Newman

"I'd always wanted to do a story featuring the founder of the study of Fortean events cracking open zombies' heads with a cricket bat..."
- Gordon Rennie

2000 AD is pleased to announce the publication of Necronauts, the first of a new range of 2000 AD graphic novels, collecting some of the best ongoing characters and one off series' in the history of 2000 AD, by both legendary creators and upcoming writers and artists.

Necronauts, written by Gordon Rennie (Judge Dredd, Storming Heaven), and drawn by Frazer Irving (Judge Death, The Authority, Fort), tells the tale of what happened when four of history's most unconventional characters and students of dark matters -- Harry Houdini, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Fort and H.P. Lovecraft -- discover what lies on the other side of the mirror.

Unfortunately, 'it' also discovers them, and the four occult adventurers soon find themselves beset by unnamable terrors and dread creatures in both the real world and the astral plane, not to mention the added complication that one of the four may not be all he seems. The story builds to a savage climax, where not just the group's lives, but also the continued existence of the world and indeed reality, are at stake.

Gordon Rennie is one of 2000 AD's most prolific writers, responsible for well-received series including Caballistics, Inc., Missionary Man, Storming Heaven and Glimmer Rats among many others, as well as being one of the most popular writers of Judge Dredd. He is also a prolific novelist, his work including the novelisation of Rebellion's forthcoming Judge Dredd: Dredd Vs. Death videogame for Black Flame.

Frazer Irving is one of the UK's hottest new comics art talents, his distinctive style having graced the pages of popular 2000 AD series' such as A Love Like Blood and Storming Heaven (also written by Gordon Rennie), as well as a definitive Judge Death in two solo series' featuring the Dark Judge. Irving has also started making a name for himself in US comics, with projects such as Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained and ,b>The Authority: Scorched Earth under his belt.

Gordon Rennie commented, from his eldritch throne of skulls:

"Years ago, I'd been reading some books about Houdini, and had always been an Arthur Conan Doyle fan -- the first thing I ever had published was a weirdo Sherlock Holmes comic about Holmes and Watson teaming up with Henry Jekyll and pursuing Edward Hyde through the works of Edgar Allan Poe -- and was interested to find out that the two men were friends and had a shared interest in spiritualism and the occult, even if they approached these subjects from opposite ends of the spectrum; Conan Doyle as the believer and Houdini as the debunking sceptic. The idea of turning them into a team of 1920s pulp fiction occult-busters seemed like a pretty cool one. I still needed more characters, though.

Following the real-life historical connections led me straight to HP Lovecraft as soon as I remembered that Lovecraft ghost-wrote a story for Houdini for the famous horror mag Weird Tales. (It was the story 'Imprisoned With the Pharaohs', pulp fiction fans.) Recruiting nutty old Howard into the gang opened up all sorts of ideas about using his Cthulhu Mythos in the story, but I still needed one more character.

In the end, I never could find any real-life evidence to tie prophet of the unexplained Charles Fort into any of the other characters, but he was around at the same time and he was suitably strange and oddball enough to fit right in with the rest of the cast.

Plus, of course, I'd always wanted to do a story featuring the founder of the study of Fortean events cracking open zombies' heads with a cricket bat..."

Frazer Irving was briefly released from his padded room to say:

"Necronauts was my first proper assignment as a comic strip artist and it couldn't have been a better choice. Dark, mysterious, creepy and downright disturbing...and that was just the writer. Tentacles! Cthulhu! Houdini! Zombies in 1920's New York and the most dramatic use of a cricket bat in all fiction! Drawing this whilst chained to my table in the cellar, I had to plunge the depths of my nightmares to conjure the horrors within. From the action packed John-Woo-esque battles between Charles Fort and Zombies, to the terrifying unveiling of the great unseen evil in the world, to the tear-jerking heroic tragedies of our heroes... all were penned in a state of madman-like hysteria, helped along with several glasses of finest drinking ink. I am very proud and a little warped by this book, and I implore all brave mortals out there to take this message to the world."

Necronauts is available from all good book and comic shops, or online from the webshop at Direct trade customers can place orders with Diamond (Ref: JUN032472) or Red Route Distribution, and book trade customers can order via Red Route.

Price: 7.99/$13.95
ISBN: 1 904265 09 X

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