Imagine, if you will, a lonely desolate night. A night full of inky blackness and furious thunder. A night that you share with yourself and the walls of your home. It’s raining out and you can hear the bead-like drops tapping on the glass like a thousand skeletal hands desperate to break through that thin pane, the only thing separating you from their grasp. The rivets of water are streaming down the glass like the backside of waterfall and then lightning crashes and cracks with all the might and fury it can muster.
And then you hear it. A knock.
When you open the door, you’re suddenly overcome with dread and with fear. Perhaps it’s the energy emanating from the angry storm above. But when you look out the door, you see two children standing there. They seem out of place, their clothes are aged yet clean. There’s no emotion but they remain polite. “May we come in?” One asks rather politely and as the lighting flashes across the sky again you see their eyes, their inky black eyes, as dark and as brooding as the night itself. There is no cornea, no pupil, just a tenebrous void of nothingness. Who are they? What do they want? Where did they come from? Why are you so afraid?
This is the premise for Black-Eyed Kids, a title from Aftershock Comics written by Joe Pruett and illustrated by Szymon Kudranski. I sat down this week to talk with Joe about his book, currently on issue #5, and all the great things coming out of Aftershock Comics.
Pruett is a veteran in the comic book industry having traveled through Caliber Comics in the 1990s, the Marvel X-Office and startups like Desperado and now Aftershock Comics. Pruett is also an Eisner Award winner and multiple time Eisner Award nominee which puts him solidly in the hallowed halls of comic lore and fame with the genre greats that have graced us with their epic, timeless tales.
Pruett loves horror stories but not the blood-fests of slasher films typical of American horror, he is more drawn to the mysteriously macabre and the tensive, atmospheric and brooding nature of Japanese horror. He loves building the tension, creating mystery and leaving a lot for your mind to explore which – quite frankly – can be much scarier than the latest Vorhees hack-fest. Pruett pulls this through beautifully in this title.
Black-Eyed Kids was born of a curiosity with these mysterious, dark stories that lie on the outskirts of our culture and in the tales told by firesides and urban legends passed among friends and message boards. The concept immediately struck with him and the potential around the idea grew in to a new title that he pitched to Mike Marts, Editor at Aftershock Comics. Szymon Kudranski happened to be on board and looking for a project and so the two were paired. Kudranski’s dark, atmospheric art style perfectly complements Pruett’s writing and both do their part to tell the story but they do it in a way that gives each time in the panel to be balanced or let the other deliver their impact.
We have found out a lot thus far in the 5 issues that have been out but there is so much more mystery to uncover and discoveries to reveal with the kids and the adults that the next few issues should be set for some exciting explosive and revealing developments. For the full interview, see the YouTube link below.
Black-Eyed Kids # 6 will be on sale September 21, 2016 so be sure to head down to your local comic book shop or give them a call and make sure they put an copy aside for you.
ABOUT Black-Eyed Kids:
Black-Eyed Kids Writer: Joe Pruett | Artist: Szymon Kudranski | It’s dark. You’re alone. Then there’s a knock. You open the door to find two seemingly normal kids. They ask to come in, to borrow your phone to call for a ride. You find yourself overcome with an intense fear that you can’t explain. And then you notice their eyes… black… SOLID black. You want to run, but now they’re inside. It’s too late. They have you!
ABOUT Aftershock Comics:
Aftershock is a comic book company that combines the creative edge of an independent comic book publisher with the strengths of a traditional one.
Titles Include: Aftershock Genesis, Alters, American Monster, Animosity, Black-Eyed Kids, Captain Kid, Dreaming Eagles, InSEXts, Jackpot, Lifespanners, Replica, Rough Riders, Second Sight, Shipwreck, Strayer, SuperZero and the Revisionist.