Dark Horse have announced Neil Gaiman (Sandman) is returning to one of his darkly complicated short stories in Neil Gaiman’s Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire.
That’s surely got to be one of the longest comic titles ever.
A haunting example of satirical gothic literature it’s the story of a writer struggling to compose nonfiction on a dark, stormy night. Wishing to create serious stories about frail women in white nightgowns, mysterious bumps in the night, and the undead rising to collect old debts, the author is unsuccessful because of his tendency to insert comedy into his dark tales. Talking ravens, family disagreements, and interruptions from his creepy butler further hinder his literary efforts.
Perhaps best known to comics fans for his work on Wildstorm Albion mini series written by Leah Moore and John Reppion, Shane Oakley’s previous credits also include Gaiman’s Sandman for Vertigo.
Regular folk here may recall how we pleaded last year with someone – anyone – to commission him to draw new Doomlord adventures, a character who first featured in New Eagle.
A concept artist and comics artist, he began his career on Deadline in the 1980s, where he created Fatal Charm with D’Israeli. His credits include six issues of Mister X in 1989 and, down the years, work on numerous anthology titles such as Negative Burn and The Big Book of Urban Legends.
In 2007 he illustrated an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher written by Dan Whitehead and published in SelfMadeHero’s Nevermore anthology.
Shane has also provided covers for several issues of Boom’s Cthulhu Tales and Zombie Tales.
He is also providing the art for Channel Evil, written by Alan Grant and co-published by Berserker Comics and Renegade Arts Entertainment.
Writer Neil Gaiman explained the overarching theme of Forbidden Brides and the aspects of this story that influenced Sandman: “It’s about what fantasy is, and why we write it, and what it would mean to write fantasy if you lived in a Gothic universe. Some of it prefigured things I’d do in Sandman four years later.”
The Fragile Things anthology received much fanfare. “In an ironic story called Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire,” noted The New York Times, “a struggling author cannot stop writing fiction that reads like awful parodies of horror fiction, because his life itself is an awful parody of horror fiction.
‘It’s not the satirist in you that makes you lampoon the commonplace and the humdrum,’ he is told by a talking raven. ‘Merely boredom with the way things are. D’you see?’”
“Gaiman began as a journalist, wrote comics and now writes everything from poetry to films,” BookPage commented. “His work shows the ease with which he moves between these worlds; he straddles many genres and crosses many lines, one of which is the (sometimes invisible) line between adult and young adult fiction.”
Gaiman’s most recent graphic novel, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, debuted at number three on the New York Times bestseller list.
• Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire goes on sale 25th January 2017
• The hardcover graphic novel is available for preorder from Penguin Random House and Amazon
• Find Neil Gaiman at www.neilgaiman.com
• Find Shane Oakley at shaneoakley.blogspot.co.uk