Scream & Misty Special 2018 - Cover by Kyle Hotz SNIP

The 2018 Scream and Misty Special – Cover Artist Spotlight!

Scream & Misty Special 2018 - Cover by Kyle Hotz
Scream & Misty Special 2018 – Cover by Kyle Hotz
Misty and Scream  Special 2018 - Variant Cover by Lenka Šimečková
Misty and Scream Special 2018 – Variant Cover by Lenka Šimečková

Rebellion are offering pre-orders of this year’s  Scream & Misty Special, no doubt acutely aware that newsagents didn’t carry enough stock of last year’s edition, which included first sight of the heroes now starring in the much more widely-distributed superhero special, The Vigilant.

This year’s Scream & Misty Special comes with a cover by Doctor Strange artist Kyle Hotz and will be on sale from 31st October, available from all good comic shops, digital platforms and UK newsagents, with a an exclusive variant cover by Lenka Šimečková only available from the 2000AD Webshop.

Two of Britain’s best-loved comics of the 1970s have reunited once again, offering an anthology of brand new tales, guaranteed to terrify and entertain you this October.

With more treats than tricks, this issue features another “Black Max” adventure by Kek-W and Simon Coleby,  more from “The Thirteenth Floor” by Guy Adams, John Stokes and Frazer Irving, more from”Black Beth” by Alec Worley and DaNi, “Best Friends Forever” by Lizzie Boyle and Yishan Li, and a new character, “Decomposition Jones“, by Richard McAuliffe and Steve Mannion.

While still in the final year of earning his fine arts degree, Scream and Misty cover artist Kyle Hotz (who’s hinted he’s working on a Slaine commission on his public Facebook page) was already working full time as a comic book illustrator on the genre-stretching horror anthology Slash and the vampire title Cold Blooded. Immediately after finishing school, he was asked to work on the character Nightman for Malibu comics, which was later purchased by Marvel comics group.

Although Nightman was a costumed hero comic, Ohio-based Kyle’s quirky style, with deep shadows and exaggerated anatomies, helped it to stand out from the usual men in tights books. Soon Kyle was asked to draw Doctor Strange for Marvel Comics and then to helm the futuristic Ghost Rider 2099, which highlighted Kyle’s love for bizarre costumes and settings.

The Hood by Kyle HotzAs his reputation as a horror artist grew, Kyle illustrated various titles for most of the major comic publishers, including Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image and a host of independent press drawing characters such as The Hulk, Venom, Spider-Man, Green Goblin and Captain America. Monster Matinee, a collection of Kyle’s illustrations paying homage to classic monster movies of the 1940s, 50s and 60s brought Kyle to the attention of the producers of Madison Scare Garden, a Halloween themed event held in the New York arena. He provided key art and character designs for that for many years, which led to similar opportunities designing creatures, environments and all manner of weirdness for theme parks at various venues the world over.

In 2009 Kyle created a multitude of key characters for a proposed installation at Tivoli Gardens in Denmark and an ‘Aliens versus Predator’ installation in Australia. Somewhere along the line, Kyle was noticed by tattoo distribution giant, Tattoo Johnny and asked to create original tattoo flash art, some of which has remained top sellers to this day.

In 2000, Kyle co-created the character ‘The Hood’, for Marvel Comics and illustrated the character’s first mini-series. The Hood proved a sleeper hit and finally broke out in 2009, when he became one of Marvel’s most popular villains and Kyle was asked to return to the character for a five-issue story arc.

Kyle has also co-created and illustrated the graphic novel ‘Epilogue’ with author Steve Niles (30 days of Night) , and co-created and illustrated The Agency with Paul Jenkins (creator of the origin of Wolverine). Along the way, Kyle wrote and illustrated the creator owned graphic novel Mosaic and wrote and illustrated The Zombie for Marvel.

Perhaps the purest example of the art of Kyle Hotz is the series he co-created and draws with Eric Powell, Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities. This oddball, pseudo-historical storyline has been a critical success (Entertainment Weekly gave it an ‘A’) and fan favourite. It’s in this series of books that best showcases Kyle’s love for, not only the bizarre, but the endearing and cartoony aspects of his craft.

The opening page of "Rusalka Rises" from The Sorrowful Putto of Prague project. Art by Lenka Šimečková
The opening page of “Rusalka Rises” from The Sorrowful Putto of Prague project. Art by Lenka Šimečková

Variant cover artist Lenka Šimečková first came to downthetubes attention back in 2016 for her amazing comic strip work on  James Stafford‘s stunning web comic The Sorrowful Putto of Prague web comic, which has been published in the Czech Republic by Argo – the country’s leading literary publishers.

Her distinctive work includes long limbed and multi eyed women, witches, and occult symbolism that bring magic and darkness to life, and her art is inspiring others, such as Lauren Crest, who describes her in a tribute as “definitely a master of her craft and superb at utilising her illustrations to add suspense to her comics.”

#ItsaFanThing art by Lenka Šimečková
#ItsaFanThing art by Lenka Šimečková

Earlier this year, this much-acclaimed Czech artist was commissioned by DeviantArt and SyFy to create an artwork for San Diego Comic-Con, as part of their #ItsAFanThing campaign. “I was super happy to be given a vampire theme.” she commented.

She’s inspired by fantasy literature such as the gothic Victorian atmospheres of Edgar Allan Poe and the dark horror of H.P. Lovecraft, but also the witty fantastic of classic Russian masterpiece The Master and Margarita of Mikhaïl Bulgakov.

Lenka has an online store selling prints and more of her amazing work here and you can also find her on Tumblr here and Facebook here.

• The Scream & Misty Special 2018 will be on sale in all good UK newsagents, comic shops an digital platforms on 31st October 2018. To pre-order from your local comic shop, quote AUG182149 from Diamond Previews – details here

• You can pre-order this Special via 2000AD‘s webshop now: Pre-order the Scream and Misty Special (Kyle Hotz cover) | Pre-order the Scream and Misty Special (Lenka Šimečková exclusive cover)

The digital edition of last year’s Scream and Misty Halloween Special is still available form the 2000AD webshop

With thanks to Richard Sheaf

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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