Advisory: Strong Language in some sample panels
On sale soon under Heavy Metal‘s Virus imprint is Never Never #1, described by Belfast-based creator Mark McCann as an amalgamation of Peter Pan, The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies.
In other words, a survival horror fantasy inspired by classics but intended for a new age.
In Never Never, Winter is seduced by the boy-sprite, Petros – off to the Never, Never. A place where children never grow up and adults are the enemy.
What would such a place look like? Where resources are scarce. Time passes, but age is obsolete. War with adults, starved and insane from constant battle, is the norm. What would age-less boys free of civility and role-models be willing to do to survive. To live Forever.
A young girl will face her greatest test; an island full of immortal cannibals with a dark secret that sustains its existence, in the most unnatural and awful of ways.
“I have a passion for the survival horror genre, from Romero’s groundbreaking films to Fulci’s gorier efforts,’ says Mark, whose credits also include 2000AD and Comichaus, of the project. “This project allows us to blend genres and give old concepts a terrifying new interpretation. We aim to channel real fear and palpable discomfort into the reader.”
He adds, “The key is the characters. If we’ve done this right, you’ll be rooting for the hero, but also understand and even sympathise with the villain.”
VIRUS is a new platform for comics publishing from Heavy Metal launched earlier this year that aims to bring real comics, printed on paper, to readers while paying the creators a fair price for their work.
Heavy Metal and VIRUS CEO Matthew Medney sees Never Never as exactly the kind of story he wanted to share with the world when creating the imprint. “Marc and his stellar creative team – Phil Buckenham, Agnese Pozza, David Withers and Peter Duncan – have manifested something dark, mysterious and compelling, and ultimately very Heavy Metal.
“To have this title among the first wave of VIRUS releases is such a pleasure.”
Writer: Marc McCann
Artist: Phil Buckenham
Colour: Agnese Pozza
Letters: David Withers
Editor: Peter Duncan
Volume Number: 1
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.