Stephen Graham Jones and Joshua Viola are launching a three-issue comic series and you better believe we are pretty damn excited for this one! The series is set at the Colorado Festival of Horror and takes readers into the familiar world of cosplay and fan conventions. The full-color, four-page ashcan preview of True Believers #1 will be available exclusively at this year’s festival, which is based in Denver, CO, and runs from Friday, September 15th to Sunday, September 17th.
The new comic book mini-series is co-written by bestselling Bram Stoker Award-winner Stephen Graham Jones and Denver Post bestselling writer Joshua Viola, with interior artwork by Ben Matsuya. The series will introduce a new slasher, wreaking havoc within the convention world, here's a look at a more detailed synopsis.
Some seek out fan conventions for community. For safety. For understanding. There are those who believe they reveal their true selves by becoming a cherished character, but sometimes obsessions turn dark. The first issue of TRUE BELIEVERS introduces a new bone-chilling slasher character, Killr™, who offers a sinister and unforgettable take on fandom. In the world of meta horror, Killr™ emerges as the embodiment of evil within the slasher genre, born from a cult-favorite short film that inspires a trilogy. Amid the franchise's rising popularity, devoted fans fervently embrace Killr™, celebrating the character with enthusiastic cosplay. At the Colorado Festival of Horror, fanatics Rip and Kit—proudly labeling themselves as "true believers”—embark on a profound journey of self-discovery under Kit's guidance. However, the boundaries between reality and fiction blur, prompting them to question the ramifications of idolizing such malevolence. This gripping meta horror tale delves into the intricate interplay of identity, horror, and obsession, challenging the very essence of their connection with the enigmatic entity they revere. The Kickstarter edition features the first 24-page story in the three-issue series.
“Killr™ is one of the purest distillations of evil ever produced by the slasher genre,” says Joshua Viola, the Colorado Book Award winner and Denver Post bestselling author of Denver Moon, Nightmares Unhinged, and It Came from the Multiplex. “Our villain, Killr™ (the trademark symbol playfully satirizes the franchising of horror properties), presents a refreshing perspective on the concept of wearing a mask and the diverse interpretations fans can derive from it. “Killr™ is truly a cosplayer’s dream."
You can get your hands on the four-page preview exclusively at the Colorado Festival of Horror (talk about meta!) with the first full issue available on Kickstarter, along with a True Believers CD/Digital soundtrack powered by the USA-based record label FiXT, featuring Celldweller, Essenger, Circle of Dust, Cantervice, Young Medicine, Scandroid, PYLOT, and The All Things, as well as a True Believers latex mask from Oktober Studios. Fans can follow the project’s pre-launch page to get an email when the campaign launches. “Stephen Graham Jones, Joshua Viola, and Ben Matsuya have delivered a mind-blowing, twisted comic,” says Colorado Festival of Horror co-founder, Bret Smith. “True Believers is set at our very own horror convention, featuring a cutting-edge psycho killer stalking our Slasher Hotel hallways!”
Co-created and co-written by FANGORIA columnist and bestselling writer Stephen Graham Jones, whose most recent comic, Earthdivers, is set to become a TV series through 20th Century Television and whose most recent novel, The Only Good Indians, is a New York Times bestseller. “True Believers is for the true believers out there,” says Graham Jones. “It’s for those who like the masks, the machetes, the blood and the grins.”
True Believers features interior art by comic book artist Ben Matsuya (Jupiter Jet, Midnight Massacre). The series includes haunting variant covers by fan favorite horror comic artists, such as:
- Chilling Adventures of Sabrina artist Robert Hack;
- Monster Train artist Aaron Lovett;
- Goosebumps artist Clara Meath;
- Elvira artist Juan Samu;
- American Horror Story artist Xander Smith
“We hope True Believers provides thought-provoking commentary on the very essence of fandom and the meaning of being a devoted ‘true believer,’” says artist Ben Matsuya. For updates, follow Hex Publishers on X and Facebook. To learn more about the project, check out the True Believers official launch page and get a sneak peek below.