Friday, October 26, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 26 -- 5 Horror/Supernatural Comic Book Brands/Imprints

Comic book companies will occasionally take a certain theme, genre, or character, and use it as a springboard for creating a special brand or imprint of books.  Here are 5 examples of comic book brands or imprints that focused on Horror/Supernatural themes and characters.

Clive Barker's Razorline -- In the early 90s, well-known horror author Clive Barker teamed with Marvel Comics to create an imprint of comics known as Razorline.  While the plans were to have 8 separate titles in the imprint, only 4 of them saw the light of day before the imprint imploded.  Not all of the published books were horror-themed (Hyperkind was a non-supernatural superhero book, for example), but the fact that the whole line bore Barker's name made sure that they were treated like they were.

DC's Weirdoverse -- Another 90s attempt at a supernatural brand, the Weirdoverse books were all set in the main DC universe, and were only set apart by a focus on the occult.  Three of the books were reboots of pre-existing characters/series (The Book of Fate, Challengers of the Unknown, and Night Force), while the fourth was an original concept (the briefly discussed Scare Tactics).  Outside of a single crossover event, the Weirdoverse books had no real connection to each other.  While this meant they didn't all implode at once, a la Razorline, three of them were finished within a year, while Challengers made it a year and a half.

Claypool Comics' Fear City -- This is an example of a comic book company whose brand encompassed pretty much their entire output.  All of Claypool's Fear City titles were set in the town of Mystic Grove, and featured ghosts (The Phantom of Fear City), vampires (Deadbeats) and miscellaneous other mystical beings (Soulsearchers and Company).

Marvel's Midnight Sons -- The Midnight Sons brand was built to capitalize on the popularity of the 90s reboot of Ghost Rider.  The brand started off with the Rise of the Midnight Sons crossover in 1992, and although the Midnight Sons branding was dropped from the books' covers in late 1994, the Midnight Sons Unlimited anthology did manage to run into 1995.

DC's The Dark -- During DC's recent New 52 marketing ploy, all of their 52 titles were split into sub-categories based either on  core characters or similar themes.  The supernatural/horror books, which included Swamp Thing, Resurrection Man, Demon Knights, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E., Justice League Dark and I, Vampire, were grouped under the slightly odd label of The Dark.

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