Smash Pages Q&A: Zac Thompson

The writer of ‘Lonely Receiver’ talks about the book’s themes, working with Jen Hickman and more.

Zac Thompson seemed to come out of nowhere a few years ago and is now writing one comic after another for AfterShock, Black Mask, BOOM!, Marvel and Vault. There are a lot of through lines and themes that run through his work, and one of his central concerns is structures and cycles, how we build them, how we exist in them and how we break out of them. These ideas exist on a societal level and a personal level, and the ways that he uses this to interrogate people’s lives and ideas are fascinating. 

His current project is Lonely Receiver, which he’s made with Jen Hickman. It is a science fiction story, a story about putting one’s life together after a crushing breakup, and a horror story. These elements come together in organic and fascinating ways that only become more impressive as the series goes on.

Thompson’s other recent projects include the recently concluded No One’s Rose, Undone by Blood and Angel and Spike. We spoke recently about Lonely Receiver, the third issue of which was just released, and how he works.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Lonnie Nadler and Jenna Cha

The writer and artist of ‘Black Stars Above’ discuss the Lovecraftian horror tale, the tone and texture of the tale, and more.

Black Stars Above is a comic by Lonnie Nadler and Jenna Cha, which was just collected by Vault Comics. Set in 1887, this Lovecraftian horror tale is set in the Canadian frontier, and the story itself is this eerie, atmospheric horror story. You can read the complete first issue right here on Smash Pages.

But what fascinated me most was the small details in how both Nadler and Cha told the story — from the artist’s details that went into capturing the feel of the period to the language and the journal entries to the landscapes.

It’s a stunning book, and the two were kind enough to answer a few questions about the project, what they took from Lovecraft and more.

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Read the entire first issue of ‘Black Stars Above’

Check out the entirety of the first chapter of the Vault Comics title by Lonnie Nadler, Jenna Cha, Brad Simpson and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

Courtesy of Vault Comics, we’re pleased to present the entire first issue of Black Stars Above by Lonnie Nadler, Jenna Cha, Brad Simpson and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Described as a “chilling historical cosmic horror tale of survival,” the story features a desperate young fur trapper in 1887 Northern Canada who is hired to deliver a package:

The year is 1887 and a storm brews. A young fur trapper flees her overbearing family only to get lost in a dreamlike winter wilderness that harbours a cosmic threat. The fur trade is dead and the nation is changing. Yet, Eulalie Dubois has spent her entire life tending to her family’s trapline, isolated from the world. A chance at freedom comes in the form of a parcel that needs delivering to a nameless town north of the wilderness. Little does Eulalie know, something sinister hides in those woods and it yearns for what she has.

It’s a series that Shane Bailey said is “a masterclass in building tension and dread,” and is “the equivalent of a Shepard Tone, the illusion of the ever-rising note. Eventually the musician ends the song, ending that tension. In this case, though, I really don’t want it to end.”

You can check out the first issue below, and look for the just-released trade paperback at a comic shop near you.

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