Smash Pages Q&A: Scott Snyder on ‘Nocterra’

The writer of ‘American Vampire,’ ‘Death Metal,’ ‘Batman’ and more discusses his newest creator-owned title, his Best Jackett Press imprint and more.

Scott Snyder has been in the driver’s seat for many of DC’s biggest projects over the last decade or so, including crossover titles like Metal and Death Metal, and of course his runs on Batman and Justice League. At the same time, he’s also kept a foot in the creator-owned world, writing titles like American Vampire, Wytches and Undiscovered Country, among others.

Last summer, he hit the gas on his creator-owned work, launching a Kickstarter for Nocterra, a new creator-owned series with Tony S. Daniel and Tomeu Morey that’s coming out from Snyder’s Best Jackett Press imprint. The crowdfunding effort brought in more than $200,000 and set the stage for the launch of the Nocterra ongoing title, which debuted last month from Image Comics. The explosive first issue introduced readers to truck driver Val Riggs, a woman who lives in a world where the sun stopped rising 10 years ago, plunging humanity “into an everlasting night that turns all living creatures into monstrous shades.” The only defense is artificial light; luckily Riggs’ 18-wheeler is heavily illuminated.

I spoke with Snyder about the comic, its villain, the differences between launching a creator-owned comic vs. a DC title, his plans for Best Jackett Press and more.

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DC Universe Infinite launches this week

The service eliminates some features as it focuses exclusively on comics.

DC’s revised and rebranded comics subscription service, DC Universe Infinite, will officially launch this Thursday. Formerly known as DC Universe, the service will feature comics, as its video programming, like Titans, Doom Patrol and the Young Justice cartoon, have all moved over to HBO Max.

In addition, the community forum can be found outside the app at community.dcuniverseinfinite.com, while the store will also live at a new web address: https://shop.dccomics.com/. It’s up and running with several T-shirt designs, masks and more.

DC Universe Infinite will be available for iPhone, iPad, Android Phone and Tablets and online for web and mobile web at dcuniverseinfinite.com. Some platforms it was on before, like Apple TV and XBox, for example, no longer carry the app as of last month.

So, for the service itself, that leaves comics, and DC is adding a whole bunch of them to the service this week.

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Mail Call | ‘X-O Manowar’ returns, ‘Death Metal’ one-shots and more

A round-up of news from DC, Marvel, Image Comics, Valiant and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

The Dark Nights: Death Metal event grew again this week, as DC announced two new anthology one-shots for November prior to releasing their full November solicitations.

The first one is focused on Lobo and is titled Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hours Exxxtreme! #1. It will feature “Uncle Lobo” telling “familiar yet freaky stories of the DC Universe, exactly as he remembers them: with blood and guts and exxxtreme gratuitous violence.” The creators involved include Frank Tieri, Becky Cloonan, Dale Eaglesham and more, with a cover by Kyle Hotz.

If that one isn’t ridiculous-sounding enough, the second one, Dark Nights: Death Metal The Multiverse Who Laughs “offers the curious—and the brave—a glimpse into the nightmare realities that the Batman Who Laughs has created in tales by creators who know what it means to have a truly twisted sense of misfit humor.” As you can tell by the cover, one of those worlds features evil super pets. It includes stories by Amanda Conner, Patton Oswalt, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Snyder, Brandon Thomas, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Chad Hardin and more.

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Lemire gives an update, reveals art from new ‘Sweet Tooth’ comic

The new series will come out under DC’s Black Label imprint.

After teasing the return of Sweet Tooth to comics in May, creator Jeff Lemire has revealed more details about his work on the new series in his email newsletter.

He said the new series will fall under DC’s Black Label imprint, and like the original, will be written and drawn by Lemire and colored by Jose Villarrubia.

“I know a lot of Sweet Tooth fans are anxious to know story details and also apprehensive because they liked how I ended the old series, and don’t want me to do anything that will ruin that,” Lemire wrote. “All I can say is that I had all of these exact same concerns and it wasn’t until I came up with an idea that I really believed in that I considered going back to the world of Gus and the gang.”

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‘American Vampire 1976’ wraps up the series this fall

Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque’s former Vertigo title returns for its last ride in October.

Skinner Sweet, the lovable, deadly star of Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque’s long-running, Esiner-winning American Vampire, will take one more ride in October.

The former Vertigo series will find new life this fall as a nine-issue miniseries, American Vampire 1976, under DC’s Black Label banner.

“Scott, Rafael, and I, we cut our teeth together on American Vampire 10 years ago,” said Executive Editor Mark Doyle. “Returning to finish the story we started a decade ago is a thrill. Working on American Vampire 1976 has been so creepy and cool, especially because the parallels between ’70s paranoia and today are really chilling.”

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Taylor + Robertson have a ‘twisted’ John Constantine story coming in September

‘Hellblazer: Rise & Fall’ brings the Vertigo bad boy to DC’s Black Label for a three-issue series.

DC Comics has announced Hellblazer: Rise & Fall, a new three-issue Black Label series by Tom Taylor (Suicide Squad, DCeased) and Darick Robertson (The Boys, New Warriors). The story involves a police detective, Aisha Bukhari, trying to solve the mystery behind the bodies of billionaires falling from the sky — with some help from her childhood friend, John Constantine.

If there’s any character who screams “Black Label,” it’s gotta be John Constantine.

“This is a very twisted book,” said Taylor. “But, I actually want to give people exactly the John they’ve seen before. I want to write the bloke who steps out of the shadows with the smirk, the lit cigarette and all the answers. I want a story of shocks and sadness and triumph in the face of utter horror.”

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‘The Dreaming: Waking Hours’ arrives in August

The new Sandman Universe series will feature a nightmare named Ruin, by G. Willow Wilson and Nick Robles.

After wrapping up The Dreaming with issue #20 last month, DC Comics has announced the follow-up series by Ms. Marvel co-creator G. Willow Wilson and Euthanauts artist Nick Robles — The Dreaming: Waking Hours — will now debut in August.

The story will focus on Ruin, “the nightmare of catastrophic failure,” who finds his way into the waking world.

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McAvoy, Egerton, Dennings + more to voice ‘Sandman’ audiobook

The classic Vertigo series comes to Audible in July.

James McAvoy, Kat Dennings, Taron Egerton and Neil Gaiman himself will bring The Sandman to Audible this summer in the first of several audio editions of the classic Vertigo comic series.

It’s an inspired cast, as McAvoy voices Morpheus, Dennings becomes Death and Egerton takes on what should be a fun role, John Constantine. They’re joined by Michael Sheen as Lucifer, Samantha Morton as Urania Blackwell, Riz Ahmed as the Corinthian, Andy Serkis as Matthew the Raven, Bebe Neuwirth as the Siamese Cat and Gaiman as the Narrator. The production will be directed by Dirk Maggs, while Gaiman will also serve as Gaiman as creative director and executive producer.

Check out the rest of the cast below:

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Lemire teases new ‘Sweet Tooth’ comics

Following the announcement of an adaptation coming from Netflix, Jeff Lemire offers some chocolate-covered hope for a new comic series.

Using a fun Twin Peaks reference, Jeff Lemire has teased the return of Sweet Tooth, the long-running Vertigo Comics series he wrote and drew.

“It is happening again…that candy bar you liked is going to come back in style,” he wrote on Twitter, as he shared some new art and a page labeled “Sweet Tooth: The Return #2, Page 13.” It’s dated April 15, and at the rate he works, he’s probably on issue #22 by now.

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‘Enigma’ returns as a deluxe hardcover edition

Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo’s classic Vertigo title returns from Berger Books.

Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo helped kick off the Vertigo era back in 1993 with Enigma, an eight-issue avant-garde miniseries that met with much critical acclaim. At New York Comic Con, Dark Horse announced that a deluxe hardcover collection of the series will be released under their Berger Books imprint in the Fall of 2020.

“I’m thrilled to be publishing this brilliant seminal work of one of Vertigo’s key launch titles, which was ahead of its time and inspirational to many,” said Karen Berger, who was running Vertigo back when it was originally published. “Dark Horse is known for publishing beautiful high-quality books, and it’s long overdue for Enigma to be presented in the fashion that it deserves.” 

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‘John Constantine, Hellblazer’ joins the Sandman Universe titles this fall

Simon Spurrier, Marcio Takara and Aaron Campbell take the character back to his roots.

After a move to the regular DC Universe, a movie, a TV show and even the announcement of a YA graphic novel, John Constantine will go back to basics in a new Hellblazer title this fall, as part of the Neil Gaiman-curated Sandman Universe line.

The day before Halloween will bring a one-shot by Simon Spurrier and artist Marcio Takara titled The Sandman Universe Presents Hellblazer. That’ll be followed by a new ongoing titled John Constantine, Hellblazer by Spurrier and artist Aaron Campbell.

“Year One was just the start. Now you get to inhabit the worlds, books and houses we built for you,” said Gaiman. “I was thrilled when I was told that John Constantine—the original, demon-haunted one who first showed up in Swamp Thing’s ‘American Gothic’ story—is coming back to his murky and dangerous roots. More magic and more darkness and not a few gods and dreams are here for you to explore.”

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‘Second Coming’ finally makes it to comic shops this week

The first issue of Mark Russell and Richard Pace’s story about Jesus and superheroes arrives Wednesday from AHOY Comics.

It’s been a long, winding road for Mark Russell and Richard Pace’s Second Coming, but this week it finally makes its way into the hands of readers.

The quick version:

  • Second Coming was originally announced more than a year ago as a part of the latest (and, it would turn out, last) wave of Vertigo books, in celebration of their 25th anniversary. The story features a superhero named Sunstar (formerly Sun-Man) becoming roommates with Jesus Christ.
  • News about the comic’s premise caught the eyes of the religious right, who petitioned DC Comics to cancel the book. They called the unreleased comic “inappropriate and blasphemous.” DC canceled it a few weeks before it was slated to hit comic shops.
  • AHOY Comics picked it up in March, with the first issue scheduled to arrive this Wednesday.

So what’s this all about? Let’s break it down …

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