Dark Horse Comics has a major publishing program surrounding the premiere of The Strain, the vampire horror series created by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (see "'The Strain' Teaser Trailer"), on FX this summer. The show is based on a trilogy of novels by the creators, which were also adapted (under Del Toro’s supervision) into a series of graphic novels published by Dark Horse Comics.
On July 2nd, just before the new show debuts on FX, Dark Horse will publish The Strain, Vol. 4 (136 pages, $19.99), the latest in a series of graphic novels written by David Lapham (Stray Bullets).
In addition, on July 9th Dark Horse is releasing a new hardcover edition of Volume 1 of The Strain that collects the first 11 issues of the Dark Horse comic book adaptation in a durable hardcover (272 pages, $29.99) that covers the same ground as the first two trade paperback graphic novels.
Dark Horse will also offer a $1 reprint of the first issue of The Strain, to encourage new readers to try the comics, streeting on June 18th.
And then in August, The Strain: The Night Eternal, the third The Strain comic series, by David Lapham and Mike Huddleston, will launch. Fast forwarding two years from the Master’s victory, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team fight against the police state where humans are harvested for blood, hoping to find the key to the Master’s demise.
The Strain combines elements of the medical thriller (the protagonist is an investigator for the Center for Disease Control) with classic vampire horror tropes. Can The Strain become another Walking Dead? That is unlikely given the enormity of the zombie saga’s success, but the two horror properties do share a similar approach--putting a staple horror menace in a ferociously realistic setting. Is it time for a new dramatic take on vampirism that stresses "realism" rather than "romance?"
A portion of this article previously appeared in Internal Correspondence #84.
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