We’ve got the Afterschool Special!
Skybound, the multiplatform content company who most remember for The Walking Dead, have unveiled a grisly look at Skybound Presents Afterschool #1.
Skybound have said in a Presser, “This is a kick-off to the hotly anticipated new anthology miniseries that takes the familiar cautionary tales we’ve all learned in our youths and flips them on their heads.”
The series debuts June 8 with a tale of an emotional support dog with a killer secret.
In this debut issue, the acclaimed writing duo Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead (Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight) team up with artist Greg Hinkle (Radio Spaceman) to present a standalone horror story soaked in blood and tears. Afterschool #1 will be colored by Giovanna Niro (Two Moons, Summoner’s War: Legacy)and lettered by Pat Brosseau (Birthright, Manifest Destiny), and features a stunning cover by Veronica Fish (Archie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch).
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Morals have eroded. Your kids are out of control. And this brand new teen horror anthology is going to teach them a lesson. Or so Skybound tells us.
Afterschool #1 follows Nora, whose anxiety prevented her from approaching high school with any degree of confidence. Until she adopts Janie, an emotional support dog with a winning smile and a killer secret. But just how far will Nora go to keep her new life?
We caught up with artist Greg Hinkle to talk about this first issue…
Readers of Soda and Telepaths will be familiar with your work from Radio Spaceman and the work in this seems night and day. How important was it to separate the styles in Afterschool?
Greg Hinkle: “I wish I had a fancy answer for you! I think the subject matter of the two stories plays a big part in perception. I’m glad that they look separate, but I was concentrating more on telling a clear story with aspects like staging, lighting, and design, than how my style came out.”
We all have plenty of horror stories when it comes to the schoolyard, did any of your experiences influence the art?
Greg Hinkle: Oh jeez, probably subconsciously. I don’t remember being a real cool kid, so there are plenty of lousy memories. Kids can be pretty terrible. My family did move around a bit when I was in school, so I know how it feels to be the new kid, or the quiet kid, without a group of friends yet. I remember those long, lonely walks home from school. Maybe some of that trickled onto the page.
The preview art makes Afterschool a surreal and at the same time nostalgic experience, how many variations on the final style did you go through?
Greg Hinkle: “Surreal” and “nostalgic” are both incredibly generous. I have a hard time working in different styles, and I feel like I’ve gotten very lucky that my style has (hopefully) fit with the projects I’ve been a part of.
What we did have to fine tune was my camera work. There were some sequences, and panels, that I approached in a way that changed the desired focus, or impact. And with 30 pages to tell the whole story, each panel needed to hit right. I’d send rough pages, they’d give notes. Back and forth as many times as we needed to make sure everything worked the best way it could.
Afterschool flips what we’re told as kids on its head. What’s the most bizarre tale of point an adult ever told you and how has this influenced the body of work?
Greg Hinkle: Nobody ever told me any bizarre tales when I was a kid! I didn’t get anything worse than “if you keep making that face, it’ll stay that way”. Or if you eat a watermelon seed, then you’ll grow a watermelon in your stomach.
Maybe it’s just that people really like to embellish. Adults really like to lay it on thick for the kids sometimes, but sometimes the kids can tell. Do you remember what that’s like, as a kid? Starting to become aware when someone was pulling your leg? That sudden rush of feeling like you were in on it. I wouldn’t be mad if a little of that feeling rubbed off on this book.
With the success of Skybound and its properties, is there a level of anticipation around hitting the mark with their existing fanbase and how have you internalised that?
Well, shoot, I’m sure anticipating hitting the mark now! I hadn’t thought of it. I was working on this issue while the pandemic was getting started, and my wife was pregnant with our first baby. Thinking about it more now, it is pretty neat getting to work on this book, with these creators and this publisher. There is a big, wonderful fanbase, and I hope they’ll dig what we made.
The team behind this Afterschool special joins the impressive roster of acclaimed writers and all-star artists from comics, television and beyond working on the miniseries, including writing duo Kate Herron (Marvel Studios’ Loki, Sex Education) & Briony Redman (the BAFTA Rocliffe-winning Pont Brec) with artist Leila Leiz (M.O.M.: Mother of Madness, Horde), Jill Blotevogel (Scream: The TV Series) and Marley Zarcone (Shade, the Changing Girl; Effigy); and Leon Hendrix III (Two Sentence Horror Stories, Mayor of Kingstown). Each standalone Afterschool special features a unique creative team to give each issue a distinct horrifying feel, with its own relatable characters and truly chilling lessons.
Scroll down for more of a look at Afterschool #1.
RELATED: Go back to the start