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'Shook' Interview: A Taste of Southern Gothic

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

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With over 200 pages of terrorizing material, SHOOK! A Black Horror Anthology is filled with stories from a range of award-winning Black writers and artists.  

In the following interview, editors/writers Bradley Golden and Marcus Roberts explain more about their unique collection of Southern Gothic horror.  

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PREVIEWSworld: What do you both love about the horror genre?

Bradley Golden: For me, I grew up with horror. As far as I can remember horror is the one constant thing I can recall about my childhood. With that, it holds a place in my heart as a genre of love.

Marcus Roberts: I’ve had a love affair with horror comics since my early days of comic book reading. Titles such as Tower of Shadows and House of Mystery were among my early books as well as the Warren Publication underground comic magazines. Horror comics were a very popular genre in those days.

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PREVIEWSworld: How did this come about as a project?

Marcus: Having known John Jennings for a few years and working with Bradley, we all bonded over our mutual love for horror and our Southern roots. We all have had ideas of publishing a horror anthology and decided to join forces and make it happen.

Bradley: Me and Marcus had this idea of getting some of the biggest black names in comics on one book telling a wide range of horror stories. Me and Marcus had been planning this for at least a year.

PREVIEWSworld: There’s an impressive lineup of creators in this book. Can you tell us about some of the creative teams involved?

Bradley: Yes, we have John Jennings's story, The Breaks, where he teamed up with Charlie Goubile, and Rodney Barnes's story, "The Last March", has him and David Brame teaming up. Me and Flavio Cortes teamed up for, "Tasty Itchy", among many, many more teams.

Marcus: We were fortunate to be able to bring in some of the top Black horror writers in comics. The book includes Rodney Barnes, John Jennings, Kevin Grevioux, Alverne Ball, Bradley Golden, Brandon Easton, David Walker, Evan Parke, along with artists like David Brame, Shawn Allenye, Dan Gorman, Jamal Williams, and Flavio Cortes.

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PREVIEWSworld: What were you looking for in terms of contributors?

Bradley: Different and unique voices. I wanted to keep the horror theme but put a different spin on it. Tell it in a different light if you will.

Marcus: Since we were dealing with top-notch talent our only requirements were telling good stories. These guys have won awards in the industry so there wasn’t too much we had to do.

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PREVIEWSworld: Now, you are both writers on this project. What are your particular stories? What are they about?

Bradley: My particular story are "Tasty Itchy" and "Evil Lives". "Tasty Itchy" is about an apocalyptic Louisiana where the radiation in the air is lethal. Due to the radiation, the people who are barely hanging on to survive have to endure flesh-eating cockroaches and vampires at night. Scavenging has to happen in the daylight.

"Evil Live" is a story about a cult that worships an evil witch who can morph any human into a twisted monster.

Marcus: The title of my story is “Hell To Pay”. It is about two scientists who travel back in time to stop an atrocity but learn the hard way that time travel is not permitted. The story is based on a radio play entitled, “A Story You Won’t Believe,” written and performed by Prof. James E. Tokley, the Poet Laureate of Tampa Bay, FL.

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PREVIEWSworld: What other types of stories can readers expect in the anthology?

Bradley: Readers should expect stories about slavery, disease, aliens, and the occult.

Marcus: We have everything from superhero horror to slashers and supernatural happenings. We even have a horror parody in the group.

PREVIEWSworld: Any plans to continue your stories beyond SHOOK!?

Bradley: Yes I plan on doing a one-shot for the second part of Tasty Itchy and Evil Live.

Marcus: Our vision is to make the SHOOK! title an ongoing series that features top writers and artists telling horror, suspense, and even sci-fi stories.

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PREVIEWSworld: What can you tell us about the all-female follow to SHOOK! on Kickstarter?

Bradley: SHOOK! Songs of the Dark Sirens, is indeed an all-female title. We wanted to continue the trend set by volume one where we wanted to bring in different voices. We don't have many horror anthologies written and drawn by our Nubian queens and I personally wanted to show the world their voices, to listen to their songs, hence the name Songs of the Dark Sirens that Marcus Roberts came up with.

Marcus: Once we compiled the list for the first volume, we agreed that we should start planning for volume two. As we curated our list, we wanted to be more purposeful, and to that end, we decided to make volume two not just all women, but all Black women.

We have Alitha Martinez who is a veteran of the comic industry contributing, as well as the multi-award-winning Tananarive Due and her husband. We were able to bring in the talents of writers and artists such as Micheline Hess, Julie Anderson, Raeghan Buchanan, Rebecca Wanzo, Shake MacAudacious, and Colleen Douglas, who is also the Collection Editor.

PREVIEWSworld: Looking forward, what can readers expect from SHOOK!?

Marcus: We have made sure to have a diverse offering of stories to entertain and scare any and all who read the book. There is something in the book for all readers covering different kinds of scares.

Bradley: Readers should expect wild and imaginative horror stories, with a different theme within the SHOOK! brand. Period.

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SHOOK! A Black Horror Anthology is available now at your local comic shop. Reserve your copy now using PREVIEWSworld Pullbox! More below.

Keep an eye on PREVIEWSworld.com's TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram for more. 

DARK HORSE PRH
SHOOK A BLACK HORROR ANTHOLOGY TP
(W) Bradley Golden, Marcus Roberts, John Jennings (A) Alessio Nocerino (A/CA) Roberto Castro
In partnership with Second Sight Publishing, Dark Horse Comics is proud to present, Shook! A Black Horror Anthology. With over 200 pages of terrorizing material, the anthology is filled with stories from a range of award-winning Black writers and artists. Stemming from a love of Southern gothic horror, this anthology boasts a cadre of award winning or nominated writers representing awards such as the Will Eisner Awards, the Ringo Awards, the Hugo Awards, and is the largest collection of Glyph Comics Awards winners and nominees in a single publication. Including work by David Walker (Bitter Root, Black Panther Party), John Jennings (Kindred, The Blacker the Ink), Rodney Barnes (Killadelphia), and more!
In Shops: Jan 31, 2024
SRP: $24.99
PREVIEWS Page #218

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Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the Consumer Marketing Manager for Diamond Comics Distributors, Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, and the producer/co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His published work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalypse '91BamnFight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.
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