Stay tuned as we fill you in on the details as they come.
It's a new monthly series. Kirkman has been working in television but loves working in comics. Comics are his main focus. This is the first time since THE WALKING DEAD he has a comic that is set more in the real world touching on the horror concept. OUTCAST is a book about exorcism.
It will launch in early 2014. The main character will be Kyle Barnes. He's been dealing with demonic possession his entire life. Now he attempts to deal with it. Kyle's mother was possessed when he was young. He's become somewhat comfortable with and has been dealing with. In issue #1, we'll see him at his lowest point. He decides he doesn't want to deal with it anymore. He has to make his life better. He tries to figure out why this has been happening to him and people around him. He'll be looking for answers to figure out what it is he's experiencing. Along the way, he'll discover there's a bigger picture. There's something that could possible threaten the entire world.
"It's a big epic story involving exorcism and demonic possession. We're trying to shine a new light on that genre of horror fiction."
Compared to THE WALKING DEAD, they will be exploring new themes. There will be some overlap, such as loved ones being affected. Seeing your loved ones possessed and having them taken from you in a horrific fashion is something of a reoccurring theme in OUTCAST. There will be some similarities but they are hoping to break some new ground. They will be going in different directions that will make this very different from THE WALKING DEAD.
THE WALKING DEAD is known for its large ensemble cast and the possibility of losing or gaining characters. How will this one compare? Kirkman says there will initially be a large cast around Kyle Barnes. We'll find out more about them as they continue to promote the series. This will be a very big and epic story with a lot of new characters introduced along the way. We'll likely lose some along the way. It may not be quite the bloodbath that THE WALKING DEAD has turned out to be. It's fun to be able to push things in indie comics and keep people guessing.
There will be a television show based on it as well. It has already been announced with Fox International. Kirkman's been working behind the scenes with them as he develops the comic (they handle the international distribution of THE WALKING DEAD series). Back in March it was announced that Fox had an untitled exorcism project in the works. It was originally intended just to be a comic series. Kirkman will be involved with the pilot.
Kirkman's been working on it behind the scenes for almost two years. Since it won't debut until early 2014, he'll have plenty of time to maintain his schedule. There shouldn't be any concerns over his workload. He's learned to manage his time very well, illustrated by THE WALKING DEAD currently starting an accelerated schedule.
On working with Paul Azaceta, Kirkman was a fan since he debuted on GROUNDED. His art is moody and full of atmosphere. His style fits this project perfectly. Kirkman is excited that Paul hasn't really stuck around on any projects before. When they spoke, Paul said he was actually thinking about doing something more long term rather than doing a few issues of Conan here or a few issues of Spider-Man there, moving from project to project. This will be the first time he invests in something for the long haul. Kirkman loves watching the evolution of guys like Charlie Adlard, Ryan Ottley and Jason Howard, who have done many issues with him.
When asked why he thinks the horror genre fits the comic medium so well, Kirkman said he believes comics are going through a renaissance period. Different genres all work. We know crime and sci-fi works. Comics are adaptable. It's almost unfortunate that superhero comics have dominated so long due to the killing of creepy comics back in the 50s. Things are finally swinging back to where comics should have been without that "kneecapping of the industry." The thing about horror is it's not just about the scares, it's also about the psychological telling that goes into it.
THE WALKING DEAD and INVINCIBLE have both seen long and consistent runs. Does Kirkman have an overal big game-plan for OUTCAST? He feels this is the first time he's started a series where he has the end completely worked out. That's something new for him. He's always had vague notions as to how he'd wrap up THE WALKING DEAD, if he ever got to the point where he felt the story had been told. INVINCIBLE is very open-ended in terms of storytelling. This is something he's going into knowing exactly where he's going and exactly what story he's trying tell. While it is intended to be another long-running series, it will continue for years and years, he knows exactly where it's going. For him, it's a fun exercise to actually see the end of the road ahead this early on in the process.