This August, artist Juan Doe (“Dark Ark,” “Animosity”) will both write and illustrate a new horror series for AfterShock Comics. The series, titled “Bad Reception,” will tell the story of an off-the-grid celebrity wedding turned slasher movie, with some social commentary thrown in for good measure.
“[The celebrity couple] opt to go offline and have an off-the-grid wedding and reception, at a remote location with only a handful of guests,” said Doe, in an AfterShock press release announcing the series. “No digital communication devices will be allowed … [and that] sets off a scenario where our main characters are all suffering separation anxiety and severe Nomophobia (fear of no-mobile-phone) from the start of the wedding. Throw in a mysterious killer who savagely hunts each guest and brands them with a hashtag and now you’ve got some serious primal fear going on, a return to zero.”
Doe has been “officially” illustrating comics since 2005, but “Bad Reception” marks his writing debut. When asked why he wanted to both write and draw this series, Doe said he was curious to see what the writing process would be like.
“Creatively, it’s been really exciting to explore a story that I could write as well as draw,” said Doe. “I had this nascent idea — visually, and was really curious to see how that process would play out with myself writing it. It was a rush to see the interplay between the words and the art when I completed the opening scene. All these possibilities opened up in terms of how I wanted to tell this story both as a writer and artist.”
Because he’s worked with AfterShock for the last four years, Doe felt comfortable pitching them on the series – and on himself as the book’s writer and artist. And when the publisher agreed to let him tell his story, Doe was “beyond ecstatic.”
“The first thing [AfterShock] impressed upon me was they supported my vision 100%,” said Doe. “That was important to know, it gave me the fortitude to be fearless with my ideas and get to play and experiment with this story as well as the medium of comic book storytelling.”
You can check out a few interior pages (and a variant cover by Paul Azaceta) from “Bad Reception” #1 below, and pick up the first issue in stores and online on August 21.