A teaser image was in Prog 1864, 15th Jan 2014. I mentioned this on Twitter on Saturday 11th (subscription copies reach readers on Saturday before general release) and I think this may have been the first Leah or John had heard about publication. Suffice to say it was a ripple of excitement.
Leah and John have had a story in Judge Dredd Megazine, Black Museum: Scouting for Bots was in Megazine 322 illustrated by D’Israeli.
This is their first work in 2000AD this time illustrated by Steve Yeowell, probably most famous for Zenith and more recently Red Seas in 2000AD. (edit – you can read an Interview with Leah and John elsewhere on this blog)
The strip begins. as I said in the title, in July but the Prog number isn’t yet confirmed. Though the preview art above and below is in black and white the lettered finals will be in colour. The story will be told over nine parts.
The story starts in 813AD somewhere on the coast of Scandinavia. A small boat is dashed across the rocks and a sole survivor stumbles ashore. A raven haired Anglo Saxon wioth a severe wound to the neck.
Found by two men, local fishermen whose own ship appears to be moored in the background, lying in the surf.
His only words before losing consciousness are, “Tell King Ivar he has an heir. I am his son”.
We know who he claims to be but where does he come from, how did he come to be in this sorry state and what awaits him?
In the words of John Reppion:
“Black Shuck is basically a classic kick-arse heroic fantasy with swords, sorcery, monsters and mayhem. The story draws on themes close to our hearts and which permeate much of our writing; folklore, history and horror. Instead of some fictional ‘long long ago in a distant land’ Black Shuck is set in 9th century Europe among the people we now call Vikings, giving us some cool characters and settings to play with. We’re really enjoying writing it so far and, of course, it’s an absolute delight to see pages coming in from Steve Yeowell who is doing some fantastic work on the series. We can’t wait for people to read it.”
Now this Black Shuck may be unrelated but in East Anglian mythology Black Shuck is a demonic spirit in the form of a large shaggy black dog. Oft an ill omen of impending death or a guardian for women travelling alone. But the dog myths are. I beleive, some three hundred years more recent than this tale. Though Shukir is the hound of Odin or Thor in Norse mythology, so there could be some connection.
Very interested to see how this story unfolds.