First Look: 'The Mall' From 'Annabelle Comes Home' Filmmaker Gary Dauberman (Exclusive)

Gary Dauberman Mall Split - Getty - H 2019
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images; Courtesy of Vault Comics
Dauberman will be at San Diego Comic-Con signing ashcans of the new Vault comic.

After getting a taste of comic writing last year with a Batman entry in the DC Comics anthology, Cursed Comics Cavalcade, Annabelle Comes Home writer and director Gary Dauberman is going deeper into the craft with The Mall, a new title from Vault Comics.

The post-apocalyptic story is set in a world where survivors holed up in a mall and now, a generation or two later, a society split into tribes rose into uneasy co-existence. In this setting, a man is framed for a leader’s murder and his journey to prove his innocence uncovers more than its share of secrets. Mad Max and Escape From New York are definite influences.

It’s fitting given Dauberman’s Hollywood pedigree — he is the writer on all the Annabelle movies and worked on the two It films, plus acted as co-creator of the Swamp Thing TV show — that the origins of the new comic would have Tinseltown connections. Dauberman was one day spitballing with his Curse of La Llorona producing partner Emile Gladstone, who mentioned gigantic, desolate malls in China. The two began talking about how cool it would be to shoot in one and then they came up with other ideas.

Dauberman, a lifelong comic reader, was keen on pursuing the idea as a comic and pitched Vault, who paired him with co-writer Michael Moreci and eventually artist Zak Hartong.

The Mall is now a four-issue limited series set to launch Aug. 28. Dauberman will be at San Diego Comic-Con International on Saturday at the Vault booth signing ashcan editions of the first issue.

And he's dreaming of more issues to come. "There are a million stories we could using this as a framework," says Dauberman.

Despite the Hollywood leanings, Dauberman wants the attention on The Mall to be as a comic and story.

“I know it feels like a no-brainer for a movie or series, but I first wanted to focus on it as a comic," he says. "I don’t want it to feel like we’re using it as a springboard. That cheats readers. It that happens, great. If not, it still has to be a great comic.”

Check out a preview below.