HEAT VISION

Horror Comic 'Nicnevin and the Bloody Queen' Unveils Preview

The Humanoids project centers on a teenager caught up in a series of murders in rural England.
Jock/Humanoids
The Humanoids project centers on a teenager caught up in a series of murders in rural England.

A series of murders in rural England might not seem like the sort of thing that would interest a surly teenager, but Nicnevin Oswald has no idea that she’s at the center of a story that stretches back centuries and places her in grave danger. Welcome to the world of Nicnevin and the Bloody Queen.

Nicnevin — Nissy for short — is the kind of teen who resents even being in rural England in the first place, not that it does her any good when her family relocates for a vacation. Her new locale brings her into a world of druids, magical thinking and murders — all of which have far more connection to her than she can imagine. But will she realize the truth behind what’s going on before it’s too late?

Part-folk horror, part-murder mystery, Nicnevin is written by Helen Mullane, perhaps better known as the producer of documentary Future Shock!: The Story of 2000 AD, and features art by 2000 AD veteran Dom Reardon and Matthew Dow Smith, with a cover by Wytches and The Batman Who Laughs’ Jock.

“I love folk horror, I have done since way before I could define the genre,” writer Mullane told THR. “I'm interested in how difficult it can be to exist in your family during those intense years in your early and mid teens when you're desperate to already be who you know you're becoming and progress seems unbearably slow. Nissy has a fraught relationship with her mother, who she just sees her as a malignant spirit trying to curtail her freedom, but we see her mum trying to connect with her again and again. Similarly her brother offers her his companionship throughout the story but Nissy is too much in her own head to pay him any attention. So Nissy is not a hero, far from it. She's just a young girl who's found herself stuck in this crazy situation and would much rather be spending the summer on the lash and having fun with her mates.”

“Some places seem to store history, as if it’s recorded into the landscape. When you go to a place like this you can feel the weight of the things that have happened there, the people, the beliefs. We wanted to try to capture some of this feeling with The Bloody Queen,” added Reardon. “All this is seen through Nissy’s eyes, and I hope people reading this will like Nissy and want to spend time with her. I just tried to make her emote and move around in a characterful but relatable way. Helen and I both really love this genre, we knew the kind of thing we wanted it to be right from the beginning. It’s horror, it’s folklore, it’s rural locations and also it’s character driven, that’s the idea.”

“I grew up on all the same things Helen and Dom did, so it was such an easy thing to just step into when they asked me to join them. Lots of shadows, lots of skeletal trees, lots of desolate landscapes. I couldn’t ask for more evocative things to draw and a better story to tell,” Smith continued. “This is exactly the kind of comic I love — moody, textured, and not afraid to challenge the audience. And as a life long fan of British horror, I just couldn’t resist this one.”

“This has been the perfect project for me to dig into after working on Wytches, said Jock. “Helen and Dom are old friends of mine, and and when they told me about their idea I was immediately onboard. It’s a haunting story told with brilliant art. Fans of perfectly pitched horror would do well to check it out.”

The book, published by Humanoids, is available now. Read on for a preview of what Nissy is leaving behind as she heads to her summer home.





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