Kolchak: The Night Stalker Returns for 50th Anniversary Graphic Novel – IGN
Kolchak: The Night Stalker may not have enjoyed a long run before being canceled by ABC, but the horror/mystery series certainly earned a dedicated fanbase who sing its praises even five decades later. There’s good news for anyone yearning for more of Carl Kolchak’s supernatural investigations. The character is returning in a new graphic novel timed to the 50th anniversary of the character’s debut.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary Graphic Novel Anthology is a collection featuring new stories set in the world of the original TV series. The book is edited by James Aquilone (Classic Monsters Unleashed) and features an impressive lineup of creators, including David Avallone (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark), Rodney Barnes (Killadelphia), Nancy Collins (Swamp Thing), Peter David (The Incredible Hulk), Kim Newman (Anno Dracula) and Jonathan Maberry (V-Wars). The book even features a story and foreword Richard Christian Matheson, son of horror luminary (and writer of the original 1972 TV movie) Richard Matheson.
IGN can debut an exclusive preview of the upcoming graphic novel, including the story from Newman and artist Paul McCaffrey. There’s even a stunning variant cover by artist JK Woodward and designer Shawn T. King that pays homage to Dick Giordano’s Detective Comics #566 cover, one of the most iconic Batman images ever published. Get a closer look in the slideshow gallery below:
Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary Graphic Novel Anthology is being offered exclusively through Kickstarter. The drive includes options for both softcover and hardcover versions, with higher pledge tiers including bonuses such as an addition 40-page comic by Aquilone and artist Colton Worley called “Satanic Panic ’88.”
“Kolchak: The Night Stalker was the perfect blend of humor and horror, a show that could make you laugh and give you the creeps in equal measure,” Aquilone tells IGN. “That’s a tough thing to do, but the TV movies and series did it with ease. Kolchak and Darren McGavin were so much fun to watch that you couldn’t help but feel that it was a tragedy the show ended so soon.”
“What happens when the reporter becomes part of the story? Who is the ‘night stalker’ in Las Vegas in 1972 … the vampire Janos Skorzeny or the newspaperman Carl Kolchak? And what might happen if they changed places?” Newman says of her story. “Carl Kolchak knew that the best weapon against the monsters among us was the cold light of day – the harsh light of truth, cast into the shadows where the predators lurked. But he also knew that the vampires, shapeshifters, creatures and crawlers could not pick off their prey without the powers that be decreeing they did not officially exist … and that the higher-ups had already written off numberless ordinary folk as acceptable losses for the continuance of a society built on injustice, corruption and lies. Now, more than ever, we need a Night Stalker.”
“Amongst the politically charged yet soulful streets of 1970’s Harlem something stirs in the low places,” Barnes teases. “Locals that move about in the night are coming up missing for a spell. And when they return to their loved ones they do so in an altered state. One that requires the taste of human flesh. While the police turn a blind eye to the macabre happenings one reporter takes it upon himself to figure out what’s really going on. Who might that be you ask? None other than Carl Kolchak-the Nightstalker!”
Finally, as for how that epic Kolchak/Batman mashup cover came about, Woodward tells IGN, “When James Aquilone presented me with the idea of a Dick Giordano homage cover, I was thrilled. It is one of DC’s most iconic Batman covers and at the same time, a strangely appropriate way to represent Kolchak’s legacy. Kolchak, like the Batman in the original cover, was also defined by what he hunted.”
Woodward continues, “I think what makes Kolchak resonate in our culture to this day, is the representation of the extraordinary among the mundane. Carl Kolchak is not supernatural, nor does he exist in some fantastic imaginary setting. He is an investigative reporter, living in Las Vegas, that just happens to investigate the unimaginable. Kolchak would later influence shows like X-Files and I personally believe The Incredible Hulk’s Jack McGee character was inspired by the character.”
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.