September 13, 2010


The master of macabre mystery (and fellow fan of The Avengers), Richard Sala, is back with a new book for Fantagraphics called The Hidden. "Eight desperate people are stranded at a snowbound diner. Their phones can only pick brief and perplexing bits of conversation. The radio is filled with static- although occasional, broken-up bits of news are heard- reports of some sort of global catastrophe... A ninth person arrives, hiking to the diner from his stranded car, where he had been listening to his car radio. He informs the others that, yes, from what he was been able to make out, something alarming seems to have happened, a catastrophe on a global scale… Oh, and one more bit of local news he happened to pick up, he says: The previous night an inmate escaped from a nearby hospital for the criminally insane, after killing his doctor and several bystanders. The police warn that he is very, very dangerous...

What perhaps sounds like the description of an old weird tale or an episode of The Twilight Zone is actually just the beginning of the new suspenseful, brain-twisting graphic novel from the author of Delphine, The Chuckling Whatsit, and Cat Burglar Black. In The Hidden, as the isolated characters become increasingly unraveled, one character tells of a dream he recently had. Then each of the others tells a dream, a personal anecdote or a story they’ve heard, ranging from the bizarre to the absurd to the truly horrific. Each will be presented as its own chapter. Then there are the games- a selection of (fully illustrated) card games and board games found in the diner. Are these merely children’s games- or something more sinister? 48 pages of full-color comics." -Amazon

The Hidden is listed on-line for a late-fall release, but Fantagraphics has pushed the release date back a bit to allow our man to really go the extra mile on the artwork. We can't wait! Sala has posted a sneak preview of the book on his blog here. During the launch of his previous book, Cat Burglar Black, Sala sat down for a virtual interview with Spy Vibe from our private lairs in the Bay Area to talk about his passion for classic mystery adventures, storytelling, and Emma Peel's jumpsuit! He also shares scans of the photos and letter he received from Patrick Macnee as a young fan. See the Spy Vibe feature interview The Adventures of Richard Sala here.

Spy Vibers who have not explored Sala's work should expect hints of Edward Gorey, The Addams Family, Fantomas, Judex, Irma Vepp and les Vampires, and worlds filled with trap doors, hidden chambers, sleuths and ghouls, and ghastly murders. I recommend that you pick up The Chuckling Whatsit and Maniac Killer Strikes Again!. Amazon shoppers can find the Richard Sala page here.

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