Halloween is one of my favorite days out of every year—I’m already counting down the days ’til it’s here again. I enjoy playing Call of Cthulhu D&D, watching scary movies, and reading horror comics. However, it’s often hard for me to find a decently horrifying comic to read.
However, I’m currently looking forward to Cult Classic, a comic written by Minnesotan Eliot Rahal that will be out in February 2018. Rahal is passionate about his love for comics, which he expresses through, among other things, his weekly hosting of New Comic Book Day. In addition to the work that he’s done for Valiant and Dark Horse comics, he’s now working with Vault Comics, which specializes in creating epic sci-fi stories. Cult Classic centers on the fictional town of Whisper, which happens to be the most haunted area in the Upper Midwest.
Rahal describes the new series as “The Twilight Zone meets Springfield from The Simpsons,” while Adrian Wassel, Vault’s chief creative officer and editor-in-chief, compares it to the classic book series Goosebumps. This certainly describes something up my alley, since when I was a bookworm as a child, Goosebumps were the books I would constantly check out of our elementary-school library. Rahal agrees with Wassel’s comparison but notes that unlike R. L. Stine’s books, Cult Classic will feature stories mostly based in Whisper—although he won’t be the only writer, and any creator down the line has the power to change the protagonist along with the setting of the story. For now, however, all the stories are set in the same town, but they definitely aren’t limited to using the same setting. Rahal’s first series in the Cult Classic narrative is Return of the Graveyard Gang, which he describes as the Goonies gang gone wrong and all grown up.
Promoting the comic has been a blast for Rahal, particularly a TV stunt he pulled off near Halloween. He wrote a TV script version of Cult Classic with a friend of his and pitched it to CCX Media in St. Louis Park; the process was, as Rahal relates, a “grueling three months,” but ultimately the pitch was approved. The video clips feature Rip G. Raves, a character from Cult Classic who hosts a radio show—not unlike Svengoolie or a male counterpart to Elvira. Many of the Cult Classic characters don’t know of each other, but they all know Rip G. Raves and his TV show. The video clips feature segments of Rip’s show with interviews with different characters. For those who missed seeing this air on TV, all four parts are on YouTube.
Cult Classic may not be out until February, but it’s never too early to start calling your favorite Minnesota comic-book shop to tell them about it and how it needs to be on their shelves, which is one of the best ways to support the series or any other comic created by a local writer or artist. In the meantime, you can follow Eliot Rahal on Twitter at @eliotrahal and Vault Comics at @thevaultcomics. (Rahal has also been keeping busy working on Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe, which is available for purchase in January.)
So what are you waiting for? Call your neighborhood comic store and help keep the Minnesota comic scene alive and well.