Joe Hill Compares Hill House Comics To Going To The Video Store

Hill talks to GameSpot about his DC Comics imprint, where there is something for everyone.


DC Comics has started to really develop its own brand of horror comics with Hill House Comics. Curating this new label is the writer behind Locke & Key and N0S4A2, Joe Hill--who is doing a Sandman/Locke & Key crossover this fall. While he writes two of the books at the label--Basketful of Heads and The Plunge--he's also helping others bring unique horror stories to DC.

Hill was inspired by early horror comics, before the Comics Code Authority forced censorship within the industry back in 1954. But what exactly is Hill House Comics and what can readers expect? "I've described Hill House Comics a couple of ways," Hill explained to GameSpot at C2E2. "One of the things I say a lot is that it's sort of Blumhouse for comics. Actually, the best comparison for Hill House Comics is when I was a kid, my favorite pastime was to go to the local mom & pop video store, and I'd go to the sleazy old horror section, and I'd groove in the sleazy horror section for an hour hunting down straight-to-video schlock horror to watch over the weekend. And every once in a while you'd find one, you'd find some schlocky piece of garbage horror. [One] that was actually brilliant, like Reanimator. I mean, without Reanimator there was, there was no Basketful of Heads.

"I look at Hill House Comics, I sort of like this video store of the mind. It's what's in the horror section in this impossible video store that exists outside of time. So you can dip in and find that horror film that you always hoped you would see."

The Low, Low Woods #1. Written by Carmen Maria Machado, Art by Dani and Tamra Bonvillain, and Cover by JAW Cooper
The Low, Low Woods #1. Written by Carmen Maria Machado, Art by Dani and Tamra Bonvillain, and Cover by JAW Cooper
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Hill admitted he puts references to these movies from his past into the books, as his childhood was filled with these films and spending time listening to heavy metal. GameSpot asked if he ever tried playing his albums backwards, looking for Satanic messages, but Hill listened to all his albums on cassette.

As for Hill House Comics, there is something for everyone, according to the writer. "If your preferred flavor is chilly cerebral British horror, then you probably want to go with The Dollhouse Family, which is really intricately plotted and has multiple timelines that all converged together and pays off in a really big way," continued Hill. "If you like David Lynch, psycho horror, that you want to go with that has a sense of humor, then you want to go with the Low, Low Woods, which is doing stuff with body horror. That kind of is a throwback to Black Hole, the Charlie Burns Black Hole title, but I think it's more accessible. It has stuff about growing up, teenage, queer, and [living in] blue collar, Pennsylvania, that I think is really authentic and vivid and fresh.

"If you've been dying for 19th century feminist Omand by Gaslight, then Daphne Byrne would be your pick, that's written by Laura Marks, a terrific TV screenwriter. This is our first comic, and it's drawn by, the perverted master of grand wooden goal, Kelley Jones. So there's a little something there for everyone, it depends on what flavor of horror you prefer."

Currently, all of these titles are available at your local comic shop or through digital markets like Comixology. Many of them are already on at least a second issue. We highly recommend Basketful of Heads and The Low, Low Woods, but all of the offerings from Hill House Comics, thus far, have been great.

Disclosure: ViacomCBS is GameSpot's parent company

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