I recently learned about John Carpenter’s upcoming comic book series, John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction, and immediately wanted to know more about it because I get extremely excited anytime I see “John Carpenter” and “science fiction” in the same sentence. So during San Diego Comic-Con, I sat down with Sandy King Carpenter, the head of the comic’s publisher, Storm King Productions. She also happens to be John’s wife of 27 years and his longtime collaborator.
Tales of Science Fiction is the third comic book series from Storm King, following Asylum and John Carpenter’s Tales for a Halloween Night, but it’s the first to go hardcore sci-fi. However, that doesn’t mean fans shouldn’t expect some of Carpenter’s trademark horror elements in the stories. “I’ve never quite understood these strict divisions [between sci-fi and horror],” King Carpenter said. “You can pretty much guarantee that if we’re taking you to outer space, we’re gonna f—k you up.”
The comics are set up as an anthology series, with several different creators tackling multiple issue story arcs. The first story in the series, “Vault,” is written by James Ninness with art by Andres Esparza and will run for three issues, with the first hitting comic book stores and digital outlet Comixology on July 26, and new issues arriving monthly after that. Trades will then be published consolidate one complete story at a time.
King Carpenter also revealed to me that Tales for a Halloween Night is being adapted as an anthology horror TV series, which is aiming to debut as a seasonal event on Syfy in October 2018 — just in time for the spooky holiday. “We don’t want to do it to just be a regurgitation of what the comic is, so it won’t be the stories out of the comic book,” she said. “It will be an anthology series of stories that are somewhat related but standalone, and inhabit a certain universe that we choose for it … it will be a different experience that expands the universe of the comics for television.”
While being careful not to give away too many details, King Carpenter told me that John Carpenter has a lot of new projects on the horizon, and that his fans are going to be very pleased with his output in the coming years — regardless of what their favorite medium is. “Comic book fans will be happy, movie fans will be happy, and TV fans will be very happy,” she said. Speaking of those upcoming projects, I asked King Carpenter if there was any chance at all that the new Big Trouble in Little China sequel comic book that John Carpenter is co-writing, Old Man Jack, will be adapted into a long-awaited sequel to the movie. She grinned and coyly said, “I don’t know.” Hey, it’s not a “yes,” but I’ll take it.
Image courtesy of Storm King Productions