And Then Emily Was Gone is a dark horror-mystery that tells the story of Greg Hellinger, a man who sees monsters. A former detective driven to the brink of madness by terrifying apparitions, he is tasked with finding a missing girl called Emily. Hellinger’s search takes him to a remote community in the Orkney Islands, where strange and terrible things are happening…
Since its launch in local markets here in Glasgow back in July, the first issue of And Then Emily Was Gone has enjoyed great success. It got nominated for 4 SICBA awards at this year’s Glasgow Comic Con, the only comic to get nominated for every category. And upon making its US debut at this month’s New York Comic Con, And Then Emily Was Gone #1 completely sold out at the show!
The comic has enjoyed a wealth of positive reviews:
It’s even had some very nice testimonials from ace comics creators:
“This is a weird comic, but in a wonderful way. Best of all, it’s a comic with its own vision, a unique and bold vision.”
– Michael Moreci, Hoax Hunters, Skybreaker
“This was a wonderful, twisted little surprise. A David Lynch air throughout, it made me feel itchy and uncomfortable, which is the highest praise I can bestow. John Lees’ script is tight and mysterious, with a few curve-balls that really add to the sense of hyper-reality. The off-kilter energy. The real stand-out is Iain Lawrie on art duties. Equal parts Paul Pope, Nick Pitarra and Morgan Jeske (this reminded me frequently of Jeske and Ales Kot’s Change). Despite the content raw as a picked scab, the presentation and print quality is supremely professional. Extremely impressive. Find a copy.”
– Owen Michael Johnson, Raygun Roads
“Super awesome, super creepy, super good. I really love the work of everyone involved on the book…”
– Nick Pitarra, The Manhattan Projects, The Red Wing
“This book is amazing, the first issue was ultra creepy.”
– Riley Rossmo, Proof, Green Wake, Cowboy Ninja Viking, Bedlam, Drumhellar
“It’s a masterclass in comics. it’s literate and the art? The art NEVER fails to impress. You just got to find out what happens next… BONNIE SHAW? GREG HILLINGER? THE BOX? What the fuck? It’s a movie for the mind ***** FIVE STARS.”
– Shaky Kane, The Bulletproof Coffin
“…reads really well, the artwork is just fantastic, intriguing premise, quirky and atmospheric and claustrophobic as I would expect – really impressed!”
– Frank Quitely, All Star Superman, We3, Jupiter’s Legacy
And now, the And Then Emily Was Gone bandwagon will be rolling into Leeds in time for the Thought Bubble comic convention on Saturday 23rd-Sunday 24th November. Not only will the acclaimed cult hit first issue be available for the first time in England, but making its worldwide debut will be And Then Emily Was Gone #2!
In this second chapter, Hellinger and Fiona begin to investigate Emily’s disappearance on the island of Merksay, with its highly eccentric locals and terrifying hidden places. Plus, we find out what’s in the box!
Both writer John Lees (that’s me!) and artist Iain Laurie will be at Thought Bubble, selling copies of And Then Emily Was Gone #1 & #2. You’ll be able to find us at Royal Armouries Hall, Table 2. Iain will be signing and sketching throughout the weekend, and I’ll be relentlessly shilling And Then Emily Was Gone, along with my other comics: The Standard, Bad Sun and Black Leaf. Letterer Colin Bell will also be in attendance at the show, I believe tabling with creator Neil Slorance at Table 69 in New Dock Hall.
If you haven’t yet been exposed to the unique visual stylings of Iain Laurie, here’s a couple of snippets of artwork from the first issue:
Once, Greg Hellinger was a rising star of the police Missing Persons Bureau. Gifted with a brilliant analytical mind, Hellinger had the inate ability to find the thread left behind by people thought long gone, and track them down. Solving a series of high-profile disappearances gained Hellinger some degree of fame and noteriety, and it seemed like his reputation and legacy was secure.
Then, five years ago, Hellinger started seeing monsters.
Plagued constantly by nightmarish apparitions that follow him wherever he goes, terrifying visions he is unable to fully comprehend, Greg has lost just about everything: his career, his family, his reputation, and even his sanity is barely intact. Medical experts have no explanation for these visions, other than them being hallucinations caused by some unspecified massive nervous breakdown. Now, Hellinger lives a life of seclusion, a haunted, broken man.
But one more case is waiting to be solved, Hellinger’s greatest challenge yet. The disappearance of a 17-year-old girl called Emily Munro. Can he solve this mystery, and in the process find answers to what is happening to him? Or will Greg Hellinger discover that, as far as he has fallen, there are greater depths of horror and madness for him to plummet into?
17-year-old Fiona Tulloch has lived her whole life in Merksay, a small island community in Orkney. A bright, inquisitive girl, Fiona has always felt like she never really fit in with the isolated, sheltered existence of the Merksay islanders. Save for her best friend, Emily, Fiona has never really connected with other people, preferring to lose herself in the world of her detective novels and dream of a more exciting life.
But when Emily goes missing, Fiona begins to see Merksay in an unsettling new light. She starts to believe that perhaps that her difficulty in fitting in wasn’t something wrong with her, but rather something deeply wrong with the island and its people. The more she delves into Merksay’s history, the more unsafe she feels: terrible things are happening in Merksay, and have been for some time. And so, armed with her quick wit and many years worth of learned experience from trashy crime fiction, she decides to escape, fleeing the island and heading for the Scottish mainland.
But Fiona knows she can’t run away forever. She needs to go back to Merksay. She needs to find Emily, or find out what happened to her. She needs someone to help her do it. She needs Greg Hellinger…
Vin Eckland is what some people may charitably refer to as a “hipster douchebag.” His favourite pastimes include ironically watching Saturday morning cartoons, knitting novelty animals and playing quirky tunes on his tiny little ukelele. He lives a life of leisure, often accompanied by Louise: his best friend since childhood. He’s still recovering from the bad breakup of a long-term relationship, but has recently started dating again.
Vin has an interesting job.
There’s no such thing as Bonnie Shaw…
And Then Emily Was Gone #1 & #2 will be on-sale at Thought Bubble in Royal Armouries Hall, Table 2. For more updates and information, keep reading this blog, and follow the creator on Twitter: John Lees (@johnlees927), Iain Laurie (@IainLaurie), Colin Bell (@colinbell) and Megan Wilson (@MeganEngiNerd).