13 Days of Hellboy continues today at Bloody-Disgusting as we have the exclusive announcement of “Baltimore: The Cult of the Red King” from Dark Horse comics. The next arc in the dark adventures of Lord Henry Baltimore, the continuation of Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola’s vampire slayer story, past the novel they wrote together a few years ago.
Novel? You say. Yes, they wrote a novel, and it’s getting reissued!
We spoke to Dark Horse Editor in Chief – Scott Allie about the reissue.
Bloody-Disgusting: What do fans of Mignola’s previous work, have to look forward to with this novel?
BD: How much will fans of the comic series get out of the novel?SA: Well, the novel is genuinely a must read for the readers of the comics, and the timing couldn’t be better. The novel spans a very long time in Baltimore’s life, and when we started the comics, they were all meant to take place within that timeframe–that is, between the beginning and end of the novel. But now, in the comics, in BALTIMORE Volume 4: Chapel of Bones, we finally brought the character of Baltimore full circle to resolve the quest that ran through the previous comics and through the novel. The vampire he was hunting for revenge, Haigus, who killed his family, was destroyed in the Chapel of Bones, just like he was destroyed in the novel. The comics and the novel have finally dovetailed, and you have the complete picture now—which, incidentally, beautifully sets things up for the next phase of Baltimore’s adventures.
In the novel, we followed Baltimore’s quest to kill Haigus—Baltimore was hellbent on revenge against the vampire who killed his family. He devoted years of his life to that, in a tragic, epic saga—three words often misused, but totally applicable here. Between the novel and the four existing graphic novels, readers finally have the complete saga of Baltimore’s bloody and self-destructive quest for the vampire Haigus, which costs Baltimore his own humanity.
With volume 5, out soon in hardcover, we begin the post-novel stories, which actually represents a sea change in the story. Volume 6, BALTIMORE, CULT OF THE RED KING is a terrific jumping on point, because now we find Baltimore, a monster fighter who’s lost touch with his humanity, pursuing a mythic being who may be responsible for all the horror in his world. Baltimore has built a company of damaged allies to pursue the Red King, but is the Red King even still in existence…?
BD: How is Sofia joining Baltimore’s company going to change things?
BD: What is it like having Peter Bergting return to draw this newest arc?SA: When I read the scripts, I see how Ben would draw it, and I have to reset my brain, think about how Peter will do it. Peter provides a fresh set of eyes on this world, at just the right time—it really is a new book, sort of starting from scratch with this arc. Baltimore’s solo adventures are behind him, he succeeded in his original quest to kill the vampire that killed his family. That’s over. Now he’s got a much bigger quest—to find the greater evil behind the vampires and the witches and all this horror. So he’s building this coterie of monster fighters, and Peter gets to introduce these characters as his. We hired Peter based on past work of his that we liked, that did some of these same things, like The Portent. He helps make Baltimore feel like a brand new series for all of us. And Peter is so attuned to the folklore of Europe, which is a key aspect of the series, that he’s really bringing a great mood to the proceedings.
BD: How far has Mike planned out Baltimore’s story, and can we ever hope for him to fully atone for his sins?