House of Night
#1 cover.A series of wildly popular vampire novels aimed at young adults. No, not that one.
The books in question are the House of Night series by mother-daughter author team P.C. and Kristin Cast, which stars Zoey Redbird, a teenage "vampyre" attending the titular boarding school. Since debuting in 2007 with Marked, nine House of Night novels have been published, with a 10th already in the works and millions of copies in print.
With a film adaptation in development, the next step for the series begins in comic book shops this week, with Dark Horse's House of Night #1. Adapted by screenwriter Kent Dalian with collaborative input from the Casts, the five-issue miniseries features both present-day sequences illustrated by Joëlle Jones (Spell Checkers, You Have Killed Me) featuring the book's familiar primary characters, and mythological tales drawn by a different artist each issue, starting with Karl Kerschl and the Viking era.
Dalian and P.C. Cast are both new to this side of comic books, but say they've been fans of the medium for years.
"I've always read comics," the elder Cast told Newsarama. "I grew up thinking that my piles and piles of comic books were completely normal. Superman was my boyfriend forever. Swamp Thing, I also had a super, giant affair with for quite a long time. Thor, the Fantastic Four — I read everything."House of Night
#1 alternate cover.After talking with Dark Horse about the possibility of House of Night becoming a comic book, Cast brought Dalian on board to adapt, who at one point was hired to write a film based on the novels.
"There was quite a learning curve because writing comics is a lot more technical," Dalian said, mentioning elements like panels per page and words per panel. "Other than that, it's similar as far as storytelling and dialogue and all that. Not too hard of a cross-over."Then, of course, there's working with comic book artists for the first time, which Dalian said was a major part of his learning experience.
"That was actually one of the best parts of it," Dalian said. "When the artist takes your script and you see the artwork and it's better than what you've pictured most of the time, it's really exciting."House of Night
#2 cover.Dalian, who identifies as a huge fan of both X-Men and Dark Horse's Star Wars comics, said that the fact that each House of Night issue includes a mythological tale set in a different historical era will help bring in an audience beyond those who are already fans of the books.
"I think people who read comics and are into sci-fi or fantasy definitely have a love for mythology," Dalian said of the stories, meant to expand the House of Night world.
Cast agrees, and said that the mythological stories in each issue make the comic "a little more adult" than the novels.
"The stories are sexy, and they're cool," Cast said. "Not that my books aren't. [Laughs.] It might be the art. The art is so beautiful, and so sensuous. It's just a great experience. "
The comic's present-day sequences are set between Marked and the second novel in the series, Betrayed, with the intention of being accessible to newcomers without feeling repetitive to existing fans.House of Night
#3 cover."People who haven't read House of Night can start to understand what's going on, but there's new information in the comics that will have my fans going, 'Ooh, I didn't know that!'" Cast said. "So we're doing kind of a mixture of both right now." Though the first issue is just out today, more comic books set in the House of Night world are already being planned, with ideas originating from Dark Horse senior managing editor Scott Allie's visit to Cast's home in Tulsa.
"We ended up actually coming up with an incredible idea about the future of the House of Night comics that is more adult, and it's very exciting, and Kent will be the adapter for that, too," Cast said.
But for now, they've got the rest of this House of Night series to get through — which in future installments will see Jones joined on art by Josh Covey in issue #2, out in December, and Daniel Krall on January 2012's issue #3.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!