“Nightmarish Terror”: AfterShock Announces ‘God Of Tremors’ From Peter Milligan And Piotr Kowalski

by Olly MacNamee

AfterShock Comics is teaming up with the creatives, writer Peter Milligan, artist Piotr Kowalski, colour artist Brad Simpson and letterer Simon Bowland.

As you could guess from the headline, this is a tale of terror and horror from Milligan, one of the most humorous and wonderfully warped minds writing comics today.

Here’s the series synopsis ahead of a preview of the first issue:

“A 19th Century gothic horror of exorcism, demonic worship and epilepsy. 

When Aubrey has his first seizure, he’s pulled out of school and hidden away in the family’s remote country estate. His father — a high-ranking English priest — tries to chase the “devil” out of Aubrey — but maybe the devil lurks in the grotesque pagan effigy that dwells on the grounds. And maybe the devil will turn out to be Aubrey’s only ally…

A singular tale of nightmarish terror and creeping enlightenment told against a backdrop of ignorance and brutality, GOD OF TREMORS springs from the fertile imagination of award-winning writer Peter Milligam (OUT OF BODY, Shade the Changing Man, X-Force) with illustrations from Piotr Kowalski (JOIN THE FUTURE, Sex).”

Plus, a few words from Milligan himself on this new nightmare series:

Milligan on…

what the book is about and why he is excited for it to come out:

“It’s a story of dark secrets, shameful longings and terrifying changes. A Gothic tale of isolation and horror. Aubrey is a young man living in a straight-laced, 19thcentury English Victorian world, whose father is a vicar, renowned for his fiery speeches against the evils of new scientific ideas. When Aubrey has his first epileptic seizure it begins a harrowing series of ‘exorcisms’, as both Aubrey and his father are convinced his condition is the work of the devil. Hidden away in his father’s country estate, Aubrey’s only release is walking in the wild woods that surround the house. It’s deep in these woods that Aubrey discovers an ancient stone pagan effigy that slowly changes his and all his family’s lives.  

I’m really excited about this book because it’s been brewing in my head for a little while and last year it really came into focus and begged to be written. Though set many years ago it’s an incredibly personal story for me and I think addresses many issues that the modern audience will relate to.”

… some of the inspirations behind creating the book:

“Two main influences, one literary and one personal. I’ve always liked the story by the great short story writer Saki, called ‘Sredni Vashtar.’ It’s about a sickly child who invents a religion around a pet pole cat. It has trademark Saki mix of Edwardian decency and horror. ‘God of Tremors’ is very different but I liked the idea of a boy whose life has suddenly been changed by his epilepsy finding a strange and brutal deity who might take the place of his father’s god. The personal comes from the epilepsy. I’m epileptic and for a few years it’s been well-controlled by drugs and I’ve been free of any major seizures. Last year my neurologist tweaked my medication – for reasons I won’t go into here – which resulted in two quick-fire and nasty seizures, one of which put in me in hospital. It was during this time, with that strange proximity to seizures, that ‘God of Tremors,’ for so long lying incomplete in my subconscious, came fully into focus.” 

… his approach to creating a new comic:

“It’s not a one size fits all kind of thing, but generally what I’m interested in at the beginning is theme, what this thing is about, and why I want to write it. I tend to focus on that before I get too heavily into what happens when. I find if you hone in on the themes and what it’s about, situations and plot points can emerge quite organically and naturally. That’s on a good day. On a bad day I pace up and down a bit, bang my head against the wall, play guitar for a while, make a cup of tea and get back to work.”

… three reasons why comic fans should pick up this book:

“This book works on a few levels. Yes, it’s a character-driven story about a young guy trying to make sense of a world after the shock of becoming epileptic—but it’s also a dark and brooding talk dripping with Gothic menace, a story that I think will really appeal to a lot of people. I haven’t mentioned the artwork, and I should. Piotr Kowalski brings an unnerving, paranoid intensity to the story, perfectly capturing the stultifying world and a young man’s attempts to escape from it. There is horror lying out in the woods: but perhaps the real horror lurks at home, and the twisted morality of Aubrey’s father and his world.”

Gods of Tremors #1 will be available Wednesday August 18th from AfterShock

Now, how about that first look?


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