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Josh Simmons

Black River

On sale date: June 7, 2015

In this Shirley Jacksonesque graphic novel, set in a horrific (and blackly funny) post-apocalyptic world, a group goes in search of a semi-civilized city.

Josh Simmons returns with his first full-length graphic novel since 2007’s acclaimed House. A group of women, one man, and two dogs are making their way through a post-apocalyptic world in search of a city that supposedly still has electricity and some sort of civilization. Along the way, they go to a comedy club, take a drug called Gumdrop, and encounter gangs of men who are either fools, lunatics, or murderous sadists. In other words, all manner of terrors. Josh Simmons is one of the field’s most distinctive voices in the horror genre (The Furry Trap, House), and this full-length graphic novel is his best work yet, echoing director John Carpenter’s perfect tick-tock pacing, as well as Shirley Jackson’s ability to transcend genre and turn it into literature.


"...[Black River] is a dark, post-apocalyptic survivalist story that makes The Walking Dead read like an all-ages comic. ... Nihilistic, apocalyptic fiction seems a dime a dozen in today's landscape, but Simmons manages to shock most jaded readers by giving you the sense that anything horrible can and will happen. There are some seriously disturbing scenes that are made all the more chilling by Simmons' black and white artwork and the seeming glee he takes in depicting them. That's not to say it's a completely dire read—the dark humor gives these women a strange but believable presence and life within this terrible world." — Rich Barrett - Mental Floss

"Josh Simmons' Black River is an impressively unnerving work, a slim black-and-white tale of a group of (mostly) women making their way through a post-apocalyptic landscape, struggling for survival and hope. ... Informed by dreams and shot through with gut-level anxiety rather than heroic cliché, Black River winds in an unpredictable pattern. No one is safe. No one is nice. Any one of its characters could be us." — Hillary Brown - Paste

"...[A]n amazing depiction of bleakness... Simmons is no stranger to creating atmospheric horror, using dense black-and-white linework for vivid depictions of destroyed cities and people with nothing left to lose. Dead, angular trees, plain, grimy clothing, and eyes that range from burnt-out to sheer insanity mix with swirling, angry backgrounds, setting a scene better than any horror movie could." — Publishers Weekly

"Simmons is a grimly witty take-no-prisoners storyteller, and his smart and violent tale is well paced and startling." — Richard Pachter - The Miami Herald

"Simmons' take on the end of the world--fittingly illustrated entirely in black and white--is gruesome and brutal. Not for the squeamish--and for mature readers only--it is a tale of our biological response to our looming demise. Even when life is at its most despairing and unconquerable, we persist. ...[F]or fans of such melancholic end of world scenarios as Cormac McCarthy's The Road, it is sure to be a dark and grim treat." — Zach Hollwedel - Under the Radar


Paperback / Softback
Black and white
6.6" × 8.5"