Chris Visions has been on our radar for a while; this VCU alumnus has done some incredible artwork lately, from his illustrations for James Wayland’s Trailer Park Trash & Vampires to his recent cover for Adventure Time #19. Now he’s about to introduce the world to what might be his best work yet: his new ongoing comic series, Dead Letters, the first issue of which was released this week by BOOM! Studios.
Chris Visions has been on our radar for a while; this VCU alumnus has done some incredible artwork lately, from his illustrations for James Wayland’s Trailer Park Trash & Vampires to his recent cover for Adventure Time #19. Now he’s about to introduce the world to what might be his best work yet: his new ongoing comic series, Dead Letters, the first issue of which was released this week by BOOM! Studios. This Saturday, beginning at 3 PM, Visions will be signing copies of Dead Letters #1 at Velocity Comics.
Dead Letters is a supernatural noir story that begins with main character Sam Whistler waking up in a hotel room he doesn’t recognize. Whistler is suffering from amnesia; he has no idea why he’s in a hotel room, or why he’s wearing hospital scrubs. And he definitely doesn’t know who the people trying to break down his door and get to him are. Speaking to Comic Book Resources, writer Christopher Sebela explained his attraction to the themes of Dead Letters by saying, “I’m a sucker for amnesia fiction, stories of a person waking up not knowing anything about themselves and having to piece together who they used to be. The supernatural is all about coming face to real-or-imagined-face with something beyond yourself, something you cannot hope to even begin to comprehend. So the two seemed to get along nicely.”
However, Sebela was close-mouthed about the significance of the comic’s title. “I have to apologize for being extra elusive in my answers, but we kind of want the first issue to unfold naturally for everyone and not spoiler anything,” he told Comic Book Resources. We do know that dead letters are incorrectly addressed mail that can neither be delivered to the addressee nor returned to the sender. The US Postal Service’s “dead letter office” (now formally known as Mail Recovery Centers) has provided inspiration to many over the years; REM titled a B-sides collection Dead Letter Office in 1987, and both Herman Melville and Clive Barker have set works of fiction in one of these offices.
We may not know exactly why Sebela and Visions’s new title is named after dead letters, but we do know Visions has done some great artwork for the title. Preview images from the comic have appeared all over the internet during the run-up to its release (a few of them illustrate this article), to universal acclaim. Sebela also believes Visions’s, er, vision is essential to the creation of Dead Letters. “Chris’ stuff is so inspiring, his imagination is huge and his choices come totally out of left field sometimes but they’re so much better than what I had in mind when I wrote it,” he told Comic Book Resources. “I could gush for hours about how amazing Chris is, this book wouldn’t be what it is without him as my partner on it.”
This Saturday, you can see for yourself why everyone is so excited about the work of Chris Visions. Stop by Velocity Comics, located at 819-A W. Broad St, between 3 and 5 PM, to meet Chris Visions, check out the first issue of Dead Letters, and pick up your very own autographed copy. For more information on this event, click here. And check out our interview with Chris Visions, which originally appeared in RVA #12.