Next spring, Oni Press is publishing Hobtown Mystery Stories Vol. 1: The Case Of The Missing Men, the highly acclaimed, stylized noir by Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes, in color for the first time with a brand new cover. Set in the 1990s with a cast of teen detectives investigating folk horror in rural Canada, Hobtown Mystery Stories are one-part mystery, one-part horror and one-part teenage coming-of-age adventure. The first two volumes were previously published by Conundrum Press in a long sold-out B&W format and will now be fully colored by Jason Fischer. In addition to re-releasing the newly updated Hobtown Mystery Stories Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Oni will also be continuing the series with several all-new, never-before-seen volumes , beginning with Hobtown Mystery Stories Vol. 3 in 2025.
Welcome to Hobtown, a charmingly bleak village (Population: 2,006) and an easy place to get bored if you don’t make your own fun. Hobtown Regional High’s top girl, Dana Nance, runs the Teen Detective Club—a registered after-school program that makes it their business to investigate each and every one of their town’s bizarre occurrences including pagan secret societies, psychic assaults, and possible “wee man” sightings. Their small world of missing pets and shed fires is turned upside down when real-life kid adventurer and globetrotter Sam Finch comes to town and enlists them in their first real case: the search for his missing father. Something strange is going on, and no one in Hobtown will talk about it. It turns out Sam’s dad is the sixth man to go missing this year. The rot runs deep in Hobtown, and it’s up to the teen detectives and associates to stay alive long enough to crack the Case of the Missing Men!
“Hobtown Mystery Stories is about the beauty and horror of the small town, and the lengths its young will go to unearth, understand, and escape its history,” said writer and co-creator Kris Bertin. “It’s also a labour of love between two best friends, a place we’ve visited for over a decade to explore and imagine together.”
“To have found a home for Hobtown Mystery Stories with Oni Press—and to see it in breathtaking color for the first time—is an absolute joy, and one that we’re so excited to share with new (and return) visitors to our funny little town,” said artist and co-creator Alexander Forbes.
Nominated twice for the Angoulême Sélection Fauve Polar SNCF (Favorite Mystery Series) in France Hobtown is already a favorite among early adopters of the series that explores themes of acceptance, friendship and the traumas that haunt and horrify across generations. Perfect for fans of Twin Peaks and Nancy Drew, the Hobtown Mystery Stories take the teen investigator genre to new levels as they explore small town identity and the surreal.
“Hobtown is one of the most fun reading experiences I’ve had in years,” said Oni Press Editor-in-Chief Siera Hahn. “I was immediately swept up in the interior lives of these teens whose small town friendships and sleuthing feel eerily familiar to my own upbringing in rural Washington. It hit a personal chord, while illustrating this gorgeous and richly rendered world that asks you to linger on the page and wonder what horrors await just off panel. I’m hooked.”
Hobtown Mystery Stories Vol. 1 will be available at retailers everywhere on April 24, 2024.