The Black Cloak explores life as a cop in a neo-noir fantasy world
Every day, crime happens – even in fantasy realms. Despite the existence of magical beings and epic quests fantasy worlds still have their share murder, petty crimes, and every day life. A new series, The Black Cloak, explores these issues like a Law & Order spin-off from Middle-Earth.
The Black Cloak is a detective story that explores a world where elves, maidens and other creatures live and die together. The Black Cloak is the first comic in a series on Thompson’s SubStack newsletter. They previously worked together on Heart in a Box, the creator’s original graphic novel. This time they are handling a straight-up crime/fantasy mashup.
Thompson tells Newsarama that “A Black Cloak” is essentially the name of a homicide detective in a neo-noir fantasy universe populated by wild creatures. They came together to defeat a great evil a few hundred years ago, and now struggle to get along in their last known city.”
Black Cloak is a new-noir fantasy world that centers around Kiros, the last known city in the world. It was the only one to survive the war hundreds of years ago.
The Black Coat’s first chapters, which we were able to see early, reveal that the world of The Black Coat is nuanced and blended. It includes the mermaids as well as the elves and coffee shops. Thompson said that the world-building was a result of McClaren and Thompson’s collaboration.
Thompson says that Meredith is a world-builder and artist who takes my very sad straw and turns it into gold.
“As a writer, I have dumb ideas that rattle off like ‘guns! Make it magic-y! Meredith isn’t content to roll her eyes at me. She has something more. This is how I achieve success: Always work with people who are smarter and more successful than you.
Thompson tells us that the world of Black Cloak relies heavily on magic to accomplish things that don’t even require to be magic… But don’t worry – there aren’t any lengthy exposition dumps and wordy pages. You learn as you go through the story.
The writer says, “So we give readers some captions about how this city came into being and then we just dump them directly into the murder case and try make it all build as naturally as possible.”
Thompson and McClaren initially planned to release small parts of Black Cloak every week, but after speaking with readers, they decided to move to monthly chapters. Thompson states that the March and February chapters of Black Cloak are complete and that they are well ahead work-wise that they won’t miss any release dates now that The Black Cloak is in full swing.