SURVIVORS’ CLUB tells the story of six very different people who are drawn together by the horrors they experienced in 1987. But it’s also the tale of another six individuals. These six hail from different countries and backgrounds, yet also found themselves drawn together. Only in this case it was to create a comic inspired by classic horror movies and urban legends.
Which made us wonder…where were these six individuals in ’87? We asked that question of Survivors’ Club co-writers Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen, artist Ryan Kelley, colorist Eva de la Cruz, letterer Clem Robins and editor Shelly Bond. Here’s what they had to say.
In 1987, I was living in Johannesburg during the state of emergency when the apartheid government was ruthlessly cracking down on activists and protesters, when the censorship was so bad that words were blacked out in the newspaper and a government hit squad tortured and killed people and tried to incite violence. We knew there were monsters, but we didn't realize how bad they were, not until the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. It's something Chenzira has had to deal with—the reality of growing up under a repressive regime, but also the monsters of her imagination and how trying to escape into a video game unleashed something else entirely.
In 1987, I spent a semester in London—just in time for The Smiths to break up. Whether there's a direct correlation to my time on UK soil and this tragic event is still under investigation.
I was an announcer and commentator on an NPR affiliate in Boise in 1987. As it happens, I liked The Smiths a lot, too. Also Black Uhuru, The Beat Farmers, Marti Jones, Wednesday Week and a bunch of others.
In 1987, I was 10, living on the Natal South Coast in a sleepy seaside town in South Africa. My early years were shaped by the fundamentalist Christian organisation my mother was involved in. My head was full of thoughts of demons, vengeful angels, possession and seven headed beasts. At that time, Simon was living my deepest fear. He was 6, tied to a bed while undergoing an exorcism.
Eva de la Cruz
In 1987, inspired by Karate Kid, I was training hard to get my green belt in Karate. The rest of the time, I was sequestered in my room, drawing, modeling with clay and hiding from my little sister.
In '87, I was a boy blossoming into a man. A man-boy. Of the planet Earth. I roamed the frozen tundras of Minnesota in my Nike Air Jordans collecting baseball cards, comic books and Technotronic “cassingles” from the land. It was a time of magic and wonder.
That’s what Lauren, Dale, Ryan, Eva, Clem and Shelly were doing. But what about Chenzira, Harvey, Alice, Simon, Teo and Kiri, the six survivors at the heart of Survivors’ Club? To begin discovering the terrifying truth about their pasts, be sure to pick up SURVIVORS’ CLUB #1 when it lands in stores tomorrow!