Friday, May 19, 2017

Hermes Press still wants to publish the Dark Shadows strips

Hermes Press might still be interested in publishing a collected edition of Ken Bald's original DARK SHADOWS newspaper strips.

Syndicated during the waning years of the original television series, Hermes originally planned to collect these strips into a hardcover edition back in 2014. The plan was to not only collect these strips into a landscape format (to better display the art in its original dimensions), but to also publish the Sunday strips in color for the first time. Hermes did quite a bit of research into the original materials, going so far as to call on fans and collectors to help them match the colors of the original strip.

It was a wasted effort, though. DARK SHADOWS fans met the announcement with a collective shrug (which happens a lot these days.) Preorders for the book were so low that Hermes was forced to cancel it.

Ken Bald and his wife, Faye, served as models for the DARK SHADOWS comic strip.
But all may not be lost! While I'm still waiting on a confirmation from Hermes Press about their intentions for the book, it was recently solicited again on Amazon with a targeted release of Oct. 10 this year. This might be a meaningless date, though. Those of you who have been following the farce that is the second collected edition of Dynamite's DARK SHADOWS comic series already know that these dates can be meaningless. (Volume 2 has been consistently solicited on Amazon for several years now, with the goal post being moved farther down the line every few months.) Hermes might be doing nothing more than keeping their publishing options open.

This isn't Hermes' first foray into the world of DARK SHADOWS. The company successfully published hardback and softcover collections of the entire run of Gold Key's comics, including a "best of" collection and the 1970 "Dark Shadows Story Digest." I still hold out hope that they'll be able to publish Bald's newspaper strips. While the Pomegranate Press collection from 1996 gets an "E" for effort, a landscape edition of the original art is clearly a better format in which to present Bald's original art.

Here's where things get tricky. The first attempt to publish this book failed because the advance orders were low. If you wait too long to pull the trigger on ordering the book, you might find yourself reading yet another story here about its failure to launch. But if this new solicitation is nothing more than an opaque publishing strategy, you might be wasting your time. My advice? Wait for an official announcement from Hermes Press before placing your order. You can find the current listing at Amazon HERE.

Stay tuned!


Hermes Press has confirmed that they intend to publish the DARK SHADOWS newspaper strips in a hardcover collection this year. The company still needs access to some of the original color newspaper strips for reference, though. If you have copies of the original strips, contact the publisher at to see how you can help make this project happen.

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