Spotlight On: Abbott

Evil Thrives Where Truth Hides

Hugo Award-nominated novelist Saladin Ahmed (Black Bolt) and artist Sami Kivelä (Beautiful Canvas) present one woman’s search for the truth that destroyed her family.

Hard-nosed, chain-smoking tabloid reporter Elena Abbott investigates a series of grisly crimes that the police have ignored. Crimes she knows to be the work of dark occult forces. Forces that took her husband from her. Forces she has sworn to destroy.

What was your inspiration for Abbott?

I’ve always loved the trope of the dogged investigator who uncovers a glimpse of the occult. It’s a familiar story in genre, but Abbott was really inspired by an attempt to put a different sort of hero and setting at the center of such a story. Abbott is solidly in the tradition of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Hellblazer, and The X-Files, but its hero and her milieu bring something new to the tradition.

Tell us a little about Elena Abbott and what she’s up against.

Elena—or ‘Abbott’ as she’s known to her co-workers—is a driven, chain-smoking tabloid reporter with an uncompromising eye for the truth. The only Black reporter at the Detroit Daily News, she’s an investigative genius. But she’s haunted by the murder of her husband at the hands of occult forces. In the years since his death, she’s hidden herself in a haze of work and cigarette smoke. And then the bodies—murdered in the same fashion as her husband—start showing up.

Abbott is set in Detroit in 1972. What made you choose this time and location for the series?

The cars! The clothes! The music! More seriously, Detroit in the 70s was a time of astonishing political and cultural change. Famously, it was a time of white flight from the city to the suburbs. But it was also a remarkable time of Black renaissance and self-determination. It’s the perfect setting for Abbott‘s tale of social conflict and shadowy magic.

What do you hope readers take away from this series?

Kick*** heroine! Old-school late-night TV horror chills! Snappy dialogue! Crime and magic! Newspapers and monsters! If horror or crime or history or social drama is your thing, there will be something here for you to love.

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