Written by Bryan Johnson. Art by Walter Flanagan.
The carnival came promising amazement, wonder, and unseen delights, but what it truly held within its tents was more horror than one small town could possibly imagine. American Horror Story: Carnival meets the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in Karney, a nightmarish hallucination spawned from the macabre minds of long-time Kevin Smith collaborators Bryan “Steve-Dave” Johnson and Walt Flanagan.
They arrive in a rainbow of carriages pulled by large black horses, shouting their presence to every man, woman, and child in town. Meet the stars of Othello’s Cavalcade of Oddities, a twisted troupe of freaks, misfits, geeks, and weirdos led by the mysterious magician known only as Othello. To their adoring fans, they are Flotsam and Jetsam, the half-sized twins, Clarisse, the untamed bearded woman, Zanzibar, the human skeleton, Gertie, the woman who weighs as much as ten men, Nathaniel and Sparta, the feuding Siamese twins, Rodale, the sex-crazed slugman, Alanzo, the waste-eating geek, Mrs. X, the mute zombie woman, and Toho, a sadistic man covered in scars who can feel no pain but loves inflicting it. Behind closed doors, though, they’re a bickering group of outcasts who hate each other almost as much as they hate the “normies” they debase themselves for each night. Traveling the old roads from town to town, they put on a jaw-dropping show and special pork barbecue that the locals just can’t get enough of.
Mischievous Tobias is a young boy who spends his days skipping school to go down to the ol’ fishing hole and bothering his older sister Lacey Ann while she’s trying to have some alone time with her dreamy boyfriend, Manley. Tobias has been counting down the days to when Othello’s Cavalcade of Oddities rolls into his small town of Broken Oak, but before he can enjoy the show, his world is turned upside down after Lacey Ann goes missing. Most folks think that Lacey Ann and Manley ran off to the next county to elope, but after Tobias fishes her bow out of the lake, he begins to fear that something terrible has happened to her—and it might have to do with the caravan of freaks that just pulled into town.
In order to find out what happened to Lacey Ann and Manley, Tobias and his best friend Cider, the son of the sheriff, will have to venture beyond the outskirts of town and into the carnies’ camp, where they’ll try to uncover the festering secrets hidden inside. What they don’t know is that they’re in a race against time. The carnies are cooking up their own special plan for all the normies in town, after one of their own is mutilated by two local boys, and their next show may just be the most horrific spectacle the audience has ever seen.
Normies and freaks will clash in a wicked world where the battle lines are drawn in blood. You will cringe. You will gasp. You will scream. Will you dare to venture past the bloodstained curtain to witness Karney, the most depraved sideshow on Earth?