The out-today graphic novel Camp Midnight is the first collaboration between writer Steve T. Seagle and artist Jason Adam Katzenstein — and, as its title suggests, the setting for the book is a highly unusual summer camp.
“It’s about Skye, who is a preteen girl who lives with her mom and spends the summers with her dad and her stepmom,” says Seagle, whose credits include cocreating the Marvel comics superhero team Big Hero 6. “This particular summer, she finds out her dad and stepmom are shipping her off to summer camp. She winds up as the only human girl in a camp for the kids of monsters — literal monsters. She’s going to have to pass the entire summer as a monster-girl, even though she’s a human.”
Seagle and Katzenstein met through a mutual friend, Spy Kids actor Daryl Sabara. “He does voices on Steve’s cartoon shows,” says Katzenstein. “He knew I drew comics and he said, ‘You’ve got to meet Steve.’ Steve hosts a weekly spa event at this Korean spa in Los Angeles and so Daryl took me there.”
“It sounds a little hedonistic that I host a ‘weekly spa event’,” protests Seagle. “It’s actually a writing group. We sit and work all day at somewhere that should be relaxing. What was nice was that Jason has interned at Mad magazine, he draws cartoons for The New Yorker, he has this very old-school talent-base for illustration. I could give him pretty much any reference for camp stories, or horror stories, or cartoons, and he was able to synthesize that into what I think is a pretty unique-looking book.”
Camp Midnight is published by the Image comics imprint, Man of Action, and an excerpted version is Image’s pick for Free Comic Book Day, May 7. You can see pages from Camp Midnight, below.