The near-future tale comes from writer Zac Thompson and artist Jen Hickman.
According to writer Zac Thompson, the series is “a horrific breakup story. Except it’s a breakup story about a person and their phone.”
The breakup in question takes place between video producer Cairin Vander and Rhion, the AI that’s lived within Cairin’s phone for a decade — and suddenly disappears after disconnecting without warning after a particularly intense fight.
“I’m excited for this book to be released because it’s channeling my love for psychological thrillers and looking at horror with a neon soaked lens,” Thompson explained. “We’re asking tough questions about how we define ourselves in relationships and how we lose parts of ourselves to others. We’re also framing the horror around something incredibly relatable — a horrifying breakup. The type of super ugly breakup that makes you confront the disorienting disparity between the person you thought you were in the relationship and the person you are when you’re alone.”
The series is illustrated by Jen Hickman (Test), who hopes that readers are “disturbed, a little grossed out” by the series, adding, “There’s a lot to chew on, and a lot of moments where as much as the reader might loathe what Catrin is up to, they can’t deny that they’ve done or thought the exact same thing. I hope that complexity and vulnerable familiarity stays with readers just as much as all the weird, upsetting horror does. They’re really one and the same, anyway.”
Citing J.G. Ballard’s Crash, the little-known Sam Neill movie Possession and filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn’s work as inspirations, Thompson called the series “a book about losing yourself to heartbreak and descending into technological depravity. You’ll confront the fetishization of voyeurism, violence and manipulation. We’ll lay bare the psychology behind how far we’re willing to go to please ourselves in a space where nothing is off limits.”
Lonely Receiver debuts with a first issue released May 6, featuring a cover by Hickman and a variant cover from Elizabeth Torque. Both can be seen below, as well as previews of interior work by Hickman.