Tuesday morning brings the news that AfterShock Comics have a new series to announce. Out of Body is by writer Peter Milligan, artist Inaki Miranda, colourist Eva De La Cruz and letterer Sal Cipriano and tells the tale of a very different and surreal kind of murder mystery…

“When Dan Collins wakes to finds his life hanging by a thread, he must use his astral projection to discover who tried to kill him. Who is the beautiful mystic who tries to help him? Why does August Fryne want Dan’s soul – and what does it have to do with a demon who seems to be Dorian Gray?  A weird, occult detective thriller about life, death – and whatever lies in between.” 

In the accompanying press release Milligan gave his reasons for being excited about this new series:

“A man wakes to find he’s been attacked and left for dead and is now in a kind of permanent vegetative state, kept alive only by machines. He can’t move or communicate–but somehow he has to find out who wanted him dead before they turn his life support off.  A metaphor for our present restricted locked-down times? A weird thriller about the nature of who we are and how people perceive us?  Yes, all this and more.

He also expanded on the reasons for writing about astral projection:

There are a lot of reasons why I’m particularly excited about this book coming out.  I’ve always wanted to write a story about Astral Projection, since long ago when I spent some time attempting to astrally project myself (a complex rite that involved meditation, salt, and water).  It must be said that the hero of Out Of Body has more success with leaving his corporeal body behind than I ever did!

it’s also always exciting to have a new collaboration with a new artist see the light of day.   A story like Out of Body demands a lot from an artist.  This is a highly-wrought and highly-emotional kind of story. A very human story.   But it also has moments of psychedelic delirium, moments of sheer weirdness. I’m happy to report that the artist on Out of Body – Inaki Miranda – successfully and beautifully manages both.”

As for influences beyond the concept of astral projection?

This story is in some ways like a classic murder mystery.  Except that there hasn’t quite been a murder and it’s the victim himself who’s doing the detecting.  I read all those early classic detective novels,  Chandler, Hammett etc.  The ones I liked always focused on the psychology; more why done it than who done it.  I’ve tried to inject some of that classic detective quality into Out of Body, albeit with a big near death-sized twist.”

So, a series that combines your classic whodunnit with the occult and supernatural. If you’re a fan of Milligan’s writing, you know what to expect. If not, why not? For me, Milligan is still one of the most experimental and exciting writers around. And his brand of bonkers always entertains with a wicked streak of humour running through.

Out of Body #1 is out Wednesday 2nd June from AfterShock Comics. And we leave you with a first look at interior art pages from the first issue.