Talk about a blast from the past. Although the Vampire Hunter D novels are still ongoing in Japan after almost 40 years, (as is the English translations of the novels), it’s been a long time since anything significant has happened beyond an annual new volume release. But with big news and several projects happening, 2022 might be the year that D makes his overdue return to mainstream attention.
A Delayed Comic Finally Released
Originally announced in 2016, Vampire Hunter D: Message from Mars was launched through a Kickstarter campaign as a five-part adaptation of the original 2005 short story, Message from Cecile, which was never released outside of Japan. While it was a huge success, meeting almost all its stretch goals, the campaign was only for the production of the first issue (completed and published as promised). The remaining four issues of Message from Mars were completed and then printing was delayed for numerous reasons caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On January 14th, the official Facebook page showcased print proofs being sent to reviewers and stated more information would be coming soon.
Now, a new Kickstarter campaign for Message from Mars has been announced, scheduled to go live on January 26th, 8 AM. pacific time, and will include the publication of all five issues with additional benefits yet to be revealed. To be clear, the Kickstarter is only for the comic’s collector’s edition. Regular trade paperback volumes and digital releases are still expected, but not finalized as of writing this.
Those who pledge during the first 24 hours will receive exclusive prints regardless of their tier level selected.
Vampire Hunter D: Message from Mars is written by Brandon M. Easton (Thundercats 2012, Transformers) and illustrated by Michael Broussard.
The TV Series
As mentioned earlier, the TV series, Vampire Hunter D: Resurrection is still in production but was last reported to have drafts for the pilot episode completed back in October 2018. An informal report was made in a reply from the project’s official Twitter account stating that all production was halted due to the pandemic.
Right now, much of the entertainment industry is shut down & we have no idea when that will change. We really want to see more of the VHD universe come alive in media, but we've all got to get to the otherside of Covid first.
— Vampire Hunter D (@VHDtheseries) April 20, 2020
Between all the delays, Dark Horse Books have begun to reprint the English versions of the novels that have long been out of print (except as ebooks) in 3-in-one omnibus volumes. Volume 1, containing Vampire Hunter D, Raiser of Gales, and Demon Deathchase was released in August 2021. Volume 2, listed to have Tale of the Dead Town, The Stuff of Dreams, and Pilgrimage of the Sacred and Profane (a personal favorite) is scheduled to be released in August 2022.
As if that wasn’t enough, Dark Horse announced in December that they have partnered with GraphicAudio to produce audiobooks of the entire series. However, you can expect more than just someone reading into your ear for seven hours per book.
Along with the narrator, each book will feature a full voice cast for characters, ambients, and even cinematic soundtracks to immerse you into the world of the Frontier with D. The first audiobook is scheduled to release on Audible on February 1st, 2022 for $23.00 normal price ($16.00 for those subscribed to Audible Plus). If you can’t wait, then you can get Volume 1 and Volume 2 directly from GraphicAudio’s webshop in both CD and digital format. With the announcement, GraphicAudio uploaded a sample from the first book to their YouTube page.
The year is kicking off with a bang for Vampire Hunter D and it all starts with the new comic and revisiting the original novels. We can’t wait to sink our fangs into every piece of it.