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ALL SECRETS HAVE A COST IN MATTEO CASALI AND RACHELE ARAGNO’S “AQUINNAH” :: Blog :: Dark Horse Comics

Every quiet town has its secrets.

Dark Horse Books presents Aquinnah, an original graphic novel from writer Matteo Casali (Batman: Europa, Marvel’s What If) and artist Rachele Aragno (Mel the Chosen, Leonide the Vampyr). Together, Casali, Aragno, and letterer Clarissa Saccani spin a terrible tale of history and injustice in this new story inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.

“Matteo and I have known each other for many years and often talked about working together on a project,” said Aragno. “We always put it off, perhaps because the right idea hadn’t arrived yet, but it finally arrived a few months ago and totally engulfed us. As if it had come straight from a common mind, we started thinking of something about old sailors, stormy seas and dark secrets. We had several brainstorms and from those chats the central crux of our story was born. When I read the plot Matteo had written, I was struck by it; we had to make it happen. Thanks to Dark Horse and the wonderful Jenny and Misha we managed to compose it in the best possible way, I really put all my soul into it and I had a blast! Matteo writes from God and I was able to draw and color things I had never done before, immersed in those eerie and salty atmospheres.”

“It’s funny we both struggle to remember how and when, precisely, we met,” added Casali. “I know I saw some of Rachele’s art, probably online, and fell in love with it. She had not yet published her first book, Melvina, but I knew she had it in her to make it as a pro. Time went by, we kept in touch (never meeting in person until 2022!) and it turned out I was right as she bloomed into the amazing artist she is today. We had been talking about the chance of working together for years, when a piece of art she posted made me say ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to finally do something like this together?’ And you know what? We did it. The funniest thing, in the early stages of Aquinnah, was Rachele telling me she wanted to be challenged and taken down a ‘dark, horrific path’. Turns out the real challenge was for me, because I loved her wonderful and sometimes relaxing art style. But I love a good challenge and when I started writing I had that dark path cleared for us both. So, we took it, and walked all the way down to the dark shoreline of Aquinnah…”

About Aquinnah:
Amber has carried the question of her past for years. With no memory of her childhood and haunted by chronic pain, she assumes she has amnesia––until a strange man claiming to have answers appears. And a story much darker, stranger, and more otherworldly than she imagined begins to take shape. Amber and her girlfriend are caught up in a net of occult secrets and ancient monsters connected to the seaside town of Aquinnah, and as the town’s dark history is uncovered, Amber must decide if she will be the town’s salvation…or its doom.

Aquinnah (paperback, 144 pages, 6.625×10.1875”) will be available in bookstores on January 14, 2025 and in comic shops on January 15, 2025. It is now available to preorder from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, tfaw.com, and your local comic shop and indie bookstore for $29.99..

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Praise for Matteo Casali and Rachele Aragno:
“As for the story itself, Batman: Europa is a tightly-spun tale that pits Batman against a nameless, faceless foe… Casali and Azzarello are all business here, propelling the story to a deliriously satisfying cliffhanger that promises continued narrative might throughout this mini.”—Doom Rocket

“Rachele Aragno possesses the rare ability of capturing darkness and placing it inside character designs that might seem innocent at first glance. It’s a quality that artists such as Edward Gorey and Emily Carroll also possess.”—Comics Beat

“Oh, this story is glorious. Creepy, murky, and mysterious, but in a classic way. It reads like an old movie script, the intonations, the moods of the characters, the gloomy black and white setting, the rot, the salt.”—Fanboy Factor on Leonide the Vampyr: Miracle at the Crow’s Head

“Hauntingly beautiful… The best single issue I read in 2022. … Comics of this caliber don’t come along very often.… I have total trust in Mike Mignola and Rachele Aragno to work glorious magic together on the comics page once more.”—Multiversity on Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows


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