New Comic ‘Seven Years In Darkness’ Debuting At NYCC

October 6, 2022

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: [email protected]

Joseph Schmalke and CEX Publishing are launching a comic series, Seven Years in Darkness, and attendees at New York Comic-Con will get their first look thanks to an Ashcan being sold at the convention.


The comic tells the story of the first group of students to enter a wizarding school in over a hundred years. 72 children are selected for the new class, but only seven will graduate, alive.


Joseph Schmalke is the Co-Publisher of Black Caravan and a comics creator, writer, and illustrator residing in Westbrook, Maine. Joe is the artist and writer of several comic book titles including The Infernal Pact, Cherry Blackbird, Phantom Starkler, and more.


Seven Years In Darkness breaks with some horror taboos where children could die in a high fantasy winner-takes-all situation,” Schmalke said. “A group of kids are forced into the academy of Black Magic and while seventy-two enter only seven will leave alive. CEX took a bold move picking up this book and I’m excited to partner with them as they are run by some of best creators in the industry.”


Seven Years of Darkness: Year One is a four-issue miniseries released bi-monthly. The first issue will feature three covers from Joseph Shmalke and Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin, Stray Toasters, New Mutants) and will be included as part of Diamond and Lunar Distribution’s December catalogs and will be available in stores this March.


“When Joe pitched me on Seven Years in Darkness, as an evil version of Harry Potter meets Battle Royale, where 72 kids begin the program, but only 7 survive, I was in.” Andy Schmidt, Publisher CEX Publishing. “This series kept me on my feet, with all the twists and turns, as the series progressed. I can’t wait for audiences to read it for themselves.”


Attendees of New York Comic Con will have an opportunity to get an advanced look at the comics an Ashcan version of issue 1 printed specifically for the show. Copies of this limited-edition ashcan are priced at $10 and available at Table B14 in Artist Alley. New York Comic Con takes place October 6-9, 2022, for more information including how to buy tickets, visit


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