In his new comic book series Faceless and the Family, writer and artist Matt Lesniewski will take readers to the Hand Planet to follow the misadventures of a wasteland wanderer known as "Faceless" and his found family of fellow outcasts, and with the first issue of the new series coming out on November 1st from Oni Press, we've been provided with an exclusive mini essay by Lesniewski in which he discusses how Karyn Kusama's film The Invitation inspired the origin of his ambitious new comic book series!

You can read Lesniewski's essay below, and we also have a look at the cover and preview art from Faceless and the Family #1, as well as the trailer for The Invitation (and like Lesniewski, I highly recommend you watch The Invitation if you've never seen it).

Mini Essay by Matt Lesniewski

I love so much about the 2015 movie THE INVITATION, but after watching it for the first time (fall 2021), I was struck with the initial idea for what Faceless and the Family might be. The movie mainly involves a cast of friends gathered inside an ominous house with strange people coming and going. Odd things are happening slowly but surely throughout the night and there’s an undercurrent of otherworldliness that holds everything together. On top of this, they felt so secluded despite being in the middle of a crowded suburb. This all fascinated me. My biggest takeaway was that there was something else happening in this house outside of the horror that happens in the second half of the story, and it's conveyed in such a palpable way. But something about it hit me- what if there was a story with a giant old house in the middle of a desert, and a lone traveler for one reason or another came upon the house with nowhere else to go, and nothing else to do, or so it seemed. From there they’d go in the house and another traveler might be passing by, only to take interest in the house. Some drama might come from that, but eventually they’d both end up inhabiting the mysterious abandoned house together. Over the course of the story I was picturing a band of misfit characters who all happen to come and go from this strange dwelling that seems to have been left there alone just like they were. The group would get to know each other better and work out some of their problems. But the majority of the idea was initially meant to include a group of oddballs from the fringes of society who happen to all come across this house and form a family of some kind. One they couldn’t find out there. Something about the house drew them together and connected them. The story has since greatly evolved from here, but THE INVITATION hit me with this initial concept. We do get a bit of this in the first issue, but things really changed from there. If anyone hasn’t seen it and this sounds like an interesting watch, definitely give it a try!


For more information on Faceless and the Family, we also have the official press release with additional details:

Press Release: From the magnificently distorted imagination of Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist Matt Lesniewski (MIND MGMT BOOTLEG, CRIMSON FLOWER, THE FREAK) comes a new milestone in comic book storytelling that must be seen to be believed: FACELESS & THE FAMILY #1 (of 4)!

Debuting with a double-sized, 48-page first issue in November, FACELESS (for short) is the latest and greatest masterwork from the New York-based cartoonist who first rose to prominence with his graphic novel debut, THE FREAK from Adhouse Books, earning a 2020 Eisner Award nomination in the process. Lesniewski's subsequent collaborations with New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt - including the acclaimed CRIMSON FLOWER and MIND MGMT BOOTLEG – earned him an even wider audience...but FACELESS represents an even more monumental evolution in Lesniewski's considerable powers as a storyteller and cartoonist.

A heart-breaking saga of friendship, redemption, and adventure on a harsh and unforgiving foreign world, each issue of FACELESS pulsates with Lesniewski's manically detailed, hyper-rendered line art – representing a new level of artistic accomplishment and virtuosity from one of the one of the industry's most celebrated new artistic talents.

“I’m really happy to have found the perfect publisher in Oni, who are going the extra mile to showcase Faceless in the best possible way,” said Matt Lesniewski. “This comic has taken me more time and effort than any of my previous ones, and I hope it shows. If you like super detailed art, black and white comics and just general weirdness, then this will be a treat!”

On the broken and warped world known as the Hand Planet, the wanderer simply called "Faceless" ekes out existence on the margins to escape the shame that cost him his name and his identity. Exiled for his crimes, Faceless now calls the wastelands his home –until the good fortune of fate delivers him a mismatched band of fellow travelers who will soon become family...if they can survive a suicidal mission into the Hand Planet's class-segregated Finger Cities to restore what lies beneath Faceless' helmet and, with it, his hope in humanity.

"Matt Lesniewski is one of the one of the most talented cartoonists of his generation, and it is a true honor to bring FACELESS & THE FAMILY to Oni Press," said Oni Press President & Publisher Hunter Gorinson. "Each page of FACELESS is a breathtaking feat of visual originality, and we're taking great care to reproduce the painstakingly fine detail of Matt's pristine artwork without compromising its original, black-and-white form. Comics executed at this level are not common, and FACELESS is true must-have material for any serious fan, reader, or connoisseur of the comics medium."

Part epic fantasy adventure, part science-fiction odyssey, and an unparalleled expression of Lesniewski's extraordinary artistic vision, experience the unrestrained power of comic book storytelling at its most visionary in FACELESS AND THE FAMILY #1 – a double-sized, 48-page debut coming from Oni Press in November!


Written & Art by Matt Lesniewski

Cover A: Matt Lesniewski
Cover B: Juan Gedeon
Cover C: Dustin Weaver
Cover D: Matt Lesniewski 1:10 Sketchbook Variant
Cover E: Juan Gedeon 1:15 Full Art Variant
Cover F: Dustin Weaver 1:20 Full Art Variant
Cover G: Matt Lesniewski 1:30 B&W Cover


Preview Art:

The Invitation Trailer:

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.