“Peepland Brings Hard Case Crime’s Grit, Noir To Titan Comics” by R.J. Huneke is the first part in a series that will unveil a New York Comic Con interview with the creators as well as offer up a retrospective of each issue of Peepland leading up to the fifth and final book coming out on February 22, 2017.
Peepland brings Hard Case Crime’s grit and noir to Titan Comics in a new ongoing series of thrilling graphic novel titles that began with the premiere releases of Triggerman and Peepland in the fall and winter of 2016/2017. We were fortunate to receive an exclusive interview at New York Comic Con 2016 with none other than two of the talented people behind this new visual chapter in Hard Case Crime: writer and founder and editor of Hard Case Crime himself, Charles Ardai, and the co-author of Peepland,and homegrown New York novelist, Christa Faust.
The backdrop for the interview was beneath the shadow of a Javits Center pole that stood as a beleaguered island amidst the swarms of hungry readers and fans waiting outside the Titan Comics booth to meet the Hard Case Crime team for a signing of their revolutionary break into the comic book medium.
"That one image had to drag you kicking and screaming through 200 pages." ~Charles Ardai on the cover art for Hard Case Crime's novels.
With authors ranging from Lawrence Block to Stephen King, Hard Case Crime’s paperback books have brought literary quality to a force that is good old-fashioned mystery and gritty noir, the way Raymond Chandler always hoped the world would receive such stories.
The release of the graphic novel comic book series, partnering with Titan comics, is just another step in the evolution of Hard Case Crime, and it is one its co-founder Charles Ardai pictured early on.
C.A.: “We started in 2004 as a reference to the old paperbacks of the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. And those were driven by illustration, but only one illustration per book.
“You had the cover art, painted beautifully, and then you had 200 pages of text, and that one image had to drag you kicking and screaming through 200 pages.”
Hard Case Crime brought back the dime paperback era noir and hardboiled crime novels with intriguing and innovative new tales.
All of Hard Case Crime’s novels feature stunning cover art that is often featuring heroines dripping of sexuality or fearsome scenes, snapshots into murder scenes, mysterious carnivals, or the darker soul emanating from a key character’s off-putting expression.
But as Charles points out there is only one, albeit incredibly enticing and often enthralling image, for an entire novel.
C.A.: “From the beginning I had the notion it would be fun to do something with more visuals where the ratio between art to text was different. And I was a comic reader from childhood.”
This vision was put in motion in 2010 when Hard Case Crime hooked up with Titan Comics and began to formulate a plan for half a dozen noir-esque titles, the first of which are Triggerman, whose final issue came out on February 8, and Peepland, whose fifth and final book comes out in just two weeks.
Both of the premiere Hard Case Crime comic book titles are masterfully illustrated and written.
Triggerman, written by Matz and The Warriors director Walter Hill and illustrated by Jef is a gun-toting smash of a tale; the heat of the gun barrels can nearly be felt through the art on the page.
But what took this writer thoroughly by the tufts of his beard, and ‘kicking and screaming’ – as Charles puts it – from panel to panel and page to page was the utterly unique tale of murder and mystery coming from a peepbooth in 1986 Times Square, when New York City was at its height of derelictness meets art meets punk rock; this is the story held within the pages of Peepland.
When porno filmmaker Dirty Dick rushes into Peepland, he begs a young woman he knows working a peepbooth, Roxy, to take his VHS tape before he takes off for the subway without explanation.
What is on the tape?
We will get back to that in a minute.
The mohawks, lightning rod spikes and 80’s perms adorn the heads of the vintage New Yorkers in Peepland, as this piece reflects a unique era in history that you can see so well you can almost smell the hairspray in the crowds and the black clove cigarettes being smoked beneath the bright neon signs of “XXX” and soda ads at Times Square.
Christa Faust and Gary Philips write Peepland; the artwork is by Andrea Camerini, the colors by Marco Lesko, and the letters by Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt.
Each centimeter of the page pours history and makes the reader long for more.
The great characters, especially the formidable female protagonist Roxy and her enticing storyline break new ground in this 1980’s noir work of art.
Christa brings an intelligent, courageous and attractive New Yorker Roxy to life with past experience from her hometown.
C.F.: “Well [for] Peepland, I grew up in the city. My mother’s . . . off of 9th Avenue . . . she’s been there for forty-I-don’t-know-I-foget-how-many years, and I used to work the peepbooths back in the day.”
After thinking on this an apt question followed.
R.H.: “How do you get the female perspective from a peepbooth?”
C.F.: “Well I have a vagina and I once worked in the peepbooths. So double-chromosome easy-peasy; write what you know.”
She says this, and it is great advice for any writer, with an infectious smile that is almost a wink of knowing.
Again the question of Issue #1:
What is on the tape?
$SPOILER ALERT$ Roxy gives in to her curiosity and the VCR shows a public porno session that turns voyeur, Dirty Dick-style, as the camera floats over and captures two lovers, unbeknownst to them, as they embrace up against a wall . . . until the important-looking suited man murders the young woman with his bare hands.
What happens to Dirty Dick, you ask? Well, his run from Peepland does not throw off two pursuers desperate for the tape, and his journey ends abruptly as one of them pushes him in front of the “A” train.
$END OF SPOILER ALERT$
This is just the first part of our Rune Works [where it was first published] and POWkabam Comics series of articles conveying the interview of the creators of Peepland. In the Part 2, we will continue the interview, explore Peepland Issue #1 a little further and then delve fully into the second scintillating issue.
Peepland Issue #1 is on sale February 22, 2017.
Rick And Morty Lil Poopy Superstar #1 is Summer special, literally and metaphorically, since OOO-WEE, Summer is the one member of Rick’s family that Mr. Poopybutthole can trust Not to shoot him!
Oh Poop! You need a Lil Poopy SPOILER WARNING!
What could possibly match the Adult Swim genius of a show like Rick And Morty?
Back To The Future? Back To The Future Part II?
No, we cannot talk about that.
But what could possibly match a Rick And Morty comic book that essentially just gives us more half hour off-the-wall science fiction run amuck episodes in panel form?
How about a five part seasonal summer spin-off starring Summer (get it) and everyone’s favorite little cucumber head-shaped life-long family friend, Mr. Poopybutthole?
This week the second exciting part of this Poopy Summer extravaganza will take place.
But Rick And Morty Lil Poopy Superstar #1 brings the wacky cult character of Mr. Poopybutthole, who stole all of our hearts before being mistaken for an alien parasite and shot, into the light.
You see he has a little poopy problem.
He is being followed.
And . . .
He cannot reach the top shelf where Rick keeps his portal gun.
So Summer, who he is sure will not shoot him, is asked to grab the gun and bust them out of the earth universe for a truly poopy experience in a far away land.
The hilarity cannot be controlled within this book, OOO-WEE, and the stalking Paparazzi-like figure that is closing in on our dynamic duo has far reaching implications.
As Summer and Mr. Poopybutthole escape to a strange land, where he takes on the alias of Mr. Poopybumhole, we learn an enticing background nugget.
There are Mr. Poopybutthole ‘'MISSING’ posters littering the streets, and as the two emerge from a dark alleyway, complete with a poopy Oscar the Grouch-hybrid-like creature emerging from a trashcan, a sight takes hold of Summer that she cannot believe.
A movie marquee is featuring a ‘Mr. Poopybutthole All Day Marathon’.
Their once close family friend is an alien that has left a world where he is a leading actor of such films as POOPBUTT II: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO (fans of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, are we?), POOPBUSTERS (I guess they saw the new one on earth), and JURASSIC POOP!
Where will this poopy adventure take us?
Tune in Wednesday at your local comic shop for issue #2.
Support your local comic shop! My local comic book shop is Best Comics [bestcomics.com] in New Hyde Park, New York, and they ROCK!
"Rick And Morty Lil Poopy Superstar #1 Is Summer Special" was written by R.J. Huneke.
With the looming cinematic release of the LONG awaited Assassin's Creed movie, this holiday season and a reboot of the franchise next year by Ubisoft, Titan has announced ASSASSIN'S CREED: AWAKENING.
Yano Takashi’s mini-series manga will be released in English for the first time, with Oiwa Kenji serving as artist as announced at SDCC (San Diego Comic Con International 2016).
AWAKENING expands on likeable lothorio and unwilling hero of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, Edward Kenway.
Edward’s adventures continue during the enigmatic Golden Age of Piracy—with its cast of colorful and famous pirates; as he sails with his rag tag crew on the Jackdaw.
Those familiar with Black Flag’s story will welcome a rich new story that contributes to the canon of Assassin’s Creed and subsequent Ubisoft sequels that have hinted on Edward’s contribution to the Assassin’s order up until its latest iteration: Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (2015).
ASSASSIN’S CREED: AWAKENING joins a the ever expanding universe of comics in the Assassin’s Creed canon published by Titan: Assassin's Creed: Assassin's, Assassin's Creed: Templars and the incoming Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants - Locus series, which ties in to the Scholastic Last Descendants novels.
ASSASSIN’S CREED: AWAKENING issue #1 will be available for order from Diamond’s September preview catalog.
By Maria Sumoza @mcsumoza
Staff Writer and Avid Gaming Nerd
Image: SDCC Cover artist Oiwa Kenji
Stan Lee has urged comic book creators to come up with new characters of interest and Marvel has obliged with a new series surrounding an Inhuman called Mosaic.
Morris Sackett is a famous basketball star until he is exposed to the Terrigen Mists.
Their transformative powers take away his physical prowess in his athletic prime.
Bereft of his body, Mosiac must travel as a ghost-like entity into the bodies of others to control them, while experiencing their memories, a la the film Being John Malkovich.
After his transformation is complete he no longer has a living body.
MOSAIC #1 will debut this fall as a brand-new ongoing series from American screenwriter and novelist, Geoffrey Thorne (Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man) and artist Khary Randolph (Deadpool: The Gauntlet, Tech Jacket).
Despite the John Malkovich super body stealing angle, this is a very innovative concept.
One can only wonder if Dr. Strange will become involved as this powerful man-turned-apparition begins to hold incredible power by controlling others bodies.
What happens if Mosaic takes the Hulk to heart, to SMASH!, or god help us, Thanos, or perhaps a Celestial?
Or maybe there are limitations as to who he can become the puppet master over and for how long.
I am aching to see.
Having a great sports celebrity fall into the unknown is a personal tragedy that many in today’s society (especially those that hunger for any kind of celebrity) will cringe to think about.
“To say that Morris will have a long, hard road to travel to become a hero is an understatement,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. “One minute, Mosaic holds the world in the palm of his hand, the next, he has absolutely nothing, except for powers that will transform him into one of the Marvel Universe's most complex characters -- powers that, if not properly harnessed, will feel more like a curse.”
The price is high and the superpower is HUGE.
This makes for a cool new and engaging subject that has not been done before in comics.
Look out for the 1st appearance of Mosaic and Morris Sackett tomorrow, June 28, 2016, in the issue of Uncanny Inhumans #11.
The Marvel Press Release:
Mosaic centers on Morris Sackett – professional basketball player and celebrity. Loved by millions, hated by his teammates. Only Morris is secretly something else – something Inhuman.
Coming into contact with the transformative Terrigen Mists has given Morris spectacular new abilities. Imbued with the ability to jump from person-to-person like a ghost, Morris can control the bodies and memories of those he inhabits.
But these fantastic new abilities come at a grave cost. Recognized as an all-star athlete, Morris has worked his whole adult life to raise his body to peak physical form, but after his transformation, his living body is no more, and Morris must now rely on other bodies to survive.
Fans can experience a 10-page Mosaic origin story from Thorne & Randolph which will be available for free on August 6th at all Barnes & Noble stores nationwide, as part of their Get Pop-Cultured event.
MOSAIC #1 comes to comic shops and digital devices everywhere this October! For more on Mosaic and Marvel NOW!, visit Marvel.com.
"MOSAIC: MARVEL’S NEWEST CHARACTER A GHOSTLY INHUMAN" was written by R.J. Huneke.
Marvel’s trainwreck: Captain America Civil War is MIA.
The title should have been ‘Captain America 3: Bruised Egos’, because the movie had nothing to do with one of the better comic book story arcs written in the 21st century dubbed “Civil War”.
I really wanted to love this movie.
And now . . . utter disappointment.
This article has SPOILERS for those who have either not seen the movie or read the books that the trainwreck of an adaptation was supposed to represent.
Where was the Civil War that shook the Marvel Universe to its core?
It was nowhere to be found in this movie.
Where was the Registration Act for which Tony Stark fought for and Spiderman gave the first surprise revealing of his identity, which really screwed with Peter Parker from that point on?
I will say the new movie portrayal of Spiderman was awesome and I look forward to seeing more of him, should there be a story to back up his witticisms and web slinging.
So I get why Marvel – who just got back the rights to use their most famous character – would not ruin Parker’s life and secret identity in the movies yet, as it is a key element for many decades of his story in the comics before the Civil War comic book outing.
And that is one of many reasons why this movie should just have been Cap 3 and the Civil War should have occurred years from now.
The Civil War should have come after people grew tired of Cap and Spiderman and Iron Man and then relished in their being turned against one another.
Fans are still falling in love with these characters in the movies and you run all of them through the mud to literally destroy the Avengers and reduce a newly forming group to a disparaged heap of rubble, for no reason.
The war makes little sense in the movie.
One man, Zemo, causes the entire thing based on one year of harboring revenge in his heart against the Avengers and plotting.
How does Zemo, one remote soldier, follow Captain America for only a single year and yet find more secret information on Bucky and Hydra than anyone else living, including the Avengers?
It makes little sense.
Why tease a Cross Bones character, who is supposed to kill Steve Rogers during the shocking climax of the Civil War story (in the books), only to literally disintegrate Cross Bones at the very start of the movie?
How does Zemo brainwash Bucky only to have Captain America fight Iron Man over the dead bodies of a Winter Soldier death squad that would have been far more fun to watch on screen then the dropped shield and broken Iron Man suit?
The ending could not have been more anticlimactic.
The battle in the parking lot (okay it was a parking lot in an airport) was the only really great scene for strife with the heroes pitted against heroes, but it was still underwhelming, except for Giant Man’s entrance (maybe).
Why does Captain America live in this movie?
The weight of his fight for the freedom of privacy has dire consequences in the book, but Cross Bones is already too dead in the movie to cast a mortal blow.
Why is there no Registration Act, symbolizing the Patriot Act’s privacy violations, separating all of the Marvel superheroes into those in favor of freedom and those crying out to fight terrorism with transparency?
That intelligent focus on conflicting views is a large part of what made the books great.
But I guess Marvel has given up on anything that might be considered political, even if it is even-keeled, in favor of fluff, fighting, and more fluff.
Often times a loosely interpreted book to movie adaptation leads to a common verb: the film was Hollywooded.
Those movies that capture the spirit, and not necessarily word for word either, like Shawshank Redemption or V For Vendetta, they are masterpieces of the silver screen as they were on the page, despite the art transcending two different mediums.
And then there are movies, like The Hobbit trilogy and Captain America Civil War, that bastardize the entire storyline, gut the entire source material and leave no reason to retain the title, which is the only thing that the movies share accurately with the books.
Marvel could have properly done the “Civil War” storyline in ten years when Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans were too old to CGI any longer and fans would have relished a real impactful and meaningful Civil War that forever blew up everything in the Marvel world.
If the Russo brothers made one of the best Marvel movies and all-time great comic book movies in Captain America: the Winter Soldier, then they have now made Marvel’s worst film to date . . . by far.
I hope Marvel stops Hollywooding their films and ignoring decades of excellent source material from comic books.
And for the record these types of comic books have more pictures than words and so leave plenty of room for screenwriters and directors to take creative liberties and still make good films that capture the spirit of their adapted works’ stories.
The future Marvel tales, especially the Infinity War movies, better get closer to the actual story from the books that millions of readers love and cherish, because it is quite a challenge that they have upcoming.
How the Infinity Gauntlet will find its way to Thanos without integral characters, like Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Doom and others from the books that Marvel does not own the rights to is anyone’s guess?
The Marvel Universe was just bruised in a confusing and forlorn manner, making DC and their Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice look a hell of a lot more planned out and intriguing story-wise for those of us that actually enjoy a story alongside the action in a “superhero” movie.
REVIEW GRADE: D+
Artists looking at art.