Category: Crime

Steranko’s Chandler Returns

This month’s Previews featured a full page ad for a new printing of Steranko’s classic Chandler: Red Tide.  Originally published in 1976, Chandler: Red Tide is sometimes referred to as the first graphic novel.  At the time it was published, Steranko called it an illustrated novel.  I think a more accurate description is the one used by Dark Horse in the press release:

After emerging as Marvel Comics most controversial superstar, Jim Steranko tackled his greatest artistic challenge: creating an entirely new medium, the visual novel -not an illustrated novel or novel-length comic book, but a seamless fusion of interdependent graphic and prose narratives forming a powerful and original new method of telling stories.

But why stop there?  Let’s go on… Chandler: Red Tide is an…

… artistic tour-de-force, Red Tide is hard-boiled detective fiction in the bare-knuckle tradition of Hammett, Cain, and Chandler, as well as the dark, atmospheric milieu of film noir.

Although I own an original printing that’s been in my collection since it was first published, I will be picking up the Dark Horse edition since it…

has been remastered with state-of-the-art digital colors by Eisner Award-winner Dave Stewart, in a collector’s quality hardcover edition.

How can I resist? How could anyone?

F. Paul Wilson & Repairman Jack

Jonathan Maberry has a nice interview with bestselling author F. Paul Wilson that sadly is no longer online.  Wilson writes about a character called Repairman Jack that Wilson describes as…

…an urban mercenary in Manhattan, a self-made outcast who lives in the interstices of modern society.  A ghost in our machine: no official identity, no social security number, pays no taxes.  He has a violent streak he sometimes finds hard to control.  He hires out for cash to “fix” situations that have no legal remedy.

If this sounds like something you’d like then you can learn more about Repairman Jack and F. Paul Wilson here.

More “Killer Inside” Controversy

A couple of days ago I posted about the  controversy that director Michael Winterbottom’s adaptation of Jim Thompson’s classic novel The Killer Inside Me received at the Sundance Film Festival. Several people walked out of the screening due to the amount and depiction of violence, especially against women.

The film starring, Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Simon Baker and Bill Pulman is set to be shown at the Berlin Film Festival.  Of course questions about the controversy at Sundance and the level of violence came up.  I like Winterbottom’s response:

“A lot of noir books and films show violence as something which is entertaining… What I liked about Jim Thompson’s books is that… he doesn’t use the violence as entertainment — there is something shocking about the violence… For me that was the point of the violence in the film in a way — it is something very repulsive. In terms of how we depicted it, we were just trying to make it as close to the book as possible. The book is very shocking.”

Although I like Winterbottom’s response, I wonder how I’ll enjoy his movie.  There are ways to depict violence that is shocking without dwelling on it or being overly graphic.   Some times, many times in fact, the more left to the imagination, the more shocking the result.  It’ll be interesting to see the response The Killer Inside Me gets in Berlin.

The Killer Inside Me

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly eight years since we posted that Jim Thompson’s classic novel The Killer Inside Me was set to become a major motion picture.  Of course a lot has changed since then.  Dominic “Swordfish” Sena was set to direct and no stars had been named.  The reality is that Michael Winterbottom ended up helming the feature with Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Simon Baker and Bill Pulman co-starring.

A Killer Inside Me is my favorite Thompson book and I hope that everything comes together to make it a good film.  Unfortunately, there’s already been a lot of controversy coming from it’s screening at Sundance.  I guess we’ll know how good it is soon enough… once the distributor decides on a release date.

Gangsters, Vampires and Aliens

I was already looking forward to Turf, a four issue mini-series by writer, Jonathan Ross and artist, Tommy Lee Edwards, before I read this interview with them over at NewsaramaAs you may recall, Turf is set in New York in 1929 and involves gangsters, vampires and aliens.    Or as Turf is described on the Image site:

A 4-issue hard-boiled noir crime thriller with girls, guns, fangs and aliens.

New York, 1929. The height of prohibition. The cops turn a blind eye while the mobs run the city, dealing in guns, girls and illegal liquor. But the arrival of the mysterious Dragonmir Family from Eastern Europe with more of a taste for blood then booze coincides with a series of brutal attacks on the gangsters themselves. As the gangs fall before the fangs, only a handful of mobsters survive. But an unlikely alliance formed between tough guy Eddie Falco and a character from a long way from New York City – a long way from Earth in fact – offers the humans a glimmer of hope. As the strong willed young reporter Susie Dale from the Gotham Herald tries to survive in the middle of the maelstrom, and an ancient prophecy unfolds, no one can guess who’s going to win the battle for this particular slice of Turf.

I’ve already put in my order for the series.  You may want to as well.

I Want a Gutshot Straight

It’s not often that the same day I discover a new author that I’ll order up a new hardback of his work.  But that’s what did today after hearing about Lou Berney’s novel Gutshot Straight.  My interest was raised when I saw a tweet from  So I headed over to the site and saw this trailer for the novel.

I liked the trailer, so I found Berney’s site.  I read a bit about Berney and an excerpt from Gutshot Straight and was sold.  So I headed over to and pre-ordered a copy.  If Gutshot Straight sounds like something you’d like, go ahead and order one too!  Consider it an early Christmas present to yourself.

A Look @ “The Last Days of American Crime” is running a 17 page preview of Rick Remender’s “The Last Days of American Crime”.  It’s a mature crime comic, but definitely worth a look if you’re into that kind of thing.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been talking up “The Last Days of American Crime” for years [I first mentioned it in 2003!]. Now it’s finally here.  And from the looks of things, “The Last Days of American Crime” was more than worth the wait.

Big Day Saturday

Tomorrow should be a great day. I’m starting out at the beautiful JBI studios in downtown Holly Hill.  I’ll be serving as co-host for John Beatty’s $10 Head Sketch Saturday John will be drawing live on UStream as fans request their very own sketches.  These broadcasts are a lot of fun, so even if you don’t plan to purchase a sketch, drop on by and join in.  Details are here.

Then after a full day with Big Beatty, I’m going to join my brother, Boobyboo and nephew, Bartledoo, to watch UFC 105 live [for free] on SPIKE.  Let’s take a look at the card and my predictions:

  • Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson vs Aaron Riley.  I’m going with “The Real Deal” for three reasons: 1] I’ve seen him fight  2] He has a slightly better record and 3] He has a nickname.
  • James “Lightning” Wilks vs  Matt “The Immortal” Brown.  I’m thinking that “Lightning” is going to strike and “The Immortal” won’t be.
  • Michael “The Count” Bisping vs Denis KangKang may go the distance, but it will be “The Count” getting the victory that, uh, counts.
  • Mike “Quick” Swick vs Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy.  It should be a fast paced fight so I’m naturally favoring “The Quick”.
  • Randy “The Natural” Couture vs Brandon “The Truth” Vera“The Natural” should score the win and that’s “The Truth”.

Hopefully my predictions will be as good as Beatty’s sketches.

“The Black Terror: Seduction of Deceit” Week: Day 7

“The Black Terror: Seduction of Deceit” Week [written by Beau Smith & Chuck Dixon with art by Dan Brereton]: Day 7 @ the ZONE. Today is the last day of our tribute to Smith, Dixon & Brereton’s Black Terror story so I thought it fitting that our last piece of art be the final page of the mini-series.

Site map

If you’ve enjoyed this week’s posts, then tell a friend or seven.  If enough people [re]discover The Black Terror: Seduction of Deceit, perhaps we’ll someday get a trade edition, it so richly deserves.

The Black Terror: Seduction of Deceit” Week: Day 6

“The Black Terror: Seduction of Deceit” Week [written by Beau Smith & Chuck Dixon with art by Dan Brereton]: Day 6 @ the ZONE.  Today’s art is from issue 2 [art by Dan Brereton].

All week long I’ve been yappin’ about what a great series this was.  Hopefully, from the quotes and teaser art, you’re interest has been piqued enough to either pull out your copies and re-read the dang thing, or if you’d never heard of it until this week, to round up a set for yourself.

If you’re already a fan, then why not drop Beau Smith, Chuck Dixon and Dan Brereton a line and let them know.  Better yet, why not e-mail Todd McFarlane [who holds the rights to the comic] at Publishing and suggest they give the series the reprint it deserves!