Look out Marvel, look out DC, look out Image Comics! America’s leading publisher of pulp novels, Hard Case Crime, has turned its eyes towards the comic and graphic novel market with the launch of two pulptastic titles this October – Triggerman and Peepland.
Let’s start with Triggerman as it’s arriving first… on 5 October to be precise. Written by movie director Walter Hill and Matz (French comic artist Alexis Nolent), the artwork is being drawn by Jef. The three have collaborated in the past on Body and Soul, and here take us back to prohibition and a convict must both fight for his life and save the girl he loves on the mean streets of Arizona, Chicago, LA and more. The first issue will feature a cover by Jef (above), along with alternative ones by the excellent Dennis Calero, Fay Dalton, Robert Mack and Francisco Paronzini.
12 October is when Peepland arrives on the shelf. Here we have a lascivious-looking comic book set amongst New York’s punk scene of the 1980s, written by former peepshow employee Christa Faust along with Gary Phillips, while Andrea Camerini is on the pencils. Neo noir. Seedy. Semi-autobiographical, even. Again, you can choose from a range of alternative covers. One’s by Camerini, or you can opt for artwork by Fay Dalton, Mack Chater, Alex Ronald and Caitlin Yarsky.
We’ve also had word on issue two of both titles, out 9 and 23 November respectively, again with some alternate covers. You can see all the artwork we’ve received below.
Charles Ardai, writer and Hard Case Crime founder, said: “Before I became a mystery reader, I was a comic book fan – so the chance to expand Hard Case Crime into the world of comics is a dream come true. Hard Case Crime is already known for its sexy, stylish artwork, and the sharp, tough, high-velocity stories we tell are a natural for the medium.”
The entry into the comics market for Hard Case Crime is interesting, and fitting given the publisher’s remit. Crime fiction and comic books share a common ancestry in the form of the pulp magazines of the 1930s. While on the one hand hardboiled and noir private detective novels evolved into part of today’s crime genre, on the other characters like Batman and The Punisher can trace their roots back to classic pulp characters like The Shadow.
Here’s some internal artwork from Triggerman issue one.