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“Riveting NYC Story PEEPLAND Slices: Final Issue Out 3/22!” by R.J. Huneke is the second part in a series that will unveil a New York Comic Con interview with creators as well as offer up a retrospective of the issues of Peepland, with Spoilers, leading up to the fifth and final book that launches March 22, 2017.
From the very first line, ‘HI, HONEY. FIRST TIME?’, delivered by the image of a gorgeously athletic nude woman named Roxy in a black thong hiked way up over her hip line (more on this later) who is facing a suited man behind plate glass, Peepland has you. The reader is intrigued in a way that a comic book does not usually hook you.
The woman is already striking: she has a hint of muscle to her biceps, she has a keen sense of acting as she gives her naughty glance and line, ‘I’M LIVE.’, and she is totally in control despite the strangely beat up and bright neon box of a room she is in.
This is just the opening for Peepland.
And we will now delve into the books and the interview of its makers further.
Peepland takes the Hard Case Crime publication’s noir, crime, and boiled mystery novels and bakes that grit into a new graphic novel form from Titan Comics. Rune Works and POWkabam was 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 second page of Peepland is another unconventional and enrapturing scene contained as one splash page with no dialogue.
It is Times Square on Christmas Eve in 1986 and the graffiti and peepbooths outnumber the holiday decorations by far.
There is one sound: a ‘HUFF HUFF HUFF’.
Someone is running.
As we previously discussed this person is none other than a porno filmmaker named Dirty Dick who rushes into the peepbooth, Peepland, and begs Roxy to take his VHS tape before he runs off to the subway without explanation.
Despite no allegiance to Dick, Roxy does not bend when the police question her about the incident after he is found dead.
She returns home to her very sick uncle whom she is caring for.
The character is tremendously deep and has gone from playing coy and taking the money from nude-thirsty New Yorkers /or tourists and shown a wit, a loyalty and a purpose in life, despite her young years.
Christa Faust and Gary Philips co-wrote 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.
Noir was meant for the mid-1980’s New York City era and Faust delivers it to the T.
R.H.: “What was your inspiration for PEEPLAND?”
C.F.: “It was mostly just because . . . you know being a fellow New Yorker it’s so different now.”
R.H.: “The way that is was, the city.”
C.F.: “That’s never coming back . . . and I wanted to tell that story [of NYC] in a visual medium, because you can tell people what it was like, but if you can show them, it’s more visceral, it’s grittier, it’s more true.”
R.H.: “What I loved is that the historicism is there. I love the 80’s perms [for example].”
And at this point Charles breaks in.
C.A.: “This person,” he says with a smile and playfully accusing point to Christa, ‘was the police person, policing in acronyms.”
C.F.: “I was the G-string Nazi – I was like ‘hike that aaaall the way up to be here,” she says pointing to high over her hip.
C.A.: “What were the buildings, what were the posters, what were [the] hairstyles, ads, shoes . . . what were the characters?”
We will speak more on the Hard Case Crime team’s recollections of infamous New York characters in the next installment.
Issue #2 captures the underbelly of the city from the onset, but its not really the underbelly – most people do not understand that all of the horrible crime acts took place in the most prominent places of the greatest city on earth.
We open onto a limousine of dirtbags snorting cocaine of a hooker’s breast and another threatening to choke her comrade, despite her pleas for straight sex; a protesting woman is thrown from the moving car . . . on Broadway.
The dialogue is as rough as the times and the vernacular works well as the boss who is responsible for Dick’s death ushers the murderers from his steam room as a large breasted woman approaches:
‘MAN I COULD USE A MASSAGE LIKE THAT,’ says the one thug.
‘I GOT YOUR MASSAGE RIGHT HERE, YA FUCKING MONGOLOID,’ answers his Italian partner with a fist-raising gesture.
The story unfolds with more and more great characters and more and more wrinkles in the dirty mystery.
Roxy’s best friend at Peepland, who helped her smuggle out the VHS tape, Aiesha is alerted that her African American teenage son has been wrongly accused of a rape and murder of a white woman and was put at a scene by a police officer.
She is not there to support her friend.
The VHS has come unwound in a cheap VCR and Roxy agrees to do nude commercials for a sleazy neighbor tape bootlegger who sees the murder and attempts to sell it.
And the mob-like boss man puts his two assassins onto the bootlegger, but not before they find out from Peepland’s token operator that Roxy takes care of a Leo, her uncle, who has AIDs, and she might be mixed up with the tape too.
And then we get the pained caption . . . ‘TO BE CONTINUED . . .’
This is just the second part of our Rune Works and POWkabam Comics series of articles conveying the interview of the creators of Peepland. In the next part, we will continue the interview, explore more of Peepland as we approach the fourth issue that just went on sale yesterday.
Surely a trade-paperback collection is in order for this great graphic novel comic book series and this series will whet your appetite as you await it.
For now get down to your local comic shop [I am going to mine today: Best Comics] and buy up Peepland Issue #4 before it sells out forever!
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We have to thank Dustin Cabeal, writer for ComicBastards.com, for this amazing review:
One gem that I picked up at New York Comic Con was Blackwood State – Tales of Englishness. There was something about the clean linework on the cover and the angry-looking female protagonist that caught my eye. After creator Ivan O’Neill was done hitting on beard, and yes I do mean just my beard he seemed to care very little for the man it was attached to, I took my bounty and moved on. I wish I hadn’t because I had a question upon finishing the issue… when will there be more?
This zero issue is very short, clocking in at just four pages, but in those four pages it does a lot of things right. It introduces us to the main character and establishes her personality and unique voice. It introduces the supporting cast and does much the same for them as well. It also begins to set up our setting within just four pages. What it does really well, and I mean really well, is make you laugh.
If the term “Lady Boner” doesn’t at least make you crack a smile then frankly I just feel sorry for you. How is up there in too good to laugh at “Lady Boner” land? Is it nice? I wouldn’t know because us normal people down here we laugh at shit like that.
The story is straight forward, we meet Gwen and her two friends enjoying their last night before college classes begin. Gwen is telling a story about how her lady boner was totally killed and that eventually leads to the setup of what she’s expecting for the school year… which is pretty obviously not going to happen because then we wouldn’t read the story. I’m not going to tell you any more than that since you can read the issue online for free and I don’t want to spoil any more jokes.
The story while simple does everything it needs to. According to the site this is being made for a graphic novel in mind and then broken up into issues. Frankly I have more interest in reading the complete project, but I’ll take it either way. O’Neill has shown that he knows what he’s doing and has structured the story to proceed from these four pages. Plainly put this zero issue has substance relevant towards the story.
The art is wonderful. It was honestly the thing that drew me. The style has a familiar or at least similar look to something I’ve seen before, but I can’t place it. All I know is that I like it. Some of the art is covered by the word bubbles, but I really didn’t mind since I was having a good time reading it, but that would be my only feedback, thinner word bubbles so that the art can breathe more. Otherwise the style has a great over the top cartoon look to it and would be right at home on something like FX or Adult Swim.
Again you can read this issue for free online. I would say that it’s worth it and really are you going to tell me you don’t have five minutes to spare? I’m being generous I don’t know how fast you read so five minutes. I’m looking forward to the next issue or the graphic novel. Whichever it is, I want it.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Ivan O’Neill
Colorist: Kara Zisa
Publisher: POWkabam Comics
Price: Free Online
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RUNE WORKS PRODUCTIONS HITS THE NEW YORK COMIC CON BOOTH # 1061 IN 3 DAYS WITH BLACKWOOD STATE, CYBERWAR!
Well it's nearly here, the New York Comic Con is just 3 days away, and Rune Works will be there at their Booth # 1061!
Rune Works is the media production end of CMO Sync and will proudly be representing itself at the NYCC with both author R.J. Huneke and comic creator Ivan O'Neill on hand.
Will they be signing anything?
Author R.J. Huneke will be touting his newly released novel CYBERWAR and Rune Works comics division, POWkabam, is also showing up with its first release of Ivan O'Neill's BLACKWOOD STATE Issue # 0, a preview comic of the upcoming mini-series from Pentian Publishing.
What are they giving away?
Well bookmarks, posters, signed copies of EVERYTHING, FREE Tee's and of course copies of their works will be available to buy as well as t-shirts.
PRIZES, booth babes, and more unforgettable things are in store for any fan dropping bye the Rune Works Booth # 1061!
Check out our official page on the New York Comic Con web site here and add it to the SHOW FLOOR MAP.
Look for the GIANT temple backdrop!
And follow our Twitter thread for giveaways!
We'll see you in 3 DAYS!!!!!!
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POWkabam Publishing is proud to be the comic books division of Rune Works Productions & C.M.O. Sync.
The first official publication of POWkabam will be a graphic novel by author/artist Ivan O'Neill titled Blackwood State, and it will be released in serialized form with four 24-25 page issues in the coming months of 2014.
For Blackwood State, O'Neill calls on a notorious state college and the life of a young lady struggling to live in a world that has no idea how not to crap on those that value the study of English writing. Alongside her fellow literary comrades, Guinevere Katz must attempt to keep her sanity and her grade as she survives one of the most obnoxious experiences of her academic career . . . and her professional career . . . and her life as a sentient being.
Calling on father Bill Shakespeare, as her god, and Falstaff as her inner muse and bartender, Gwen's deteriorative, drunken English career is a journey that seems perennially poised on the brink of disaster. Just how the hell does one make a living with a degree in English anyway?
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After a brilliant Book Expo of America, Rune Works will be on hand at this year's Special Edition NYC comic convention event at the Javit's Center in Manhattan!
Read up on the amazing weekend to be had on their site here!
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Zach Snyder did two things that have long been impossible: with Man of Steel Superman transcended the far-fetched, simple minded, bright red and yellow cheesiness that were the previous poor attempts to bring the Kal El of the beloved books to the silver screen and TV; and he made the guy’s existence on earth plausible.
The acting, writing, effects, costumes, designs, and music were all top-notch.
It is not an exaggeration to compare Christopher Nolan’s Batman series with this fresh new Superman flick. Batman Begins was not perfect (though it came really close) and is a classic film, and on the Metropolis side of the world, Man of Steel proves likewise.
As great as the comic book rendition of Tim Burton’s Batman is, and I think it will always be one of the single best live-action depictions of the caped crusader, no one can deny the much more complex and realistic world that Nolan delivered to us in terms of a trilogy thrill ride that could happen.
Similarly, Man of Steel reaches out to a Krypton where politics have blinded a people from seeing their own impending extinction, and Russell Crowe is a phenomenal Jor El that steels the show from the start.
And Zach Snyder has delivered an all-star cast – Henry Cavill is perfect and Amy Adams is a Lois Lane that is not an obnoxious reporter (like most since the original black and white TV show), but more of a strong, smart woman next-door figure.
Everyone working on this was at the top of their game, and Snyder wonderfully revamped a destitute D.C. Comics movie franchise in the 75th anniversary of Action Comics Number One blowing the world’s minds.
Hitting home are this movie’s real world themes, gritty fighting in an all-out brawl-for-survival style, and interesting character depth.
Without invoking spoiler alerts, General Zod is very conflicted and has contrived warped views, actions, and brain patterns based on society’s actions (watch this to learn the true horror within).
Lois Lane might seem pretty straight forward, but her character undergoes a series of changes that leads her to decide upon whether to follow her normal system of beliefs or abandon them.
And our good friend Superman loses the Jesus-like pretty boy goody-two-shoes that does no wrong – as nearly all prior depictions cast him in live-action pieces – and he messes up, he gets dirty, and he becomes a more haunted being – is he human? – than has ever been gotten across on screen.
The decades of great comic book storylines have tackled some of the most controversial, real world, and ordinary human traits where extraordinary things and people emerge day to day. We can look back to the comic books breaking of racial boundaries, vying for peace in Vietnam, and pushing for the US intervention in WWII long before the mainstream media sympathized with those marching down south, those burning draft cards, and anyone that felt the US should end its official neutrality during WWII.
I have always been dumbfounded when the directors of many comic book movies dumb down the messages, lines, and conflicted characters to make them a virtual televised parody of the actual heroes that we’ve fallen in love with in the books. Superman is now real!
Man of Steel is the Superman film that fans have dreamed of seeing. The dark, gritty settings, the creepily alien suits and the insect-like ships all blend wonderfully to take the viewer to Metropolis, Kansas, Krypton, and beyond. I only wonder how Lex Luthor will feel about all this.
Impulsive Review Grade: A+
by R.J. Huneke
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Though the blockbuster Iron Man 3 has higher expectations than possibly any other Marvel super hero flick, Shane Black’s comic book adaptation thrills and brings new depth to the characters and world.
Because of the tremendous success of the brilliant previous Iron Man films that were directed by Jon Favreau, The Amazing Spider-man reboot, and Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, many are mistakenly trying to compare this newest Iron Man installment to the past projects and not look at it in its own light.
Though Marvel and former Iron Man director Favreau had a dispute that ended his controlling the third movie, Shane Black who co-wrote the Iron Man 3 script stepped in to add more action and more darkness to the story arc.
No one can deny how perfect the first two movies fit the Iron Man comic book character and Favreau emanated the spirit and the great story from the books in two fun, thrilling, witty, and entertaining pieces of art.
What Black has done in the third Iron Man film is completely different and a bit rougher, and this is not a bad thing.
Tony Stark the genius, billionaire scientist turned machine-suit superhero is still depicted brilliantly by Robert Downey, Jr. whose acting prowess continues to wax brightly.
SPOILER ALERT: And Stark is tested throughout with a newly acquired anxiety disorder stemming from certain largely unexplained events from New York, alluding to Loki’s alien invasion of the Big Apple, a terrorist attack leveling his own home and close friend, Happy (played by Favreau), and numerous suit malfunction from his prototype toys.
The major theme of the movie involves the coping with adverse conditions of change that affect everyone, including billionaire playboy philanthropists, and finding the perseverance to endure.
That said, there is a lot of fighting (in every type of way), a few grim and eerie hacking of TV’s that the Mandarin uses to highlight terrorist attacks as his own commercials, and a very human Tony Stark that becomes desperate to keep his new girlfriend Pepper – played by the starkly talented Gwyneth Paltrow – even at the cost of killing people.
Tony Stark as the drunk is referenced by not shown as much as Tony Stark the lost tinkerer who is desperate to avenge and protect what he cares most for in the world but does not know how to accomplish this. This could be foreshadowing a darker and meaner side of Stark that we have not seen before for future movies, as the comic books often delved into his substance abuse and his volatile personal relations, which often caused strife between him and Captain America, amongst others.
This movie is funny, thrilling, surprising and full of great acting; Ben Kingsley is a great Mandarin (I hope for his return in the future, though the story made that unlikely), and Don Cheadle reprises Tony’s friend Col. Rhodes (and the War Machine and/or Iron Patriot) very well once again.
This tale is deliciously dark, full of explosive action, and very funny from start to finish.
Impulsive Review Grade: A-
by R.J. Huneke