The Darkness Comes – The Horror of Noir

Take a tour of the dark and uncomfortable corners of criminal minds! In Ed Brubaker’s Cruel Summer, sons follow fathers down the same hopeless criminal paths. Julia Gfrorer’s Vision: Book […]


The Darkness Comes – The Horror of Noir

Authors:Alex Segura , Ed Brubaker , Julia Gfrörer, Katie Skelly


Take a tour of the dark and uncomfortable corners of criminal minds! In Ed Brubaker’s Cruel Summer, sons follow fathers down the same hopeless criminal paths. Julia Gfrorer’s Vision: Book 1 introduces readers to a Victorian spinster on the path to blindness, as she navigates her mysterious and demanding family while finding sexual solace in her own mirror. Katie Skelly’s Maids tells the story of the Papin sisters, abused by their toxic employer and turning to petty thievery to exact a bit of revenge – but trinkets won’t be the only things they take. And in Alex Segura’s Black Ghost, a  journalist works to uncover the truth behind a mysterious figure pulling the strings of the city’s criminal landscape.

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Alex Segura

Alex Segura is the author of the Pete Fernandez Miami Mystery novel series. He is also the co-president of Archie Comics and has written a number of comic books for younger readers, including the best-selling and critically acclaimed The Archies, Archie Meets Ramones and Archie Meets Kiss series. heis also the co-creator and co-writer of the young adult Lethal Lit podcast. Monica Gallagher is a writer and illustrator with over fifteen years’ experience making comics with a positive, feminist spin. Currently, Monica has two series comics on Webtoons — Assassin Roommate, and BOO! It’s Sex with Danielle Corsetto. She also co-wrote the first season of the iHeart Radio’s Lethal Lit, and Comixology’s The Black Ghost series with Alex Segura. Her most recently published book is Part-Time Princesses, and the collected Volume #1 of her webcomics series Bonnie N. Collide, Nine to Five. The Black Ghost (Dark Horse Books) is an original graphic novel about corruption and justice. Lara Dominguez, a troubled Creighton cops reporter, is obsessed with the city’s debonair vigilante, the Black Ghost. With the help of a mysterious cyber-informant named LONE, Lara’s inched closer to uncovering the Ghost’s identity. But as she searches for the breakthrough story she desperately needs, Lara will have to navigate the corruption of her city, the uncertainties of virtue, and her own personal demons. Will she be part of the solution–or will she become the problem? The review in [Pank] noted that “This collaboration from two gifted comic book veterans feels more like a comfortable homemade recipe where all the ingredients come together—the influences from great writers and artists of the past and present blending perfectly.”

Ed Brubaker

Ed Brubaker is an American cartoonist and writer. He is best known for his work as a comic book writer on such titles as Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Fist, Catwoman, Gotham Central and Uncanny X-Men. In more recent years, he has focused solely on creator-owned titles such as Fatale, Criminal, Velvet, Incognito, and Kill or Be Killed with artist Sean Phillips. Brubaker was a writer and supervising producer for the first season of HBO’s Westworld, and is the co-creator and co-writer of Too Old To Die Young. In the summer of ’88, Teeg Lawless comes home to plan the biggest heist of his career. But Teeg’s son Ricky and his friends are starting down the same dark path their fathers are on, and this is about to become the worst summer of their lives. Cruel Summer (Image Comics) is an epic tale of tragedy handed down from generation to generation, a crime comic masterpiece from two of the most celebrated noir masters in the industry. The Library Journal, in a starred review, praised how Brubaker and Phillips “combine elements of noir and coming-of-age stories in this psychologically and emotionally complex drama about desperate men and women daring to strive for better lives in a violent world where hope and love are dangerous liabilities.”

Julia Gfrörer

Julia Gfrörer‘s work has appeared in Kramer’s Ergot and Best American Comics. She pronounces her name “gruh fare” but you can say it however you like. In Vision (Fantagraphics), Julia Gfrörer explores lust, grief, and the human need for connection in this story of a 19th-century spinster and the haunted mirror that offers an escape from her frustrated line. In Gfrörer’s thin, careworn lines, her debased and unnerving depictions of the supernatural, and her achingly vulnerable characters, she exposes the emotions that boil beneath the surface of everyday life and the terrible pressure society exerts to keep them hidden. Publishers Weekly praised Gfrörer as “one of the foremost contemporary horror cartoonists with this dense and disturbing psychological twist on the haunted house story.”

Katie Skelly

Katie Skelly is a cartoonist. Her previous comics include My Pretty Vampire, The Agency, Operation Margarine, and Nurse Nurse. She is a contributor to The Comics Journal. Christine Papin, an overworked live-in maid, is reunited with her younger sister, Lea, who has also been hired by the wealthy Lancelin family. They make the estate’s beds, scrub the floors, and spy on the domestic strife within its walls. What starts as petty theft by the maids, shortly turns into something more nefarious. Madame Lancelin’s increasingly unhinged abuse ignites the sisters’ toxic upbringing and their feelings about class privileges and it all explodes into a ghastly double murder. The event shocked and fascinated 1930s France and beyond. Maids (Fantagraphics) has high bravura and high intrigue, all drawn in Skelly’s highly stylized manner, which combines the best of pop art, manga, and Eurocomics. Publishers Weekly called it a ” subversive horror story [that} will satisfy readers who like their crime stories served with gender and class analysis and a pretty whipped topping.”

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