Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cast of Small Crimes, part 1

Before I sold my noir novel, Small Crimes, to Serpent's Tail, Jean-Pierre Jacquet and I were pitching it to a French graphic novel publisher. Jean-Pierre is a professional artist who has done among other things commercials, animation for SNL, and regularly has art shows for his paintings. We collaborated together on a noir comic book, Nothing But Jerks, that I published on my Hardluck Stories web-zine, and Jean-Pierre has also done the artwork for Hardluck's Psycho Noir and the upcoming Femme Fatales issue. We almost sold Small Crimes as a graphic novel--we went through a number of board meetings until the publisher finally decided that Small Crimes was too mature for their audience. Anyway, I have all these great drawings that Jean-Pierre did for the proposal, and he has graciously given me permission to post them here, which I'll be doing over the next couple of weeks, along with a short description of the characters. And don't worry, no spoilers will be given--only details that you'd be able to get from the first few pages of the book.

Pictured above is my noir hero, Joe Denton. Jean-Pierre named him Danton for the graphic novel to give him a more French sounding name. When I wrote the book, I was picturing someone physically resembling Bruce Willis when he had hair, but Jean-Pierre drawing him with more of a Clive Owen look works well.

A little bit about Small Crimes; it's a completely different vision of noir than FAST LANE, more modern and with little of the psychotic, self-delusional aspects. It takes place in a small, rural Vermont town and centers around Joe Denton, a disgraced ex-cop. When Joe was on the force he drifted into payoffs and graft and other crimes, not the least of which was emotionally abandoning his family. When his crimes escalate, he ends up maiming the County DA who's been building a police corruption case against him. The book opens with Joe being released from jail after serving seven years for what he did to the DA.

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