Peepland #1 (Titan)


CREDIT: Titan/Hard Case Crime

Rating: 4/5 – The Seedy Side of NYC… Times Square in 1986
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

Last time around we looked at the first Hard Case Crime offering, Triggerman, with classic depression era gangster crime and the atypical setting of Arizona.  For the second offering Hard Case Crime moves into the biggest of cities, New York.  New York’s Times Square in the days before Toys’R’Us, Hershey, and the M&M Store.  This is 1986 and the business of the day is adult theaters, strip clubs, and peep shows.  As one might expect, this is not a comic for kids.  Given the subject there is plenty of nudity and bad language with a soupçon of violence thrown in for flavor.

Writers Crista Faust & Gary Philips bring us a tale of a seedy videographer who is running for his life and hides a videotape in a Times Square Peepshow booth.  It does not take a genius to figure out that he accidentally captured something on tape that some bad people are really unhappy to have a video record of.  We get to see the actual event on the tape near the end of the issue, so we are not kept hanging about the actual motivation behind the story. But even though I figured out the driving factor before the official reveal, it didn’t detract from the story, it was the journey that was the interesting part, I got to meet a lot of characters and watching their interactions was fascinating.  It’s the story that will be bringing me back for the second issue of this comic.  The art, by Andrea Camerini, was a little rough around the edges and often lacking in background detail, but told the story in a serviceable fashion.

Titan Comics’ Hard Case Crime has a number of prose novels available in the genre and I’m happy to see the comic book part of the imprint off to a great start with Peepland #1 this week and Triggerman #1 last week.  I’m looking forward to more of both series, as well as seeing what is coming next in comics format.  On the prose side, I’ve ordered one of Christa Faust’s novels in paperback (Money Shot, nominated for several genre awards, and winner of the Crimespree award).  Hard Case Crime is making the case for getting me more heavily into the crime genre!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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