In 1993, around the same time Vertigo debuted, DC Comics created Paradox Press. The imprint, much like the ill-fated Piranha Press that preceded it, was an attempt to create a more sophisticated, less genre-dependent brand of comics that would ostensibly appeal to the average reader not particularly interested in whatever Superman or The Sandman had to offer. It was to be a three-pronged attack, with the oversize Big Books line offering an anthology-like approach to various nonfiction material (i.e. crime, urban legends, pirates, etc.); the main line publishing more literary fare like Brooklyn Dreams and Stuck Rubber Baby; and Paradox Mystery, the title of which is self-explanatory.
The debut book in the mystery line was La Pacifica, a three-volume saga of sex and violence and femme fatales that wound up being one of the best things the imprint ever published.
(Note: Violent images lurk below … )
Jonathan Kellerman is the latest mystery writer to cross over into graphic novels; Silent Partner is the fourth novel in his Alex Delaware series, and Suvudu has a nice little preview of the first ten pages of the story.
The artist for the project is Michael Gaydos, who has worked for Marvel and DC (he got two Eisner nominations for his work on Alias with Brian Michael Bendis) as well as Dark Horse, Virgin and sundry others. Here, he uses a stark black-and-white style with strong areas of black and no toning, giving the art a dramatic and rather ominous feel—appropriate for mysteries, and reminiscent of the art in Dark Horse’s Green River Killer graphic novel. The Suvudu folks assure us that we don’t have to have read any of the other books in the Alex Delaware series, which features a forensic psychologist detective, to enjoy this one, so we can jump right in; it’s due to hit the shelves on Feb. 28.