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 … )