The creators behind Hard Case Crime's new comic, Peepland, discuss their influences of 1980's New York City and how they approached depicting this in the first issue due out Wednesday Oct 12th.
I had relatives on my mother's side of the family who lived in New York. I'd visited the city once when I was teenager and had seen some of Times Square, Harlem – including lunch at the famed Sylvia's – and Jackson Heights. In no way did that give me a visitor a true sense of the City. For like a lot of people, it was through hardcore films like Ms. 45, Krush Groove (okay, that one was kind of cute actually) , Death Wish, Shaft and Fort Apache the Bronx that a kind of New York was known to me. Reality and those cinema fictions were in my head of that time and place. Christa knew the real deal and Andrea certainly melded those concepts in his sequentials..
Writer Christa Faust:
The big thing for me was that I needed it to feel real. I grew up in New York City, over on 45th and 9th and I wanted to share my memories with people who are too young to remember what is was like back then. I'm a huge Film Noir fan and I love that stylized, shadowy backlot look that could be any city but I didn't want that for this project. I wanted Taxi Driver, not T-Men. I wanted a rougher, grittier, unvarnished style and Andrea delivered in spades.
Christa Faust is awesome – to create an authentic representation of the city during the time, she sent me lots of images of NYC in the 80s. She suggested I watch "The Children of Times Square" – a film made on location (and at the time), which tells the story of an alienated teen, who runs away to NYC…where he falls in with a drug dealer who uses street children as drug dealers.
During my research, I also watched movies like "Highlander", "Ghostbusters", and "Black Rain" to better understand the fashion, hairstyles and – most importantly – how 80's New York actually looked like!
For the character of Roxy, I researched many photos of punks to nail down her style. The design of her clothes came out quickly, and I spent most of the time trying to find the right hairstyle! In the end, we decided for the Mohawk. Christa's knowledge for this was, again, fundamental!
Peepland writers Christa Faust and Gary Phillips will be signing copies of issue #1 at Meltdown Comics, Wednesday Oct 12th at 7 PM. For more information, click here.