Blame The Killer Inside Me.
It’s spring of 1991 -- well, really winter since I was living in Ithaca, NY where it’s warm likes two weeks out of the year -- there was a big recession on, a war in Iraq, I was only working part-time (some things never change, right? jk) and I’m standing in an independent bookstore and this scary-ass face is staring back at me. It’s the cover to The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson. Never heard of him. But loved the jacket design (Day-Glo orange stripes with black type and a creepy black lizard on it) and so I picked it up.
Now, I’d read my share of Chandler, Hammett, Conan Doyle and even James M. Cain, and considered myself a mystery fan...but this book was CRIME. This was a twisted book about a deputy sheriff who had some serious problems. I read half the book standing in the store and the rest that afternoon. I read it again the next day and knew I needed more...
And holy hell, there was more...Willeford, Goodis, Williams, MacDonald, Himes and on and on. It was grimy, sexy, visceral, mind-blowing work and I felt like a poseur cuz I’d never heard of any of them. But I trusted whoever these Vintage Black Lizard geniuses were and I was never the same. The one time in my life when you really could judge a book by its cover.
Which brings us to VERTIGO CRIME...where we’re trying to capture that same flavor. A line of books by some of today’s best crime writers – IAN RANKIN, BRIAN AZZARELLO, JASON STARR, PETER MILLIGAN, CHRISTOS GAGE, DENISE MINA, MAX ALLAN COLLINS and many more – that we believe can proudly sit alongside the best “regular” crime fiction out there.
The first two – DARK ENTRIES by Rankin & Dell’Edera and FILTHY RICH by Azzarello & Santos – drop today in comic shops and next Tuesday in bookstores. They’ve got eye-popping covers (from Lee Bermejo of JOKER fame) and I really hope you’ll take a taste.
Cuz who knows...maybe in twenty years, you’ll be blogging about how VERTIGO CRIME changed your life forever.
God help you.