So go meet him if you’re in the area and tell him I sent you. If you can’t make it, pick up a Milligan title and get caught up on your reading!
March is the month of Milligan or Milligan is the march of the Month
Whichever way you look at it, for all you Peter Milligan fans out there (and I am first in line, though I have to fight off many!) there are sensational stories galore every week of the month from one of Vertigo’s first and finest.
March 3rd: GREEK STREET #9: The world of Greek Street often feels very self-contained — almost a street out of time — but this issue, all the horrors of the real world circa 2010 rear their ugly, bloody heads when a terrorist plot unfolds inside the Furey's club...with explosive results. Meanwhile a vision of Sandy’s that we saw all the way back in issue #1 finally gets played out...but not in the way she saw it... With art by Davide Gianfelice
March 10th: GREEK STREET Volume 1: BLOOD CALLS FOR BLOOD
Finally the first collection of the mind-blowing modern mythological series featuring a cast of characters that will either touch your soul or shock you senseless. Nobody writes a beautifully layered tale rife with suspenseful mystery and human emotion better than Milligan. If you’re one of many readers who “wait for the trade” here it is: Present-day London adrift with Oedipus as Eddie Rex, Cassandra as Sandy, Agamemnon as Lord Menon plus many more, all entwined in this urban horror drama that’s like EASTENDERS meets THE WIRE. With art by Davide Gianfelice.
March 17th: THE BRONX KILL: A Vertigo Crime original graphic novel that crime authors are raving about! A dark history and darker secrets plague Martin Keane, a struggling writer from a family of policemen whose life begins to unravel when his wife goes missing. A generational saga with a truth more shocking and monstrous than Martin could ever imagine, is all finally revealed on a lonely stretch of godforsaken land aptly named the Bronx Kill. With special excerpts from Martin’s novel, this thrilling graphic novel gives you an extra dose of Milligan’s prosaic flair. With art by James Romberger
March 24th: HELLBLAZER #265: Constantine lives up to his true punk calling in NO FUTURE when he reluctantly becomes embroiled with a group of anarchic punks who worship a powerful effigy of Sid Vicious. With guest art by the one and only Simon Bisley.
March 31st You’ll need this week to recuperate!
Sex and violence. The Greek dramas were epic tales filled with unforgettable characters, bloody betrayals and, yes, more sex and violence than even an HBO original series.
GREEK STREET re-imagines those brutal and visceral tragedies of Ancient Greece as a contemporary crime drama. GREEK STREET culls from some of the most provocative works of Greek mythology as Oedipus Rex, Medea, the Illiad, and the Odyssey. Those fantastic stories—of incest, homicide, beautiful oracles, kings, monsters and gods—play out now, not in Athens, but on the mean streets of modern-day London. Boasting a cast of sexy strippers, murderous gangsters, body-snatching mad women, and a disturbed young girl who can see the future, GREEK STREET is all about the intersection of sex, violence, destiny and human tragedy.
GREEK STREET Volume 1: Blood Calls For Blood, is the first in an ongoing series of graphic novels written by legendary scribe Peter Milligan, best known for such eyebrow raising comics as Shade the Changing Man, X-Statix, and Human Target and illustrated by artist Davide Gianfelice (Northlanders). Together they have created a visionary work that's smart, sexy, and timely. GREEK STREET offers an amalgamation of crime fiction and classical tragedy, with Oedipus re-cast as a rootless drifter, the Furies as a notorious crime family and Daedalus as a hardboiled detective hell-bent on solving a series of murders.
Welcome to GREEK STREET, where the old stories aren’t through with us yet.
Read Chapter one here.
Get the collected edition March 10, 2010 comic stores, March 16, 2010 book stores (Vertigo / 144 pgs / color / $9.99 pbk / collecting issues 1-5).
And be on the lookout for Peter Milligan’s Vertigo Crime original graphic novel THE BRONX KILL on March 17th.
So the great part of being an editor is that you never know what will pop up in your inbox on any given day. the below are just a few of the super cool surprises that I received in the past few days. I won’t pick a favorite...but don’t let that stop you!
peace & hair grease,
-- greek street goes greek? anyone reading GREEK STREET knows it’s a modern re-telling of Greek dramas...but this pencil page by DAVIDE GIANFELICE from issue #8 looks like the past has become the present. what!?
-- whos that girl on demo #3? if you’re at all like me, you write everything on post-it notes. I thought I was obsessive about it...until I read this issue of the brand-new DEMO series (issue #1 drops in FEBRUARY!)
-- philip bond “layout” for his page in an undisclosed project. try and guess who that camera belongs to. done guessing? (answer: shelly bond! haha)
Greek mythology and its multitude of characters is the basis for GREEK STREET. From Agamemnon to Oedipus Rex, to Zeus, Aphrodite, Dionysus and Medusa, the characters in Greek mythology are very vibrant and, in many ways, relatable even today.
As the second storyline “The Cassandra Complex” begins, Milligan reinterprets The Trojan Cycle. In the myths, one of my favorite women, Cassandra, has the gift of prophecy, yet she’s powerless because no one believes her as she warns against the impending double-cross. How frustrating! Well, the same goes for Sandy in GREEK STREET—she’s just thought to be a troubled young girl. But now, with Eddie and Sandy on the run, I wonder if her premonitions are going to be taken seriously?
In anticipation of this storyline, who’s your favorite character in Greek mythology and why?
A shocking new drama unfolds on the stage of GREEK STREET. Disturbed wayward Eddie and visionary Sandy are on the run...and they're headed for London where Dedalus is investigating a suicide. Issue #6 “The Cassandra Complex” is part 1/4 of an intense new storyline.
Check out the cover by Davide Furno:
And a few character sketches by Davide Gianfelice:
Author, Peter Milligan takes you backstage of GREEK STREET:
GREEK STREET is a rich and complex performance with many strange and sometimes frightening characters. So I thought I’d invite you backstage, so you can get of pants-down look at the actors in what is a very personal project for me.
CURSING AND NUDITY
I’m trying to keep this post free of cursing and nudity. This is ironic because there’s a good deal of cursing and nudity in GREEK STREET. For all its frenzied classical referencing this book tries to be a modern and realistic (sometimes magically realistic) take on life.
And I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot of nudity and cursing in my life.
A lot of the nudity comes from the ‘strippers” or chorus girls. And especially from Chantel, the “exotic dancer” who gives an often ironic prologue at the beginning of each issue. I really like Chantel. Behind that tough exterior is something more nuanced, more complex.
One of the things that intrigues me about Chantel – and about choruses in Greek Tragedy - is the issue of whether or not they should get involved in the action. If something awful is about to happen, should they try to stop it? Famously, the chorus in Medea is torn on this question when Medea is about to unleash her murderous revenge on Jason.
Chantel confronts this very problem, later in the series, when Eddie and Sandy’s young lives are at risk.
We’ve probably all been in the position of a Greek Chorus at one time. Wondering whether we should remain on-lookers…or get involved in the action.
As we’re back stage I must introduce you to our hero, Eddie. Obviously Eddie’s main role is as a kind of modern-day ragged Oedipus. But whereas Oedipus was of royal blood, our snotty-nosed anti-hero isn’t even sure where his blood comes from. Though primarily Oedipus there are times in the story when Eddie morphs into Orestes, another parent-killer. Eddie is an amalgam of a number of kids I knew when I was growing up. Two guys in particular. I lost track of them both…perhaps GREEK STREET is a way of me imagining a kind of life for them…
Never is Eddie more like transgressive Orestes than when pursued by our awful, modern-day re-incarnations of the those dreadful creatures of retribution…the furies…
THE HOUSE OF FUREY
The Fureys take centre stage – for some of the time – in ISSUE THREE of GREEK STREET, and we hint at their dark past--when an ancestor fought the (real life) London gangster, Bill Hill.
The Fureys are based loosely on a family I know. I’m pretty sure this family doesn’t read comics, which is good. Because believe me, they’re not the kind of people you mess with.
One of the characteristics of this book is that characters and events represent more than one character or aspect of Greek theatre. Therefore The Furey brothers represent the eumenides (or Furies), those terrible vehicles of justice and persecution. But I also see them as a kind of modern House of Atreus, that cursed line doomed by hubris, murder, and wickedness.
Believe me, there is a lot more hubris, wickedness and murder coming up.
Greek Tragedy is taking over my life. With this thought, I saw Phedre the other week. Jean Racine’s version of Hippolytus, translated by Ted Hughes. I’ve always thought that Euripedes’ Hippolytus is an incredibly interesting play. And seeing Phedre just confirmed to me how bloody modern it is. Its themes of forbidden love and falsely-declared rape, its utter darkness, still shock, after hundreds of years. Phaedra will appear in GREEK STREET episode six, in an unexpected and hopefully shocking way…
THE OLD STORIES
I suppose that’s the idea of GREEK STREET summed up. An effort at making my own versions of some of those old stories fresh and shocking. As Chantel might say,
“The old stories haven’t finished with us yet.”
On Tuesday you discussed your favorite works by Peter Milligan. Now, here are the covers to some of his upcoming titles.
SHADE THE CHANGING MAN Vol. 1:
SHADE THE CHANGING MAN Vol. 2 :
GREEK STREET #4:
And HELLBLAZER #260:
Peter Milligan, one of the founding writers of Vertigo, is a busy man. He has captivated us with numerous works over the years including, HUMAN TARGET (soon to be a Fox TV show), SKREEMER, ENIGMA, and SHADE THE CHANGING MAN (Vol. 1: The American Scream will be re-issued in paperback and, for the first time, issues 7-13 will be collected in Vol. 2: Edge of Vision, both to be published in November). Since January, starting with issue #250 Milligan has been the series writer on HELLBLAZER and now, his new ongoing series GREEK STREET is the talk of the town.
With such an accomplished list of work I'm sure it's difficult to chose just one, but tell us, which is your favorite Peter Milligan title and why? Please discuss.
Lot’s happened this week. Here's a roundup of those not to be missed.
LARGEHEARTED BOY posts Jeff Lemire's fantastic music playlist for THE NOBODY. In his introduction Jeff writes, “I've always preferred sad songs. They don't make me sad, they just make me "feel more." Now, that's something I can totally relate to. Check it out!
And as a special treat, here are a few of Jeff Lemire's early cover sketches for THE NOBODY.
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Have a great weekend!