Crime anthology offers 13 “Dispatches from America’s Most Dangerous City”
St. Louis, MO (April 10, 2011) — This past November, the magazine CQ Press declared St. Louis America’s most dangerous city. While city officials were (naturally) less than thrilled with this dubious honor, the writers and artists at Ink and Drink Comics viewed it as an excuse to celebrate their beloved city’s sometimes seedy seductiveness with the creation of an anthology of crime short stories titled SHOTS IN THE DARK.
SHOTS IN THE DARK is a 104-page, square-bound original graphic novel featuring 13 short stories crafted by 20 members of the mostly St. Louis-based crew, a self-publishing collective that grew out of a series of regular monthly “ink and drink” sessions where members of the St. Louis comics community would gather to share adult beverages, discuss comics, and show off works-in-progress. The book is the second in a planned series of semiannual genre-themed anthologies, following on the heels of last October’s horror collection SPIRITS OF ST. LOUIS, a local success that placed within comics retailer Star Clipper’s top five graphic novels of 2010 in spite of its late release date.
Underneath its stunning painted cover (courtesy of Louisiana-based fine art painter Adam Davenport), SHOTS IN THE DARK is bookended by a pair of stunningly illustrated noir tales: the snow-blind morality tale “Slick” by Kyle Morton (artist on IDW Publishing’s Husk: The Hollow Planet, written by Kids in the Hall’s Scott Thompson) and the revenge tale “An Accounting” by Carlos Gabriel Ruiz (a Zuda Comics finalist for his strip Development Hell). In between, the stories run through a wide gamut of styles—and a wide array of local landmarks—including a cartoonish shootout between “The Beer Barons of St. Louis,” a drug-fueled “Cannibal Rampage” through the Loop shopping district, a Blaxploitation send-up starring “Funky P.I.” and a South City bank robbery gone awry. The book is edited by former St. Louis Magazine editor Bryan A. Hollerbach and PLAYBACK:stl Comics Editor Jason Green. Brief biographies of the entire creative team can be found at http://inkanddrinkcomics.com/creator-bios.php, and previews of each story can be found at http://inkanddrinkcomics.com.
Most surprisingly, Ruiz, Green and “Cannibal Rampage” artist Brad King ventured to the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (or C2E2) in March to debut the crime anthology and ended up stopping an actual crime, helping to chase down a group of pickpockets and flagging down police officers to make the arrest. The whole story, as recalled by Anime News Network’s Bamboo Dong, can be found here.
SHOTS IN THE DARK will see a wide release on April 13th, with a signing event at Star Clipper (6392 Delmar Blvd, University City, MO) featuring most of the book’s contributors. The book will be available at finer comic shops (interested stores should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information) and at IndyPlanet.com. Retail price is $11.99.
About Ink and Drink Comics: Founded in 2010 by Carlos Gabriel Ruiz, Ink and Drink Comics publishes anthologies that showcase the talents of St. Louis comics creators in the hopes of fostering, in story form, the camaraderie present at the monthly “ink and drink” sessions that inspired the company’s creation. Learn more at www.inkanddrinkcomics.com.
SHOTS IN THE DARK is © 2011 Ink and Drink Comics, a division of Brain Cloud, LLC. All artwork is © 2011 its respective creators. All rights reserved.