Comic book author, and Digital Media grad, Daniel Corey is getting set to release Red City, his second original series for Image Comics. The neo-noir title is the follow up to Daniel’s acclaimed Moriarty, and tells the story of a detective on Mars working with (and against) a rogue cast of supporting characters.
We caught up with Daniel during our Fifth Annual Hall of Fame ceremony last month, where he was part of the panel discussion Creating Graphic Novels. Following the talk he opened up about the inspiration behind this new series, which will debut on June 11.
Full Sail: Where did you get the idea for Red City?
Daniel Corey: It came from my love of Philip Marlowe and Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Dennis Lehane, Michael Mann’s Heat, L.A. Confidential, Paul Newman as Lew Harper. In a larger sense, Red City is a metaphor for my love for Los Angeles, which is sort of an odd thing to say, as Red City itself is depicted as this den of corruption, cutthroats and conspiracy. But flaws equal character, and I love the character of my city.
FS: What most excites you about the storytelling possibilities with the characters and setting?
DC: I was hooked on the idea of doing the exact sort of L.A. city noir story that I love, but putting it in a science fiction setting. All of the beloved conventions of the genre – such as femme fatales, gangsters in fedoras – would be turned on their head and recast against the backdrop of outer space, against the canvas of a Ray Bradbury-like Mars.
The corrupt mayor is a Martian. The missing girl is from Mercury. The rival mobs are from Venus and Neptune, and the entire Solar System is recovering from a recent war. So it’s a post-war city, and everyone is finding their footing in the new, uneasy peacetime, and opportunities to get involved in the rackets are aplenty. So it’s a different world with a new history, but it has elements of our past, told with a sense of metaphor.
FS: How long have you been developing the project for?
DC: I started writing Red City about three years ago. It was right about the time that Anthony Diecidue was starting to draw the second volume of Moriarty, the first series that I wrote for Image Comics. Every moment since that time has been spent developing and writing the story of Red City, finding the right art team, getting everything cleared with the publisher, supervising the creation of the first pages.
Artist Mark Dos Santos is perfect for this gig. He has a fantastic sense of retro-futurism. The whole team does a great job, Chris Fenoglio on color, Dave Lanphear on letters and logo design. It’s a great package for delivering this story. I couldn’t be happier.