• Peepland #3

    Peepland #3
    Released by: Titan Comics
    Released on: January 4th, 2017.
    Written by: Christa Faust, Gary Philips
    Illustrated by: Andrea Camerini
    Purchase From Amazon

    “It’s Christmas in the big city but things are far from jolly. With Aiesha’s son Lorenzo facing a murder rap, A.J. takes matters into her own hands in order to cover the legal fees. Elsewhere, Simon Went’s goons — Ray and Benny — are getting warmer in their strong-armed search for the missing videotape. Meanwhile, Roxy takes in a punk show at the legendary CBGBs…”

    Aisha wanders into work at Peepland, one of her co-workers tells her that she might be able to come up with proof that Lorenzo didn’t kill the girl that the cops are accusing him of murdering, that is if ‘Snyder can fix it.’ Aisha appreciates the thought, but she’s there to work, she needs to make some money.

    Meanwhile, a woman named Sherry Lindstrom hops a cab to the police station where she tells the officer on duty at the front desk that she needs to talk to someone about the Central Park murder – the one that Lorenzo is being accused of. Detective Alvarez sits down with her. Turns out Sherry was in town for the holidays. Dick approached her in the park with his camcorder and talked her into having some fun on camera. She saw what happened, she knows it was a white boy that did it – and while Dick got spotted (and then thrown under a subway), she didn’t. Alvarez takes her statement down on tape.

    Meanwhile, Snyder’s blackmail scheme isn’t going so well. The thugs drop off the cash but then follow him and beat the shit out of him – they want the original tape, the one that Dick died for. Nearby, at a flophouse in Spanish Harlem, a pimp auditions a junkie girl as a dancer. The audition is interrupted when masked men brandishing shotguns show up. They pistol whip him, pull the stove out from the wall in the kitchen and swipe his stash of cash. It’s A.J., Jimmy and their brother and the heist goes south quickly but at least they get the cash and get it to Aisha.

    That same night, Roxy heads to CBGB to see Nick play with his band. She runs into Kat, a girl she and Nick had a three-way with once, who Roxy had a lesbian relationship with. Roxy’s there for one reason though – to ask Nick if he’s seen Snyder. After all, the guy never leaves his apartment. When she went over, he wasn’t there so she knows something is up. And of course, they’re right.

    A decent continuation of the mystery/crime story that began in the first two issues, this third chapter elaborates on various plot devices, digs a bit deeper into the different characters and adds a few more welcome twists and turns to the hardboiled tale. We also get a new character introduced in the form of Sherry, which adds yet another layer of complication to an increasingly complicated situation. This is one of those scenarios where there are a lot more people we can’t trust than we can, particularly when it comes to the cops in the story – but we’ve known that from the first issue. Faust and Philips wear their politics on their sleeves at time (nothing wrong with that, particularly when they’re spot on) but stop short of preaching or getting too heavy handed. Rather, they’re more concerned with telling a solid story, and they do just that in this third issue. Andrea Camerini’s artwork is as good here as it has been since the start. There’s a good amount of detail here, solid layouts, and a nice eye for getting the details of New York City right (to some of us this matters so it’s worth voicing some appreciation for the accuracy evident in this series!).

    Also included in this issue is a text piece called Beyond The Deuce written by Gary Phillips where he elaborates a bit on the real world events that have worked their way into the story, most notably the case of the Central Park Five and Donald Trump’s awful role in that case, as well as the case of the ‘Preppie Killer.’