• Peepland #4

    Peepland #4
    Released by: Titan Comics
    Released on: February 15th, 2017.
    Written by: Christa Faust, Gary Philips
    Illustrated by: Andrea Camerini
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    “Following Snyder’s suspicious demise, Roxy and Nick hit the streets in search of a copy of the incriminating videotape, in the hopes of nullifying the bounty on their heads. Meanwhile, Lorenzo faces backlash on the streets as a result of the false murder charge and Detective Alvarez begins to show his true colors, despite objections from his partner.”

    Nick and Roxy walk through St. Mark’s talking to each other about what to do. So far they can’t identify the killer on the tape and they don’t know if Snyder talked or not before he was killed. If they can figure out who the killer in the tape is, they can blow this wide open and the cops won’t be able to pin it on Aisha’s son Lorenzo. They figure Snyder being as paranoid as he was would probably have made a backup copy of the tape. They start asking around, but come up empty. Meanwhile Lorenzo gets harassed by some construction workers who recognize him from the newspaper. When Nick and Roxy get home they find a postcard that Snyder left in their mailbox. He left a copy of the tape with Rudy Goldfarb.

    Sherry Lindstrom puts in a call to Detective Alvarez. She hasn’t heard from the D.A. yet and she’s getting nervous. He tells her she can’t talk to anyone but him, the info she has about the case is too sensitive, and that she should stay put and wait for his call. His partner, March, asks him what he’s up to. When he explains it to her, she tells him he’s on his own. Once he splits she makes a call to someone.

    Meanwhile, Rudy Goldfarb is hosting his raunchy cable access show, but when Roxy walks in he puts it on hold for a few minutes to talk to her. At first he denies he’s got the tape but when Roxy pushes him, he cops to it. He also knows who the killer on the video is – Rob Went, wealthy real estate tycoon’s Simon Went’s kid. He gives Roxy the tape and tells her that if she’s smart she’ll get rid of it. Roxy knows a guy who works at the local TV news station who agrees to get the tape on the air, but when she overhears him make a call to see if the ‘bounty Went put out on the street’ is still good, she beats him with a mic stand and takes the tape back. The guy on the other end of the phone hangs on just enough to hear Roxy’s contact use her name. That’s not good. But at least now Roxy and Nick know that there’s bounty out on them.

    And then Alvarez decides to play his hand.

    The various plot threads that have been scattered about the first three issue of Faust and Philips’ story are starting to come together nicely. Lots of tension in this issue and it’s clear that things are going to get worse for Nick and Roxy before they get better. Again, it’s interesting to see how the story tackles events that were clearly inspired by the real life of the era in which the story is set, even if the writers understandably take liberties with things. Went was clearly inspired by Trump but maybe more interesting is how Rudy Goldfarb is clearly meant to be the late, great Al Goldstein – he even mentions his ‘fuck you’ segments! It’s cool to see this sort of period detail worked into the story, and also into the artwork. Camerini works in a few authentic New York City locations into the story, be it the old Howard Johnson’s that used to be in Times Square or the Terminal Bar or Trash On Vaudeville down on St. Marks. Little details like this help to give the story some authenticity (though placing an American Hardcore poster on the wall of Roxy’s apartment was an oops – that book didn’t come out until 2001 and the movie until 2006).

    Once again, the back pages contain an interesting text piece. This time around it’s called ‘Buy Us A Dougnut: Getting Mugged Times Square Style’ by Peepland’s editor, Charles Ardai. It’s an interesting and humorous slice of life story in which he gets mugged, but not in the way you’d expect. A cover gallery showing off all three options for this issue is also included.

    All in all, another solid entry in an entertaining series that mixes up a great setting with an enjoyably noir-infused mystery.