Novelist Max Allan Collins is no stranger to the comics, with his ROAD TO PERDITION graphic novel being turned into an actual prestige movie, and his long running Ms. Tree comic. His new novel is a bit of a four-color roman à clef with a comics section by long-time collaborator Terry Beatty.
According to the news release, the book is a hardboiled detective novel inspired by the 1950s witch-hunt against crime and horror comic books. The book is written by Max Allan Collins (“Road to Perdition”) and will feature 16 pages of interior illustrations by artist Terry Beatty (“Batman”). In the book, comic book industry troubleshooter Jack Starr investigates the death of a man crusading against violent comic books. The book was inspired in part by Dr. Fredric Wertham. In 1954, Wertham published a non-fiction book, “Seduction of the Innocent,” that accused comic books of causing juvenile delinquency. “Max has chosen a fascinating corner of history to write about and spun an irresistible whodunit against that backdrop,” said Hard Case Crime editor Charles Ardai in a news release. “No fan of comic books or of detective stories will want to miss it.” The book will be released in Feb. 2013 in paperback and e-book formats, with a cover painting by Glen Orbik.
“Seduction of the Innocent” is not only the name of Wertham’s classic comics takedown, but the name of a pick-up band that played cons throughout the ’80s with Collins on keyboards.
The book is being published by Hard Case Crime, a small mystery publisher that specializes in retro pulpish books and covers like that Glen Orbik doozy. You can see a lot more of them by poking around here.