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SAN DIEGO, DAY ZERO: Judd Winick Gets Criminal in ‘Caper’

by  in Comic News Comment

Warning: Adult language in the following story.


On the surface, Judd
Winick
seems like such a nice young man. He came off as an All-American
kid on “The
Real World
.” He’s a multiple Eisner award nominee, including for the
heartfelt “Pedro and Me,” which tells the story of his friendship with
fellow Real World alumnus Pedro Zamora whose battle with AIDS eventually
claimed his life. He’s helped explore both prejudice and tolerance in the
pages of DC Comics
“Green Lantern.”

But apparently, he doesn’t get to say the f-word enough in print, although his next DC Comics project should help in that regard.

“‘Caper’ is a 12 issue creator owned maxi series that follows a thin
familial line over three time periods,” Winick told CBR News last wee.
“These are three separate stories, four issues a piece, each set in a
different time period and each revolving around a particular crime oriented
adventure.

“The first is ‘Market Street,’ drawn by ‘Pop Gun War’s’ Farrel
Dalrymple. It’s the story of two brothers, hit men in the Jewish mob in
turn of the century San Francisco. Their boss, who also raised them like
sons, has made a move that has enraged the brothers. Now they want to kill
him. But no one can know they’re gonna do it.

“The second is called ‘Hollywood Treatment’ and is being drawn by John
Severin. Taking place in 1970s Hollywood we meet a Hollywood attorney. If
an actor gets busted for a fight, drugs, or some scandal, she’s the lawyer
who’ll get you off — the attorney to the stars. Her best friends are
Hollywood’s most celebrated couple. He’s the most popular actor on the
planet, and she’s probably the more successful actress. Then one of them
turns up dead. The other looks guilty. Guess who is defending the accused?
It’s the crime of the century and the whole world is watching.

“The final [story] is called ‘On Ice’ and drawn by Tom Fowler. This one
is a comedy. This is the tale of two idiots. One delivers organs for
transplant, the other is his moron buddy who comes along for the ride. On a
delivery when they’re supposed to be dropping off a pair of eyes, they find
that they’ve got a severed hand instead. Then a whole bunch of people try
to kill them.”

With what are, apparently, three distinct stories, the traditional route
the comic industry would take is three separate miniseries, each with their
own lucrative #1 issues and their own trade paperbacks. So why roll them
all into one series this time?

“Despite the fact that it’s three separate stories and artists, it’s ONE
big story that splits into three very different directions. And part of me
wants to prove that anthologies CAN work in comics.”

Winick is known for his superhero comics and humor comics, but while he
doesn’t intend to give those up, there’s a certain visceral thrill to crime
stories that he’s enjoying.

“I LOVE crime stories. LOVE THEM. I was itching to do some for a very
long time. Sometimes writing the guys in tights isn’t the same as a few
guys with guns who scream ‘FUCK’ a lot. I’ve had all three of these stories
rolling around in my melon for awhile. I’m thrilled that I finally get to
do them.

“This could easily turn out to be some of the best work I’ve ever done.
I was taken aback at the reaction from DC — very surprised and
enthusiastic. I should have realized that none of them have seen me do this
sort of storytelling. I love crime, I love foul language, I love a good
mystery, it’s a strong set of characters and I’m LOVING it.

“The team of artists are so different and all power houses.”