SAN DIEGO -- Ape Entertainment invites you to take a midnight stroll down the rain-slick streets of Port Nocturne, where the bitter odor of gunpowder hangs in the air like cheap perfume, where every dark alley comes to a dead end, enemy and ally are but temporary distinctions, and justice is... blonde.
Writer Christopher Mills (Gravedigger: The Scavengers) and veteran comics artist Joe Staton (E-Man, Green Lantern, Scooby Doo) are pleased to announce that they have signed with Ape Entertainment to produce a four-issue, full- color miniseries based on their popular webcomic, Femme Noir.
The series, entitled Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries, is composed of four, standalone, 28 page stories, revolving around a mysterious, unnamed woman in a cobalt blue trenchcoat and black fishnet stockings as she fights crime and solves mysteries in a perpetually night-shrouded metropolis.
"The Femme Noir series is my unabashed valentine to the crime fiction genre," says Mills. "All the conventions of the genre - and the cliches - are happily and enthusiastically embraced. It's an amalgamation of 40's Poverty Row B-movies, Golden and Silver Age comics, old radio shows, pulp stories... a little bit of everything I love in Pop Culture, old and new."
"The webcomic ran off and on for over five years, and is now archived at http://www.comicspace.com/femme_noir/, where the stories can still be read for free," Mills continues. "These strips have been featured on several websites -- including Kevin Smith's Movie Poop Shoot, Komikwerks, and Thrilling Detective -- and were singled out for praise by USA Today."
The webcomic version of Femme Noir has been very well received by readers and critics. Andrea Speed of Comixtreme commented that: "(Femme Noir is) ...a serious comic, but serious fun, of a kind you don't see anymore on the shelves... giving the reader dark mysteries and action with a feminist and contemporary twist on a retro backdrop..." while Tonya Crawford of Broken Frontier said: "For those who love old movies, radio shows, pulps, or simply crime & detective dramas ... A city on the edge of darkness has an angel of hard justice."
The miniseries -- which is entirely new material and does not reprint any of the comics produced for the web -- is inked by Horacio Ottolini and Mark Stegbauer, with colors by Melissa Kaercher. In addition to covers by Staton and digital painter Alfredo Lopez, Jr., the series will feature variant covers by guest artists Brian Bolland, Phil Hester, Matt Haley and Mike Wieringo.
Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries will be published by Ape Entertainment in early 2008.
Femme Noir was created and is written by Christopher Mills, whose other comics credits include scripting a year's worth of Leonard Nimoy's Primortals for Tekno.Comix in the mid-90's; and writing, editing and co-publishing the independent horror series Shadow House. More recently, he was the writer of the highly-acclaimed crime one-shot, Gravedigger: The Scavengers, which was illustrated by artist Rick Burchett, published by Rorschach Entertainment and named "Best One-shot (Adult)" comic of 2004 by Alan David Doane of Comic Book Galaxy, and "Best Crime Noir" comic of 2004 by Andrea Speed of Comixtreme. Other credits include the graphic novel The Night Driver, which he adapted from a screenplay by John Cork, and a forthcoming Kolchak: The Night Stalker miniseries for Moonstone Books. His website is http:// www.atomicpulp.com.
Femme Noir is illustrated by Eisner and Inkpot Award-winning artist Joe Staton, whose numerous credits include such major Marvel & DC characters as the Hulk, Green Lantern, Guy Gardner, Batman, The Huntress, Plastic Man, Scooby Doo, and many others. He illustrated the Paradox Press graphic novel Family Man (written by Jerome Charyn) and is the co-creator (with Nicola Cuti) of the Charlton Comics superhero E-Man and private eye Michael Mauser, as well as DC's Huntress and The Omega Men. In 1998, he received an Eisner award for his work on World's Finest: The Superman-Batman Adventure.