Beginning this December, Image Comics is inviting readers to enter the dangerous and exotic world of crime-drenched 1950s Hawaii with an all-new, three-issue miniseries entitled HAWAIIAN DICK: BYRD OF PARADISE.
Originally pitched as a cross between the X-Files and the Rockford Files in a film noir version of 1950s Hawaii, the series opens as Byrd, a former big city detective hiding from his troubles in 1953 Hawaii, is recruited to track down a stolen car. In the process of investigation, Byrd and his partner, detective Mo Kalama, stumble upon a complicated kidnapping plot. Before the case is solved, though, the two have to contend with an eccentric drug lord and his scheming henchmen, the psychic aunt of two island beauties, swank tiki lounges, an exotic bar girl, a high speed chase along the scenic Hawaiian coast, the mysterious Night Marchers of the Pali Highway, and the murdered kidnapping victim, returned from the dead.
Written by B. Clay Moore with lush artwork by newcomer Steven Griffin,HAWAIIAN DICK is a decidedly different type of crime comic owing more to its writer's personal interests than what is typically expected from the crime genre.
"I began to develop HAWAIIAN DICK with the notion of tossing all the things I really dig about pop culture into one big mix," explained Moore. "That included '50s style and atmosphere, film noir, swank tiki/cocktail culture and, of course, zombies. I then centered on Hawaii in the '50s, and realized the story possibilities were almost endless, once I factored in the rich folklore and mythology of the Islands. And how much cooler can it get than 1950s Hawaii?"
Moore initially intended to collaborate with artist J. Bone (Alison Dare, Jingle Belle, Spider-Man: Tangled Web) on the series, but Bone had to bow out due to scheduling conflicts. Within days of putting out the call for a new artist, though, samples from Steven Griffin showed up in Moore's email box. After that, it took but a single-page try-out job for Moore to realize he had encountered a genuinely rare talent.
"Once people get a look at Steven's artwork, they're going to be blownaway," proclaimed an enthusiastic Moore. "There's nothing quite like it in comics, to my mind. The book became much more interesting when Steven came on board. He's able to capture exactly what I'm looking for and is willing to do the research necessary to absolutely nail the details. I think we really click together, despite the fact that we're roughly half a million miles away from each other."
Griffin lives in Perth, Australia, where he has done extensive workdeveloping Websites, flash animation films and online comic strips; Moore is a freelance writer from Kansas City whose previous credits include a stint co-editing Love in Tights for Slave Labor Graphics, along with J. Torres (Jason and the Argobots, Alison Dare, Sidekicks, etc.).
HAWAIIAN DICK: BYRD OF PARADISE #1 will be available for order in theOctober issue of Diamond Previews and will arrive in stores in December2002.