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

Warning: Adult language in the following story.

On the surface, JuddWinick seems like such a nice young man. He came off as an All-Americankid on "TheReal World." He's a multiple Eisner award nominee, including for theheartfelt "Pedro and Me," which tells the story of his friendship withfellow Real World alumnus Pedro Zamora whose battle with AIDS eventuallyclaimed his life. He's helped explore both prejudice and tolerance in thepages 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 thinfamilial line over three time periods," Winick told CBR News last wee."These are three separate stories, four issues a piece, each set in adifferent time period and each revolving around a particular crime orientedadventure.

"The first is 'Market Street,' drawn by 'Pop Gun War's' FarrelDalrymple. It's the story of two brothers, hit men in the Jewish mob inturn of the century San Francisco. Their boss, who also raised them likesons, has made a move that has enraged the brothers. Now they want to killhim. But no one can know they're gonna do it.

"The second is called 'Hollywood Treatment' and is being drawn by JohnSeverin. Taking place in 1970s Hollywood we meet a Hollywood attorney. Ifan actor gets busted for a fight, drugs, or some scandal, she's the lawyerwho'll get you off -- the attorney to the stars. Her best friends areHollywood's most celebrated couple. He's the most popular actor on theplanet, and she's probably the more successful actress. Then one of themturns 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 oneis a comedy. This is the tale of two idiots. One delivers organs fortransplant, the other is his moron buddy who comes along for the ride. On adelivery when they're supposed to be dropping off a pair of eyes, they findthat they've got a severed hand instead. Then a whole bunch of people tryto kill them."

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

"Despite the fact that it's three separate stories and artists, it's ONEbig story that splits into three very different directions. And part of mewants to prove that anthologies CAN work in comics."

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

"I LOVE crime stories. LOVE THEM. I was itching to do some for a verylong time. Sometimes writing the guys in tights isn't the same as a fewguys with guns who scream 'FUCK' a lot. I've had all three of these storiesrolling around in my melon for awhile. I'm thrilled that I finally get todo 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 andenthusiastic. I should have realized that none of them have seen me do thissort of storytelling. I love crime, I love foul language, I love a goodmystery, it's a strong set of characters and I'm LOVING it.

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

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