Ed Brisson and Lisandro Estherren are teaming up for a brand-new, creator-owned crime series called Catch and Release: A Murdy Book Story.
Ed Brisson and artist Lisandro Estherren are teaming up for a brand-new creator-owned crime graphic novel, Catch And Release: A Murder Mystery. The stand-alone story will see Brisson tell a new story in his Murder Book series and will feature letters from Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou and is edited by Nate Cosby.
Brisson previously worked on Murder Book, with the original anthology launching back in 2015. Brisson has since worked with Marvel on Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, and X-Force. Meanwhile, Estherren is best known for working on Image Comics’ Redneck. The duo last worked together on Boom Studios’ The Last Contract. The series will follow the lives of different people who’s lived are connected in ways they don’t even realize. Here’s the official synopsis of the project.
“Murder Book” is a term used by detectives to refer to a case file on a homicide investigation, and this graphic novel tells the tale of two lives intertwined: A student, looking for a new set of wheels to take him to his new life on the West Coast. A man desperate for money, under the gun of eviction, steals a car and comes up with a scheme to sell it not once, but multiple times. Their lives clash and one crime leads to others as one man seeks to free himself of burden and another of guilt.
We spoke to Brisson about the upcoming graphic novel and how it came to be.
What’s It like to return to doing a new crime theme project?
EB: It feels good. Really, really good.
This has been a bit of a tough year, made even tougher by the obvious chaos that Covid has been reigning down on everyone’s lives. Even before, I felt a little adrift and wanted to take some time to get back projects that I love writing. I needed to center myself.
I’ve always been drawn to crime fiction and have already written plenty of crime comics in the past (The Violent, Murder Book, The Last Contract, Sons of Anarchy). It’s something I thought I’d always do, but finding that balance between work-for-hire comics and personal projects is tougher than I ever would have thought.
So, with the slowdown (again, due to friggin’ Covid), I wanted to make sure that I took the opportunity to get back to creator-owned work. I had the window and wasn’t going to miss it.
This book is set in Halifax, Nova Scotia, why was it important to include that setting?
EB: Growing up, every comic or book I read, every tv show or movie I watched, was set in the US. Being Canadian, it felt like we didn’t exist — except to sometime pop up as the butt of a joke.
Since I started writing, I really wanted to focus on Canadian settings and dive into what makes us unique — and often times, how we’re really not that different from our neighbours to the south. There have been eight million stories about New York, I don’t need to add another.
When Adam Gorham and I did The Violent, we got a lot of emails from American readers who were shocked to find out that crime could exist in Vancouver. There’s an idyllic perception of life up here that we all know is not the case. Vancouver struggles with high levels of drug addiction and homelessness, none of which is helped by the incredibly high cost of living. In a lot of ways, the story is one that could only have been set in Vancouver at the time.
I left Vancouver in 2016 and, after a brief pitstop in Kelowna, BC, made my way out to Halifax. A city I’ve wanted to live in since the 90s. Since I’m living here in Halifax now, I wanted to move the focus of my stories to this city and lean into what makes it unique from other Canadian cities. There are plenty of locations that locals will recognize and donairs get a mention or two.
Marvel has that old saying about how their books are about the “world outside your window” and I guess, for me, when I write it almost always is about the world outside my own window, which is Halifax.
How excited are you to work with Lisandro again? How does his art compliment this story?
EB: Very. Lisandro and I worked on The Last Contract for Boom Studios nearly five years ago and have been looking for any excuse to team up again. We get along well and both have very similar sensibilities when it comes to art and story.
Lisandro’s art has got this incredible European sensibility that I love so much. He inkwashes all his work and so it almost feels as each panel is a painting. He knows how to let a scene breathe and gives and incredible sense of scale to his settings. He’s also got this slightly cartoony edge to his work that I think causes the intense bursts of violence to hit that much harder. On the flip side, his character acting is so good that you can literally feel the weight of the world on the shoulders of our protagonist throughout the story.
I had Lisandro in mind when writing this and can’t imagine anyone else doing it.
Check out Catch and Release: A Murder Book Story designs and in-progress pages below.
Catch and Release: A Murder Book Story will be published as a deluxe hardcover and digital book in 2021, and can exclusively be found on Kickstarter. The campaign is now live!
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