The Black Hood #7 – Out on 11/25

The Black Hood #7Issue #7 of THE BLACK HOOD will be available one week from today — on Wednesday, Nov. 25 — and by my estimation this is the best issue of what’s already a great series.

This issue begins a new story arc (so it’s a great time to start reading even if you haven’t been following the series from the start), and writer Duane Swierczynski has crafted a terrific plot. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

He also nails the complex, emotional relationship between Greg Hettinger (the police officer who is also the vigilante known as The Black Hood) and his speech therapist, Jessie Dupree. And Greg’s self-doubt… and everything else.

The art by Michael Gaydos is amazing, of course, and I love the special Philly touches sprinkled throughout. Colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick is likewise outstanding.

Finally, I’m excited to once again have a non-fiction piece in the back of The Black Hood. This one’s about H.H. Holmes, often referred to as America’s first serial killer. He killed dozens of people in Chicago, just one in Philadelphia — but that one… well, it’s all right there in the comic.

Issue #7 will be available with two different covers, the main cover (above) and one variant (below). The Black Hood is edited by Alex Segura and published by Dark Circle Comics.

The Black Hood #7 - variant cover

Two Beautiful, Tragic Stories of Death

George Bell's ApartmentTwo newspaper articles about the deaths of people whose deaths would generally go unreported captured my attention recently.

The first profiles George Bell, of New York City. It also provides an in-depth look at the entire process of dying alone in New York City.

The second profiles Phil Schultz, of Philadelphia.

I hope both men have found peace in the afterlife.

The Lonely Death of George Bell
Written by N.R. Kleinfield, with photographs by Josh Haneroct, for The New York Times

They found him in the living room, crumpled up on the mottled carpet. The police did. Sniffing a fetid odor, a neighbor had called 911. The apartment was in north-central Queens, in an unassertive building on 79th Street in Jackson Heights.

Read the rest of this article, and this behind-the-scenes look at how it came together.

The Man Who Died Upright on a Rittenhouse Square Bench
Written by Matt Gelb for the Philadelphia Inquirer

Phil Schultz died sitting upright on a Rittenhouse Square bench that faced multimillion-dollar homes in the city he had roamed for more than a decade.

A woman found him there about 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14. Three people from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, including the Rev. Sean Mullen, hurried two blocks up Locust Street after a parishioner recognized Phil’s distinctive white, bushy beard.

Read the rest of this article.

N@B Coming Back to Philadelphia

N@B Philadelphia 2015 PosterNoir at the Bar returns to Philadelphia later this month!

We’ll be at the Misconduct Tavern, 1511 Locust St., on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. Eleven authors will read their work, with the granddaddy of N@B — Peter Rozovsky — introducing the whole thing. I’m stoked to be a part of it.

The reader list includes some of my very favorite authors (and people). It’s a tremendous lineup:

Robb Cadigan, Merry Jones, Tom Joyce, Don Lafferty, William Lashner, Jon McGoran, Alex Segura, Duane Swierczynski, Dennis Tafoya, and Wendy Tyson.

I hope to see you there!

N@B Philadelphia 2015 Poster (PDF)

N@B Philadelphia 2015 Poster

The Black Hood #6 – Out on 10/28

The Black Hood #6Issue #6 of THE BLACK HOOD releases later this month — Oct. 28, 2015, to be precise. And I’m excited to have another essay featured inside.

If you’re not familiar with THE BLACK HOOD, a bit of background: It’s a great crime comic written by Duane Swierczynski and set in Philadelphia. The protagonist, Gregory Hettinger, is a Philly cop who gets addicted to painkillers and lives a secret life as the vigilante known as The Black Hood.

Each issue includes a true-crime essay. In issue #4, Duane and editor Alex Segura published an essay I wrote about political corruption in Philadelphia. In issue #6, I’ll be back in the back of THE BLACK HOOD, this time writing about a bizarre Philadelphia murder ring which operated in the late 1930s and claimed dozens of lives — perhaps more than a hundred.

THE BLACK HOOD #6 also features art by the legendary Howard Chaykin.

It’s never too early to order THE BLACK HOOD (published by Dark Circle Comics) at your local comic shop! Issue #6 will be available with four different covers, the main cover (above) and three variants.

The Black Hood #6 Variant
The Black Hood #6 Variant
The Black Hood #6 Variant

Noir at the Bar: Saturday Night!

MuldoonThis Saturday night — that’s August 29! — I’ll be in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to read from a story I’m working on. The working title is “Muldoon,” and it’s really fun to read live.

The occasion is NOIR AT THE BAR, hosted by the inimitable Jen Conley. We’ll be at Tumulty’s Pub, 361 George St., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

There’s no cover charge, so come on out and listen to me read — but, even better, listen to hard-hitting stories by the likes of Scott Adlerberg, Ed Aymar, Angel Colón, Bruce Harris, Jeff Markowitz, Thomas Pluck, Chuck Regan, Peter Rozovsky, and Albert Tucher!

New Brunswick. Saturday night. See you there! (Click on the poster below for all the details.)

Noir at the Bar New Jersey - 29 Aug 2015

Noir at the Bar Returning to NJ

Noir at the Bar is returning to New Jersey!

On Aug. 29, 2015, writers will gather at Tumulty’s Pub in New Brunswick for a great night of readings. I’m thrilled to be a part of it, and I hope to see you there.

The poster below has all the details…

Noir at the Bar New Jersey - 29 Aug 2015

Jeanne Scoggins Arneson

Lambeau FieldJeanne (nee Scoggins) Arneson, 77, died on July 12, 2015, less than three months after the passing of her devoted husband of 46 years, James Craig Arneson. Jeanne had suffered a relatively mild stroke on April 22, but there’s no doubt the cause of death was a broken heart.

Jeanne was a force to be reckoned with. No one who met her will ever forget her. She was fiercely loyal to her husband, children, and grandchildren, to whom she exhibited a deep and inexhaustible love.

Born in Asheville, North Carolina, on September 17, 1937, Jeanne grew up in the small town of Barnardsville. As a young girl, she loved to sit on the porch swing and play with her dolls. She attended Barnardsville Baptist Church and played sports in school. She was especially fond of basketball. After her family moved to Greensboro, Jeanne graduated from Greensboro Senior High School. She graduated from Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

She worked for Pilot Life Insurance Company, Duke University Hospital, and Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem (now Wake Forest Baptist Health). After meeting Jim and moving to Pennsylvania, she worked for St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church in Devon, Levin Luminais Eye Associates in Thorndale, and Harrison House in Christiana. Eventually, she returned to school to earn a nursing degree and held several nursing jobs through the years.

Like her father, Hubert, Jeanne was a voracious reader and always one of the local library’s best customers. She also loved crossword puzzles. She was an enthusiastic sports fan, particularly of ACC college basketball. She adopted Jim’s love of the Green Bay Packers and especially favored Clay Matthews. She was also a part-owner of the team.

Jeanne is survived by three daughters, Robin Gattis, Sherri Arneson, and Lisa Williamson; a son, Erik Arneson; five grandchildren, Linsey Wheeler, Craig Gattis, Payton Willamson, Keltie Williamson, and Kayden Williamson; and a brother, Jack Scoggins. They all miss her desperately but look forward to being reunited with her in heaven.

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to your local SPCA (Jim and Jeanne rescued many dogs through the years), St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Leukemia Foundation, or the charity of your choice.

Mom was awesome.