I'm a big noir head. Films noir, novels noir, comics noir, sci-fi noir, neo-noir, you name it, I'm interested. There's been a big resurgence of noir appreciation over the past several years, and the comic book industry has become a real hotbed for the best of the best noir on the market (see 100 Bullets, Scalped, Criminal, and the unfinished Stray Bullets).
Which is I'm so hyped for Stumptown, an upcoming series written by Greg Rucka (co-writer of an excellent superhero/noir hybrid called Gotham Central, a series told from the perspective of the detective unit in Batman's Gotham City). And it's a private detective story, the most classic archetype in all of noir fiction, second only to the femme fatale.
The indie comic publisher, Oni Press, has come up with some very cool little ways to market the series. First of all there's this fake yellow pages entry:
Check out some of the names up there, too. Every single one of them is a reference to famous (or obscure) private detective character or agency, whether from books or film. Of course you have Spade & Archer, as in Sam Spade from The Maltese Falcon. And also P. Marlowe, as in Philip Marlowe from The Big Sleep. But then he's even included Valiant & Valiant. The detective agency from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Awesome.
This is definitely niche marketing, but I'll be damned if they don't have their target audience - me - in the palm of their hand. I'm very anxious to get my hands on this series. And it's a female protagonist, if you'll notice. Not many girl P.I.'s out there. This will be a treat.
Oh, and the Stumptown website? Well, it doesn't exist, but if you go there, you'll see this: