Peepland
Sink into this sinful semi-autobiographical neo-noir crime comic with a punk rock edge!A high-octane crime yarn set in the seedy Times Square peep booths of 1980s New YorkWhen a chance encounter for Peepbooth worker Roxy Bell leads to the brutal murder of a public access pornographer, the erotic performer and her punk rock ex-partner Nick Zero soon find themselves under fire from criminals, cops, and the city elite, as they begin to untangle a complex web of corruption leading right to city hall.

Peepland Details

TitlePeepland
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 1st, 2017
PublisherTitan Comics
ISBN1785851195
ISBN-139781785851193
Number of pages128 pages
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Mystery, Crime, Noir, Comics

Peepland Review

  • Kemper
    June 16, 2017
    If you’re an adult who reads comics then you probably know at least one person who gives you grief about it. “Oh, you still read funny books? How old are you? Ten?” This still happens even after Hollywood is dominated by superheroes, and there have been about thirty years worth of feature articles about how comics aren’t just for kids anymore. If you’ve got one of those people in your life just hand them a copy of Peepland, and then watch with satisfaction as their goddamn heads explode.The stor If you’re an adult who reads comics then you probably know at least one person who gives you grief about it. “Oh, you still read funny books? How old are you? Ten?” This still happens even after Hollywood is dominated by superheroes, and there have been about thirty years worth of feature articles about how comics aren’t just for kids anymore. If you’ve got one of those people in your life just hand them a copy of Peepland, and then watch with satisfaction as their goddamn heads explode.The story revolves around the Times Square sex trade in 1986 when a porn producer is on the run because he has a video tape that implicates a rich kid in a shocking crime. The producer stashes the tape in the peep show booth where Roxy is working, and after he’s murdered she retrieves it. This kicks off a chain of events that impacts a variety of people like the sex workers, crooked cops, thugs, a punk rocker, an innocent kid accused of a crime, and a shitbag real estate developer with a ridiculous hairstyle. This is one the new series of comics that Hard Case Crime has started doing, and the results are exactly what you’d expect from a company with that name. It’s a gritty noir tale that doesn’t skimp on bloody violence, and of course with a story set in this world there’s plenty of sex and nudity, too. What’s refreshing is that this doesn’t veer into the territory of a cartoon blood bath with tough guy dialogue like a Sin City. This reads like a story happening in a real time and place with characters that you can legitimately sympathize with or hate. There’s also a very matter-of-fact nature to the portrayal of the sex trade that comes from co-writer Christa Faust’s background as a peep show worker, and her afterward makes it clear that this was in part a love letter to a sleazy Times Square that doesn’t exist anymore. The artwork fits the tone of the story and gives you the vibe of it in the same way that a great ‘70s crime movie like The French Connection can make you feel like you’re walking the streets of New York back then.A brief personal story about how I met the authors Christa Faust and Gary Phillips: (I’ve recounted this once before in review of Choke Hold.) Back in 2011 at Bouchercon in St. Louis I was talking to Mr. Phillips when Ms. Faust walked up and asked him if he was going to come to her next panel on sports in crime fiction. She said that they were going to talk a lot about boxing, mixed martial arts, and wrestling in particular, and being a smart ass I asked if there would be any actual wrestling going on. Without missing a beat she launched into an extended pro wrestler style spiel about how she was gonna get Gary Phillips in the ring and hurt him bad. It was a very funny moment, but I wish I’d known then that the two of them would partner up to write a crime comic this good so that I could have thanked them for it in advance.
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  • HFK
    June 28, 2017
    Peepland was one of my most anticipated comic books for the year 2017, and I was so happy when the full volume was published as the price for the single issues was too heavy to pick them up one by one. It kind of feels sucky suck to end up giving the usual three stars as it is an indication of me having too high expectations that did not meet with the harsh, a little disappointing reality. Set in New York's Time Square in the late 80's, you are pretty much knowing you are getting a lot of deprav Peepland was one of my most anticipated comic books for the year 2017, and I was so happy when the full volume was published as the price for the single issues was too heavy to pick them up one by one. It kind of feels sucky suck to end up giving the usual three stars as it is an indication of me having too high expectations that did not meet with the harsh, a little disappointing reality. Set in New York's Time Square in the late 80's, you are pretty much knowing you are getting a lot of depravity, sleaziness, nastiness in a form of everything sexual, and that definitely is something Peepland is able to deliver to the fullest. It is a lot about porn, sex, prostitution, peep-shows and cum stained glass that gives a trashcan oriented surroundings with a lot of heroin filled hypes hanging out of everyone's arms. A long before Girls Gone Wild came along, porn was often made by a small groups that walked through the streets, suggesting and often paying for ordinary people to do naughty things in front of the camera, and the naughty things they did do to the fullest. That is a starting point of Peepland's initial plot that focuses on a porny tape that caught something much more sinister than just a perky boobs being played with. Being a fast paced criminal act, there is a lot of disorganization among introducing too many characters and scenes that are eventually tied together with a dark and depressive conclusion. There is only one kind of happy ending in sight, the kind you get inside massage parlors that offer something else than a release to your tight shoulder muscles, and the rest is what should be when dwelling inside a mud of obscene; brutal at its best.The art is good, but the color world could have been less bright and perhaps less rich when presenting itself. The cover art again is not just beautiful but sexy, well detailed and a real candy for your eyes to enjoy.I wish Peepland would have felt complete and being on tune, but unfortunately it only worked perfectly in half of the time, when the other half was less impressive and memorable. I would still recommend to people who enjoy themselves some historical trips in the land of porn, and are interested in human kinkiness.
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  • Richard
    December 27, 2016
    ★★★★1/2Peepland is the best of the graphic novels that Hard Case Crime has released so far as part of their new line of hard-boiled crime comic books. The book is written by acclaimed crime authors Christa Faust and Gary Phillips, and the story was spawned by Faust's experiences in her past career working in the New York City peep booths back in the day. It takes place in 1986 NYC and is about Roxy Bell, a peepshow artist working a booth at Peepland in Manhattan, who, after agreeing to stash a V ★★★★1/2Peepland is the best of the graphic novels that Hard Case Crime has released so far as part of their new line of hard-boiled crime comic books. The book is written by acclaimed crime authors Christa Faust and Gary Phillips, and the story was spawned by Faust's experiences in her past career working in the New York City peep booths back in the day. It takes place in 1986 NYC and is about Roxy Bell, a peepshow artist working a booth at Peepland in Manhattan, who, after agreeing to stash a VHS tape for pornographer Dirty Dick, finds herself caught in a conspiracy that turns increasingly more dangerous every day.This book does such a great job of dropping you into the world of pre-Guiliani 80's Manhattan (filled with porno theaters, pawn shops, and graffiti) and the people who roam the island. In their own way, Faust and Phillips touch a lot on what was going on in the society in that era as well, like the Central Park Five or the AIDS epidemic. The art by Andrea Camerini is effective and playful, with the saturated colors that we've come to expect from 80's stories. There seems to be a real command of the story here. It's confident, well-structured, and a bit addicting actually. I found myself really caring about the characters in a very short amount of time and wanted to see where their story went. I loved the way the story developed in a way that all the lives surrounding Peepland were affected by this interconnecting plot. The dialogue is great, and each character was memorable and efficiently developed. And most important, despite its downbeat ending, the book is lots of fun to read. You can really feel the passion behind it all. By combining Faust's knowledge of the time and place from her past life, Gary Phillips's experience of writing for comic books, and both of their solid crime fiction sensibilities, Hard Case Crime rocked it with this great release!
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  • Mya Alexice
    June 17, 2017
    Review on ComicsVerse coming soon! But in my eyes, nearly perfect.
  • Craig Childs
    July 18, 2017
    Peepland is the best of the Hard Case Crime graphic novels to date. Roxy works as a showgirl in a seedy peepshow booth on Times Square in 1986. She gets ensnared in a double murder investigation when a local pornographer passes her a videocassette that contains evidence of a girl’s death, shortly before being killed himself. The plot is bleak and bloody noir, as befits any project from this publisher. Do not expect any happy endings. Those who are not dead or dying by the final panel probably wi Peepland is the best of the Hard Case Crime graphic novels to date. Roxy works as a showgirl in a seedy peepshow booth on Times Square in 1986. She gets ensnared in a double murder investigation when a local pornographer passes her a videocassette that contains evidence of a girl’s death, shortly before being killed himself. The plot is bleak and bloody noir, as befits any project from this publisher. Do not expect any happy endings. Those who are not dead or dying by the final panel probably wish they were. Some of the art is risqué, but unlike the other HCC series, it does not feel designed to titillate or exploit. If anything, it underscores the hardscrabble conditions of this world.The unique aspect of this work is the depiction of how Roxy copes with a life that most people would find demeaning. Much of the story is an indictment of how sex workers are treated (and mistreated) in our society, particularly those of non-heterosexual persuasion. In her afterward, co-author Christa Faust explains she once worked in a peepshow booth, and she says the job was “neither as sexy as some might like to imagine or as degrading as others claim.” It was, in fact, “often absurd and occasionally boring.” Much research shows the majority of female sex workers (prostitutes, exotic dancers, adult entertainers, etc.) are victims who were trafficked into that life by a man at some point. This was not the case in Peepland. One character chose the life due to drug addiction, another because it was the only way to support her child. Roxy seems to have gravitated to the peepshow because it offered a non-judgmental subculture that allowed her to express her bisexuality. There are nice subtle character touches throughout the book like, for example, how Roxy wears a wig to hide her blonde spiky hair in the booth, so as to preserve a line of demarcation between her working life and her personal life. I did have one complaint about the book. There were a lot of characters to follow which is not always easy to do in a comic book. I found myself wishing several times this were a traditional novel so each character could be explored more adequately. The background of one minor character in particular--Ti-mons, the surly African immigrant janitor--gets short thrift even though it is a pivotal plot point in the final scenes.
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  • Jason Brown (Toastx2)
    June 30, 2017
    The full collected mini series of Peepland is now available in Graphic Novel format.I have read a number of Graphics lately, but Peepland is by far my favorite of the bunch. The imagery is solid, dark, and centric to the 80's post-punk attitude and styling. Pop culture references, music, heavy dependency on tape media, no cell phones but at least one beeper was witnessed. A tape being eaten by a VHS machine.. Ahh the nostalgia.The text and story in Peepland was pretty amazing. It dabbles in the The full collected mini series of Peepland is now available in Graphic Novel format.I have read a number of Graphics lately, but Peepland is by far my favorite of the bunch. The imagery is solid, dark, and centric to the 80's post-punk attitude and styling. Pop culture references, music, heavy dependency on tape media, no cell phones but at least one beeper was witnessed. A tape being eaten by a VHS machine.. Ahh the nostalgia.The text and story in Peepland was pretty amazing. It dabbles in the dark background of sex workers, but branches off to poverty, racial tensions, and features a character who is a prominent NYC realestate mogul (not named Trump, but sure reminds of him). Set in Times Square, 1986, Peep follows an erotic dancer who witnesses some of the last living moments for a sleezy patron, Dick Durbin. Sweating and afraid, Dick bursts into Roxanne Bell's showroom booth and hides a VHS tape inside a chair cushion. He leaves then gets pushed infront of a train.What was on the tape? Just Durbin and random women on the street which deny his advances. Just one woman who is visiting NYC for the first time and decides to show her boobs to a stranger to be daring for once in her life. Just the horrified look on her face as his camera focuses in on a young woman, a prep school student in the background being assaulted and murdered. Just a reason to murder a lot more people in a cover up .This Hard Case Crime release is highly suggested. Clocking in at 121 pages (not counting author after thoughts), every page is enjoyable.-------I must disclose, much as a man in a peepshow must insert coins to enjoy the view, that this Graphic Novel was provided for review purposes by the Publisher. If it was crap, I would tell you, but as a general rule, if it were crap I wouldn't spend time finishing nor reviewing.I did finish though, so it was good. Finishing in context of a peep show review. Heh.
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  • Stefan Fergus
    June 18, 2017
    Well, that was relentlessly grim and depressing. But pretty well done.
  • TJ Shelby
    July 10, 2017
    Hard-core crime roller coaster.
  • Chandra
    July 17, 2017
    Gritty, ugly and simultaneously fascinating like the New York City of 1986 it depicts.
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