Dark Horse Comics’ PR department issued a press release today announcing Dead Inside, a new crime fiction miniseries by writer John Arcudi. Arcudi has previously worked on a host of different titles, most prominently B. P. R. D., another Dark Horse book. Artist Toni Fejzula, known for his work on Cthulhu, Veil, and Lobster Johnson: The Glass Mantis, joins Arcudi on the new series, and I’m wondering if Dead Inside will include any supernatural or paranormal elements as the story unfolds. These two guys certainly have a lot of familiarity with that genre, so it wouldn’t be surprising.
Even without supernatural elements, Dead Inside sounds like an intriguing story. The series is set in Mariposa County, CA, and stars Detective Linda Caruso of the Sherriff’s Office Jail Crimes Division. While many of Det. Caruso’s cases prove open-and-shut, since the crimes take place in prisons and have limited suspect pools, her latest investigation promises to be a lot harder to crack.
While details are still under wraps, a snippet of the first issue was provided with the press release, revealing that Det. Caruso’s case involves multiple victims, and that the prison’s security hardware isn’t up-to-snuff. These technological and funding shortfalls will likely hinder the investigation, even beyond the taciturn and uncooperative pool of witnesses and suspects the good detective is likely to be dealing with.
Fejzula’s art for Dead Inside has a gritty, pulp style to it. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I usually hate to describe comics as “gritty”, but the crime fiction genre is a rare exception – the visuals for these stories should be dark and murky, otherwise they throw off the whole tone of the book. While the art shown in the excerpt isn’t my favorite, I certainly don’t have any complaints about it, either. I’m very interested to see how Fejzula’s style sets the mood for the larger story. I especially love what I assume is the cover for issue one – seeing it instantly made me want to know more.
Considering the attention that real-world prisons are getting lately (and rightly so), Dead Inside is extremely relevant to current events. Arcudi, despite his hesitance to write crime fiction in the past, stated “The more I read about jail crimes investigations, the more I knew I had to tell this story.”
That has me wondering if a particular real-world investigation served as his inspiration for Dead Inside, and whether it will be possible to identify that bit of reality within the book’s story arc. Even if there isn’t a specific event that gave Arcudi the idea for his most recent endeavor, I’m pretty curious to see where it goes.
While there is, sadly, little chance of early parole, Dead Inside has a release date of December 21st, 2016, so we won’t have to wait long to dig into this intriguing little mystery.
What do you think? Are you interested in this miniseries? Let me know in the comments!