You might recall that one of the stand-outs from Image’s solicitations for July was Satellite Sam, a sexy new series from the all-star team of Matt Fraction (Hawkeye) and Howard Chaykin (American Flagg, Black Kiss). A new press release on Image’s site has given us a few more details about this fascinating new book.
Debuting in July, Image describes the intriguing set-up for the series:
In 1951, Carlyle Bishop, the star of the beloved serial “Satellite Sam” turns up dead in a filthy flophouse. Carlyle’s son Michael has a hunch that his father’s death was anything but natural, but the only clue is a box full of photographs of women in various states of undress — and Mike can’t bring himself to stay sober long enough to make any sense of it.
Satellite Sam joins a number of books that directly explore the interplay between sex, death and drama, including Image Comics’ own Sex and Saga. The parallels between the stylised world of comic books, and the manufactured sheen of 1950s television, are quite apt. Both leaned heavily against the notion of sex and sexuality, but rarely did they cross over into it overtly. Indeed, the creators see this as a “chance to tell a murder mystery while simultaneously divesting the 1950s of its mantle of moral purity”.
“It’s a detective story, a history of television, and a record of addiction, sex, and depravity during a time when the antiseptic shine off Ozzie and Harriet obscure what was really happening in the world. And these are just a few of the many joys that come from telling a story about television while it was being invented as a mass medium in New York City.”
The press goes on to speak of the amount of research that went into not only that era of television, but of New York City itself. Chaykin speaks of “feeling the city’s ghosts, its lost and found architecture”, and the dichotomy between the fantasy lives of kinescope actors and their complex lives off-screen. Some of that research can be found on the engaging tumblr set up specifically for Satellite Sam.
From what we’re hearing, it certainly sounds as though it has a gritty, neo-noir, James Ellroy kind of feel to it. The black and white art in the book will no doubt aid that feeling.
Satellite Sam will debut in stores on 3 July 2013 from Image Comics. Get those preorders in now or you’ll have to wait for the inevitable reprint.