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Friday - September 30, 2011

So back in the mid 1990s I got involved with a project called noir: The Film Noir Roleplaying Game. It was meant to be a very open roleplaying system that allowed for a cinematic type of game to be run. The game itself turned out okay. My relationship with most of the people involved didn't. I stopped watching a lot of the old black and white crime films that I loved and went into a sort of anti-noir phase. The stress of making the game had soured me to the genre that I had once loved. But the experience itself was hugely valuable and I'd do it again in a minute. But this time it would get copyedited more.

Here's the cover art from noir by the great Howard Chaykin. While talking to him on the phone he told me that I had a voice like a child. I've been trying to deepen my voice ever since.

A few years back I started writing fiction again and found myself settling back into my old stomping grounds. I started a cooperative piece called The Dogfight with Chad Eagleton and it really empowered me to write more. The great thing about writing on the internet is that I immediately began to find like minded folks who were often more passionate than me when it came to creating crime fiction. One of these passionate bastards is Jimmy Callaway.

When Jimmy asked me for some artwork for the cover of Laura Robert's Black Heart Magazine that he was guest editing I said "heck yeah" and started brainstorming ideas for a cover. The thing I kept coming back to was the Saturday night special, a small and cheap handgun that was often used in drunken crimes of passion. The basic set up of a good noir story is a sucker who makes one mistake and then follows a predestined spiral to the bottom. I'm pretty sure that Saturday night specials sent a lot of suckers down that particular track.



The final piece is called The Life and Deaths of a Saturday Night Special. Pick up a downloadable copy of the noir issue of Black Heart here.

And finally I have five new illustrations in a new book published by Alec Cizak. Pulp Modern is one class production. From the stunning cover by Jeremy Selzer (see below) to stories by Lawrence Block and other crime fiction masters, Pulp Modern is a book well worth adding to your collection. Pick up a copy through CreateSpace or soon through Amazon.



Although I write more than crime fiction I'm always drawn back to it since it allows me to write characters that don't live by normal constraints or laws. Although I loathe this lawlessness in real life I enjoy it in fiction because it allows me to create seemingly real world scenarios that have the inherent chaos of dreams. Thanks to Chad, Jimmy, Laura, Alec, and the other groovy people that I've become acquainted with, I'm now looking forward to writing and illustrating more of these dark and twisted worlds.

~Brian S. Roe


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