Hard Case Crime plans February 2013 ‘Seduction’

Hard Case Crime seems to have settled comfortably into its new home at Titan Books, where it continues to publish some of the most intriguing and exciting titles out there for lovers of crime fiction. This week, HCC announced they will continue their long and fruitful relationship with author Max Allan Collins by publishing their eighth book together, Seduction of the Innocent.

The title may sound familiar; it’s also the title of the infamous 1954 tome by Dr. Frederic Wertham, in which the good doctor laid the blame for the “corruption” of America’s youth squarely at the door of comic book publishers – particularly publishers of violent horror comics like EC Comics. Collins’ tale is inspired by the real-life witch hunt that Wertham’s inflammatory book unleashed. Here’s the synopsis from HCC’s press release:

“Written by best-selling novelist Max Allan Collins (author of Road to Perdition and long-time scripter of theDick Tracy newspaper comic strip) and featuring 16 pages of interior illustrations by comic-book artist Terry Beatty (BatmanThe Phantom), SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT tells the story of comic book industry troubleshooter Jack Starr and his investigation into the death of a moralizing crusader out to get violent comics banned. “

If I’m not mistaken, this will be the first time a Hard Case Crime release will feature interior illustrations. The cover manages to capture both the pulp detective feel of all HCC books and the flavor of those EC Comics covers, and the HCC website states that the illustrations will be in “the classic EC style.”

I’m excited any time Hard Case Crime announces a new book, but this one feels like something special. The movement against comics that Wertham incited is a fascinating period of our country’s history, and I’m sure Collins is going to use that as a backdrop for a great detective story. The book is set for release in both paperback and digital formats in February 2013, and it can’t get here soon enough.

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