Hitman attempts redemption in “Near Death”
A hit man has a vision after a near-fatal incident, and attempts to make amends for his misdeeds in “Near Death,” a comic-book series written by Jay Faerber.
Faerber, known for his superhero comics “Noble Causes” and “Dynamo 5,” is also a writer on the Sarah Michelle Gellar TV series “Ringer.” “Ringer” airs Tuesday nights on CW.
Television and comic books allow for different kinds of collaboration, Faerber said.
“While both mediums are collaborative, with comic books the actual writing is fairly solitary,” Faerber said in an interview with The Oklahoman. “When you’re working for Marvel and DC, you get notes from editors and such, but with Image, I have complete creative control. The collaboration doesn’t start until the script is sent to the artist. With TV, the entire writing process is collaborative. We break stories as a group, in the writers’ room. And it’s not until a story is thoroughly worked out that an individual writer goes off and writes the script.”
In addition to authors Lee Child, Robert Crais and Robert B. Parker, Faerber said popular TV writer-turned-novelist Stephen J. Cannell was another influence on “Near Death” and its protagonist, the hit man Markham.
“He cranked out tons of cop-and-private-eye shows in the 1980s and was another huge influence on my writing,” Faerber said. “The character of Markham (right down to the fact that he has no first name) owes a lot to ’80s TV shows.”
Markham’s near-death experience has such an effect on him that he decides he must balance the scales by saving a life for every life he’s taken.
“So each issue of the book features Markham on a mission to save a new person,” Faerber said. “Most issues are self-contained, done-in-one stories. You can jump in at any time. I want to keep the book as accessible as possible.”
The artist for the series is Simone Guglielmini, whom Faerber has actually never met.
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