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PETER MILLIGAN
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DF Interview: Peter Milligan pens a noir meta-thriller in ‘Profane’

 

By Byron Brewer

 

Solving murders in Los Angeles is the daily bread of private detective Will Profane, but something is strange about his latest case.

 

When every clue points toward a famous detective novelist at the center of this mystery, Will's world will transform into something truly unreal.

 

Discover a new mind-bending thriller from writer Peter Milligan (Hellblazer, X-Statix, Shade, The Changing Man) and artist Raül Fernandez (Detective Comics, Justice League Dark) about the precariously thin line between reality and fiction! When I saw my old pal’s name attached to the coming comic, I contacted scribe Peter Milligan as quickly as possible to find out about Profane.

 

Byron Brewer: Peter, from what I have read and seen of your coming comic and having interviewed you numerous times for over a decade, Profane seems tailor-made for you as a writer. Is this twisty noir miniseries an idea that is brand new or has it been stewing on the Milligan backburner? What was its inspiration?

 

Peter Milligan: It was brewing for a while but has come into sharp focus more recently.  And you’re right, it really is right up my street, and what a strange street it is. I’m loving working on this: the twists, the weirdness, dealing with all the big themes that I’ve always been interested in. Destiny. Identity. Sex and alcohol.

 

Byron: What can you tell readers about the Los Angeles that is the canvas for your characters in Profane? Describe the atmosphere with which you and artist Raül Fernandez are infusing it.

 

Peter Milligan: I’ve read noir fiction described as marked by a darkness in theme, generally featuring a disturbing mix of sex and violence. That’s Profane right there, and that’s what you’ll see in this version or versions of Los Angeles. LA is a stage of shadows, nightclubs and bars where the dark and twisty machinations of the human heart play out.

 

Byron: Introduce us to Will Profane. Who was he, who is he when we meet him in June, and what are his immediate challenges?

 

Peter Milligan: Will Profane is an African-American private investigator. He’s a good guy and a great detective, but he’s been lumbered with a number of character flaws – most notably a weakness for liquor and beautiful women – that will come back to haunt him as this story plays out. Unlike most detectives Will sometimes uses more than purely logical means to achieve his goals. He’s going to need all the tricks in his book in this, his strangest and most difficult case.

 

Byron: Oooh, intriguing! . . .  What other characters might we need to know about in the early part of this series? Can you spotlight a few here please?

 

Peter Milligan: Profane has a strong female presence, notably with nightclub singer Lili McBeth and deadly femme fatale Honor De’ath.  A great hero needs a great villain too.  Enter Red Glove. If you want to know more, pick up the first issue.

 

Byron: Without spoilers, can you give readers a hint as to what connection Profane has with a crime novelist who is seemingly at the core of the mystery the private eye is investigating? Is Profane even aware of this connection?

 

Peter Milligan: Spud Coltrane is a crime writer who, to be truthful, often gets in Will Profane’s way. They have a complicated relationship. But that doesn’t mean Will wants to see the writer dead.

 

Byron: I love it when an author will give readers bread crumbs (AND red herrings) so that they just MIGHT be able to solve a mystery along with the protagonist. Does Profane have that sort of tool as a part of it?

 

Peter Milligan: There are more than just bread crumbs and red herrings. There are bottles of bourbon, paperback books and red gloves.

 

Byron: Talk about Raül Fernandez and the importance of his art to this miniseries.

 

Peter Milligan: I was just looking at the latest pages Raül sent in and remember thinking what a treat it is to have art that so perfectly suits the story. Raül manages to combine the noir sleaziness of this strange tale with a jagged, uncomfortable modernity.  Often the most important thing for an artist is that he really gets the story. And if Raül doesn’t get Profane, he gives a damned good impression of someone who does.

 

Byron: Peter, my friend, what other projects in which you are involved can you tell readers about?

 

Peter Milligan: I don’t want to take the spotlight off of Profane at the moment, so briefly, two projects at Mad Cave Studios – called Liquidator and The Pale Knight – plus something I’m excited about at Vault comics called Deus. Plus a few other projects lurking in the shadows.

 

Dynamic Forces would like to thank Peter Milligan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Profane #1 from BOOM! Studios is slated to be on sale June 5!

 




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