The noir sensibilities of writer Barry Gifford are coming to Oni Press. Just announced today via press release, Gifford—whose work can be seen in such prestige works as the films Wild at Heart and Lost Highway—will see his novel Night People adapted into the four-colored world of comics in 2024. Framed as a four-issue miniseries written by Chris Condon and art by a menagerie of talented creators, Night People focuses on the criminal underbelly of America, unflinching in its depiction. While each issue of the miniseries holds a tale that stands on its own, all four tales will interlock to present a overarching work that will surely linger with readers long after they’ve set it down.
Night People #1 debuts March 6, 2024 from Oni Press. Check out the whole story in the full press release below, as well as gorgeous covers for the first issue by J.H. Williams III, Joelle Jones, Jacob Phillips, and Brian Level (who provides art for issue 1).
And from the official press release:
FOR SOME OF US, IT’S ALWAYS MIDNIGHT. Oni Press, the multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning publisher of groundbreaking graphic fiction, is proud to present the much-anticipated first look at NIGHT PEOPLE #1 (of 4) – the first issue of the violent and volatile new series from literary icon Barry Gifford, the internationally renowned creator of Wild At Heart and co-writer of David Lynch‘s neo-noir masterpiece Lost Highway.
Adapted from Gifford’s acclaimed novel by breakout writer Chris Condon (That Texas Blood, The Enfield Gang Massacre) with 30 pages of story in each deluxe, ad-free issue, NIGHT PEOPLE is a pulsating roadmap of the American subconscious that follows an uneasy company of wanted criminals, cartel killers, and lost souls as illustrated by a chorus of visually provocative artistic talents – Brian Level (Poison Ivy, Lazarus), Eisner Award winner Alexandre Tefenkgi (The Good Asian, Once Upon A Time at the End of the World), Artyom Topilin (I Hate This Place), and Marco Finnegan (Crossroad Blues) – through four interlocking tales punctuated by lipstick, sweat, and blood.
“Night People is beyond noir, a parable that embodies both a revision of the past and riddle for the present, informed by the Church on the One Hand and the Church on the Other Hand that portends a future wherein whomever is left on the planet are cast forth on an even more mysterious and perilous voyage on a ghost ship sailing into the Sea of Red,” said Gifford. “As evidenced by this powerful graphic representation of my novel, the quest for a safe harbor is neverending.”
“Each issue is unique in terms of story, so it makes sense to have each issue have a different, unique artistic approach,” said Condon. “I’m so thrilled to see the artistic powerhouses Oni Press has brought onboard to tackle this adaptation with me. The way Barry’s book works is that you never know what turns it will take or what characters you’ll be following in any particular chapter. We’ve utilized that approach in this adaptation, and I think we’re crafting something that should be exciting for readers and will have them coming back issue after issue to see where this wild story is going to go next.”
In our first tale of desperation, fanaticism, and murder, as told by Gifford, Condon, and Level, two ex-convicts—a pair of inseparable lovers named Big Betty Stalcup and Miss Cutie Early—are out on parole using their newfound freedom to purify the world of men’s evil influence . . . and leave a trail of mutilated bodies in their wake. As the psychotic dimensions of their star-crossed romance—and the twisting paths that first led them to their fateful meeting at the Fort Sumatra Detention Center for Wayward Women—come into full view, their experiment in righteousness culminates in the kidnapping of Rollo Lamar, a kindly attorney whom Betty and Cutie abduct just to see if they can reeducate at least one man on the planet before the demise of civilization.
Barry Gifford’s novels have been translated into 30 languages, and he has been the recipient of awards from PEN, the American Library Association, the Writers Guild of America, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, BAFTA, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Premio Brancati in Italy, among others. David Lynch’s film Wild at Heart was based on Gifford’s novel (Grove, 1990), and he co-wrote the films Lost Highway (1997) with director David Lynch and City of Ghosts (2003) with director Matt Dillon. His books include The Phantom Father (Harcourt Brace & Company, 1997), named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Wyoming (Arcade, 2000), named a Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year, Sailor and Lula: The Complete Novels (Seven Stories Press, 2010), Roy’s World: Stories 1973-2020 (Seven Stories Press/Penguin Random House, 2020), The Boy Who Ran Away to Sea (Seven Stories Press/Penguin Random House, 2022), and Ghost Years (Seven Stories Press/Penguin Random House, 2024). Mr. Gifford’s writings have appeared in Punch, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Sport, the New York Times, The New Yorker, and many other publications. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Featuring a stunning line-up for covers from a murderer’s row of visionary talents – including J.H. Williams III (Sandman: Overture, Promethea), Joëlle Jones (Wonder Girl, Lady Killer), Jacob Phillips (That Texas Blood, Newburn), and premiere artist Brian Level (Poison Ivy, Lazarus) – travel down the interstate of dark, elusive dreams from New Orleans to Egypt City, Florida, and back again when NIGHT PEOPLE #1 debuts in comic shops everywhere on March 6, 2024.