June 15, 2007
Posted by: Mark Siegel
Categories: News

There have been some entertaining blog entries about the BLACK DIAMOND DETECTIVE AGENCY trailer… It started when GalleyCat first reported it on MediaBistro…

Campbell’s artwork is definitely the draw here, lending the video a unified aesthetic that most homegrown trailers can’t quite match; my slapdash storyboard above gives you a rough feel for the visual dynamism, but you should really see it in motion for yourself. By the time you get to the DePalma-esque split-screen effect, you should be hooked—but be advised that the plot centers around a horrendous explosion that leaves scenes of gory devastation clearly intended as a 19th-century echo of the World Trade Center disaster, so those with delicate sensibilities may choose to simply take my word on the video’s power. As for the book, it ships this week. (I know I’ve been persuaded to go look for it, but frankly they had me at “Eddie Campbell.”)

And now, a wry take on it at New York Magazine, in an entry called In a World … of Desperate Publishers … One Gimmick Stands Alone !

So far, online trailers for books (and there are more every day) have self-consciously avoided aspiring to the style and flash of movie ads. That is … until now … in a world … dominated by irony … one author (Eddie Campbell) … and one tiny publisher (First Second Books) … have made a trailer for a graphic novel so earnest, so explosive, and so, uh, graphic that, well, maybe a few people will notice it.

Does that sound portentous, clichéd, begging for the deepest, darkest Hollywood voice-over? Now you’ve got a sense of what it’s like to watch this 30-second spot for The Black Diamond Detective Agency, by Campbell, the co-creator of the comic-turned-movie From Hell.

At least they may be catching on — the trailer goes for the Hollywood trope; anyone who knows Eddie Campbell’s work can expect him to thoroughly subvert it. And he does.

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