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Graphic violence: Famed comic book writer pens ‘Brooklyn Blood’

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Brooklyn is in his blood!

A Brooklyn native who has worked with high-flying heroes Superman, Batman, and the futuristic Legion of Superheroes comes down to earth with his latest comic book, a supernatural police procedural set in the County of Kings. Paul Levitz, who was the publisher of DC Comics from 1989 to 2009, will celebrate the release of “Brooklyn Blood” at Anyone Comics in Crown Heights on July 27. The comic book writer, editor, and publisher grew up in East Flatbush, and says that after years dealing with aliens and alternative universes, he was ready to write a story about his hometown.

“I wanted to do a police procedural — a form I love reading — and Brooklyn was a natural setting as someplace I knew well and that was now officially cool,” said Levitz. “The time is contemporary, maybe a couple of years ago when I started it.”

The comic follows Detective Billy O’Connor, a Brooklyn cop who has recently returned from Afghanistan and suffers from traumatic memories and hallucinations. After he begins investigating a series of occult murders, he finds it difficult to tell the difference between his visions and the bizarre reality he comes across.

Levitz wove stories of deadly events from Brooklyn’s past into story, enough to make readers’ blood run cold.

“The history of Brooklyn and its recent changes are a big part of the texture of the story,” he said. “If you’re interested in the worst moments in Brooklyn history, this book has some goodies for you.”

The book’s illustrator, Fort Greene artist Tim Hamilton, drew plenty of familiar landmarks for Brooklyn readers, alongside the supernatural creatures the story called for. He also researched the Battle of Brooklyn and old maps for the book, but says that he especially enjoyed capturing modern-day Brooklyn on the page.

“I got to draw the subway and as someone who enjoys the subway, I feel that if an artist can enjoy something they draw, they will make it interesting for anyone looking at it,” said Hamilton. “If you’re bored to draw something, other people will be bored looking at it, and I enjoy drawing what I’m working on.”

Levitz hopes that fans of detective genre will enjoy solving the case along with his protagonist, and says that future projects may take him even further from his superhero roots.

“I hope people who enjoy reading mysteries will find this a fun read, and I think it’s got some added satisfaction to offer as a layer cake with a surprising ingredient or two,” he said. “After almost 500 superhero tales, I think my next few comics projects will all be a bit more unorthodox.”

Paul Levitz and Tim Hamilton at Anyone Comics [1216 Union St. between Nostrand and Rogers avenues in Crown Heights, (347) 350–8422, www.anyonecomics.com]. July 27 at 7 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @AS1mon.
Updated 12:08 am, July 25, 2018
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