SERRAO TACKLES PURPLE SCAR
Richard Serrao, a graphic artist quickly making a name for himself in the crime noir field, has signed on to do the interior illustrations for Airship 27 Productions anthology, THE PURPLE SCAR, Vol One.
The Purple Scar was a little known golden age pulp hero with a different twist that was clearly horror inspired. Plastic surgeon Miles Murdock was a famous man who had studied psychology and the roots of fear in human emotions. After medical school he opened in a clinic in the slums of Akelton City.
When mobsters shot down his brother, a police officer, they then proceeded to destroy the man’s face by throwing acid on it. When Murdock saw what had been done to his sibling he vowed to bring the murderers to justice and thus was born the grim nemesis of evil known as the Purple Scar. Using his sculpturing skills, Murdock made a perfect reproduction of his brother’s death face, scars and all, in the form of a pliable rubber mask, which he fitted over his own face. The acid-destroyed features had been so skillfully copied that the least sensitive eye would recoil at seeing it. “It was the face of a corpse,” Murdock said, “I’ll use this mask only when I want it known the Purple Scar is on the trail.”
There were only a handful of Purple Scar tales ever written and Airship 27 Productions’ Managing Editor Ron Fortier first became aware of the character when Altus Press did a collection of all his adventures in one volume. The idea was then hatched to recruit new pulp writers and put together a brand new collection. “But more than of our other projects, this one required a special style of artwork,” Fortier elaborates. “What I wanted our readers to discover was a special kind of pulp-horror vigilante unlike anything else ever created. We really wanted to play up that horror element.”
When Fortier discovered Richard Serrao’s grim crime illustrations on Facebook, he knew he had the artist with the right sensibilities to do the Purple Scar justice. For Serrao, the character is a fun challenge and he is eager to get work on illustrating the four new Purple Scar stories that will be featured in volume one. He will provide three black and white spot illustrations for each of the tales as written by Jim Beard, Gary Lovisi, Jonathan Fisher and Gene Moyers.
Airship 27 Productions hopes to have THE PURPLE SCAR Vol One out later this year.