Harvard Discovers New Universe: Concrete Park Creators Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear Take Their World To The Ivies.

Harvard Discovers New Universe: Concrete Park Creators Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear Take Their World To The Ivies..

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Concrete Park in “Best Art Ever (this week) 3-20-2015”

Sweet! A cover image from Concrete Park Vol.2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T is featured in this week’s Best Art Ever (This Week)” column in Comics Alliance. Drawn by Concrete Park artist and co-creator Tony Puryear, the image features Isaac™ and Luca™, the series’ two leads, locked in a bloody, post-combat embrace.

Isaac™ and Luca™ from Concrete Park™ as featured in Comics Alliance's "Best Art Ever (This Week) 3-20-2015"

“It’s a real honor to be featured in this week’s “Best Art Ever”, Puryear said. “To be included with heavyweights (and friends) like Francesco Francavilla and Afua Richardson, not to mention Dark Horse stablemate Phil Noto and comics legend Walt Simonson is also very humbling.”

Concrete Park is the new graphic novel series from Dark Horse Comics. The series is written by actress Erika Alexander, star of Living Single, The Cosby Show and the new #The BFF Chronicles with Erika Alexander and Kim Coles. Puryear handles penciling, inking and coloring chores.

Concrete Park Vol.2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the eagerly-anticipated follow-up to the series’ award-winning first volume, which was selected as one of The Best American Comics, 2013. The new book is in comics shops April 29th, 2015, and is available now for pre-order from Amazon.com.

World Premiere Signing! Erika Alexander, Tony Puryear and Robert Alexander Sign Concrete Park #1 at Meltdown Comics Sept. 3 @ 7PM!

 

signing-card

Concrete Park creators Tony Puryear (Eraser), Erika Alexander (Living Single, The Cosby Show) and Robert Alexander will sign the #1 issue of their new five-issue miniseries, Concrete Park: R-E-S-P-E-C-T at Meltdown Comics, Wednedsday, Sept. 3 from 7-9PM. Buy the first issue of the comic the Berkeley Graduate called “Brilliant”, buy original limited-edition art prints, get free Concrete Park posters and a chance to win original Concrete Park art by Tony Puryear throughout the night. There’ll even be a food truck.

Come on down to Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles CA, 90046 and get your Concrete Park on!

Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear sign for you!

Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear sign for you!

 

 

Mapping Scare City

Laying out the world of Concrete Park™.

We like big books and we cannot lie. We like big stories. Give us a big, well-thought-out story world like Lord Of The Rings or Game of Thrones to live in and we’re happy campers. Tell us all the backstory, man, we’re suckers for it. Take us down the King’s Road from Winterfell to King’s Landing, we’re right there with you. We’re building Concrete Park to be as big and ambitious, (and, we hope, as roomy and rewarding,) as those two awesome models. Big story worlds with hundreds of characters and scores of locations are hard to keep track of. How do we keep track? How do our readers?

When the first issue of our long-awaited new 5-issue mini-series, Concrete Park Volume 2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T, from Dark Horse Comics, hits stores on Sept. 3rd, fans of the graphic novel will notice a new feature: Like J. R. R. Tolkein and George R. R. Martin before us, we made a map, and we promptly fell in love with it.

Map Of Scare City

Our story takes place in and around “Scare City™,” a mega-city built by humans on a distant, desert planet. Its real name is “New Earth Correctional Colony City Number Two,” but no one calls it that. Scare City is a city of gangs, and they exist in a constant, Hobbes-ian war of all against each. Scare City has neighborhoods, barrios, favelas, narrow alleys, twisting streets and wide boulevards. It has impregnable gang strongholds and contested no-man’s-lands. It has mysterious, forbidden precincts. It has place names that remind the lonely human exiles who live here of home.

map-square-4Like a shanty-town on steroids, Scare City was built haphazardly, and like Topsy, it jes’ grew. From its beginning, rival factions emerged to claim this or that piece of turf. The first gang was Gigante, whose motto, “construimos,” “we build,” is a reminder that they were formed from the enslaved construction gangs who built the original settlement here, close to what is now “The Old Town.” Gigante’s gang symbol, a skull with hammer “crossbones,” is a further reminder of their early role.

Older gangs like Gigante lost ground to newer ones like Las Cruces, won it back with blood and lost it again. The shape of the city changed as territory changed hands, with place names from the four corners of Earth bumping shoulders incongruously. This is a city where “Dien Bien Phu” is in “El Centro.”

map-square-1To make matters more confusing, the Earth authorities, represented by the New Earth Council, tried to impose a rough order on Scare City’s rapid, ad hoc 
development, cutting wide avenues like “Avenida Martin Luther King, Jr. right through contested areas. In this way, the map is like a palimpsest of battles fought and won or lost, good intentions and bad consequences.

We discovered something curious as we built this map out. Though it was originally intended just as reference, we soon realized that the map itself was a story-generating engine. The history of the city needed to be filled in. Who lived where, and where do they live now? Which rivals abut one another and which are across town? Where are Scare City’s conflicts and alliances going? The more place names and street names we created, the more stories seemed to just pour out of this map. Names from literature like “Sugar Street” and “West Egg” join with names from real-life slums like “Five Points” and “Cabrini-Green” and names from comics like “Kurtzberg” to give an off-kilter flavor to this crazy, crazy town.

Creating the map

We’d never made a map before, and thought a big-city map would be impossible to pull off, insane to even consider. The internet is full of maps of great, sprawling, cities like Mexico City or Cairo, though, and they had the kind of curvy, swoopy neighborhoods we wanted. We practiced by tracing pieces of these cities, but we began to enjoy the work so much we just started creating city blocks and neighborhoods from scratch, working back and forth between Illustrator and Photoshop.

We found that the city blocks seen in simple silhouette were beautiful in their own right. We started with the South East section of the city. Soon, we laid out Avenida Martin Luther King, Jr. and added three more quadrants. By the time we were finished, a bold and surprising graphic image suggested itself, that of a woman’s face, suggesting, in fact, our character, Luca™. It was a piece of artistic serendipity that wouldn’t have occurred if we hadn’t started this insane project.

map-development

 

We hope you enjoy our Scare City map. Look for it in Concrete Park Volume 2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T #1, which will be in stores Sept. 3.