Double Down Comics Debuts With ‘The Hardways’

by James Ferguson

Writer Russell Lissau and artist Shawn Richison have teamed up to launch Double Down Comics. The imprint’s debut title, The Hardways, from the same creators along with colorist Juan Romera and letterer Josh Southall, has premiered today online with a ComiXology release soon to follow. A print release will come once North American comic cons are back.

The Hardways is about a kidnapping at a Las Vegas casino that goes wrong not just for the high-rolling victim but also his abductors. Think “Ocean’s 11” mixed with “Suicide Kings,” with splashes of the vibes from the “Stumptown” and “Parker” graphic novels. It was painstakingly researched by Lissau and Richison and features many real-life Sin City landmarks.

“I love Las Vegas, and not just because I enjoy the sound of dice bouncing on a craps table or the sight of poker chips being pushed my way after a big win,” Lissau said. “I love the restaurants, the swimming pools, the people watching and the history of the city. Heck, that history is a classic crime story on its own.”

Issues of The Hardways will be available in standard 20-page stories and special expanded editions including the script, character designs, and other extras. A collected edition is planned for 2021.

“I was walking through a casino on the Strip and saw a beautiful fountain, and I immediately flashed on a ransom drop happening right at that location,” Lissau said. “From that mental image, the characters and plot of The Hardways came to life.”

Richison added. “How many classic crime stories are set in or have an element of Vegas to them? The city is famous for grifters, gangsters, and of course, gamblers. It has that wonderful dichotomy of incredible wealth and beauty (not only the architecture, but also the austere beauty of the desert setting) juxtaposed against a backdrop of grit and danger… just perfect for the story that Russell has crafted.”

You can pick up The Hardways #1 digitally through the creators’ websites now.

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