Veteran writer and editor Joe Illidge and artist ChrisCross are partnering for a new graphic novel, The Winterfields, to be published by FairSquare Comics under its Noir Is the New Black imprint. A short prelude story will appear in the Expanded Edition of the Noir Is the New Black anthology, which will be released on January 31 in comic shops and February 14 in bookstores, and the full graphic novel is slated for 2025.

The Winterfields is set in Harlem in the 1920s. World War I veteran Cain Winterfield is working as a bodyguard when one of his clients disappears on his watch, and her violent husband demands to know what happened. Cain’s 10-year-old son Carver is a good kid who is having problems of his own, but he chooses to keep them secret.  

"The Winterfields is the kind of Lone Wolf and Cub meets Road To Perdition father and son story I've been itching to do in comics for some time, so when I was asked if I would like to introduce the characters in a new edition of FairSquare Comics’ groundbreaking anthology Noir is the New Black, it was an automatic yes!” Illidge said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Our short story, which serves as a prelude, gives readers a taste of the rough and tumble lives of Cain Winterfield and his son Carver. What happens by the end will lead to the big story in the upcoming graphic novel, which will be a love letter to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.”

Fabrice Sapolsky, CEO & Founder of FairSquare Comics, said that the publisher plans to publish more graphic novels in addition to The Winterfields under the Noir is the New Black imprint, including Watson & Holmes and Little Rock Files.

Illidge was an editor for the pioneering Black-owned publisher Milestone Comics and later went on to become the Batman editor for DC; since then, he has written a number of comics and held editorial posts at Lion Forge, Valiant, A Wave New World, and Heavy Metal (see “Heavy Metal Media Promotes Joe Illidge”). ChrisCross was an artist on several Milestone series, most notably Blood Syndicate, and DC tapped him as the artist for its 2022 revival of the title (see “Preview: ‘Blood Syndicate: Season One’ #1”). The original edition of Noir Is the New Black sold out both its printings for a total of 5,000 copies (see “Two Publishers Announce New Printings After Titles Sell Out at Distributor Level”). The expanded edition will include the original contents plus a new story by Victor Dandridge and Jean Paul Deshong and additional bonus material.

Click Gallery below for sample artwork!