Okay, me again. This time with the cliché “good news” “bad news” riff. Let’s start with the bad news. It appears Chris Hoskins is not available to finish inking Brian’s pencils on the last three pages of this current story arc. That hits hard. But everybody on this team as well as every one of you that read Price for the Asking that is also involved in producing your own independent comics be it in print or as a web comic such as this knows this drill. Unfortunately, it seems to come with the territory at times.
All of us here at Price for the Asking wish the very best for Chris Hoskins. We hope things improve for him very quickly and can’t thank him enough for all the hard work that he has done that got us this far into the “Yesterday’s Burning” story line. But that being what is we are indeed too close to completion on this story to hold it up any longer and with production of the next two stories well under way…the show must go on.
So now the good news portion of today’s announcements. Good friend, fellow disc golfer, Twilight Star Studio member, and a very talented inker in his own right…Mr. Tim Hagans will be taken over the inks on these last three pages of our first story in an effort to finally complete this thing.
A few of you may remember running into Tim at Champion City Comic Con, he has been there both year, or maybe you met him at the Twilight Star anniversary celebration at Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs this past October. Tim has been interested in working on Price for The Asking for some time and was almost the inker on the art Rob Davis is now doing for the second story entitled “Moving Targets” but Rhian Engle beat him to it.
I’m sure Tim will do a great job for us. He’s very excited to come aboard and help us out and we’re just as excited to have him. If everything goes as planned we will return next Monday with the much delayed page # 16 of “Yesterday’s Burning” the first page featuring Tim as inker on the story and with his help we should continue on with no more pit falls. And who knows? This may not be the last time Tim and Simon cross paths…
In the meantime and in between time, enjoy a BRAND NEW all prose Simon Pryce adventure called “Dead Bang” written by Captain Ron Fortier and check out the very first page of the third Price for the Asking story “Man of Ash” …this week it’s the inked version of page #1 as Jeff Austin’s inks really sharpens up the already impressive pencil work of Mark Saxton. They make a great team.
And if that isn’t enough…how about a glimpse of a full color art piece penciled, inked and colored by Brain Latimer. This was supposed to be the cover of the first Price For The Asking comic book that collects the entire first story (for the first time ever with NO interruptions of any kind)….but we are going to go with a cover that isn’t a wrap around and seeing how our very own hard boiled Detroit Detective has gotten so popular as of late the crew thought it would be for the best that Simon appears on every cover of these books.
He’s the original cover. I still like and think Brian did an amazing job on this.
Hopefully we can convince Mr.Latimer to be involved in the new version for the cover of Price for the Asking #1 (which debuts at Gem City Comic Con in Dayton Ohio April 3rd 2011 Wahoooo!!!)…but Ron, Brant, and I have gotten pretty used to making sure we have a “plan B” up and running at all times, so if you are an artist and you think you want a crack at this cover…contact us! If Brian can’t do it, we are looking for you! And if Brian can do it, don’t worry, we may still be looking for you. We’re building an army!
A Simon Pryce Mystery
By Ron Fortier
“Pryce, I was right. One of my partners has been robbing us blind.”
“Relax, Mr. Hardy,” P.I. Simon Pryce said into the phone, doing his best to calm his new client. “Why don’t you come in to the office tomorrow and we’ll…”
Bang! The cap pistol sound came through the receiver and Simon instinctively pulled the receiver from his ear. A gunshot! He brought it back to his ear.
“Hardy, what was that?” Silence. “Hardy, are you still there?”
He heard a clunk and then the line went dead.
Maybe it wasn’t the only thing?
Grabbing his jacket, Simon dashed into his reception area. His gorgeous secretary, Joan Spivey was tapping away at her computer keyboard and looked up sensing his presence.
“Don’t know.” He was half in his jacket reaching for the exit door. “I think someone just shot Jack Hardy.”
“You want me to call your father?” Joan was always two steps of him.
“Right. You have the address. Tell him to get over there on the double and then get an ambulance over there too.”
Racing through the city, the former cop turned private investigator, ran through his mind the little he knew of Jack Hardy. A single, fifty year old business man, Hardy owned and managed his own successful accounting service. He’d done so alone for almost twenty-two years before taking on two partners; a Paul Rydell and Leo Kranz.
Two days ago he had come to Pryce Investigations because he had found some discrepancies in the company books. Accountants made a living counting pennies for others. Hardy instantly knew, when his own numbers didn’t add up, that one of his partners was embezzling funds.
He just didn’t know which one. That was going to be Pryce’s job.
If he still had a client.
Twenty five minutes later Simon, pistol in hand, found the door to Hardy’s swank condo ajar. Avoiding touching the brass knob, he used the barrel of his gun to push the door in. Jack Hardy was laying face down on his dark green living room rug, a bullet hole in the back of his yellow terry cloth robe. Beside the body was Hardy’s portable telephone, giving mute testimony to what Simon already knew. Hardy had been shot in the back while talking to him.
If the front door had been unlocked, it would have been easy enough for the shooter to simply nudge it open as he had just done, aim and fire. Then vamoose.
Simon stepped around the body and made a quick search of the rest of the apartment to ascertain he was alone. Secure in the knowledge the killer was gone; he holstered his gun and returned to the body. Going down on one knee, he took a closer look at the entry wound. It was almost dead center between the shoulder blades. Most likely it had pierced the heart from behind.
Carefully, Simon took hold of Hardy’s left shoulder and rolled the body over onto its back. He’d certainly catch Hell from his father, Homicide Chief Walter Pryce, for doing that, but his father wasn’t here yet. The exit would was exactly where he’d assumed and considering Hardy’s height, the bullet was most likely now lodged in the wall over by the kitchen.
He heard footsteps in the hall and rose, adjusting his eye glasses as he did so. Speak of the devil. His father, wearing plastic gloves, pushed the door wide and entered, followed by several other detectives. Over their shoulders Simon could see blues starting to unroll yellow tape.
“Alright Simon,” the senior Pryce began, tilting his fedora back on his head, “what the Hell do we have here?” His father was one of the few men who still wore hats.
“Jack Hardy, a client of mine. Called me about half an hour ago. In the middle of the call he was shot. I had my secretary call it in and rushed over as fast as I could.”
“Hmmm. You didn’t touch anything?” This was asked as the other detectives set about checking the area intensely. In a few minutes the Crime Lab unit would be on the scene.
“Come on, Dad, you know me better than that.” He had never been able to lie to his father. Maybe just this one time.
There was a commotion outside, a voice raised in anger. “I’m Jack’s partner, that’s who I am!”
The police sergeant appeared at the door escorting a tall, blond fellow clearly upset.
“Says he’s knows the dead guy,” Sergeant Legrand offered.
Chief Pryce merely nodded his head and the veteran cop stepped out of the way to allow the visitor to pass.
“Dear God, what happened to Jack?” The stranger gasped on seeing the body.
“He was shot,” Simon said. “And you are?”
“I’m Paul Rydell. One of Jack’s partners.”
“What are you doing here, Mr. Rydell?” the Chief asked, giving his son a cautionary glare. Simon understood it clearly. Dad was the cop here.
“Jack had been acting strange recently and I came over to see if anything was wrong. If I could help him.”
Simon raised his hand as he use to do when he was a little boy. “Dad.”
“Hardy hired me because he thought one of his two partners was stealing from the company.”
“That’s ridiculous!” Rydell retorted.
“Maybe, but he told me had the proof. He just didn’t know which one of you was doing the skimming.”
Rydell’s eyes widened.
“That’s a serious allegation,” Chief Pryce picked up, deciding to see where Simon’s questioning would lead. “You didn’t know anything about these charges?”
“Look, if someone was stealing from the firm, it wasn’t me. No, it had to be that little weasel, Leo Kranz. I’ve never trusted him. Always sulking around the offices. “In fact, he’s just the kind to shoot someone in the back.”
“Calm down, Mr. Rydell,” Chief Pryce advised. “We will question Mr. Kranz as well. Rest assured, we’ll get to the bottom of this.”
Simon scratched the back of his head, a perplexing look on his face. “You know what, I don’t think that will be necessary at all.”
“Huh? Simon, what are you saying?”
“Only that you should arrest Mr.Rydell here for murder.”
“What? First you accuse me of embezzlement and now murder! Where’s your proof?”
Simon pointed down at the body, looking at his father sheepishly. “He was faced down when I got here, Dad. I turned him over to check the exit wound.”
Chief Pryce’s face started to redden until Simon’s disclosure slowly filtered into his mind and a look of understanding crossed his face. He turned to Rydell at the same time removing a pair of steel handcuffs from his overcoat.
“So tell me, Mr.Rydell, how did you know Hardy had been shot in the back?”
“You’re under arrest, sir. Anything you say can be held against you in a court of law, you have a right to…”