For those who are interested in behind-the-scenes stuff and working methods, here's Page 1 of Drowntown - adapted slightly to fit the blog format - followed by Jim's groovy art for the same page:
1. Close, Leo Noiret, battered and bruised, stares straight at us, raising an eyebrow with weary, seen-and-done-it-all-before nonchalance. Despite his downbeat, down-at-heel appearance and hangdog expression, he still exhibits the cool charm and poise of a Jean Reno or Robert Mitchum.
A half-smoked cigarette droops disdainfully from the corner of his mouth. The last cigarette of a condemned man...
TITLES: CHAPTER 1: HARD-LUCK HERO
BOX: Some people have a face that you'd die for.
BOX: Other people have the kind of face that you'd kill for.
BOX: I've got the kind of face that gets you killed.
2. Slightly High Angle Medium Shot, Noiret, staring up at us, shrugs nonchalantly, the cigarette still drooping from his mouth. He is sinking rapidly into thick, quicksand-like sludge, the surface of which is littered with typical
Up to his hips already, Noiret shows little sign of fear, as if this sort of thing happens to him all the time.
BOX: That's why I'm such a realist and always try to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground, which isn't as easy as it sounds in this city.
NOIRET: GUESS THIS MEANS IT'S TOO LATE TO KISS AND MAKE UP...
3. Low Angle Shot, Noiret, back to us, sinking deeper, stares towards a metallic maintenance pier that rises out of the sludge ahead of him.
Grace Carter, an attractive, but hard-faced & ruthless-looking woman, gazes down at him contemptuously from the pier. Benny and Ray, two big, bulky enforcers with the look of prize-fighters running to fat, flank her protectively.
BOX: Grace Carter was a detective in the Serious Crime Squad that I used to get drunk with in the Stag's Head every now and again.
GRACE: KISS AND MAKE UP? WHAT DO YOU MEAN? DID WE...?
4. Close, Grace, Noiret's POV, outraged and exasperated, aghast at the thought he's just slipped into her head.
BOX: I used to console her about the pointlessness and futility of the job, until she stopped caring and started working both sides.
GRACE: YUCK! THAT JUST MAKES ME WANT TO KILL YOU EVEN MORE!
I can't help grinning every time I see the opening panel. As the writer, it captures Leo Noiret brilliantly. Everything you need to know about his personality - which will be fleshed out over the course of the book - can nevertheless be deduced from that one image. Just one of the benefits of working with a great artist...