Lawrence Block is a man who knows how to write noir/crime fiction. His character of Matthew Scudder, a troubled ex-cop turned unlicensed detective, is a classic example of the genre. Now John K. Snyder III will be adapting the Scudder novel 8 Million Ways to Die as a new 144-page graphic novel due out in June of 2018 from IDW Publishing.
The novel tells of Scudder in a crime-ravaged 1980s New York City as he hunts down a serial killer / hitman. A seemingly simple assignment turns into a deep mystery and a trail of bodies that end in a series of life-changing conclusions.
Synder spoke about the story and why he wanted to adapt it:
“The work of Lawrence Block, with its crime noir settings and lively, realistic dialogue and characters, poised a perfect subject to meet the challenge of creating something different for the ever-growing graphic novel audience. This story contains all the classic entertaining elements of pulp noir, and Matthew Scudder embodies the traditional aspects of a classic private detective. It’s an honor to to adapt a work that has been so revered and to have the opportunity to bring Matthew Scudder to the comics page for the first time.”
The novel was adapted into film back in 1986 with a cast that included Jeff Bridges as Scudder and a script by Oliver Stone. It also starred Rosanna Arquette, Alexandra Paul, and Andy Garcia.
Block talked about writing his character in the afterword to the novel:
“With Scudder, I was operating at a different level of realism. I liked Matthew Scudder, and found his personality of unceasing interest and his voice an engaging one in which to write.”
This is the second crime fiction character that IDW has adapted, following the popular Richard Stark’s Parker series of comics by Darwyn Cooke.