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Ed Piskor explores Dark Web psychopaths in the splatterpunk Red Room #2

Red Room #2
(Image credit: Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics Books))

Writer/artist Ed Piskor is known for his satirical-yet-earnest interpretations of pop culture such as Hip Hop Family Tree and X-Men: Grand Design, but in his latest series Red Room he's going down a much, much darker path.

In next week's Red Room #2, Piskor is going deep into the criminal side of the Dark Web for a fictional story about webcam murders. In the story, he delves into the victims, the perpetrators, and those who can be seen as both.

"Grooming victims to be slaughtered on the Dark web for the enjoyment of psychopaths requires lots of work to keep them from being identified," reads Fantagraphics Books' description of Red Room #2. "The Poker Face organization, one of the most successful black market Red Room companies on the internet, goes through great lengths to fulfill their customers' depraved fantasies while avoiding law enforcement every step of the way."

Check out this preview:

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Red Room #2

(Image credit: Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics Books))

Red Room #2 preview

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Red Room #2

(Image credit: Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics Books))
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Red Room #2

(Image credit: Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics Books))
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Red Room #2

(Image credit: Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics Books))
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Red Room #2

(Image credit: Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics Books))

"Red Room is a cyberpunk, outlaw, splatterpunk comic that you can't unsee once you feast your eyes on the mayhem," Piskor said in the book's announcement. "Think of Red Room as modern-day EC Comics, infused with the dream of Black Mirror. These are subversive, stand-alone stories that are all part of a larger, twisted narrative."

This 12-issue series debuted back on May 19 with Red Room #1, which the publisher has stated is its best-selling comic book in decades. 

(Image credit: Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics Books))

"We're thrilled to both be continuing our relationship with Ed, who's given us the perfect opportunity to get back into the monthly comic book periodical business," said Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds. "Red Room peels back the curtain on a shadowy side of humanity. The series is chock full of graphically horrific imagery, punctuated by Ed's sharp sense of humor, gorgeous cartooning, and dynamic storytelling."

While the description and preview make it look relentless dark and troubling splatterpunk story, Piskor aims to also touch on ways to stop these criminal acts.

Red Room #2 (of 12) goes on sale on June 30, with Red Room #3 following on July 28 then Red Room #4 on August 18. A collection of these first four issues, titled Red Room: The Antisocial Network, is scheduled for October 12.

Chris Arrant

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.