Back in 2001, I was living in this cheap-ass house on a not-yet-gentrified street in Brooklyn with my brother, where we’d built a creative space upstairs to dream up many wonderful comic ideas together. There was another resident though; I could feel him in the twilight hours when I was sliding towards sleep, lurking around and watching. After a few months of catching someone out of the corner of my eye from the drafting table, I asked some “lifers” on our street about our house’s previous residents. Annette-from-a-few-doors-down told me that back in the ’80s there was an artist couple there, and that Charlie, a middle-aged painter, died in the upstairs bedroom (mine), and his wife moved out shortly after.
Charlie’s name immediately sank into my subconscious like an anchor. A few weeks later, I was snoring on my futon when Charlie leaned into my head and introduced himself properly with a “hello” that came from between my eyes and sounded as though it was played through blown speakers/eardrums. I sat up bolt-upright; of course the room was empty, but my sweat was cold. I went downstairs, heart racing, to the kitchen and poured myself a glass of water from the kitchen sink… and by the time the water reached my stomach, there was something else there. A cast of characters, years of history, echoes of terrible things in the walls of buildings, and a realty office named RED LIGHT PROPERTIES.
RED LIGHT PROPERTIES tells the story of a small Miami Beach real estate office that lists and exorcises haunted houses and connects them with foreclosure victims in need of an affordable place to live. The first book in a series, RLP has been my nearest and dearest baby since it appeared in my belly after that cold glass of water eight years ago… and it’s something I’ve been exercising/exorcising myself towards since then, waiting for the right time to turn it loose.
Well honeys, that time is nearly here. On Tuesday, January 5th, RED LIGHT PROPERTIES debuts on the one of my favorite homes for original comics, Tor.com. I’ll be serializing the entire story online for free, doing 8 pages each week for six months, with a print collection waiting patiently on the other side of the rainbow.
Follow me at @dddangoldmannn for updates and secret treats as we get closer to January 5th.