Humanoids has announced Hard Bargain, the debut graphic novel from US film-maker Steven S. DeKnight and Brazilian artist Leno Carvalho for August 2024. Hard Bargain is a Los Angeles-set supernatural detective thriller written by DeKnight and brought to life by artist Carvalho, colorist Bruno Hang, and letterer Troy Peteri.

Hard Bargain cover
‘Hard Bargain’ cover

The plot synopsis for Hard Bargain:

“Frank Harding is a hard-boiled P.I. in 1940’s Los Angeles who finds himself fighting not only the usual cadre of criminals and ne’er-do-wells, but also the occasional demon and other malevolent supernatural beings. While fighting the forces of darkness is another day at the office for Frank, his current case, tied into his own past and L.A.’s all-too-real history of prejudice and discrimination, may be the one that puts Frank out of business…for good.”

Steven S. DeKnight is a writer, director and producer of film and television. He has worked on cult shows Spartacus, Smallville, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse, Daredevil, and Jupiter’s Legacy. On Spartacus and Jupiter’s Legacy he was creator, showrunner, writer, and executive producer. In the world of movies, he made his feature debut as the writer and director of Pacific Rim sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018). His comics credits have included writing an issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight (Dark Horse) in 2007, as well as a Spartacus tie-in comic Upon the Sands of Vengeance (Devil’s Due) in 2009. Hard Bargain will be his first work on a longform comic.

Talking about the book, DeKnight said:

Hard Bargain has been a dream thirty years in the making. An idea that sprang from my love of two-fisted, hard-boiled detective stories and matinee creature-features of days gone by. I’m thrilled to finally have that dream realized via the incredible artwork of Leno Carvalho and the good people at Humanoids.”

Leno Carvalho is an artist and illustrator that has a number of publishers to his credit – having worked for DC, Dynamite, Red 5, and Scout Comics in the US; and for Soleil and Kamiti Éditions in France. Carvalho worked on DC’s Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen Special #1 (2008).

Carvalho describes the project as:

“…a new universe of possibilities with new challenges and new rewards. A strong, concise narrative rich in twists and turns that combines the charm of old detective stories with the action-packed thrillers of today.”

You can check out some unlettered preview pages from the book below:

“Hard Bargain” (preview, unlettered)

“Hard Bargain” (preview, unlettered)

“Hard Bargain” (preview, unlettered)
“Hard Bargain” (preview, unlettered)
“Hard Bargain” (preview, unlettered)