Next week sees the release of First Degree: A Crime Anthology, a new collection of crime stories from Humanoids. The graphic novel includes an array of stories by creators who have been recognized by the POLAR Festival of Cognac, France, as well as previously-published stories from the Humanoids catalog of crime tales. Today The Beat is pleased to present an exclusive excerpt of a full story from the anthology, “Marcel,” from writer Nicolas Pothier and artist Yannick Corboz.

Cover art by David Aja

Here’s how Humanoids describes First Degree:

A woman lures her husband and his secret lover to an abandoned house. Something sinister is happening inside the convent. A chef commits the perfect murder. In this anthology, a collective of almost thirty authors from all over the globe propose a collection of short crime noir stories that celebrates the genre as well as boldly leading it into the future.

Along with the previously-presented short stories, First Degree also includes a brand-new story from writer David F. Walker, artist Michael Lark, colorist Dave Stewart, and letterer Simon Bowland, all under a new cover by artist David Aja. The full list of contributing creators is below:

David F. Walker, Michael Lark, Dave Stewart, Simon Bowland, Sydney Duncan, J.P. Mavinga, Tom Napolitano, Thierry Lamy, Pierre Taranzano, Brrémaud & Jean-Yves Segura, Oliver Jolivet, Carole Porche, Jean-David Morvan, Borris, Philippe Hauret, Séra, Jean-François Miniac, Alain Paillou, Catherine Moreau, Rémy Roubakha, André Le Bras, Éric Liberge, Didier Daeninckx, Mako, Raule, David Charrier, Luc Brahy, Éric Le Pape, Sébastien Corbet, David Morancho, Moutch, Facundo Percio, Jeanne Puchol, Algésiras, Servain, Nicolas Pothier, Yannick Corboz, Jim MacDonald, d-pi, Dan Curtis Johnson, Mark Vigouroux, Fred Le Berre, and Corentin.

The anthology features a diverse assortment of entries that range from straightforward crime to genre-bending stories with elements of fantasy, science fiction, and slice of life tales, and Pothier and Corboz’s four-page story is a fine example of what to expect when reading the book. Read the exclusive excerpt from First Degree: A Crime Anthology below. The 148-page hardcover graphic novel arrives in bookstores on Tuesday, August 3rd, and in comic shops the following Wednesday, August 4th.