This week, cartoonist Stephan Franck launched a Kickstarter campaign for the next two volumes in his neo-noir graphic novel series Palomino. The new books pick up where the first volume left off, with musician and private eye Eddie Lang continuing his investigation into the mysterious death of an actress in LA. With the campaign now in full gear, The Beat is pleased to offer an exclusive excerpt from Palomino Volume 2.

Here’s how the Kickstarter page describes the latest installments of the series:

The year is 1981. The American Century is running on fumes, but the end isn’t anywhere in sight. The cowboy is still America’s most central symbol—and from movies, to music, to the President himself, it all hails from Southern California.

The age of urban cowboys is in full swing. Across LA, six nights a week, working musicians, TV actors, stuntmen, cops, hustlers, and broken souls all play their part in the cultural myth making. Most of them are just trying to survive—on the B-side of the City of Angels.

Former Burbank PD detectivePI by day,  working musician by night, and man on thin ice, Eddie Lang continues his investigation into the murder of former TV actress Eileen Wilcox. Eileen got in too deep. Will Eddie make the same mistake?

In an interview with The Beat back when the first volume of the series was being funded, Franck described how the series evolved from an examination of the past into a reflection of the present:

“I always thought that PALOMINO would somehow be my way into a story about the end of the American Century–a genre that I am fascinated with. But while writing the book, it became clear that the story was not about the last century, but about the one we’re in. While other books– Watchmen being my favorite example–explore the American Century’s demise, they were written during the Reagan era, and chronicled the period as the end of a story.

“From our 2020 vantage point, we can now see that the early 80’s really were the start of another cycle, which in my view, eventually ended with the 2016 election. The Reagan era was the time all the seeds were planted for the world as it is today. So without spoilers, I will say that, as the series continues over 4 volumes, Lisette and Eddie will trip over some pretty big things.”

Check out the exclusive excerpt from Palomino Volume 2 below. The Kickstarter campaign for both Volumes 2 and 3 of the series is live now, and will run through Thursday, May 4th.