Slate is a warrior on the lam. A former Army scout, he lived deep in Taliban country in Afghanistan until his mind snapped. Sent home, he got into a bar fight, killed two local troublemakers, and has been running ever since. Slate is on a mission. His former captain, Lyle Tillerman, slaughtered an entire village in Afghanistan, was relieved of his command, and discharged. Slate has been searching for him for two years. He intends to confront his former captain and kill him.

As the story begins, Slate is sitting in front of a bonfire with a bunch of lone wolves on the outskirts of Martinsville, a tiny Midwestern metropolis. A young woman visits Slate's camp, bringing food to the lone wolves, and reciting poetry to them. She's the daughter of Martinsville's crime lord. Her name is Caroline. Slate's intrigued by Caroline, and falls in love with her as the flickering light of the bonfire falls on her face. But Caroline disappears one day.

Slate discovers that Tillerman has come to Martinsville with a band of renegade ex-scouts, has killed Caroline's father, and taken over the town. He's also holding Caroline as a hostage. Slate has a new mission now. He has to free Caroline and find a way to destroy Tillerman and the grip he has on Martinsville. It's almost an impossible task. Slate is all alone.

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Sample illustrations by Joe Staton

JEROME CHARYN is a novelist whose work has been published in more than 20 countries. From his first graphic novel, The Magician’s Wife, which won the top international prize at Angouleme, to his latest, New York Cannibals, an international bestseller and future live-action feature from Barry Films, Charyn has worked with the finest artists in Europe and America, including Joe Staton and Francois Boucq. He is currently working on an adult animated drama series, Hard Apple, based on his crime novels, to be illustrated by Asaf and Tomer Hanuka. His latest novel, Big Red, about Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles, will be published by Liveright/Norton this summer, in a jacket designed by acclaimed New Yorker caricaturist Edward Sorel.

JOE STATON decided he wanted to be a cartoonist at 3 years old when he began tracing DICK TRACY in the funnies. He has been drawing comics professionally since he started working for Charlton Comics in 1971, where he co-created E-Man and Michael Mauser. Though the bulk of his work has been for DC Comics, Staton has worked for at least 30 publishers and 100 different editors. Among his many comics credits are Action Comics, Green Lantern, The Legion, Classics Illustrated, various incarnations of Batman, and over 100 issues of Scooby Doo. With his writer-wife Hilarie, he produced medical comics such as Pete Learns All About Crohn’s and Colitis and Amy Goes Gluten-Free. He has received both the Eisner and Inkpot awards. From 2011 through 2021, Joe was the artist for the DICK TRACY newspaper strip partnering with writer Mike Curtis. DICK TRACY received Harvey Awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015 for Best Syndicated Strip or Feature.