Smash Pages Q&A | Alex Segura’s ‘Secret Identity’

The comics writer, novelist and industry veteran discusses his newest book, which combines his love of mysteries with the comic book industry.

Alex Segura is known to comics readers for various comics projects ranging from The Dusk to The Black Ghost to Archie Meets the B-52’s to the upcoming The Awakened, but the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Oni-Lion Forge has another career as a novelist. Segura has written an acclaimed series of novels featuring journalist-turned-private eye Pete Fernandez, and his new novel Secret Identity bridges these two worlds.

A murder mystery set in 1970s New York, the novel centers around Carmen Valdez, an assistant at Triumph Comics who aspires to be a writer. After a co-worker is murdered, Valdez tries to understand what happened. Chapters of the novel are also interspersed with pages from the fictional The Lynx comic book, which Valdez co-wrote in the novel, but are drawn by real-life artist Sandy Jarrell.

The novel is a departure for Segura, less focused on plot but more about character and atmosphere, focused on evoking another era and a look inside the comics industry of that time. It’s his best and richest work to date, and we had a chance to talk recently about the novel, which is out this week.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Alex Segura on ‘The Dusk’

The editor, author and comics writer discusses his current project that’s up on Kickstarter, as well as his next comics-themed novel, Micro-Face and more.

Alex Segura has many irons in many fires on any given day. He serves as co-president of Archie Comics, where he has also been known to write comics featuring the flagship character meeting bands like the Ramones and the B-52s. And when he’s not in Riverdale, he’s working on his own projects, whether that’s novels like the Peter Fernandez mystery series and Poe Dameron: Free Fall, or comics like The Black Ghost and The Dusk.

It’s the latter that’s occupying a lot of his time right now. It’s a new comic he’s made with Elizabeth Little, David Hahn, Ellie Wright, Taylor Esposito and Joseph Illidge, and it currently has 10 days left in its Kickstarter campaign. It’s about a lawyer/divorced dad by day, superhero by night who tries to take a different approach to fighting crime.

Segura was kind enough to speak with me about this project, as well as his next novel, Secret Identity, and an upcoming comic he’s made with the folks at NPR’s Planet Money podcast, among other topics.

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