hood2Not sure if comic book fans know, but we have our very own superhero set here in Philly! How exciting is that? I’m disappointed in myself for not perusing the shelves of my local comic book stores a little better. And I hope I do not get punished by the staff of Geekadelphia for such a thing.

The Black Hood is Philly’s answer to the comic book vigilante problem that we currently do not have. Although we have been visited by some of the more famous of super heroes, Superman did stop here in Philly for a “Cheese Steak sandwich” at one point. The Punisher stopped by once as well, and Thomas Elliot (Hush from Batman) resided in Philly for a time.

Duane Swierczynski, the current writer for the Black Hood series, took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about what he has planned next for the hero Philadelphians deserve and what got him interested in the comic book business.

Peak Johnson: So, where are you originally from? You’re not from Philly are you?

Duane Swierczynski: Hell yeah I am. Born and raised in Frankford, one block from the El. Except for a couple of years in Brooklyn, and a few upstate, I’ve lived within the city limits my entire life.

PJ: Where did you attend college?

DS: La Salle University, in Olney. Though I spent most of my time in the basement of the Union Building, working on the school paper.

PJ: What got you interested in writing for comics?

DS: I’ve been reading them since I was a kid, but got back into them as an adult with series like HARLAN ELLISON’S DREAM CORRIDOR and SANDMAN and 100 BULLETS and a lot of other Vertigo titles. I love how comics are a hybrid between film and prose. There are wild images in front of your eyes, but your brain still does a lot of heavy lifting, connecting the action between panels. Comics can do things that no other art form can, and that remains very exciting.


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Dominique “Peak” Johnson is a North Philadelphia journalists and blogger. He is one of the founding editors and writers of the North Philly Metropolis, blogger for The Huffington Post, and staff writer for  Al DÍA News. Click here to learn more about Peak.