A Q&A with the Miami Vice Remixers

A couple of months ago I was able to review the first issue of a new Miami Vice comic series from Lion Forge Comics & IDW. At the time of the review I sent some questions over to the comic creators Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood, and both have been gracious enough to provide answers about the creation and future of the remixed detectives.

Q: Miami Vice is no stranger to the ‘reboot’ phenomenon. How does your ‘remix’ differ to previous attempts to resurrect the brand?

Joe Casey: I didn’t know there were previous attempts. Is nothing sacred anymore?!

Jim Mahfood: This version exists in the Jim Mahfood/Joe Casey Universe so it has a look and feel completely unto itself. There’s nothing else like it. We don’t even say if it’s the 1980’s or not. It’s up to reader to figure it out.

Q: When we recently reviewed the first issue, it took me a while to get Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas out of my mind. How did you tackle your interpretations of the characters? Do you see your Crocket and Tubbs as completely fresh takes on the characters or as the 80’s TV show icons transplanted into modern-day Miami?

Joe Casey: As much as I’m a fan of both of those actors and their respective body of work, we took this on to get under the skin of the characters, Crockett and Tubbs. From knowing the show, I’d like to think we captured their essence without being slaves to the live action interpretations.

Jim Mahfood: I didn’t even think of the actors from the TV show when I did this. The look of my Crockett & Tubbs is completely original and it’s a representation of my Visual Funk drawing style. The style exists in its own realm.

Q: As a retro-themed website, we’re obviously big fans of the TV show. How does the remixed format cater for the old-school fans like us?

Joe Casey: I think our Miami Vice gives you everything you might’ve loved about the show without making you feel dirty for wallowing too deeply in nostalgia laced with questionable fashion tastes.

Jim Mahfood: Crockett & Tubbs are still total badasses. They drive the classic black Ferrari. Castillo is still their boss. Elvis the alligator is still there. So, we’re paying homage to the vibe and the tone of the show without doing exactly the show. That would be boring. This is comics. It’s the Mahfood/Casey Universe and it’s going to be unique, insane, funny, psychedelic, and edgy.

Q: You’ve turned everything up to eleven with your first issue. Is that the plan for the entire series?

Joe Casey: Absolutely. You have no idea just how high we can crank this.

Jim Mahfood: Yea, we don’t pull any punches. Readers will be taken on a thrilling ride, that’s for sure. Ha ha.

Q: Do you have a hit list of things you want to accomplish? Are we going to see anything crazy like Crocket riding Elvis towards a Miami sunset? :)

Joe Casey: Excuse me for a second… I need to go do a quick rewrite…

Jim Mahfood: I don’t want to give away too many secrets, but like I said, Elvis is most definitely there.

Q: And finally, are there any other 80’s properties you’d like to tackle in the future? I’d love to read ALF: Remix if you’re scouting for ideas!

Joe Casey: Alf will have his day back in the pop cultural courtroom, I’m sure. And he’d be just as guilty now as he was back then.

Jim Mahfood: ALF would be rad! Let’s do it!

Miami Vice Remix by Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood

So, there you have it, I think we can expect great things from this new 5-issue mini-series. I’d like to thank Joe and Jim for taking the time to answer our questions and to the kind folks at Wonacott Communications who handled PR duties.

You can pick up issue 1 on March 25 and issue 2 follows on April 22.

Miami Vice gets remixed by Lion Forge Comics

Miami Vice: Remix

I was recently offered the chance to review the first issue of the brand new Miami Vice: Remix comic from Lion Forge. I said YES without giving it any though as I loved the TV show growing up, and a continuation of those adventures couldn’t fail, could it? The short answer is, no, it doesn’t fail on its promise, but Remix is not the adventure I was expecting!

If the names Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood mean anything to you, then you probably have a good idea what to expect from this reimagining. I confess, I knew little about them prior to reading issue one, which meant I was plunged into the deep end of their vibrant, modern Miami. The new world of Miami Vice is one of bright colours, angular styles and a far more jagged and adult tone.

Crocket and Tubbs

To begin with, the comic update felt jarring and I had to watch a few episodes of the 80’s show to remind myself of the Miami that Crocket and Tubbs originally occupied. It turns out that the show is incredibly tame by todays standards, no worse than any 21st century primetime procedural. By comparison, the newly remixed Miami Vice is a late night cable show, upping the violence, language, flesh and absurdity to levels expected from that audience.

Once I got into the mindset that this isn’t Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas playing cops, I really started to enjoy the new Vice pairing.

Trouble! Again!!

Issue One is all about establishing the two Detective’s, and it happily does this in style. Right from the start, the duo are in trouble and this danger is never allowed to dissipate with page after page of car chases, fights and shoot-outs. As you can see in art featured here, the experience is never anything less than visceral.

If future issues continue at the same break-neck pace as this first outing, you can expect great things from this new series. Just don’t expect it to be the same as the show you watched 30 years ago – and that isn’t a bad thing!

Miami Vice Remix by Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood

Miami Vice: Remix is released early in 2015 by Lion Forge Comics.