Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Velvet #11 and The Fade Out #10, In ALL Comic Stores Today.

For those of us who were hit by last week's shipping delays -- we've finally updated the blog post -- we can confirm that The Fade Out #8 is in all stores today -- and it's a double dose for Ed Brubaker fans, as Brubker's throwback espionage with Steve Epting also returns today, with issue #11.



This is the first issue of the third arc, "The Man Who Stole the World," possibly an allusion to "The Man Who Sold the World," the 1970 David Bowie song famously covered by Nirvana for their Unplugged show in New York City.

Comic Book Resources has just posted a three-page preview of the issue.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

THE FADE OUT #8 in *SOME* Stores Today -- and More!

I'm in the process of writing a lengthy post, but we want to get the first item out there immediately.  I'll be updating this post, probably tonight, but until then...

• The Fade Out #8 in SOME stores today, in all markets next week.  The big news is that the latest issue of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' The Fade Out is beginning to reach stores today:  issue #8 is the conclusion to "Act Two," and a three-page preview can be found at Comic Book Resources.



The issue was listed as "not verified by Diamond" in this week's new arrivals at ComicList.com, it wasn't listed in Brian Hibbs' list of arrivals for his shop in San Francisco, and my local shop in Georgia confirmed last night that they didn't get the issue either.

What gives?  Ed Brubaker tweeted that there were "shipping delays," and he relayed to us the details: a truck for Diamond Comic Distributors broke down, delaying the issue's arrival for one week, for both the South and the West Coast.

We appreciate the info from Ed, and we suppose we can make it one more week:  if our readers have any doubt about whether the issue is waiting at their local shops, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.

More "bullets" to come...

--

UPDATE, 8/12:  Well, that took longer than I expected.  This is the first and probably last time we'll deliberately split a post like this.


Director Leaked for Incognito Adaptation.  The big news last week was an exclusive report from The Tracking Board about the film adaptation for Brubaker and Phillips' pulp noir comic, Incognito.  According to the story, "sources confirm" that the film will be directed by Fede Alvarez, whose directorial debut was for the remake of Evil Dead, a job for which he was hand-picked by Sam Raimi.  He has since co-written a draft on the Incognito screenplay, and the insider website reports that an additional writer is being sought.

I believe the last time we reported on this adaptation was just over three years ago, and while it appears no further comic stories are currently planned in the Incognito universe, we reported in March that the two existing stories are scheduled to be reprinted later this year.


Fatale Deluxe on the NY Times Reading List, and Volume 2 Likely To Come Soon.  Toward the end of July, the New York Times posted a "kick-back summer reading list," and the feature concluded with the first deluxe collection for Brubaker and Phillips' popular horror-noir mashup.  Dana Jennings writes that the series should be the next graphic novel adapted on "quality cable."
"It’s a full-bodied blend of noir and Lovecraftian horror... Perfect reading at dusk, as the bats dip and dart in the eaves."

And what about the second and concluding deluxe edition?  Ed Brubaker has recently tweeted, "Keep watching the solicits."

We haven't seen anything yet, be we expect the November solicitations to be released in the next few days.


Nerdist Podcast Interview with Ed Brubaker.  Finally, on July 28th, Nerdist posted a Comics Panel podcast with Ed Brubaker, recorded at WonderCon on April 4th.  We're still going through the audio, and we'll post any highlights of info that would be new to regular readers of this blog.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The Last of the Innocent: The Last Criminal Trade In Stores Today!

We noticed that, in the back-page ad of last week's issue of The Fade Out #7, the cover for the last Criminal trade paperback had changed; as with "The Sinners" before it, the color scheme for "The Last of the Innocent" had been altered.

Sean Phillips was gracious enough to send us a copy of the new cover art, which we're including below.



This sixth and (so far) final trade paperback is in stores today, and it remains one of the team's ambitious and satisfying works.  

A stand-alone story that is set in the larger Criminal universe, its commentary on comic books demands (favorable) comparisons to Watchmen, but it's not a formal exercise in meta-fiction:  it is both a meditation on nostalgia and perhaps Brubaker and Phillips' darkest pure noir.

We're working on a composite image of all six covers, much-needed changes to the blog's appearance,  and a very lengthy omnibus post that extends from the comics to noir and crime stories in general.  Until all that's done, we would have been remiss not to announce the completion of Image Comics' new editions of Criminal, for which the UK's OK Comics has tweeted a very nice picture of all six books.


Coward. 
Lawless. 
The Dead and the Dying. 
Bad Night. 
The Sinners. 
The Last of the Innocent.

All six collections of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips acclaimed and award-wining Criminal are in stores now.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Fade Out #7 Out Today -- and September Solicitations!

We're posting a quick note, primarily to relay that the latest issue of The Fade Out is in stores today, and Comic Book Resources has a five-page preview, where our central protagonist Charlie is falling for "the replacement blonde."

Last week, Image Comics released its September solicitations.  The second act of The Fade Out concluding with issue #8, September 16th is the scheduled release date for the second trade paperback and issue #8 -- "Act Three begins as the mystery heats up!"

The final cover may well change, but we recognize the solicited cover for Act Two's collection; the arc comprises issues #5-8, and the image re-purposes this months issue, with a striking blue logo.



Finally, on Twitter, Michael Kronenberg reminds us to pick up the Noir City e-magazine; individual back issues are now on sale, and the Spring 2015 issue features a cover story on Criminal and The Fade Out, with an interview with Brubaker and Phillips.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The Sinners Back in Print This Week, a Sean Phillips Preview, and More!

The fifth volume of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Criminal is back in stores tomorrow.  Now published by Image Comics, "The Sinners" was the first arc originally released as a mini-series, with the previous four arcs published in two volumes of an ongoing series.  The arc is also the last we've seen of the present-day world of Criminal, with the subsequent stories being set in Teeg Lawless' heyday.

UPDATE, 3:00 AM ET, JUN 3:  Earlier tonight, Ed Brubaker relayed that the cover's color scheme had changed, and just now Sean Phillips posted the final cover art, which we're reprinting below -- a bold RED replacing the more muted blue tones found in the original solicitation.






We posted some spoiler-ish thoughts on the story arc in a comment thread when the final issue was released, and I still think it's a very strong story but not quite as jaw-dropping as the story arcs that preceded it and followed it.

Comic Book Resources still has its five-page preview of the first issue, from 2009.

Checking his blog, we see that Sean Phillips has announced a very interesting art exhibit -- Phono+Graphic: 60 Vinyl Record Covers by 60 Comicbook Artists.  Phillips is curating the exhibit for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, in Kendal, England, this October.

And, on Twitter, Phillips has provided an advanced look at the art for a bonus essay by Devin Faraci, no doubt for an upcoming issue of The Fade Out:  a gorgeous painting of Errol Flynn in 1938's The Adventures of Robin Hood.



Last time, we mentioned Brubaker and Phillips being featured in the cover story for the latest issue of the e-magazine Noir City.  The magazine's website currently features a PDF preview of a different article that our readers might find interesting, a look at Will Eisner's The Spirit and its parallels with film noir.

(Dig around the site, and you'll find an archive of preview articles, including crime novelist Lawrence Block's five favorite noir films.  Echoing Charles Ardai, the publisher of Hard Case Crime, Block defines noir as "crime fiction written by a pessimist.")

Finally, we had noticed that the Heretick Theatre Lab had a rebroadcast of The Noir Series, which included Ed Brubaker's play "Air Conditioned Rooms," but that particular encore presentation had come and gone before we noticed it.   The rebroadcast is now on the theater company's home page, with all four plays available for 48-hour rentals, for $0.99 each.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Fade Out #6 and Velvet Volume 2 Out Today, and a Noir City Cover Story.

A brief post to note two new arrivals at your local comics retailer -- and an extensive look at noir comics in a nationally published e-magazine.

The Fade Out #6 is out today, continuing Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' sprawling look at Hollywood's Golden Age and its seedy underbelly.  The issue evidently focuses on former child star "Flapjack" Jones, who has been a very minor character up to this point, and Comic Book Resources has just released a five-page preview

Also out is Velvet Volume 2: The Secret Lives of Dead Men.  Ed Brubaker's other project is his spy comic with Steve Epting, for which the second trade paperback collection reaches stores today.

Noir fans will also be interested in the spring issue of the Noir City e-magazine, published the Film Noir Foundation.  The non-profit foundation is dedicated to preserving America's nor heritage, and to that end it organizes the yearly Noir City film festival in San Francisco, publishes a quarterly e-magazine, and produces an annual that collects much of the magazine's content in print. (UPDATE, 6/2:  added a direct link to the magazine.)

The spring issue of their magazine, issue number 15, focuses on comics, with features on The Spirit, Batman in the 1970's, and Batman: Year One.  The issue's cover story is an extensive interview with Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, which concludes with a list of Brubaker's five favorite noir films.



The magazine's cover uses Phillips' striking cover art from "The Last of the Innocent" #3, and the interview discusses both Criminal and The Fade Out, calling the latter the best noir currently being produced, "a spellbinding, richly evocative murder mystery set in Hollywood at the height of the film noir era."

The issue is available, along with a full year's subscription, to those who join the foundation's mailing list and contribute a donation of $20 or more.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Velvet Preview, A Brubaker Interview, A Criminal Trade, and an Eisner Nod!

Image Comics continues to release new editions of Criminal, and the fourth volume is out today:  "Bad Night" is the first of three stories (and counting?) where the medium of comics strongly intersects with the narrative, and it showed that, with each new story, Brubaker and Phillips would continue to challenge themselves, the readers, and even their deeply flawed protagonists and their tenuous grasp on the world around them.


We believe that the interruption was definitely worth it, but the Criminal Special Edition one-shot was nevertheless a significant interruption in the usual output of creator-owned comics by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and even Brubaker's other collaborator Steve Epting.  The Fade Out #4 came out in the first week of January, and Velvet #9 came out in the first week of February, and we're only now seeing the next installments -- in back-to-back weeks.

The Fade Out #5 came out last week, to very positive reviews, with Comic Book Roundup aggregating views from 11 different critics, all giving the book an 8 or better on a 10-point scale.  The review from Doom Rocket is particularly worth reading for noting the distinction between noir and detective stories, and it dovetails with an excellent, lengthy look at the first trade paperback, in a review published by Hyperallergic earlier this month.  Rhymes With Geek has another good review, but it's worth noting that this issue is more the beginning of a new act in the sprawling drama rather than a "jumping-on" point for new readers.

Hot on the heels of Brubaker's latest work with Phillips is his latest with Epting, closing a chapter instead of starting a new one.  Velvet #10 is in stores today, Graphic Policy has a three-page preview, and All-Comic.com has a quite positive advance review.


Image's July solicitations just came out yesterday, and we see the planned return to a more regular schedule.  Between June and July, we should see the last two Criminal trades released (volumes 5 and 6), The Fade Out #8, and Velvet #14.

Ed Brubaker addresses the schedule in a lengthy interview published by Comic Book Resources last week:  in an image caption for The Fade Out, we find that "Brubaker says the book is set to remain on a monthly schedule for the rest of the year."

The interview also reveals that Brubaker is currently working as supervising producer on an HBO series, set to debut later this year:  he could not reveal further details, but the writer is juggling his work for TV and his creator-owned books.
I get up at 6 in the morning and I write my comics for like three hours, and then I go into a day job. I'm asleep by 10 every night right now.
It's interesting. The structure's been really good for me. We have no phones or computers in the writers' room -- my attention span has totally come back. I really thought I had slowly developed ADD, but it turned out I was just looking at the Internet all the time and checking my email. Once you're untethered from that? Now I'm reading more books, I'm looking at the Internet in general so much less, and I feel so much mentally healthier from that. But it's a lot of work to carry.
In fact, Brubaker says that there is a unique appeal to a creator-owned comic book: "I'll tell you -- working in Hollywood has made me appreciate my comics job a lot. No one gives me notes, I don't have to involve a lot of people in the process. I love the hours of my day when I get to sit and write my comics. I think I appreciate them more now than I did when it was my full-time job."

Does he miss writing superhero comics for the big two publishers?  Not so much.


Brubaker's work in creator-owned comics continues to pay off, in more ways than one.
The Image deal is so fantastic. This year, already, has been my best year financially in comics, ever. And it's only three months in. I've made more money from Image than I made last year when the "Winter Soldier" movie was out, on "Captain America" books.
Every project [Brubaker and Phillips] do sells better than the last one now, and it's not that more of our old readers are coming back. There's just a bunch of new people who are reading comics now. It's pretty fucking amazing.
But it's not just the financial rewards and the increased readership:  critical acclaim is another reward, as The Fade Out joins Criminal, Incognito, and Fatale in being recognized in the list of Eisner nominees.

The 2015 Eisner nominations were released just two hours ago, and Brubaker and Phillips' latest collaboration makes a notable appearance, as The Fade Out is nominated for Best New Series.

As always, winners will be announced at Comic-Con International:  the gala awards ceremony will take place on Friday, July 10th, in San Diego.

We heartily congratulate Ed, Sean, and Bettie for the nomination!

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