Bullets: CRIMINAL One-Shot & FADE OUT Trade Tomorrow, & More!
The "fearful symmetry" was striking, but not just in how both Lawless boys had come to resemble their father -- especially Tracy, as "The Dead and the Dying" shows Teeg's unecessary brutality was driven by his own protective instincts. There was also how Tracy had become both the hunter and the hunted, as he and his pursuer violently interrogated people simultaneously.
I continue to be awed with how intricate the plotting tends to be in each of these Criminal arcs, with no wasted moments, no obvious "plot hammering," and lots of irony in the juxtaposition of scense. The world is set up very carefully before it all comes crashing down, but it all seems very effortless. I don't think the comparisons are outlandish, between Criminal and Watchmen, and I think the former actually compares favorably in being less obviously overwrought. The writing and the artwork almost seems impressionistic at times, so its elaborate structure sneaks up on the reader.
Since my neighborhood is seeing its first real snow days, now has been a great time to read "Lawless" with its cold, bleak setting, as hard and dangerous as the man returning to the city at Christmastime.
This is also the first time I've re-read the story as the father of young children. Having first-hand experience of the natural and unconstrained joy of kids seeing their dad after a long day at the office, I'm even more repulsed at the simple evil of Teeg Lawless, striking terror in his sons.
But we have more to write about than the new reprint of an eight-year-old masterpiece.
The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on!
• CRIMINAL Special Edition, and THE FADE OUT TPB in Stores Tomorrow. It will have been almost 3 and a half years since the last issue of "Last of the Innocent" -- 1,261 days to be exact -- but a new issue of Criminal is in stores tomorrow.
The Criminal Special Edition one-shot will be released in a standard edition and in a magazine-sized variant: we hope you've already ordered your copy of the latter, and as we reported late last month, AV Club has posted a five-page preview of the comic.
Comicosity has an interview with Ed Brubaker, where he mentions the origins of this new story, a writer firend telling him of the popularity that a lot of adult comic magazines like Heavy Metal, Eerie, and Savage Sword of Conan enjoyed among prison populations. Brubaker was entranced by the idea of an inmate reading a barbarian comic, and with the mid-1970s being "such a great era for neo-noir pulp," Teeg Lawless became the obvious choice for the character.
All-Comic.com has a Brubaker interview combined with an advance review, awarding the book 4 out of 5 stars. With the series being reprinted by Image, the creators wanted to produce something like an annual to celebrate its return to stands, with a magazine-sized variant that they and readers really seem to enjoy.
We've also seen a very positive reaction (and a few new pages) in an advance review from Coming Up Comics. We can't wait to read the first new Criminal story in ages, and one song has been running through my head all day...
• THE FADE OUT Featured in Image Firsts Compendium. This leads us to Image Comics and its "Image Firsts" promotion to provide inexpensive introductions to their best and most popular creator-owned work.
It started in 2010 with one-dollar reprints of first issues, which we have seen for all of Ed Brubaker's work for Image: Fatale and The Fade Out with Sean Phillips, and Velvet with Steve Epting.
The approach has expanded to include "Image Introduces... Volume Ones," first-volume trade paperbacks at $9.99, of which The Fade Out Volume 1 is only the newest example.
We're not sure how much it's been promoted, as we missed its February 11th release entirely, but the approach now includes a trade paperback of first issues, Image Firsts Compendium Volume 1.
The hefty book containing NINE first issues for the incredibly low price of $5.99, not much more than the typical single issue.
- Wytches by Scott Snyder and Jock
- Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta
- Nailbiter by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson
- Southern Bastards by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour
- The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
- The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
- Low by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini
- Shutter by Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca
- C.O.W.L. by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis