Monday, March 31, 2008

Bullets: Interviews, "Bad Night," Volume 3 Collection.

It's been a couple weeks, and the Criminal Express keeps on chugging.
  • Interviews. Ed Brubaker has given a couple more interviews for the new volume of Criminal. First, there's an lengthy interview with Duane Swierczynski in issue #22 of Crimespree magazine; at his MySpace page, Ed pointed to an online copy of the conversation, here. Ed discusses his family ties to crime films and espionage, his current reading habits, and his partnerships with Sean Phillips and with Gotham Central co-writer Greg Rucka.

    And, a couple weeks ago, comic book stores received issue #1081 of Comic Shop News, featuring a cover story on Criminal. I don't believe the story can be found online, but in the story, Ed reveals that the upcoming story on Jake promises to be a "Jim Thompson-esque tour of the night and the city."

  • "Bad Night." Speaking of Jake's story, the next arc of Criminal continues to surface. The solicitation for issue #4 has been released and can be found at Marvel.com, here. With issue #2 now scheduled for early April and issue #3 scheduled for late May, there won't be much of a wait between story arcs. And, Sean Phillips has already shown the cover art for the second part of Jake's four-issue arc. A quick look at Sean's blog entries from March 20th to the 24th shows the progression from concept to a (likely) finished product.

  • Volume 3 Collection. Finally, speaking of Sean and his blog, we've recently seen artwork, here, that appears to be the cover for the third trade paperback of Criminal, collecting the three interlocking issues set in the 1970's. The collection appears to have an introduction by John Singleton and will have a title that would fit very well alongside other pulp crime works: The Dead and the Dying.

Part Two of The Dead and the Dying -- "A Wolf Among Wolves", about the vicious Teeg Lawless -- should be in stores April 9th.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Look Ahead: "Bad Night."

We're not done here with this trilogy of stories set in the Seventies: I may link to interesting reviews of "Second Chance in Hell" as I find them, and we have two more issues ahead of us. But the moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on! Sean's blog should be a regular stop for Criminal fans, as he often shows works in progress. As he has done in the past, he's given us a glance at his work on the cover art from concept to the final version, here, in the last three entries for February. The cover is apparently for Issue #4, the first in a four-issue arc called "Bad Night." In the podcast I mentioned earlier, Ed Brubaker mentioned three stories he's working on to follow the flashback trilogy: Leo's next story, about how he gets out of prison; Tracy's next story; and a story focusing on Jake, who was introduced in "Lawless". It looks like the next arc is about Jake.

Jake was the guy who helped Tracy create his false identity of "Sam West." He walks with crutches, he clearly has a history with Sebastian Hyde's thug, Chester, and it was revealed in a most understated fashion that Jake is "Jacob K.", the author of the strip "Frank Kafka, Private Eye." I'm very much looking forward to learn more about him.

The cover art, above, is simply stunning. And I believe the movie theater marquee is advertizing "The Sleeper" as a nod to Sleeper, Sean and Ed's excellent spy thriller set in the WildStorm universe.

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