Saturday, May 31, 2008

Criminal in Liberty Comics.

Criminal completists should take note that Liberty Comics, an anthology comic to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, will include a Criminal story by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. The 32-page, full-color comic features all-new material and is scheduled to be released on July 23rd. Newsarama has a copy of the press release announcing the comic; Comic Book Resources has an interview with the editor that features the two covers for the comic book; and the editor is promoting the comic at his own blog. In addition to the Criminal creators, the book will feature Garth Ennis, Mark Millar, Darwyn Cooke, and others. Editor Scott Dunbier strongly recommends that interested readers explicitly ask their local stores to order this book.

That's about all I know about this book, in terms of official information, but I do have a few speculations about what Criminal fans will see in Liberty Comics.

I suspect the story will be called "No One Rides for Free." This title is in an image that Sean posted to his blog, and it's probably worth noting that the work is "a Criminal emission" when each individual issue and trade collection is referenced as "a Criminal edition."

And, I suspect that the story will involve Jake and Tracy, and that it be set in the present day, specifically after the events of "Lawless." Sean's been showing a lot of artwork featuring Jake lately, and this blog entry shows the most information-rich image, a full-page rooftop conversation with Tracy Lawless that appears to establish that their hometown newspaper -- where "Frank Kafka" might be published -- is the Gazette.

(Readers of "Lawless" will recall that a rooftop is not the best place to meet Tracy.)

I strongly believe this page is not from the upcoming "Bad Night" arc, because the solicitation for the first issue of that arc establishes that it's set five years ago, when Tracy was still in the army and before he got the scars we see in this preview page. This image is definitely set after "Lawless."

It looks like the short story in Liberty Comics will be a very interesting addition to the Criminal canon, hopefully a good introduction to new readers and another wrinkle in the ongoing tale of crime, violence, and tragedy.

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Quick Request for Info on Comic Conventions.

I had noticed that, on the weekend of May 10th, Ed Brubaker was attending the Emerald City ComicCon in Seattle, and Sean Phillips went to Bristol Con. Their respective blogs provided fairly short notice, and I was too busy that week to write an entry here highlighting their appearances.

I would love to be able to find a quick list of upcoming appearances for Ed, Sean, and Val Staples, so I could relay that info here. I did find a site, ComicBookConventions.com, that has a pretty comprehensive calendar of upcoming con's, but it appears to have very limited information for conventions outside the United States -- thus probably excluding the many of the European conventions Sean appears to frequent -- and there's no apparent functionality for searching for appearances by a particular writer, artist, or editor.

If any readers have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments. Thanks.

UPDATE: It looks like Sean is in Copenhagen this weekend for a comic-book festival, one that isn't listed at the site above. The fact that I just noticed this announcement underlines the need for more advance information.