Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bullets: New Incognito, Brubaker Interviews, Crime Comics.

The Incognito express keeps rolling on, and -- despite my being sick this week -- we're here to cover the highlights..
  • New Incognito in stores now. Two issues of Brubaker and Phillips' "Apocalyptic Pulp Noir" mini-series were released this past Wednesday: the second printing of issue #1 and a new chapter in issue #2. Comic Book Resources has a five-page preview of the second issue. This issue has already received very positive reviews from CBR and The Savage Critics, and if sales of the first issue are any indication, this issue will probably go pretty fast. If you don't have it already, you should probably buy it soon.

  • Brubaker interviews. There have been a few recent interviews with Ed Brubaker that I didn't mention in my last blog post. Brubaker talked with Atomic Comics about Incognito, Captain America, and the new Sleeper film. Newsarama posted an hour-long Word Balloon podcast with Brubaker, where he discussed the pulp noir comic and his work on the online live-action mini-series Angel of Death. And, since I last wrote, the New York Comic Con saw the announcement of The Marvels Project, an upcoming mini-series about the orgins of Marvel's earliest superheroes; Brubaker is writing the story, and Newsarama conducted a lengthy interview about the project.

  • Other crime comics. In the back pages of the latest issue, Ed Brubaker writes about Donald Westlake, who passed away at the beginning of the year, and whose many psuedonyms apparently inspired Tracy Lawless' alias in Criminal. He mentions that Darwyn Cooke will be adapting the first four volumes of Westlake's "Parker" novels (written under the psuedonym, Richard Stark) and now is as good a time as any to mention that, later this year, we'll see quite a few crime comics that might appeal to Criminal fans.

    Cooke's adaptation of the first "Parker" novel, The Hunter, should be released in late 2009; the project was announced at last year's San Diego Comic-Con and was covered by Newsarama and CBR, among many other online newssites. A new "Parker" fansite has recently displayed what appears to be the cover art for the first adaptation, which is now scheduled for a July release, and they point to a recent interview with Cooke at Wizard.

    (Those who are interested in Darwyn Cooke's "Parker" adaptations might be interested to know that, last year, The University of Chicago Press began republishing the earliest novels in the series, in order. The next group of three novels should be released this May.)

    During this past weekend's New York Comic Con, two other high-profile crime comics were announced. DC's Vertigo comics will release a series of black-and-white hardcover graphic novels under the heading Vertigo Crime. The first two graphic novels are scheduled to be released in September, and five other titles were announced as being in the pipeline, with more being planned.

    And, also in September, Dark Horse Comics will release a crime comic anthology series called Noir, and it features our own Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. It's possible that this anthology will include a Criminal "emission" just like last year's Liberty Comics anthology for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; we'll post more details as they become available.
Personally, I think the growing interest in pure crime comics can only be a good thing for Criminal, which is proving to be the gold standard in monthly crime titles. We could be witnessing the birth -- or, more accurately, the rebirth -- of a comic-book genre.

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