Sunday, February 22, 2009

May Solicitations: Incognito and Sleeper.

As Newsarama reported earlier this week, Marvel and DC released their May solicitations earlier this week. In Marvel's solicitations, Incognito #5 is listed, currently scheduled for a May 27th release. The most interesting thing is that description doesn't suggest that the fifth issue is the final issue. We reported, way back in September, that Incognito was planned to be a five-issue mini-series, but this description doesn't sound like the climax and conclusion:
Doc Lester is the mad scientist's mad scientist, and he may just be the only person who knows the truth about Zack Overkill and his twin brother...A truth that Zack will soon have to kill for, as all sides are closing in on him.
It's possible I'm reading too much between the lines, but I'll see if I can confirm that the mini-series has been lengthened.

Over at DC's side of things, we have an advance solitication -- which has now been posted at the official site -- for the first volume in a new edition of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Sleeper. We first reported the new editions in September, and we finally have some details.

This first volume, Sleeper Season One (buy Sleeper: Season One from amazon.com) is scheduled to be released on June 17th. It's a trade paperback collection of material that was previously available in two trade paperbacks, "Out in the Cold" and "All False Moves." While those two volumes retailed together for $35.98, it appears that this new collection will sell for only $24.99.

Comparing page counts, it appears that this new volume will not contain much extra material, if any. Earlier, Ed Brubaker mentioned the inclusion of a rare story from a WildStorm sampler, but since that story is apparently a prequel or prelude to Season Two, it will almost certainly be included in a follow-up Season Two volume, which has not yet been announced.

Personally, I would love to see an "Absolute" edition of Sleeper, including what I believe is the essential prelude of Point Blank, written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Colin Wilson. A hardcover collection this summer might make such a high-end collection less likely; I'm hoping that an "Absolute" edition will become more likely if and when the film adaptation comes closer to becoming a reality.

UPDATE: I missed this when it was originally solicited, but it appears that a new trade-paperback edition of Point Blank is also in the works, scheduled for a May 6th release. The heading appears to have an error, as the description rightly describes the release as having new cover artwork by Sean Phillips -- art that he showcased at his blog, also in September, first as a rough sketch and then in as a complete but uncolored work.

It appears that this collection will contain about the same number of pages and for about the same price as the original trade paperback, but it will be officially branded on the front cover as the "prelude to Sleeper." Going by this collection's early May release and Season One's mid-June release, I'm guessing Season Two will come out by late July.

Those fans of Criminal and Incognito who haven't read this dark, self-contained tale of super-powered espionage will have an excellent opportunity to catch up this summer.


Buy Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips comics from Amazon.com

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2 Comments:

Blogger Alan David Doane said...

Bubba,

Not to suggest that Sleeper is as popular as Watchmen (although I enjoy it just about as much), but I don't think the new collections hurt the chances of an Absolute Edition. Look at how many versions of Watchmen are in print right now -- trade paperback, standard hardcover AND Absolute Edition, and I bought 'em all, sucker that I am for great comics. If Sleeper (the movie) looks anything like a hit, it would be pretty typical for DC to Absolute it up, at which time Point Blank, the Season Two prequel, Brubaker and Lee's Coup d'Etat Sleeper issue and a couple of other odds and ends could all be brought together as they should be. I'm hoping it happens!

2:44 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

My concern was that a series of hardcovers would have made an Absolute edition less likely. I guess that the Gotham Central hardcovers, which will (hopefully) collect every issue in four volumes, is probably the best collection we're going to get for that series, but new trades for Sleeper means that there's still a lot of room for a deluxe treatment.

After all, Gotham Central isn't being made into a movie.


Yeah, Sleeper doesn't have the profile of Watchmen, but the Watchmen adaptation has such high expectations that that's not altogether a bad thing. The Sleeper adaptation could come out of nowhere and do quite well. At the very least, the series strikes me as easier to adapt to the screen, and I might not be the only one who finds Sleeper, in concept and execution, more entertaining if (obviously) not more so intricately crafted, so influential, and so Very, Very Important.


I'm glad to see DC using the opportunity of Brubaker's growing popularity to make readers more aware of the stuff he wrote for them, Sleeper and Batman.

Almost as importantly, I'm glad to see DC combine volumes for Sleeper, so each collection contains a complete season. I hate that, even though one-volume collections would be no larger than Watchmen or The Long Halloween, DC has been splitting quite a few of its "big" stories into multiple volumes, such as Hush and -- most irritatingly -- New Frontier.

I wonder if New Frontier would do better in bookstores if it was published and marketed as a complete, self-contained work in a single volume.

12:15 PM  

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