Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bullets: Eisner Nomination, Interviews, and Incognito Previews & Reprint.

It's been quiet around here, but the Criminal creators are keeping busy. Ed Brubaker's Angel of Death, the online live-action mini-series starring Zoe Bell, debuted at Crackle over the first few weeks of March. Meanwhile at his blog, Sean Phillips has been showcasing preview art for "The Brothers MacKenzie," which Sean explains is "a cowboy story for Outlaw Territory written by Pete Doree," and which he first mentioned in early February.

If I had the time, I would consider providing more regular coverage of all the other great work that the guys are doing, especially Ed Brubaker's many high-profile projects for some of Marvel's most popular characters.

But, if I had that kind of time, I wouldn't try to cram a month's worth of updates into a single blog entry. As it is, I'll continue to focus on Brubaker and Phillips' collaborations, and I'll catch up with a "bullet" list.
  • Eisner nod for Val Staples.First, the 2009 Eisner Award nominations were announced, and Val Staples was nominated for Best Coloring for his work on both Criminal and Incognito. (h/t Newsarama)

    Criminal won the Eisner for Best New Series in 2007, and Ed Brubaker won Best Writer that same year -- and again in 2008 -- in part for his work on the Icon series. Though I think his work on the recent Age of the Sentry "throwback" mini-series was good, his work on Criminal and Incognito has been exceptional. I personally think the coloring for "Bad Night" is particularly striking, and we congratulate Val for the well-deserved nomination. The awards will be announced at the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 24th.

  • Brubaker interviews reveal an Incognito sequel. I've caught a few recent interviews with Ed Brubaker, focusing on other topics but revealing new information about his creator-owned titles. First, two of the big comic news sites interviewed Brubaker in early March, focusing on Angel of Death. Newsarama asked about adapting his comic books to other media, and Ed relayed that he has "several deals in the works in various stages out there." While one cannot count on these projects coming to completion, Brubaker assures us that comics is still his life: "I want to work more in film, and I'd love to do more screen writing, but I can do anything I want with Sean right now, and that kind of freedom is not widely available in Hollywood."

    Comic Book Resources asked Brubaker about his current work in comics. After briefly teasing "huge stuff" for Captain America this summer, Brubaker revealed that the next issue of Incognito will contain some "major twists" and "goes even darker." His recent body of work has been quite dark and twisted already, so that might be saying quite a lot.

    Then, at the end of the month, it was announced that Ed Brubaker's popular run on Marvel's Daredevil will be coming to a close with issue #500, which I believe corresponds with the second volume's issue #23 (correction, #120), at which point the original numbering will resume. Newsarama interviewed Brubaker about his leaving the title with the conclusion of the "Return of the King" storyline, passing the title to Andy Diggle. He confirms that he will remain quite active with Marvel, on Captain America for the foreseeable future, the Marvels Project which was announced in February, and "one other big Marvel project" that remains a secret.

    (Captain America fans should note that an enigmatic teaser image started appearing a few weeks ago and points to a major event in July. It's not clear whether Brubaker is directly involved in this event.)

    After discussing his mainstream Marvel work, Brubaker discussed Incognito at length. He talked about the mini-series' surprising success and mentioned that one theme is its exploration of its protagonist Zack, "why he is the way he is" and why that prevents him from a life of bourgeois normalcy. He confirmed that the story would conclude at six issues rather than five, because its pace ended up being slower than he expected. And, he revealed that a sequel to Incognito is fast on its heels.

    Earlier, we reported that the next arc of Criminal should feature the return of Tracy Lawless. In this most recent interview, Brubaker teased the Incognito sequel that will likely follow this arc: "It's a weird story that just appeared to me while plotting out the first issue, and I've got this burning desire to get to it quickly."

    Brubaker hopes Incognito fans will try his crime series, and he reassured Criminal fans of his love for the older title: "Criminal does really well, and our trade sales are incredibly steady on it, as are our European sales, and it's really the comic I've been wanting to do for a long time, so I'll always come back to it."

  • Incognito #3 preview. At the end of the most recent Newsarama interview, Brubaker teased an online preview of the next issue, and the site provided a then-exclusive preview the next day.

    (The preview includes some blacked-out text and a black box over some partial nudity. CBR's subsequent preview of the same material -- plus one extra page -- confirms that the obscured text was some hasher profanity, and its lack of black boxes strongly suggests that this editing was for the Newsarama preview only, and not for the actual issue.)

    The cover features the beautiful but deadly (aren't they all?) Ava Destruction and is shown above. The new issue is scheduled to go on sale tomorrow, April 15th.

  • Preview art at Sean's blog. Over at his blog, Sean Phillips continues to feature preview art for Incognito. In addition to showing work-in-progress for the main story, he has shown both the sketch and the final art for the image that will apparently accompany the essay on the pulp hero, "The Spider." I suspect the essay will be in tomorrow's new issue. Phillips has also shown a very arresting preliminary sketch for the trade paperback cover art. It's unique from the perspective of art design, it quickly conveys the anonymity in Zack's witness protection program, and it will certainly stand out on the comic-book racks.

  • JUST ANNOUNCED: Incognito Must-Have One-Shot. Finally, I just noticed that, today, Marvel has announced an Incognito Must-Have One-Shot, a double-issue reprint of the first two issues of the mini-series, both of which have already sold out. (h/t CBR)

    The cover art is reprinted here. As of this blog entry's writing, the press release lists two final order cutoff (FOC) dates, which I suspect is an error. If it is, the later date might be the sale date; this double-issue reprint might go on sale on Wednesday, May 13th.

    I'll post an update on the sale date as soon as I have more information.

    UPDATE: I confirmed this suspicion, as detailed here.
Quite a bit's happened over the last month.

To review very briefly, previews for Incognito #3 are already online, and the issue goes on sale tomorrow. An extra-length reprint of the first two issues has been announced, and it appears that it may go on sale in about a month. The Eisner Awards will be announced at the end of July, and Val Staples has been nominated for his coloring on Brubaker and Phillips' two Icon titles. Around this time, we will probably see the Incognito trade and the first new Criminal story arc for 2009. After that arc wraps, we should see the strange sequel to Incognito.

In the meantime, I'll keep posting updates, even if they aren't exactly the most timely announcements.


Buy Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips comics from Amazon.com

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2 Comments:

Blogger Alan David Doane said...

Great roundup of information, Bubba, thanks! Dying to read more Criminal and glad to hear it's coming soon. The cover of that Incognito double-issue reprint is a thing of beauty, eh?

10:44 PM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Yeah, I'm actually digging the reprint covers more than I am the covers for the first printings. Since Sean has been mixing up his approach to covers with each project -- Incognito, and the individual Criminal story arcs -- I won't get bored anytime soon, but some covers just "pop" off the shelf much better than others.

I think the double-issue cover might be the most striking cover Sean has done since the Teeg cover for Criminal V. 2 #2.

And, yeah, I can't wait for Criminal's return, either. I really like Incognito and am glad it's doing well, but Criminal is a like a purer drug, where Incognito has been "stepped on" with pulp/superhero tropes for wider consumption.

I haven't seen anything since last September about details for the next Criminal arc, so I do hope it's still Tracy's next chapter.

2:13 PM  

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