Tuesday, June 16, 2009

September Solicitations: Sinners and Criminal Deluxe.

Marvel's solicitations for September, 2009, have been released today and can be found on both Comic Book Resources and Newsarama, and we finally have more details about the big news items we've announced over the last couple weeks, the return of Criminal with a new story arc in a monthly format and the Criminal hardcover that Ed Brubaker confirmed early last week.
By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips


One of the most award-winning and acclaimed comics series of the last several years returns to the shelves this September with a perfect new jumping-on point for new readers -- or those who’ve gotten hooked on Brubaker and Phillips hit series INCOGNITO and are craving more!

CRIMINAL’s most popular character, TRACY LAWLESS returns in THE SINNERS. It’s been a year since Tracy was forced into working for the bad guys, and now made men are turning up dead all over the city, in what appears to be mob-style hits. But since criminals don’t go to the cops for justice... only Tracy can solve this crime.

40 PGS/Mature Content/No ads.... $3.50


By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

This oversized deluxe hardback edition features CRIMINAL books 1 thru 3 -- COWARD, LAWLESS, and THE DEAD AND THE DYING. A fantastically-designed and printed book showcasing the Eisner and Harvey Award-Winning crime comics from the creators of SLEEPER and INCOGNITO.

Also features many extras – including a Criminal short story and the never-before-printed five page “movie trailer in comics form” that Brubaker and Phillips created to announce the series online... illustrations, selected articles, behind the scenes looks, painted covers... and much much more!

A true collector’s edition spectacular from two of the hottest creators in comics, and a must-have for any fan!

400 pages/Mature Content... $49.99
There's a lot worth noting.
  • Release dates. Newsarama lists September 23rd as the expected on-sale date for "The Sinners #1", but neither site lists a sale date for the hardcover collection. When he confirmed the hardcover, Brubaker relayed, "it will come out in November."

  • Cover art. Both sites display the cover art for "The Sinners #1," which we've already featured from Sean Phillips' blog, but neither have the cover art for the early-solicited hardcover, artwork which will presumably be released closer to the actual publication.

  • De-emphasized numbering for Criminal. The next issue of the monthly title is referenced as simply Criminal: The Sinners #1. The issue may still be listed as "Volume 2, Issue 9" on the copyright page, but Sean Phillips' preview art did suggest that the monthly title would no longer list this number on the cover. This is probably being done -- wisely in my opinion -- to help draw new readers after the conclusion of Incognito and with the beginning of each new, largely self-contained arc.

  • "One year later." The last chapter of "Lawless," set on Christmas Eve, was released in November, 2007. I've been speculating -- quite out of nowhere -- that each present-day arc roughly corresponded to the release date, but if "The Sinners" does take place a year later, that speculation clearly was presumptuous.

  • Oversized hardcover. The "deluxe" collection isn't just a hardcover, it's listed as an "oversized" hardcover. My guess is that it might be 11.3 x 7.6 inches, like many Marvel hardcovers.

  • Extra content. I believe the first three trade paperbacks contain 128 pages, 128 pages, and 104 pages, respectively. This leaves a hefty forty pages of additional content.

    That content will apparently include the "preview trailer" that has been featured here, and I believe it has only been previously published in any official capacity in the back pages of Kirkman's Walking Dead #30.

    The "Criminal short story" might be the prose story, "Caught in the Undertow," written from Gnarly's point of view and included in the premiere issue -- or it might be "No One Rides for Free," the Criminal "emission" from Liberty Comics #1.

    In addition to the essays that are beautifully illustrated by Sean Phillips, the extra material in the monthly issues includes ads for friends of Criminal, like Hard Case Crime; Brubaker's personal page, which was eventually titled "The Secret Ingredient is Crime;" and an excerpt of an interview with Brubaker conducted by Daniel Robert Epstein before the journalist's death. Not including all that, I count FORTY PAGES of essays in the first thirteen issues, so unless some of these essays are reformatted, I suspect that this hardcover might only collect some of these essays as "selected articles."

    Even so, it appears that this collection really will be the rare instance of a book to meet its claim of being a "must-have."
As always, we'll relay more information about both the monthly comic and the hardcover collection as it becomes available. In particular, I'll work to update the blog as quickly as possible with any details about the Deluxe Edition's November release date, cover art, and bonus material.

UPDATE, June 17: The solicitation has been updated with the cover art; details here.

Buy Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips comics from Amazon.com

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