Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bullets: Incognito Cover Art, Secret Avengers, 7 Psychos, etc.

Since a rough of the cover art had already been released, I expected that we would soon see at least an advance solicit for Incognito: Bad Influences, but the title is nowhere to be found in the August solicitations. If the title is still scheduled for a September debut, we'll likely see its solicit info next month.

In the meantime, Sean Phillips has revealed the final cover art for the first issue, with the title corrected.

And, we have a few other highlights from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.
  • Other Recent Releases. It seems that Brubaker has at least two or three mainstream Marvel titles coming out every month, and Phillips continues releasing new material -- his first contribution to Stephen King's Gunslinger comic book came out last week -- but this week has been especially noteworthy.

    Phillips' Seven Psychopaths has finally reached American markets this week. Comic Book Resources released an exclusive, seven-page preview followed by a four-star review. It's not the only positive review online, as Newsarama also gives the first issue high marks.

    Brubaker's Secret Avengers also debuted this week, and Newsarama has an extensive interview with Brubaker, about this new ongoing series. CBR has a six-page preview and a four-star review, and Newsarama cover the title in its rapid-fire reviews.

    Most noteworthy is an article and interview about Secret Avengers in USA Today. The article reiterates what we've already reported, that Brubaker's "creator-owned crime title Incognito has been optioned by 20th Century Fox as a movie and has a sequel coming out in the fall."

  • Brubaker Film and Best-of Highlights. Ed Brubaker's been busy outside the comics world with In the Dark, a short film that recently premiered at this year's Seattle International Film Festival.

    I gather that this eight-minute film is Brubaker's directorial debut; he wrote the screenplay, and his wife Melanie Tomlin edited and co-produced the crime story.

    Back in funny pages, Comic Book Resources recently highlighted "the greatest Brubaker stories ever told" as part of a series for the month of May. CBR readers cast their votes, and Sleeper: Season One got top marks. Individual story arcs from his major collaborations with Sean Phillips -- Sleeper, Criminal, and Incognito -- took seven of the list's fifteen slots.

  • Original Artwork and Badges. At his blog, Sean Phillips has relayed that more original artwork is available for purchase at Splash Page Art, and Criminal and Incognito badges are now available, free with any purchase at his Amazon store.

  • Parker Preview and Dollar Reprints. The graphic novel I'm most looking forward to is Darwyn Cooke's The Outfit, his second adaptation of Richard Stark's Parker novels. We've already reported that the book is due in October, preceded in July with a $2.00 preview of the mini-adaptation of "The Man with the Getaway Face."

    Newsarama recently published a preview of The Outfit, further stoking my interest.

    Finally, on the subject of inexpensive previews, on Twitter this month, Ed Brubaker wrote that "not enough is being said about the awesome one dollar comic reprints marvel and dc are putting out."

    Indeed: I can't even find a complete checklist anywhere online.

    With the release of the Watchmen movie early last year, DC had the uncharacteristically good sense of publishing $1.00 previews of other works that might appeal to people who are just entering the world of comic books -- specifically, full first issues of DC, WildStorm, and Vertigo titles that are already available in collected editions.

    In a way, this marketing campaign has proven to be more successful than the movie that prompted it. The series of previews was originally branded "After Watchmen... What's Next?" and was timed to coincide with the movie's release in theaters and then in DVD. The initiative has been extended at least into 2010 and has been re-branded simply "What's Next?"

    Marvel and Image have followed suit this year with "Marvel's Greatest Comics" and "Image Firsts."

    Over the last two years, and between the three companies, we've seen about 40 one-dollar previews for significant, recent works. I've been collecting the previews, since it's a cheap way to satiate the irrational need for collectin. They highlight how much I really haven't yet read, and they give me an opportunity to give high-profile titles a thorough preview before deciding what to explore next.
In an era flush with questionable business decisions on the part of the major comics publishers, it's good to see a smart move becoming a popular move.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

INCOGNITO: Bad Influence(s).

Other than a probable debut in September -- noted last time -- little information has been released about the upcoming sequel to Incognito. That changed today, as Sean Phillips has posted what appears to be the cover art for the first issue of Incognito: Bad Influence, and Ed Brubaker has clarified that the sequel's title is in the plural, "Bad Influences."

Going by the usual patterns of the last few months, I expect Marvel's August solicitations to be out in the next week or two. It's probably more than a little likely that this cover art and the corresponding issue will be featured, either for an August release date or as an advance solicitation. We'll post more info about this mini-series as it becomes available.

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Bullets: Previews... and Movie News.

And here I thought it was going to be a slow week.
  • Previews of Upcoming Projects. Apart from Icon publications like Criminal, we haven't made a habit of linking to every preview of new work from Ed Brubaker or Sean Phillips, but I think it's worth highlighting a first look at new upcoming projects.

    First up is a preview of the debut issues for The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Journey Begins. Sean Phillips joins Richard Isanove on art duties, and the issue is scheduled for a May 19th release.

    Next is Ed Brubaker's new ongoing Marvel series, Secret Avengers. A preview of its debut issue was released late this week. From Twitter Brubaker writes that readers have barely seen anything; the issue is scheduled to hit stores on May 26th.

  • Brubaker Interview I: Captain America Backlash. The comics site io9 recently conducted an interview with Ed Brubaker about a variety of subjects, including Secret Avengers. Two issues stand out as very noteworthy.

    First, Brubaker relays that the recent, politically charged criticism of his work on Captain America has led to death threats sent through email, prompting him to close his more public account.

    Most of what I've had to say on the issue, I've said before, and I might add a couple more thoughts later, in the comments section.

    For now, it suffices for me to say that I don't think violence and intimidation are unique to the American right or even prominent in the "Tea Party" movement, but hardly any group is wholly free from bullies and thugs. Those who would send threatening emails to people who disagree with them are despicable, and Ed Brubaker should consider reporting any serious threat to the FBI.

  • Brubaker Interview II: Sleeper Movie Update. Second, and on a brighter note, Brubaker relays that Warner Bros. is still working on the film adaptation of Brubaker and Phillips' first major collaboration, WildStorm's Sleeper.

    His comment suggests that pre-production might have been on hold but is now back on track, and Ed Brubaker confirms that Tom Cruise is still attached to the project.

  • Incognito Film Rights Sold to Fox. The really big news this week is about another possible film adaptation. Followed by a few of the major comics news sites, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips both pointed to a story at, which exclusively reports that that Twentieth Century Fox has purchased the film rights to Incognito.

    Mike Fleming reports, "Robert Schenkkan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of The Kentucky Cycle, will write the screenplay. Peter Chernin and his Chernin Entertainment will produce with Circle of Confusion’s David Engel...

    "Schenkkan most recently wrote Anabasis, the period epic drama which will be directed by District 13 helmer Patrick Allesandrin."

    In a follow-up comment on Twitter, Ed Brubaker relays that Incognito is "coming back in September with the sequel."
Criminal fans who haven't already read these other books are encouraged to check them out. Sleeper is now available in two "season-long" trade editions (and a prelude called Point Blank), and Incognito is also available as a trade paperback.

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