Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bullets: Awards, Solicitations, and Hard Case Crime.

My life offline has been quite busy, as I'm now the happy and grateful father of a healthy baby girl, but we're less than a month out from Incognito: Bad Influences, and we're long overdue for an update.
  • Eisner Awards for Brubaker. The 2010 Eisner Awards were announced just a few days after my last post in late July, and Ed Brubaker won two awards, one for the best single issue (Captain America #601) and one for best writer. This is the third time Brubaker has been given the prestigious Best Writer award, and this year's award is for his work on Criminal, Incognito, and his mainstream Marvel titles.

    Other noteworthy winners were Darwyn Cooke's Parker for Best Adaptation and Chew for Best New Series.

  • Sean Phillips Spotlight from San Diego. While attending San Diego's Comic-Con International, where the Eisners were announced, Sean Phillips and artist and friend Duncan Fegredo conducted a panel spotlighting Phillips' work. Comic Book Resources has published an article summarizing the panel, and from the article I've learned that Phillips created the cover art for an issue of Star Wars: Chewbacca -- one of the more striking Star Wars covers in the last decade.

  • Brubaker/Phillips Reprint from DC Comics. On the subject of older work that I'm still stumbling across, Ed Brubaker noted on Twitter that DC Presents: Brightest Day #1 features the reprint of a single-issue crime story -- with Hawkman, no less -- by Brubaker and Phillips.

    (As I noted last time, DC Presents: Batman #1 features a complete four-issue arc by Brubaker, from 2000.)

    The large-scale collaborations -- Sleeper and Criminal and Incognito -- naturally receive the most attention, but I've found that Brubaker and Phillips' older, "minor" works are worth checking out, books such as Scene of the Crime and the prestige-formatted Batman: Gotham Noir.

  • Late Fall Solicitations for Incognito. In the time since my last post, Marvel has released two sets of solicitations, one for October and one for November. Both feature issues for the sequel to Incognito. Issue #2 for "Bad Influences" is due on October 20th, and Issue #3 is due on November 17th.

    Sean Phillips has posted the full cover art for the third issue. Most interestingly, I don't believe there has been ANY indication of just how many issues will be released for this presumed mini-series.

  • Uncertain Future for Hard Case Crime. Finally, on the subject of open questions in publishing, on August 6th, Publishers Weekly reported that Dorchester Publishing is immediately halting its publication of mass-market paperbacks in favor of e-books and printing on-demand.

    The Wall Street Journal subsequently explained the relevance for readers of A Criminal Blog: Dorchester has been publishing Hard Case Crime, the fantastic mass-market imprint of hard-boiled crime fiction.

    Having just published its 66th book in six years, Hard Case Crime has featured both new works and long-forgotten reprints from authors such as Donald E. Westlake, Max Allan Collins, Lawrence Block, and Mickey Spillane. It published The Colorado Kid, the short Stephen King novel on which the new cable series Haven is loosely (very loosely) based, and it has also featured books by "John Lange" (Google the psuedonym) and one A.C. Doyle.

    Moreover, HCC owner Charles Ardai and Ed Brubaker did "ad swaps" when Criminal debuted: in the back pages of their respective works, Brubaker ran an advertisement for the crime books, and Ardai ran ads for the crime comic. Since then, Brubaker published an interview with Ardai in the back pages of Criminal.

    In the WSJ article, Ardai relays that he may move HCC to another publisher. In an August 8th message to the HCC mailing list, Ardai assures fans that everything will be sorted out, and that they're already working on two books that haven't yet been announced.

    "After that? Well, you won't be seeing a new book every month, but I expect you'll continue to see a handful of new Hard Case Crime titles each year, and rest assured they'll be good ones."
I've already devoured about half of HCC's pulp novels, and this hiatus -- and doubtless late nights with my daughter -- might give me a chance to catch up. Regardless, I hope that, as with Criminal, new releases from Hard Case Crime aren't too far away.

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