Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Incognito: Bad Influences #5 In Stores Now.

At my local comic shop, I confirmed the arrival of the fifth and final issue of Incognito: Bad Influences. The postscript includes a small reproduction of the cover art to Criminal: The Last of the Innocent, and Ed Brubaker points the reader online for the two-page preview, which I hope will find its way to print before June.

A few news sites have posted the preview and bits of the press release posted at Marvel.com. Alongside the conclusion to the Incognito sequel, the press release is worth reading in its own right -- and it raises an subject or two that might be worth further discussion in the next few days.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

CRIMINAL: THE LAST OF THE INNOCENT!

Ed Brubaker said it himself:
"http://criminalcomic.blogspot.com/ is always a good place to check out for Criminal-related news."
We have a reputation to maintain, so here's what we know about Criminal: The Last of The Innocent, starting with the gorgeous cover art to the first issue.



This issue will be released in June, the same month as the trade paperback for Incognito: Bad Influences -- the same day, as a matter of fact.

Ed Brubaker is encouraging comics news sites to update their June solicitations, and Marvel's official site has already published pages for both the return of Criminal and the second Incognito trade. The former has a June 1st release date listed, the latter has June 22nd, and I'm inclined to believe that we'll see both on June 22nd.

It's going to be "a few more days," but a two-page teaser will be released for "The Last of the Innocent."

In the meantime, Sean Phillips has published the solicitation, including the first look at the striking cover art, which we've reprinted above.
CRIMINAL: The Last of the Innocent #1
By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips with Val Staples on colors

The best-selling crime comic finally returns, and with their most ambitious story yet. Obsession, sex, money, murder, and nostalgia for days long past all collide in THE LAST OF THE INNOCENT.

Riley Richards got it all… The hottest girl in school and a ticket to the big time… so why isn’t he happy now? Why is he getting involved in gambling and drugs and shady characters in the city? Why can’t he forget the life he left behind in small town Brookview? And why is he suddenly plotting murder?

And as always, each issue of Criminal contains unique back-up features, articles and artwork, which are only available in the single issues.

32 PGS/Mature Content… $3.50
It's not what I was expecting -- late last year, the sequel to the first arc "Coward" seemed likely to be the next story to be told -- but I'm quite intrigued by what we already know about this upcoming arc.

Brubaker and Phillips seem to do their very best work whenever they really push the boundaries of their Criminal universe -- as with the trio of stories that would become "The Dead and the Dying" and the very twisted "Bad Night."

I can't wait to see where this is going, and we'll be there to cover the new arc from the teaser to preview art, to the reviews and the trade collection.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

CRIMINAL: THE LAST OF THE INNOCENT?

Just today, Sean Phillips posted a photo of what's on his drawing board:



From the details, it appears to be the first page of a teaser for Criminal: The Last of the Innocent.

Apparently we aren't the only ones eager to return to the Criminal universe.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Gotham Noir and Gotham Central, In Stores Now, More or Less.

I've seen a few more reviews for the latest issue of Incognito: Bad Influences #4 than I have for the last few issues: specifically, IGN and Comic Book Resources have both posted fairly positive reviews.

Looking to older material for a moment, on Monday Sean Phillips announced that his Amazon store was offering "a few copies" of his first major collaboration with Ed Brubaker, the prestige-format Elseworlds story, Batman: Gotham Noir, published in 2000.

(I say "major" because, the year before, Phillips inked Michael Lark's pencils for the last three issues of Brubaker and Lark's regretfully short-lived Vertigo series, Scene of the Crime. All four issues and a rare short story are available in a trade paperback.)

It wasn't there yesterday, but it's there now. I wouldn't bet on its being available for long, because the pulpy mystery has never been republished. I was lucky to find a copy at Dragon*Con a year or two back, and I recommend die-hard fans to check it out.

Easier to find this week is Gotham Central, Brubaker's acclaimed collaboration with Greg Rucka. The fourth and final hardcover collection reached retailer shelves today, along with a softcover reprint of Gotham Central Book 1, collecting the first ten issues.

Gotham Central Book 4: Corrigan (an unfortunate title) features the last nine issues of the title's forty-issue run. Ed Brubaker left before the end of the series, but this volume includes the excellent "Dead Robin," his last collaboration. Starting with that arc and issue #33, Sean Phillips created the cover art for all but one issue, and this artwork should be included in the collection.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

It's Coming...

Along with the latest issue of Chew and (finally!) the last issue of DC's First Wave, the fourth and penultimate issue of Incognito: Bad Influences is in stores this week. At least, it's arrived at the Brubaker residence, has a March 2nd release date listed at Marvel.com, and is included in Brian Hibbs' weekly list of books arriving in San Francisco's Comix Experience.

I think the mini-series is picking up steam, and the last issue's vignettes were thought-provoking in suggesting that a person may be defined, in part, by how he diagnoses life's problems.

Still, I crave more Criminal. We've seen only five full-length issues of the pure noir series since 2009, and I'm happy to document some more rumblings of the title's eminent return.

From his Twitter account, Ed Brubaker confirmed -- twice -- that more Criminal is on its way.
"Yes, Criminal in June."
As of last week, at least preliminary work on the mini-series has already begun.
"I can't wait until we can show you all the new Criminal cover."
Over at his blog, Sean Phillips notes that he completed the last issue of "Bad Influences" Monday.
"Got another little project to do for the next couple of weeks, and then back to Criminal."

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