Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bullets: Final Issue Before the Fatale Finale, and More!

A pretty calm month has concluded with a quite busy week.

Preview for Fatale #23, Out This Week.  Tomorrow sees the release of the penultimate issue of Fatale, which Ed Brubaker describes as the "all sex issue."  Understandably, the preview pages have been censored, and the six-page preview is available at Comic Book Resources and Comicosity.  We recommend the CBR preview, as Comicosity appears to have posted the increasingly psychedelic pages in reverse order.

The issue features a quite eerie cover, above, and Geekality has already posted a positive review of the don't-miss issue, writing that readers will "relish how Phillips carries on the plot with seductive illustrations" as we discover more secrets about Josephine.

First Velvet Trade, Also Out This Week, with Brubaker Signing Copies in LA.  Brubaker has also reminded fans that the first trade paperback collection of his espionage comic Velvet is out this week.  Featuring artwork by longtime collaborator Steve Epting, the volume collects the first five issues and is featured in Comicosity's "trade waiting" list of weekly recommendations.  "Before The Living End" sells for the introductory price of $9.99, and Ed writes that there are "no excuses" not to try the espionage series.

Image Comics recently reported that Ed Brubaker will be appearing at Skylight Books in Los Angeles on July 5th, for a live reading from Velvet and to sign copies of this first trade collection.

The Fade Out #2 Solicited for September, with Fatale's Final Trade and the Latest Velvet.  Brubaker and Phillips' next work has already been listed in Previews as a Gem of the Month for Image Comics in August, and Sean Phillips has relayed that, after finishing Fatale this week (check out the art he uploaded), he'll be going "straight into The Fade Out!"

Just today, Image Comics released their September solicitations with a September 24th release date for The Fade Out #2 and "Curse the Demon," the fifth and final trade paperback for Fatale.  The week prior should see Velvet #8, continuing the second arc, "The Secret Lives of Dead Men."

(I still suspect the second deluxe volume of Fatale will be out by the end of the year.)

Also today, Sean Phillips has posted an extra-large version of the cover art for the second issue of the noir period piece.  It's beautiful -- and not a million miles from the brutal painting of Teeg Lawless that graces the cover of the first deluxe volume of Criminal -- and we're re-posting the cover art above.

 • Brubaker Interview About The Fade Out.  On June 5th, Previews posted an online interview with Ed Brubaker along with reprinting the recent "trailer" for the upcoming series.  Brubaker discusses the story's origins, the five-year deal with Image Comics, and the idea behind the over-sized "movie magazine" variant that we covered last time.

"It's for our more die-hard fans, for sure, and we're only doing it for the first issue, and it'll probably end up being collectable because we're only printing what we get orders for, so anyone who wants one had better tell their retailer."

Along with the elasticity of the crime genre and how it differs from superhero stories, Brubaker mentions the "expansive" scope of the new series:  the series revolves around an ensemble of six main characters "who are all demanding time in the spotlight" of the book.

Brubaker hopes to attend the San Diego Comic-Con for at least a few days, but no convention appearances are currently scheduled:  we're humbled that the interviewer mentioned this blog as a reliable source of info for Brubaker and Phillips.

(As currently listed on the side of his blog, Sean Phillips will be attending at least two UK conventions this fall: the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October, and the Leeds Comic Book Festival in November.)

 • Brubaker Pens Introduction to Jason Starr's Twisted City for Kindle.  Crime writer Jason Starr recently tweeted (and Brubaker retweeted) that Brubaker has written an intro for a new Kindle edition of his novel Twisted City.  The e-book is currently available for $2.99, with more than a million copies in print and a screen adaptation in development.

Starr has written or co-written four books for the stellar Hard Case Crime imprint, and if those books are any indication, Twisted City should be a good read:  you can catch Brubaker's introduction in the online preview, and the book is less than the vast majority of single-issue comic books.

(On the subject, Lawrence Block has had nine books published by Hard Case Crime, and one of his Matthew Scudder books is being adapted later this year:  A Walk Among Tombstones reaches theaters in September and will star Liam Neeson, but in the meantime, Block's blog and email newsletter remind readers that the original novel is on-sale and selling well in Kindle format and all other major e-book formats.)

 • A Couple Worthwhile Essays.  Finally, we've seen two essays posted over the weekend that fans of Brubaker and Phillips should check out.  The first is an essay at the horror site Bloody Disgusting, about Fatale and the surprisingly rare combination of horror and noir.  Mystery is essential to both genres, and "the horror-noir is a mystery you’re afraid to solve, because the truth is so much more horrible than anything you can imagine."  This leads directly to cosmic horror, to Lovecraft at its origins and Brubaker and Phillips in their exploration of cosmic horror-noir.

The second is a photo essay at FilmGrab, or perhaps more accurately an arresting archive of stills, from 1961's Blast of Silence.  Patton Oswalt (yes, that Patton Oswalt) wrote an essay praising the cult classic noir in the bonus essay for Criminal #4, back in 2007, and Sean Phillips created the artwork for the Criterion Collection DVD, released in 2008.

Followers of Ed Brubaker's Twitter feed will recognize the protagonist of Blast of Silence:  the hitman Frankie Bono serves as his profile image.

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Blogger AF2007 said...

I am really excited for The Fade Out, I hope it's in the same league of Criminal. Thanks for the news Bubba, your blog is awesome.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

You're quite welcome, and thanks for the kind words!

I've enjoyed Fatale and plan to reread the series, one issue an evening, in this month before the finale, but I'd agree that Criminal is a cut above. "Bad Night" and "The Last of the Innocent" were surprisingly good, considering how high my expectations already were.

If you notice in the letters pages of the last issue of Fatale, Brubaker has written that the world of Criminal is the only setting he currently plans to revisit, but, in the meantime... yeah, I'm hoping The Fade Out will be just as good.

Brubaker had a comment about the new series in one of the press releases announcing The Fade Out, and it really got my attention.

"For people who've been waiting for us to return to Criminal, this will be exactly what they're looking for, but on a much more epic scale—going from studio backlots to the debauchery of the rich and famous, and even stretching back to the horrors of World War Two." [emphasis mine]

I'm looking forward to it.

11:24 AM  
Blogger AF2007 said...

I really liked Fatale too, but for me "Criminal" is best noir comic books series ever made, even better than sin city.
The Los Angeles setting in the 40s is very promising. I hope we will get something with the quality of the "LA Confidential" story.

5:57 PM  

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