Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gotham and the Big Apple This Week; Books Coming in January.

I almost missed it because it was rush-solicited, but today sees the release of a $1.00 special-edition reprint of the first full issue of Gotham Central, by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, and Michael Lark.  The release coincides the debut of the FOX series Gotham, whose series premiere is this Monday, September 22nd; the comic book's cover is evidently branded with an ad for the new series.

We mentioned that, when the series was first announced last year, Brubaker and Rucka had no inside information.  It's become clear that the series is more like the Smallville TV series than the critically acclaimed comic series Gotham Central, except that a young Jim Gordon is the central character rather than a young Bruce Wayne.  I suspect that a series more closely modeled on Gotham Central would have been a lot more interesting.

Gotham Central focused on the Major Crimes Unit in Gotham, when Gordon was retired and even Bullock was off the force.  Batman wasn't a main character, but his presence in the city was still felt in almost every issue, primarily because the MCU resented his probably necessary interference.  And there was serious dramatic tension because -- even though the nature of DC's serialized universe made it a given that Batman would save the day and the major criminal would be captured but not killed -- you were never certain that these detectives and police officers would make it to the next shift.  Sometimes, they didn't.

I'm probably not going to watch the show, but I'm glad to see any publicity for Gotham Central, the series that kick-started my love of Brubaker's writing.  The complete 40-issue series has been collected in four volumes, in hardcover and trade paperback.


This Friday sees the premiere of Liam Neeson's latest thriller, A Walk Among the Tombstones, based on the novel by Lawrence Block, his tenth book about the New York private eye, Matthew Scudder.  Hard Case Crime has released the movie-tie in mass-market paperback of the book, and we have confirmed that, despite its movie poster cover, it is a true, numbered Hard Case Crime book, complete with the familiar yellow ribbon on the white spine.

This is the first time the novel has been in bookstores in nearly twenty years, and it's already on the top of my reading list for the week.  Brubaker and Phillips have something of a history with the crime imprint, as Criminal and Hard Case Crime advertised for each other in their books' back pages.  I'd like to see them work on a prose novel for HCC, but that's a subject for another time.


Finally, the commenter Hobo Keith just drew our attention to a few Amazon listings for books by Brubaker and Phillips, for books coming out very early next year.  Amazon has the first volume of The Fade Out scheduled for release on January 27th, 2015, and they have the same date listed for Image Comics' re-release of the first volume of Criminal, the first of presumably six "strikingly-designed new editions."

"Coward" is one of my favorite stories, and I'm still hoping we'll see a sequel.  With this new edition and a film adaptation in the works, perhaps "Coward's Way Out" isn't too far off.

We'll post more information about these trade paperbacks as it becomes available.  In the meantime, we genuinely appreciate the heads-up from Hobo Keith.

And these books might not be the only big releases from Brubaker and Phillips in January.  Just yesterday, Ed Brubaker tweeted to explain why both The Fade Out and Velvet are missing from Image's December solicitations: he's taking a break between  arcs for a secret project with Sean Phillips.

We can't wait.

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