Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Bullets: Fade Out This Week, March Solicitations, Year-End Reviews and More!

The Fade Out #4, In Stores Tomorrow. On Twitter, Ed Brubaker has confirmed that the latest issue of The Fade Out is in stores this week.  I haven't found any previews online, but ComicBook.com has an advance preview, providing a few panels and giving the issue an A grade.

On a somber note, Chase Magnett notes that the issue begins with a dedication to Elizabeth Breitweiser’s color flatting assistant Eduardo Navarro Lopez, who passed away on November 27th.  Magnett concludes his review by writing that "it’s worth lingering a little while longer on each panel and examining how colors bring this story to life."

More Criminal, Fade Out, and Velvet in March.  The same day we noted the release of the Image Firsts edition of The Fade Out #1, Sean Phillps posted an excerpt of Image's solicitations for March.  We'll see "The Dead and the Dying," the third Criminal trade paperback reprinted by Image Comics, with a cover that complements the new editions for the previous two books.

Also scheduled for March is another issue of The Fade Out and -- for Brubaker's retro spy comic Velvet -- the next issue and the second trade paperback collection, titled "The Secret Lives of Dead Men" and featuring a gorgeous cover by Steve Epting.

Velvet #11 and Velvet Volume 2 are both scheduled for March 18th.

The Fade Out #6 and Criminal Volume 3 are both scheduled for March 25th.

Brubaker Interview on The Criminal Special Edition.  On the subject of our favorite crime-comic anthology, at Comic Book Resources, Robot 6 posted a brief interview with writer Ed Brubaker, focusing on this month's upcoming Criminal one-shot.  He describes what makes the title unique among his collaborations with Sean Phillips, in that the book focuses on "violent character studies" and "tragic romances," and he mentions the challenge he has given Phillips in having to create an authentic look for comic within a comic -- a sword-and-sorcery comic from the 1970's.

(About that Conan pastiche, Phillips may have let us in on its title, hand-lettered in Manga Studio:  "By This Sword I Live!")

Brubaker also discusses the inspiration for the upcoming story.

The main idea for this is something that’s been percolating in my mind for about 15 years, ever since I heard from an old editor that in the ’70s and ’80s, lots of prisoners had subscriptions to the more adult comics magazines like Heavy Metal, Conan, Creepy, Eerie and Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, stuff like that. And hearing that, I just had this image of a guy lying in a cell, reading some black-and-white barbarian fantasy comic. And it always stayed with me.
Brubaker already has ideas for what will come after The Fade Out, but he likes the improvisation that comes with Image's five-year deal with himself and Phillips.  He may alternate longer projects and shorter projects, and he writes, "The next Criminal story is starting to fall into place in my notebooks finally, and it grows out of this one-shot special, in a way, although it takes place years later."

A story set years later, growing out of a one-shot set in prison?  We wonder if it's the long-awaited "Coward's Way Out."

Velvet Tee-Shirt Evidently Canceled.  Looking back on the year that was, we recall reporting in August on Image's November solicitations.  It included merchandise for Brubaker and Epting's spy comic Velvet, specifically a tee-shirt that "demands respect."

We didn't remember seeing the shirt in stores, and we noticed that the shirt was listed as cancelled in ComicList's year-end extended forecast.  We reached out to Image Comics for any explanation why, but we did not get a reply as this blog entry went to press.

Fatale, The Fade Out, and Brubaker Among the Year's Best.  Looking On a much more positive note to wrap up 2014, Image Comics posted a press release to trumpet that their creator-owned books "dominate" critics' year-end lists.  NPR named the Fatale Deluxe Edition Volume 1 one of the Best Books of 2014.   Multiversity Comics named The Fade Out #1 as one of comics' best issues and named Ed Brubaker as one of comics' best writers.

We anticipate that this year will be at least as stellar, especially with a new Criminal story just weeks away.

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Blogger Stamatia said...

No "Velvet"? That's a shame because I ordered it :(

3:46 PM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Stamatia, going by ComicList's extended forecast for this week, it DOES appear that Velvet is still on its way, just delayed.

Velvet #9 is currently scheduled to arrive on 2/4.

Myself, I hate that my favorite books sometimes experience significant delays, but that often comes with the territory for creator-owned works where the output critically depends on just a couple people. It's usually worth the wait.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

Just noticed when looking at http://imagecomics.com/comics/new-releases for this week the one-shot is not on there with the new TPB.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

Just noticed when looking at http://imagecomics.com/comics/new-releases for this week the one-shot is not on there with the new TPB.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Bubba said...

I noticed the same thing from a different list, from ComicList.com, and it appears that the one-shot is coming out in February with the second TPB.

Time permitting, I'm planning on posting about this later today.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

Alright, sounds good. Was REALLY looking forward to new Criminal this week too! Also, sorry for the duplicate comment.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Yeah, me too, DEFINITELY -- and no need to apologize. :-)

4:17 PM  

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