Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Fade Out #11 In Stores This Week -- and Volume 3 in February.

The penultimate chapter of The Fade Out is upon us, and we see that Comic Book Resources just posted a three-page preview of the issue, where "All the threads of the mystery come together, as Charlie and Gil barrel headfirst towards trouble!"

Two weeks back, Elizabeth Breitweiser's husband -- and comic artist -- Mitch Breitweiser tweeted that they already got their comp copies, and he writes, "It's the best comic you'll read all year, no doubt."  The issue will reach retail stores tomorrow.

In the meantime, we've been keeping an eye out for news on the next project by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, and we saw that, last week, Image Comics released its February solicitations.  There's nothing new yet, but we did notice the third and final trade paperback collection for The Fade Out -- once again, the price is discounted compared to the monthly issues, and this time the cover features a green logo over the cover art for issue #9

The Fade Out Act Three is scheduled to arrive on February 3rd.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fatale: The Deluxe Volume 2 In Stores Today -- and the Train Keeps Moving!

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' comic-book collaborations continue to be re-released in deluxe editions -- oversized, hardcover volumes with loads of extra content -- and today sees the release of the second and final deluxe volume of Fatale, their centuries-spanning mashup of noir and Lovecraftian horror.  From Image Comics' Twitter feed, we see Flipgeeks has provided an extensive review of the collection, praising it in comparison to the first volume as "bigger, better, and mind-blowing due to its size and scope."

Brubaker confirms the reviewers' estimation -- it's better than the previous volume --  and has retweeted a few images of the content from Sean Phillips, especially for those readers who have been waiting (somewhat understandably) for the deluxe hardcovers and pestering Brubaker about it for the past year.

Aside from single-issue stories -- mostly for DC Comics, along with this year's Special Edition one-shot for Criminal -- the only work not yet collected in a deluxe edition is the twelve-issue series currently in progress, The Fade Out.

(About those random issues from DC, I think they would be smart to collect those in a deluxe hardcover along with Batman: Gotham Noir, the story Brubaker wrote for Batman: Black & White, the story Phillips drew for the same anthology, and other assorted rarities.)

As we approach the last two issues of The Fade Out, Sean Phillips has treated us with an advance look of the bonus artwork for issue #11, a painting of the great Robert Mitchum.

On Twitter, Phillips explains that it's for the concluding essay on drug use in Hollywood, provides a look at how the painting will appear on the printed page, and reminds us of his artwork from the early days of Criminal, accompanying an essay by Brubaker on a classic noir starring Mitchum:  a blast from the past, Out of the Past.

The Moving Finger writes and, having writ, moves on! -- and early last week, Sean Phillips tweeted that he has started on the twelfth and final issue of The Fade Out.
Will this, their most successful series, be collected in a deluxe hardcover edition?  Undoubtedly:  we have no inside information, but we can be confident that we'll see a deluxe version of The Fade Out, presumably as a single volume.  Hopefully, Image Comics will also reprint the deluxe editions of Criminal and Incognito (and trades of the latter), and I wouldn't be surprised if The Fade Out is also collected in an omnibus trade paperback, since -- like Watchmen -- it tells a self-contained story in twelve issues.

How soon could we expect the deluxe version of The Fade Out?  Fatale #10 came out in November, 2012, and the first deluxe volume collecting the first ten issues was released in March, 2014, sixteen months later; the series wrapped up in July, 2014, and the concluding deluxe volume is out today, again sixteen months later.  With The Fade Out concluding in December, we should probably not expect a deluxe collection until April, 2017.

In the meantime, there's plenty to read.

Fans of Velvet -- and those who haven't picked up Brubaker's spy comic -- should check out a feature at Image Comics' website, focusing on the series' setting and tone:
"If you like your espionage tales to have a measured pace with surprising eruptions of violence, if you like your heroes competent and inexorably driven toward their goal, if you like stories that take full advantage of their setting in order to build up a level of tension and mood that can't be beaten: you like VELVET."
...and, of course, there's the complete story of Josephine, the mysterious and cursed center of Fatale, and there are loads of bonus features to read in the two deluxe editions collecting her story, both out now.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Recommended Reading

We have a couple interesting links this week, highlighted in bold.

As we reported last week, Velvet #12 is in stores today. Comic Book Resources just posted a four-page preview for part two of "The Man Who Stole the World," the third arc in Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, and Elizabeth Breitweiser's retro spy thriller.

We've earlier reported on Sean Phillips' continued work with the Criterion Collection, and through Twitter, Sean pointed out a brief piece in American Illustration - American Photography, profiling the Criterion Collection's art director Eric Skillman.  He mentions his "incredibly fruitful collaborations" with Phillips and other artists, and the profile (and the re-tweeted Tweet) highlights Phillips' moody cover for On The Waterfront.

Through its own Twitter account, the Criterion Collection also recently highlighted a story by The Paris Review.  Criterion's art directors walk through the process of creating the cover art and packaging for the series, in a story prompted by last year's release of the coffee-table book Criterion Designs, released for the company's thirtieth anniversary.  Phillips isn't singled out here, but the piece is definitely worth reading for those who appreciate the work behind the company's high-quality home-video releases of acclaimed films.

And, I noticed last week the release of a magazine-sized variant for another Image Comics debut, The Witch written by Greg Rucka, who co-created Gotham Central with Ed Brubaker.  With its extra-large size, unique cover art, and loads of bonus content for the premium price, the variant very much resembles the magazine-sized variants for The Fade Out #1 and the Criminal Special Edition.

The incident in the issue is a fairly self-contained introduction to what is obviously a much larger story, and I thought it was a good read that would probably be appealing to quite a few fans of Fatale and Gotham Central, especially fans of the character of Renee Montoya from the latter.

(Still, it doesn't hold a candle to the Criminal one-shot's magazine variant, which remains the single best comic book I've read in ages.  I wouldn't be surprised if it's nominated for multiple Eisners next year, including Best Single Issue and Best Publication Design.)

I haven't seen any comparisons online to the Brubaker/Phillips magazine variants, but writer Greg Rucka and artist Nicola Scott are featured in an interview at the Image Comics website, and Rucka is an another interview at Comics Bulletin.

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