Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Breaking: THE FADE OUT Post-Mortem and A Tenth-Anniversary CRIMINAL One-Shot!

We've reached the grand finale to Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' most recent noir comic, and with The Fade Out #12 in stores today, we have interviews and news to wrap up the series and to announce the team's next big project.

Newsarama conducted an interview with both creators, and in the first part of the interview, the pair elaborates on how their five-year deal with Image Comics allows them to move from one project to the next, with each project being a serialized graphic novel.  Myself, I see their collaborative work as a kind of anthology series, and instead of each issue containing multiple stories, each story spans one or more issues.

The partners also discuss the story's partnership of Charlie and Gil, the award winner with writer's block and his blacklisted ghostwriter.  Brubaker says, "There's a line in Double Indemnity about how when people cross a line together, commit a crime together, they're bound together after that, and I think in some long-term friendships, you can find the same thing."

For Charlie and Gil, they crossed a line first when they concocted their ghostwriting scheme, then when they chose to live with the cover-up of a friend's murder, and then when they decided to confront the studio bosses responsible for the cover-up.  It's no wonder that Charlie's torn up by all the death and deceit with which he's been complicit.

Comics Alliance also conducted a two-part interview, just with Brubaker, and in its first installment, the writer explains that Charlie is "trapped by his tragedies," and even at the end he's trapped "because he has to go one.  Everyone's depending on him."

Like any good noir, the series doesn't have a happy ending, but it avoided the obvious tragic end of the hero's death, and we can't help but be impressed.

Both articles have more on the series' origins and background, and they're both well worth reading.  We're sure to have more to say when the second half of each piece is published.

In the meantime, the other big news was announced in the letters page of The Fade Out #12, in almost the very last line by Ed:
"Sean and Bettie and I will be back in a few months with a new CRIMINAL one-shot, so keep your eyes peeled for the solicits (including a special magazine variant of course) and we'll announce our next bigger project soon, as well."
Just today, Image Comics released the details for that Criminal one-shot, celebrating the tenth anniversary of the team's first creator-owned series -- and what remains our personal favorite series all-time.

The Criminal Tenth Anniversary Special is a 64-page one-shot due on April 13th, with another story set in the 70's, this time pairing Teeg and his adolescent son Tracy Lawless, and featuring another comic-within-a-comic, this time even more bizarre than the Conan pastiche.

In a perfect complement to last year's Savage Sword magazine variant, this issue's magazine variant features the sensational character find of 2016, Fang the Kung Fu Werewolf!

We'll certainly have more to say on The Fade Out and the upcoming Criminal one-shot, but for now it suffices to say we couldn't be more pleased with today's comic book and announcement.

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