Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bullets: New Velvet, Phono+Graphic in Toronto, and More.

Velvet #14 in Stores Today!  Ed Brubaker's other creator-owned series -- the Cold War espionage thriller with art from Steve Epting -- is hopefully getting back on schedule just as the third story arc builds to its climax.  Part Four of "The Man Who Stole the World" is in stores today, and late yesterday Image Comics posted a three-page preview, which people might find easier to read at Comic Book Resources, where the preview was reposted.

More Coverage for Criminal -- and The Fade Out.  Over the last couple weeks, we've seen a good bit of press surrounding the publication of the Criminal 10th Anniversary Special, often through retweets by Brubaker and Phillips.
  • Geeks World Wide published a brief ten-question interview with Ed Brubaker.
  • The Outhousers posted a good-sized review of the issue, describing it as a tragic and heart-wrenching tale from long-established "masters of crime noir comics."
  • At the (UK) Guardian, the one-shot is included in this month's brief list of the "very best in hand-drawn entertainment."  Graeme Virtue writes that the issue shows "a grim revenge quest along lonesome desert highways with pages from Fang’s authentically 70s adventures, a riot of street slang, generous flares and thought bubbles bursting with heroic angst."
We actually didn't find the GWW piece to be the most informative interview we've read, but it reminds us to tell readers that they should buy the standard version of the "Deadly Hands" one-shot, even along with the magazine variant.

Why?  The standard version has an exclusive essay by Brubaker looking back on the series' origins, with information about its pitch that we haven't seen anywhere else.  It's a great, almost personal note to the fans who have supported his work over the years.

And, it's not recent and not closely tied to Criminal, but we just saw that, back in November, the British genre magazine Tripwire published a list of Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin's all-time favorite comics, and alongside Watchmen and Hellblazer and Judge Dredd, we find The Fade Out

We previously mentioned that Rankin wrote the introduction to the first trade collection for "The Sinners." Here, he writes, "I could have gone for Criminal or Fatale," but he went with the period piece even before it wrapped up, praising it for being "a hell of a ride."

Sean Phillips' Album Art Exhibition at TCAF Next Month!  Coinciding with last year's Lakes International Art Festival, Sean Phillips curated an art exhibition in Kendal, England:  Phono+Graphic, showcasing album covers created by comic artists.  As the exhibition concluded, we noted Phillips' hint that it might be touring other venues, and at his blog he recently announced its scheduled appearance in Toronto.

Coinciding with the Toronto Comics Art Festival, the Phono+Graphic exhibition will be at the Nuvango Gallery May 12-25, with a reception on the night of May 14th.  As we reported earlier this month, Sean Phillips is attending TCAF, which runs May 14-15 and is generally free to the public -- and we believe this is the first time the exhibition is making an appearance on this side of the Atlantic.

Michelle McNamara, R.I.P.  Last Friday, April 22nd, news broke of the death of Michelle McNamara, true-crime writer, wife, and mother of a young daughter.

(Her husband Patton Oswalt may be familiar to readers beyond his stand-up comedy:  he wrote the essay for Blast of Silence in 2007's Criminal #4, and he wrote the intro to the first trade collection of "The Last of the Innocent.")

Ed Brubaker has been re-tweeting links to a few articles online, by and about McNamara:  there are very personal memorial essays by Los Angeles Magazine's editor Mary Melton and true-crime journalist and producer Bill Jensen, and there's the writer's first feature for Los Angeles magazine, about a California serial killer from forty years back, still at-large.

We only learned about the writer with the news of her passing, but our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

Houston Bookstore, Flooded and Needing Sales.  Finally, Ed Brubaker has forwarded a story from the Houston Chronicle, about a local bookstore that has suffered damage from the recent, devastating flooding in the area.  Murder By The Book is an independent store specializing in mystery, crime, and fantasy, and its owner is hoping an influx of online sales could help mitigate the losses from missed sales and cancelled events.

Owner McKenna Jordan is asking supporters to buy a book or gift card, and gift cards are discounted through the end of the month.  Purchases can be made at the store's website,

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Blogger Unknown said...

I love the blog! I'm a big fan of Brubaker and Phillips' collaborations, and it's great to have a resource like yours for all the updates and news. I have yet to purchase Fatale, The Fade Out, or Incognito in any form, and had a question. Do those three series have extras in every issue like Criminal? And if so, are they in the collected editions, or only in the single issues? If I remember correctly, Criminal collections do not include the essays from the single issues.

Thank you very much!

6:38 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

For Criminal, Incognito, Fatale, and The Fade Out, Brubaker and Phillips have followed the same publishing approach:

- Bonus content is included in most of the monthly issues.
- The vast majority of this content is *NOT* included in subsequent collections.

I've never gotten around to getting digital comics, but I'm doing some digging to confirm whether the essays are in the digital versions of the monthly "floppies."

Most content is exclusive to the monthly issue as a kind of thank-you to the monthly readers whose support is absolutely essential to their business model, but there are exceptions: I think Jess Nevins' gag essay on the pseudo-history of some of Incognito's pulp characters made it to the trade, and quite a few of Sean's paintings for the essays make it to the deluxe hardcover editions, albeit without the actual essay.

If you really enjoy those bonus essays, you might find it worthwhile to track down the original monthly issues.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

...and you're quite welcome! :)

11:27 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

I looked into it, and it sounds like that the extra content from the standard issues are available within the digital versions of the single issues. At least, that's true for The Fade Out and presumably for Fatale and the two Criminal one-shots, all available through Image.

Note that's for the standard issues, not the extra content in the magazine-size variants for The Fade Out #1 and the two Criminal one-shots.

The two creator-owned books the pair published through Marvel's Icon imprint used to be available digitally, but I can no longer find single issues of Criminal or Incognito (or any Incognito trades), either through Marvel's digital store OR Comixology. Criminal is now being printed by Image, but the older arcs are only available digitally in trade collections, not single issues -- and if I understand correctly, Incognito IS coming to Image for republication, but not yet.

Hope that helps, and happy hunting!

5:02 PM  
Blogger Hobo Keith said...

I was wondering if Brubaker or Epting has mentioned anywhere how long they plan on having Velvet run for?

10:48 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

If they have, I don't think I've ever seen it -- and I just skimmed some older interviews on Velvet, too.

Kill Or Be Killed was announced explicitly as an ongoing series, and that's been a change of pace for Brubaker. Lately, none of his works have been announced as a mini-series or maxi-series, but when Fatale's final arc and The Fade Out's final issue were announced, Brubaker THEN explained that each series was reaching its planned conclusion.

If I understand the industry, there's not much advantage to announcing a title as a mini-series, as that just encourages "waiting for the trade," and not announcing the planned number of issues allows Brubaker to let the story expand as-needed. I believe Fatale was originally planned to run only 12 issues, and it expanded to twice that number -- and that was the last time he mentioned a planned issue count in advance.

(VERY early on, John Layman announced that Chew was going to run 60 issues, and it's approaching that planned endpoint now, exactly as planned if you ignore three non-essential but very funny Poyo one-shots and a crossover one-shot with Revival. But different writers outline their stories very differently, even from one project to another.)

In terms of its premise, Velvet could actually have a very long run: it could be an ongoing like Kill Or Be Killed or Greg Rucka's spy comic Queen & Country, which ran for 32 issues, not counting a few prequel mini-series.

But in terms of execution, I don't see this book establishing a sort of status quo where Velvet could go off on episodic adventures.

We're approaching the end of the third arc, and I would be surprised if we're NOT past the halfway point, but that is *ENTIRELY* speculative on my part.

11:57 AM  

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