Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Bullets: Second Printing, Reviews, and Appearances!

KOBK #1 an Immediate Sellout, Gets a Second Printing.  It occurs to us that Kill Or Be Killed debuted in only one format -- a standard cover with no variants, "Just the one cover, the one comic," as Ed Brubaker described it on Twitter.

This hasn't happened with a Brubaker-Phillips project for some time.  Along with the two Criminal one-shots, The Fade Out #1 (2014) featured an oversized magazine variant, and Fatale #1 (2012) came with two covers, one featuring Jo the beauty and the other featuring the beastly Bishop.

You have to go back to Incognito #1 (2008) to find a title's debut issue released without a variant, as even its sequel "Bad Influences" (2010) began with a "pulp" variant cover that was reused as the cover for the deluxe "Classified Edition."  Something of a surprise hit for Marvel's Icon imprint, Incognito #1 went back to press for a second printing, and we see that the same thing has happened with Image's Kill Or Be Killed.

Yesterday, Ed Brubaker announced that KOBK #1 "sold out last week," and this news is on the heels of a press release from Image Comics, that the series is "marked for success" as its debut issue has been rushed to a second printing.  The cover art is shown below, and it appears to be new artwork based on a single memorable frame from page #6.

Image Comics reports that the second printing to issue #1 will be available on September 7th, the same day as issue #2, and the final order cutoff deadline for both books is Monday, August 15th.

KOBK #1 Review Roundup.  One indication of the book's early success is its positive reviews, and the aggregator site Comic Book Round Up reports an average score of 9.1 out of 10, currently from 23 critics. 

Brubaker has sent out thanks to reviewers who didn't spoil this first issue, and I'm sure we'll see more in-depth analysis as the book's premise becomes more widely known and its implications unfold in subsequent issues.

Brubaker Appearances.  Finally, a brief review of Ed Brubaker's recent appearances online -- and an upcoming personal appearance later today!
  • Last week, Blastr posted a video interview from San Diego Comic-Con, where the writer discusses the research and complexity of The Fade Out, the rapid genesis of Kill Or Be Killed -- including a discussion with Robert Kirkman -- and his other projects, writing the Maniac Cop remake and joining the writing team on Westworld.
  • Over the weekend, episode #142 of the podcast How Did This Get Made? was published, a live episode recorded in Los Angeles reviewing the 1996 Billy Zane vehicle and commercial bomb The Phantom.  The episode includes Brubaker's second appearance on the show, this time focusing on one of the biggest characters of the pulp era: in 2013, he appeared on episode #75 to discuss Ben Affleck in Daredevil, after an award-winning run writing for the character from 2006 to 2009.
  • Later today, Brubaker is appearing at Collector's Paradise in Pasadena, signing copies of KOBK #1 alongside artist Tomm Coker who is signing copies of his book The Black Monday Murders #1, which arrives today.  The event is scheduled from 6 pm to 9 pm Pacific, just a few hours from now.
Details about the signing can be found on the Facebook page for the event, linked above.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

In Stores Today, KILL OR BE KILLED #1 and More!

Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser's newest series debuts today, with Kill Or Be Killed #1.  Image Comics features the book on its homepage, describing it as a "new ongoing series" staring "a reluctant vigilante."

Brubaker's latest newsletter was sent out Monday, briefly reminding readers of the new series:  "It's getting amazing advanced reviews, and a lot of great word-of-mouth, so be sure your store is saving you a copy, so you won't miss it."

He tells readers that the series isn't what we expect, but that it's both humorous and dark, and he asks us to spread the word about the book.  He also includes the six-page preview that was featured in the first newsletter, but he points out that a few lines of text had been cut in the meantime.

(Check out the bottom of page 3.)

The newsletter also features behind-the-scenes artwork for two covers for Fatale, for issues #3 and #24, and even some details on a project that never saw daylight, the vampire-pirate mini-series Black Sails!  Interested readers should definitely subscribe and check out the archive.

We see that KOBK is also featured in this week's slideshow of comics that have Paste Magazine's attention, and Newsarama's Best Shots feature has a mostly-positive advance review.  On Sunday, Previews World published an exclusive interview with Brubaker, evidently given prior to the Eisners ceremony on July 20th.

In the interview, Ed Brubaker gives some insight to why KOBK is planned as an ongoing series:

"It just felt like an idea that, once I started digging into it, had a lot of different avenues to explore, and I wanted the freedom of an ongoing series to do that. It's a very 'what happens next?' kind of story, and few things do that as well as a monthly comic book series. Kirkman told me to aim for at least 50 issues, but we'll see."

...and, Jared at OK Comics in Leeds, England, tweets that their copies of the comic comes with an exclusive print signed by all three creators.

With all this publicity, we're intrigued, to say the least.

...and reaching your local shop today are a couple other books you might find interesting.

First, there's Liberty from Image Comics -- or more precisely, The CBLDF Presents Liberty trade paperback.  It evidently reprints a book we mentioned a few years back,  the 2014 hardcover collection of the Liberty annuals from 2008 to 2012, benefiting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.  The collection includes a rare Criminal story, presumably "No One Rides For Free," which was originally featured in 2008's Liberty Comics and was subsequently collected in the first Criminal Deluxe Edition.

Second, there's the third and final trade paperback collection of Tom Scioli's bonkers Transformers vs GI Joe, which I've mentioned before and recommended in the first Undertow Podcast.  I'll be honest that, after reading all the monthly issues, I'm waiting for the deluxe edition this singular work deserves.

I might have more to say about my hopes for that deluxe edition some other time, but we'll definitely have more about Kill Or Be Killed, as it will be the focus of our next podcast.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

UNDERTOW PODCAST EPISODE 3 Now Online, with a Closer Look at Velvet!

The third episode of The Undertow Podcast has just been published and is now available on iTunes and Podbean:   recorded at the end of July and published on August 1st, this episode focuses on Velvet by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting, which has just wrapped its first major story arc.  Robert and I also cover some recent news items and recommend a few other comics for our listeners.

Ms. Templeton is currently on vacation, with her spy series currently on hiatus, and we're commemorating "Book One" of her series with a collage of cover art from the 15 monthly issues and the subsequent trade paperbacks, including the third volume, which is currently scheduled for September.

As before, I've placed an extra-large, 2.2-MB version on Google Drive.

We'll have another post up soon, about this week's new issues, including the debut of Kill Or Be Killed by Brubaker, Phillips, and Breitweiser!

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