Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bullets: New Undertow Podcast, New Books This Week, New Incognito Screenwriter, and Much More!

A huge, huge post ahead!

• Undertow Podcast Episode 5, Now Online!  Just in time for this week's bundle of new books (see below), the latest episode of the Undertow Podcast is now online.  Robert and I talk about Kill Or Be Killed #2, along with news, the latest Criminal trade paperback, and some movie recommendations.

As always, the episode is available on iTunes and at Podbean.

• Brubaker Newsletter -- and The Fade Out, Kill Or Be Killed, and Batman In Stores Now!  Late yesterday, we received Ed Brubaker's seventh email newsletter (full archive here), in anticipation of quite a few books that arriving today.
  • The Fade Out Deluxe Edition Hardcover
  • Kill Or Be Killed #3
  • Kill Or Be Killed #2, 2nd printing
  • Kill Or Be Killed #1, 3rd printing
  • Batman By Ed Brubaker Volume 2 TPB
Quite literally the biggest book is The Fade Out -- the 400-page, complete and oversized hardcover edition collecting all 12 issues of Brubaker and Phillips' Eisner-winning noir set in Hollywood's golden age.

We've really been looking forward to this one, and Brubaker writes that, with minor tweaks and fifty pages of extra content, this is how the book was always meant to be read -- as a novel rather than a series, with details that reward a close rereading.

We also have the next issue of Kill Or Be Killed this week.  Yesterday, Image Comics posted a three-page preview, and Brubaker provides two more preview pages along with an in-progress page from the upcoming issue #4.

Ed Brubaker also suggests getting a copy early -- or calling your comic shop to reserve one -- since the first two issues were immediate sellouts.  Reprints of these issues also reach stores today, and Brubaker writes that he continues to be overwhelmed by the response from readers old and new:  "It's humbling as hell."

And there's one book that wasn't mentioned in the newsletter, and which wasn't on our radar until we saw the weekly release summary from ComicList:  Batman By Ed Brbuaker Volume 2.  The collection follows from the first volume released this past January, and it includes stories from ten issues -- Batman #598-607 -- for a retail price of $19.99.  It features chapters from the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" and "Fugitive" arcs, and since Batman #608 kicks off "Hush" -- the popular arc from Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee, which I think a little overrated -- this collection completes Brubaker's work writing for the Dark Knight's eponymous title.

Most notably, this collection includes Batman #603.  A fairly self-contained story within the "Fugitive" storyline, "The Turning Point" features artwork from Sean Phillips, and it is one of the earliest Brubaker-Phillips collaborations, preceded only by Scene of the Crime and Batman: Gotham Noir.

• New Screenwriter for Incognito Adaptation.  Also breaking late yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter exclusively announced a new writer for Sony's film adaptation of Brubaker and Phillips' "apocalyptic pulp noir" Incognito.  Daniel Casey is the new writer, and his sci-fi thriller Kin is now in production; Fede Alvarez is attached to direct following his Evil Dead remake and this summer's hit Don't Breathe.

Work on an Incognito adaptation has been in the news off-and-on since 2010, confirmed by Brubaker in 2012 (along with the possibility of more Incognito comics), and news about the director Fede Alvarez was leaked last year when plans were still floating around about Image republishing the series.  My bet is that the series' two arcs will be republished near the film's eventual release.

• Hard Case Crime Comics, Out Now.  Going back to comics, there was another couple titles we almost overlooked, the first two comic books from the the Hard Case Crime imprint, published by Titan Comics.

It's clear from this blog that we've long been a fan of Hard Case Crime, thanks especially to its back-page ads in the first few issues of Criminal, in 2006.  This new arrangement to produce comics makes sense, as Hard Case Crime has been working with Titan Publishing since Dorchester Publishing ceased production on mass-market paperbacks in 2010.

Still, I find it ironic on a personal level, since their inexpensive and always entertaining crime fiction made me reevaluate the value I was getting from most of my comic-book purchases.  But with that yellow ribbon -- the editor's "assurance of quality" -- I'm going to have to check these out.

The comics imprint was announced in July, with CBR publishing exclusive preview art.

[UPDATE, 9:00 pm: forgot about this interview]  In early August, Previews World published a brief interview with HCC editor Charles Ardai, who explains why readers should pick up HCC comics:  "Because a great crime story will knock you on your ass and take your breath away. Because these comics will be like nothing else out there."

The (UK) Guardian ran a story on the imprint in late September, quoting Ardai who was reading comics before getting into mystery books, and who says, "The sharp, tough, high-velocity stories we tell are a natural for the medium."  Ardai then joined some of the books' creators at this weekend's New York Comic Con,

The first book was released last week: Triggerman #1, from screenwriter and director Walter Hill and French comics writer Matz and artist Jef.  The book is described as a "hardboiled crime thriller set in the bullet-ridden streets of 1930s Chicago," and from CBR's disjointed five-page preview from September, we're reprinting one particularly striking variant cover above, evidently from artist Fay Dalton.

The second book is out today:  Peepland #1 from crime authors Christa Faust and Gary Phillips and artist Andrea Camerini.  The book is set in the red light district of Times Square in 1986, and September's five-page preview validates a review that Faust retweeted, rating this seedy book not with stars but with "a lifetime supply of germ-x and Lysol wipes."  In September, the writers were interviewed by Crime Fiction Lovers, and yesterday Bleeding Cool posted an article with the creators' brief thoughts on their influences and some behind-the-scenes art.  Writer Christa Faust should be of especial interest to existing HCC fans as the author of Money Shot and Choke Hold.

On the horizon is a 2017 adaptation by Max Allan Collins of his popular hitman Quarry, who has just been brought to the small screen on Cinemax.  And just today Flickering Myth reports that the Triggerman team will produce an English-language adaptation of Walter Hill's thriller (Re)Assignment, which he first wrote as a graphic novel in France and then directed in a controversial film starring Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver, first screened in September's Toronto International Film Festival.

• Steve Epting Drawing Batwoman.  In other news this past week, and in the lead-up to New York Comic Con, The Hollywood Reporter exclusively announced a new Batwoman series from DC Comics.  Apparently part of a second wave of DC's Rebirth soft reboot, the series will begin with a Rebirth one-shot in February and issue #1 in March, it will be written by Marguerite Bennett, and -- most relevant to readers of this blog -- it will feature artwork by Steve Epting, his first work for DC in over 15 years.

This probably rules out any major collaborations between Epting and Brubaker for the near term:  if news about Velvet is still in the works -- and we reported in June that Brubaker said he's sitting on "huge news" on that front, along with his next project with Epting, "still top secret"  -- it's probably not a sequel series.

(Yesterday, in response to a tweet begging for a crime noir TV series from the writer, Brubaker cryptically tweeted, "stay tuned.")

• THR List.  Finally, along with the news about the Incognito film and Epting's upcoming work for DC Comics, there's one more article worth mentioning from The Hollywood Reporter, published late last week:  their list of the "100 Greatest Superhero Comics."  Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and the beloved Darwyn Cooke appear more than once.
95. Wildcats by Joe Casey, Phillips, Dustin Nguyen, and others
89. Daredevil by Brubaker and Michael Lark
75. Sleeper by Brubaker and Phillips
67. The Immortal Iron Fist by Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Travel Foreman
63. Catwoman by Brubaker and Cooke
36. Captain America by Brubaker and others
20. DC: The New Frontier by Cooke
We're surprised that the quasi-spy thriller Sleeper made it but Gotham Central didn't, and we wouldn't be surprised if The New Frontier continues to grow in stature as the years go by; the article also has some links to some great pieces on Darwyn Cooke.

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Blogger Bubba said...

There's one other bit of news: it didn't make sense to include it in the post's list of bullets, to make it the focus of a central post on its own, or to ignore the subject altogether, so I'm adding it here.

There's also a lot more could be said -- details about the news and my own preliminary thoughts -- but it's probably best to keep things more simple than that.

Writer Devin Faraci has stepped down as editor-in-chief at the movie and pop-culture site Birth.Movies.Death. following allegations of sexual assault.

The allegation was made public Sunday, and yesterday morning (Tuesday) Variety reported the apparent resignation, which B.M.D.'s managing director confirmed, assuring readers of the site's continued publication. More information can be found in a lengthy piece at The Hollywood Reporter.

The story is of particular interest to us because Faraci has regularly been featured in the back pages of Brubaker & Phillips' comics, including The Fade Out and this week's issue of Kill Or Be Killed. We've mentioned him a few times here, at greatest length in recommending a couple essays he wrote for B.M.D.

Faraci's future as an essayist for these books is not clear.

9:05 PM  

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