Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Now Online, UNDERTOW PODCAST #8 - Case File: Scene of the Crime!

Published just today is episode #8 of The Undertow Podcast, where we closely examine Scene of the Crime, the first collaboration between Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips in what has proven to be a long and productive partnership.

The book was created by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark.  Lark would become another longtime artist for the writer in his transition from indie comics to superhero comics, for DC's Gotham Central and Marvel's Daredevil.  Here he did all the pencils, he inked issue #1 before recommending Sean Phillips to ink the rest of the series.

The title debuted in December, 1998, in the ten-page story "God & Sinners" in Winter's Edge #2, an annual publication by DC's Vertigo imprint used to feature upcoming titles and stories.  Scene of the Crime was first intended to be an ongoing series and then a sequence of mini-series, but ultimately it appeared in just a four-issue mini-series, containing the story "A Little Piece of Goodnight."

By the time Winter's Edge #3 was released in November, 1999, the creators were already moving on to other projects, going separate ways if only temporarily.  This third and final issue introduced writer Ed Brubaker's series Deadenders, his post-apocalyptic nod to "mod" with artist Warren Pleece, and it showed artist Michael Lark working on a Dead Boy Detectives title called Books of Magic, with writer Peter Gross.

The mini-series and its preceding short story were republished, first by DC in a bare-bones trade paperback in 2000 and then by Image in an deluxe, oversized hardcover in November, 2012.  Dropping the "Goodnight" title from the cover and introducing a few panels of new artwork, this new printing serves as the definitive version of the title.

Scene of the Crime was short-lived but significant -- confident, if a little wordy, in its telling of essentially two dark tragedies, the PI's backstory and the mystery he was investigating -- and it was a tremendous debut for the team of Brubaker & Phillips.

I believe that, in focusing on this book, we recorded our most interesting discussion yet.

As always, episodes are available on iTunes and Podbean.

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