Thursday, June 29, 2017

Beer & Fiction: Undertow Podcast #13 on KOBK #9 and a Little Blogging on Guinness.

We're reaching the end of June, and we see that the latest episode of The Undertow Podcast was released just today.

Robert and I discuss the latest news in the world of Brubaker and Phillips -- both the revised summer schedule and the first news about a Criminal graphic novella -- and we take a close look at the latest issue of Kill Or Be Killed, the penultimate chapter in the series' second arc.

Episode #13 is a little shorter than our usual podcast, as we're skipping recommendations this month but producing a bonus episode to review the compelling mini-series A.D. After Death, by Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire.  The oversized hardcover collection of the book was released Wednesday, and we should have our podcast review out in the next few weeks.  We'll keep everyone posted.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy episode #13:  The Undertow Podcast is available at iTunes and on Podbean.


Prompted by a recent favorable iTunes review -- thanks, Pizza Spirit! -- I rambled a bit about Guinness, my favorite among the very few beers I drink.

In a couple videos online, Guinness Master Brewer Fergal Murray explains that there's a proper way to pour the Irish stout, from the can, from the bottle -- though he confirms that it's really best straight from the bottle -- and straight from the tap.

These videos really do seem ridiculous, and they make Guinness fans look like lunatics, but I've discovered that the method really does matter:  these methods are all quite easy to learn, and they improve both the pint's appearance and its creamy texture.

My favorite place to get a pint is at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse in midtown Atlanta, home of the city's most active professional theater company and a cozy kitchen that serves dinner before the show and desserts during intermission.

Volunteering there once a month (or more), I've had a good bit of experience serving beer, wine, and soft drinks, and I'm proud to say that I pour a damn fine pint of stout.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

KILL OR BE KILLED: Summer Schedule Revised -- and a CRIMINAL Novella! (Updated Below)

We have a few noteworthy items about the upcoming books from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips -- one looking at the immediate future and one looking toward the horizon.



First, Kill Or Be Killed #10 was originally solicited to be released this week, but the most recent extended forecast from the quite reliable ComicList shows that the issue has been rescheduled to the 2nd Wednesday in July.

This issue wraps the second arc, and the trade paperback collection for Volume 2 has also been pushed back, from late July to early August.  Interestingly, issue #11 is still listed as on-schedule, but I would expect it to be pushed back a week to coincide with the prior arc's trade collection.

Image Comics released its September solicitations last week, and issue #11 has been scheduled for the middle of the month.

SEPTEMBER 13 / 40 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99
It's Dylan vs. the Russians, with the whole city caught in between! Things continue to heat up in BRUBAKER and PHILLIPS’ multiple Eisner-nominated hit!
In looking at these dates, it's clear that the planned "skip month" between arcs has been consumed by a brief delay, but it seems the book is getting right back on-schedule.
  • Jul 12 - KOBK #10
  • Aug 9 - KOBK Vol 2 TPB, with KOBK #11?
  • Sep 13 - KOBK #12
That's four weeks between #10 and (our guess for) #11, and then we're back to the planned five-week gap between issues.



Much more interesting is a bit from the latest email newsletter from Ed Brubaker, sent just hours after our most recent post and similarly announcing the release of issue #9 and its online preview.

In answering a question about the magazine-sized variants -- explaining that, unfortunately, the format isn't as popular with retailers as it is with readers -- Brubaker writes that they're still experimenting with formats.

And he lets slip some amazing news.
Right now, I'm slowly writing a short CRIMINAL graphic novella as our side project, but no idea when it'll be out. Next year sometime, I'm guessing. [emphasis mine]
We're excited, to say the least.

The news does raise some obvious questions:  Will Sean Phillips be the artist?  If so, does this mean Kill Or Be Killed will be wrapping up soon, or is it just going on hiatus next year?  And how long will we be without a monthly fix from Brubaker and Phillips?

I go into much more detail in the upcoming episode of The Undertow Podcast, which is currently in production, but here are my entirely speculative guesses.
  • This Criminal graphic novella will indeed be created by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.
  • If the work does come out next year, Kill Or Be Killed won't end; instead it will go on hiatus, perhaps at a cliffhanger or some intriguing status quo at the conclusion of the third (or fourth) arc, which may eventually constitute the first deluxe hardcover collection.
  • If the graphic novella is about the same length as Criminal arcs with four issues or less -- such as "Bad Night" or "The Last of the Innocent" -- we should expect its production to take about six months.
A half-year without Brubaker and Phillips would be tough, but I'm intrigued by a full-length story without the conventions of serialization.

UPDATE, JUNE 28.  Sean Phillips graciously commented on my speculative thoughts, implicitly confirming his role in the Criminal novella and relaying via Twitter that he'll work on the novella while simultaneously continuing his work on Kill Or Be Killed.

He elaborates, "KOBK has been on a five week schedule, and will continue on that (apart from #10 which is a couple of weeks late). Plenty of time for  Crim!"

We're thrilled that we'll still have our monthly fix without any lengthy interruption, and this approach will let the pair take all the time they need to produce this graphic novella. 

Brubaker and Phillips will take the Paul Masson approach:

They will sell no crime until its time.


And, on an unrelated note, Ed Brubaker also mentioned his excitement for Steven Soderbergh's upcoming film, Logan Lucky.  It's a humorous heist film set against the backdrop of NASCAR's longest race, and it stars an ensemble cast that includes Daniel Craig as an ex-con.  The film will be released in August, and its trailer came out just last month.

That's uncanny timing, seeing as we just recommended Soderbergh's 1999 film The Limey in the latest episode of The Undertow Podcast

Brubaker wrote that he liked the director's version of retirement, "making 20 episodes of an insane TV show and re-editing movies on his website."  The former is an allusion to The Knick, a medical drama set in New York at the dawn of the twentieth century, a two-season series that aired on Cinemax in 2014 and 2015.

You can get a sense of The Knick from a 30-second spot for the first season, here.

It's a show that might be worth checking out while we wait for Logan Lucky.

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