Friday, August 25, 2017

Bullets: November Solicits, Postcards and Beer Cans, and More!

We saw a very cool tweet from Sean Phillips today:

Wikipedia's featured article for today, August 25th, is the entry on The Fade Out, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' award-winning noir set in the Golden Age of Hollywood.  Debuting three years ago this month, The Fade Out has proven to be one of the team's best books, one which we must revisit soon.

The Wikipedia article is exemplary, placed by the editors in the top 0.1% of the site's pages, and it sets the table for our lengthy post of news items.

Kill Or Be Killed #14, Scheduled for November.  Image Comics released its November solicitations on Tuesday, and it includes another issue of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' ongoing vigilante series. 
"The shocking conclusion of the third arc of BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS’ bestselling series! Dylan's war against the Russian mob hits a fever pitch, as the demon returns from the shadows."
Since this wraps the third arc, this issue presumably includes the last of Sean Phillips' interlocking covers, which will form the collage shown above.

The issue is scheduled for a November 29th release -- the week after Thanksgiving -- and we would expect December to be a "skip month" for the series, allowing the next arc to debut in the new year.  The third trade paperback collection might still be released just in time for Christmas, but prior releases suggest that Kill Or Be Killed Volume 3 will reach stores the same day as issue #15.

...and, looking even further ahead, our guess is that these first 14 issues will eventually comprise the first deluxe hardcover collection of the series, with a page count similar to the deluxe editions of The Fade Out (12 issues), Fatale (two volumes, collecting 10 issues & 14 issues), and Velvet (15 issues).

Inspector Rebus Turns 30, with Postcards by Sean Phillips.  We completely missed this last time, but Tripwire magazine's creator and editor-in-chief Joel Meadows published an interview with Sean Phillips on the artwork he created for the 30th anniversary of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus.

The Scottish novelist recently released the 22nd full-length novel for the Edinburgh detective, and Entertainment Weekly briefly interviewed Rankin about this latest entry in the popular, bestselling series -- and how he became a murder suspect researching the first Rebus novel. 

From Meadows' interview, we learn that Sean Phillips and Ian Rankin are friends: Phillips has read all the Rebus books and is a fan of a few British crime writers, "especially Ian, Denise Mina and Mark Billingham," and Rankin happened to have purchased a few issues of Kill Or Be Killed the day after Phillips took this assignment.

Sean used ink on paper to create the black-and-white artwork, keeping the title character in shadows and a trench coat.  Ian Rankin had final approval, but he and Orion Publishing approved all ten pieces without recommending any changes.  The artwork is featured in a slideshow at Tripewire's website, linking to a single Imgur page with all ten images, and we've posted four of our favorite images above.

It's been difficult to find more details about where exactly these postcards are being made available, but a search of the Orion Publishers' website produces only one hit for "Sean Phillips," a three-book hardcover box set.  Amazon's listing for the Rebus Anniversary box set notes that the package "also includes 10 limited edition postcards," and these are almost certainly what Phillips produced.

It appears the Rebus Anniversary set was released earlier this month.

From top: Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake, & Gene Tierney
• Femme Fatale Beer, with Can Designs by Sean Phillips.  Some quite surprising news came out Wednesday, revealing the purpose for that lovely Rita Hayworth artwork we noticed in July.

OK Comics in Leeds, England, is celebrating its 15th birthday with a party on the night of September 23rd -- the same weekend as the Thought Bubble Comic Art Festival, taking place just a short walk from OK Comics' city centre location.

The store is launching a beer for the occasion, brewed by North Brewing Co and available for purchase that entire weekend at Tallboys Beer Market, next door to the city centre OK Comics.  You can see both the comic shop and the beer market below, in the quite picturesque photo OK Comics recently tweeted.

Evidently named Femme Fatale beer and based on North Brewing's Herzog brand of Kolsch-style German ale, the beer features four different can designs from Sean Phillips, "based on his favourite Femme Fatales."

On Twitter, Sean Phillips identified his four subjects for us:  Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake, and Gene Tierney.

Above, we've posting a collage of the process for the image of Rita Hayworth in the title role of the 1946 noir Gilda.  The images Phillips tweeted include an in-progress drawing, the completed inks, the completed, colored artwork, the can layout incorporating the pencils, the nearly finalized beer can label, and the finished design,

Lauren Becall was also featured in that "inks" tweet above and in a subsequent detail of the final image, and Phillips also posted the in-progress art of an earlier drawing of Gene Tierney -- in-progress details of the inkwork, shading, and coloring -- which we're reposting below.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect about this announcement can be found among the details for the shop's birthday party, in the event's Facebook page:
- Sean Phillips PrintsWe'll have a small quantity of limited edition prints, based on the Sean Phillips beer can designs. They will be signed, framed and ready to display.
It is not clear whether the beer or the artwork will be available elsewhere, either for purchase within the UK or for international orders.

And, although he is not included in the list of creators participating in the party's signing event, Sean Phillips is officially listed as a featured guest at Thought Bubble.

• Recommended Reading on Donald Westlake, Robert Mitchum, and Elvis Presley.  Finally, we'd like to highlight a few online essays that might interest our readers.

First, thanks to the official Twitter account of Hard Case Crime, we see that the Los Angeles Review of Books has published a lengthy essay on Donald Westlake, the "writer's writer's writer."

As Richard Stark, Westlake created Parker, the consummate professional thief whose novels were adapted by Darwyn Cooke in four killer graphic novels.  Hard Case Crime has already published (or reprinted) six of his novels with a seventh novel, a comic caper, already scheduled for next year.  Most recently, the imprint released the never-before-published Forever and a Death, based on a treatment of a James Bond film that was never produced -- and thereby hangs a tale and another interesting article.

Next up, the incomparable Mark Steyn recently published an essay on the classic noir Out of the Past, whose star Robert Mitchum was born 100 years ago this month.  The film itself turns sixty later this year, and in the back pages of this month's Kill Or Be Killed, Ed Brubaker named it his personal favorite noir and possibly his favorite film of all time, with "one of the greatest endings in the history of film."

Long-time readers might remember that Brubaker himself wrote a bonus essay about the movie in one of the very first issues of Criminal -- issue #2, I believe.  We're reposting Sean Phillips' artwork for the essay above, and the essay's another good reason to dig through our back issues.

Finally, Mark Steyn has also been commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.  One quite long piece stands out above all the rest, the most recent "Song of the Week" essay on one of the most beautiful songs of all time, the quiet "Love Me Tender,"

One doesn't have to read his Twitter feed long to realize that Sean Phillips isn't politically simpatico with the conservative pundit, but Steyn's apolitical writing on culture -- and especially music -- is worth everyone's time.

I also know that, like U2's Larry Mullen Jr and my own departed mother, Sean Phillips is a hu-u-uge Elvis fan, and I couldn't recommend Steyn's essay more highly to him and any other fans.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this blog! I love Bribaker and Phillips, so your posts are essential to me.

Do you know what happened to Brubaker's monthly e-mail newsletter?

- Dan

9:38 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Thank you for the kind words, very much appreciated!

I don't know what happened with the newsletter, either, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed, and it might be worth my time to email Ed and/or send a tweet to Sean.

9:59 PM  

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