Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bullets: Reborn, Interviews, and Preview Art.

Bigger news is coming later today, but first, a quick survey of other stuff I've seen online, all about Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.
  • Details on Reborn. There have been some significant complaints about the planned timing of this announcement -- see, for instance, Brian Hibbs' criticism in multiple parts, starting here -- but Marvel has now announced that Ed Brubaker's upcoming Reborn miniseries will feature the return of Steve Rogers, Captain America.

    I have not yet seen any interviews with Brubaker, but the news is getting extensive coverage at comic-book news sites and is even being mentioned in mainstream news outlets. In addition to providing a press release from Marvel, Newsarama reports that the New York Daily News first broke the story. The site also highlights a blog entry at the LA Times that features a six-page preview of Captain America: Reborn #1.

    The story apparently begins in Captain America #600, in stores this week, and the five-part Reborn miniseries will debut on July 1st.

  • Brubaker Podcast: Criminal Film Rights? I missed catching this earlier, but around April 16th, iFanboy released a podcast interview with Ed Brubaker, who discusses Incognito, Angel of Death, and his current work in the Marvel universe. The entire 40-minute interview is worth a listen, for details about how Brubaker uses notebooks to plan his stories (and how he plays with his dog while he brainstorms), and how he transitioned from doing work as a comic artist to focusing on writing.

    He mentions that there is already talks about a sequel to Angel of Death, but what I found most interesting is what Brubaker revealed about Criminal at the seven-minute mark, while discussing how Angel of Death came about.

    "John Norris, the producer on Angel of Death, was approaching me to see about getting the rights to Criminal to do for an Internet series. I was already in negotiations with a variety of people on some of those books, so I couldn't do that and wasn't sure I'd want to anyway." [emphasis mine]

    Very interesting.

  • Brubaker, Phillips, and New Technology. Ed Brubaker was also briefly interviewed by Newsarama, alongside others in the comics industry, on the subject of how technology might change the industry.

    "For my money, nothing beats printed comics and graphic novels, but the new technology offers one big advantage that makes it very appealing... the direct distribution of content to the reader/viewer. I don't think print is dead, or any of those old saws, and I don't think that ecomics or motion comics will ever give a reader the same experience as print does, but it's hard to argue the impact they'll have on the market in the coming years."

    The topic reminds of a Slate article by Jacob Weisberg on the effect Kindle and similar readers might have on the publishing industry. He theorizes that physical books may "decline as useful objects" but then "flourish as design objects." In comics, we might see fewer physical monthly titles, but a greater number of high-quality "Absolute" editions of major works. I'm not sure that could sustain specialty retailers, but I do hope it can.

    On the subject of how technology will change printed media, the June 1st issue of The New Yorker features cover art that was created on a iPhone app. The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a story that features the artwork and provides links both to an interview with the artist and to a video showing the creation of the cover art in-progress.

    Sean Phillips has used a similar paint application with a Nintendo DS he was given in early 2008, and he has posted on his blog some quite impressive work, including sketches of his son Jake and some Viking jewelry. He has also posted movies, here and here, of two nudes that he presumably drew during a life drawing class.

  • Preview art for Incognito and Criminal. I don't believe Sean has posted much DS art recently. For May and June, his blog has been dominated by work for Incognito and Criminal.

    For Incognito, Phillips has posted quite a few thumbnails, sketches, partial inks, and completed inks. Highlights include the sketch and final artwork for Jess Nevins' essay on Operator 5, presumably for Incognito #4, in stores tomorrow. Just today, he has posted a sketch for what I gather is the artwork for Nevins' essay for issue #5, on Fu Manchu.

    As we reported earlier, Criminal is about to make its return, and so Phillips has posted the sketch, the inks, and the colors for the cover art for part one of "The Sinners." We have also been treated to the sketch of the cover art for part two. As before, the issue number -- issue #9 of volume 2 -- appears to be omitted. More, the sketch suggests a striking and possibly deliberate contrast to the cover for issue #9 of the first volume.

    The final cover art has not yet been posted.
The bigger news on the Criminal front is coming shortly.

Buy Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips comics from Amazon.com

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