Monday, November 23, 2009

Bullets: New Criminal and Incognito Trade This Week, and More.

A quick list of bullets for the week of Thanksgiving.
  • New Releases This Week. The big fall quarter is wrapping up this week, with only a few minor delays from the schedule I assembled a few months back. I've checked my two regular sources for weekly release info -- San Francisco's Comix Experience and my local shop, Great Escape Comics in Marietta, Georgia -- and at least the West Coast shop confirms the arrival of two books for fans of Brubaker and Phillips. It's not yet clear that the books will make East Coast stores before the holiday.

    UPDATE, NOVEMBER 24. A quick call to Great Escape this afternoon confirmed the new arrivals, which appear to be available nationwide this week.

    Available in at least some stores this week, and everywhere next week, is the trade paperback collection for Incognito and the second issue of Criminal: The Sinners. Comic Book Resources has a five-page preview of the new issue, featuring the return of Jen Waters, who we last saw in "Coward." While the military begins to close in on the AWOL Tracy Lawless, it seems that he'll have a run-in with Jen, as they both investigate the same crime scene, for crime boss Sebastian Hyde and for the city police, respectively.

    Next month is shaping up to be pretty quiet, but late in December we should see the third issue of "The Sinners."

  • Criminal: The Deluxe Edition in the NY Times. Looking back to this month's biggest release, Ed Brubaker links to the New York Times' Christmas gift guide. Its list of graphic novels includes Criminal: The Deluxe Edition, which is in stores now.

  • Sinners Finale in February Solicitations. Looking ahead, Newsarama has posted Marvel's full solicitations for February, 2010. The listings include Criminal: The Sinners #5, scheduled for a February 24th release.
    It’s the action-packed and twist-filled finale of THE SINNERS as TRACY LAWLESS finds himself trapped between hardened killers who want to torture and kill him, and a tough Military Investigator who wants to bring him back to the Army in chains.

    All the intrigue you’ve come to expect from Criminal, plus more exclusive back-up features and interviews.
    My guess is that we can expect anything with the ending, except for a happy ending.

  • Miscellany Regarding Other Comics. Earlier this month, Newsarama also featured an interview with Ed Brubaker, about Captain America Reborn...

    Fans of the pulp universe in Incognito should check out this month's Batman / Doc Savage Special, which introduces DC's pulp universe and features preview sketches that are also found at DC's blog...

    And fans of Criminal and other noir comics should check out this month's debut issue of Stumptown by Gotham Central co-creator Greg Rucka, who also wrote Whiteout and Queen & Country, and who's currently making waves with Batwoman in Detective Comics. 4thletter! has a good review of the first issue, describing the title as the law-and-order flipside of Criminal. CBR's first review makes comparisons to Gotham Central's artist Michael Lark and to The Big Sleep; and a new column focusing on women in comics debuts with a review that applauds both the writing and the artwork. Ed Brubaker strongly recommends the book: "Go buy it, people. Great work from Rucka and Southworth."
Here's hoping that everyone has a good Thanksgiving -- a far happier and safer holiday than the typical Criminal storyline.

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Blogger Bubba said...

My own thoughts about the other comics I mentioned:

Batman/Doc Savage was decent but slight, particularly as the comics I really like tend to be a little more dense: Azzarello's Batman entry in Wednesday Comics suffered from the same problem. It hasn't dampened my guarded optimism for the DC pulp universe, but I'm not sure how well it attracts those who aren't already interested.

Stumptown is good, but frankly not anything I haven't seen before from Rucka. It's a testament to his writing abilities that I've never seen much of a stink about it, but his writing does tend to gravitate toward strong but ultimately emotionally scarred women, over and over again.

It's probably apples and oranges -- comparing work within ONE title against an entire body of work -- but in Criminal, Brubaker tends to vary the characterization in the same basic setting, but in his work as a whole, Rucka seems to vary the setting for the same basic character.

Theoretically, Criminal could easily get repetitive, but Leo, Tracy, and Jacob are such vastly different people -- as are Gnarly, Teeg, and Danica in The Dead and the Dying -- that discovering the protagonist in each story makes the journey that much more worthwhile.

(If "The Sinners" hasn't started off as heavy a gut-punch as previous arcs, it's probably because we already know Tracy. And the only instance so far of really similar characterization is, appropriately enough, Teeg and Tracy. But, there, the interest is in discovering the differences between father and son, and in trying to see why they're so alike and where the differences originate.)

With Stumptown, if you already know the writer and know the premise, I wonder how much it's true that we already know the protagonist: the central mystery is interesting enough for me to get the first arc, but I'm not (yet) sure it's in the same ballpark as Criminal, especially in terms of rewarding careful rereads.

On the other hand, there's one other comic coming out this week, which I forgot to mention: Chew #6, a title that's funny enough -- quirky and bizarre -- that it strikes me as a better complement to Criminal because its approach is so different.

11:52 PM  

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