Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bullets: Velvet in Stores, Fatale Cover Art, Criminal Movie Reference, and More.

A lot of updates, just in the span of a week.

• Velvet #3 in stores tomorrow. The latest issue of Ed Brubaker's Velvet arrives this week:  Brubaker already has his copies of Velvet #3, and a six-page preview has just been at Comicosity and Comic Book Resources.

We're honored to report that, in the letters column at the end of the last issue, Brubaker published my letter asking about whether a noir-tinged espionage story can still be optimistic in its outlook on the necessity of spying.  He noted that some spy stories are more police procedurals than noir, and while his work tends to noir, he thinks that some noir  -- like the Robert Mitchum film Out of the Past -- is optimistic about the consequences of a story that is usually very tragic for the main character.

I think that answers my question:  a spy story could affirm that the work is essential in protecting the interests of a relatively moral government while still being true to the personally destructive stories you find in noir.

I wonder if that's exactly the kind of contrast we'll see in the conclusion to Fatale: the cosmic evil's worst plans are thwarted or delayed, but only at a very steep personal cost.

Brubaker also encourages Velvet readers to check into this blog -- any newcomers here, welcome! -- as we've expanded our coverage from Criminal to quite a bit of work of Ed and Sean's.  We're not always able to cover every project as much as we should, particularly Sean's work that doesn't immediately reach the U.S. and Ed's projects for Marvel.  (I've always been more of a DC guy.)

That said, we're quite happy to cover as much work of theirs as we can, including partnerships with familiar faces like Lark, Rucka, and Cooke and especially all Brubaker-Phillips collaborations.

Whatever the work, there's a certain alchemy with the two of them that we find nowhere else.

• Heart of the Beast 20th Anniversary Edition. On the subject of other projects, last July, Dynamite Entertainment announced a 20th anniversary prestige edition of The Heart of the Beast written by Dean Motter and Judith Dupré, with painted watercolor artwork by Sean Phillips.  The gothic romance / horror story, released in 1994, was one of the earliest original graphic novels for Vertigo, about which Phillips said, "This was my first major project for an American publisher and it sank without trace twenty years ago."

We completely missed this announcement at the time, and I don't believe there have been many updates since, but, this past Saturday, Phillips posted a preliminary digital sketch of the new cover art.

He relays that this new edition will be "out in a few months."

Fatale #24 Cover Art.  In other big news, just today Phillips posted cover art to Fatale #24, the grand finale of Brubaker and Phillips' horror-noir comic.

With The Fade Out scheduled to debut this summer, I'd expect this concluding issue to be released around June.

• Brubaker and Criminal Reference on the Big Screen. And, finally, a conversation on Twitter documented an emphatic shout-out to our favorite comic book writer and title:  in the 2012 independent comedy Stuck in Love, a character mentions Ed Brubaker as the writer of "an incredible, hard-boiled comic called Criminal," and another character is shown reading what appears to be Criminal #3, the midpoint of the debut story "Coward."

The film stars Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly, it enjoyed a limited domestic release last July, and it's now available for watching at home.

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