Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bullets: Fatale Finale Preview, Fade Out Glimpses, Velvet, Void, and Much More.

We interrupt our month-long look back at Fatale to cover the just-released preview of the final issue, along with quite a few items we would have otherwise missed.  We'll look at Fatale #19 later this evening:  for now, keep reading for some early looks at the interior art of The Fade Out, the latest issue of Ed Brubaker's other creator-owned comic, and Sean Phillips' sci-fi thriller.

• Fatale #24 Preview, Confirmed for July 30th Release.   After posting some gruesome inkwork on his blog, Sean Phillips announced that he finished his work on Fatale around June 23rd, finishing the 586th page of the horror-noir series -- implying that the final, extra-long issue has 31 pages of story.  He then posted two pieces of artwork for the extra features in the Fatale finale, for an essay by Jess Nevins on "fallen heroes and redeemed villains."

On Twitter today, Phillips announced that his "comp copies" of Fatale #24 have just arrived, meaning that the issue is "probably out next week."  The accompanying image didn't provide a clear look, but the cover has clearly changed; it appears to be the solicited artwork, significantly recolored, as shown in the comparison above.

Just in the last hour, Comic Book Resources has posted a five-page preview of Fatale #24, along with the other Image books released in the next two weeks.  The preview confirms both the recolored cover and the July 30th release date.  And the previewed interior pages use the stylistic art of stained glass or an illuminated manuscript to shed light on the story of the owl and the ribbon around the world and the ritual of the Consort, and it must be seen to be believed.

• First Interior Art, More Cover Artwork, and Retailer Promo for The Fade Out.  For Phillips, the "new project" of The Fade Out evidently began on June 30th, with a scene set at a "wild party," and over the month of July, his blog has featured a couple looks at panels in-progress.  He's trying his hand at digital inking while maintaining the look and feel of his "scruffy, analogue inks."

In consecutive days, Sean also posted the completed cover art for The Fade Out #3 and "cover detail" for another work in-progress.  For the former, the solicitation gives us a scheduled release date of October 29th.  With the latter, a close look at the title bar in the screenshot confirms that the troubled soldier will appear on the cover for issue #4.

On Twitter, both Sean Phillips and Ed Brubaker provided a look at retail posters that should soon be appearing in stores promoting the new period-piece crime comic with a very simple description.

Fame. Sex. Death.  That's Entertainment.

The poster points to an August release for issue #1, and fans may want to ask their local shops for the poster once they're done with it.

• Preview for Velvet #6, Out This Week.  Tomorrow sees the release of the latest issue of Velvet, Brubaker's espionage comic with long-time collaborator Steve Epting.  Comicosity has a five-page preview.  

It's the beginning of a new arc, called "The Secret Lives of Dead Men," and Brubaker has tweeted that the cover art for these issues is meant to evoke "70s crime novels."

• Phillips' Void Preview, at SDCC and Out in September.  Sunday, Titan Comics announced that Sean Phillips' Void will be available exclusively at booth #5537 at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend.  I believe we missed the original press release in February, but Titan Comics is publishing a deluxe hardcover of this sci-fi  thriller, translated into English from a script by French writer Henrik Hanna with (top-billing) art by Phillips.

Phillips' blog has a few entries on the graphic novel, with several previews of pages in various stages of completion and a more complete look at the cover artwork.

In 2011, he described the project as his first sci-fi work, created for Delcourt in France, which is probably why we missed it:  the book was completed in June, 2012, and released that October, and we didn't realize that -- like Seven Psychopaths before it -- it would be translated into English.

The book tells the story of "the sole survivor of an interstellar prison ship," and Giant Freakin Robot has a feature on the book, with a four-page preview.  The book is scheduled to reach retailers in September.

• Brubaker Featured in Bendis' New Book on Writing.  I've noticed in online ads that Brian Michael Bendis has a new book out, on sale today:  Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels.   The book has "tips and insights from other working writers, artists, and editors provid[ing] a rare, extensive look behind the creative curtain of the comics industry."  

Between the index available online and the Amazon preview of the book, it's clear that Ed Brubaker is featured in an eight-page spotlight, in an interview Bendis conducted while Brubaker was working on Captain America.

• Brubaker Interviews.  Ed Brubaker has also made himself available for a number of online interviews in the last few weeks.  In a June 24th feature, Paste Magazine talks with Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, Kieron Gillen, Jim Starlin, and others  about "the creator-owned comic book renaissance."  Brubaker mentions the difficulties in keeping Sleeper from being cancelled, the benefits of publishing work through Image Comics, and retailers' positive reaction to the influx of creator-owned work.

On July 1st, Wired posted an extensive interview with Brubaker about Velvet, upon the release of the first trade paperback collection.  He mentions inspirations for the story as wide-ranging as 40-year-old British television and his own family's history in intelligence, and he discusses how the main character's age and experience are integral to the story he's telling.

And just yesterday, the podcast 3 Chicks Review Comics posted their latest show, which features "a super long interview with the fantastic (and prolific) Ed Brubaker," on subjects ranging from Gotham Central and Captain America to Fatale, Velvet, and The Fade Out.

• Sean Phillips at Lakes International Comics Art Festival.  Phillips is attending the Comics Art Festival in Kendal, England, on October 17-19, returning as a featured creator.  His featured event is Divas and Fatales with fellow artist Rian Hughes.  

"In a special burlesque-inspired event, Sean and Rian draw a live model and demonstrate the art of creating a fully-formed character before your eyes."

Alex Valente has recently posted a Comics Art Festival poster focusing on this featured event.

• Fatale Reviews.  Over the last few weeks, we've also seen a few features on Fatale as the series draws to a close.  The AV Club made issue #23 its Big Issue for the week, late in June, drawing particular attention to the increasingly "trippy" artwork and to Nicolas' transition from obsession and infatuation to love and affection.

On July 2nd, Geekocracy kicked off a book club with a live streaming discussion of Fatale Book 1, "Death Chases Me."  They subsequently posted the 47-minute video of Masks & More #1.

And, just now, This Is Infamous posted an essay on the end of Fatale, speculating on its possible endings and examining the theme of inevitability in the book and the genre of noir which it encapsulates.

• Recommendations.  Especially through retweets, Ed Brubaker has recommended quite a few things worth reading, which we're reiterating here.
  • The National Post interviewed the "newly anointed queen of noir" Megan Abbott, who provided the introduction for the first deluxe volume of Fatale.
  • Open Culture lists film noir's five essential rules,  embedding an hour-long BBC documentary on the subject.  Abbott's introduction to the first deluxe hardcover argues that Fatale subverts the first rule -- "Choose a Dame with a Past and a Hero with No Future" -- by making Josephine much more than a femme fatale.
  • IDW has announced plans to publish the Italian comic-book adventures of Corto Maltese, a perennial best-seller in Europe which have never been comprehensively translated into English and collected for American readers.  The series will be released in 12 paperback volumes starting this December and subsequently in six hardcover volumes each collecting two trade editions.
  • Rick Remender is about to release another creator-owned sci-fi comic, Low, with artist Greg Tocchini.  Published by Image Comics, the futuristic story is about a mission sent from an undersea sanctuary to recover a probe that has landed on Earth's desolate surface.
For myself, I'm really looking forward to Tom Scioli's eccentric work on Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, having already read (and re-read) issue #0 given away on Free Comic Book Day.  Issue #1 is out tomorrow, and CBR has a five-page preview.

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