Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Look Back at Fatale, A Look Ahead to The Fade Out.

An extremely busy couple of weeks offline has kept me from blogging, but it's given me a chance to reflect on Fatale -- FYI, the entire run is now available for almost 50% off at Comixology, for $25 -- and to take an advance look at the debut issue for The Fade Out.

I've been intending to write one more lengthy essay to wrap up our look back at the Lovecraftian horror noir, but I'm not sure what more there is to say.

On the one hand, the series has been a little bit frustrating:  not only did the final issue not answer any of the numerous questions I had after re-reading the series, it actually raised a whole host of new questions.  What seemed to be Nicolas Lash's final fate, wasn't, and I'm not sure how that happened or whether that was really foreshadowed at all.  I don't know how exactly we got from the final showdown to the epilogue set one year later, without any apparent consequences for Nicolas' being a fugitive from the law.  And, I'm not quite sure how the story of the owl and the dragon quite fits into the big picture.  There was a brief discussion in the comments of the previous post, and I've added a few more thoughts there.

On the other hand, the series was immensely enjoyable.  The conclusion was surprising but emotionally satisfying, it was worth reading that second time, and I'm sure I'll be reading the whole series again soon.

The conclusion did remind me of the end to Sleeper.  Not to spoil either series, but the main characters had a similar ability to harm others by transferring pain to them, and both stories ended with bittersweet scenes in two very similar locales.

Readers of both books should know exactly what I mean.

Along with an interview with Brubaker, Phillips, and colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser, the AV Club has published an exclusive five-page preview of The Fade Out #1, in stores this Wednesday.

Brubaker and Phillips have also graciously provided us with an advance look at the extra-large "movie magazine" variant, and we cannot recommend this book more highly.  The variant includes eight additional pages of behind-the-scenes extras, with Brubaker providing photos from his family's work in Hollywood, and with Phillips writing about the process producing the book from Brubaker's script.

The issue itself is -- aside from the title -- classic Criminal, moody noir with already broken characters, this time with the superficial glamour and deep corruption of postwar Hollywood.

The issue begins with a dramatis personae introducing the main ensemble characters, and the book is clearly going to be more expansive than the typical single-arc story of Criminal, but the series doesn't meander.

The Fade Out begins with debauchery, murder, and a cover-up...

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