Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bullets: CRIMINAL Tomorrow, Eisner Nods for THE FADE OUT, and Work Begins on KILL OR BE KILLED!

We begin with four of our favorite words in the English language: new Criminal this week!

Criminal Tenth Anniversary Special, In Stores Tomorrow!  Our favorite series by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips returns with an over-sized one-shot, we see that Image Comics just posted a five-page preview of the issue, and Brubaker tells readers that the 56-page comic is a "full novella."

(UPDATE: The same preview at Comic Book Resources might be easier to read.)

Things had been pretty quiet since "The Last of the Innocent" wrapped in 2011, but that changed last year with the "Savage Sword" one-shot commemorating the series' returning to print under the Image banner.  This new one-shot is a kind of companion piece, once again focusing on the Lawless family's criminal exploits during the 1970's.  As before, there's a comic within the comic, and the issue's magazine-sized variant once again emulates that fictitious work of literature, in what Brubaker recently described as a "meta-variant."

Last year, the "Savage Sword of Criminal" featured Zangar the Valandrian.

This year, the "Deadly Hands of Criminal" features the astounding new character find of 2016, Fang the Kung-fu Werewolf!

Although we mentioned the Final Order Cutoff date for the book, we failed to emphasize why that date was particularly important:  late last month, Bleeding Cool reported a bookkeeping issue with Diamond distributors, one which resulted in the entire advance order being lost and the book subsequently having significantly more advance reorders than expected.  On Twitter, Brubaker predicts that the issue might quickly become hard to find especially since a one-shot is a hard sell.

More than that, retailers tend to be less likely to shelve the over-sized magazine variant, and this variant will almost certainly be too cost-intensive for more than a single printing.

In short, get it while you can!

The book was delayed one week from its solicited April 13th release, but that might be fortuitous:  we're not one to fixate on stoner culture, but it's a happy accident that this book and its kung-fu werewolf are reaching stores on 4/20.

...and it's not the only book that seems just perfect for the unofficial holiday for stoners.  Three of my all-time favorite books are all coming out tomorrow, and they're all appropriately trippy.
  • Brubaker and Phillips have the Criminal 10th Anniversary Special, with the 70's kung-fu comic.
  • Layman and Guillory are concluding their trilogy of Chew one-shots featuring their cyborg luchador rooster (and secret agent), Demon Chicken Poyo!  Image Comics has a four-page preview up online. (So does CBR, possibly easier to read.)
  • And Tom Scioli with John Barber are releasing the penultimate chapter of the brilliant and bonkers Transformers vs GI Joe, which has been more fun than any licensed comic has any right to be. IDW has provided a five-page preview to Comics Alliance.

Go by your local retailer and grab a copy of each.  Sit back, take 'er easy, and enjoy -- and you can thank us later.

Eisner Nominations for The Fade Out, Brubaker, and Breitweiser!  It's breaking news, trumped only by a new Brubaker/Phillips comic, but the 2016 Eisner nominations were announced today, and once again we find nods for the pair's most recent collaboration along with some of the creative talents behind the series.
  • Best Limited Series: The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Best Writer: Ed Brubaker, The Fade Out, Velvet, Criminal Special Edition (Image)
  • Best Coloring: Elizabeth Breitwiser, The Fade Out, Criminal Magazine, Outcast, Velvet (Image)
The awards will be announced on Friday night, July 22nd, at Comic-Con International in San Diego -- and in the meantime, Image Comics just announced a digital sale for their Eisner nominees.  You can get all three trades of The Fade Out for less than $15 -- or all twelve issues for less than $12 -- and Velvet is similarly on sale with $4.99 collections and $0.99 single issues.

We extend hearty congratulations to Ed, Sean, Bettie, and everyone who was nominated.

A Second Volume of Image Firsts.  Along with the release of last year's Criminal one-shot, we noted the publication of the first Image Firsts Compendium. The trade paperback included NINE first issues, including The Fade Out #1, all for the low price of $5.99, and we can confirm that the Image Firsts Compendium Volume Two was released just last week.

It's a great introduction to just a few of the off-beat creator-owned titles that Image is producing.

Kill or Be Killed, Now In Progress.  Finally, we have an update on Brubaker and Phillips' newest project, the ongoing series announced two weeks ago at the Image Expo.  I would say that we have more information, but I suspect that the creators are holding a lot back:  after the initial announcement, Brubaker tweeted that the book is "one of those simple concepts that's actually a bit hard to describe without spoiling all the twists of the first issue."

Or as he intimated prior to the Image Expo, it's "That thing when you're doing press for your upcoming book and realize anything you say will spoil the first issue, so you go vague."

So, there's no new info, just an update.

Sean Phillips has posted a few things on Twitter, including what appears to be the cover art for the first issue, very similar to the promo image, but in a portrait layout.

Phillips has made himself a sketch book for the project, he's already working on layouts, and he began shooting reference photos last week.

I think we can safely say that the cover won't have the only firearm in the book.

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Blogger Unknown said...

I ordered my magazine sized variant so hopefully my shop gets their order in. Looking forward to it!

3:18 PM  

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