Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Out This Week: PULP, That Texas Blood #2, a Brubaker Newsletter, and an Undertow Podcast!

It's been a while, but we're back, and I'll be brief. (Yeah, right.)

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips return today with their first new comics work in literally six months, the hardcover, original graphic novel, Pulp!

Announced last December and originally planned for a May 20th release, Pulp is the third slightly oversized "graphic novella" for the team, following 2018's My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies the expanded edition of Bad Weekend released last July.  

Image Comics prominently features the book on its website, and there are a number of signed bookplates for the book.  Shown below (L-R), there's one for the North American market and exclusive bookplates for two different British retailers, Page 45 and OK Comics.

Pulp is coming out the same day as That Texas Blood #2, by Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips, the Criminal colorist who is proving to be an artistic force in his own right.  

The first issue was released on June 24th and went into an immediate second printing, which hit stores last week.  Shown below, we have Sean Phillips' first-printing variant cover and the second-printing cover for issue #1, followed by the two first-printing covers for issue #2.

On the listing for the second issue, we find that the variant cover is by Hellboy artist Duncan Fegredo, the issue is the first chapter of a five-part story entitled "A Brother's Conscience," and a three-page preview is available to whet our appetite.

With so much arriving this week, Robert and I made an extra effort to meet online and record an episode of our podcast: Brubaker hadn't released an email newsletter since mid-May, and I believe I half-jokingly predicted that would change between the episode's recording and release.

I was right.  The latest newsletter "From the desk of Ed Brubaker" hit my inbox yesterday afternoon, a little more than three hours before Robert texted me that the podcast was up!

Brubaker's new email newsletter is a must-read, giving readers a little more insight into Pulp (including some preview pages) and some very exciting details about what comes next.
We got a few preview images indicating a setting of LA in 1981; it's only a setting, one of potentially many. The title, the release date -- "sooner than you think" (!!!) -- and some more preview pages are promised for the next newsletter, but what Brubaker just revealed is thrilling enough:
  • The next project is a series of original graphic novels.
  • Each OGN will feature the same protagonist but tell its own complete story.
  • The books will be longer than the 72-page "novellas" that preceded them -- Junkies, Bad Weekend, and Pulp -- and the first book is about 125 pages.
  • The team plans to release three volumes over the course of a year.
Brubaker believes this is a first -- "three full-length OGNs in one year by the same team." 
So if you're a longtime reader of ours, you'll actually be getting more "content" than usual soon.
We've been going through withdrawal, so we're positively giddy!

Brubaker also writes about a classic TV shows -- his dad's favorite, and one of mine, alongside Perry Mason and Magnum, P.I.  The show is The Rockford Files, previously aired on the delightful MeTV and now streaming on NBCUniversal's new streaming service, Peacock.  It's been (more than) a few years since the writer dropped the often toxic environment of Twitter, but we remember that his account's profile photo used to be of the man himself, Jim Rockford, in an iconic shot from the opening sequence.

(We wonder if Jim Rockford is anything like the protagonist for this upcoming series of OGNs...)

But before you check out Rockford, we heartily recommend Episode 38 of The Undertow PodcastThis new episode was recorded Monday night and released just yesterday, and it features reviews of four recent releases!

During what our inestimable host Robert Watson has accurately described as a "cruel summer," we have still had a few books to read outside of the usual Brubaker-Phillips collaborations -- short stories and full-length comic books, in print and online, in separate projects from Ed Brubaker and Jacob Phillips -- and we briefly covered each one.
  • Friday #1, from Brubaker and artist Marcos Martin, 24 pages released digitally on 4/15 through Martin's Panel Syndicate
  • "The Art of Picking a Lock," a 12-page story from Brubaker and artist Cameron Stewart, released on 6/2 in the prestige-format Catwoman anthology, the 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular
  • That Texas Blood #1, from writer Chris Condon and artist Jacob Phillips, a 22-page comic released on 6/24 through Image Comics
  • Brutal Dark #1 & #2, from Condon & J. Phillips, two 8-page issues released digitally on 5/6 and 6/18 respectively, for fans who support the team through their Patreon page
Each book was a helluva read, and Robert and I also had a few recommendations for our listeners, including a pair of very different movies from the 1990's -- the stylish adaptation of the comics detective Dick Tracy and the cult sci-fi/horror film Event Horizon.

I also gave a brief, unplanned recommendation for Scooby-Doo! Team-Up.  The 50-issue series ran from 2013 to 2019, and I think it was the best kids comic on the stands: our kids love it, and it's a great introduction to crime comics, somewhat spooky but very funny!

(Like all great works for kids, there's plenty for parents to appreciate, too.)

To promote the new animated movie, Scoob!, more than 250 issues of Scooby-Doo comics have been made available through Comixology and other digital retailers, completely free if purchased now through September 7th.

Featuring famous and obscure characters from DC Comics and Hanna-Barbara, the Team-Up book is the best of the bunch, and the entire series is being given away in eight volumes of digital trade paperbacks -- and if you have an Amazon account, you already have a Comixology account whether you realize it or not.

Summing up, there's lots to enjoy for Brubaker and Phillips fans -- a new podcast, a new newsletter, a couple old movies and quite a few books to read -- but the highest priority is visiting your local comic shop for Pulp and the sophomore issue of That Texas Blood.


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