Category Archives: Ed Brubaker

Review: THE FADE OUT #1

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“The Fade Out” is the new noir series from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. It opens up with a recollection of the “phantom planes” over Los Angeles, the Japanese bombers imagined but never actually in the air, following Pearl Harbor. Hearing them up above became a nervous habit hard to break. And so the world of Charlie Parish, a schemer and a screenwriter in Hollywood, seems to be just one big bad habit.

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Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Crime, Crime Fiction, Ed Brubaker, Hollywood, Image Comics, Noir, Sean Phillips

Review: Velvet #2, published by Image Comics

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Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting have both been making comics long enough to where they can make them in their sleep. They choose to not be complacent about it. With this comics venture, the team of writer and artist come to it full of energy. Velvet is a well crafted comic. It functions in the way a successful comic does: it does not take itself to seriously, it provides a vivid story, and it gets down to action from the get go. Velvet was falling out of high rise window when we last saw her. She figures out a nice save and then some.

Getting back to that visual of Brubaker and Epting asleep in their respective beds and dreaming up the script and artwork. The comic does have that sense of ease about it. There are a variety of scenes of Velvet Templeton fighting for her life, racing this way and that, and each scene is different and refreshing. No filler. No dead space. There are a number of extended bits of internal dialogue and each bit is clever, interesting, and fun to read. The ball is not dropped once. This back and forth dynamic of sharp and witty script and artwork is downright poetic.

For a moment, I wonder if a Mission Impossible Tom Cruise would have handled a similar challenge the way Velvet did. That comes to mind as Velvet has to figure out what to do when she’s suddenly airborne. I think it’s a toss up, just to give Tom his due. What Velvet does next, right after flying out of a window, is a fine moment in comics. This whole issue is a fine moment in comics and it looks like it will just keep getting better.

Velvet #2 is available now. Visit our friends at Image Comics here.

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Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Ed Brubaker, Image Comics, Steve Epting, Velvet

VELVET, from Image Comics, Sells Out

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The second issue of VELVET from creators Ed Brubaker (FATALE), Steve Epting, and Elizabeth Breitweiser is setting comic racks on fire and has sold out completely at the distributor level.

Issue #2 picks up right after #1 ends, jumping straight into the action as Velvet Templeton flees her own agency and races to uncover why Agent X-14 was killed. Dead bodies, ruined lives, and angry soldiers block her path toward discovering the truth.

Praise for VELVET:

“Velvet should move to the top of any reading pile immediately.” –Kelly Thompson, Comic Book Resources

“Stylish, exciting, and smart, Velvet is another win for the unstoppable force of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting.” –Iann Robinson, Crave Online

“If you’re a fan of 24 and the Jason Bourne movies, you’re definitely going to enjoy the hell out of Velvet.” –Jorge Solis, Bloody Disgusting

“What else is there to be said? Velvet is a hell of an arresting personality negotiating a deadly and complicated landscape. There’s no telling where she’s going next, but good lord does this reviewer want to find out.” –Michelle White, Multiversity Comics

VELVET #2 has completely sold out at the distributor level, but may still be available in comic stores, and is currently available digitally on the Image Comics website (imagecomics.com) and the official Image Comics iOS app, as well as on Comixology on the web (comixology.com), iOS, Android, and Google Play.

Image Comics is pleased to announce that this second issue will be going back to print to meet customer demand. The second printing of VELVET #2 (Diamond Code OCT138253) will release on 1/8.

VELVET #3 releases 1/8 and will be available for pre-order with Diamond Code OCT130631.

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Filed under Comics News, Ed Brubaker, Image Comics, Steve Epting

Review: VELVET #1, published by Image Comics

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“Velvet,” published by Image Comics, is your next spy thriller addiction. It is written by one of the best crime fiction writers that comics has ever known, Ed Brubaker. And he is teamed up with one of the best artists he’s ever worked with, Steve Epting. This new series blasts away from the start. We have the dark and moody color palette that Brubaker favors, provided by colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser. We have the nondescript lettering, as if out of typewriter or teletype machine, provided by letterer Chris Eliopoulos. Yes, this comic is like a good martini, shaken, not stirred.

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Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Crime, Crime Fiction, Ed Brubaker, Image Comics, mystery, Pulp Fiction, Spy Thrillers

Men in Hats in 2011

Men in hats. Will the trend continue? I believe it has reached what I lovingly call, “The Flip Flop Factor.” Something happened in 2011. It had been occurring more under the surface for many years. But, now, we’ve reached that tipping point where all bets are off and any guy, at anytime, could be considering wearing a hat. He’s seen enough cool dudes wear hats and he senses something’s in the air. Johnny Depp wears hats. It must be alright. “The Flip Flop Factor” comes into play in the fact that a lot of guys see this as an opportunity to flaunt a bit of their casual side at any given time or place. Just like flip flops are no longer an item to be found only on the beach or at the gym, hats on men are no longer just an item at a club. They are this new staple in fashion: a little annoying to some, a bit audacious to others, but definitely here to stay. Also, we reached the point this year where men’s hats, like flip flops, are being sold everywhere, along with a price drop for this type of sporty/retro hat, that makes them even more tempting and accessible.

You can see from these following photos of yours truly, that any bloke can look a little more interesting with a hat. And these bad boys didn’t set me back at all. All three of these hats were less or around twenty bucks. I bought them in 2011 at different times and different places. I think, with these three, I’ve got my set that I can just wear whenever. I have to say, it took me a while, like a lot of guys, to find hats that I liked. I was willing to spend a little more too but nothing seemed to speak to me. I wasn’t too keen on the ones made out of straw or paper. I’m more into something more solid, made of some kind of cloth. I was always aware of a high end men’s hat shop in town but only ventured in there once. Then, this year, I warmed up to the new boutique chain, Goorin Brothers. In time, I may find the finer quality hat I might still be longing for. Like flip flops, you can get the cheap, but still great, type or you an indulge your senses with something out of this world.

It’s very interesting to me how hats have come back. They went away, had become too attached to a bygone era, too associated with your dad or your grandfather, but now they are back. They are not part of the soul sucking routine of “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.” No, they are now a life-saver. As long as they’re not some lame version with flaps to cover your ears, you’re good. As long as they have style, that’s the kind of hat you want.

The balance on supply and demand and trend setting is just right at this time. Guys are fully aware that hats are hot. Retro is hot. Hats are retro. Hats are hot. Not everyone is going to wear them. There will always be a sense of style and of setting oneself apart from the slow and dull herd when donning a hat. You know the slow and dull herd, right? You see them every day of your life, waiting for the bus in the morning, shuffling along, or power walking, up and down, and down and up, the sidewalks as if they really are going anywhere. And then, out of that thick fog, emerges that guy in that hat. That guy with a little something special in his heart that keeps him moving and doesn’t let the petty stares from the ignorant or the smirks from the wanna-bes get him down. He’s the guy with the hat!

Like anything else that is cool, hats have always been around and have been worn by cool people, whether society gets it or not. You’ll find that hats were already back some years back and worn by artists, writers and any number of daredevils and nonconformists. They are a natural for cartoonists and those in the comics and entertainment industry. Big time comics writer Ed Brubaker, of “Captain America” fame among other works, is a long-time hat wearer. And the ultimate hat man in comics must be Seth, known for a body of work that pays homage to the past, as in “Palookaville,” a past with many more hats that we are ever likely to see again. But you never know.

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Filed under 2011, Ed Brubaker, Fashion, Lifestyle, Men, pop culture, Seth, Style, Trends

Review: Incognito #1: Bad Influences

After a hiatus, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips return for another round of  “Incognito.”  This one they’re calling “Bad Influences.” You know, these guys are at the top of their game for this type of crime fiction. Like they say in the comic, if you’re new to this, just go find the trades and catch up.

I like the way Brubaker slices and dices when it comes to set ups. Notice how, when obligated, he will provide a phoned in montage of Captain America and Bucky fighting the Krauts in the Black Forest, etc. It’s like he wants to poke holes through the process. In this comic, he has our hero go through a mad dash recap of some past capers and then drop kicks him into New York City like a rat off a sinking ship. That done, the fog of moral ambiguity can thicken unencumbered. Our hero is Zack. He used to be a super-villain and now, not so much. He has these powers. He’s not human. They’re not sure what he is. He would just like to kick ass as often as he needs to relieve stress. But first, some substantial and  unexpected misadventure. 

Like any good hard-on-his-luck Brubaker character, it’s not long before Zack has accidently killed a guy and set off the latest chain of events that will tear up his miserable life. Cool noir this is. And, yes, there is a babe and Zack and she become bedmates, but nothing more. In the best scene in the issue, Zack momentarily becomes vulnerable and asks Zoe for a favor. She is his boss, and he was hoping she could talk some sense into, Von Chance, a prick that also answers to her. Unforutantely for Zack, Zoe must remind him there really isn’t that much between the two of them. That is about as lucky as this guy gets. It won’t be long before Zoe has completely turned against him and it all goes back to a most unfortunate mistake that Zack could have avoided.

Among the regular tidbits at the end of the comic, it was nice to read that the “Incognito” movie is shaping up well and has Robert Schenkkano attached to write the screenplay. Schenkkano, and Christopher Hampton, wrote the screenplay for “The Quite American.” As you may know, that has an impressive performance by Brendan Fraser. And yet another brilliant performance by one of the greats, Michael Caine. The movie has lots of memorable dialogue, such as these last lines:

They say you come to Vietnam and understand a lot in a few minutes. The rest has got to be lived. They say whatever it was you were looking for, you will find here. They say there is a ghost in every house, and if you can make peace with him, he will stay quiet.

“Incognito” is published by Marvel and is part of their ICON line. Go get yourself  a copy.

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Filed under Ed Brubaker, ICON Comics, Marvel Comics, Sean Phillips