Wednesday, August 09, 2017

New This Week: Kill Or Be Killed and the Undertow Podcast!

Almost exactly a year after its debut on August 3rd, 2016, Kill Or Be Killed continues with two new releases, both out today:  the Volume 2 trade paperback collects issues 5-10, and issue 11 continues the crime series by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser.

Image Comics has released a three-page preview of the new issue, and the story comes full circle to the opening scene, reusing the layout of some memorable key panels, as shown below.

KOBK #1 page 2, #11 preview page 2

In his first-person narration, Dylan directly addresses some questions we've been expressing in our podcast, and -- on the subject -- episode 15 of The Undertow Podcast delves into the previous issue to find that it raises more questions than it answers.

The episode was just released a few hours ago, and we think the discussion might be a good way to transition from the series' second arc to the brand-new issue.  As usual, Robert and I enjoyed discussing the comic -- and we recommend a couple movies on the way -- and the podcast can be found at iTunes and on Podbean.

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Finally, from social media, we see that there are a couple special offers of Kill Or Be Killed being made available through a few retailers in the British Isles.



OK Comics in Leeds, England, is offering, with copies of the KOBK Volume 2 trade collection, an exclusive mini-print drawn and signed by Sean Phillips.  From a photo of the monochromatic print, shown above, it seems the print is limited to 50 copies; the store has announced that they received more orders for the book than for any other title, ever, and that they can no longer take any additional pre-orders.  They're selling the remaining copies on-site, starting today.

And Dublin's Big Bang Comics is selling a variant of the KOBK Volume 2 TPB with both an exclusive cover -- with the cover art from issue 8 rather than issue 5 -- and the exclusive bookplate shown below, signed by Brubaker & Phillips and featuring the enigmatic watercolor that the artist showed fans in July.



Big Bang Comics is selling the variant/bookplate combo online through eBay.  We see from the photos and description that they're doing so in association with Forbidden Planet London, which has a parallel listing on its ownn website.

Having previously purchased comics from the UK, we can confirm that American readers can often have books shipped internationally (if not always), but personally we're most interested in the next chapter of this twisted vigilante series.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Bullets: Undertow Podcast on A.D. After Death, Spirit Preview Art, New Inventory and a New Vertigo Collection, and Much More!

New releases for Kill Or Be Killed are just around the corner -- issue #11 and the Volume 2 trade paperback are both due on August 11th, and Sean Phillips has already tweeted a photo of the comp copies he's received -- but we'll kick off the month with quite a few items of interest.

• Undertow Podcast Bonus Review of A.D. After Death. In lieu of our usual segment of monthly recommendations, Robert and I recorded a bonus episode of The Undertow Podcast to discuss a previous recommendation:  A.D. After Death, a combined comic book and illustrated prose novel written by Scott Snyder with art by Jeff Lemire.

A hardcover collection of the three-issue mini-series was released at the end of June, our podcast discussion recently came out, and I couldn't sum up both any better than Robert did in the description for episode 14:
"Great sci-fi, with a touch of crime, and gorgeous watercolors made this a fun to book to read and break down."
As always, The Undertow Podcast is available at iTunes and on Podbean.



• Preview Art of Brubaker and Phillips' The Spirit.  As we reported in May, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are contributing a one-page story to The Spirit of Eisner, a 12-page newspaper-sized comic honoring The Spirit, on the centenary of the birth of its extraordinary creator.

Phillips is also coordinating the publication of this comic, to be released by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October, and in subsequent tweets he's treated fans to previews of eight different pages.  In addition to a signed drawing by Michael Cho and the distinctive cartoony style of Sergio Aragonés, we see a panel crediting Chris Samnee, who was not listed in the March press release.

Perhaps even more exciting for Brubaker and Phillips fans, the artist has announced that he's finally underway with their contribution to the project, and he has posted more than a dozen preview photos, from thumbnails and photo reference, to digital pencils subsequently transferred to paper and inked.  Over the weekend, Phillips tweeted that he has completed the inks and will do his own color work for this story (confirming his role as colorist on Twitter), and he's posted a partial preview of the vibrant neon colors with some completed lettering.

We've seen quite a bit of the first few panels -- including photos of the artist holding up the single page, in pencils and again in partial inks, shown in the collage below -- but we're sure that, for both his work and for the others, Sean Phillips is saving a lot of surprises for the book's readers.


New Art By Sean Phillips, for Rawhead Rex and JD's Revenge.  We mentioned that Sean Phillips has been creating artwork of Rita Hayworth in our previous post, and Phillips relayed that the work is for a separate project and not for a bonus essay.  This project has still not yet been formally announced, but it appears that Ms. Hayworth is not the only subject.

In the meantime, other projects have been officially announced.

First, AICN reports the return of the 1986 British horror film Rawhead Rex, with a screenplay by Clive Barker and based on a previously published short story by the horror writer.  The film is getting a 4K restoration for a limited summer run and a Blu-ray release in the fall, and Sean Phillips created the poster for the re-release.

AICN provided an exclusive look at the resulting work, which we're including below.  The distributor's official site lists ten North American theaters screening the film between August and October.


And, at his own blog, Sean Phillips has posted both a preliminary draft and the final version of the menacing artwork for Arrow Video's release of a 1976 blaxploitation horror film JD's Revenge.  The release is due in October but not yet listed on the distributor's official site.

Phillips will apparently be reusing the artwork in a promotional banner for his artwork, shown below and making its debut at September's Thought Bubble festival in September.


Kill Or Be Killed & Criminal Fall Short at the Eisners.  The winners of the 2017 Eisner Awards were announced at Comic-Con last Friday night, and Brubaker, Phillips, their collaborators, and their collaborations all fell short in the five categories in which they were nominated -- all against very tough competition.

We congratulate the winners, and we're happy to see Black Hammer win the award for Best New Series: according to The Beat's live blog of the awards ceremony, writer Jeff Lemire said the award was won only because of artist Dean Ormston's incredible recovery from a stroke after finishing the first issue.

We weren't aware of the stroke, we're so glad that Ormston is recovering, and we've been enjoying the series thoroughly.

• Westworld Second-Season Preview.  The Eisner Awards weren't the only big news from Comic-Con, as a lot of film and television projects have been promoted with new footage.  Along with an elaborate installation promoting the fictional, futuristic resort, producers of HBO's Westworld debuted a two-minute trailer of new footage from the upcoming second season.

Ed Brubaker was quite heavily involved in the first season, joining the writer's room, being credited as a supervising producer for five episodes, and receiving a writer's credit for one episode.  It's not clear whether Brubaker is working on the second season, but we're sure we'll find out soon enough.

• New Inventory for Older Hardcover Collections -- and a New Hardcover of Brubaker's Vertigo Comics?  On Twitter, an online friend Kevin Sels has been telling us about some interesting new listings he's found on Amazon.

The Criminal The Deluxe Edition Volume 2 hardcover (the listing has the cover art from volume 1) and Incognito: The Classified Edition hardcover are both scheduled for a January 2nd release date.  These listings might have been the first hints of new printings by Image Comics, but Sean Phillips explains that the books are "just old stock that was found in a warehouse somewhere."

We're even more intrigued by Kevin's tweet about a February listing, for a 272-page hardcover, scheduled for a February 27th release:  Vertigo by Ed Brubaker.  This is the very first we've heard about this.
Classic Vertigo tales by Eisner Award-winning author Ed Brubaker collected for the first time in hardcover edition. The best Ed Brubaker's Veritgo stories are collected together for a wild and sometimes supernatural ride!
It begins with reprinted material from VERTIGO VISIONS: PREZ #1 in election year '96, with the country coming apart at the seams. Prez Rickard, long missing and presumed dead, has been sighted at a roadside diner in the American heartland. A trio of restless young misfits, one of whom believes he is Prez's son, sets out across America in search of answers for their country's woes--answers that only the former Chief Executive can provide. Then, from WINTER'S EDGE #2, a gang of suburban kids devises a fool proof get-rich-quick scheme. Followed by stories from the best supernatural detectives that are not alive, in DEAD BOY DETECTIVES.
These amazing tales from one of the great voices in the comics industry today are collected together in hardcover in VERTIGO BY ED BRUBAKER! Collects VERTIGO VISIONS: PREZ #1, WINTER'S EDGE #2, GANGLAND #3 and DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #1-4.
These kind of listings are always subject to change, but this may give serious fans a second chance to get some oversized hardcovers, stuffed with bonus features, and a first chance to get some of Ed Brubaker's earliest stories, collected for the first time.

We will certainly relay more info about these books as we find it.

And big thanks to Kevin for sharing these discoveries with us and eliciting more info from Sean!

• Solicitations and Preview Art for Upcoming Issues of Kill Or Be Killed.  Finally, Image Comics have released their October solicitations, and they include another issue of Brubaker and Phillips' ongoing vigilante comic.
Caught in the crossfire between the police and the Russian mob—and his sanity—Dylan begins to realize his problems are more dire than he thinks. BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS’ multiple Eisner-nominated series keeps racing from hit to hit in this action-packed third arc!
Lucky number 13 of Kill Or Be Killed continues the connecting cover art which Brubaker previously described as "one long cover image of escalating violence," and the issue is scheduled for an October 18th release.

But even more interesting is a bit of artwork that Sean Phillips posted on Instagram on July 17th, which we're including below.  In a previous tweet showing the work in-progress, we learn that the work is a watercolor, and the artist subsequently reveals that it's for the "Next issue of Kill Or Be Killed."



We're intrigued, to say the least.

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