Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Brubaker/Phillips: Partial Reprint of Gotham Noir and Newly Found Inventory of Criminal Deluxe Hardcovers.

Yesterday Image Comics released its December solicitations, and we see that nothing is scheduled from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips:  we'll apparently have to wait until the January solicits, at the earliest, to get more info on the partial cover art we mentioned in our last post, which seems to show Dylan being institutionalized.

We still have a couple things to cover today.

Just last week ComicList published a press release announcing a "free new, promotional comic BATMAN IN NOIR ALLEY from Turner Classic Movies and DC."

The comic promotes a new "programming franchise" from the always great TCM. Noir Alley features a different noir classic each Sunday at 10 am ET and is hosted by Eddie Muller, founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation.

This promotional comic includes cover art by Dan Panosian, a new 14-page story by Stuart Moore and Valentine De Landro, and a 14-page excerpt of Batman: Gotham Noir by Brubaker and Phillips.

Gotham Noir was the team's second collaboration and the first featuring artwork entirely by Sean Phillips.  It was originally printed as a prestige-format Elseworlds comic in 2001, then reprinted in 2011, and it's well worth checking out -- but as someone who already has Gotham Noir, I'm just as interested in the other, all-new Batman story.

In a separate press release announcing the comic -- and a 360-degree experience and a 7-episode digital feature -- TCM gives a few more details:
The free comic book follows Batman and [TCM host Eddie] Muller on the trail to solve a case after the famed Moroccan Raptor goes missing from the Gotham City Museum. Written by Stuart Moore and cover art by Dan Panosian, the comic is available in select comic-book stores nationwide starting today and will also be available in DC’s booth at NY Comic-Con in October. [emphasis mine]

Batman In Noir Alley is in stores today, but supplies are presumably limited for the free book.

The other bit of news is about Criminal, more specifically its two deluxe hardcover editions.  In August, we relayed some info about new listings for the books found on Amazon: Sean Phillips explained online that the listings are for old stock that was found in a warehouse.

These two books were included in ComicList's rundown of Image's new releases for the week of September 6th, albeit without verification from Diamond Comic Distributors.  Since then, more info has been relayed in a CBR forum thread, after one forum member reached out to retailers and publishers.

The retailer InStockTrades is quoted as writing, "These items are not new printings. These are copies of the old printings that were recently found and have been transferred to Image from Marvel. The books say Icon on the spine and on the inside of the books it says Marvel. The only difference is that Image added a sticker to the back of the book to cover up the Marvel ISBN and to show an Image ISBN. Please let us know if you have any other questions."
Image Comics was asked whether there are plans for true reprints of the deluxe editions, and they replied, "We don't currently have a release date for that Criminal edition, but keep an eye out on the website for any updates. Thank you!"
Between the two volumes, the books collect all the Criminal stories that Brubaker and Phillips released while the title was being published through Marvel's Icon imprint.

Volume 1 collects the following:
  • Coward
  • Lawless
  • The Dead and the Dying
  • "No One Rides for Free", the short-story "emission" from Liberty Comics #1
  • "Caught in the Undertow," the prose story from the very first issue
And Volume 2 rounds out the work before the team's big move to Image.
  • Bad Night
  • The Sinners
  • The Last of the Innocent
  • "21st Century Noir," the short-story "emission" from Dark Horse's Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics
Both books have a complete set of cover artwork, lots of artwork that Phillips created for the bonus essays, and some behind-the-scenes features.

Personally, we'd like to see truly new printings, perhaps ones that make some very minor changes to how the oversized hardcovers present the material.  We wonder just how much new stock was discovered, and -- between the two one-shots (collected in Wrong Time, Wrong Place) and the upcoming "novella" -- we wonder how much material would be needed for a third volume.

While we think it would definitely be overkill to buy a second copy of these books just for the Image ISBN sticker, we have long considered these editions to be must-have books for Criminal fans.

...and we greatly appreciate the heads-up from Kevin Sels, who pointed us to the CBR forums!

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