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From the Desk of Ed Brubaker...

So, KILL OR BE KILLED keeps selling out every time, within a day or two of release usually. Lots of great retailers out there probably still have all the issues in stock, but lots of other great retailers keep selling out and reordering. So we're going back to press on issues 1 thru 3 next week, which will all come out the same day as issue 4, the end of the first arc. 

That's the 2nd print cover of issue 3, above. 

If you're a retailer on my mailing list and you've been selling out right away each time, I'd urge you to up your orders a bit, because I keep hearing from people whose stores sold out at like noon on New Comics Day. 

As an added bonus, since the first issue is going back to press for the 4th time now, I got my old friend and collaborator DAVID AJA to do a special wraparound cover for us, which is right here: 

So hopefully this will be the last printing we have to do on that one because retailers and readers all love David Aja so they'll order a ton of them. 

Side note: I met David in Spain a few years before we worked together, and he vibrated with talent and coffee. Me and Fraction getting him for Iron Fist was a dream come true for all of us. And as you can see from the preview, that Iron Fist show coming soon in Netflix is using David's versions of all the iconic Iron Fist stuff, even the dragon tattoo on his chest. 

So, anyway, that's the 4th printing cover for #1, and here's the 3rd printing cover to #2 by Sean: 
If you have been having trouble finding these issues, please let your retailer know. Running a comic shop is incredibly hard, and most of the time, the people behind the counter can't read your mind and know what you want. (Sometimes, though, you never know). 
A RECENT INTERVIEW
http://www.avclub.com/article/ed-brubaker-westworld-fade-out-and-his-immersion-h-243754 

A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to be profiled in the AV CLUB to coincide with the release of THE FADE OUT hardback. Click the link to go check it out. 
WESTWORLD THIS SUNDAY
If you've not been living in a cave, you've probably at least heard of Westworld, which seems to be television's new obsession. I was lucky enough to be part of the writing staff for season one, and the episode I co-wrote with Jonathan Nolan airs Sunday night. Here's a preview: 
That photo should be clickable, but you can also try this: https://youtu.be/p2r0OU4dv3I
Brubaker in San Francisco on Monday
If you're a reader in the Bay Area, I'll be appearing Monday the 24th at BOOKSMITH on Haight Street, to celebrate the release of THE FADE OUT hardback. 
It starts at 7PM and before the signing I'll be doing a Q and A with Eddie Muller, one of the world's biggest Noir experts. If you've been to a Noir Fest in the last few decades, more than likely, Eddie had a hand in setting it up. 

This is my old local book store, so I'm very happy to be welcomed back there. So please come out and make a night of it for us. 
QUESTION TIME
I'm running behind on everything in the world the past few weeks, so I'm just going to take some easier ones this time out. Our first question is from Stephen Daly: 

Why switch all new independent work to Image from Marvel Icon (including "transferring" existing Icon work to Image)? I was under the impression that the intent was for it to be entirely creator-owned. Was it just for the sake of simplicity/ease of having everything under one rooftop?
 
And is Image the best "deal" in comics for creators looking to control their properties and retain full freedom and oversight?


It's a bit of a complex question, but the bottom line is that Icon exists as an avenue for creator-owned books from people on exclusive contracts with Marvel. Since I no longer work for Marvel, and was doing all my new books at Image, it just worked out that way. Being at Image, I have the benefit of Image being able to sell out entire back catalog now, whereas, once I stopped working for Marvel, there was no reason for them to push my Icon stuff, even if I'd wanted to leave the books there. 

I can't discuss contracts publicly, for a lot of legal reasons, but yes, Image does have the best deal in comics, as long as your books do well. If you want to do superhero comics for Marvel, though, then Icon is a great place for you to own your own stuff, and I was very happy to have CRIMINAL and INCOGNITO there when I was working for them. But contracts expire, and things change. I will always give big props to Marvel, and Dan Buckley in particular, for setting up Icon, which is true creator-ownership, something that DC still doesn't offer their creators. If not for that, I wouldn't have been able to move the books over to Image. 
 

Okay, our next question is from John Ferrigno: 

I love how you seem to strike a balance between working on your own original stories, and licensed characters for other publishers. I have two questions about the latter:

Is there any established super hero book you have always wanted to write, but haven't had the opportunity?

Was there ever a character you were asked to write, but couldn't find a take on him or her that you were happy with?

So mainly I'm answering this one to correct it. I stopped working for Marvel almost five years ago because I lost interest in doing anything that wasn't my own original stories. The only reason you might think I still work for DC and Marvel is because I'm lucky enough to have them keep my work in print. But as I've said more than a few times now, I don't do that stuff anymore. 

For the other questions, though -- I'd have probably written Spider-Man if given the chance, but I could never get Dan Slott to release his hold on the book. 

And yeah, there were probably a lot of characters I was offered that I had no take on, really. Some people like my X-Men run, but I always felt unsure on that book, even though I wrote it for a few years. I was only supposed to do 12 issues originally, because another big writer was going to take over both X-Men books, but then that didn't happen and I stuck around until I could get Fraction to take it over. 



Okay, our final question this time is all technical, from Andy Koslowski: 

When it comes to printing your single issues and collected editions, what process do you and the creative team go through to pick the card stock/paper appropriate for each book?

Truthfully, we're totally obsessive about every aspect of the printing of our books. From the design down to the paper stock and what kind of spine the hardback will have. This makes our books sometimes more expensive to print than many other comics are, but for me and Sean and now Bettie, it's worth it. 

The only problem with it is that sometimes other creators see our paper stock and decide to use that same stock and then the paper runs out at the printer and we have to find a new stock. But I'm glad to see more and more comics using the matte-finish paper we use, because it's much nicer and feels heavier in your hand. 

We're all about creating books that are worth your time and money, not just for reading, but as art objects, too. That's why we have extra pages in our stories and extras at the back every issue, and why our hardbacks are among the nicest you'll hopefully find on the shelves. 
 



All right, that's everything for this time. If I answered your question please send an email to criminalcomic@gmail.com with the headline WINNER and if keep those questions coming, as well. 

Copyright © 2016 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved.


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