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The Isotope Communique
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Monday, May 14, 2007
Ed Brubaker Writes Some Comics
And This Is Why We Give a Crap
Alright, I'll admit it, we probably do this to you all the time. You come into the Isotope, or you tune into the Communique, and we're talking about some up-coming in-store event we're throwing in celebration of some creator you've never heard of before. And we're talking like said creator is the best damn thing since the discovery of tonic water combined with gin!
I know a lot of folks probably went through that frustration when I was bouncing on my toes last summer going "Oh, oh! We've booked the American Born Chinese launch with Gene Yang and Lark Pien!" There were a few folks who told me they didn't know who Gene and Lark were at the time so they decided to skip the event... only to realize six months later that American Born Chinese was being hailed by critics as the book of the year and was scooping up every possible publication award there is. And even these people's never-read-a-comic-in-their-lives moms were wanting to pick up copies of that book! So it is with these people in mind that I've decided to rant about Ed Brubaker today. Who he is, what he writes, and why we give enough of a crap to fly him and his wife in so you can hang out with him this next weekend.
Ed is currently blowing comic readers collective minds writing critically-acclaimed runs on some of Marvel's biggest books, and while we like the work the man has done on popular titles like Iron Fist, Cat Woman, Batman, Deadenders, and X-Men, the following stand out as our favorites.
Criminal Vol 1: Coward
128 pages from Icon for $14.99
As long-time fans of crime noir authors like Raymond Chandler, Jim Thompson, Elmore Leonard, and James M. Cain it takes something pretty special to get us to call something "one of the best crime noir books we've ever read" but with this new series Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips reunite to serve it up in style!
Dirty cops, high stakes contraband, and opportunistic lowlifes keeping one step ahead of a date with the gas chamber, Criminal has plenty of double-dealing for your one-last-heist loving heart.
Captain America Vol 1: Winter Soldier
168 pages from Marvel for $16.99
If you ever wanted a comic to make you feel your pulse quicken, you're not going to get much better than this wide-screen super-spy action adventure.
No doubt you've already heard all about our man Ed killing off Captain America in the paper or on CNN in this title, but the real juice here isn't the flash-and-bang that gets reporters excited... it's the fact that Brubaker and phenomenal artist Steve Epting know exactly what we want in our superhero comics.
Gotham Central Vol 1: In The Line of Duty
128 pages from DC Comics for $9.95
One part Homicide: Life on the Street one part Batman comic, Brubaker and co-writer Greg Rucka delve into the inner workings of an overworked and under-funded police precinct that deals with more than just the usual suspects. Classic Bat-villains like the Joker and Mister Freeze rub shoulders side-by-side with junkies, con artists, and mafia overlords.
Also, Gotham Central is the comic that made 52's cop on a whiskey bender Renee Montoya one of our most loved characters in the entire DC Universe.
Daredevil Vol 1: The Devil, Inside & Out
144 pages from Marvel for $14.99
No one knows how Brubaker managed to do it, but he took all the pieces of Brian Bendis' Daredevil magnum opus and blew our minds all over again! With the book's main character locked in prison, and his secret identity known to all, this is one hell of a gripping prison drama wrapped with just enough comic book-y elements to make it eternally fun.
This book definitely makes me miss my all-time favorite HBO series OZ. A lot.
Scene of the Crime: A Little Piece of Goodnight
122 pages from DC Comics for $12.95
Set in the greatest city on the planet (San Francisco, of course!) Scene of the Crime puts an interesting twist on typical private detective tales... and does it so well! We're betting most of you haven't checked this one out yet and if you haven't, you definitely will want to. We think after all these years it still ranks among Brubaker's best.
A word of warning though, the short story backup has been known to cause spontaneous crying even in the hardest and manliest of manly men!
Sleeper Vol 1: Out In The Cold
160 pages from Wildstorm for $17.95
Oh yes, Sleeper!
Amongst the Isotope staff only a small handful of comics rank higher than the mighty Sleeper, and if you haven't read it yet you are well and truly missing out. A four volume series set among the filthy underbelly of the supervillain underworld, this is the series to show your non-comic-reading friends and rock their worlds. I could go on all day telling you about how wonderful everything about this book is, how it continues to be the single most popular selection in the history of the Isotope, and how much my staff and I all love Brubaker's writing and Sean Phillips' gorgeous artwork... but if you've been in the front door of the shop, I probably already have!
Put simply, your comic reading life is not complete without this book on your shelf.
Still need more Brubaker? Okay then, check out this interview and come and meet the man Saturday the 19th!
Labels: comics, Ed Brubaker