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The secret ingredient is crime


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so i'd fallen in love with Brubaker's works years ago (Winter Soldier, his DD run etc) but in recent times i've finally explored his crime/noir books and holy shit is he great here - Sean Phillips is also the perfect artist for his work.  so far i've read:


Criminal - only the first few volumes, but i'm digging the low-key shared universe thing more than i did Sin City.  each volume is filled with interesting, broken characters and the length is about right & never overstays its welcome either. 


Kill or Be Killed - this one went for 20 issues & tied up fairly recently, it's a great take on a Taxi Driver-esque vigilante story with a few twists.  I was worried this one would drag a bit but again, his writing's just so enjoyable. 


i've read a bit of Sleeper, Incognito and Scene of the Crime in the past, but i need to revisit them.  my current pile has The Fade Out, Fatale, Velvet, High Rollers and a recent graphic novel, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies...so yeah, it's gonna be a while but ill try to update this thread as i go.  anyone else into this stuff? cause if so, again this shit's high quality.  

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The Fade Out is excellent, proper Noir. I devoured it in a couple of days about a month ago. Criminal, Fatale and Kill or Be Killed are currently sitting on Comixology waiting for me, looking forward to starting them.


Is this just for Brubaker, or Crime comics in general? Because two other books I've been reading are:


Richard Stark's Parker


Image result for richard stark's parker the hunter





Darwyn Cooke, Eisner-Award-winning writer/artist, sets his artistic sights on bringing to life one of the true classics of crime fiction: Richard Stark's Parker. Stark was a pseudonym used by the revered and multi-award-winning author, Donald Westlake. The Hunter, the first book in the Parker series, is the story of a man who hits New York head-on like a shotgun blast to the chest. Betrayed by the woman he loved and double-crossed by his partner in crime, Parker makes his way cross-country with only one thought burning in his mind - to coldly exact his revenge and reclaim what was taken from him!


And Stray Bullets

Image result for stray bullets vol 1


Image result for stray bullets vol 1




Stray Bullets is an independent American comic book series published in black and white (with color covers) by El Capitan Books. It is written and drawn by David Lapham.

The story deals with the often criminal and sometimes tragic misadventures of a large cast of characters and takes place from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s.



They're both on my list of all time greats, for writing and art, couldn't recommend them enough.

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id originally started for brubaker books, but i welcome more from the genre!  not heard of the first one, i used to fuck with loggins about lapham (i find him hit or miss on other books) but i never gave stray bullets a proper chance, it's in the pile though.  


tied up all 7 volumes of Criminal in the last few days, and the current one is about 4 issues in...man, the way stuff ties together/overlaps here is so cool.  again not to rank on sin city, but this layers a lot better.


also last of the innocents is crazy when you realize what it is (which you prolly will quicker than i did, took an issue or so before it clicked)

really dark take on archie & the gang, i wanna say before that became popular

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Fade Out - this was indeed proper noir, with a backdrop of hollywood during the red scare/HUAC mess.  definitely gonna grab the trade for this one sometime.


My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies - this was a recent original graphic novel, about a character that, early on, reminds you a bit of marla from fight club (preying on support groups, etc) - her take on music/creativity and drugs was interesting too, and the setting invites a bit of one flew over the cuckoo's nest at times.  another one to pick up sometime. 


also the surprise Criminal tie-in at the end was cool


Scene of the Crime - so this one's as dated as you'd expect a late 90s vertigo book to be - the cult stuff is interesting, you can see where brubaker got better at this as he went but oh man, micheal lark does the pencils here and the leap on quality he made over the next 10 years is tremendous.  


Sleeper - this is the only one i ditched early on, because its about metahumans and seems tied into wildstorm or some other label from the era that i wasn't really into.  like authority, i imagine this was really great in that time though. 


i'm a few issues into Fatale (the longest one of these, at like 24 issues) and...it's already decisiviely a different kind of story, so i'm down for the ride.  after that, it's Velvet and me finding a copy of Bad Weekend, which i think just dropped last week or so. 


*edit scratch that, looks like Bad Weekend is part of the ongoing volume of Criminal?  so yeah, this stuff and then i go back sometime to finish Incognito

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