Fetish Faves Image Comics The Fetish Life

Comic Book Fetish Fave of the Week #3

January 2017 | New Comics Week 3 — Kill or Be Killed #5 (Image Comics)


Story: Ed Brubaker
Art: Elizabeth Breitweiser, Sean Phillips
Cover: Sean Phillips
Published: January 18, 2017


BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS’ runaway bestseller just keeps going! Now that we’ve seen the origin of our killer, it’s only a matter of time before the NYPD realizes they have a vigilante on their streets. The first issue of this new arc releases the same day as the first KILL OR BE KILLED trade, and is a perfect jumping on point for readers who’ve missed out so far. And every issue has all the backpage extras that BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS fans have come to expect.

– See more at:

Advice Quotes

Quote/Advice | Ed Brubaker on Health & Work/Life Balance

Celebrated and award-winning comics/graphic novels author Ed Brubaker (CRIMINAL, VELVET, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE WINTER SOLDIER), one of my faves, shared some sage writerly advice and wisdom today in his latest newsletter From the Desk of Ed Brubaker, of which I must make note.

On health:

“If you are a writer, if sitting and thinking followed by sitting and typing is what you want to do for a living, I can’t urge you more strongly to get regular cardio and get up from your desk a lot and stretch.

I can’t stress enough how easy it is to fall into bad habits in this profession that can cause you major health issues. In my career I’ve had to deal with repetitive strain injuries, tendonitis, chronic TMJ pain (from clenching my jaw when I get lost in writing) and lower back problems. And recently, while trying to get back into good cardio shape, I injured my ankle – the cause, having my foot bent weird while I typed.”

Actually, that’s good advice for anyone who works at a desk for long periods. He even provided this handy infographic.

As for writing work/life balance, something I know I personally struggle mightily with, the crime/noir-loving writer said:

“And work/life balance? That can be hard to manage, too. When I’m being good at sticking to my work routines, ideally I’m not in front of the computer for more than four or five hours a day. Kurt Vonnegut said no one should be required to be smart for more than four hours a day, so I try to follow his example. Then lately, after I’m done typing, I go for a 20 mile bike ride, and I’m starting to take some yoga classes. But I’ve had long periods of my career where I spent all day in front of a computer for months with no exercise, and I regret that a lot.

Writers are always writing in their heads, even when they aren’t typing or scribbling, so that’s one anyone in a relationship with a writer has to put up with. Even when they’re with you, they’re kind of not.”

The struggle is real. I know it’s a rather trendy and passe thing to say these days, but that doesn’t make it any less valid.

Mr. Brubaker’s words (and the source from which they come) are Copyright © 2016 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved. Mr. Brubaker’s photo is courtesy of Comics Vine.

Commentary Image Comics

Third-Party Noir | Thoughts on The Fade Out #2

The Fade Out #2 (Image) – I’m very happy for Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips on the success of the sold-out first issue and that others have taken a huge liking to the series. However, for me, I mentioned it with the first issue and now with #2 it’s hit me hard: my number one problem with this book is the third-person narration employed by writer Brubaker. It’s just too distant and contains too much telling. There’s a reason that overly exposition-y style is not en vogue anymore (unless you’re Chris Claremont, Neil Gaiman or Todd McFarlane). For the better part of two decades comics have largely (and wisely) used first-person narration because in a visual medium it keeps the narrative intimate and grounded in character. Watch a movie with third-person voice-over narration and tell me that isn’t off-putting. Prose in a novel is one thing, but if I can see the character(s) then I want them to tell me their story, not an outside/invisible narrator. In contrast, I think the first-person narration is at least a third (or maybe more) of what makes Velvet (Brubaker’s other hit Image series, and a lauded Fetish Favorite here) such a great read.

But, hey, I get it. Brubaker has been a prose writer “masquerading” as a comic book and film script writer for nearly two decades. That’s obvious to those who’ve been reading his work all these years. This man truly should be writing crime novels. A seasoned reader would inherently know that usually what’s contained in those third-person narrative captions is often stuff the reader can (or could) make out on their own if they’re paying attention and using active reasoning. Also, distant narrative doesn’t help matters when the characters aren’t exactly likable or sympathetic. Even in crime-noir stories they should be characters that are fascinating and make you want to root for them regardless if they’re completely irredeemable scumbags or not. Mainly, though, I just find the story and the characters facilitating the plot boring. In this issue’s backpages (its best pages, ironically), Bru admitted that The Fade Out (about the 1940s Hollywood) is his least commercial idea. To my dismay, I agree. — Rating: 2.5

Commentary Fetish Faves Image Comics Promo The Fetish Life

Promo: VELVET by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting


I‘ve just finished reading the first arc of VELVET by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. It’s a really classy book…a spy caper/paranoid thriller book with style and grace. If you enjoyed what these two did on Captain America and the Winter Soldier books in the past, you’ll likely dig this too. I think it’s Brubaker’s best work to date, and Steve Epting’s art is even sleeker than it was on those Marvel books. Love the female lead, Velvet Templeton. Trade collection of the first 5 issues comes out on June 18th for $9.99.


Marvel Comics Repost Reviews

Captain America #1 | Spoiler-Free Review

Fetish Flashback.

* Originally posted @ World of website. Archive now defunct. *

Captain_America_Vol_6_1Captain America #1 (Marvel) | “American Dreamers” Part 1 | (S) Ed Brubaker | (A) Steve McNiven & Mark Morales

* Spoiler Free *

“It’s probably hard to believe…but sometimes I actually forget I’m a man out of time”

– Steve Rogers

The all-new, but not-quite-all-that-different Captain America #1 (technically Volume 6 if you don’t count Captain America Comics from 1941) is a slight return to form of sorts for the star-spangled man-out-of time, soldier of misfortune and sentinel of liberty (coincidence that all of those start with an ‘s’?).

Long-time Cap writer Ed Brubaker, who has been chronicling the adventures of Marvel’s time-displaced Boy Scout for the better part of a decade, and Steve McNiven (he of Marvel Civil War fame) bring Steve Rogers, now the undisputed Captain America again, out of the shadows  and murkiness, which suited the dark intrigue of the previous volume’s tone. This volume apparently aims to be slightly brighter with a feel that is more typical of a superhero adventure comic. This back-to-basics approach is obviously deliberate considering the choice of McNiven as the penciler. He’s joined by Justin Posner (The Mighty Avengers, Young Avengers) on colors, and inker Mark Morales (Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, The Mighty Thor).

It’s an Ed Brubaker story so it still has its share of intrigue and mystery, but unlike many of his stories this one does not have that slow-burn feel as he gets straight to the plot and adventure right away in this first issue with a nice bit of action to balance things out.

The issue opens with Steve Rogers attending the funeral for a fallen comrade with some old friends, the frequent supporting cast of grizzled veterans Dum-Dum Dugan and Nick Fury, plus the lovely Sharon Carter. By the sixth and seventh pages, this battle-tested band of buddies are forced to spring into action. By page nine we get a glimpse of an old friend-turned-foe who Cap hasn’t seen since…you guessed it, 1944. After that page, cue the flashback to that bygone era of at-large Nazis, Allied Forces and superspies. These flashback scenes are vital because they set up and support the present day situation of a past mission that went awry and the backlash of that mission coming to fruition in the present and (gulp) future. The issue closes with the resurfacing (new incarnation?) of an old foe apparently in cahoots with that aforementioned new ‘old’ character who once was a friend, but certainly hasn’t had Cap on his Christmas card list since, well, a lifetime ago because he now wants to “destroy Captain America.”

This first issue of Captain America kicks the new series off really well and is a lot of fun. You don’t have to know a lot of backstory to follow along because Brubaker does a great job of feeding you exactly what you need to know without spoiling the intrigue of what looks to be a doozy of a plot for our flagged intrepid. Here’s hoping that each issue will be as balanced as this one.

Four Stars (out of five)