Robot 6

Brubaker and Phillips sign five-year deal with Image Comics

fade out2A lot of big announcements came out of Image Expo today — among them, new projects from Grant Morrison, Matt Fraction, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Scott Snyder and Jock, and Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie — but the most significant may be an unprecedented five-year deal with frequent collaborators Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

The agreement allows the creators, in the words of the publisher, “to do anything they want with total freedom, total control, and total ownership over their projects.” Or, as Brubaker told The New York Times, “It really is like a movie studio gave you an overall deal where you could green light your own projects. If you wanted to do a four-hour Russian film, you could — you may not make a profit, but you could do it.”

The first project under the deal will be The Fade Out, which Brubaker said at the expo is “loosely based on things that happened in Hollywood in the ’40s.” It will debut this summer, following the conclusion of Fatale with Issue 24.

Brubaker and Phillips first worked together in 1999 on Scene of the Crime, and reteamed for Sleeper, Criminal, Incognito and Fatale.

Image Publisher Eric Stephenson explained the deal with the Eisner Award-winning duo was easy to approve, telling The Times, “Whoever is looking back at comics history is going to be looking back at the work of certain creative teams and Ed and Sean is one the biggest teams we’ve had.”



Man, Criminal was such a great comic. I sure did love Criminal. It’s been a tough time for me ever since Ed and Sean stopped doing Criminal. I really miss that comic – Criminal, that is. I know they’re making money doing Fatale, but Fatale is no Criminal. It’s interesting, because Criminal was originally published through Icon, making it creator-owned. So one assumes Ed and Sean could bring Criminal to any publisher. If Image is giving them carte blanche, that seems like the perfect opportunity to boot Criminal back up again. What a missed chance if we go these five years without Criminal. It would be criminal. Criminal. CRIMINAL! DO YOU CATCH MY DRIFT?!

The fact that they haven’t continued with that previous work is…CRIMINAL!

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