In our inaugural mailer, you'll find some previews of KILL OR BE KILLED, including some exclusive in-progress pages, and some of Ed Brubaker's rambling thoughts... 
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Hello and welcome to the first episode of From the Desk of Ed Brubaker, a once in a while (once or twice a month) mailing list, where I'll be talking about my various projects and previewing art from them, whenever possible, stuff that hasn't been released yet. I'm still figuring out this format a bit, but I like the idea of sending previews directly to our readership, and being able to make sure you all know when one of our books is coming out. 

Okay, then, onto our first preview.  KILL OR BE KILLED #1, which is out August 3rd. This preview went out in the Image+ magazine yesterday... 
Instead of constructing the kind of "movie trailer" we usually do, for this book, I realized the opening scene was a perfect preview of the series, because it says a lot about the tone and subject matter of KILL OR BE KILLED without actually revealing very much. 

To make it work, I only had to make a slight adjustment (at Sean Phillips' suggestion) to the last part of page 6.  So, since this is a special exclusive preview kind of thing, I'll show you the page as it will be in the first issue, and the next few pages, still uncolored (coloring happens last, closer to print, usually). 
Okay, so now you've got a better idea of what the book might be like, right? That's a lot more than I'd usually show for a first issue of something, but this first issue is really long, so eight pages is not really that much of it. 

So, I'm still getting used to how this whole mailchimp thing works. In the future, I'm sure I'll have links to various things in these, but in this one, I'm just keeping it simple, showing a few pages of stuff and talking about some things. 
First, a quick movie recommendation: THE NICE GUYS. I had the pleasure of going to an advance screening of Shane Black's newest movie, and I fucking loved it. It's a funny, angry, violent, messy, and passionate film. People ask me if I liked it as much as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and I will admit, I'm not entirely sure. As with that one, I want to see it several more times. I think it's funnier than Kiss Kiss, for sure, but I also think it's got more heart. At its center it's a story of two fucked up guys and a teen girl (Gosling's character's daughter). So, while Kiss Kiss may be a tighter film in some ways, I think The Nice Guys made me smile more often. It certainly made me laugh a ton. 

Go see it while it's out there. It's well worth your time, and Shane Black should be encouraged to make more movies like this. Everyone should. 
So, yesterday online a ton of people were very upset about Captain America, which as you probably know is a book I wrote for Marvel for about 8 years. I guess because of the Cap movies being based on a lot of my work with the Winter Soldier, a lot of these people decided to scream at me about what Marvel was doing. So I spent half the morning explaining to people that I don't work at Marvel, haven't for about five years, and that I have no say in what they do or don't do. I don't even read any Marvel or DC books on a monthly basis anymore, because after about 15 years writing superheroes, I have pretty low interest in the genre. I can see the hooks coming, and I know where all the stories will eventually end up. The good guys will win and all will be right with the world, until next month.

But amidst all the upset fans and people calling me a nazi and other fun things for a comic I had nothing to do with and haven't read, I thought, this is why more people should just follow creators and read original comics (which is what I like to call "creator-owned" comics).  If readers want consistency and passion and craft, it's a lot more rare in company-owned superhero comics than it is outside of them. Sure, there have been great long runs on those books, I managed to get lucky and have long runs where I got to do what I wanted (mostly) on Captain America and Daredevil, but those runs are generally the exception. Because the thing is, with those company-owned characters, there are always going to be events and reboots and twists that are spoiled online or in the media first, and there are always going to be outraged fans because of it. 

I get loving superhero comics and I get following characters, believe me. And I love when I see people dressed as the Winter Soldier or shipping "Stucky" but I feel like way too many comic readers act almost like they're forced to buy Marvel and DC books, like it's a government program or something. It's not. There are plenty of great comics where the art is by the same people every issue, where there is never a fill-in issue or a reboot or a retcon. In fact, many of the creators who you love on Marvel and DC books are doing their finest work outside those big companies - Jason Aaron's Southern Bastards and The Goddamned are two of my favorite comics, Kieron and Jamie did a great run on Young Avengers, but Wicked + Divine is them unfiltered. I don't have to tell you about Saga and Bitch Planet and Sex Criminals, I'm sure. All by creators who made big names at Marvel or DC, all of whom are happier doing work that they totally control. 

Look, anyway, you all know this, most likely if you're on my mailing list is because you read my current comics. But after a day of people screeching at me about a comic I had nothing to do with, I remembered how happy I was not to be part of that world anymore. People are constantly asking why I don't go back to Marvel, assuming there was some huge problem that caused me to leave, but really it was just a slow burnout, tiring of endless events and stunts and reboots. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I wish no ill will on Marvel or DC. I don't think the comics market could survive without them, and I made a good living working for both of them for a long time. I just wish, sometimes, when people are white hot raging about the things they do, they'd just go buy Southern Bastards or Bitch Planet or any of a dozen other great comics owned and controlled by their creators, instead of going online and yelling at giant corporations to change how they do business. 
All right, that's it for our first From the Desk of Ed Brubaker. Next time I'll have other previews and maybe even talk about TV writing and Maniac Cop (if I can get Refn's okay). 
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