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And now the full cover reveal...


I want to thank anyone on this mailing list that called their comic shop or bookstore to order the Reckless books. As of this writing, FRIEND OF THE DEVIL (out next month) actually has higher orders than RECKLESS did, which is mind-blowing to me.

Our original plan was to do the first three books in the series, then take a break and do something else and then come back for more Reckless adventures, but then I had ideas for two more... so we'll be doing five of these in a row unless something goes wrong.

And as mentioned in the headline, this is the full cover for the third book, DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, out in mid-October. Sean and I are already hard at work on it, and here's a rare sneak-peek at Sean's pencils for an early page (page 2, actually)...
(The squiggly lines are smoke, in case that isn't clear).

So, again, thanks to all of you out there supporting it, and to the retailers that have gotten behind the series in a big way. This is the most exciting time in our long career for me, honestly, and I can't wait to get these next few books in the series out to you.

In fact, I've spent most of this week bouncing back and forth between writing and signing bookplates for the shops that ordered them. This time is the most bookplates ever, too. They're printed on stickers, so can be stuck to the end papers of the book itself.
Anyway, I'm sure I'll be back before FRIEND OF THE DEVIL hits, to remind you again, but seriously, thanks for helping make this the biggest success of me and Sean's career together so far. Here's the first three covers next to each other. I love how much Sean has embraced the pulp paperback look with this series.

 
FRIDAY -- COMING SOON
Marcos and I are done with the lettering proofs for FRIDAY chapter three, which is the biggest chapter yet, storywise. The end of the first act of the story. I won't spoil anything, but here's a few panels from the lettering proof. The grey overlay is to show the snow.



As soon as the colors are done, it'll be in your hands, or on your ipads and computers at least. And if you've somehow missed the first two chapters, you can still grab them at panelsyndicate for whatever you want to pay.
OTHER STUFF
There's been some confusion around the new editions of the CRIMINAL DELUXE EDITIONS, which Image has been working to fix, and as of the other day, you can finally preorder vol 1's new edition from Diamond and online. This is because these are reprints of long out of print books (the first versions go for upwards of $175 bucks on the collectors market now) with new covers and this caused problems with various systems at the distribution level that we didn't anticipate.



But we're on top of it, and thanks to those of you who wrote in to alert me to the problem. I jumped right on getting it fixed.
OTHER OTHER STUFF
I've been mostly reading a ton of books in my spare time the last few months, and it's been like a balm to my soul. Just catching up on various mystery series I used to follow and checking out new novels that I've been meaning to read.

I really dug BLUEBIRD BLUEBIRD by Attica Locke (I still need to read the next book in the series) and SHE RIDES SHOTGUN by Jordan Harper. So you should all grab those if you love a good crime fiction novel. I've also been on a deep dive catch-up on Michael Connelly's recent books from the last five or six years. He's done something really amazing that is hard to describe, but while some series character writers start coasting as they get past their 10th book or so, Connelly seems to be going the opposite direction. His books are now more complex and sprawling and human than they've ever been, and his various series now kind of crash into each other and the characters team up from time to time, even. So go check out any of them. Maybe start with THE LATE SHOW, but they're all great. And probably the most accurate procedure I've ever read (sometimes too accurate even).
 

On the film front, my friend BenDavid Grabinski has his first feature HAPPILY out this week, and I made him send me a copy a while back, and it's great. Very dark and fucked up. Very Twilight Zone but with sex. And an amazing cast. Here's a review that I don't totally agree with, but whatever, it's got a good image in its headline.



A while back, someone (sadly I can't find the email) from the newsletter wrote in to point me to this movie - THE KID DETECTIVE - which I really enjoyed. It's much weirder than I expected it to be, and as someone writing a post-YA detective thing, that was fun to see. Check it out.



On the TV front, there's been so much TV with steaming and marathoning, that I feel like I almost forget the stuff I've watched a few days later. But I'm currently watching BEARTOWN on HBOMax. I wouldn't say "enjoying" because it's a really fucked up show about how a rape tears apart a small town in Sweden that is centered around a teenage hockey team, but it's compelling as hell and deserves all the attention it's been getting.



And of course, today the FALCON AND WINTER SOLDIER show debuts on Disney+, which I sadly have very mixed feelings about. I'm really happy for Sebastian Stan, who I think is both a great guy and the perfect Bucky/Winter Soldier, and I'm glad to see him getting more screen time finally. Also, Anthony Mackie is amazing as the Falcon, and everyone at Marvel Studios that I've ever met (all the way up to Kevin Feige) have been nothing but kind to me... but at the same time, for the most part all Steve Epting and I have gotten for creating the Winter Soldier and his storyline is a "thanks" here or there, and over the years that's become harder and harder to live with. I've even seen higher-ups on the publishing side try to take credit for my work a few times, which was pretty galling (to be clear, I'm NOT talking about Tom Breevort, who was a great editor and really helpful).

So yeah, mixed feeling, and maybe it'll always be like that (but I sure hope not). Work-for-hire work is what it is, and I'm honestly thrilled to have co-created something that's become such a big part of pop culture - or even pop subculture with all the Bucky-Steve slash fiction - and that run on Cap was one of the happiest times of my career, certainly while doing superhero comics. Also, I have a great life as a writer and much of it is because of Cap and the Winter Soldier bringing so many readers to my other work. But I also can't deny feeling a bit sick to my stomach sometimes when my inbox fills up with people wanting comments on the show.

So... I'm sure I'll watch it, and you should too if you're a Marvel movie universe fan, but I'll probably be waiting a while to check it out myself. So please don't email me any spoilers, I guess, but go give Sebastian Stan lots of love wherever he is online.
 
OKAY... LET'S GET TO SOME CRIME NEWS
Some really messed up ones this time out...

First up is this one, and the headline says it all:




Watch the whole video, trust me. Well worth your time.
 

This one was submitted by newsletter reader Drew Tan, and is a long but very gripping read.


 

This one was right up my alley, as I love anything about con artists usually:



And finally, a good armored car heist story for you:



All right, that's all I've got this time out. Please send emails with any interesting questions for future newsletters to: criminalcomic@gmail.com and I'll see you in a month or so, when FRIEND OF THE DEVIL is closer to hitting shelves.
 
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