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New books coming out...

The KILL OR BE KILLED Deluxe Edition hardback is out this week. It was supposed to come out last week, but there was some minor delay, so if you're wondering why you maybe heard somewhere that it was already out, that's why.

Anyway, it's out this week, and when my copies arrived I was completely blown away by how amazing it looks. It's over 600 pages, and it has the entire KILL OR BE KILLED story in it, as well as all the covers and illustrations from the back pages of the single issues, and some extra art Sean did during the run.

I was worried that because the book is so long, that it might be hard to actually sit down with and read. But it came out great. Doesn't feel too big or heavy. And its got a sewn spine, so it lays open flat, as you can see below.
So if you're a "waiting for the Deluxe Edition" Brubaker/Phillips reader, then this is your week.
Honestly, I can't express how well this book came together. From cover-to-cover, just a gorgeous package. Sean really outdid himself on the design.
CRIMINAL #10 is also out this month
And coming out next week is issue 10 of the current run of CRIMINAL, which is part 6 of our big CRUEL SUMMER arc.

Here's a short preview of that, because I'll be back with a longer preview next week to remind you its coming out.
This is the issue where everything, all the different strands of this big story, start to come together. And as usual, Sean and Jake make it look great.
The hardback edition of MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES is out of print now, so we have a new paperback edition releasing, for those who missed the hardback. It's on the same raw paper stock as the hardback was, and has a nice cover with french flaps, so it's still special, even though it's not a hardback anymore.
A great holiday present for the depressed teenager in your life. Or anyone who just likes award-winning crime graphic novels.
And speaking of CRIME...
Here are some of my recent "favorite" crime news stories...

If this headline doesn't get you to click through, nothing will...

I mean, who would have guessed, right?
Not sure how many of you have been following the Golden State Killer case, but this is an interesting twist...

This is one I definitely identify with...

I've encountered this idea more than once, as well.

A lot of you sent in this one, to be sure I saw it...


And finally, a headline that is probably a bit too funny for how tragic the story actually is...

Matt Fraction and Elsa Charretier's NOVEMBER finally came out a few weeks ago, and you really need to run out and grab a copy if you love great comics. I've watched this come together over the last year or so, and I've been kind of in awe of what they're doing here. Fraction is playing with every tool in the toybox on this, and it's a book that will reward reading a few times, at least. One of the most complex things I've seen come out in years, pushing the language of comics in ways I've never seen anyone but Matt do.

Get it at your local comic shop or book store, or find it online if you don't have one of those.

And for those of you looking for an even more special addition, check out this Kickstarter to get an artist commentary edition of the book from Elsa Charretier, signed by both her and Fraction. The kickstarter closes today, by the way.

Tom Spurgeon
I try not to get heavy in these emails, generally, but I wanted to say something about Tom Spurgeon, who was a friend of mine for over half my life, and who died suddenly the other day.

Back when I was just starting to get published, in my early 20s, I and a lot of other comics people lived in Seattle. It was a really good time to be there, to be young and poor and driven to create art. It was a very supportive scene, overall. A lot of meet-ups to share work-in-progress, a lot of parties at different cartoonists houses. And rent was cheap. It was pre-internet, and there were a lot of exciting things happening in comics, which were really just starting to break into the bookstore market and be taken seriously.

Tom moved to Seattle in 1994 to work for the Comics Journal, and I can't remember the first time I met him. Probably at one of Eric Reynolds and Al Columbia's house parties. But it was clear right away he was sharp and funny as hell. And Tom was one of the people who kind of roamed between the various cliques in town (as were Eric and Al), so sometimes he'd come to parties that our group was having, and we'd end up out on someone's front porch talking about comics or old newspaper strips, or just life. We didn't hang out a ton, but it felt like we actually knew each other.

And then the years passed and we all moved away, and he became one of those old friends I'd see at conventions a few times a year. That's how you go through life with people from your formative days. It's like a Neil Simon play or something, set at some hotel restaurant with cosplayers wandering in the background, and the cast getting older every scene... Having variations of the same conversations for twenty five years. That was how it was with Tom. We'd talk on the phone every couple of years, usually for some piece for his site: the comics reporter and meet up at conventions for a breakfast with other old friends now and then.

Tom was someone I was always happy to run into, and who always took time to talk to me about my work, to congratulate me on things that had done well. Not many people do that, really - especially once you've "made it" - but Tom understood how hard comics people work, and how much what we do means to us. He was a journalist and a comics historian whose heart was always on the side of the creators, especially the ones that had been ripped off over the years.

For me, Tom was one of the people who helped me be okay with moving from being a cartoonist to being a writer for other artists instead. He was the friend who pointed out that I always kept a notebook, not a sketchbook. I don't know if he ever knew how important his support was, and I have a feeling that I'm not alone in feeling that way.

I wish I could write something more elegant about him, but I can honestly barely write this. Tom was a big presence of this industry for the last three decades, he was taken from us far too young, and I will miss him.

If you have time, check out some of his work at his site, or the syndicated daily strip he wrote for a while, or the book he co-wrote about Stan Lee, which you can get here.
I'll be back with another one of these soonish, and until then, send in any questions you might want answered next time to:
Copyright © 2019 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved.

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