First off, for those that only know me from my videos with my daughters, I should probably say that not EVERYTHING I share on my channel is just for kids. I, like many of us who collect funny books, have a diverse taste that leads me in many different directions. For today's article I am going in a less kid friendly direction to be sure.
I am a big fan of film noir, pulp fiction books, the crime comic book 100 Bullets, and all the elements that make for classic crime related stories. I grew up watching Bogart films with my Dad and when I discovered Brian Azzarello's 100 Bullets, after college, it brought me back back comic book collecting in a huge way.
You might, therefore, be surprised to learn that I had never heard of Ed Brubaker's comic book Criminal until it wasn't relaunched at Image comics earlier this year. I read the first issue of this new run for an episode of Book Club with some friends. It was an eye opening experience to see the gritty art of Sean Phillips and the hard hitting words of Ed Brubaker displayed. I told them that I enjoyed the comic but that I felt like I was diving into the middle of a story and didn't want to read on much further.
Not long afterwards, a friend from Instagram (Take the Time Collectibles, who owns a comic shop) offered to send me a set of the trades for the first 5 stories that started Criminal back in 2007. I was blown away. I found another buddy who didn't know much about this saga and we decided to start at the beginning together.
Last night, Comics Misexplained (Jason) and I launched the first in a new series together called Criminal Reading where we broke down the elements of classic noir storytelling and went through the original trade for Criminal: COWARD. It was a powerful and epic read that left us both wanting more. You can watch the recap show here:
Let us know what you thought of the show and feel free to grab the second trade: LAWLESS if you'd like to join us when we get to episode two!