The Isotope Communique
Posts Tagged ‘Sean Phillips’
Eulogy For A Hellblazer

Vertigo’s long-running series HELLBLAZER is coming to an end, and that makes us very sad.

Featuring comics most charming leading man, John Constantine, a black magic con-artist created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, John Totleben and Rick Veitch, HELLBLAZER has been published continuously since January 1988 and boasts an undeniable assortment of the greatest creative talent working in comics the last 30 years. With memorable runs from authors like Garth Ennis, Paul Jenkins, Warren Ellis, Mike Carey, Brian Azzarello, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Denise Mina, and a returning-to-glory Peter Milligan all drawn by a dream-list of amazing artists like Simon Bisley, Mark Buckingham, Richard Corben, Steve Dillon, Marcelo Frusin, Jock, David Lloyd, Leonardo Manco, Sean Phillips and John Ridgway.

Our comics reading just won’t be the same without our monthly crawl into the dark world this series has so effectively delivered for so many years. It’s been depressing to see how poorly DC has handled the series, to be honest. So many of the classic runs have gone out of print and never returned, because nobody wants to read Garth Ennis and Warren Ellis comics, right? (shakes head). And even when they managed to come up with clever marketing ploys to help promote a great new run on the series… they just didn’t bother to tell anyone. Did you know that DC gave away a HELLBLAZER trenchcoat covered in original Simon Bisley artwork at Comic Con last year? Yeah, neither would we… if we weren’t there to see it happen. Seriously, what was the point?!

DC is relaunching the book with a more sanitized, continuity-friendly new PG-rated version and I guess that’s kind of nice. But unless it motivates the company to re-release some of those old, out of print runs I just can’t feel excited about any of it. This whole thing is just sad, sad news for comics.

But who knows? Constantine has a knack for getting himself into the worst situations possible and doing something amazing at the very last second… here’s hoping he can cheat death just one more time.

Put This In Print. I Will Sell It.

Why oh why is Batman: Gotham Noir not in print? Selling this would be pretty much effortless to today’s audiences as it’s written by Ed Brubaker who just so happens to be one of the hottest writers in comics right now and it sports some of the finest art ever witnessed by the amazing Sean Phillips.

This was the last of DC’s beloved Elseworld’s line, and is about as pure of a noir story as Batman has ever had. Taking place just a few years after WW2, starring a truly down and out Jim Gordon, no longer with the force and now juggling his life as a part-time private detective and a full-time drunk. When a case goes from bad to worse and his scene-stealing client is murdered, Gordon’s quest to clear his name and get to the bottom of the conspiracy behind her death runs him headlong into the shadowy figure that is the Batman.

Phillips’ take on Batman in this book is one of my favorites, he’s only ever seen as a black shadow in the night with haunting spots of pure whiteness for eyes. And while the ending is a bit clunky, Brubaker fills the book with plenty of great moments and his whole backstory for The Joker is so delightfully sadistic it’s worth the price of admission alone. While I realize this book is a mere 63 pages long, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come up with the idea to bundle it up with Brubaker’s also out of print (and absolute best works) Scene Of The Crime mini-series. The combination of these two lost tales would really fly off the shelves.

With even used copies of Batman: Gotham Noir running for upwards of $170 and Scene Of The Crime nearly $40, this is pretty much a no-brainer to me. Who among us wouldn’t want a collection of more of Brubaker’s best lost DC treasures? Hey DC, let’s you and me give the people what they want!

Put this in print. I will sell it.

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