SUPER BOOK CLUB TEAM UP: Preview The Fade Out

Posted: December 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

Hey Satellite Subscribers!

Myself and a curated selection of fellow bloggers and podcasts joined up for a new project called Super Book Club Team Up where we discuss a Book, Series or what ever else can be consumed reading the English language and this is our first effort as we dissected The Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips Book The Fade Out.

Check out content creators Mark Radulich on Twitter for his many many hours of podcast content! Find him on Twitter @markradulich and on the W2M podcast network for all his amazing content! Last but not least Super Blog Team Ups JJ Goldstein can be found @bigox737 and on his blog https://comicscomicscomics.blog/

Now.. enjoy this preview! Feel free to leave a comment! Tell em Hero sent ya!

https://superblogteamup.wordpress.com/2020/08/26/super-book-club-team-up-vol-1-the-fade-out/?fbclid=IwAR0z8SN76dlFplyE3nC2t7iQDIS8jRWJocsba4EYZ1YnLgnY2i4CI2exGas

Below is a sample of the Teams analysis! For the COMPLETE article you have to click the above link! For now enjoy!!

Posted: August 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

Super-Book Club Team-Up: Vol. 1

The Fade Out:

Plot:

Charlie Parish, a Hollywood screenwriter suffering from PTSD, is fronting for his blacklisted best friend, Gil. When Charlie wakes from a blackout in the same room as a murdered starlet, he and Gil set out to bring her killer to justice. As they follow leads trying to piece together the night leading up to the murder, cooperative witnesses are punished by the studio’s fixer. Charlie is prepared to quit when Gil tries to blackmail the head of the studio by anonymously claiming he “knows what happened” with the starlet. 

Misunderstanding the threat, the studio head tries to destroy evidence that he had sexually abused her when she was a child actor. Charlie and Gil are able to retrieve a folder of photographs and decide to keep fighting for justice. They plan to kidnap the other studio co-founder, who is now suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and will freely admit to the past sins. They arrive at the co-founder’s mansion at the same time the fixers are murdering him to prevent him from talking. As the two friends are escaping from the fixers, Gil is shot and killed. When Charlie resigns himself to working in the corrupt culture, the fixer reveals the actress was murdered by an undercover FBI agent who was looking for communists in Hollywood.

Creative Team:

Ed Brubaker: Writer

Sean Phillips: Artist

Elizabeth Breitweiser: Colors

“The Fade Out is a crime comics series created by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips with the help of colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser and research assistant Amy Condit. Twelve issues were published by Image Comics between August 2014 and January 2016. The story has been collected into three trade paperback volumes and a single hardcover collection.The story, partly inspired by the life of Brubaker’s uncle, is set in 1948 and stars Charlie Parish, a Hollywood screenwritersuffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and fronting for his blacklisted best friend, Gil. When Charlie wakes from a blackout in the same room as a murdered starlet, he and Gil set out to bring her killer to justice. As they learn more about her troubled past, they find themselves up against powerful Hollywood elites who do not want to upset the status quo.Although Brubaker had been concerned the premise was not commercial enough to have wide appeal, The Fade Outsold better than any of the authors’ previous collaborations, and early issues went through several printings. The series received positive reviews from critics.”Credit Wikipedia

The Score Card:

Take the survey below.https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7C2KNH5

The Art

:Charlton Hero: The art was incredible. It 100% captured early Hollywood and the period it was intended for. Rich detail which was obviously well studied as I did no at anypoint feel I was not immersed in this world. The visuals on the characters all inspired by real Hollywood actors and that as well added to the authenticity of the book. Sean Philips details on the architecture, vehicles and dress was carefully studied and the noir style coloring of the book really added to an old school cinematic effect they were clearly striving for. In the letters pages it was noted that the creative team scoured photos, magazines and what ever else hey could find from the period to make each detail authentic. You didnt see cars or technology that didnt belong from that year or earlier. This was well studied and a joy to look at. The character renderings which is the most important of all were perfect and life like. I fully bought the characters of Charlie,Maya, Gil and Brodsky as full fleshed out real people. The aer was VERY strong in this area. There are really no flaws at all that I can point to art wise that is of any value to write here. It was as perfect of a reflection of the time and period as you can hope for. Perfect.Mark Radulich: This isn’t my favorite style of art but it matches the setting and prose style. It’s clear enough to understand what’s happening. It looked like there was use of water colors in some panels, which I enjoyed.

Jeremiah Jones-Goldstein: At first I was not enjoying the art. I felt like it was trying a little too hard to look moody and ape Frank Miller’s work on early Sin City. After I got into the story though I really started to appreciate it. I got into the mood of the story and references to real world people, just slightly off, worked well. Like Hero said, the details in buildings, costume and cars made for an immersive experience. I did feel like the art was reminiscent of Tim Sale, Howard Chyakin, and Frank Miller. And that is a compliment. Stories like “The Long Halloween”, “Black Kiss” and “Sin City” are modern classics (and in the case of Black Kiss infamous classics). Phillips’ work on this series deserves to be in the same discussion with these stories.

Story:

Charlton Hero: The overall story of Hollywood corruption and illusion was captured perfectly here. The goal of the author to portray the bright lights and pearly whites of the Hollywood illusion was perfectly detailed by Brubaker. The story of the seedy under belly of celebrity is on full display. The illusion of perfection in stardom, the abuses actresses took from producers and co stars, the fake celebrity relationships, the seedy corrupt movie politics and of course the mob like dumping of the bodies gave you a real eye opener to how dark this business actually is.The who dunnit style mystery kept me intrigued and on a rollercoaster that felt genuine and not conjured up but rather something very plausible and legit. Seeing the lengths the studios went through to make and break stars as well as control the overall scene was a great sneak behind the shady curtain. The deplorable treatment of women and writers was very well written as well and documented in the legit history of Hollywood in the 40s. Seeing the two worlds on display of celebrity and reality is very much illustrated by Maya and Vals characters who are two high society actresses who appear happy onscreen but their off screen personas are tormented and much different, The character of Dotty is also an interesting focal point who created the illusion of celebrity for these characters. The idea of a secret closed society with a specific agenda to promote a certain persona was rather fun. Mark Radulich: The story feels very LA Confidential to me. That’s a compliment. There’s also elements of Sunset Boulevard in there. Overall it’s a fun Hollywood Noir story.

Jeremiah Jones-Goldstein: This comic was an excellent case of Hollywood Noir. The movie that came to mind for me was Chinatown. For me that is because the more Charlie and Gil dig, the worse things get. They cannot help themselves though. They have a need for resolution. Charlie and Gil are characters, that as the reader, I am rooting for right from the beginning. Their lives are complicated with PTSD, Alcoholism, and infidelity but somehow these things are not entirely their fault.Charlie has suffered in the war in the European theater. Gil is a talented writer who was run over by Hollywood culture. Neither character can get out of their own way. And even at the end of the story while there is resolution, neither is much better off than when the story started. The character development for all the characters is wonderful. As the story progresses we learn more about each of them, Phil, Maya, Val and Malba are more than just props in the mystery that Charlie is trying to solve. Phil really stands out for me as the guy you want to hate, and should hate but by the ned of the story we realize he is just a pawn who is trying to survive in this horrible world.

Favorite Moments:

Charlton Hero: Easily the Charlie and Maya moments are the high point of the story for me. It feels organic and something that would play very well on screen. The relationship served as the perfect separation between what we see on camera and reality. Maya and Charlie were two broken souls making a living in a bankrupt moraless business. Maya was literally a second tier actress plunged into the spotlight to take the place of super star Val Sommers following her death. She is self conscious and feeling undeserving of the spot but trying with help from her PR girl Dotty to play a role steps above her actual status yet struggling to still be herself.Charlie is much the same. He could be a major writer with many credits but his obligation to Gil holds him back. He can’t relish in his wins because he knows that it affects Gil his Blacklisted friend. Charlie our up with tons of abuse from studio reps despite his ideas being better than anything they can come up with. He holds back because he has a friend he has to support and Ghost write in Gil and his wife but also because of his secret that he was there the night Val Sommers died and trying to piece together that mystery. Together him and Maya work. Two cogs in the wheel of a much bigger and phony corrupt business that pays their bills and they it it as much as the business needs them. Charlie and Amaya’s weekend getaway was my favorite part of the entire book.

Mark Radulich: My favorite moment is Brodsky explaining what happened. I know I was questioning things about the plot until the end. Brodsky shows a bit of humanity and vulnerability. I liked the exchange, “Don’t be an asshole!!” “I’m not, I just telling you how it is.”

Jeremiah Jones-Goldstein: I have to agree with CH on Charlie and Maya. The part of the story with their weekend getaway is one of the most tender and natural feeling parts of the story. It comes at a point where we are really looking for the story to move forward and figure out who ‘dunit but then this issue comes along and gives us some real emotion and relief from the seriousness of what we know happened to Val as a child and how horrible the heads of the studio really are. I also really loved the part where Gil and Charlie get into the big fight and we get the rest of their back story. Learning more about Charlie’s PTSD, about what happened between him and Malba, it all just made me like these characters so much more. I was also pleased, like Mark was, with the end of the story where we learn what happened from Phil. I had the thought that the story might end without getting the explanation and that would have worked for me as well it was better with it than without. I was very well done with Phil only suggesting what might have happened inside or just flat out spoon feeding it to the reader. There is still some room for the reader to question what happened and add their own thoughts to it.

The Characters:

Charlton Hero: The characters of Charlie and Gil as two writers trying to make it in a corrupt landscape was a great backdrop to the entire story. Charlie a genius writer covering for his buddy who was blackballed by the industry was a great central story. We get to see much more than surface level relationships. We see Charlie and Gil as reluctant friends that depended on each other for basic survival. Charlie Ghost writing for Gil so he could provide for his family was a great element. Gil knowing that Charlie had a relationship with his wife and not acknowledging it out of obligation to Charlies work was a pivotal moment as well. The Maya and Charlie relationship was truly my favorite part of the book. Mayas persona as a Hollywood Starlett and then a self conscious regular girlfriend to Charlie. Their getaways and secret relationship away from the eyes of the Hollywood Press was a fun part of the story. The fact that she stays with Charlie and doesnt succumb to the virtues of being a “Star” was a great piece of character. Gil was also a favorite of mine. A blackballed writer who has a shaky marriage where he knows that his wife has been sneaking around on him and he feels to be a disappointment to his family. He is dependant on Charlie who he knows has slept with his wife yet needs him to make a living. When Gil goes rogue and wants to blow the lid off of the secrets within the studios of Hollywood is where his character really shines. Desperate and broken but wanting to do the right thing. The characters of Dotty and Brodsky were well done as well. Dotty is a seasoned PR person who KNOWS what is really happening behind the scenes and is fully aware of the abuses and corruption but her job as a spin queen is handled really well as she weaves her magic setting up phony camera friendly scenarios and romances for her onscreen talent to create the illusion of the Hollywood Icons she is in charge of creating. Dotty is a powerful character in that in her position she can skyrocket someone to stardom or tear them down with her position. Then we have Brodsky who looks to be a character straight from Sin City. A tough as nails brooding studio henchmen who keeps folks in line and knows exactly what form of scum he is working for and loves it. We get to see an interesting dichotomy with Brodsky as he appears as a pure villain at first who is out to get our main protagonist but just turns out to be a guy who doesnt take anything personal and just doing a job he knows is shady.

Mark Radulich: There was a lot to keep track of here. I think the artist did a fair job of keeping the men distinct enough but the women sometimes blended together.

Jeremiah Jones-Goldstein: The characters were very well developed. I’ve already mentioned how much I liked Charlie and Gil. The women of the story really shine though. Val is incredibly complex I thought. We learn new things about her all the way through the story. I really figured that she a Charlie would get together at the end but that would have been too “Hollywood”. It was much better that she continues to climb the Hollywood ladder with her marriage to star Tyler Graves.Melba, Gil’s unhappy wife, though was a great foil for Charlie. She pushes him because she knows that he’s really a good guy. That is not to say that Gil wasn’t, after all he was the father of her children. No, think that she knew she couldn’t save Gil from himself. Her comments to Charlie at the end of the story really were sweet and the patience and room she was giving him were touching.

End of preview

And that’s the end of the preview!! If you want the FULL post click below for our criticisms and overall score of the book

Our goal is to get these out on a quarterly basis if not more in between Super Blog Team Up Events! I hope you enjoy this and follow any updates on our Facebook group Super Book Club Team Up!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SuperBookClubTeamUp/

Be safe be well and behave!

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