What Are You Reading? ‘Friday,’ Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has checked off their “to read” list lately.

If you’re looking for something to read while sheltering in place, you’ve come to the right blog, as the Smash Pages crew has a whole mess of comics to talk about this week. So without further ado …

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Panel Syndicate announces ‘Friday’ by Brubaker + Martin + Vicente

The first installment of the digital series is available now.

Criminal writer Ed Brubaker is teaming up with Barrier artists Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente for a new Panel Syndicate title called Friday. It’s about a former girl detective/occult expert who returns home from college for the holidays and gets wrapped up in a new mystery.

“One of the first things I said to Marcos was that this book feels like Lovecraft’s New England is colliding with Edward Gorey’s,” said Brubaker. “And I like to describe Friday as post-YA, which is a genre that doesn’t really exist. It’s an idea I’ve been circling for a long time, that lets me tap into my own nostalgia for my youth and the YA books I loved back in the 70s and 80s – stuff like The Great Brain, or John Belliars books, or Harriet the Spy, or Encyclopedia Brown. I want to take that concept of the teen detective and those supernatural mysteries aimed at kids, but then let the protagonists grow up, so they have all the same problems we all do… and they encounter a much more dangerous world.”

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Brubaker + Phillips prepare for next awards season with ‘Pulp’

The new graphic novel is due from Image Comics next May.

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have consistently turned out critically acclaimed, award-winning comics and graphic novels for what seems like decades now, from their work on Fatale and Criminal to this year’s big Eisner winner, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies.

It looks like that trend could continue in 2020, as Image today announced Pulp, a new Western graphic novel by the duo.

“When Sean and I decided to do something completely new for our next original graphic novel, he planted the idea of a Western in my head… And I found myself drawn to the era where that genre first hit big—the pulp magazines and the Great Depression,” said Brubaker. “I thought about all these writers telling fictionalized versions of the vanishing days of the Wild West, as their own world was going through one of its darkest hours… And suddenly I realized I had the makings of a really great pulp story, but one set in the real world. A story that I really wanted to tell.”

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‘Criminal’ returns as a monthly series

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ award-winning series continues in January.

Since debuting in 2006, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have created four separate volumes of Criminal through two publishers, multiple awards and countless glowing reviews. Now the duo returns in January with an ongoing Criminal title.

Criminal was where Sean and I really established our brand as a team, and while writing My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies (which takes place in the Criminal world), it just suddenly felt like the perfect time to bring it back to the monthly comic shelves. But this time I wanted it to be different—not just serialized graphic novels, but also single-issue stories and even the odd two-issue story sometimes,” said Brubaker. “I love the elasticity that Criminal allows me—because this world we’ve created gives me a place to tell any kind of crime story and to focus on different characters, both old and new—and I want to really embrace the monthly comics format, and try to create a series where readers will never know what’s coming next from issue to issue.”

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