Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Fade Out Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker - Book Review

From the publisher: Brubaker and Phillips' newest hit series, The Fade Out, is an epic noir set in the world of noir itself, the backlots and bars of Hollywood at the end of its Golden Era. A movie stuck in endless reshoots, a writer damaged from the war and lost in the bottle, a dead movie star and the lookalike hired to replace her. Nothing is what it seems in the place where only lies are true. The Fade Out is Brubaker and Phillips' most ambitious project yet!

The Fade Out is another fantastic book from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. It continues their successful run of crime comics, and bears reading.

In 1948 Hollywood, Charlie is a screenwriter struggling with his memories of WWII. When he wakes up near a dead starlet, with no memory of how he got there, his world turns upside down.  As he attempts to figure out what is going on, he finds himself drawn in deeper and deeper to the glamorous yet seedy world of post-war Hollywood.  Along the way, the reader encounters black-listed communists, Clark Gable, Ronald Reagan, powerful studio heads, actors and actresses willing to do anything for a role, and a mystery that is only more mysterious by the end.

Sean Phillips' artwork is the perfect complement to Brubaker's script. The mood and setting is vivid, perfectly evoking classic noir stories by Chandler and Hammett.  Charlie is a likable, yet unreliable, narrator, and the supporting cast is perfect.  The pacing is great, and I found myself wanting the next book when I finished this one.

I highly recommend The Fade Out Vol. 1. It will thrill fans of Brubaker and Phillips, but will find a willing audience in anyone who likes noirish mysteries. It is different than other comics out there, and deserves to find a wide audience.

I received a preview copy of this book from Image Comics and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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