Read The Fade Out: Act One by Ed Brubaker Sean Phillips Elizabeth Breitweiser Online


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 areBrubaker 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!Collecting: The Fade Out 1-4...

Title : The Fade Out: Act One
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781632151711
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 120 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Fade Out: Act One Reviews

  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    2019-01-23 18:22

    For the most part I really enjoyed this! It was dark, intriguing, and mysterious. All things that I love in a story. I just found this story to be a bit busy and I almost wonder if that was the creator's way of distracting you from solving the mystery at hand. I loved the old hollywood setting, but the illustrations didn't really wow me. I do think I'll probably check out the next volume, because I'd like to know what happens next, I'm just not entirely sold on this series just yet.

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    2019-01-28 15:53

    Enter into Old Hollywood.Charlie wakes up after a wild party and realizes he is in the room with a dead girl. He covers up the murder and then learns that the starlet has commited "so-called" suicide. What the heck is going on? I think Brubaker and Phillips might just be my favorite team in comic/graphic novels. The story is original and fulfilled my old Hollywood fantasy.I love that real movie stars were used in this story. They got one star awarded for this guy alone. Because..AWESOME.

  • Samantha
    2019-02-09 14:10

    The Fade Out is the first installment in a graphic novels series set in the Film Noir era, revolving around the murder of an up and coming film star. I was originally interested in it because, who doesn't love film noir, and because I'd never read a graphic novel set in the real world instead of a fantasy setting. Unfortunately, I found this volume pretty disappointing. The art very much fits the film noir aesthetic, but that was the only positive to me. There is a plethora of mostly white, male characters, and they look so similar that it is incredibly hard to tell them apart. I also found I didn't care about any of their struggles. The most interesting character was the woman who had been murdered, and she is only shown through the lens of the male characters and isn't actually a character moving forward. I was pretty bored by this installment and don't plan on continuing with this series. This review was originally posted on Thoughts on Tomes

  • Kemper
    2019-02-10 22:16

    In post-war Los Angeles a screenwriter wakes up from a blackout drunk to find an actress that was starring in the movie he was working on has been murdered in the next room. Afraid of police scrutiny he flees the scene only to be shocked later when he learns that the movie studio has covered up the crime by making it appear to be a suicide. The writer tries to push aside his guilt and move on with helping to get the picture completed with a replacement actress, but his interactions with a variety of people involved in the film keep putting clues to what happened that night in his path.Kinda sounds like a James Ellroy novel, doesn’t it? Nope. It’s writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips teaming up yet again to deliver a top notch crime comic that feels as if they managed to somehow bottle noir itself and use it as the ink on the page.Seriously, I’m a little in awe of how Brubaker has regularly managed to blend superheroes with the mystery and spy genres, and when he teams up with Phillips the two of them always hit a whole new level of mixing those elements together to create fantastic comics. This reminds me of the great work they did with the straight up crime stories in their Criminal series, and I’m already looking forward to reading more and see how this old school Hollywood mystery unravels. My only complaint is that this collection felt a little short, but that just leaves more to read later.

  • Jan Philipzig
    2019-01-25 15:16

    While rereading this first volume, I was surprised how well I remembered its language: not necessarily all the plot details, but Phillips' stylish depictions of post-WWII Hollywood and Brubaker's polished writing - especially Brubaker's polished writing. Whole sentences, in fact. You see, my memory usually isn't the best, so for this to happen the wording itself must have left quite an impression, much more so than I had been aware. And that probably is no coincidence. After my second reading of The Fade Out: Act One, I'd say this is as good as comic-book noir gets. Everything feels conceptually sound, crisp, stylish, completely organic, flawless right down to the last detail. Brubaker and Phillips have outdone themselves here - highly recommended!

  • HFK
    2019-02-07 16:58

    I am not sure if there is a better mix than old Hollywood and noir, especially when said mix respects its own time period without modernizing it to be suitable to our current values, morals, views and ideologies. The Fade Out keeps its appearance to the darker side of Hollywood, the ugly side that was very much true and well reported, which shows how much research Mr. Brubaker has put into his work, as he should. Many things within this first volume aren't compatible to us modern people, but that is exactly what makes this work stand out with its realistic setting. Do I think this work is original, not so much, but it is a good take on the old and always fascinating subject. It really does make a reader feel as if (s)he was transported to the glamorous times of fucked up. Marvelous dialogue, captivating storytelling, respectfully and very nicely colored reading experience.

  • Jeff
    2019-02-16 14:07

    Hooray for Hollywood!That phoney, super coney HollywoodThey come from Chillicothes and PadukahsWith their bazookas (Huh? Is that a euphemism or did they have trouble coming up with a rhyme for Padukahs) to get their names up in lights.Nothing like a tale about the steamy, seamy underbelly of the entertainment industry to meet one’s noir needs. Brubaker and Phillips take a page from James Ellroy (I just read The Big Nowhere so that one comes to mind immediately) and examine the dregs of Tinseltown circa the late ‘40’s. We have Charlie Parish, hack writer, alcoholic, Commie sympathizer, third wheel and World War II vet who also happens to black out when he drinks.Oh, and during one of his black outs he might have been involved with the murder of a starlet. As Charlie tries to put the pieces together (the War kind of makes his memory tricksy and such), the body count starts to climb.A bathtub? I usually wake up next to the dumpster behind P. F. Chang’s. Consider yourself lucky, fella.Anyway, this falls just short of prime Brubaker, but it’s still worth a look.

  • ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
    2019-01-28 17:17

    There is something to be said about an author who manages to make a basic noir plot set in post-WWII Hollywood exciting. The genre has become so formulaic over the years it's pretty much become a cliché in itself: sex, drugs, scandal, murder, blah blah blah. Enter Ed Brubaker. I think I'm a little in love. I wouldn't say he did to the noir genre what he did to James Bond in Velvet (where clichés were appropriately shaken *and* stirred) but he came pretty close.Granted, the story has an unoriginal premise: a Hollywood writer wakes up in a strange place after drinking himself to oblivion and finds the dead body of an up-and-comic actress in the next room. Think this is boring and oh-so conventional? Don't yawn just yet! Because Brubaker is here to work his magic. I picked this up thinking I'd read a few pages and finish it the next day. Silly little me, I couldn't put it down. The characters are complex and the plot is compelling. What makes it really interesting is that Brubaker keeps adding new layers to the story as it progresses, giving it much more depth.Sean Phillips' art might not be as atmospheric as Steve Epting's in Velvet but it really adds to the noir setting. The panels are brilliantly laid out and the color scheme complements the story perfectly. This is pretty awesome stuff.And look at that cover! And at all the covers for the individual issues! I love them so much I'm actually tempted to buy each of them separately. Too bad my bank account doesn't agree.But I have to admit one thing really really really pissed me of here. That ending? Seriously? When I don't have volume 2 handy and have yet to order it?! You have got to be kidding me. How am I supposed to sit here and wait for 8 whole freaking days until it gets here?! Not so in love with you right now Mr Brubaker. I guess all that's left for me to do is to read Fatale while I bite my nails in frantic anticipation. Then again I could also reread James Ellroy's L.A. Quartet series. Yeah, that could definitely work.

  • Sam Quixote
    2019-01-29 14:12

    Hollywoodland, 1948, the tail end of the Golden Era of Film. Charlie Parish is a screenwriter for Victory Street Pictures, one of the largest studios in Los Angeles, who, after a wild party, wakes up near the corpse of his latest film’s starlet, Valeria Sommers. She’d been strangled and left on the floor, just feet away from a passed out Charlie! Besides a police investigation, the death of the leading lady means expensive reshoots for the studio and rewriting for Charlie. But then later he sees the police report on Valeria: “suicide” with the death photo showing her hanging from a door - there’s corruption afoot! Rape, murder, alcoholism, drug abuse, hell, abuse of all kinds - this is show business, where behind the glitz and glamour lurk dark secrets, mysteries, and danger. What’s Charlie stumbled into? The Fade Out is a stone cold masterpiece. Before the first chapter was down I knew this was going to be epic, and, WOW, it is one helluva ride! It’s a corny thing to say but it’s true, and that’s The Fade Out is like a portal into the past. Really! Sure there’s a plot here but Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser have gone further and somehow brought the past to life. They’ve created a living, breathing world that’s so richly atmospheric and real (Brubaker was so committed to period detail he hired a research assistant for this project), it envelopes the reader completely. And what a fascinating - if sordid - world! Brubaker takes us behind the scenes to reveal drunken brawls between movie stars in studio bungalows, starlets lining up to service celebrities and studio execs in sleazy sex parties, substance abuse, violence, and studio PR hiding it all from the press, including keeping closeted famous actors in the closet (of course none of these things happen in today’s Hollywood… coughTomCruisecough). While the mystery of the dead starlet plays menacingly in the background, we get to know the key players in the series. Our protagonist is Charlie, the screenwriter who was so traumatised by his experiences in the war, he’s unable to write. So how is he kept on the payroll? His buddy Gil secretly dictates the scripts and Charlie types them up. It’s a shadowy partnership because Gil got blacklisted from all of the studios during the McCarthy witch hunts. But who sold out Gil? There’s Earl Rath, a Gregory Peck lookalike who’s always chasing the ladies; Maya Silver, Valeria’s replacement and a starlet who’s willing to do anything to get to the top; and Thursby, the studio head, whose own past is mired with illicit dealings. There are more but those characters’ pasts are explored the most in this first volume. Real movie stars like Clark Gable are thrown in to make the world that much more convincing. The characters are so compelling. They easily make this book stand out as a high quality work and Brubaker ensures no-one is free from blame - not everyone is a villain but everyone’s complicit in the harsh reality of make believe. The Fade Out is such a smooth read, it doesn’t feel like reading. With the words on the page, it’s more like watching a brilliant, stylish subtitled movie (about the movie business!) so it’s easy to take for granted Sean Phillips’ artwork. But every single page is first rate and, coupled with Brubaker’s script, they fly by. And then you come across a panel without words and the imagery stops you dead. For me that panel was Charlie stepping into his apartment building at night in a dingy part of town, and it was stunning. So elegant, so understated in its beauty - amazing. Colourist Elizabeth Breitweiser is the icing on the cake with her choice of aquamarine for the sky and the land, the colour bleeding together in the panel? Inspired! In The Fade Out, everyone has secrets and there’s a tantalising mystery at its core, but this first volume doesn’t have much of an arc. That’s fine though when the characters are so well created like they are here. It’s the first volume and I can’t wait to read more about both the plot and the characters. I loved Criminal (which is getting relaunched this year, hooray!) but The Fade Out, for me, is now definitely the best of the Brubaker/Phillips collaborations. James Ellroy fans especially will get a kick out of this as it’s very much in the vein of LA Confidential and The Black Dahlia, though I recommend this book to EVERYONE! Besides being Brubaker/Phillips' finest, The Fade Out is easily one of the year’s best comics! Cut!

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    2019-01-23 20:05

    Los Angeles 1948. Charlie Parish wakes up after a wild party in an actress apartment. The problem is that the actress is lying in the apartment murdered. Charlie sneaks away from the apartment and is later stunned when he finds out that the murder has been covered up as a suicide. Now is he plagued by guilt that he didn't report it and he also knows that there is a murderer out there...A really good story that actually captured my interest more than I thought it would. I was a bit surprised how much I enjoyed the graphic novel, mostly because I wasn't really that fond of the art, it was OK, but nothing spectacular. But when I came to the ending, I just wanted more, so now I'm waiting to read vol. 2!I received this copy from the publisher through Netgalley in return for an honest review!

  • Cheese
    2019-02-11 16:59

    4.5 stars!This was brilliant, Brubaker is fast becoming my favourite writer and Sean Philips is definitely my favourite artist. I would like to give this five stars just for the artwork, it's sublime and fits the time piece and story perfectly. It was like walking on the set of that old film 'Sunset boulevard'. I loved that film and this is very similar. It's about movie stars, writers, directors, producers, ego's, womanising, secrets, blackmail, homicide and mystery. An actress is killed and someone covers it up, they say she committed suicide, but the writer, 'Charlie' knows different and let's it slip to his best friend who seems to be an alcoholic. Can he be trusted to keep the secret??!This book has a lot of charm and again, it's Brubaker's exceptional ability to wright crime noir stories effortlessly. This story was good and really kicks in at the end of this volume, but it was the artwork that drew me in and kept me hooked. At some points I would just stop and stare at the pages and notice the detail in the colouring and sketching. Bloody brilliant.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-02-19 19:04

    One word for this graphic novel. Atmosphere. I definitely felt like I was in the late 1940s Hollywood. But the real Hollywood, not the glamorous, shining synthetic world that so many people in the industry tried to project. The point of view is from a screenwriter deeply immersed in the studio system who was emotionally broken by his war experiences. He wakes up in a bedroom and finds the body of the starlet in the next room. The star of the movie he's been working on. The list of suspects is long, and even if they aren't the murderer, most of these people aren't blameless and are far from innocent.People like to say that the depths of depravity in society has gotten worse. I don't think so. I think people have gotten more blatant in their dark desires, but they have been doing anything under the sun for gratification since the beginning of time. This book shows that very dark side of Hollywood that swallows people whole, brings out the very worst in its denizens, exploiting their weaknesses and insecurities and their desire to be famous regardless of the cost. It features the wolves and the lambs (although the lambs aren't without blemish), and the bottom-feeders of the industry.The artwork was alluring and perfectly paired to the narrative. It conveys the feel of a hardboiled, noir mystery, although the artist is not afraid to use color. I love the style of the 1940s, and I found myself a student of the character design in this book. It's done in such a way that it doesn't give a misleading tone of brightness that is completely opposite to the story.This ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, in that there is no resolution of the mystery, but instead a big breadcrumb for the reader to follow in the next volume. I need to know, so I'll keep reading.

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-02-15 16:13

    Criminal, Fatale, Incognito. . . if you liked as I have any of these Brubaker-Phillips collaborations you will be happy to hear there is more of the same in process. This one isn't a mashup with horror or anything else, as far as I can tell so far. It's pretty straight noir, seems like, set in 1948 Hollywood, and is nasty and darker than we have known of the Golden Age, post war, pre-McCarthy blacklisting period. Women are grist for the Hollywood mill, we see clearly, as our (sort of?) hero (let's just call him the main guy) writer Charlie wakes up in a bathtub with a dead leading actress in the room, and he soon sees (and participates in) the cover-ups that follow. No one seems innocent in this one, including Charlie and his writer buddy Gil, so this feels like it is in some ways grittier than other actual noir of that period. More politically astute. These guys really know their way around a crime story, in this first of three (?) acts of what would appear a complex and politically layered plot. They hired a researcher to help them make very sure period details were in place, and a colorist, Elizabeth Breitweiser who adds a special flair to the production. I'm in!

  • Anthony
    2019-01-24 15:12

    After Fatale, it almost seems weird to read a Brubaker and Phillips comic without blood and gore on every other page (not that Fatale ever over did it). But there's just as much sex and character paranoia and downfall as their other books. It's set in 1940s Hollywood, which is the creative teams favourite period and why most of their work has a very noiry feel to it. I'll be honest, it's a comic I probably wouldn't read if not for the creative team. It's a lot of men in suits talking and smoking and there's not always a lot going on at times, but it's drawn by sean Phillips and has the usual inner monologue of Brubaker. So if you like both those things, you'll probably like this.

  • Crystal Starr Light
    2019-02-02 16:16

    Bullet Review:She likes it! She really likes it!I did! It was dark and gritty, mysterious and adult. It's almost like that horrible movie, "Black Dahlia", only well done.I didn't care for Charlie but I almost never like the male protagonist wash-out. No, what I loved was the atmosphere, the golden shiny exterior of Golden Age Hollywood and revealing the dirty bits inside, the nuanced characters, the smell of fear and filth and sleaze and drugs and sex and smoke and booze.I don't typically LIKE this era because it's so overdone, but this almost makes me want to change my mind. If all post-WWII media were like this, the underside of the Golden Age of Film, the sweat and fear of McCarthyismm, blowing apart the myth of the Perfect Nuclear Family (seriously, my grandmother had a shotgun wedding, and all my grandparents have been divorced at least once - so much for that "perfect wonderful family" image, amirite?), I think I could finally put away the groans and embrace this.My feelings when I got to the last page? "Can't wait for Act 2!"

  • Tom Mathews
    2019-01-22 16:54

    Hollywood! Casting couches, blacklisted screenwriters, glitzy stars, murder and corruption. What more can you ask for? But damn it! It's the first part of, what, a trilogy? I'm an American. I hate waiting. Oh well, suck it up, Tom. while you wait you can work on an "Anything that's worth having is worth waiting for" needlepoint.

  • Matthew
    2019-02-12 21:56

    I had no clue what I was getting myself into when reading this graphic novel and now that I have finished reading it I can say that this series is spell-binding, suspenseful, and provides the dark side of old glamour Hollywood! I will definitely be reading the rest of the series and I highly recommend to pick this up and invest a few hours of pure entertainment.1948Hollywood, CaliforniaThe Fade Out introduces us to a man named Charlie Parish who is slowly waking up from his hangover and he is trying to connect the missing dots to his memory. He immediately knows something is quite wrong because he's not at home and instead in one of the apartments that the film studio provides and sure enough when he makes most of the connections he figures the impending doom that awaits which is the death of an actress who has been choked to death. There is blood and other incriminating evidence and Charlie believes he is innocent but does not want to leave any suspecting evidence that can frame him so he wipes the evidence away and rushes out the door pretending that he did not witness anything.The story shifts to different characters and for the most part we see how the death of Valeria Sommers affects everyone while maintaining Charlie as the main character. He feels awful that by tampering with evidence it closes the window for justice but the scary moment arrives when he discovers that the film studio is covering up her murder by saying she committed suicide and they are getting away with it.Charlie has mixed feelings through the course of the story because on one hand he is dealing with traumatic events from WW2 that has caused him to suffer from writers block. Since we are entering the blacklist era of Hollywood, Gil Mason who is a screenwriter and close friend of Charlie is being blacklisted from Hollywood. Gil realized that Charlie has lost for the meantime the talent of writing screenplays so to save both their asses, Gil told Charlie to give his name to the list of Communist people so that way they both still have a job and are getting paid for it.Throughout the whole graphic novel, you are trying to figure out who could the murderer possibly be and Ed Brubaker is brilliant at keeping the suspense alive by drops bits of information that sucks you into the story and will make you beg for more. I have never read or seen anything that deals with Noir so it is refreshing entering this series with blind eyes. I love the illustrations with the wild and chaotic colors in the background to showcase the intensity of the situation.When reading this graphic novel I could not help myself picturing this as a film or a miniseries because if they were ever to adapt this series to the screens it will translate well and still maintain that whiff of mystery. While all these characters are fictional it was interesting to discover characters who are actual real Hollywood actors and makes the crossover smoothly and fascinating. It breaks the 4th wall in my opinion and blends the story around making it a foggy memory as if this story was real just like Charlie's memories.This book scared me a bit and not in the sense of Horror but by the shroud of mystery over this poor girls death. Valeria Sommers reminds me of a mixture between Lauren Bacall and Veronica Lake. Hollywood in that period was a dangerous field to be invested in because everyone wanted to become famous so there are many film studios that took advantage with leading actresses because if they did not give in to sexual favors or other filthy acts of horror they could lose the deal of being the star in the film. This theme of ugliness is shown in pieces throughout the narrative and I have no doubt that it will get worst in the future.I know this story is fictional but it makes me wonder how many stories are out there hidden in peoples memory never to see the light of day on how Hollywood took innocent people and turn them either into monsters or unrecognizable version of themselves that ruined lives, marriages, and families all to have their dazzling faces up on the big screen. There are countless rumors and conspiracies that still lurk today when it comes to talking about the past and for many people including Valeria Sommers their deaths can remain as a mystery forever. I do not know why but this book reminded me a lot of Hollywoodland with Ben Affleck which was a great film when I saw it many years ago and it had that vibe throughout the book so I am curious what will happen in the upcoming volumes and see if they can keep this perfect flow going until the grand finale!

  • Nicole
    2019-02-01 21:00

    The art, oh, the art in this graphic novel, it deserves its own glowing review! It's fitting the era and it sets the atmosphere just about right. Some frames are especially breathtaking and I spent quite a bit of time just observing the details.The story though is kept in the frame of noir genre, and while it's not a crime per se, I feel like it fits too comfortably there. Fade out doesn't stray much from stereotypical plots and due to the lack of risky elements doesn't offer an interesting angle on any of the characters. I will mention that Dottie was lovely, but still criminally underdeveloped. Same thing can be said about our protagonist whose motives are yet a secret to me. Alongside many other characters and subplots that were introduced, but never explained, he remains a mystery. In the end it's quite a limited work of fiction, that not only doesn't leave a lot to imagination, which is important in a crime story, but also tells you nothing of the matter in the end. The art was stunning, but also too clean for the story that was presented and it might have been a conscious decision, but I wish they went further. Let's take for example a scene that supposed to shock us - a murder, or even better an orgy. The women in it were all looking the same way - all glossy, fit bodies, just differently colored wigs. I highly doubt a reality of this situation. Such small, but noticeable details made the novel more glamourous, but less gritty.Overall it's readable, at parts even enjoyable. It won't hurt the narrative to pick up pace though.Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Martin
    2019-02-20 16:08

    There is really only one thing wrong with this book: it's too short!Frequent collaborators Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have already brought us The Sleeper Omnibus, Criminal: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 1 & Criminal: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 2, Incognito: The Classified Edition, as well as Fatale, Vol. 1: Death Chases Me and its four (so far) subsequent volumes. As far as crime comics go (arguably, even crime fiction), these are top-notch books.Don't be surprised when I tell you that this first collected edition of their new series is already shaping up to be worthy of the same praise. With only 4 issues collected, however, the pleasure ends way too soon. Best thing to do is just to re-read a couple times it until the next volume comes out.More, please.

  • Jasmin
    2019-01-24 21:03

    ...SOMETHING IN THE AIR MADE IT EASIER TO BELIEVE LIES. This is my first graphic novel and YESSSS it wont be my last LOL! It was a weird ending though, but I'm looking forward to finishing it. I really am anxious to know what happens next.

  • Jeannette Nikolova
    2019-02-07 19:56

    Also available on the WondrousBooks blog.For some reason, I had completely different expectations about this book and I thought I was going to be reading a supernatural noir, instead of just a regular one.The Fade Out, much to my disappointment, was a rather ordinary crime novel set in the late 40's in Hollywood. I say disappointing, because this volume had every single characteristic of every other noir novel: a troubled main guy, who is unwillingly dragged into a murder investigation and has alcohol problems; a dead starlet; a shady media mogul; a shiny boytoy with a nasty personality; a good guy who is getting destroyed by the sad events, etc etc. As a plus, this book also has Clark Gable. It's very fortunate that I watched Gone with the Wind just a couple of weeks ago, so I was more excited to see him than I normally would have been.Character-wise, everyone is basically one of the cliches I listed above. Story-wise, the book isn't much more original.If I was expecting a supernatural thriller, it didn't work out to begin with. However, even the volume that I ended up reading didn't possess many redeeming qualities. Except for the art. I rather liked the art style. It had ups and downs - the ups being that it very well fit into the 40's Hollywood style and it was very pretty; and the downs, a lot of the characters kind of looked like each other to a point I wasn't sure who was who.I usually go optimistically about comic book volumes, persuading myself to continue with the next ones, but I think I will pass on act II of The Fade Out.

  • Suvi
    2019-01-20 18:05

    Anyone who browses my GR shelves won't fail to notice my love of classic cinema. The 250 Quintessential Noir Films -list in iCheckMovies is currently my life blood, so obviously I shrieked from joy when a blogger I follow recommended a film noir-inspired comic (she was actually used as a model for one of the characters, which is pretty neat). When the protagonist wakes up in a bath tub after a hard night of partying and finds a dead starlet in the living room, there's no doubt that you're in for a fun ride.It was immediately clear that the authors have captured the genre's tone with incredible precision. A research assistant helped in maintaining the authenticity of 1940s L.A. with its twinkling lights, orange sunsets, and seedy back alleys, but reading the afterwords of each issue there's no doubt that the authors' enthusiasm for classic films and listening to 40s music while working helped a great deal as well.Reading the comic is like following a movie: the voice-over à la Sunset Boulevard (1950), the rhythm of the text, and dialogue make up a very addicting mixture. When you combine all that with excellent art that plays with light and shadows like the best film noirs do, you get perfection. The art also has varying styles: some scenes depict vague memories as hazy forms surrounded by cigarette smoke, and some have the protagonist juxtaposed with a b&w background. These lend the story a sense of mystery and ambiguity, especially since the story appears to have a lot of subtlety. Because of that this will definitely handle multiple reads in the future.On the other hand, the characters are believable in their noir surroundings. There are the usual archetypes of noir and hard-boiled fiction, but they don't feel at all clichéd or worn out. They might have been if the protanogist had been a private detective, but because he's a screenwriter the story immediately has more appeal. Some of the peripheral characters remind you of real people: the German expatriate director, the Montgomery Clift -look-a-like Tyler Graves etc. Even a few very real people make an appearance: Clark Gable's entrance came hilariously out of nowhere, Humphrey Bogart seems to pop up everywhere you go, and Bette Davis is mentioned as almost stabbing a creep with a nail file (makes total sense).The articles at the end of each issue are also worth the read, despite that some of the topics have been dealt with millions of times before: Peg Entwistle, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Lana Turner vs. Johnny Stompanato, Jean Spangler, James Stewart, and Our Gang are all sharp peeks to the world of Tinseltown. For once I read the reader letters as well. Lots of great film and tv recommendations, and all coming from people who are passionate about old films.

  • Patrick
    2019-02-02 16:18

    Charlie wakes up from a black out drunk night in a tub, in a house that isn’t his. Means he must have had a great time right? Nope, not so much. Because there happens to be body of a murdered actress in the adjoining room.Unsure of what to do, and knowing that this would reflect poorly on him, Charlie decides to do the honorable thing… or not. He erases all evidence that he was there, leaving the body for someone else to find. When he does eventually hear news about her death, it has been ruled a suicide. Sounds like conspiracy is afoot! This is the end of the Hollywood golden age after all, where all the sex, murder, drugs are covered up. And this is clearly no different. What follows is Charlie’s struggles with what he has done and recognizing the harsh realities of the world.The artwork and text are well done, and blend perfectly. I also found the use of real actors and characters based on other ones allows for the creation of a very captivating world. The reason why this didn’t get more stars from me is because this whole book seemed to be about contemplation and complaining without any real action or resolution. That being said, the ending does promise an improvement in this category in the next issues to come.(I received this free ebook from NetGalley in exchange for this honest, if poorly written, review.)

  • Taylor Knight
    2019-02-09 21:53

    This is such an interesting graphic novel. I've never read a graphic novel that wasn't sci-fi or superheros so this was a really different for me. I thought the noir concept was great. It was really awesome and the whole who-did-it crime reminded of Clue. I love the cover so much. I wish I could get a big poster of it and hang it on my wall. The artwork though out the whole novel is really cool as well. I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this graphic novel.

  • Skip
    2019-02-02 19:10

    The Fade Out has a great setting in the hey days of Hollywood. Screenwriter Charlie Parish wakes up from a drunken stupor next to a dead actress. With no recollection of his actions, he flees the scene only to learn that the studio has fixed it to make it look like a suicide to avoid scrutiny. Unfortunately, there were too many characters, despite a two page summary with illustrations, and I found the story slow, wandering, and too dark and bloody.

  • Amy
    2019-02-14 15:02

    I think my favourite part of this series is the colouring, followed by the art. There were more than a few panels that took my breath away and that I wished I could frame. As for the story, the plot is gripping, but really it's the atmosphere that sells this. The slick glamour of Hollywood, contrasted with the seedy underbelly of reality. There's a danger of the characters falling into arch-type moulds, but Brubaker manages to give everyone dimension.

  • Brian Poole
    2019-02-18 18:21

    The Fade Out, Vol. 1 is the latest from comic book noir masters Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. The Act One collected edition is now available.Set in Hollywood, 1948, The Fade Out, Vol. 1 opens with screenwriter Charlie Parish waking in a strange place after an epic bender. Memories of the prior night are hazy for Charlie, who quickly makes two important realizations. One, he’s woken in the bungalow of Val Sommers, the female lead of the movie on which Charlie is working. Two, someone’s strangled Val to death.In a panic, Charlie wipes out all traces of having been at Val’s and retreats to Victory Street Pictures. When news of Val’s death emerges, Charlie is stunned to realize someone has restaged the scene to make it look like a suicide. Charlie unwisely unburdens himself to Gil Mason, his secret writing partner who’s been blacklisted and can’t get any work from the studios. Gil’s heavy drinking and unhappy wife both weigh heavily on Charlie. So does the fact that he hasn’t written anything since his experiences in World War II and is dependent on Gil’s work.Maya Silver, Val’s replacement on the troubled movie, navigates the fraught situation she’s eagerly entered. Haunted studio head Victor Thursby was obsessed with Val, but is slow to warm to Maya. Schmitt, the expatriate German directing the movie, chafes at Thursby’s timeline to finish the movie. Security head Brodsky does whatever he must to keep the troubled studio going, landing on both sides of the legal line. As Maya’s past threatens her new future, Charlie’s memories of his lost night begin to re-emerge. Another suspicious death makes Charlie think that McCarthy-ite spies are all around him.The Fade Out, Vol. 1 is a dark, complex story from the Brubaker/Phillips team (Criminal and Fatale). Set in the waning days of the Golden Age of Hollywood’s studio system, it builds slowly, drawing in its expansive cast and the elements of the world around them. Brubaker embroiders the twilight of Old Hollywood, the emergence of the new era of celebrity culture, McCarthyism and Hollywood Blacklisting, the post-war evolution of social and sexual attitudes, racism and pervasive corruption into his deliberate, carefully-constructed plot. Brubaker doesn’t feel the need to rush the action, which is wise. The story unfolds like a hazy dream, slowly building intensity and atmosphere, while giving a lot of room for the intriguing cast to spread out. Brubaker is always adept at teasing out the emotions of complex, damaged characters with admirable economy and maximum impact.In The Fade Out, Vol. 1, Brubaker has crafted a noir fantasy that’s thoroughly grounded in its milieu. In addition to all the period-inspired plot points, Brubaker works in a cameo from screen legend Clark Gable and uses other Golden Age stars like Bob Hope, Bette Davis, Ronald Reagan, Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra as touchstones at different points. A few Hollywood landmarks find their way into the action, as well.Of course, none of this would work as well without the keenly observed art of Phillips. He brings his dreamy, soft focus approach to the story, utilizing shadows and contrasts to offset the emotional miasma that engulfs the characters. He mostly uses a standard panel format that keeps the story moving nicely. A couple of the dreamier panels, as Charlie’s repressed memories bubble up, are especially impressive. Phillips’s character designs are first rate, inspired by the fertile period in which The Fade Out, Vol. 1 is set. Elizabeth Breitweiser is a crucial collaborator on colors, expertly wrapping the shadowy action in soft, muted tones that enhance drama and mood, while deploying brighter contrasts to highlight the Hollywood artifice. It’s a beautiful visual package that captures enough vintage Hollywood glamour to spice the dark, noir atmosphere.Some comparison to another, similarly-themed Image series is almost inevitable. Satellite Sam involves a murder mystery set in the world of 1950s New York television. While there’s a surface likeness, the two series are quite different. Sam tells its story with a certain wink and a love of outrageous plot twists. It’s heightened, with every issue ending on a “gotcha” moment that captures the spirit of the kind of adventure serial at the heart of its narrative. The Fade Out, Vol. 1 is serious noir, unfolding at a leisurely pace that allows Brubaker and Phillips to dig into the dark underpinnings of their characters and setting. Despite the similar plots and themes, one can read both series and enjoy the very different experiences each offers.For fans of pulpy noir, and especially for fans of the past work of the Brubaker/Phillips team, The Fade Out, Vol. 1 is highly recommended.This review originally appeared on

  • Maria (Big City Bookworm)
    2019-02-03 18:16

    I had only first heard about The Fade Out while browsing through NetGalley. The cover instantly grabbed my attention with its watercolour-esque typewriter and blood spatter and as I have been in a kind of graphic novel kick recently I decided to give this one a try. Goodreads synopsis: 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! Collects THE FADE OUT issues #1 to #4Let's begin with the art. Each of the separate issue covers are BEAUTIFUL. The artwork is fantastic both on the covers and within the pages, although a part of me really wishes that it were done in black and white to really give it that noir feeling. Other than that minor concern, everything about the artwork was gorgeous.I really enjoyed the tone that this story was written in and it definitely felt like a noir film. I loved the incorporation of actual historical figures and cinematic stars from the time period. It made the story feel realistic and as though it could have actually been a true story from that era. The idea of a "whodunit" crime story always intrigues me and this graphic novel portrayed that kind of story very well. I could easily see this story being turned into a neo-noir film directed by the likes of Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez...better yet, the both of them together again in the style of Sin City would be fantastic.There are quite a few characters which is usually something that I tend not to like, but in this case they all seemed well thought out and developed. This volume left us with a bit of a cliffhanger and I am eager to find out what happens next! I would love to own a physical copy of this graphic novel some day.Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free eBook for an honest review!*Review also posted onBig City Bookworm

  • Amy
    2019-01-21 16:54

    Why this has taken me so long to pick up considering it only took me an hour to read I don't know! I've also had this graphic novel since it was released as I had it on pre-order I was that excited to read it. It's safe to say though I was slightly disappointed. Charlie wakes up in a bathroom he does not recognise with no recollection of the night before. Hungover and highly confused he leaves the room and finds Valeria Sommers dead on the living room couch. He hides any trace of him being at the scene and quickly leaves but he is plagued by the question of who killed the girl. It doesn't help matters that Val was a starlet who played a role in a movie Charlie was working on or that now a replacement for her needs to be found. Charlie soon finds out that Val's death was ruled a suicide yet he knows this is not the case. It becomes obvious that the studio has covered up the death and they will do anything to keep the crime covered up. I didn't feel any connection to this story, we didn't get to know Val at all to really feel sorry about her death. Charlie was a little more relatable because we are told a little about him but I still felt at a distance. At times the language and nudity was unneeded, there was a section about a guy going into the forest, drinking and having sex with a lot of women. I'm still at a loss to who this guy is and what that particular part had to do with this mystery? The sections were also a little choppy and confusing at times.The art was great, that was probably my favourite part as you really got a feel for the era by the muted colouring and harsh features of the characters. The fight scenes were pretty good, I don't usually like that type of thing but I think it gave a good feel to how quick tempered some of the characters were, it really kept you guessing. It was cute that Charlie was oblivious to Dottie's crush on him, I'd love to see that develop in the next volume. I think I will pick up the next instalment but I can see that it could take a turn I will not like, I hope it doesn't but I guess I will find out when I get round to picking up the next one!

  • Tom Ewing
    2019-02-03 14:23

    A story set in the dream factory of 40s Hollywood, where fine movies are made by people of integrity who spend their time being nice to each other. ONLY JOKING! There's a dead starlet pretty much on page one and after that it's four issues of noir bingo, lovingly executed by the purring collaborative engine of Brubaker and Phillips.I don't really care about Hollywood, or noir. But these guys do. It's obvious the word "comfort zone" is too small for where these creators are on The Fade Out: this is an all out luxury zone, with writer and artist pillowing down and indulging themselves in every possible trope. Drunks, skunks, reds both under and in the bed (maybe they'll end up dead?) and plenty of real life stars to spot. It's glossy, beautifully overripe even when it's dark, a romp if you like. I'm not feeling it exactly, but I'm certainly enjoying it.