The Dame Said Ph’nglui Mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh Wgah’nagl Fhtagn: Brubaker and Phillips Announce Fatale

Promo cover for Fatale #1, written by Ed Brubaker with pencils by Sean PhillipsAt Friday’s Creator-Owned Comics panel at the New York Comic Con, hosted by Robert Kirkman, who is arguably the poster boy for creator-owned books what with his walking away from Marvel at the height of his popularity and his 427 bazillion dollars of Walking Dead TV money, announced that Image Comics will be producing Fatale, a supernatural crime book by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, the creative team behind Criminal, Sleeper and Incognito.

Tell us about the book, Ed!

“I’ve been wanting for a while to do something with a more supernatural element to it… ‘Fatale’ mixes what [Sean and I] do and all the ways we’ve poked fun at the noir genre. If ‘Incognito’ was us doing ‘What if Doc Savage, Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler had all existed in the same universe?’ then this is a weird combo of James M. Cain and Lovecraft…

The story involves all these characters that spin around a woman who may or may not be the living incarnation of the femme fatale. Parts of the story are told from her point of view.

I’m gonna let you insert your own Cthuhlu / tentacle porn joke here. Because I am one classy motherfucker.

So Ed… Lovecraft and noir crime fiction? Can you be a little more specific as to what we’re gonna be looking at here?

“The one thing that survived from the original pitch was a scene of this mobster in the ’30s questioning this guy, and then when you finally see the mobster’s face, he’s got a horrifying tentacle beast face. That was the thing that jumped out at me: the idea of blending those two worlds.

Wow… that sounds kinda fucked up.

…it’s super fucked up.

But while the idea of mixing crime fiction and horror might sound like an idea that could go completely sideways (I’m looking at you, Brian Azzarello! If you try to write Hellblazer again, God will kill a kitten!), we’re talking about a crime book by Brubaker and Phillips, here. They’ve mixed superheroes and crime to superb effect, and their last arc on Criminal, The Last of the Innocents, mixed crime and Archie comics. And it was spectacular.

And before you say, “Meh, I’ll wait for the trade,” Brubaker / Phillips books are among the few comics where you are doing yourself a supreme disservice by not getting the individual issues. Because each issue contains backmatter essays on whatever historical fiction influenced the book you just read. I’ve learned more about old pulps and hard-boiled crime stories that I’ve checked out and loved from the backmatter in Incognito and Criminal than I’ve learned about from, say, zero-budget comics Web sites produced by fanboy drunks.

Fatale drops sometime in 2012.

(Via Comic Book Resources)