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3 posts from June 2007

June 15, 2007

Following the buzz about the BLACK DIAMOND trailer

There have been some entertaining blog entries about the BLACK DIAMOND DETECTIVE AGENCY trailer... It started when GalleyCat first reported it on MediaBistro...

Campbell's artwork is definitely the draw here, lending the video a unified aesthetic that most homegrown trailers can't quite match; my slapdash storyboard above gives you a rough feel for the visual dynamism, but you should really see it in motion for yourself. By the time you get to the DePalma-esque split-screen effect, you should be hooked—but be advised that the plot centers around a horrendous explosion that leaves scenes of gory devastation clearly intended as a 19th-century echo of the World Trade Center disaster, so those with delicate sensibilities may choose to simply take my word on the video's power. As for the book, it ships this week. (I know I've been persuaded to go look for it, but frankly they had me at "Eddie Campbell.")

And now, a wry take on it at New York Magazine, in an entry called In a World … of Desperate Publishers … One Gimmick Stands Alone !

So far, online trailers for books (and there are more every day) have self-consciously avoided aspiring to the style and flash of movie ads. That is … until now … in a world … dominated by irony … one author (Eddie Campbell) … and one tiny publisher (First Second Books) … have made a trailer for a graphic novel so earnest, so explosive, and so, uh, graphic that, well, maybe a few people will notice it.

Does that sound portentous, clichéd, begging for the deepest, darkest Hollywood voice-over? Now you've got a sense of what it's like to watch this 30-second spot for The Black Diamond Detective Agency, by Campbell, the co-creator of the comic-turned-movie From Hell.

At least they may be catching on — the trailer goes for the Hollywood trope; anyone who knows Eddie Campbell's work can expect him to thoroughly subvert it. And he does.

June 12, 2007


Check out REVIEW THIS ONLINE's for a very cool attack on First Second:

The Audacity of First Second: Lazy Monday Fake Controversy

The gall of these people at First Second. They give us a funny, kid-friendly graphic novel in The Professor's Daughter, the book that launched the careers of the now internationally famous Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert. And then they turn around and give us The Black Diamond Detective Agency by Eddie Campbell, with explosions and blood and violence and whatnot, as exemplified in this horribly professional and terribly interesting trailer for the book.

What is wrong with First Second? They can't decide what number to stick with for the name of their publishing company, and then they can't decide on an audience, either. What? Do they think they can do whatever the heck they like in amazingly cool formats and layouts without drawing down the wrath of readers who might just prefer to be given same-old same-old?! On this Monday, I choose to rail against the professionalism and diversity of First Second, a publishing imprint that has taken the graphic novel world by storm over the last year. What cheek, say I.

June 07, 2007

FIRST SECOND's Fall 2007 unveiled!

uh... I seem to be behind the times here, catching up to other blogs and websites that have already mentioned it, but hey, it's been CRAZY busy at First Second, where we're happily scrambling to get Spring '08 to press -- but back to today, right now:

CHECK IT OUT! The First Second Fall 2007 Lineup!

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