Bad Weekend

Bad Weekend

JUST IN TIME FOR CONVENTION SEASON-the ultimate comic con crime tale!Comics won't just break your heart.Comics will just kill you.Hal Crane should know, he's been around since practically the beginning. Stuck at an out-of-town convention, waiting to receive a lifetime achievement award, Hal's weekend takes us on a dark ride through the secret hist...

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Title:Bad Weekend
Author:Ed Brubaker
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Bad Weekend Reviews

  • David Schaafsma

    Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips put the con back in comic con! Or more correctly, they show you that deceit, back-stabbing, and drunken thievery even at the highest levels of comics fame was always there. As with their The Fade Out, that manages to successfully achieve both nostalgia and expose the dirty "secrets" we all now know about the film industry, Bad Weekend, a gorgeous hardcover compiled from just two issues of the new Criminal (2019) run, (I have reviewed them as they have come out) crea

    Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips put the con back in comic con! Or more correctly, they show you that deceit, back-stabbing, and drunken thievery even at the highest levels of comics fame was always there. As with their The Fade Out, that manages to successfully achieve both nostalgia and expose the dirty "secrets" we all now know about the film industry, Bad Weekend, a gorgeous hardcover compiled from just two issues of the new Criminal (2019) run, (I have reviewed them as they have come out) creates the same kind of nostalgia/horror vibe, but this time about the comics industry, a complete arc focused on former comics star Hal Crane, told by Jacob, his one-time assistant who shepherds Crane around at the conference.

    Hal's in his seventies, a drunk, known for some great comics but also for bad sexist drunken behavior, for berating all of his assistants, and for stealing some of his own old comics to help pay for gambling debts. At one point they contact (seasoned thief) Ricky Lawless to break into a guy's house, the day before Crane is supposed to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award at a Comic Con. You don't get any better than this, period.

    One moment that made me laugh aloud, just to get the flavor of the writing: We have spent much of the first issue (focused on Friday of said "bad weekend") learning what a prick Hal was, especially to our narrator, who ends the issue planning a comics heist. This Crane is a "character," but also pretty despicable, a jerk. Then, on the very next page, headed "Saturday" Jacob begins, "I feel like I'm not giving you a fair picture of Hal Crane. I'm talking like he's just this string of bad luck and drunken rage. . . but there was more to him than that." Fair picture?! Why do we need a "fair" picture of a guy who was never fair?! But then Jacob proceeds to convince us there's actually a beating heart in old Crane, one that once lived for comics, something Jacob sees in Crane, and wants us to see. The book came in the mail, and I sat down and read it. You should do the same.

  • Sam Quixote

    Set in 1997, Jacob is asked to chaperone his former mentor, comics legend Hal Crane, around a convention where he will be given a lifetime achievement award. Sounds straightforward enough, eh? Except Hal is an embittered old drunken wreck whose increasingly reckless, unhinged behaviour lands him and Jacob in one sketchy situation after another! Will they get through the Bad Weekend in one piece?

    Much to my, and other fans’, delight, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips re-upped their five year exclusiv

    Set in 1997, Jacob is asked to chaperone his former mentor, comics legend Hal Crane, around a convention where he will be given a lifetime achievement award. Sounds straightforward enough, eh? Except Hal is an embittered old drunken wreck whose increasingly reckless, unhinged behaviour lands him and Jacob in one sketchy situation after another! Will they get through the Bad Weekend in one piece?

    Much to my, and other fans’, delight, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips re-upped their five year exclusive deal with Image last December and their first project to emerge was a new monthly run of their signature series, Criminal. Bad Weekend collects issues 2 and 3 of this new run along with a clutch of previously cut pages to form the second Criminal “novella” (the first being last year’s My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies).

    The 2019 run of Criminal (currently six issues long) has been absolutely superb though I’d say this storyline, while still good, was my least favourite so far. Except I surprisingly enjoyed reading it in collected form much better the second time around! Maybe because it doesn’t suffer from the comparison of the more exciting Lawless storyline that bookends it in the series or maybe it’s more rounded this way, as opposed to reading it serially – I have noticed how different an experience it can sometimes be to read a title monthly (or whatever the schedule is) and to read it in a collection.

    The story is always entertaining. From the moment Jacob encounters Hal, it’s a rollercoaster of crazy: pistol-whipping colleagues in barroom toilets, planning a B&E with Ricky Lawless to get back artwork, and the funny awards show at the end. It’s never anything but an exciting and imaginative read, masterfully written and drawn.

    What stood out more to me on this second read was Hal’s complex character – his unexpected moments of vulnerability counterbalancing his obnoxious behaviour, and the tragic story likely behind his destructive behaviour: a car crash back in 1955 with Hal’s old mentor, Archie Lewis. It adds another dimension to the otherwise overfamiliar and sordid tale of comics creators getting fucked over by their publishers. And that bittersweet ending is perfect.

    I still don’t really like Jacob Phillips’ colours but it doesn’t detract from the book to give it anything less than the highest rating. Bad Weekend is utterly fantastic and a particularly wry accompaniment to con season! Brubaker and Phillips continue to shine as one of comics’ greatest creative teams – if this is any indication, I can’t wait to see what else they’ve got planned in the years ahead!

  • Ed

    Every time I read a book by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, I wonder why I ever read anything else. Jacob Phillips’s coloring is getting fantastic, too. There’s a few panels in this with colors that will just knock your damn socks off.

  • Chris

    Weirdly my first thought was "What the hell does Ed Brubaker know about old school comics?"

    Despite having met him at a convention, in my head he's this gritty, disheveled looking private detective hanging out in sleazy bars, trying not to get his fingers broken. If you could typecast a writer, that's my mental image of him.

    So, it's really cool to read a story that hits a lot closer to home for both Brubaker and Phillips. It's the kind of story that makes me wonder how muc

    Weirdly my first thought was "What the hell does Ed Brubaker know about old school comics?"

    Despite having met him at a convention, in my head he's this gritty, disheveled looking private detective hanging out in sleazy bars, trying not to get his fingers broken. If you could typecast a writer, that's my mental image of him.

    So, it's really cool to read a story that hits a lot closer to home for both Brubaker and Phillips. It's the kind of story that makes me wonder how much truth there is to it all. Is Hal Crane a pseudonym for a real person or just an amalgamation of people? Is this the real life origin story for Brubaker or Phillips? The narrator Jacob sure looks like Sean Phillips.... and shares his son's name...

    This story feels a lot more intimate, there's not a lot of criminality to it, it's more of a character study... I mean they all are, but this one more-so.

    As usual I could gush endlessly about Sean Phillips art, but it was really enhanced by his son Jacob's colours. They're so vibrant and clash at times but in a way that really works for the story. I was really impressed by how well this father and son duo work together.

    This is one of my favourite Criminal stories, I think because it hits so close to home.

  • L. McCoy

    I have yet to read a Brubaker and Phillips story I don’t like.

    What’s it about?

    Hal is a washed up, old comic book artist. He’s very out of touch, depressed, angry, addicted to alcohol and even violent at times. Jacob (another artist who used to be an assistant for Hal) is given the job of making sure Hal doesn’t do anything too crazy and actually makes it to things at a comic con that Hal is a guest at. Well shit gets quite crazy as things tend to in Brubaker’s work!

    Why it gets 5 stars:

    The story is very interesting. This is less act

    I have yet to read a Brubaker and Phillips story I don’t like.

    What’s it about?

    Hal is a washed up, old comic book artist. He’s very out of touch, depressed, angry, addicted to alcohol and even violent at times. Jacob (another artist who used to be an assistant for Hal) is given the job of making sure Hal doesn’t do anything too crazy and actually makes it to things at a comic con that Hal is a guest at. Well shit gets quite crazy as things tend to in Brubaker’s work!

    Why it gets 5 stars:

    The story is very interesting. This is less action and more drama than I usually read but nonetheless it’s an outstanding tale.

    Sean Phillips is as always a damn good artist and his son Jacob is a damn good colorist!

    The characters are very interesting. Brubaker always puts a lot of depth into his characters to make readers more interested in them and this book is a great example.

    While not quite an action comic there are some really good intense moments.

    This book is pretty suspenseful for sure.

    Some parts are quite humorous. Despite a very serious tone I still got to laugh a few times.

    The ending is very well done and unexpected.

    This story is very emotional.

    I always like books set in nerdy environments. The scenery, references, characters, etc. have some sort of nerdy magic to me that always make me like it even more.

    Overall:

    Another masterpiece from Brubaker and Phillips (now double the Phillips!). The Criminal series (which this is a part of for anyone who may be unaware) continues to be fantastic. This is a great story with emotion, interesting characters and fantastic art. The book may be called Bad Weekend but there’s nothing bad about this masterpiece in comics.

    5/5

  • Rory Wilding

    Comic books are fun, there is no denying that. It’s a medium not just about superhero-themed shared universes, but also a place where anyone can tell any story they wish, as proven with creator-owned works from Image and the recently-cancelled Vertigo imprint. However, from the very beginning to even now, there has always been a shadiness within the comics industry where creators have been screwed over. If you are well-versed in comics history, you can’t help but feel a bit cynical about key asp

    Comic books are fun, there is no denying that. It’s a medium not just about superhero-themed shared universes, but also a place where anyone can tell any story they wish, as proven with creator-owned works from Image and the recently-cancelled Vertigo imprint. However, from the very beginning to even now, there has always been a shadiness within the comics industry where creators have been screwed over. If you are well-versed in comics history, you can’t help but feel a bit cynical about key aspects of the industry, which is satirized in the latest

    novella.

  • James DeSantis

    Bad Weekend is issue 2-3 of the new criminal but it's confusing as I wonder where the hell issue 1 went. Anyway, this is still great.

    So this is a story about a retired comic artist who basically transformed from a kind man to a asshole. So basically Alan Moore. Now that he is crabby and annoyed at life he is forced to go to a comic con with his old assistant, Jacob. Jacob is not enjoying much of his time with his old mentor but he does what he must because of old times. This turns quickly into

    Bad Weekend is issue 2-3 of the new criminal but it's confusing as I wonder where the hell issue 1 went. Anyway, this is still great.

    So this is a story about a retired comic artist who basically transformed from a kind man to a asshole. So basically Alan Moore. Now that he is crabby and annoyed at life he is forced to go to a comic con with his old assistant, Jacob. Jacob is not enjoying much of his time with his old mentor but he does what he must because of old times. This turns quickly into a crime story and then a sad tale of loss and forgetting.

    I really enjoyed a lot of it. The ending is really predictable but the story and the way it is told is near perfect. The emotions run high, the art is fantastic as always, and the way you feel for a asshole like Hal is perfect. I really enjoyed this and want more Criminal from Ed brubaker for the rest of my life. A 4 out of 5.

  • Dave

    Bad Weekend is a graphic novel that pays some serous homage to the comics can industry, its tortured artists, and the crazy fans. A famed company c writer from yesteryear has little understanding of today's fans, comic conventions, and the price of fame. Hal, instead, is a bit twisted over the imagined or real theft of his art. Cantankerous, nasty, but a true artist.

  • Artemy

    I'm glad to see Brubaker returning back to form after the fiasco of

    . Bad Weekend collects issues #2-3 of the newly ongoing Criminal series with some extra pages, and it tells the story of an archetypical old grumpy comics artist looking for some of his original art that he thinks was stolen from him. It's not much of a "Criminal" story, really (though there definitely are some connections to that part of Brubaker's universe), more a character study and reflection on th

    I'm glad to see Brubaker returning back to form after the fiasco of

    . Bad Weekend collects issues #2-3 of the newly ongoing Criminal series with some extra pages, and it tells the story of an archetypical old grumpy comics artist looking for some of his original art that he thinks was stolen from him. It's not much of a "Criminal" story, really (though there definitely are some connections to that part of Brubaker's universe), more a character study and reflection on the comic book industry and how it treats people who are involved in it. It's an interesting story that is very well-written and perfectly paced, though it does feel a bit decompressed. The ending was a bit predictable, and as is often the case with Brubaker's crime comics, none of the characters were particularly sympathetic, but at least their stories were compelling enough (as opposed to the aforementioned Junkies, for example). Speaking of Junkies, looks like that book's colour palette really was a deliberate stylistic choice, because Jacob Phillips's colours looked much better in Bad Weekend. Sean Phillips's art is pretty much business as usual — it's good, though it keeps me wondering why all protagonists in his and Brubaker's comics look exactly the same, and also weirdly not unlike Phillips himself.

    Overall, I quite liked Bad Weekend, and I'm certainly glad it's nowhere near the trash quality of My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies. It made me excited to check out the newest Criminal run by the duo and maybe even go back and re-read the old stuff. Most importantly, it's always refreshing to read a comic book that is about something other than fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian futures and superheroes, and there really aren't a lot of creators out there nowadays who still do books like this one, books about the real world inhabited by real people.

  • Christopher (Donut)

    A quick read, with a nice 'hook.' Who IS Hal Cane, drunk, old, semi-legendary comic pro?

    Although, frankly, the story, as it unfolds, is so improbable that, hell yeah, Hal Cane is a composite.

    I mean, I seriously doubt that, say, John Buscema ever pistol whipped, say, Don Heck, over 'stolen art.' (Although what do I know?)

    Amazing that the kings of the six-volume slow burn managed to tell this one in a mere 72 pp.

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