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Ed Brubaker: A Masterful Storyteller in Comics and Beyond

Ed Brubaker: A Masterful Storyteller in Comics and Beyond

Unveiling the Creative Genius Behind Acclaimed Graphic Novels and Television Adaptations

Ed Brubaker, the visionary behind captivating graphic novels and comic books, has captivated readers with his exceptional storytelling skills and diverse body of work. From the acclaimed “Criminal” series to the gripping “The Fade Out,” Brubaker’s talent extends beyond comics, reaching into television and film collaborations. In this comprehensive interview, Brubaker delves into his creative process, inspirations, and the art of crafting compelling narratives.

A Multifaceted Creative Journey: Balancing Comics, Television, and Film

Ed Brubaker is a prolific creator whose projects span various mediums. He currently focuses on a select few comics, juggling them alongside his television and film endeavors. Among his upcoming releases is “Where the Body Was,” a graphic novel co-created with artist Sean Phillips, set to hit shelves in December 2024.

“Where the Body Was”: A Unique and Experimental Tale

“Where the Body Was” marks a departure from Brubaker’s previous works, venturing into experimental storytelling techniques. The story unfolds in the summer of 1984, following a group of individuals residing on the same street whose lives intertwine around various crimes. Brubaker employs multiple perspectives and plays with time, creating a narrative that explores love, passion, loss, and the impact of time’s passage.

Television Collaboration: Bringing “Criminal” to Life

Brubaker’s creative reach extends to the small screen, where he collaborates with novelist Jordan Harper on a television adaptation of his “Criminal” graphic novel series. The show, currently in production at Amazon, promises to bring the world of “Criminal” to life, capturing the essence of the original work.

Literary Recommendations: A Wide-Ranging Palette

Brubaker’s reading preferences reflect his eclectic taste, ranging from classic crime fiction to contemporary literary works. He recommends authors such as Ross Macdonald, Richard Stark, Charles Burns, Steve Erickson, Sherril Jaffee, Milan Kundera, Kurt Vonnegut, Sara Gran, and Megan Abbott. His selections showcase his appreciation for diverse genres and his keen eye for compelling storytelling.

Current Reads and the Evolving Reading Experience

Brubaker’s current reading list includes the graphic novel adaptation of “Watership Down” by James Sturm and Joe Sutphin, Rebecca Makkai’s “I Have Some Questions for You,” and an old book for research, “Hollywood Kryptonite.” He acknowledges the challenges of finding time to read amidst his busy schedule and expresses a desire to return to a more analog existence, valuing the tactile experience of books.

Influential Books and the Changing Perspective of Reading

Brubaker reflects on the books that have left a lasting impact on him, noting that his preferences have evolved over time. He recalls childhood favorites like Encyclopedia Brown and The Great Brain, while acknowledging that books that once resonated with him may no longer hold the same significance.

Memorable Lines and the Power of Narrative

When asked about memorable lines or passages from recent readings, Brubaker highlights a line from Larry Charles: “Loss becomes a big part of life if you’re lucky enough to be around to experience it.” He finds this quote particularly poignant and reflective of themes he has explored in his own writing.

Favorite Book Covers: Iconic Designs

Brubaker’s appreciation for visual aesthetics extends to book covers. He cites the covers of “The Great Gatsby” and the original edition of “The Name of the Game Is Death” as favorites, highlighting their iconic designs and evocative imagery.

Audiobooks and the Multifaceted Nature of Reading

Brubaker occasionally listens to audiobooks during walks or road trips, but he primarily prefers podcasts. He often purchases both the physical book and the audiobook, allowing him to seamlessly switch between reading and listening depending on the situation.

Genre Preferences and the Joy of Exploration

Brubaker’s reading habits encompass a wide range of genres, with a current focus on nonfiction. He acknowledges the difficulty in selecting a favorite book, as he finds joy in discovering and appreciating the unique qualities of each work he encounters.

Literary Inspirations: The Transformative Power of Books

Brubaker’s father played a pivotal role in shaping his reading life, encouraging him to embrace books, comics, and art from a young age. He credits his father’s support and guidance for his eventual success as a writer and artist.

The Essence of a Good Book: An Immersive Experience

Brubaker believes that the essence of a good book lies in its ability to captivate the reader, drawing them into the story without conscious awareness of the language or plot. He seeks this immersive experience in his own reading, desiring to get lost in the narrative rather than focusing on technical aspects.

A Secret Revealed: Personal Connections in “Where the Body Was”

Brubaker unveils a hidden aspect of “Where the Body Was,” revealing that certain elements of the story are based on real-life experiences from his own life and the lives of his friends and family. He acknowledges the significance of these personal connections in shaping the narrative.

A Question for Readers: The Meaning of Reading

Brubaker expresses a desire to understand the significance of reading in the lives of his readers. He wonders about their experiences, whether they were the child reading under the covers with a flashlight, past their bedtime. He seeks to comprehend the transformative power of books for his audience.