Comic Review: The Fade Out, Act One

FadeOutThe Fade Out, Act One by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Published by Image Comics on March 10, 2015

Genres: Comics, Mystery, Crime, Noir, Graphic Novel

Pages: 120 Format: Paperback Source: Library

3/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

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 #4

Browsing the shelves at my library I came across this stunning cover that caught my eye. I’m always looking for new comics, especially those unique ones outside my superhero comfort zone, and The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips definitely fits the bill. A burgeoning mystery, the fall of Hollywood, and a lost writer stuck in the middle of it all. Charlie Parish wakes up with no recollection of a past night’s party only to find himself in a nightmare scenario. What will happen next?

Brubaker and Phillips created a graphic novel that doesn’t come along very often in this style and it was refreshing to read. The narrative piqued my interest and it didn’t fall off. The colors and illustrations from Elizabeth Breitweiser fit the noir genre so perfectly. All of the dark tones and use of shadow exudes mystery. Flashbacks take on a grey like quality, memories tinged a gray green. Everything blends into a perfect harmony and it definitely stood out.

Struggling writers, blonde bombshells, studio execs: this cast of characters is fitting for the dramatic toil of Hollywood as well as this story’s political intrigue. Everyone has secrets, questionable pasts, and the drive to survive in a cutthroat environment. These characters make this story come to life, providing a draw for the reader, a connection to a completely different time.

Overall, The Fade Out: Act One, was a great start to an interesting new tale from Brubaker and Phillips. There was plenty of intrigue and a great take on Hollywood and life in the late 1940s. The story was a little slow but I do want to know where the narrative goes from here. If you love a good mystery and out of the box comics I would definitely recommend you give this a shot.

So are you a fan of the noir genre? Interested to read it in comic form? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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