Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka discussed crime comics at their panel at Emerald City Comicon. Their influences, Rucka’s forthcoming novel, classic crime stories and the what it’s like trying to write crime mysteries in a medium which is typically dominated by a very different type of story were among the things discussed by the duo. As far as influences in the crime genre are concerned Rucka cited Charles Biro’s Crime Does Not Pay, a post World War II comic that ran for a little over ten years. Brubaker only cited Johnny Craig, a member of the Eisner hall of fame whom was known for his work with EC Comics.
Brubaker and Rucka also discussed how they came to be involved in the comic book world. While Rucka found his way to comics while writing novels, something that’s not entirely unheard of, Brubaker was almost forced into the career. After being chased by a member of Vertigo’s staff, Brubaker’s first comic, Scene of the Crime was published. Brubaker and Rucka started writing together when Brubaker started his run on Batman and from there the two birthed Gotham Central.
At this point Rucka began to talk about his upcoming novel Alpha. Alpha follows Master Sargent Jad Bell as he tackles the threat of terrorism at the largest theme park in the world. Rucka had this to say about his writing process for Alpha “”I wanted to take a kind of military, procedural, suspense thriller genre and then really load it with as many clichés as I could, and then try to break them. What I discovered is, it’s really really hard to break some of them. Alpha is the first novel I’ve written where I am not really happy with my female
Brubaker then began to talk about how he is similarly trying to break through various cliches and stereotypes with his current series, Fatale released through Image Comics. He then began to discuss the way superhero comics stopped selling well after World War II and how this birthed crime, horror and romance comics. He stated that, with a similar trend going on in today’s comic industry, it’s likely ready for a similar detour away from the superhero comics that have once again become an industry standard.