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The Fade Out

(The Fade Out #1-3)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,417 ratings  ·  215 reviews
The most ambitious project yet from the award-winning team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, with acclaimed color artist Elizabeth Breitweiser — Finally available in the gorgeous Deluxe edition their fans have come to expect!

An epic graphic novel of Hollywood in the early days of the Blacklist, THE FADE OUT tracks the murder of an up-and-coming starlet from studio backlots
Hardcover, Deluxe Edition, 400 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Image Comics
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Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,417 ratings  ·  215 reviews

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(A-) 81% | Very Good
Notes: Ode to inability, it’s woozy downbeat clamor: a grim and gaudy fever dream through lands of schmutz and glamour.
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

If you don't already know, The Fade Out is Brubaker's (rather excellent) graphic novel about the seedy underbelly of Hollywood in the 1940s.


It takes the form of a murder mystery, but to be brutally honest, I wasn't all that impressed with the mystery aspect, especially the conclusion.


Don't get me wrong, I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who likes crime novels, particularly ones with noir settings. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's the way the characters and all of t
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Because of its format some might say that this is fantastic crime comic. That’s true, but I’m going to take it a step further and say that it’s some of the best noir I’ve ever read which I’d rate right up there with the likes of James Cain or Jim Thompson.

Seriously, it’s that good.

It’s got the ultimate noir setting of post-war Los Angeles, and the plot involves a screenwriter with a drinking problem knowing about the cover up of the murder of an actress that the studio fixer has made look like a
Dave Schaafsma
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gn-crime
Ed Brubaker is better because he digs deeper. This ambitious graphic novel I read in three separate volumes previously, three "acts" of a story now in one large gorgeous volume, illustrated perfectly by the amazing Sean Phillips, colored by the also amazing Elizabeth Breitweiser, with . Brubaker's uncle was a successful Hollywood screenwriter, and he heard all the cynical Hollywood backstories from him. He's also a noir comics and film fan, in addition to writing his own noir comics with Phillip ...more
Yet another masterpiece by the Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips creative team. It might get a bit old now, all this praise I keep heaping on these guys. Like Criminal and Velvet before it, The Fade Out is an indelible piece of art not just in the comic book world but in crime fiction in general. Many crime writers have tried to recapture the feel of old "seedy-underbelly" Hollywood noir intrigue and this book does it with ease and without feeling forced and disingenuous like many others. Part of the re ...more
Kemper was right.

And those of you who know me will know how much it poisons me every time I have to say that. One of these days I’m just going to turn to stone. Ah but seriously, for you noir lovers out there it really doesn’t come any more smartly, authentically written than The Fade Out. This is a story that sizzles and understands at the heart of every noir tale is a fucking tragedy. This is a period piece and I lapped up the historical details like heavy cream. The characters are flawed just
James DeSantis
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fucking Brubaker and Sean have GOT to be one of the best duos of all time in comics. Knock it out the goddamn park int his one.

What's "The Fade Out"? Well you can all the descriptions but the meat of it is a actress is mysteriously murdered. However, the hollywood movie company who hired are is trying their darnest to cover it all up. In doing so we get to see how dark and twisted a big corporation can be, especially back int he day like this.

Charlie, our main hero here, wakes up in the same r
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Another outstanding addition to this team's body of work. Like most of Brubaker's crime stories, you quickly become engrossed in the mystery and/or the characters. The story is slightly predictable and the ending may not be what most people are looking for, but for me, it's usually the journey that is the most enjoyable and the top quality all around that earns the stars for this book.

Phillips' art is once again outstanding. I think he's in danger of reaching this point where his work is always
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
3.5 stars

See me talk about it briefly in my March wrap up:
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think this may be my favorite of Brubaker and Phillips' noir series, and that's really saying something. It's at least right up there with Sleeper and Criminal, my previous two favorites. And this time, like with Criminal, there's no additional genre element added in. It's just a straight-up character-driven noir loaded with atmosphere and darkness.

Maybe I love this so much because I've always been intrigued by the seedy underbelly of Old Hollywood, and this paints everything about that period
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The ultimate dark Hollywood noir from the team behind Sleeper, Incognito, Criminal, and Fatale. Brubaker and Sean Phillips are an amazing duo and I'd follow them just about anywhere. This is a dark tale of Hollywood corruption, set during the time of the blacklist and the ongoing search for Communist infiltration. Our main character is a writer, who's been struggling with writer's block since returning from the war, and acting as a front for his blacklisted friend and mentor. After a particularl ...more
Rituraj Kashyap
The murder of a starlet and her "screenwriter" friend's search for the truth

In this noir comic, the writer-artist duo of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips delves into 1940s Hollywood and gifts the readers a murder mystery with excellent character development. Elizabeth Breitweiser must be praised for her beautiful colouring. I had come to know of her through Velvet and had been mesmerised by her work.

The book rewards the readers for their attention. If one looks closely enough, one will find tha
Jakub Kvíz
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I was really looking forward to rereading The Fade Out as this was my first Brubaker/Phillips book. And the best thing was that I couldn't remember the ending.

The story is set in 1948 in Hollywood. The WW2 is over and Red Scare is coming. A perfect setting for a murder mystery. I won't spoil a thing for you but this is a true masterpiece. I loved every bit of it and you can see the massive research behind this book.

If you are looking for a true noir story look no further.
Sam Julian
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Wow this was a lot darker than I expected. I mean, I expected a mature modern take on a noir but damn. This wasn't a fade-out, more like a hard cut to black.

The art is by far the best part of this piece. The colors are done in a gorgeous watercolor style that contrasts well with the deep black inks of the penmanship. The telltale evidence of digital postproduction irked me-- some pages had illustrations that varied in their default line width, betraying that the panels had been produced individu
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone Needing Yet Another Reminder the "Golden" Age of Hollywood Is an Ironic Term
Shelves: image
I was gifted this volume a while back but put off reading it as I always had library loans on the front burner.

Well, what a chump I was, see? A proper rube, a real square. Because this was GREAT!

For real, Jack!

If you like noir of any variety check this out. I won't say much more apart from the fact some of the art and subject matter is pretty "mature" so don't leave it lying around where your kiddos can grab it, can you dig?
Rod Brown
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book as I read it, but it did not deliver on all the potential and set-up it had, and the ending just fell flat. Great atmosphere goes far, but it cannot cover up a thin sketch of a plot.
Rory Wilding
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Given the many demons within the Hollywood studio system today and fortunately they are currently being confronted, it is shocking that many of those issues go back to the very inception of Hollywood movie-making. From the creative team of Fatale and Kill or be Killed, writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Philips tell a fictional story, set literally seventy years ago and shows us the seedy side of Hollywood during post-war America.

Working as a screenwriter suffering from posttraumatic stress diso
Daniel Sevitt
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-comic
Splashed for the deluxe one-volume edition and it’s a gorgeous object. The story is cobbled together from any number of noir tropes but it kind of holds together until the ending and it has some moments of excellence. Ultimately it suffers from noir’s traditional trouble of style over substance but there was enough there to justify the fancy packaging.
Dávid Novotný
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the most pleasant reads of this year. Great mix of murder mystery and noir detective story set in the 50' Hollywood, where hunt for communists was real. Every page I turned, I was doing so with anticipation of things to come. Hard to write anything else about it, you need to read it and feel it:) ...more
Titus Bird
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010s, image
Noir, pulp and hardboiled crime fiction represent a bit of a gap in my cultural knowledge. For whatever reason, I'm only really familiar with pastiches and homages of these genres – comics like Alias by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, novels like The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon, and films like Brick, The Big Lebowski, Inherent Vice and The Nice Guys. In fact, The Fade Out may be the first straightforward noir work that I've read or watched. Obviously it could be consider ...more
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brubaker and Philips checked pretty much every obligatory ingredient that a supposed "Noir Story" checklist should include - apart from the central sleuth figure, which is a nice and refreshing change (instead we get a cameo from Dashiell Hammett himself, so that's nice). The ending gives a cool spin on the "everything gets resolved eventually" trope as well. ...more
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ed Brubaker writes damn fine noir. This one was still good, though something about the Red Scare/Old Hollywood angle put me off it a bit. Well, that and the (view spoiler)

Writing's still just as good as ever, though.
Don Witzel
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ed Brubaker delivers again in the Hollywood crime mystery . His development of characters and story is fantastic. Plus the research done regarding locations is spot on. If your into crime/noir is is a must. FUN....
Chaunceton Bird
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir-narcotics
Another solid story from one of the best teams in comics.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comix-novel
A soapy pulper that struck me as more melodrama than noir. The seedier and seedier things got the more it reminded me of Harold Robbins rather than any kind of noir. Sean Phillips' fine artwork is a cross between Darwyn Cooke-retro and Wally Wood light and darkness and serves the story rather well. The Fade Out is more like The Bad and Beautiful than Kiss me Deadly. but that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just not the great noir classic some people are calling it. ...more
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brubaker really nails it. Typically, this period of time doesn't do much for me in stories, but that characters and story are so strong it would've worked in any setting. This is just an absolute delight from beginning to end. ...more
So hardboiled it's like a 20-minute egg. The main character is a blackout drunk, but that's the least of his problems. Good story, superb art and color artistry. ...more
This is the second time I've read this story but the first in this fancy deluxe volume. There's some extra content at the back which is a nice addition, but overall it's the same as the individual volumes, just fancier.

Sean Phillips art is really great in this. Well, it's great in everything but there's something about the 1940's aesthetic that suits his style so well.

It's so beautiful and ugly and raw.

Ed Brubaker has always felt like a writer from another era (in a good way). It's like he grew
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
this was probably, alongside The Sleeper, the best Brubaker i've read. ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brubaker and Phillips have done it again!

Not only have they mange to put out a killer series, they also mange to confuse the heck outta me.
I loved the art. They always have the best art or colors in their books. Even the essays in the back are gorgeous (and only come in the issues, which i think they should make a book out of just the essays in the back, they are that good.) however, I always manage to butt heads with the writing. In kill or be killed, I didn't care for the constant jumping ba
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Ed Brubaker (born November 17, 1966) is an Eisner Award-winning American cartoonist and writer. He was born at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.

Brubaker is best known for his work as a comic book writer on such titles as Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Fist, Catwoman, Gotham Central and Uncanny X-Men. In more recent years, he has focused solely on creator-owned titles

Other books in the series

The Fade Out (3 books)
  • The Fade Out, Act One
  • The Fade Out, Act Two
  • The Fade Out, Act Three

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