Easton Newburn (Newburn)

Created by Chip Zdarsky (text) and Jacob Phillips (art)

“Okay, enough’s enough. Who the fuck is this guy?”
— a confused cop

Hoo-boy!

Talk about double-dipping.

Not content with handling the art for his and writer Chris Condon’s stellar crime comic That Texas Blood, a primo slab of hard-boiled Lone Star darkness, Jacob Phillips is tackling the art for Newburn, a bonfide hard-boiled P.I. comic book as well.

Written by Chip Zdarsky, the monthly follows EASTON NEWBURN, an ex-cop turned private investigator on retainer to some very special clients: New York City’s crime families. Utterly without loyalty, Newburn’s an ice-cold go-between, protected by a hands-off policy that allows him to resolve conflicts (and hopefully keep the peace) between various rival factions without interference by any of the involved parties–or the cops.

He’s not exactly winning friends, though–almost everyone distrusts him at one time or another. He’s cold, hard, curt, generally humourless and totally professional. He doesn’t play games, or pick sides–he just does his job. They all view him as a necessary evil. Because nobody–not New York’s finest, not the gangs, not the ordinary Joe on the street–wants a mob war. It’s bad for business.

He favours dark suits and ties, and the streaks of grey in his hair give him a distinguished, gentlemanly air. He’s driven around town in his limo by his personal chauffeur, Henry, and while he’s no spring chicken, he’s not averse to violence to speed things up, and he knows how to handle himself, especially with that retractable batons he carries. He’s still got “pep in (his) step,” according to Henry.

There’s plenty of grit and wit on display here, and a tone-perfect blend big city swagger and surprisingly nuanced characterization, and judging from what I’ve read so far, we’re all in for a wild ride. Keep an eye on this one, folks.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Chip Zdarsky is probably best known for his work on Marvel’s Daredevil, while Phillips is best known–so far–for his work on That Texas Blood and Brutal Dark: The Adventures Of Ezra Cain P.I. The influences are obvious–think Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ epic Criminal. Not sure where Zdarsky got it–maybe he just has great taste in crime comics, but Jacob comes about it more obviously–he’s Sean’s son.

COMICS

  • NEWBURN
    (2021, Image Comics)
    Created by Chip Zdarsky (text) and Jacob Phillips (art)

    • “Carmine’s Apartment” (November 2021, #1)
    • “Everything I Told You Was True” (December 2021, #2)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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