The Amazon Prime greenlight of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips‘ comic series Criminal for TV garnered an even bigger sales boost than the creators had anticipated, it turns out.

Criminal (vol 1) cover, published by Image

A Criminal TV series had quietly been in development for more than a year before Amazon Studios decided to move forward with a full series order reported on January 8 … and this news had a BIG impact on sales of the collections of the original critically acclaimed comic. While a new print run was indeed on the cards, the sales boost came far sooner than expected — with the books reportedly selling out the day after the pickup announcement.

Ed Brubaker in his newsletter over the weekend said:

“…I’ve heard from a ton of people since the Criminal announcement complaining of not being able to find the single trades right now. What happened was we were preparing new printings of the entire series, planning a slow rollout, assuming the real interest in the books would happen closer to the show hitting… but instead the day after the announcement of the Amazon greenlight, all the books we had in stock sold out. So we rushed them back to press immediately, and if they’re not already at the distributors they will be soon.”


“It’s the largest reprint we’ve ever done at one time. Feels a bit insane, honestly. But it’s a good problem to have.”

The Criminal TV series will see Brubaker serve as co-showrunner alongside crime writer Jordan Harper. Phillips will executive produce alongside Brubaker, Harper, Sarah Carbiener, Phillip Barnett, and Legendary Television — with Amazon MGM Studios serving as the studio for the full series.

Criminal is an Eisner-award winning creator-owned series by Brubaker and Phillips, first published under Marvel’s Icon imprint in 2006 before moving to Image. It was the first creator-owned series done by the critically acclaimed, prolific partnership that has yielded other lauded works in the crime noir genre and beyond, including Incognito, Fatale, The Fade Out, Reckless, Pulp, and more. Their newest book — Houses of the Unholy (coming this August) — also promises to be a big departure from last book, Where The Body Was (2023).

‘Houses of the Unholy’ is the next Brubaker-Phillips collaboration, expected August

Brubaker also spoke in his newsletter about Houses of the Unholy:

“Coming off something as small and intimate, and expansive as Where The Body Was, I wanted our swerve to be big and weird this time, and more of a pulp thriller. In some ways Unholy is more in line with the Reckless books, by way of a horror story, I guess. But I’ve probably already said too much.”




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