Tag Archives: steve lieber

The Fix Gets a Whole Bunch of New Printings

Are there really still respectable comic book fans out there not reading The Fix? How is that possible? This series is brought to you by creative superteam Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber and will have readers rolling on the floor in fits of laughter from page one. In order to keep the chuckles flowing, Image Comics will be sending The Fix #1, The Fix #2, and even the The Fix #3, which just hit stores today, back to print. Retailer PSA! It is time to increase your orders in favor of keeping pace with the growing customer interest in the series.

If you’re still not convinced, The Fix is a story of the crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run things—and the sex toy that can bring them all down. Oh, and the hero is a drug-sniffing beagle named Pretzels. Bad people do bad things to each other in this frenetic, outrageous, sometimes off-putting new caper.

In The Fix #2, Mac is injured in the line of duty and Roy seeks the help of another detective with a tough case.

In The Fix #3, Roy moonlights as private security for a superstar actress. Who is Roy? Who is this superstar actress? These are questions that you wouldn’t have if you were just reading this series consistently. Get on the bandwagon and add The Fix to your pull-list already!

The Fix #1, fourth printing (Diamond Code APR168861), The Fix #2, third printing (Diamond Code APR168862), and The Fix #3, second printing (Diamond Code APR168863) will arrive in stores on Wednesday, July 6th.

Review: ‘The Fix’ #3 Goes Down a Darker Rabbit Hole

fix3.2Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber continue to outdo the debauchery and hilarity of The Fix in issue #3. Roy takes centre stage in this issue as film producer and pervert extraordinaire Donovan returns to set Roy on a task to get former child star Elaine (whom Roy is also body guarding) on a film project. Mayhem ensues around a night that is sure to set up quite the storyline for the following issue.

Amongst the energetic, quick-witted script of Nick Spencer, the terrified and exuberant expressions of Roy and Elaina respectively, drawn by Steve Lieber, and the glows of oranges and pinks that filter behind the pills and booze-filled evening by colourist Ryan Hill exists a timely (perhaps timeless) examination of the perils of being famous while young.

Every generation has spawned an array of child stars. Whether it is in the form of a studio concocted singer, individually and/or as a group, or a television sitcom actor/actress, some break out and endure popularity over a longer stretch of time, even breaking away from the innocent, catchphrase television roles or bubblegum radio hits, and some just don’t. Elaina is an example of how obsessed people as fans can get with the celebrity moniker and how this spotlight often shines too bright, too fast. It can be hard to blame these young celebrities for acting out when put into comparison with most people and the kind of things one does as a teenager. Sure, the finger of judgement can be pointed towards parents, guardians and the surroundings these young kids find themselves in but in actuality, a mirror towards the fans and media becomes a more appropriate area to share the blame.

Elaina’s monologue towards the middle of the issue hits it right on the nose, just as the story takes a bit of a darker turn. Just like recent films Amy and Montage of Heck, they are more of a cautionary tale than purely the loss of talent that is put on display (and a bit too much of a dive into the privacy of their lives). There is something inevitable, as Spencer writes, to cause a break down to occur. The non-stop barrage of beckoning these artists to perform and the backlash when requests aren’t made or when fandom’s purity is provoked (relevant) becomes an easier process with the closeness exhibited through the digital age. As much as The Fix is a bit more on the comedic side – with plenty of unexpected, well-placed laugh out loud moments, especially through Lieber’s brilliant comedic timing – this issue taps into something more.

Story: Nick Spencer Artist: Steve Lieber
Colours: Ryan Hill Lettering and Design: Nic J. Shaw
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Review: The Fix #3

The Fix #3Spoiler alert: Roy and Mac have been Hydra all along.

Kidding. Too soon.

Regardless of what’s happening on the Big Two side of life, The Fix #3 provides more of the same snarky humor present in the first two issues. Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber depart from the world of Josh’s Joy Division bluegrass cover group to follow Roy as he carries out his new security detail plan. While the issue is Mac-light, it does provide some unexpected paths for the plot to follow in the coming issues.

So far, each issue has been a direct continuation of the next, making for a cohesive story with a pretty clear goal for the characters. The humor is easily one of the best aspects of the story, due in equal parts to Roy and Mac being their morally bankrupt selves and to the details Lieber sneaks into the art. What sets the story apart from others like it, however, is its political awareness. Roy may act like an idiot much of the time, but he also provides an interesting and insightful social commentary as he goes about his goal of outsmarting a beagle.

As usual, Lieber’s art enhances the wit of the story. The characters’ facial expressions are hilariously expressive and something that readers can instantly relate to. The writing and art mesh seamlessly, playing off of the strengths of the other. Nic J. Shaw‘s lettering and design also helps to ensure that the humor hits with maximum impact. Ryan Hill’s colors are spectacular, and set the tone of the story with a rainbow array of vibrant hues.

The Fix #3 ends with something of a cliffhanger that suggests Roy and Mac may be in over their heads, and while this isn’t a new concept, it also suggests that their problems might be bigger than expected. Spencer and Lieber are a talented team (as indicated by the comic going into second and third reprintings) and The Fix continues to earn its spot as a regular read.

If you can’t get enough of The Fix, be sure to check out Graphic Policy contributor Anthony Spataro’s interview with artist Steve Lieber!

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Steve Lieber Colors: Ryan Hill Design/Lettering: Nic J. Shaw
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Interview with ‘The Fix’ Artist Steve Lieber

lieber1Steve Lieber has been involved with multiple projects alongside a wide array of high quality creators. From Whiteout with Greg Rucka to his other collaboration with The Fix co-creator and writer Nick Spencer in Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Lieber’s expressive, sharp art style stands out and is intrinsic to the variety of comics he has been a part of. His newest title The Fix, with writer Nick Spencer, colourist Ryan Hill, and letterer/designer Nic J. Shaw, is a hilarious and depraved story of two desperate corrupt police officers. Lieber was able to answer some questions via email regarding the multiple ideas around the comic.

Graphic Policy: Though it is still relatively fresh to the comic stands, The Fix has a similar tone to Superior Foes: fun, fast paced, with anti-hero characters but with a darker sense of humour. Was this a direction that you both envisioned early on in the stages to developing The Fix?

Steve Lieber: Absolutely. I think Nick and I knew something really good was happening in our collaboration on Superior Foes. I came into it looking forward to doing all the exciting, inventive things we did at Marvel, while taking advantage of the remarkable creative freedom that we have at Image. We can go a lot darker than we ever could on a corporate-owned franchise. This is a crime story as well as a comedy, and there’s a lot of stuff in our story that isn’t appropriate for kids.

We also have a level of control that Marvel and DC will never give a storyteller. No one is telling us we have to ship twice in the same month, or tie into a cross over, or work around a house-ad stuck in the middle of a story with no regard for narrative flow. We get to make choices that serve the story and the characters, not the marketing department.

fix1As for why anti-heroes, for me it comes down to learning that Nick and I have a knack for them. Some of the funniest people I’ve ever met are irredeemable narcissists. You wouldn’t want to depend on them in a crisis, but they tell great stories, and their lack of any sort of moral compass tends to lead them in interesting directions.

GP: There is definitely something about a well put together anti-hero story that I really love, especially with the kind of buddy-cop vibe that is going on in The Fix as well. There is something political being said here by having main characters Roy and Mac as police officers. Without digging into your intentions, how important is it to you to mirror the current hot societal topics through the comics medium?

SL: Police issues are certainly in the news right now, but I don’t really approach this as topical. The systems that make it easier for a cop to break the law have been with us for as long as we’ve had law enforcement. If we wanted to so archers and men on horseback, we could do a knucklehead criminal-cop comedy about the sheriff of Nottingham.

GP: The keen sense of comedic timing with the panel layouts is really well done. The whole sequence with Donovan in Issue #1 as well as the death by banjo string in Issue #2 come to mind. Steve, are there are any key aspects to your approach to visual storytelling to maintain the energy through the heavy dialogue?

SL: It’s figuring out what’s funny about a scene. Where are the laughs? Where’s the pain? With Donovan’s burger story, the dialogue Nick wrote was so great, so over-the-top, that I could underplay Roy’s reactions. It was fun taking a guy who has been just monstrously cocky throughout the comic and turning him into a Bob Newhart character, barely coping with an awful social situation he can’t escape.

If I have a key approach to making the humor work visually, it’s that I try to never, ever let a flashy or impressive drawing upstage the joke. This was hard. In superhero comics, the prevailing aesthetic is creating big, exciting images. Flipping through the comic is like watching the trailer for a Hollywood blockbuster. Artists are rewarded for creating eye-catching, show-stopper pages. If I did that on The Fix, the pacing would be ruined, the jokes would fall flat, and our readers would be thinking “Wow, Steve can really draw.” rather than “Wow, Roy is complete moral garbage.”

lieber2GP: Can you talk a bit on working alongside colourist Ryan Hill? His colours provide a very warm, atmospheric touch.

SL: I love working with Ryan. His color choices are gorgeous, and he’s 100% focused on telling the story. Every choice he makes is about evoking the appropriate mood, getting the minutiae right, and creating a hierarchy of focus that guides the reader’s eye correctly. It’s a tough to strike the balance between aesthetic and practical considerations, but Ryan nails it every time.

Color has changed significantly in comics in the 25 years since I got out of comic-book art school. My teachers taught me that drawing for color meant drawing so that poorly-chosen color couldn’t screw things up too badly. Things have gotten a lot better since then. Working with someone as good as Ryan, my job is to leave him plenty of room to make his own choices, and let his color take its place as an integral part of our storytelling.

GP: I am a bit leery with all of the comic books being adapted to film nowadays. Some are rather well done and stay true to the characters. The Fix to me has a very Shane Black vibe. How do you feel about the influx of these adaptations and would you be open to having some of your respective work make this transition?

SL: The Fix could be a great movie or tv series, but I honestly try not to think about that stuff at all. My entire focus is on making the best comic book I can, and I’m already doing that right now, with a supportive publisher and three wildly talented collaborators.

GP: What are your thoughts on Battlebots?

SL: Jizzmotron’s unstoppable this year.

The first two issues of The Fix are available now from Image Comics, with the first issue going into a third printing and the second going into a second printing. The third issue is out June 8th.

Review: The Fix #2

CoverGood news for people who love reading comics about bad people: The Fix #2 is out, and it’s just as great as the first issue.

Writer Nick Spencer keeps up the same witty rapport and artist Steve Lieber adds in a healthy dose of visual humor as the story picks up right where #1 left off. Roy and Mac work toward getting past Pretzels, the ferocious (adorable) beagle (protagonist) that stands between them and getting paid. Meanwhile, readers learn a little more about the kombucha and kale loving Josh, as well as the other members of the department.

As with Superior Foes of Spider-Man, the main characters–not quite protagonists–are the kind of idiots you can’t help but root for. Roy and Mac may be terrible people, but they have (some) morals, and while their aforementioned idiot qualities have gotten them into some hot water with a bluegrass-loving stay-at-home dad, it doesn’t make the story hard to read. Rather, both the characters and story are, above all, smart. This particular brand of cleverness from Spencer and Lieber isn’t unexpected, and they use it to maximum efficiency with Roy and Mac, whose smarts are used to keep readers guessing about what will happen next.

Lieber’s art is a wonderful counterpoint to the narrative, often helping to successfully convey the wit of the story, which isn’t an easy task. The visual humor is just as hilarious as the textual humor, one thing that makes the story work so well. The facial expressions and body language of the characters are spot on, setting a lighthearted tone for a comic about felons. Ryan Hill nails the colors, and Nic J. Shaw’s lettering and design ensure that all jokes are told in the most humorous way possible. 

The Fix hasn’t lost any of its hilarity as it delves deeper into the story, and is absolutely worth a pull list spot. If you didn’t get a chance last month, both issues #1 and #2 are worth checking out–and the #1 second printing variant now features none other than the heroic Pretzels.

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Steve Lieber Colors: Ryan Hill Lettering: Nic J. Shaw
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Listen to Steve Lieber Talk The Fix with Graphic Policy Radio on Demand

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher

This Monday Graphic Policy Radio welcomed first time guest Steve Lieber to talk about his comic career and his current comic series The Fix published by Image Comics. Released last Wednesday, The Fix has sold out and is going back to print. The series is a story of “crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run things – and the sex toy that can bring them all down.” Lieber joined hosts Brett and Elana to discuss the new series which has been praised by fans and critics alike.

Steve Lieber studied art at the Joe Kubert School. His comics have been published by DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, Valiant and many other publishers, but he’s best known for his work on Whiteout, a graphic novel adapted as a feature film, and Superior Foes of Spider-Man, a cult favorite published by Marvel. His current project is The Fix at Image comics.

His various projects have received nine Eisner Award nominations, and he won the Eisner for Best Limited Series for Whiteout Volume 2: Melt. Steve’s a founding member of Periscope Studio, the largest studio of comic book artists in North America. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Sara Ryan.

Steve Lieber Talks The Fix with Graphic Policy Radio LIVE this Monday

The Fix #1This Monday Graphic Policy Radio welcomes first time guest Steve Lieber to talk about his comic career and his current comic series The Fix published by Image Comics. Released last Wednesday, The Fix has sold out and is going back to print. The series is a story of “crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run things – and the sex toy that can bring them all down.” Lieber will join hosts Brett and Elana to discuss the new series which has been praised by fans and critics alike.

The show airs LIVE this Monday at 10pm ET.

Steve Lieber studied art at the Joe Kubert School. His comics have been published by DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, Valiant and many other publishers, but he’s best known for his work on Whiteout, a graphic novel adapted as a feature film, and Superior Foes of Spider-Man, a cult favorite published by Marvel. His current project is The Fix at Image comics.

His various projects have received nine Eisner Award nominations, and he won the Eisner for Best Limited Series for Whiteout Volume 2: Melt. Steve’s a founding member of Periscope Studio, the largest studio of comic book artists in North America. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Sara Ryan.

We want to hear from you! Tweet us your questions @graphicpolicy.

Listen to the show LIVE tonight.

Fans can’t get enough of The Fix. Second Printing Announced.

Superior Foes of Spider-man creative duo Steve Lieber and Nick Spencer re-teamed for The Fix and hooked readers instantly with their laugh-out-loud crime comic. Image Comics is pleased to announce that The Fix #1 will be sent back to print in order to keep up with customer demand.

The Fix is a story of the crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run things—and the sex toy that can bring them all down. Oh, and the hero is a drug-sniffing beagle named Pretzels. Bad people do bad things to each other in this frenetic, outrageous, sometimes off-putting new caper.

The comic remains available for purchase across all digital platforms. The second printing and The Fix #2 will arrive in stores on Wednesday, May 11th.

the Fix #1

Review: The Fix #1

the Fix #1Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber’s new comic, a crime story called The Fix, has already been receiving rave reviews all over the internet, and deservedly so. Spencer and Lieber are well known for their work on the sleeper hit Superior Foes of Spider-Man, which also highlighted the team’s skill with creating a humor book, though at a distinctly more PG-13 level.

The Fix’s pilot issue is forty pages of quick wit and satirical humor. It’s a twist on the buddy cop trope, featuring two bumbling protagonists or, more appropriately, main characters who don’t solve crimes, they commit them. The first issue has a lot to offer in terms of story, with significant exposition through both dialogue and art. This serves to quickly build both the story and the main character, Roy, in a way that doesn’t bog down the plot or get caught in itself.

The pages are dialogue-heavy, but Spencer’s writing is smart and economical, which allows the plot to progress without the text being at all boring or burdensome to read. It also helps that the dialogue in several places is laugh-out-loud funny, and it’s accompanied by action-packed panels as a counterpoint.

This comic could have easily been skewed toward a gritty tone, and while it is an irreverent story with unhinged characters, it’s also wildly entertaining. The Fix pokes fun at the institutions at the heart of the story, and the humor toes the line of “too far,” but without making crappy jokes at others’ expense. It is undoubtedly its own story, but one that mixes elements of Archer with classic crime comedies and the wit of Stephen Colbert. Fans of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals will likely enjoy the offbeat and inappropriate humor of The Fix.

Steve Lieber’s art is perfect for the story, capturing each ridiculous scene with some truly well-thought details that add yet another element of humor. (Advice: Focus particularly on the self-help books. Get out a magnifying glass if necessary.) Ryan Hill’s colors work perfectly with the art and complement the story well. The visual aspects of the comic are every bit as good as the story, and it all makes for a strong first issue.

With one conflict already set up and its main characters established, there’s no saying where The Fix will go next. It’s a fast, fun, hilarious read that’s already on par with other humor books. Make room on your pull list, because The Fix deserves a spot.

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Steve Lieber
Story: 9.0
Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

The Fix—Perfect for crime genre lovers

The Fix #1The Eisner-award nominated team of bestselling writer Nick Spencer and artist Steve Lieber are in cahoots again for an all-new, ongoing crime series, The Fix, which will be launching from Image Comics this April.

The Fix is a story of the crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run Los Angeles—and the sex toy that can bring them all down. Oh, and the hero is a drug-sniffing beagle named Pretzels. Bad people do bad things to each other in this frenetic, outrageous, sometimes off-putting new caper that gives nod to classic crime comics like Criminal and 100 Bullets.

The Fix #1 (Diamond Code FEB160465) will hit comic book stores on Wednesday, April 6th. The final order cutoff deadline for comic book retailers is Monday, March 14th.

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