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    Soliciting Multiversity: The Best of the Rest for June 2017

    By | March 31st, 2017
    Posted in Columns | % Comments

    Hello and welcome to Multiversity’s look at the “Best of the Rest”, where we try to summarize what’s coming your way in the now-available March 2017 Previews catalog from pretty much every other comic publisher. Having already taken a look at what Marvel, Dark Horse, DC, and Image have lined up for us, it’s now time to check out the other 75% of the catalog.

    That said, let’s dive in!

    10. In This Month’s Latest Classic Cartoon Acquisition….

    Cover by Jacob Greenwalt

    I think it’s fitting that a comic publisher called American Mythology Productions put this out. I hope the material can live up the cartoon’s legacy in one way or another, and wipe the taste of that movie out of our mouths.

    “Rocky & Bullwinkle” #1
    Written by Todd Livingston
    Illustrated by Jacob Greenwalt
    Published by American Mythology Productions

    Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat! That staple of Saturday morning cartoon shenanigans, The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show, is back in all its satirical slapsticky joy! The entire misfit cast of Jay Ward’s wonderful series are here – Rocket J. Squirrel, Bullwinkle the Moose, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Dudley Do-Right, and everyone’s favorite Russian hooligans, Boris and Natasha! American Mythology celebrates the return of a one-of-a kind comic book with adventures and high jinx that are fresh and funny while remaining true to the look and format of the classics! The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show comes with five covers – Main by Jacob Greenawalt, Homage by S.L. Gallant, Flying Moose by Galvan, Blank Sketch, and a Retro Animation Retailer Incentive Edition.


    9. How to Relive the ’90s in June

    Cover by Natacha Bustos

    Listen, I could make a bunch of ’90s references and jokes when talking about this, but I’m sure more than enough people will have covered that for me. (Especially those who are huge fans of the movie, rather than someone who casually appreciates it.) Did Clueless need a continuation of any kind? Probably not, but this exists and the creative team isn’t bad. It might conjure all sorts of fond memories or it could be a trainwreck and casual reminder the ’90s were weird as balls. Either way, get ready to fire up that nostalgia!

    Written by Amber Benson & Sarah Kuhn
    Illustrated by Siobhan Keenan
    Published by Boom! Studios

    Your favorite girls from Beverly Hills are back in an all-new adventure! It’s senior year and Cher, Dionne, and Tai find themselves in a bit of a crisis of self… Where are they meant to go, and what are they meant to DO after high school? Luckily they have all year-and each other’s help-to figure it out!


    8. Still Beating

    I’m not sure how I feel about Oni’s marketing department’s tendency to call new arcs “seasons” and then restart the comic numbering at one. You could argue that it’s like a series of miniseries, but these still strike me as being a continuation of one story rather than a bunch of interrelated narratives. I mean, it’s annoying when the corporate superhero companies do it, but I can’t shake the feeling it’s downright detrimental to these smaller titles. In any case, here’s the next arc of “Heartthrob,” which I’m sure is going to be just as pulse-pounding.

    “Heartthrob Season 2” #1
    Written by Christopher Sebela
    Illustrated by Robert Wilson IV and Nick Filardi
    Published by Oni Press

    There must be 50 ways to leave your lover, but none of them include robbing a Fleetwood Mac concert and escaping to Canada with a getaway driver and a group of anarchists. Putting Mercer and her life of crime in the rearview, Callie tries her damnedest to live a normal life, hide out from the FBI and make sense of Canadian currency. As her friends continue pulling crimes and Callie dips her toe back in the dating waters, she’ll find out when you share your heart with someone, breaking up is way harder to do.


    7. The Lumberwick Chronicles

    Cover by Ru Xu
    Continued below

    I think “Lumberjanes” sort of fell apart when Noelle Stevenson left (and it was already starting to show its seams when the original mini ended and it launching into an ongoing, to be honest), but there specials are like a happy visit to an old friend. Holly Black is writing this and the lady knows her mythology inside-out-upside-down.

    “Lumberjanes 2017 Special: Faire & Square”
    Written by Holly Black
    Illustrated by Marina Julia & Gaby Epstein
    Published by Boom! Studios

    The Lumberjanes versus… a dragon?? Featuring Holly Black (Spiderwick Chronicles)!


    6. Brace Yourselves Before You Wreck Yourselves

    Cover by Raúl Treviño

    Look alive, sunshine, because this latest post-apocalyptic adventure starring anarchic adolescents looks like it’s got energy to spare and doesn’t care whether or not you can keep up.

    ”Tinkers of the Wasteland” #1
    Written and Illustrated by Raúl Treviño
    Published by Scout Comics

    Meteorites fell, razing entire cities, reducing civilization to rubble and leaving behind little more than a desolate wasteland. In these badlands, danger is everywhere, and survival is always uncertain, but somewhat less uncertain if you can get your hands on some chickens. Chickens, though, are scarce: they have been voraciously snatched up by a gang lead by a fierce drag queen, who has the impossible task of hoarding all chickens. Also struggling to survive in this post-apocalyptic world is a group of mildly deranged orphans, the Tinkers, who happen upon a mysterious and seemingly indecipherable map. The map gives the location of a secret bunker, one of almost mythical status among the tribes of the Wasteland.


    5. Getting that Old, Dark Feeling

    Cover by Hoyt Silva

    The line about “‘comics-on-comics’ in the way Argo and Hail, Caesar! [serves] Hollywood-on-Hollywood” piqued my interest for this one. I’m also interested to see how Shane Berryhill and Hoyt Silva spin the genre for their own ends. They might be able to say something new simply because they aren’t Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

    “Adventures in Crime” #1
    Written by Shane Berryhill
    Illustrated by Hoyt Silva
    Published by Action Lab

    Golden Age Comics creator Jack Levi places his life in jeopardy when he begins a secret affair with the femme fatale mistress of his mob boss publisher. Adventures in Crime places a noir-action spin on the classic love triangle tale, and serves as “comics-on-comics” the way films like Argo and Hail, Caesar! served as Hollywood-on-Hollywood.


    4. Take a Strong Dose of Ritalin Before Diving In

    Cover by Chris Grine

    Part of the reason I think I’m drawn toward kids’ comics is that they often exhibit a sort of unhinged imaginative quality. There’s an anything goes attitude that finds creators and cartoonists going for broke in an effort to appeal to their audience Not all of it works and sometimes the books come off as too desperate to mimic the ADD-addled mind, but where else could you find robo-Abe Lincolns riding dinosaurs?

    “Time Shifters”
    Written and Illustrated by Chris Grine
    Published by Graphix

    When Luke investigates an eerie blue glow in the woods behind his house, he doesn’t know what he’ll find there. But a scientist, a robot Abraham Lincoln riding a friendly dinosaur, and a sassy ghost were the last things he could have imagined stumbling upon. Now as Luke and his new companions are pursued by a bickering trio of bumbling henchmen who are after the strange device locked to his arm, he’s forced on a crazy, headlong adventure in a parallel dimension! Will he find his courage in time to save the day and get home or will he be trapped in a weird alternate reality forever? Available in softcover and hardcover editions.


    3. Don’t Underestimate the Trumpet Player

    Cover by Roger Ibanez Ugena

    This sounds a little but like Taken with some John Wick added in for good measure. Frankly, I had a difficult time getting through the solicitation without falling into an anxious sweat.

    “Jazz Maynard” #1
    Written by Raule
    Illustrated by Roger Ibanez Ugena
    Published by Magnetic Press

    Jazz Maynard is a trumpeter; he also hides a variety of skills best kept secret. It’s these skills he uses when he discovers his long-lost sister is in the grip of New York sex traffickers. On a mission to her rescue and return her home, a labyrinth of trouble opens up beneath his feet, dropping him into a web of intrigue and danger that most men would not survive. Jazz Maynard is not most men.


    Continued below

    2. Some of the Best Cartooning We’ve Seen

    Cover by Don Rosa

    I’m making a standing order to include any Fantagraphics/Disney collections on this list. Seriously, Rosa and Barks and Gottfredson all need to be in your library.

    “Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Treasure of the Ten Avatars”
    Written and Illustrated by Don Rosa
    Published by Fantagraphics

    This sounds a little but like Taken with some John Wick added in for good measure. Frankly, I had a difficult time getting through the solicitation without falling into an anxious sweat.


    1. Off for Adventure

    Cover by Rebecca Mock

    The first volume of Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock’s historical adventure series, “Compass South,” was charming, enthralling, and overall loads of fun. A perfect summer read. I’m hoping that we see a continuation of the excellently rendered action sequences, grand sets and designs, and deep character dynamics from the first volume here.

    “Four Points: Knife’s Edge”
    Written by Hope Larson
    Illustrated by Rebecca Mock
    Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux

    Twelve-year-old twin adventurers Cleopatra and Alexandra Dodge are reunited with their father and realize that two family heirlooms reveal the location of a treasure that is their birthright. When they set sail with Captain Tarboro on the Almira, they know they’re heading into danger, for the ocean is filled with new and old enemies, including their nemesis, the infamous pirate Felix Worley. But like a coral reef that lurks below the surface of the waves, trouble is brewing between the siblings. Alex is determined to become a sailor, but Cleo – the only girl on the ship – is tired of washing dishes in the galley. In an effort to find her own purpose, she begins studying sword fighting with Tarboro, but neither Alex nor her father approves. Can the twins remain close as they pursue different goals and dreams, or will their growing differences tear the family apart before the treasure can be found?

    Well, that was fun! And let me know what books YOU’RE excited for in the comments section.

    //TAGS | Soliciting Multiversity

    Matthew Garcia

    Matt hails from Colorado. He can be found on Twitter as @MattSG.


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