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    Soliciting Multiversity: The Best of the Rest for January 2017

    By | October 31st, 2016
    Posted in Columns | % Comments

    Hello and welcome to Multiversity’s look at the “Best of the Rest” of what’s coming your way in the now-available November 2016 Previews catalog. Having already taken a look at what Marvel, Dark Horse, DC, and Image have lined up for us, it’s now time to consolidate the entire rest of the catalogue into one convenient list!

    And also not let it be comprised only of the “Bone” and “Little Nemo in Slumberland” reprints.

    That said, let’s dive in:

    10. Adapting a Classic

    Octavia Butler is a frequently unsung giant in the world of science fiction, and sources seem to point toward Kindred being her magnum opus. Now Damian Duffy and John Jennings are adapting it for comics. Jennings, in particular, has a style that has a little of hip-hop, a little of street art, and a little bit of Jack Kirby. Meaning, it should fit perfectly for this story about time travel and slavery.

    Written by Octavia Butler and Damian Duffy
    Illustrated by John Jennings
    Published by Abrams Comicarts

    A graphic-novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s groundbreaking science-fiction classic offers an unflinching look at slavery, race, and the role of women in society. Butler’s most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre-Civil War South. As she time-travels between worlds, one in which she is a free woman and one where she is part of her own complicated familial history on a southern plantation, she becomes frighteningly entangled in the lives of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of Dana’s own ancestors, and the many people who are enslaved by him.

    9. Get Your History On

    Comics and history, the history of comics in comic-form! This sounds intriguing. Kasman’s also a veteran of the industry and I’m sure he can offer an interesting perspective on this time period.

    Written and Illustrated by Ron Kasman
    Published by Caliber Entertainment

    July 4, 1971. Five naive young men hit New York for love, sex, art, and comic books. What they encounter is the pivotal time when comics change from a business to an art form and the group meet artist Allan Caldwell, blacklisted for his testimony to Congress which destroyed major comic publishers.

    8. What the What

    Joan Cornellá’s comic strips are weird, surreal, and definitely running on their own wave length. Fantagraphics is putting out another collection of these things and ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ it looks cool.

    Written and Illustrated by Joan Cornellá
    Published by Fantagraphics

    Following the success of Joan Cornellà’s first book, the viciously funny Mox Nox, “Zonzo” continues the tradition with 50 all-new strips of smiling psychopaths (human and anthropomorphic) and (often literal) side-splitting farce. Cornellà’s humor mixes the absurdist comedy of Michael Kupperman with transgressive, political incorrectness.

    7. Bond’s Bestie Gets His Due

    Fueled by the success of their James Bond line, it’s probably not a surprise that Dynamite’s going for a spinoff starring Bond’s bestie, Felix Leiter. The guy doesn’t look very much like Jeffrey Wright, but I guess that’s all right.

    Written by James Robinson
    Illustrated by Aaron Campbell
    Published by Dynamite Entertainment

    From superstar creative team James Robinson (Starman, Red Sonja) and Aaron Campbell (The Shadow, Uncanny) comes the Bond spin-off highlighting 007’s American counterpart! Felix Leiter finds himself in Japan, tracking down a beautiful, Russian spy from his past. But when the mission takes a turn for the worse, he will discover that there are more deadly schemes afoot in Tokyo and beyond!

    6. What “Another Castle” Should Have Been?

    You can’t argue that Boom! doesn’t know their audience. Even if not every series turns out too well, it’s great there’s a publisher willing to produce material for people who come mainly from the cartoon or manga world. Or who want something more progressive and welcoming with their comics. So does “Ladycastle” #1 sound like it’s hitting the Boom! MO? Tough women? Check. Fantasy setting? Check. Probably a funny and emotional journey? Okay, can’t really tell that yet, but judging from the creators and publisher, that’s also probably a check.

    Continued below

    Written by Delilah S. Dawson
    Illustrated by Ashley A. Woods
    Published by Boom! Studios

    When King Mancastle and his mighty vassals ride off on crusade, the women left behind are not at all put out-that’s a lot less armor polishing for them to do. Of course, when the men get themselves eaten by a dragon and leave a curse that attracts monsters to the castle…well, the women take umbrage with that. Now the blacksmith’s wife Merinor is King, Princess Aeve is the Captain, and the only remaining (and least capable) knight Sir Riddick is tasked with teaching the ladies of the castle how to fight, defend, build, and do all manner of noisy things the men had been doing while the women assumed they were just drunk. Novelist Delilah S. Dawson (Star Wars: The Perfect Weapon, As Wicked as She Wants, Wake of Vultures) brings her first original series to comics, and is joined by breakthrough illustrator Ashley A. Woods (Niobe: She Is Life) for a rollicking fantasy adventure featuring women reclaiming their lives on their terms.

    5. Your Sides Will Split, Your Feels Will Erupt

    Fans of “Giant Days” (raises hand) will know that John Allison is one funny dude. He also understands his characters, can juggle a large cast, and tune into a past time without giving in too much to nostalgia. Oni’s collecting a bunch of his comics in an easy-to-access format, so you should easily be able to access this.

    Written and Illustrated by John Allison
    Published by Oni Press

    The first volume of the beloved Bad Machinery series, now at a new size and $10 introductory price! The Case of the Team Spirit introduces readers to Jack, Linton, Sonny, Shauna, Charlotte, and Mildred: six kids navigating the treacherous waters of school and adolescence while also exploring the strange mysteries that abound in their peculiar English town of Tackleford. Jack, Linton, and Sonny look for cures to their football club’s unexplainable woes, while Shauna, Charlotte, and Mildred try to find a way for compassion and justice to triumph in the face of die-hard sports fanaticism. But all of them should probably be more concerned with keeping on the good side of their history teacher, Mr. Bough. That is, if he has a good side…

    4. Some Homework

    Of course, we’re all more than a little excited for The CW’s Riverdale, in no small part to see what they’re planning to do with the material. (Also because the kid they got to play Archie can just sit on my face.) Anyway, Archie Comics is more than a little aware of this. So here’s this 48-page primer.

    Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
    Illustrated by Alitha Martinez
    Published by Archie Comics

    A must-have one-shot! The perfect primer for the CW Riverdale series! Learn the secrets and hidden tales from the summer before the eternal love-triangle begins in this special issue, which features four short stories focusing on the major players and events in the Riverdale series: Spend some time at Archie’s summer construction job and learn how it leads him to a fateful encounter with the alluring music teacher, Ms. Grundy. Discover the truth about Betty’s Los Angeles romance. Find out more about Veronica’s mysterious life in New York, before the shocking event that would send her family scrambling. And meanwhile, there’s Jughead, on the fringes of Riverdale, a witness to the terrible event that sets everything in motion: A tragedy that befalls Jason Blossom. You dare not miss this special commemorative issue in advance of the upcoming ongoing Riverdale series, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and the writers of the CW Riverdale series with stunning art by Alitha Martinez!

    3. Francavilla + The Spirit = Gold

    Giving Francesco Francavilla a Spirit story is inspired a concept as giving Darwyn Cooke a Spirit story. (RIP.) This means we’ll probably never see The Black Beetle again, but this inaugural issue of a five-issue miniseries would probably cover the same ground anyway.

    Written and Illustrated by Francesco Francavilla
    Published by Dynamite Entertainment

    A series of unexpected disappearances and deaths hit Central City. Initially these cases seem purely unrelated: no apparent connection between the victims makes it easy for the police to just file them as runaways or natural deaths. But when someone close to Ebony White disappears, The Spirit is on the case! From the mind of writer/artist & Eisner winner Francesco Francavilla, comes a thrilling tale of The Spirit that promises to tingle your spines.

    Continued below

    2. Special Delivery

    Frankly Scholastic — often through their Graphix imprint — puts out some of the most exciting and imaginative comics on stands today. Whether it’s historical or fantastic or a mixture of both, there’s something to admire in almost all their titles.

    Written and Illustrated by Ru Xu
    Published by Scholastic

    A gorgeous, provocative debut graphic novel about the power of friendship and finding the courage to be one’s true self. Blue is an orphan who disguises herself as a newsboy. There’s a war going on, and girls are expected to help the struggling economy by selling cookies. But Blue loves living and working at the Bugle, the only paper in town that tells the truth. And what’s printed in the newspapers now matters more than ever. But Blue struggles with her secret, and worries that if her friends and adopted family at the Bugle find out she’s a girl, she’ll lose everything and everyone she cares about. And when she meets and befriends Crow, a boy who is also not what he seems, together they seek the freedom to be their true selves – and to save each other.

    1. Nothing Dull About It

    Part of the reason Adventure Time has been so exciting, daring, and visually interesting was because Pendleton Ward recruited from the alt/web/indie/underground comics crowd to help bring the show to life. This book comes from Andy Ristaino and frankly, it had my interest right there. And then I read the solicit and quickly filled out that Diamond order form.

    Written and Illustrated by Andrew Ristaino
    Published by Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics

    From the lead character designer of Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time! “Something born of extraordinary circumstances tends to allow for more incredible circumstances to happen,” says creator Andy Ristaino of his immensely original comic book magnum opus, “Life of A Fetus”, in which a fetus, tired of its surroundings, decides to make an early exit. Everyone is after the little fetus-lad, aliens, mad truckers, babysitters with jet packs, men in black, crazed monsters, masked wrestlers, and of course the little fetus’ mother.

    As you may have noticed, Greg has decided to move on from the Soliciting Multiversity column. The back half of the Previews catalogue offers a wealth of material to look forward to, and I’m excited to share some of the stuff I find interesting as I take it over. I’m also interested in hearing what you’re looking forward to, so please make sure to leave your own recommendations 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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