Hello and welcome to Multiversity’s look at the “Best of the Rest”, where we try to find ten spotlight items in the now-available December 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 check out the other 75% of the catalog.
That said, let’s dive in!
10. Gay Space Marines
Joe Haldeman’s 1974 science fiction novel was one of those progressive stories that was progressive for 1974. A military-set adventure, the story finds our protagonist assigned to a unit made up exclusively of homosexual soldiers (to keep the population down and to inspire a strong camaraderie and because we’re a fierce group). They don’t trust him because a.) he’s straight and b.) he’s from millions of light-years away. It’s an interesting book, and I’m curious to see how Marvano’s going to bring it to life in comic format. If nothing else, it’s always great to see 21st century tricked out warriors using medieval weapons.
”Forever War” #1
Written by Joe Haldeman
Illustrated by Marvano
Published by Titan Comics
The visionary Hugo and Nebula Award-winning SF tale by Joe Haldeman is beautifully realised in full color by the legendary artist Marvano. An epic SF war story spanning space and time, The Forever War explores one soldier’s experience caught up in the brutal machinery of a war that reaches across the stars.
9. A Fistful of Dollars but with Demons
Mike Carey is fresh off making a huge splash in the prose-novel world (The Girl With All the Gifts, which I hear is great, but it’s about zombies so I probably won’t ever read it) but, let’s face it, he’s best at writing comics (“The Unwritten”, yo). This honestly sounds like an arc of Angel or Yojimbo/A Fistful of Dollars but with demons. But with the team involved, it might be worth a look.
”Darkness Visible” #1
Written by Mike Carey & Arvind Ethan David
Illustrated by Brendan Cahill
Published by IDW Publishing
From bestselling author and screenwriter Mike Carey (Unwritten, Lucifer, Girl with All the Gifts) and Arvind Ethan David (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) comes an all-new, original world of darkness and demons.
When the demons came, humanity reluctantly learned to share the world with another sentient race. Eighty years later, this uneasy co-existence has spawned an endless terrorist conflict. Detective Daniel Aston, charged with being the thin blue line between the two sides, is tested to the limit when a demon sets up house inside his soul. But to save his daughter, he’ll pay any price-including genocide.
8. Causing a Split
Set in a small border town, “Fissure” finds a pregnant woman dealing with an earthquake that tears the ground apart. They’re set on the run as some “malevolent forces” comes at them from the depths. It looks more like a crime comic than a paranormal horror story, but I’m digging the concept and even the preview reads pretty intensely.
Written by Tim Daniel
Illustrated by Patricio Delpeche
Published by Vault Comics
El Sueño, Texas was a single street town withering under the shadow of the Mexico-U.S. Barrier. Then the pavement split, and a massive crack spread from one end to the other, rapidly swallowing El Sueño whole. Young couple Avery Lee Olmos and Hark Wright fight to escape the mysterious sinkhole and the malevolent force that beckons from its depths.
7. What the What–
People: I’ve seen a bit of this book and it is trippy. If you’re into weirder, more challenging comics, or you want to see what happens when someone starts pressing against the medium, this is definitely something you want to check out. From the looks of it, this is the type of book you’ll finish and go, “What in the ever-loving hell was that?” but it will stick around in your mind for a long long time.
Written and Illustrated by Max Andersson
Published by Fantagraphics
A new German Expressionist-influenced graphic novel from the author of Pixy and Bosnian Flat Dog where nothing is as it seems. A man and his girlfriend go to visit his family, only to find their home destroyed and his father Frankensteining his siblings. Based on the author’s dreams, The Excavation’s surreal verisimilitude recalls cult films like The Forbidden Zone and Eraserhead and reads like a collaboration between Gary Panter and Edvard Munch.
6. Revisiting a Legend
This sounds like an expanded version of one of Sam Beck’s older comics. Adapted from an Ovid story, it follows Cadmus as he goes to rescue his sister Europa. Beck’s style is strong and well-suited for the material, with her expansive landscapes, terrifying monsters, and sense of pace.
Written and Illustrated by Sam Beck
Published by Antarctic Press
Antarctic Press presents a true tale for the ages, a gorgeous retelling of a classic Greek myth. When his sister Europa is kidnapped from his home of Phoenicia, Cadmus is sent by his father to retrieve her. Unable to find her yet forbidden to return without her, his fortunes seem to turn when an oracle reveals how he shall sow the first seeds of a mighty city of his own!
5. Buckle Your Seat Belts, Strap on Your Safety Harness
Ever since Jess touched on this book earlier this year, I’ve been wanting to read it. Fast cars? Vampires? Insane action sequences? Dude, sign me the fuck up. It’s all collected here and we don’t have to go dig through the remainder bin for “Heavy Metal” magazines, so that’s an even better thing.
Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Jamal Campbell
Published by Heavy Metal Magazine
A planet full of vampires, a soldier from space, a girl named Weep, and one badass mech suit sent from a distant planet with a little kid for a president. What the hell is going on in this book? Find out as all five issues of this critically acclaimed mini-series are collected for the first time along with never-before-seen concepts and designs from Dylan Burnett, a cover gallery, and exclusive excerpts from the script. #DeathBeforeUndead
4. Fight the Future
Now, more than ever, it’s important to stoke the fires of rebellion and make fight the system. These are dark times, there’s no denying. And if we’re teaching kids through art not to be complacent and conformist, there might be some hope for the future.
Written by Adam Rapp
Illustrated by Michael Cavallaro
Published by First Second
In a hyperkinetic future, the ultimate act of rebellion is simply taking a deep breath and slowing down. In a near-future dystopia where life goes a mile a minute and the populace is kept in a hyper-stimulated haze, teenaged Angela is the only person in her family who seems to think this isn’t a perfectly reasonable way to live. Soon she finds herself recruited into a resistance movement, where the key to rebellion is taking things slow. In their secret underground hideout, Angela and her new friends create a life unplugged from the perpetually moving culture. Can they free the rest of the world before the powers that be shut down their utopian experiment?
3. Admire the Masters
Of course this is going to be on here. Even if you go into this totally blind, with hardly any previous knowledge of the history before it (and oh my God is there history to “Love and Rockets”), you still have to sit back and simply admire how Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez approach the page.
”Love and Rockets Magazine” #2
Written and Illustrated by Los Bros Hernandez
Published by Fantagraphics
The second issue of Love and Rockets picks right up from Issue #1! Over on Jaime’s side, it’s La Llorona’s turn to hit the stage at the punk rock reunion and the Hellmets are closing in on Princess Animus. Is Hopey ready? Is Isla ready? Are you ready? On Gilbert’s side, Fritz and her twin daughters meet, making Fritz crazier than ever, while Pipo and her new squeeze visit the mysterious Dr. Emil in prison in an effort to learn just what his secret cosmetic treatment actually is…
2. A Great Comic Transitions to Print
I read “Heathen” when Alterici originally distributed it online, so I’m particularly excited to see it receiving a print release from a larger publisher. It’s about lesbian Vikings, but with the action, the art, and the mythmaking it becomes something even bigger and better.Continued below
Written and Illustrated by Natasha Alterici
Published by Vault Comics
Aydis is a viking, a warrior, an outcast, and a self-proclaimed heathen. Aydis is friend to the talking horse Saga, rescuer of the immortal Valkyrie Brynhild, and battler of demons and fantastic monsters. Aydis is a woman. Born into a time of warfare, suffering, and subjugation of women, she is on a mission to end the oppressive reign of the god-king Odin.
1. Believe in Steven
No doubt that Boom! has hit a goldmine with their Cartoon Network license. They’ve produced some legit great comics thanks to them scavenging the independent/online world for creators. I mean, for their new Steven Universe ongoing, they tapped Melanie Gillman! The creator of “As the Crow Flies”! Katy Farina, who’s worked with the company on “Gumball” in the past, is contributing to the art. And this sounds more in line with the miniseries, “Steven Universe & the Crystal Gems” than the ill-delivered original “Steven Universe” ongoing comic. Literally, I clapped a bit when I saw Gillman’s name on the announcement.
”Steven Universe Ongoing” #1
Written by Melanie Gillman
Illustrated by Katy Farina
Published by Boom! Studios
We’re bringing Steven Universe back to comic books with more Steven, more gems, and more of the characters we all love in an all-new ongoing series!
Writer Melanie Gillman (As the Crow Flies) and artist Katy Farina (The Amazing World of Gumball) are teaming up for the start of a new adventure for the entire gang.
Based on Cartoon Network’s Emmy-nominated series, created by The New York Times best-selling author Rebecca Sugar, Steven Universe follows Steven, the “little brother” to a team of magical guardians of humanity-the Crystal Gems. The show is currently in its fourth season and has earned millions of fans of all ages worldwide.
o In this kickoff issue, Steven, Lapis, and Peridot rescue a baby songbird on the ground outside the barn and work together to reunite it with its mother.
Well, that was fun! And let me know what books you’re excited for in the comments below.