Hello and welcome to Multiversity’s look at the “Best of the Rest,” where we try to summarize what’s coming your way from pretty much every other comic publisher apart from Marvel, Dark Horse, DC, and Image for July 2019.
Get your pull lists ready because it’s time to see all the other stuff going on in comics.
10. By Odin’s Beard
Simonson ranks among the best for this high fantasy sort of comics work. The other “Ragnarok” stuff has been messy but impressive in its ambition. Expect this to continue that trend.
Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim #1
Written and Illustrated by Walter Simonson
Published by IDW Publishing
In the end, the gods gathered together and met their foes on the Battle Plain of Vigrid. There, so the stories tell, the gods and their great enemies slaughtered each other, the stars fell from the sky, Midgard itself sank into the all-encompassing ocean, and the Nine worlds were destroyed. In this issue, Thor hears a voice out of the past and learns that not all the old stories are true, and that the path before him now leads to Helheim, the land of the Dead. Walter Simonson, legendary creator of Star Slammers, Manhunter and the Alien film adaptation (with Archie Goodwin), and the definitive version (after Stan and Jack) of Marvel’s Thor, presents the next thrilling chapter of his own post-Ragnarok Thor saga!
9. Born Again Or
Russell’s work is often snide and sassy and ridiculously entertaining. He’s made a real name for himself exploring social themes with legendary comic characters. Now, with Richard Pace, he sets his sight on religion and faith, I guess. It’s a concept meant to shock but I guess we’ll have to wait to see if it also has any heart.
Second Coming #1
Written by Mark Russell
Illustrated by Richard Pace
Published by Ahoy Comics
AHOY is proud to present-for the first time anywhere-the series everyone’s talking about, by award-winning writer Mark Russell (Snagglepuss, The Flintstones) and artist Richard Pace (Pitt, New Warriors)! God commands Earth’s mightiest super-hero, Sunstar, to accept Jesus as his roommate and teach him how to use power in a… more powerful way. Jesus, shocked at the way humans have twisted his message over two millennia, vows to straighten them out. This deluxe first issue features 30 pages of story!
8. Quite an Experience to Live in Fear
Hopefully this comic is more Blade Runner and those animated shorts than Blade Runner 2049.
Blade Runner 2019 #1
Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Illustrated by Andres Guinaldo
Published by Titan Comics
In the neo-noir city of Los Angeles, 2019, Ash, a veteran Blade Runner, is grappling with a new case: a billionaire’s wife and child, apparently kidnapped by Replicants for dark purposes… An all-new ongoing comic series from the pen of Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Michael Green (Blade Runner 2049, Logan, American Gods), with longtime co-writer Mike Johnson (Batman/Superman, Supergirl, Star Trek), illustrated by Andres Guinaldo (Justice League Dark, Captain America). The first comic to tell original, in-canon stories set in the Blade Runner universe!
7. There’s Nothing Wrong with Being Scared, as Long as You Don’t Let It Change Who You Are
This sounds like prime First Second real estate. It’s probably gorgeously illustrated and heart-wrenching for the people it needs to be heart-wrenching for.
Written by Vera Greentea
Illustrated by Yana Bogatch
Published by First Second
Bucky Orson is a bit gloomy, but who isn’t at fifteen? His best friend left him to hang out with way cooler friends, his cop dad is always in his business, and he lives in Blackwell, a town where all the girls are witches. But when his little sister is kidnapped because of her extraordinary power, Bucky has to get out of his own head and go on a strange journey to investigate the small town that gives him so much grief. And in the process he uncovers the town’s painful history and a conspiracy that will change it forever. Beautiful, spooky, and utterly enchanting, Grimoire Noir is a magical coming-of-age story of overcoming your limits to protect those dear to you.
6. Go Beyond
For this book, Vault promises a fantasy adventure that’s bigger and grander than something you typically see in comics. All sorts of influences are going into this one. Hopefully it’s a sight to behold.
Sera and The Royal Stars #1
Written by Jon Tsuei
Illustrated by Audrey Mok
Published by Vault Comics
Civil war rages in the Empire of Parsa, and famine has struck. As the seasons refuse to turn, Princess Sera receives a vision from the deity Mitra telling her to find the Royal Stars and restore them to the heavens. Despite her kingdom and her troops’ need of her command, Sera embarks on a quest to find the fallen stars-now trapped on earth-and save her people from dearth and death.
5. Down Down Down
Here’s this month’s pick for the deeply personal, wonderfully illustrated memoir of abuse and trauma. There’s an empathy and connection cartoonists can get out of these. I think the editors at Drawn & Quarterly are among the best at pushing their cartoonists to tap into those emotions.
King of King Court
Written and Illustrated by Travis Dandro
Published by Drawn & Quarterly
From a child’s-eye view, Travis Dandro recounts growing up with a drug-addicted birth father, alcoholic step-dad, and overwhelmed mother. As a kid, Dandro would temper the tension of his every day with flights of fancy, finding refuge in toys and animals and insects rather than the unpredictable adults around him. King of King Court is a revelatory autobiography that examines trauma, addiction, and familial relations in a unique and sensitive way.
4. One Woman and a Ghost
Just because it appears sitcom ready, doesn’t mean it won’t be clever or fun to read.
Ghosted in LA #1
Written by Sina Grace
Illustrated by Siobhan Keenan
Published by BOOM! Studios
In Los Angeles, finding an apartment is killer-unless you live with the dead. Rycroft Manor may be old. It may be abandoned. It may even be haunted. But Daphne Walters doesn’t care about any of that-it has a pool and the rent is free. New to LA, coming off of a bad breakup and having a pretty terrible week, Daphne might need to crash on this haunted couch for a while, but having undead roommates might be more than she bargained for! Will the dead be able to help Daphne find the life she’s been missing in the big city? From GLAAD Award-nominated Sina Grace (Iceman) and illustrator Siobhan Keenan (Clueless, Jem and the Holograms) comes a story about learning how to make friends, find love, and live to the fullest with a little help from some friends whose lives didn’t end at death.
3. So Kwaii
Cute things doing horrible deeds makes for a great time, anytime.
We Are Here Forever
Written and Illustrated by Michelle Gish
Published by Quirk Books
In this post-apocalyptic comedy, it’s survival of the cutest! After the most adorable apocalypse ever, the human race has vanished from the earth, replaced cute, innocent, playful purple creatures called the Puramus. In this hilarious and epic graphic novel, short interlocking stories follow the purple pals as they explore their new home, form a mini-monarchy, and develop a modern society on par with 21st-century humans. A final act pulls us across time and space in the search for clues to the origins of the Puramus. Along the way, humor and intrigue abound: Can King defend his village when nobody understands what war is? Will Jingle work up the nerve to read her poetry at open mic night? Will Puff Puff ever stop floating?
2. Lil Dollinks
How great was George Herriman? How influential was “Krazy Kat?” How much did it sing in full color? The answer to all these questions is immensely and this huge, expensive archival edition will surely help readers understand that.
George Herriman’s Krazy Kat: The Complete Color Sundays 1935-1944
Written and Illustrated by George Herriman
Published by Taschen America
A color facsimile of the complete Sunday color pages of George Herriman’s Krazy Kat from 1935-44. One of the first comics to be considered a work of art, Krazy Kat delights with its detailed characterization and visual/verbal creativity alongside the slapstick shenanigans between Krazy and Ignatz the mouse. This volume features a 100-page illustrated introduction by Alexander Braun.
1. The Ink and Paint Club
Jean-Baptiste Bourgois’s comic is a shapely exploration, a crazy piece of design, and a piece of pure expression. An art comic to the extreme, it’s still fascinating to watch what he can do with one line, one gesture.
Written and Illustrated by Jean-Baptiste Bourgois
Published by Fantagraphics
In Paper Peril, our protagonist braves a whimsical world of sinuous shapes and scribbly ink lines in his quest to become an artist. Drawing inspiration from classic illustrators like R.O. Blechman, Saul Steinberg, Sir Quentin Blake, Tove Jansson, and Tomi Ungerer, cartoonist Jean-Baptiste Bourgois explores the exhilaration and chaos of the creative process. A lovingly crafted ode to the pitfalls of artistic expression.
Well, that was fun! And let me know what books you’re excited for in the comments section.