Oni 2016 Sampler Columns 

Soliciting Multiversity: The “Best of the Rest” for January 2016

By | November 2nd, 2015
Posted in Columns | % Comments

Welcome to Multiversity’s look at the “Best of the Rest” of what’s coming your way in the now-available November 2015 Previews catalog. Having already gotten the Diamond-designated ‘Premier Publishers’ offerings out of the way (Marvel, Dark Horse, DC, and Image), we can now check out both IDW and what’s commonly referred to as the “Green Section”, a.k.a. the other 75% of the catalog.

Also, as one-half of the Robots From Tomorrow podcast, I go through the whole Previews catalog each and every month with co-host Mike Romeo, talking about things that catch our eye and quicken our pulse. If you listen to those episodes, you should still read this column because there will not be a 100% overlap, and if you don’t listen to those episodes, they are a great way to hear Mike & I go into further detail about some of the things I’ve spotlighted here.

That said, let’s dive in!


I know that’s not the most original headline, but it’s true in this case. You have to have diversity in your line, as a publisher, if you want to stay not only relevant but also just creatively active. If every character is a grim, vengeance-obsessed hardass, then things tend to get a little stale. So kudos to Valiant for spotlighting a character that has a different vibe and sensibility to them.

Faith #1
Written by Jody Houser
Illustrated by Francis Portela
Published by Valiant Entertainment


Faith Herbert, the psionically gifted “psiot” known as Zephyr, has been a neglected child, a pawn of the Harbinger Foundation, and a washout with the government superteam called Unity. But now she’s taking control of her life and becoming the hero she’s always known she can be – complete with a secret identity, a codename, and a cover assignment that routinely throws her into harm’s way! But flying solo is going to be tougher than she ever thought as she uncovers a deep-rooted alien conspiracy that could destroy human civilization from the inside out! Is Faith out of her depth…or in for her biggest adventure yet? Rising star Jody Houser (Orphan Black) and red-hot artist Francis Portela (Green Lantern) pilot a new chapter for Valiant’s high-flying hero right here in her first-ever limited series!



Not every day I get to talk about a Marvel book in this column, but IDW comes through for me again! Judging from what we saw with the Sal Buscema book a few months ago, this should have a price tag between $75-100. So it won’t be as big as an Artist Edition, but it will probably be even more limited. Storywise, the images used for the solicit text tracks Avengers issues from both of Pérez’s major Avengers runs, meaning you’ll be getting early 80’s Pérez and late 90’s Pérez. I’m psyched!

Avengers: George Pérez Marvel Artist Select Series HC
Written by Kurt Busiek, David Michelinie, & others
Illustrated by George Pérez
Published by IDW Publishing

The next installment of the smash-hit Marvel Artist Select Series is here! Each deluxe hardcover in this series features a collection of issues never-before released together. This oversized, limited-edition hardcover celebrates the legendary George Pérez’s time on The Avengers with a hand-curated selection of Pérez’s favorite issues chosen by the artist himself. Each copy of this 999-copy limited-edition hardcover is slip-cased, hand-numbered, and signed by George Pérez!



I’ve not read any of Cotter’s work yet, but I recognized his name pretty quickly from all the acclaim and buzz that “Skyscrapers of the Midwest” and “Driven by Lemons” has received. “Nod Away” has been serialized over at Study Group Comics, so you can test-drive some of the work there if you feel the need to dip your toe in before you dive in to the work.

Nod Away GN
Written by Joshua Cotter
Illustrated by Joshua Cotter
Published by Fantagraphics Books

The new sci-fi graphic novel from Joshua Cotter (Skyscrapers of the Midwest and Driven by Lemons) is set in the near-future where the internet is now telepathic and two-thirds of the world’s population share information via a central hub. When the unexpected nature of that hub is revealed, Melody McCabe must develop a new hub on the International Space Station, where a deep space transport waits to take a small crew to an earth-like planet for colonization. Nod Away brilliantly moves between physical and psychological worlds, utilizing traditional and abstract storytelling styles.

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As Slaine has been serialized in “2000 AD”, you can follow along with our coverage of this chapter starting here. But I can save you a little reading by telling you right here that this book is great. 2000 AD keeps their oversized, magazine dimensions when they put out these collection hardcovers, so you’ll be getting Simon Davis’ jaw-dropping art at full publication size, as it deserves to be seen at. I know it says volume two, but new readers should be able to get up to speed pretty quickly.

Slaine: The Brutania Chronicles v2 HC
Written by Pat Mills
Illustrated by Simon Davis
Published by Rebellion/2000AD

The newest Slaine epic continues! Albion, in a time of legend. Celtic warrior Slaine united the tribes of the Earth Goddess Danu and became the first High King of Ireland. After ruling for seven years, he traveled through time to fight for the Goddess in other eras before returning to save his people from the Fomorian sea devils. Now, having journeyed to Monadh to rescue Sinead from the Drune Lords, he must face the powerful might of the Trojan army and their superhuman warrior, the Primordial, in a battle to the death!



Another slab of “Love & Rockets”! You’d think that Fantagraphics would have caught up on everything by now, but with a cartoonist as prolific as Gilbert Hernandez, keeping up with his output is more than a full-time job! But they’ve done with work and compiled it so that you don’t have to do the longbox-diving to have this material always at hand. You wouldn’t want all that work on their part to go to waste, would you? Of course not. So pick this book up when it comes out!

Comics Dementia: A Love & Rockets Book TPB
Written by Gilbert Hernandez
Illustrated by Gilbert Hernandez
Published by Fantagraphics Books

Comics Dementia collects unexpected treasures, oddities, and rarities from outposts of the Love and Rockets galaxy, by one of Earth’s greatest living cartoonists, Gilbert Hernandez. Saints, sinners, and the Candide-like Roy mingle in jungles, in fables, in outer space: in cocktail lounges and living rooms. Ditko meets Melville meets Bob Hope―but the party really starts bumping when the Alfred E. Neuman of the L&R-verse, Errata Stigmata, makes her entrance. Many of these stories haven’t been available since their original appearance in comic shops in the 1990s.



I knew even less about this than I did about “Nod Away”, but a quick Google search made me a believer, no doubt! I’m not 100% sure what size this edition is going to end up being. My gut tells me standard comic trim size, but the fact that Archaia is releasing it means there’s a chance they will go original album size because that’s what the original intention was, and Archaia is always sensitive to those things where other publisher’s aren’t. We’ll see when this finally hits stands in February!

Mezolithc HC
Written by Ben Haggarty
Illustrated by Adam Brockbank
Published by Archaia/BOOM! Studios

What’s to Love: Mezolith is an award-winning British graphic novel that we are excited to publish for the first time in the U.S. because, simply put, it’s a captivating, coming-of-age story with lush, gorgeous art! Writer Ben Haggarty is a renowned performance storyteller, having been appointed Honorary Professor of Storytelling at the Arts University of Berlin, and illustrator Adam Brockbank is a storyboard and concept artist who has worked on the Captain America, Spider-Man, and Harry Potter films. The pair has collaborated to produce one of the best-looking books you’ll see all year.

What It Is: 10,000 years ago, the Kansa tribe live on the eastern shores of Stone Age Britain, where danger is never far away. Each season brings new adventures, each hunt has its risks, and each grim encounter with the neighboring tribe is fraught with threat. Poika, a boy on the verge of manhood, must trust the wisdom of his elders and endure life’s rites of passage as he finds his place in the tribe.

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This seems like a pretty cool idea. I’m not 100% sure what the creative breakdown is on this: is it one writer and all different artists? Are the artists working on their own stories full-cartoonist style? No idea. Looks like it will only cost me $30 to find out (unless I screw up and order the Ultra Deluxe Slipcase Edition for $350).

The Tipping Point HC
Written by Eddie Campbell, John Cassaday, Bob Fingerman, Paul Pope, Naoki Urasawa, Taiyo Matsumoto, and Enki Bilal
Illustrated by Eddie Campbell, John Cassaday, Bob Fingerman, Paul Pope, Naoki Urasawa, Taiyo Matsumoto, and Enki Bilal
Published by Humanoids

An all-new collection featuring the work of some of the greatest sequential art creators in the world. Each of these visionaries, from the worlds of manga, bande dessinée, and comics, has written and drawn an original story for this unique anthology, which explores the key moment when a clear-cut split occurs, a mutation, a personal revolt or a large-scale revolution that tips us from one world into another, from one life to an entirely new one: The Tipping Point. From slice-of-life tales to science-fiction and fantastical fables, witness these major changes and evolution through the eyes of artists such as Eddie Campbell, John Cassaday, Bob Fingerman, Paul Pope, Naoki Urasawa, Taiyo Matsumoto, and Enki Bilal. Available in a regular edition and an Ultra Deluxe Slipcase Edition limited to 100 copies, each with 14 individually signed bookplates.



COPRA’s next collected slab of mayhem is now available! Round Three collects issues 13-18, which creator Fiffe did under the inspiration of the ‘Personal Files’ issues from the “Suicide Squad” wellspring that kicked this whole COPRA show off. But don’t expect a lot of dry exposition or boring talking heads, because this book has never been about that, and isn’t starting now.

COPRA Round Three TPB
Written by Michel Fiffe
Illustrated by Michel Fiffe
Published by Bergen Street Comics

Old friends and older habits, cell blocks and beaches. Grandma’s homemade recipes and a cartel slaughterhouse. This is what the men and women of Copra call downtime. Their habit is vengeance, and they couldn’t stop if they wanted to. It’s the third volume of Michel Fiffe’s overpowering super-hero sidewinder. Get initiated in the fire.



When it comes to war comics, two publishers stand tall above the rest: EC and DC. We’ve already seen Artist Editions from the EC days, so it’s now time to swing things over to the Distinguished Competition and check out their books. And they do not disappoint! Led by Joe Kubert as editor & artist, the best-of-the-best fighting cartoonists included Russ Heath, Alex Toth, Jack Kirby, and John Severin. If you like war comics, you need this book. It’s that simple.

Best of DC War: Artist Edition HC
Written by Bob Kanigher & others
Illustrated by Joe Kubert, Jack Kirby, Russ Heath, John Severin, Alex Toth & others
Published by IDW Publishing

DC Comics produced some of the very finest war comics ever, and by some of the best artists in the field. This spectacular Artist’s Edition will include an amazing selection of stories by the best of the best: Heath, Kirby, Kubert, Severin, and Toth-a veritable pantheon of classic war artists doing what they do best. As with all Artist’s Editions, these complete stories are scanned from the original art work and reproduced to the exacting standards that has garnered IDW five consecutive Eisner Awards for the Artist’s Edition series. If you are a fan of Classic DC war comics you cannot afford to miss this incredible book!



So how does a $5.99 book beat out Artist Editions and hardcovers and all that other stuff? By being an excellent idea for exceptional material and a fantastic price, that’s why. The idea of putting together a sampler isn’t one that Oni came up with out of a thin air; other publishers have done so, even recently (see the Image First Issue Compendium). But the lineup that Oni can put into this book makes it truly wide-ranging sampler of not only their own company’s material, but of genre’s in comics. This is an excellent first impression to make on someone trying out Oni or comics for the first time, and for that, it gets the top spot this month.

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The Oni Press Starter Pack 2015 TPB
Written by a ton of people
Illustrated by another ton of people
Published by Oni Press

The ONI PRESS STARTER PACK 2015 collects seven complete first issues from Oni Press’s acclaimed creator-owned series. Try out new titles or reconnect with your favorites in one giant-sized volume for one low price. WHAT’S INSIDE YOU ASK? Well, I’ll tell you my good friends!

  • Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt’s THE SIXTH GUN #1
  • Charles Soule, Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque and Guy Major’s LETTER 44 #1
  • Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari’s double-size THE BUNKER #1
  • Zander Cannon’s KAIJUMAX #1
  • Greg Rucka, Justin Greenwood, and Ryan Hill’s STUMPTOWN #1
  • Cullen Bunn, Joëlle Jones, and Nick Filardi’s HELHEIM #1
  • Joshua Hale Fialkov and Gabo’s EXODUS: THE LIFE AFTER #1

    Well, that was fun! Be sure to check out the Robots From Tomorrow November Previews episode later this week and hear us talk about these books and a whole lot more. And let me know what books YOU’RE excited for in the comments section.

    //TAGS | Soliciting Multiversity

    Greg Matiasevich

    Greg Matiasevich has read enough author bios that he should be better at coming up with one for himself, yet surprisingly isn't. However, the years of comic reading his parents said would never pay off obviously have, so we'll cut him some slack on that. He lives in Baltimore, co-hosts (with Mike Romeo) the Robots From Tomorrow podcast, writes Multiversity's monthly Shelf Bound column dedicated to comics binding, and can be followed on Twitter at @GregMatiasevich.


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