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 January 2018 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 to close out this year, it’s now time to check out the other 75% of the catalog.
That said, let’s dive in and see what’s going to kick off next year!
10. Some Space Adventures
Honestly, this book had me right at Lewis Trondheim. The guy’s work is wacky, irreverent, clever, fun, and ambitious and it sounds like all that will be on display in this one. Plus the structure of this seems audacious and I’m all for seeing whether or not they pull it off.
Infinity 8 #1
Written by Lewis Trondheim and Zep
Illustrated by Cat Dominique Bertail
Published by Lion Forge
A city sized space cruiser runs into a field of debris between galaxies, and it is up to the ship’s top eight security agents to figure out how to circumnavigate it. Investigating eight different parallel timelines, the agents uncover multiple plots that together could spell the end of the ship’s massive interspecies population
- The debut of a far out, pulpy, sci fi series of parallel adventures in the tongue in cheek tradition of the original Heavy Metal, but for a new generation.
- Eight different 3 issue arcs explore each of the agents parallel investigations, each by a different creative team of the most popular creators in France: Lewis Trondheim, Olivier Vatine Zep, Dominique Bertail, Fabien Vehlmann, Balez, Kris, Trystram, De Felici, and Boulet.
- Each 3 issue arc is self contained, but together they unravel the larger mystery.
- Conceived and directed by the legendary Lewis Trondheim and Olivier Vatine.
9. New Adults in New Homes
This sounds energetic and fun. Trying to conjure that feeling of living on your own in the city, figuring out what it means to you, who you are, etc. If the art inside is anything like the cover, this might be an entertaining and impacting ride.
City Vol. 1
Written and Illustrated by Keiichi Arawi
Published by Vertical
From the creator of Nichijou comes a new slapstick comedy series about a penniless college student who moves to a town filled with bizarre people. This reckless girl will be the one who eventually sets the city in motion. Nagumo is in a bit of a bind. She’s a college student, and like many people in her situation, is struggling with money. She is in debt and her landlord is trying to shake her down for rent. Asking her friends no longer works! They know her deal and they do not have the cash to prop her up, even temporarily. So what is she supposed to do under these circumstances? Well maybe bullying would help. Maybe petty theft? Neither one is realistic. Maybe getting a job would settle things… But that means working and not having fun in the big city. Life in the city is an adventure. Thankfully it’s a fruitful and entertaining one at that!
8. Dream a Little Dream of Her
Before she was California dreamin’, Mama Cass was just a girl from Baltimore trying to make it big. (Tracy Turnblad style.) This full length original graphic novel charts her early days, making her way around the Broadway circuit and trying to find someone to pay attention to her. Bagieu turned in the delightfully weird “Exquisite Corpse” a few years ago and hopefully can bring her energy and eye to to make this nonfiction narrative something to remember.
California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before The Mamas & The Papas
Written and Illustrated by Pénélope Bagieu
Published by First Second
It’s Mama Cass as you’ve never known her, in this touching biography of the 1960s New York folk scene from Pénélope Bagieu (Exquisite Corpse). Before she became the legendary Mama Cass – one quarter of the mega-huge folk group The Mamas and the Papas
– Cass Eliot was a girl from Baltimore trying to make it in the big city. After losing parts to stars like Barbra Streisand on the Broadway circuit, Cass found her place in the music world with an unlikely group of cohorts, releasing five albums with The Mamas and the Papas in their three years of existence. Through it all, Cass struggled to keep sight of her dreams – and her very identity.
7. Innocent Alien Crimefighters
All right, look, anything Art Baltazar and Franco are involved in will be charming and bright. Adults can appreciate its innocent humor but won’t feel badly about passing it on to their kids, nieces/nephews, cousins, students, whatever. Even if they’re not providing the art for this book, it still seems like their spirit is alive throughout these pages.
Written by Art Baltazar & Franco
Illustrated by Chris Giarrusso
Published by Lion Forge
A brand new series by Tiny Titans creators Art Baltazar and Franco! Encounter is a new kind of hero: an alien escaped from his planet to Earth, who can take any form he chooses, and decides to become a hero! With help from his talking dog Barko, he fights crime on our planet.
6. Get Your Head in the Game, Gotta Get Your Head in the Game
After “Fences,” Boom! looks to expand their roster of sports related teen dramedies. This one’s about dodgeball. You know what, I have a soft spot for sports comics and if Boom!’s leading the charge, with their awareness of a queer young audience, then I’m all for seeing what they’re putting out.
Dodge City #1
Written by Josh Trujilo
Illustrated by Cara McGee
Published by Boom! Studios
Josh Trujillo (“Adventure Time”) and Cara McGee (“Over the Garden Wall”) team up for a new series about then high-energy chaos of competitive dodgeball! Tomas is the newest member of the Jazz Pandas’ dodgeball team, and he’s got a certain knack for keeping an eye on on the ball (or several!). However, he is new, untested, and still not quite part of the team. But if the Jazz Pandas want to make it to summer regional championships they’ll have to pull together and learn to work as a team.
5. Come Out and Play
This sounds like an intense and engrossing ride, something like The Warriors, except, you know, filtered through Ed Brisson. Thankfully, it’s also only five issues long, which means it ought to be a tight and suspenseful story.
Ballad of Sang #1
Written by Ed Brisson
Illustrated by Alessandro Micelli and Shari Chankhamma
Published by Oni Press
Kidnapped off the streets of the Philippines as an infant and trained as a child assassin, Sang has never had a childhood. All he’s ever known is killing and the kindness of his master, Chen, the closest thing Sang has to a father. When Sang’s enthusiasm botches a job, it brings the wrath of Don Minchella down on the pair, resulting in Chen’s murder. Barely escaping with his own line — and with Minchella’s severed arm in tow — Sang swears revenge, while every gang in the city mobilizes to return him to Minchella, dead or alive.
4. In Dreams We Enter a World Entirely Our Own
This book will mean something powerful to someone. It might even help explain life and situations and the ways of the world to you. I don’t know. Or it might go all Paprika with the dreamworld spilling out into the real world with insane results. We’ll see.
Lucy Dreaming #1
Written by Max Bemis
Illustrated by Michael Dialynas
Published by Boom! Studios
Max Bemis (“Moon Knight” writer and lead singer of Say Anything) and Michael Dialynas (“The Woods”) present a sweeping, coming-of-age fantasy about living your dreams…literally. In her dreams, Lucy is the hero of all her favorite stories, living each night as a grand adventure. These journeys will teach her more about herself and the real world around her than she ever expected!
3. See What All the Fuss is About
Raina Telgemeir is the biggest name in comics. Her work flies off the shelves, resonates with readers, and frequently tops the bestselling charts. (The real ones, not the Diamond numbers.) If, for some reason, you haven’t seen her original work, this is the best way to get it all in one go. PLUS it’s a perfect gift for any younger (or younger at heart) comic readers in your life.Continued below
Raina Telgemeier Collection
Written and Illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
Published by Graphix
A collection of Raina Telgemeier’s #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning graphic novels about family, friendship, and the highs and lows of growing up! “Smile:” The true story of how Raina severely injured her two front teeth when she was in the sixth grade, and the dental drama that followed! “Drama:” Callie is the set designer for her middle school’s spring musical, and is determined to create a set worthy of Broadway. Both onstage and offstage drama ensues! “Sisters:” Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. Amara is cute, but she’s also cranky and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years; can they figure out how to get along? “Ghosts:” Catrina and her family move to a new town because her sister, Maya, is sick. When they learn there are ghosts there, Maya wants to meet one, and Cat must put aside her fears for Maya’s sake – and her own.
2. Internet to Print
Sarah Anderson regularly provides some of the best online comic strips. True, funny, and delightful, this collection makes up her third book of comics.
Sarah’s Scribbles: Herding Cats
Written and Illustrated by Sarah Anderson
Published by Andrews McMeel
Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah’s Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing.
This anthology exists to both highlight cartoonists and comic creators from Puerto Rico while also raising relief profits for the island after Hurricane Maria. I’m sure there will be some powerful and moving work between these pages and I think we all could expose ourselves to work from other parts of the world more often. It exists for a great cause through and through.
Puerto Rico Strong
Written by Vita Ayala, etc.
Illustrated by Rosa Colon, Naomi Franquiz, and Others
Published by Lion Forge
Puerto Rico Strong is a comics anthology that explores what it means to be Puerto Rican and the diversity that exists within that concept, from today’s most exciting Puerto Rican comics creators.
All profits will go to towards Disaster Relief and Recovery Programs to Support Puerto Rico.
Well, that was fun! And let me know what books YOU’RE excited for in the comments section.