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

By | May 30th, 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 June 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. Before we jump into the things you should keep an eye out for, a quick reminder:

And second, 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!

10. Robot Meets World…For Real This Time!

I don’t think I’ve done this before, but I’m making an exception here. This book was originally solicited over a year ago, and I picked it for this column back in April 2015. It has since been resolicited, and I want to give it another push. So once again, here are my thoughts on RE*PRO*DUCT:

This is another “jumped out at me” pick for two reasons. One, the cover. Well, actually, it was three reasons. The first, again, was the cover. The second was the solicit copy; science fiction again a big plus. The third was the publisher. I had read another book by Magnetic Press not a day before seeing this. That book, “Love: The Tiger”, was a gorgeous look at the day in the life of a tiger in the jungle, stalking its prey through the landscape. I heartily recommend you at least click on that link to see sample pages. The publisher that had the sense & taste to bring that book over to the US has my attention for everything else they want to put in my hands.

You can see a few pages from RE*PRO*DUCT here.

Written by Austin Wilson
Illustrated by Logan Faerber & Various
Published by Magnetic Press

In the future, robots have been legally granted the right to life. Their intelligence is not artificial, and it may not be the best approximation of a personality. But they reflect all the intricacies of a human mind and personality, only from within a manufactured shell, developing and learning as the rest of us do. They mirror us in all the ways we would want, but also in those ways we would wish to exclude. A tale of teen-angst and romance, through the eyes of a growing ‘bot. In addition to the core storyline, this book includes two short interstitial tales that further explore the world of Re*Pro*Duct.

9. Thomas Alsop’s Grand Finale!

As 2015 miniseries went, “Thomas Alsop” was really good. Award-winningly good. Not only that, but the creative duo behind the book are a great pair of dudes, as you can tell by listening to this conversation I had with them back when the first trade was released. At the time, there was some dismay about whether the second half of the mini would ever see the light of day in collected form. Well, dismay no longer, folks, because that day has come! Or it will come, I guess would be more accurate…

Written by Chris Miskiewicz
Illustrated by Palle Schmidt
Published by BOOM! Studios

Good news, New York has a supernatural guardian. Bad news, it’s Thomas Alsop.

Thomas Alsop is the current “Hand of the Island,” a title handed down from generation to generation. He guards Manhattan from evil, using his family’s prowess for magic. Being a thoroughly modern warlock, he deals with something even more evil than demons… reality television! Fans of John Constantine and Dr. Strange will love this new take on the magic-wielding hero who battles demons on the streets… and in his own mind. Thomas has money and fame, but also the burden of a being this generation’s occult warrior. Can he survive the battles both within and without? Collects Thomas Alsop issues #5-#8.

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8. The Days Keep Getting Longer And Longer…

No background on this one at all. But it’s a European science fiction fable without words, so it can be enjoyed without that nagging worry of whether or not you’re reading a good translation or not. Plus the art looks super clean and poppy. Giving it a spin!

Written by Lucas Varela
Illustrated by Lucas Varela
Published by Fantagraphics Books

Argentinian cartoonist Lucas Varela has crafted a wordless thriller reminiscent of the work of Jason (I Killed Adolf Hitler). In a futuristic city, two mega-companies engage in a battle to eliminate the other. Will the crash of an extraterrestrial flying saucer change that? Under the guise of a science fiction fable, Varela has spun a searing indictment against consumerism and unfettered capitalism.


7. Two Smaller Graveyards Combine To Form One Big Super-Grave!

I believe I’ve also mentioned this book in a previous Soliciting Multiversity column, but I know this particular release is new. It combines both of the smaller volumes of P. Craig Russell’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book” into a single collection. so if you were trade-waiting on the hardcovers for ANOTHER hardcover (like I was), then wait no more!

Written by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by P. Craig Russell and Various
Published by Harper Collins

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel is now available in a gorgeous, limited clothbound edition, featuring both New York Times bestselling volumes bound as one, new cover art, and special extra content. Now 1,500 people can revel in The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel in a new way with this limited printing of numbered copies—all signed by Neil Gaiman! Each chapter in this adaptation by P. Craig Russell is illustrated by a different luminary from the comic book world, showcasing a variety of styles from a breadth of talent. Together, they bring Neil Gaiman’s award-winning, nationally bestselling novel The Graveyard Book to new life in this gorgeously illustrated single-volume graphic novel adaptation.

This special limited edition of The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel includes:

* Both volumes of the graphic novel adaptation (2014) bound into one edition
* Brand-new cover art by P. Craig Russell
* A cloth slipcase
* An extra 32 pages at the end of the book, including a note from Neil Gaiman, sketches from the artists, and notes from the artists and P. Craig Russell about the experience of adapting The Graveyard Book into a graphic novel


6. At Last! The Hero We’ve Been Waiting For!

Josh Fialkov and Tony Fleecs have been talking about doing a book together for a long time. I mea, a LONG time. Like years! So when I say I’ve been waiting for this book, that is no joke. These two guys have been doing great work separately, but now its time to see what they can do when they combine their powers for the forces of good! Can they give us a hero who will save every one of us? Uhhhhhhh….

Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Illustrated by Tony Fleecs
Published by Oni Press Inc.

The double-sized debut issue of the new sci-fi-rom-com-dram-actioner from the writer of THE BUNKER and the artist of MY LITTLE PONY–wait, really? Okay. INVASION! Aliens are real. They’re here, they’re mean and they’re standing in judgement over the citizens of Earth. Final countdown. Representing humanity (by some fluke) is your boy Jeff Steinberg. Romantically challenged idiot, video store clerk, constipated, confused, distractible. In other words, the planet is totally doomed. Also, robots


5. A Little Foreplay…

In preparation for the launch of their upcoming erotica line Limerence Press, Oni Press is bringing the first two volumes of “Oh Joy Sex Toy” back into print. Which is fantastic, as we can never have enough sex-positive material out in the world. Bring on volume 3!

Written by Erika Moen & Matthew Nolan
Illustrated by Erika Moen
Published by Oni Press Inc.

Oh Joy Sex Toy: Volumes One and Two encompass almost 600 pages of comics by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan about sex, sex toy reviews, sexuality, sex education, safer sex practices, interviews with sex industry workers, AND MORE! With its positivity, terrible puns, and diverse cast, Oh Joy is an indispensable resource for fans of sex, fans of comics, and nerds of all stripes. It also features the comics of a variety of different cartoonists, plus never-before-seen bonus comics and behind-the-scenes content!

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4. Like I WASN’T Going To Pick This…

But considering how much I LOVE this run, how is it only clocking in at number 4? Well, that just speaks to how strongly I feel about the next three books! (Plus, again, these aren’t really ranked by absolute preference). But make no mistake, IDW pulled out all the stops to make this one HELL of a package. Just keep reading to see what I mean!

Written by Mark Waid
Illustrated by Chris Samnee
Published by IDW Publishing

IDW Publishing launched the very first Artist’s Edition in 2010. It was a bold concept that to date has garnered five consecutive Eisner Awards in the category of Best Archival Project. With the release of Chris Samnee’s Daredevil Artist’s Edition we continue to stay ahead of the pack by featuring not one, not two, but THREE versions of Samnee’s gorgeous original art-we like to think of it as an Artist’s Edition triple play! This amazing collection will be presented in TWO books. The first, a hardcover featuring Daredevil Issues 23 – 27. Since these books were lettered digitally, you will see more of the Samnee’s original art than ever before! Additionally, all of Chris’ beautiful layouts will be printed here, again, scanned from the original art. The second book will be a horizontal softcover, printing all Mark Waid’s scripts-but that’s not all-Samnee’s artistic technique involves drawing thumbnail breakdowns ON the script pages themselves. Which means there are THREE versions of art presented, plus the actual script enabling you to read along with the story! Additionally, these two books will come in a handsome slipcase. You’ve heard the term “Artist’s Artist?” This will be an “Artist’s Artist’s Edition!”

• The immensely popular, critically acclaimed, and Eisner Award-winning duo of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee are showcased in their first Artist’s Edition!
• TWO books, slipcased!


3. Killing The Competition!

Raina Telgemeier rules the bestselling graphic novel lists like an iron queen. Which is surprising considering how nice she is in person and how friendly her work is. But make no mistake, a new Tegelmeier book hitting shelves is a big deal, and something that cannot go unmentioned.

Written by Raina Telgemeier
Illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
Published by GRAPHIX

From Raina Telgemeier, the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning author of Smile, Drama, and Sisters! Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.

Raina Telgemeier has masterfully created a moving and insightful story about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible.



I was actually not sure this book would ever see the light of day. When Kim Thompson passed away a few years ago, co-author Tom Spurgeon seemed to be unsure of the book’s ultimate fate. But an oral history of one of the most important comics publishers ever (like them or not, their impact is undeniable) is an absolute boon to comics scholarship and to pop culture history in general. I’m ecstatic to see it come to fruition.

Written by Tom Spurgeon and Michael Dean
Illustrated by Various
Published by Fantagraphics Books

This is an oral history of Fantagraphics, the iconoclastic independent comic book publisher who reshaped the medium so that cartoonists such as Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, Joe Sacco, and many more could thrive.

In 1976, a group of young men and women coalesced around a fledgling magazine and the idea that comics could be art. In 2016, comics intended for an adult readership are reviewed favorably in the New York Times, enjoy panels devoted to them at Book Expo America, and sell in bookstores comparable to prose efforts of similar weight and intent.

Comics As Art: We Told You So tells of Fantagraphics Books’ key role in helping build and shape an art movement around a discredited, ignored and fading expression of Americana the way insiders share the saga with one another other: in anecdotal form, in the words of the people who lived it and saw it happen. Comics historian and critic Tom Spurgeon and longtime Comics Journal editor Michael Dean assemble an all-star cast of industry figures, critics, cartoonists, art objects, curios, and groundbreaking publications to bring you a detailed account of Fantagraphics’ first 40 years.

Comics as Art is a detailed catalog of the look of a cultural awakening. It’s a story that includes appearances by Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, Harlan Ellison, Jim Shooter, Stan Lee, Dan Clowes, Frank Miller, Peter Bagge, Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, Dave Sim, Steve Geppi, Todd McFarlane and every other major figure in the arts or business end of modern comics. More than a corporate history or a fond look back, Comics As Art: We Told You So makes the warts-and-all case for Fantagraphics Books’ position near the heart of the modern reclamation of the comics art form. Prose with photos and illustrations throughout!

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Speaking of coming to fruition, this month sees the last book in the “March” trilogy hitting shelves. As an achievement I don’t think theres anything I can add to what has already been said about these books, other than this: if you have the chance to see Rep. Lewis and the creators on any stop of the press tour for this book, DO IT! One, these guys deserve to see as much support for their efforts as humanly possible (as do all creators, actually), but you owe it to yourself to see and experience the calm and peace of Rep. Lewis in person. Your appreciation for the books themselves will grow when you realize just how well they captured the man himself. Whatever you have to do, do it. You won’t regret it.

Written by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
Illustrated by Nate Powell
Published by IDW/Top Shelf

Top Shelf is honored to present the stunning conclusion to the award-winning and best-selling MARCH trilogy.

By Fall 1963, the Civil Rights Movement is an undeniable keystone of the national conversation, and as chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is right in the thick of it. With the stakes continuing to rise, white supremacists intensify their opposition through government obstruction and civilian terrorist attacks, a supportive president is assassinated, and African-Americans across the South are still blatantly prohibited from voting.

To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative projects, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and a pitched battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television. But strategic disputes are deepening within the movement, even as 25-year-old John Lewis heads to Alabama to risk everything in a historic showdown that will shock the world.


Well, that was fun! Be sure to check out the Robots From Tomorrow June 2016 Previews episode 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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