Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?
Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.
While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.
(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)
Shauna. Charlotte. Mildred. Three schoolgirl sleuths.
Jack. Linton. Sonny. Three schoolboy investigators.
Tackleford. One mid-sized city with a history of countless mysteries.
Is there enough room at Griswalds Grammar School for two groups of kid detectives? There better be, because once these kids have set their sights on solving a mystery there’s nothing that can derail them. Nothing, except maybe gossip, classwork, new football player cards, torment from siblings, stolen jackets, teacher’s wives, or any number of childhood distractions.
Written and illustrated by David B.
Published by SelfMadeHero
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
“He tried to remain as invisible as possible in everything he did.”
1919 – the defeated Austro-Hungarian Empire is losing control of the city port of Fiume to pirates. A self-styled “Pirate King”, Gabriele d’Annunzio (poet, Italian war hero and Dadaist) storms the city with 3,000 loyal Italian foot soldiers. He declares Fiume a free Republic: a utopian city-state, with himself as Commander. The city soon descends into looting and surreal decadence, reminiscent of the last days of Rome with shades of the Fascist movement to come.
Amid this chaos, the beautiful Mina, a black-haired young singer, is lost in this city gone mad, consumed by a love affair with a young soldier. Haunted by the horror of the trenches, a soldier, Lauriano, hunts Fiume’s alleys in vain for the ghost that haunts his dreams.
Acclaimed comics artist David B. uses real post-World War I events as a backdrop and seamlessly weaves history, hysteria, and highly stylized art into the tragic love story of a beautiful torch singer and a young soldier haunted by the horrors of trench warfare.
Jez Manson, slick chat show host, bites off more than he can chew when he channels an ancient source of evil live on prime time TV. Unleashing terror and carnage upon the world, Jez knows he’s on the edge of the abyss but the lure of fame and fortune is too strong.
Collects the 4 issue series, plus original and variant covers, 8 pages of sketches, plus a new 16-page strip ‘An Evening with Ba’al’ written by Alan Grant and illustrated by D’Israeli (Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Future Shocks).
Never read a graphic novel before? Haven’t read a comic book in years?
Here’s some brand new stuff that came out the week of November 25 that I think is worth a look-see for someone with little to no history with comics. That means you should be able to pick any of these up cold without having read anything else. So take a look and see if something doesn’t grab your fancy. If so, follow the publisher links or Amazon.com links to buy yourself a copy. Or, head to your local friendly comic book shop.
Disclaimer: For the most part, I have not read these yet, so I can’t vouch for their quality. But, from what I’ve heard and seen, odds are good they just might appeal to you.
The Devil’s Handshake: A Basil and Moebius Adventure – $5.95
By Ryan Schifrin, Larry Hama & Adam Archer
48 pages; published by Archaia Comics; available at Amazon.com
Larry Hama, the legendary mastermind behind G.I. Joe, makes his debut at Archaia!
Renowned treasure hunters Alaric Moebius and Basil Fox embark on an adventure that takes them from the deepest jungles of New Guinea to the deserts of Libya in search of a mysterious hidden pyramid that contains the power to end the world! This unforgettable one-shot introduces readers to a terrifying, exciting new world created by Ryan Schifrin!
Publisher Archaia’s official site(s) is a mess right now, so I couldn’t find any listing for this. But, this looks like a fun Indiana Jones-esque adventure comic. Here’s a 7-page preview, along with an interview with the creators.
The Dead: Kingdom of Flies – $15.00
By Alan Grant & Simon Bisley
96 pages; published by Berserker Comics
Britain has fallen prey to a mysterious plague of flesh-crazed zombies. Corpses litter the streets. As far as Derek Wall and his team of firefighters know, their Oxford HQ might be the last bastion of unaffected humanity in the entire country.
But with every day that passes, Derek’s men get weaker, while the zombies grow in ferocity and numbers. It’s only a matter of time before the zombies break in – or the humans break out! Collects issues #1-4 of the smash hit series.
For mature readers, this comic is a pretty hardcore zombie romp. Might be a little tricky getting it in the States. I couldn’t find it on Amazon, but it looks like you should be able to buy it directly from them on their site at the link above, which also has lots of previews.
In the now-collapsed Soviet Union, the subjects of a Super Hero experiment must pick up the shattered pieces of their lives and carry on. But who – or what – is the deadly threat that’s stalking them all? Collecting THE WINTER MEN #1-5 and the WINTER MEN WINTER SPECIAL.
John Paul Leon is a great artist. This comic has had a long life but it’s won a lot of praise. Be warned, though: It’s not a simple, straightforward super-hero yarn. Here’s a preview to give you a taste.
From the award-winning team that brought you SLEEPER and CRIMINAL comes their strangest and most twisted tale yet — INCOGNITO. Zack is a file clerk in a dead end job… or is he really a super-villain hiding in Witness Protection? As his powers begin to return, our anti-hero’s life begins to unravel in a dark and explosive fashion. INCOGNITO is sexy black comic pulp tale that you’ll never forget! Mature Content.
I like Marvel. I really do. But they don’t make including them in this list very easy. It’s a bit too rare when they release something that truly requires no prior knowledge. Fortunately, this is one of them. Fortunately it’s quite good. Unfortunately it’s not for kids. But the next one fixes that. But, first, here’s a great big preview of Incognito.
Star Comics: All-Star Collection – $19.99
216 pages; published by Marvel Comics; available at Amazon.com
This collection for kids of all ages not only gets four stars, it has Four Stars: Planet Terry! Wally the Wizard! Royal Roy! Top Dog! Space opera, Arthurian-era fantasy, sovereign secrets and canine crimefighting – collected for the first time! Aliens, demons, ghosts, spies and more! Collects Planet Terry #1-2, Top Dog #1-3, Wally the Wizard #1-2, and Royal Roy #1-2.
Marvel delivers again this week with something for kids. These are comics from the ’80s when the publisher had an entire imprint devoted to little tykes. (I’m going to assume it’s some kind of technical glitch that there doesn’t seem to be a listing on Marvel’s site for this release. Marvel’s new release list for the week points here, which is blank. And no mention of it on MarvelKids.com. Great job, everyone. Keep bringing in the new readers. But all is not lost. A second volume is planned for a January release.)
Celebrate the holiday season with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang by displaying your very own Christmas tree! Complete with a shiny ornament to dangle from its branches and Linus’s blanket to wrap around the base, this little tree and storybook will inspire all to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Not quite comics, but this is too cute to pass up. This storybook supposedly comes with a pathetic Christmas tree as seen in the classic Peanuts animated special. We’re probably going to buy one to add to our annual holiday decorations.