Happy 2012 to everyone as we start the cycle of a new year in comic books, hoping for even bigger and better than 2011! And already, the number of books that caught my eye from the January previews catalog has taken a big jump up from previous months. I'm going to try something new this month, moving away from the straight "pulllist.comiXology.com" categories (which are 100% inherited from Diamond Comics), and making up my own categories: 1) Trade Paperback - First Volumes; 2) Notable Reprints & Ongoing Trades; 3) Graphic Novel Picks; 4) Comics - New Ongoing Series; 5) Comics - New Limited Series; 6) Kid Friendly - GNs & Trades; 7) Kid Friendly - Comic Books. The Kid Friendly section has gotten so big, it might warrant it's own column sometime soon.
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Keep reading comics, may the journey never end.
The Comics Journeyman
And now, the comics arriving in your comic shop beginning in March 2012...
Game of Thrones Vol. 1 - I'm going to keep calling out this graphic adaptation of the first book in the George R. R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire series. It's great work by writer Daniel Abraham and artist Tommy Patterson. We'll probably see a softcover version in a few month's time, but you'll probably be happy with the hardcover for $25.
Rachel Rising Vol. 1: Shadow of Death - First chance to jump onboard the latest offering from the fiercely independent Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise, Echo). Collected volumes are the way that Moore's stories are best enjoyed, although I'm proud to be supporting his single issues as they hit the stands this time around.
Cinderella: Fables are Forever - The second arc in the Cinderella-as-spy spinoff of the Fables series, with Chris Roberson writing and Shawn Mcmanus on artwork.
Lovecraft Anthology Vol. 1 - Another anthology, this focused on the short stories of horror master H. P. Lovecraft, who just keeps popping up in comics lately. Cosmic horror anyone?
NOTABLE REPRINTS & ONGOING TPBs
Channel Zero: Complete Collection - I love seeing where an artist's body of work originates, and here's a chance to do just that with creator Brian Wood (Northlanders, DMZ, Local). Channel Zero is his first work in the comics medium, assisted by Becky Cloonan on the artwork
True Blood Vol. 3: The French Quarter - The perfect warm-up for the upcoming season, Truebies should be reading the series by IDW. Written by David Tischman with artwork by David Messina
Gotham Central Book 4: Corrigan- New printing of the excellent cop-focused series set in the world of The Batman from the great collaboration between Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker.
Fables Vol. 5: Deluxe Edition - The latest deluxe HC of the long-running Bill Willingham/Mark Buckingham series, for those collecting these beautiful volumes.
Push Man and Other Stories - A chance to check out the work of a Japanese master: Yoshihiro Tatsumi. D&Q is actually reprinting three of their previous compilations of Tatsumi's books on the same day, I picked the first volume that they published in 2005.
Manara: Erotica Vol. 1: "Click" and other stories - A bit spendy at $59.99, this is the first of 3 volumes being published by Dark Horse that will cover the full works of Italian creator Milo Manara, who published erotic comics beginning in the 1970's.
Will Eisner's The Spirit: Artist Ed - I've wanted to read the best of The Spirit, but could never bring myself to slog through any of the 27 volumes of The Spirit Archives published by DC Comics a decade ago. This is a serious commitment at $95, and a oversized format of 15" x 22", but the iconic Will Eisner is worth it!
Flcl Omnibus - Another Dark Horse production of a celebrated manga work. A "surreal sci-fi romp" from writer Gainax and artist Hajime Ueda.
GRAPHIC NOVEL PICKS
Pete and Miriam - I took immediate note of these words: "In his first full graphic novel since his Eisner Award-winning performance on Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow..." The answer to the blank is writer/artist Rich Tommaso, and I found his Satchel Paige to be so outstanding that my meticulous reviewing of the monthly catalog pays off, as I can ensure I won't miss Tommaso's next book. This one is being produced by BOOM! Studios.
Angelman: Fallen Angel - Austrian Nicolas Mahler's "sardonic take on superheroes", their fans, the business and media attention toward them. Published by Fantagraphics, looks like a good value at $18.99.
I am Not A Plastic Bag - I had never heard of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but apparently it is a real-world phenomenon. "Told entirely through images, this 'green' graphic novel by Rachel Hope Allison will be printed on 100% recycled paper and will be out in time for Earth Day on April 22."
Monsieur Jean: Singles Theory - The first time this Mr. Jean book is published in English, it's the story of a Parisian bachelor from French creators Phillippe Dupuy & Charles Berberian. Price is $24.95.
The Walking Dead: Cutting Room Floor - This is interesting for fans of the long-running series by Robert Kirkman, with some ideas that didn't make it into the series. Were they used in the TV show??? Well, the promo says "Never before seen plots", so I guess not...
Gonzo A Graphic Biography of Hunter S Thompson - Would I read I traditional biography about Hunter S. Thompson? Probably not. But would I read a graphic novel biography about the author of the great Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Writing credit to Will Bingley, with artwork by Anthony Hope-Smith.
COMICS - NEW ONGOING SERIES
Saga #1 - New ongoing series from Y: The Last Man creator Brian K. Vaughan, a sci-fi/fantasy epic! Very excited to catch this from the start. Interesting how many of the old Vertigo creators are popping up with Image Comics lately. Artwork is by Fiona Staples.
Fairest #1 - A new Fables spinoff series written by Bill Willingham and starting with a 6-issue arc that picks up from Fables #107, where Briar Rose was stolen away by goblins. Phil Jimenez handles artwork duties on the first story arc. Future arcs promise to focus on secret histories of female Fables Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, Snow White and Rose Red.
Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #1 - A new Vertigo ongoing series, 'nuff said. Obligated to check it out. Written by Selwyn Sefu Hinds, artwork by Denys Cowan and John Floyd.
Saucer Country #1 - Simply calling this out because it is also a Vertigo production. Will introduce myself to some of the new breed of Vertigo creators, in this case writer Paul Cornell and artist Ryan Kelly.
Beyond the Fringe #1 - Written by Fringe start Joshua Jackson (Peter Bishop), I somehow missed this digital comic. It tackles what happened to Peter between seasons 3 and 4 of the TV show. Artwork by Jorge Jimenez.
Bionic Woman #1 - Another classic TV property being done in comics by Dynamite Entertainment. Writer is Paul Tobin, with Leno Carvalho on artwork.
Hoax Hunters #0 - A comic book that sounds suspiciously like a cross between TV shows Mythbusters and Ghost Hunters sounds... interesting. Hoping writers Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley take the reality TV characters in some crazy directions. Artwork is by JM Ringuet.
Manhattan Projects #1 - I'm taking a second look at hot writer Jonathan Hickman (The Nightly News, The Red Wing, FF), paired with artists Nick Pitarra and Cris Peter.
The Secret History of D.B. Cooper #1 - Interesting to see a new ongoing series from Oni Press, this one a revisionist take on the famous airline hijacker. One-man creation team of Brian Churilla.
COMICS - NEW LIMITED SERIES
New Deadwardians #1 (of 8) - Well, I just can't pass up a Vertigo book, even if it is another vampire/zombie story. Written by Dan Abnett with art by I. N. J. Culbard.
Rocketeer Adventures 2 #1 (of 4) - I really enjoyed the first volume of Rocketeer stories. Featured writer to kick off volume 2 is Marc Guggenheim & featured artist Sandy Plunkett.
Smoke and Mirrors #1 (of 5) - A new original series about a stage magician from IDW written by Mike Costa and Jon Armstrong, with art by Ryan Browne.
Tails Vol. 1 (of 3) - This book is available on the web at tailscomic.com, and from everything I can tell this is the first print appearance. Per creator Ethan Young's website "It's a slice-of-life comedy with a supernatural twist." Not sure that it's not really a trade paperback as it's priced at $15.99.
Atomic Robo Vol. 6: Ghost of Station X - The latest collection of stories from writer Brian Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener. Robo is kid friendly enough to pick up any volume and start reading, but you can always go back to the beginning to get the whole story.
Cow Boy - From writer Nathan Cosby and artist Chris Eliopoulos and publisher Archaia comes the story of a boy cowboy looking to round up his entire outlaw family. Plus short stories by Snarked creator Roger Langridge and Atomic Robo creators Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener, all for $19.95.
Jump Start Windy Hollows - Zenescope partners with the educational software and gaming website Jump Start on the first graphic novel set in the Jump Start world. Low price at $5.99 with Adira Edmund and Neo Edmund on board as writers.
Michael Recycle and the Tree Top Cops - What kid wouldn't like to read to their kids about a superhero that teaches people how to recycle? This looks like the 4th in writer Ellie Patterson (formerly Ellie Bethel) with artist Alexandra Colombo.
Muhammad Ali King of the Ring - The latest from the Campfire line of graphic biographies, only $9.99 from writer Lewis Helfand and artist Lalit Kumar Sharma.
Sammy the Mouse Vol. 1 - Collecting the 1st 3 issues of an Ignatz award winner, printed by creator Zak Sally on his own press.
Three Stooges Vol. 1: Bed Bugged - From Papercutz, out in time for the new movie (wait.. there's going to be a new Three Stooges movie !?!?) written by Jim Salicrup and George Gladir (Sabrina the Teenage Witch creator) with art by Stan Goldberg (Archie Comics).
Wrath of the Titans: Force of Trojans #1 (of 4) - Somehow this new all ages series is tied into the 2012 sequel to the PG-13 Clash of the Titans film starring Liam Neeson & Sam Worthington. This first issue features characters Apollo and Artemis, and is written by DChad Jones and drawn by Damian Graff.