Here at the books I’m looking forward to seeing at my local comic store the week of November 28, 2018.
Words/Story: Geoff Johns
Art/Colors: Dale Eaglesham
“Teenager turned super-hero Billy Batson struggles to balance school and superheroics! (Guess which one is more fun?) But when Shazam unlocks a shocking secret deep within the Rock of Eternity, it challenges everything he knows about the worlds of magic and his family’s future as its champions! Also, witness the bizarre team-up of Dr. Sivana and Mr. Mind as they set off to build a society all their own! Don’t miss the start of an epic run in the making as Shazam and the Seven Realms begins!”
Category: Tried and True Creators
Why I’m Excited: There’s a movie coming out soon about a comic-book hero whose comics I’ve never read before—how is that possible? The original “wish fulfillment” comic, from 1939, never really captured me when I started reading comics. Focused as I was on the “gritty” and “realistic,” I thought it was too childish. Looking back, I see now that all those attempts at turning comics into “real” literature weren’t really going to give the superhero genre, or the industry in general, what it needed—and the almost exclusive focus on angsty and violent male characters drove more readers away in the long run than were drawn in by the trend. A growing mindset that there should be comics for everyone has brought back a level of fun not seen since the mid-’80s. (Remember Power Pack & Rocket Raccoon?) I hope that the this book captures that spirit of ’39, when kids were the primary audience, and there was a lot of fun to be had saving the world. And if anyone can capture the right tone, it’s Geoff Johns.
Words/Story: Edward Laroche
Art/Colors: Edward Laroche
“An enormous machine slowly materializes in a major West Coast city. Who sent it—and why—is a mystery, understood only by the malevolent beings gliding silently toward Earth through the inky vastness of space. In response, a multinational combat brigade called Gladiator Two-Six is deployed. Outfitted with next-generation military science and weapons, they’re tasked with stopping any extraterrestrial threat that emerges.”
Category: Support Emerging Talent
Why I’m Excited: Because, like I said above, there should be comics for everyone. Just like there’s room in your cable package for both the Hallmark channel (in case you haven’t heard the adverts, they’ve got Christmas movies airing full-time over there) and MME fights, a good alien invasion can find an audience in the ever-broadening marketplace. And as that marketplace expands—digital, direct form publishers, bookstores—more creators can enter the industry than ever. Typically the first forays are passion projects, and artists and writers may go full-time if it goes well; I’ve heard many a comic creator say how happy they are that they can make a living off something they’d do just because they love it. And with that expansion comes a new set of storytelling opportunities. More and more the contained series is the standard. I hope Edward Laroche is successful enough at this one to quit his day job. His art style seems to have a better use than storyboards.
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Words/Story: Kara Leopard
Art/Colors: Kelly Matthews and Nichole Matthews
“What starts out as a typical family vacation to Grandma and Grandpa’s house quickly erupts into supernatural mystery and peril when three siblings accidentally break an old, mystical jar hidden deep in the woods, revealing they are descendants of Pandora and their family has been tasked for generations with protecting the very jar they just broke . . . As magical monsters pour out of the fractured relic and run amok, Charlie, Janet, and Trevor must find a way to capture all of the creatures in order to save their family, and potentially the entire world before it’s too late.”
Category: Support Emerging Talent
Why I’m Excited: My favorite comic podcast keeps naming BOOM! its publisher of the year. This is why! Its team has an eye for new talent, an ear for a resonant story, and a business model that lets creators tell the kinds of stories at the pace and frequency that fits best. While labeled “Vol. 1,” this book doesn’t look to be ending on a cliffhanger, but there seems enough of a concept and setting that many adventures could be written about these curious descendants. Also, any author who’s done the research to know it was a jar (not a box) that contained the misery unleashed on the world in the original Pandora myth has a place on my bookshelf.
Also out this week: A remastered edition of the classic Marvels by Busiek and Ross (an annotated edition is scheduled for early 2019) and a collection of the well-reviewed Carey and Gross The Highest House. See you at the racks!