Comics I’m Picking Up the Week of January 23, 2019

Here are the books I’m looking forward to seeing at my local comic store the week of January 23, 2019.

The Avant-Guards, Buffy, Naomi, and Off Season book covers

The Avant-Guards

Publisher: BOOM! Box
Words/Story: Carly Usdin
Art/Colors: Noah Hayes

“Welcome to the Georgia O’Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics, an historically all-female school whose population is decidedly more drama geek than jock. Liv, aspiring actor and basketball enthusiast, doesn’t understand why she can’t be both, but she seems alone in that belief . . . until Charlie. Charlie is a recent transfer, a star basketball player, and the answer to all of Liv’s problems. She ‘ll stop at nothing to get Charlie to join the ragtag group of misfits that make up their fledgling basketball team.”

Category: Support Emerging Talent

Why I’m Excited: Could there be a better meet-cute on the comics rack than Giant Days and Check, Please!? Or so the solicit purports. As a kid I never cared for playing sports, and was always the last picked for every team, but as a resurrected comics lover I have been devouring stories about sports teams: with the previously mentioned Check, Please!, the soap opera of Fence, and the fun and humor of Dodge City, I’m adding this to my pull list. I’m also pretty sure this series won’t have to change titles midway though publication.

The Avant-Guards cover

BOOM! Studios

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Words/Story: Jordie Bellaire
Art/Colors: Dan Mora

“Go back to the beginning as the critically acclaimed pop culture phenomenon Buffy the Vampire Slayer is reimagined under the guidance of series creator Joss Whedon. This is the Buffy Summers you know, who wants what every average teenager wants: friends at her new school, decent grades, and to escape her imposed destiny as the next in a long line of vampire slayers tasked with defeating the forces of evil. But her world looks a lot more like the one outside your window . . . but the more things change, the more they stay the same, as the gang faces brand-new Big Bads, and the threat lurking beneath the perfectly manicured exterior of Sunnydale High confirms what every teenager has always known: high school truly is hell. Welcome back to the Hellmouth, for the first time!”

Category: Support Emerging Talent

Why I’m Excited: From 1997 to 2003 (146 episodes of TV) Buffy Summers gave voice to so many young adult worries: Is that Internet chat a real person or a powerful demon electronically unleashed from a centuries-old, newly digitized book? How do you help a friend as she deals with a deep question? How can I get through this disagreements with my mom? And a few hangovers and walks of shame. I could go on . . . but let’s hear about your Buffy-esque moments in the comments. I hope that Jordie Bellaire has her finger on the the pulse of contemporary angst the way Jane Espenson (she’s a fave) and her colleagues did; Redlands proved she could do horror.

Naomi

Publisher: DC
Words/Story: Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker
Art/Colors: Jamal Campbell

“When a fight between Superman and Mongul crashes into a small Northwestern town, Naomi (last name?) begins a quest to uncover the last time a super-powered person visited her home—and how that might tie into her own origins and adoption.”

Category: Tried and True Creators

Why I’m Excited: Currently killing it on Bitter Root (with Sanford Greene), I’ve got a “buy” order for anything Walker puts out. This also looks to be a story that may have some resonance for Brian Michael Bendis. While the story of an adopted child finding that they have inherited vast powers from parents they didn’t know is a trope as old as we know (recent examples include Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, and Tarzan) I think personal connection will make this one a cut above.

Naomi cover

DC Comics

Off Season

Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Words/Story: James Sturm
Art/Colors: James Sturm

“[O]ne couple’s divisive separation through the fall of 2016, during Bernie’s loss to Hillary, Hillary’s loss to Trump, and the disorienting months that followed. We see a father navigating life as a single parent and coping with the disintegration of a life-defining relationship. Amid the upheaval are tender moments with his kids—a sleeping child being carried in from the car, Christmas morning anticipation, a late-night cookie after a temper tantrum—and fallible humans drenched in palpable feelings of grief, rage, loss, and overwhelming love.”

Category: Tried and True Creator

Why I’m Excited: In the battle to have comics considered a legitimate art form—have we won that yet?—James Sturm has been a crusader. He’s been a teacher of both aspiring artists and kids who are inspired to write their own Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot or Dumb Bunnies stories. Sturm has been a voice in independent publishing and academia, reminding us that cartooning can be a profound way to communicate ideas, story, and the deepest truths of being human—even if they’re drawn to look like dogs.

Off Season cover

Drawn & Quarterly

Also out this week is the first of Lion Forge’s translations of the works of Sergio Toppi. How cool is it that they have a trailer?

See you at the racks!

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