The 35 Most Anticipated Comics of 2017

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  • anticipatedcomics17 kindrid John Jennings Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
    Writer: Octavia E. Butler, Damian Duffy
    Artist: John Jennings
    Publisher: Abrams
    Release Date: January 11

    Comics aren’t a genre, starting and stopping with capes and cowls and supervillains. Almost anything can be adapted for the medium, and it’s especially exciting to see new subjects shift and flow into sequential art. Afrofuturism in comics isn’t completely unheard of, but the creation of a graphic novel based on Octavia Butler’s 1979 novel Kindred exposes the prolific and innovative writer to a whole new audience, and that’s absolutely worth celebrating. Kindred is a deeply intimate book filled with emotion, and portraying it visually only adds to that weight. Butler’s voice is much needed in the social and political climate right now, and Kindred’s mix of time travel and a historically accurate portrayal of racism is an incredible way to introduce her work to comics readers. Caitlin Rosberg
  • anticipatedcomics17 stl030761 Geoff Shaw God Country
    Writer: Donny Cates
    Artist: Geoff Shaw
    Publisher: Image Comics
    Release Date: January 11

    Like the bastard son of Preacher and Walt Simonson's Thor, Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw's God Country brings cosmic mythology tumbling down onto a sleepy Texas town to thunderous results. Cates and Shaw have collaborated before on The Paybacks, a darkly comedic superhero series that hopped from Dark Horse to Heavy Metal, but God Country seems like a level-up from all involved. Shaw, working with colorist Jason Wordie, is equally at home illustrating tense family drama and the wide-open majesty—and isolation—of the Texas plains. Cates, whose first major work involved semi-truck mayhem, seems to have a particular affinity for down-home tales. To paraphrase the Paste reviewer who took a more exhaustive look at the first issue earlier this week, if God Country lives up to the promise of its final page, this may be the next Image breakout. Steve Foxe
  • anticipatedcomics17 thefew-01-1 Hayden Sherman The Few
    Writer: Sean Lewis
    Artist: Hayden Sherman
    Publisher: Image Comics
    Release Date: January 18

    One of the longest-running problems for comics has been the struggle to keep readers engaged through never-ending continuities and provide new audiences with reasonable places to jump into decades of narrative. More frequently, creative teams and publishers are turning to intentionally limited stories with concrete endings. Saints writer Sean Lewis and artist Hayden Sherman are taking the latter approach with The Few, billed as a “maxi-series” with a first issue serving 56 robust pages. The premise centers around a pair of brothers who encounter a woman and infant in need of help in an American dystopian wasteland. The description holds hints of DMZ and Y the Last Man, and maybe even a serious take on Tank Girl, but also addresses the Navajo creation myth of the Monster Slayer Twins. Sherman’s art is intentionally, thoughtfully sketchy, with sharp angles and an interesting use of lines. Caitlin Rosberg
  • anticipatedcomics17 looseends-01-1 Chris Brunner Loose Ends
    Writer: Jason Latour
    Artist: Chris Brunner
    Publisher: Image Comics
    Release Date: January 25

    Jason Latour has been tearing it up lately as co-creator/writer for Spider-Gwen and artist for southern noir Southern Bastards. Longtime Latour fans may already know of Loose Ends, published by 12-Gauge Studios but never finished. The story of Sonny Gibson will now continue at Image, repackaging the original issues and finishing the story. Latour will write the conclusion alongside original artists Chris Brunner and Rico Renzi, whose style should appeal to fans of Latour’s angular art, though this series will have a brighter color palette than Southern Bastards. Billed as a “southern crime romance,” this series is brighter in content, too, but promises to scratch a similar itch in readers who like strong, twisty crime drama. Mark Peters
  • anticipatedcomics17 itsallabsolutelyfine Ruby Elliot It’s All Absolutely Fine: Life Is Complicated So I’ve Drawn It Instead
    Writer/Artist: Ruby Elliot
    Publisher: Andrews McMeel
    Release Date: January 31

    Women have been absolutely dominating the autobiographical graphic novel niche for several years, from Alison Bechdel to Lucy Knisley and Roz Chast. A new generation of cartoonists has leveraged one-and-done daily journal comics into book deals that are at once deeply sympathetic and uproariously funny. In the tradition of Sarah Andersen’s Adulthood is a Myth, Ruby Elliot’s first book is full of dry wit, self-deprecating observations and struggles both universal and deeply personal. Comparisons to Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half wouldn’t be totally unwarranted. Elliot’s art is sketchy and unforgiving: she draws herself and the world around her stylistically, with a bent towards inner perception rather than outer appearance. Her wit is dry, her humor biting and her work human. These comics are designed to make sort-of-adults a little less lonely. Caitlin Rosberg
  • anticipatedcomics17 jla1-orlando Ivan Reis Justice League of America
    Writer: Steve Orlando
    Artist: Ivan Reis
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Release Date: February 8

    Steve Orlando and Ivan Reis taking the reins of DC’s biggest team book was cause for celebration before the swath of preview one-shots introduced the lower-profile members of the team, but getting a peek at how the eclectic bunch fits together only adds to the high anticipation. Orlando, more than perhaps any other writer in DC's current stable, has a proven affection for the company's pre-New 52 heydays, as seen in Midnighter and its sequel, Midnighter and Apollo: characters as obscure or left behind as Prometheus, Freedom Beast and even Extraño received new leases on life via Orlando's reverent pen. Reis, meanwhile, has remained DC’s go-to indicator of "big deal" for nearly a decade, and represents DC's house style at its finest. The Rebirth era has so far been a welcome return to form for DC after the rockiness of the New 52, and a JLA that follows the tradition of a non-“Big Seven” team, from creators adept at juggling the DCU’s extensive lore, bodes well for the initiative's second year. Steve Foxe
  • anticipatedcomics17 deathbedamned Hannah Christenson Death be Damned
    Writers: Ben Acker & Ben Blacker
    Artist: Hannah Christenson
    Publisher: BOOM! Studios
    Release Date: February 8

    Writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker have, until now, largely staked their combined writing reputations on humor, from Deadpool v. Gambit to The Thrilling Adventure Hour. Death be Damned may break that trend: pitched to fans of Pretty Deadly and The Sixth Gun, Death be Damned has shades of a supernatural, Wild West Kill Bill, with a protagonist seeking revenge on the seven outlaws who slaughtered her family. The twist is that, while Miranda Coler can’t die until she succeeds, she loses portions of her memory every time she’s “killed.” Hannah Christenson, a contributor to the gorgeous Jim Henson’s The Storytellers anthology series, lends Death be Damned an appropriate air of the fantastic that should solidify positive comparisons to Emma Rios' flowing linework in Pretty Deadly. Steve Foxe
  • anticipatedcomics17 kaboomsu Katy Farina Steven Universe
    Writer: Melanie Gillman
    Artist: Katy Farina
    Publisher: BOOM! Studios
    Release Date: February 8

    For all of KaBOOM!'s success with Adventure Time and Regular Show, it's taken the all-ages imprint a few tries to get Steven Universe right. When the first SU series launched at BOOM!, the television show hadn't yet revealed its emotional depth, and the comic felt more like a goofy supplement than required reading. Subsequent mini-series and one-shots have better reflected the series' message of inclusion and complexity, and now we're finally getting a full-fledged ongoing set in Beach City. Cartoonist Melanie Gillman, creator of the Eisner-nominated As the Crow Flies, and Katy Farina, perhaps best known for The Amazing World of Gumball, bring a combined wealth of queer-inclusive storytelling skills to the table. Now more than ever, comic shelves could use a Steven Universe comic on par with Rebecca Sugar’s groundbreaking television show. Steve Foxe
  • anticipatedcomics17 monstercover-final Emil Ferris My Favorite Thing Is Monsters
    Writer/Artist: Emil Ferris
    Publisher: Fantagraphics
    Release Dates: February 14 (Vol. 1), October 27 (Vol. 2)

    The fact that the first volume of Emil Ferris’ jaw-dropping debut was delayed from late 2016 to early 2017 makes this year the year of Ferris, and you’re sure to hear tons about both books. Unfurling in a powerful wave, her detective story is extraordinarily beautiful but also intelligently thought- out and deeply felt. Hillary Brown
  • anticipatedcomics17 chester-5000-book-2-cover-sm-lg Jess Fink Chester 5000-XYV, Book 2: Isabelle & George
    Writer/Artist: Jess Fink
    Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
    Release Date: February 14

    Book 1 of Jess Fink’s adorable Victorian porno comics came out all the way back in 2011. A Kickstarter campaign provided more than twice the amount needed to make book 2, lending another valuable entry to the library of sophisticated, emotive sequential art smut in print. Fink’s drawings are sexy and woman-friendly, and her craft has yet to receive the attention it deserves. Hillary Brown
  • anticipatedcomics17 wildstorm Jon Davis-Hunt The Wild Storm
    Writer: Warren Ellis
    Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Release Date: February 15

    It’s a risky move to revisit titles that wrapped perfectly in decades past—particularly Warren Ellis’ Planetary and The Authority. In those series, superheroes blended with other genres in a thinky stew that reads just as well today. But in comics, it’s impossible to keep a corporate-owned universe down, and this return to the Wildstorm universe (now owned by DC) has one huge thing going for it: having Warren Ellis return to the helm alongside Clean Room artist Jon Davis-Hunt, writing this flagship series and overseeing the line. Tell me you aren’t at least a little excited to see Jenny Sparks back in action. Mark Peters
  • anticipatedcomics17 powerdark Jae Lee The Power of the Dark Crystal
    Writer: Si Spurrier
    Artists: Kelly and Nichole Matthews
    Publisher: Archaia/ BOOM! Studios
    Release Date: February 15

    After years of Adventure Time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even Lost Boys, it's easy to forget that licensed comics were once seen largely as subpar cash-grabs and not genuine extensions of their source material. Archaia has shepherded the Dark Crystal license for years, and now the publisher is venturing beyond spin-offs to present an official continuation of Jim Henson's dark fantasy saga, based on an unproduced script from David Odell, Annette Odell and Craig Pearce. Writer Si Spurrier has one of the more eclectic bibliographies in comics, ranging from a shockingly great Legion solo title to original sci-fi/fantasy tales like the Eisner-nominated The Spire, and artistic duo Kelly and Nichole Matthews made an impressive fantasy debut last year with Toil and Trouble. The last time Archaia published an unproduced Jim Henson project, the world got the Eisner-nominated A Tale of Sand and the major-league debut of Ramon Perez. Expect The Power of the Dark Crystal to aspire to similar heights. Steve Foxe
  • anticipatedcomics17 oldguard-01-cvr Leandro Fernandez The Old Guard
    Writer: Greg Rucka
    Artist: Leandro Fernandez
    Publisher: Image Comics
    Release Date: February 22

    Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez are teaming up for the story of soldiers with an unusual quality: they can’t die. Seems likely immortality isn’t going to be a day at the park for these old warhounds, who will likely make Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos look like the Power Pack. The premise alone has us excited: Rucka has proven he can write a compelling semi-immortal warrior in Lazarus, one of the best recent Image series. Fernandez showed he was a capable collaborator for war stories (including wars that don’t end) when he teamed with Garth Ennis for some Punisher MAX arcs. This one should be gory and great. Mark Peters
  • anticipatedcomics17 elektra Elizabeth Torque Bullseye, Elektra & Kingpin
    Writers: Ed Brisson, Marv Wolfman, Matt Owens, Matthew Rosenberg
    Artists: Guillermo Sana, Alec Morgan, Juan Cabal, Ben Torres
    Publisher: Marvel Comics
    Release Date: February

    Marvel can occasionally operate on a delay: while Charles Soule and Ron Garney’s Daredevil featured an Elektra storyline alongside the second season of the Netflix hornhead hit, Jessica Jones didn't return to shelves until months after her streaming debut. This trio of launches starring three of Daredevil’s most iconic foils follows suit. Kingpin is the best-known quantity here, as Civil War II tie-in writer Matthew Rosenberg returns to the burly criminal mastermind with new artist Ben Torres for a continuing series. The Violent scribe Ed Brisson makes his Marvel mark alongside artist Guillermo Sana (with back-ups from legendary creator Marv Wolfman and Midnighter artist Alec Morgan) for calculating assassin Bullseye’s solo mini-series and Luke Cage screenwriter Matt Owens teams with Juan Cabal to give Elektra a new spin more in line with her portrayal by actress Elodie Yung. Marvel has a tendency to rapidly inflate sections of its publishing line when it senses potential success—at least two Iron Fist series are on the way, with Defenders also on the horizon—but with the Netflix shows continuing apace and the steady sales of Soule and Garney’s diabolical vigilante lawyer, this street-level sweep seems well-advised. Steve Foxe
  • anticipatedcomics17 extremity01-fullcover Daniel Warren Johnson Extremity
    Writer/Artist: Daniel Warren Johnson
    Publisher: Skybound/ Image Comics
    Release Date: March 1

    Space Mullet’s Daniel Warren Johnson has long been one of the comic industry's best-kept secrets, an "artist's artist" who hadn't quite broken through to the wider readership. Extremity, his violent, bizarre Skybound debut, should finally rectify that travesty. Like an outer-space Fury Road, Extremity is a bloody, fast-paced tale of tribal warfare in a sci-fi world that never conquered class stratification. And like Fury Road's George Miller, Johnson thrusts his readers right into protagonist Thea’s revenge-driven conflict at breakneck speed. Steve Foxe
  • anticipatedcomics17 california-dreamin Penelope Bagieu California Dreamin’
    Writer/Artist: Penelope Bagieu
    Publisher: First Second
    Release Date: March 7

    Publisher First Second has progressed nicely as a home for funny, honest biographies, auto or otherwise. Box Brown’s graphic novels about wrestler Andre the Giant and Tetris founder Alexey Pajitnov showed how well the medium suited nonfiction dives into real lives, not to mention Lucy Knisley’s charming reflection of married life and food in, respectively, Something New and Relish. In March, French cartoonist Penelope Bagieu will add to that legacy wth the follow-up to her disarming dramedy Exquisite Corpse with California Dreamin’, about The Mamas & the Papas member and solo artist “Ma” Cass Elliot. Most fiction pales to the classic rock exploits of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, and Cass’ journey is no exception. The artist provided some of the most delicate, lasting harmonies of the era as she battled substance abuse and struggled with self-image issues. Bagieu’s humanity and emotion should usher this story to sequential art beautifully, promising one of the water-cooler breakouts for comics. Sean Edgar
  • anticipatedcomics17 stl036297 Tyler Jenkins Grass Kings
    Writer: Matt Kindt
    Artist: Tyler Jenkins
    Publisher: BOOM! Studios
    Release Date: March 8

    Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins' upcoming BOOM! Studios ongoing is set in the “Grass Kingdom” a trailer-park community established off the grid, separated from the town of Cargill by a foreboding lake that holds threatening secrets. The cast is sprawling, with brothers Robert, Bruce and Ashur taking center stage in both a Twin Peaks-ian murder mystery and a conflict with Cargill's sheriff, Humbert, who objects to the Grass Kingdom’s less-than-lawful existence. Kindt's consistency is well established by now, which positions Jenkins to be Grass King’s breakout star. His recent work on Snow Blind showed off an understanding of rural locales, and his loose lines and evocative watercolors should lend the book a slightly ethereal air fitting for its remote setting and central mysteries. Steve Foxe
  • anticipatedcomics17 americangods Glenn Fabry American Gods: Shadows
    Writers: Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell
    Artist: Scott Hampton
    Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
    Release Date: March 15

    A decade and a half after first being published, American Gods is going to be inescapable this year. Between the TV show and this new comic, Neil Gaiman’s story of mythology and modern life falls all over the pop culture landscape. P. Craig Russell will be guiding the adaptation, which is promising as his library includes such other Gaiman collaborations and extensions as Sandman, Lucifer and the Coraline comic. Glenn Fabry will lend his chiseled, dynamic covers while Sandman alum Scott Hampton will illustrate interiors. Caitlin Rosberg
  • anticipatedcomics17 batwoman-1-cvr Steve Epting Batwoman
    Writers: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV
    Artist: Steve Epting
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Release Date: March 15

    Regardless of how you felt about the last Batwoman run, the lack of a solo title has been glaring given her central role in multiple books and her high-profile status as one of the few queer heroes in comics. But the sheer fact that Kate Kane is stepping into the spotlight again is enough to warrant our attention. The creative team only bolsters that enthusiasm: with Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV writing Kane’s next adventures, the character not only has a woman curating her narrative, but also queer-identified people on the creative staff. Some of the biggest disappointments in the past few years, especially for Kane, have come from attempts at diversity without authenticity. Adding Steve Epting’s evocative, textured art certainly doesn’t hurt matters, and the book cements in no uncertain terms that Batwoman has a new, integral role in the DC universe. Caitlin Rosberg
  • anticipatedcomics17 stickscover-web- Michael DeForge Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero
    Write/Artist: Michael DeForge
    Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
    Release Date: March 21

    This hardback collects the titular webcomic, started in 2013 as a platform for restless experimenter Michael DeForge to play with form. Most of the strips are two panels high by four panels wide, and all have the same proportions and the same two-color scheme of pink and black. Within those restrictions, DeForge weaves a weird narrative about the boundaries between civilization and the wilderness. Hillary Brown
  • anticipatedcomics17 stoneheart Faith Erin Hicks The Stone Heart: The Nameless City Book 2
    Writer/Aritst: Faith Erin Hicks
    Publisher: First Second
    Release Date: April 4

    Faith Erin Hicks has already proved her skill at diagramming the fantastic and the intimate in previous projects The Adventures of Superhero Girl and Friends with Boys, but The Nameless City trilogy is a much more ambitious effort than she’s tackled before both in subject matter and scope. Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra will see similarities between these books and the shows, but they both share some of the best all-ages writing available. The first entry contains many of the same themes as classic YA literature including The Chronicles of Prydain and His Dark Materials. Hicks gives young adults a story full of nuance and emotional weight, characters with depth and heart facing problems with dire ramifications. Her stellar artwork has only improved in the last few years since she started the trilogy, and Jordie Bellaire’s vibrant colors bring the Nameless City to life. Caitlin Rosberg
  • anticipatedcomics17 eif-500px Gabrielle Bell Everything Is Flammable
    Write/Artist: Gabrielle Bell
    Publisher: Uncivilized Boks
    Release Date: April 18

    There’s never enough Gabrielle Bell (The Voyeurs, Truth Is Fragmentary) in the world, but this 160-page story should help with that problem. What it’s about is less important than who made it, but the story revolves around a fire that ignited in Belle’s Mom’s house. Plus: color! Hillary Brown
  • anticipatedcomics17 1485308690297 Lisandro Estherren Redneck
    Writer: Donny Cates
    Artist: Lisandro Estherren
    Publisher: Skybound/ Image Comics
    Release Date: April 19

    Donny Cates evidently has a thing for bloodsuckers and a strong streak of Southern pride. Following his Heavy Metal sci-fi vamp-fest Interceptor and recent, highly praised Image debut God Country, Cates teams with Last Contract artist Lisandro Estherren to bring those interests together under a pun so perfect, it's a shock it hasn't been trademarked already. We don't know too much yet about the April-debuting series beyond the premise: a Texas vampire clan's long peaceful existence running a barbecue joint and surviving off cows' blood comes to an end when an old feud reignites. But with Cates' impressively fast rise and Estherren’s RM Guera-esque linework, Redneck looks like another high-concept Skybound success in the making, and a treat for fans of American Vampire and From Dusk Till Dawn. Steve Foxe
  • anticipatedcomics17 aliens-dead-orbit James Stokoe Aliens: Dead Orbit
    Writer/Artist: James Stokoe
    Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
    Release Date: April 26

    So. Many. Squares. James Stokoe has proven himself a master of obsessive detail, rivaling other eagle-eyed micro artists Geof Darrow and George Perez for their dense linework. After tackling food fantasy (Wonton Soup) and grimy swordplay (Orc Stain), the cartoonist has recently nestled into sci-fi, illustrating huge ship fleets in Jeff Lemire’s recent Moon Knight arc. That obsession will escalate this April with Aliens: Dead Orbit, a four-issue miniseries that sees Stokoe render H.R. Giger’s classic xenomorph designs and one engineer’s fight for survival aboard the Sphacteria. Stokoe’s one of the few artists whose art can tell full-blooded stories without copious dialogue or narration. That devotion to mood and world-building should fit the creepy confines of interstellar terror perfectly. Sean Edgar
  • anticipatedcomics17 youbikeroad Eleanor Davis You & A Bike & A Road
    Write/Artist: Eleanor Davis
    Publisher: Koyama Press
    Release Date: May 16

    Not quite a year ago, cartoonist Eleanor Davis set out on a giant road-trip via bicycle from her childhood home in Arizona to her current home in Athens, Georgia. As cartoonists do, she documented her journey along the way, posting pages to Instagram that chronicled her individual, up-close experience of flyover country. She camped, she talked to people and she noted her physical pain and discouragement. Koyama will put out the full results in May. Hillary Brown
  • anticipatedcomics17 songyparadise Gary Panter Songy of Paradise
    Write/Artist: Gary Panter
    Publisher: Fantagraphics
    Release Date: May 23

    I would never have thought to ask for a reimagining of John Milton’s Paradise Regained by Gary Panter that replaces Jesus with a hillbilly character named Songy, but the universe features many blessings, and this book will probably be one of them. Panter’s accomplished this postmodern feat before, with Jimbo’s Inferno and Jimbo in Purgatory, but the combination of his scrofulous vision with Milton’s epic religious poem devoted to resisting temptation should make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Hillary Brown
  • anticipatedcomics17 genx Terry Dodson ResurrXion
    Writers: Marc Guggenheim, Cullen Bunn, Christina Strain, Greg Pak, Sina Grace, James Robinson, Dennis Hopeless, Al Ewing, Saladin Ahmed, Matthew Rosenberg
    Artists: Ardian Syaf, Jorge Molina, Amilcar Pinna, Greg Land, Alessandro Vitti, Carlos Pacheco, Victor Ibanez, Jonboy Meyers, Christian Ward, Javier Garron
    Publisher: Marvel Comics
    Release Date: Spring

    This is a doozy: horrible spelling aside, ResurrXion encompasses line-wide relaunches for the beleaguered X-Men franchise and the still-controversial Inhumans titles. Unfortunately for fans of Marvel's Merry Mutants, it seems like their Terrigen-powered rivals may have a slight advantage, with a flagship book from sleeper favorite Al Ewing and Jonboy Meyers, a Black Bolt solo title from fantasy author Saladin Ahmed and Ody-C artist Christian Ward and the teen-focused Secret Warriors from rising star Matthew Rosenberg and artist Javier Garron. The X-gene side of things doesn't look too shabby, though: in addition to somewhat underwhelming Blue and Gold lead titles, ResurrXion introduces Iceman's first solo ongoing from Sina Grace and Alessandro Vitti, the return of Generation X from Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna, a guns-blazing Cable from James Robinson and Carlos Pacheco, current X-contributors Dennis Hopeless and Victor Ibanez back for Jean Grey and Greg Pak launching the black-ops Weapon X (with Greg Land, sadly). Marc Guggenheim/Ardian Syaf and Cullen Bunn/Jorge Molina are solid creative teams for the marquee titles, but Blue and Gold have steep competition from the X-line’s ancillary titles, and fans of both the X-Men and the Inhumans should have something to look forward to this spring when ResurrXion gets rolling. Steve Foxe
  • anticipatedcomics17 boundlesscover-1400 Jillian Tamaki Boundless
    Write/Artist: Jillian Tamaki
    Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
    Release Date: June 6

    “Boundless” is the right term to describe Tamaki’s talents, which stretch into embroidery as well as comics and illustration work. The cartoonist behind Supermutant Magic Academy exercises a talent for lettering and text placement that enfolds the words into the visuals of her stories. This collection of shorter works should provide further evidence of her many skills. Hillary Brown
  • anticipatedcomics17 otherworldbarb2 Moto Hagio Otherworld Barbara Vol. 2
    Write/Artist: Moto Hagio
    Publisher: Fantagraphics
    Release Date: August 15

    Who knows whether the second half of Matt Thorn’s translation of Moto Hagio’s dreamy sci-fi story will actually wrap up the narrative. The intricate plot offers a lot of fun, but the atmosphere (heavily infused with Euro art-film fragrance) is what wraps its fingers around your ankle and makes you want to stay in this subversive universe. Hillary Brown
  • anticipatedcomics17 frontier Jonathan Hickman Frontier
    Writer/Artist: Jonathan Hickman
    Publisher: Image Comics
    Release Date: Spring/Summer

    Before he became a chief architect of Marvel’s capes population, Jonathan Hickman designed cerebral, adult and cynical bombshells like The Nightly News and Pax Romana. The master of buzzkill genre returns with Frontier, a project the cartoonist describes as “Star Trek, but super depressing.” That tagline could fit many of Hickman’s recent works, but we’re specifically curious how his design theory has evolved since the aughties. Those aforementioned inaugural works rarely stuck to generic grids of pictures, opting for less common approaches for conveying story. Infographics, dialogue transcriptions and other left-field visuals blurred the line between comics and a PowerPoint created by a Swiss design god. Whatever Frontier may offer, hopes are high that it takes the format to the same distant extremes as its hapless astronauts. Sean Edgar
  • anticipatedcomics17 heartless Tula Lotay Heartless
    Writer: Warren Ellis
    Artist: Tula Lotay
    Publisher: Image Comics
    Release Date: Summer

    In 2014, Supreme Blue Rose offered more than just another excellent Warren Ellis comic: it was a startling, revelatory introduction to artist Tula Lotay, whose haunting work made the plight of Diana Dane terrifying and gorgeous. Every page was a looker, whether Diana was struggling to get out of bed or encountering an Einstein-ish speedster named Doc Rocket, with art that was layered, vibrant, emotional and unlike anything else in comics. Fans would stand up and cheer for the return of Lotay in any form, but it’s doubly good news that she’s reunited with Ellis on a new (long-delayed) Image series called Heartless. The series unspools a horror story about a musician holing up in the Northern England woods at her family’s cabin, where I’m sure nothing weird or witchy will happen. Mark Peters
  • anticipatedcomics17 screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-90857-am Twitter Untitled Becky Cloonan/Tula Lotay Collaboration
    Writers: Becky Cloonan, Tula Lotay
    Artists: Becky Cloonan, Tula Lotay
    Publisher: TBD
    Release Date: 2017

    Two of our favorite auteurs, Tula Lotay and Becky Cloonan, will join forces to jointly write and illustrate a comic expected around the chill of fall, and we couldn’t be more elated. Both creators have honed careers conjuring ethereal, sensual beauty alongside mind-melt horror and sci-fi immensity, as seen in projects Supreme: Blue Rose (Lotay) and Demo (Cloonan). In recent years, Cloonan has also expanded her writing chops on brutal runs for her creator-owned cosmic horror venture Southern Cross alongside artist Andy Belanger at Image and the vigilante confection Punisher at Marvel with late legend Steve Dillon. According to Lotay, the “fantasy/horror/erotic” project concerns “a woman with sleep paralysis in the 17th Century at the height of the witch trails and the fear surrounding that.” These are the voices destined to expand what comics are capable of and who will read them. Sean Edgar
  • anticipatedcomics17 sheriff-s2-promo-colors3 Mitch Gerads The Sheriff of [???] Season 2
    Writer: Tom King
    Artist: Mitch Gerads
    Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics
    Release Date: 2017

    The Sheriff of Babylon was either the best comic of 2016 or almost the best, wowing critics and readers alike with a tale of political turmoil in Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s fall. Writer Tom King proved his mastery of the 12-issue story (as on Omega Men and The Vision) while artist Mitch Gerads showed why he’s one of the best artists in comics with an understated, documentarian style. Like all sequels to classics, this one is equally anticipated and feared: there is hope that sequel-itis might be avoided, since King presumably has a wealth of experience in Iraq from his stint as a CIA officer to draw for inspiration, and this team is now a proven quantity. Mark Peters
  • anticipatedcomics17 blackpearl C. Spike Trotman Black Pearl
    Writer/Artist: C. Spike Trotman
    Publisher: First Second
    Release Date: 2017

    Iron Circus Comics proprietor Spike Trotman has earned a reputation for filling niches that otherwise languish, hosting hugely successful Kickstarters and delivering high-quality comics that in genres that mainstream publishers largely avoid. Though Black Pearl is far from her first comic, it is her first time making long-form content for another label, and her debut producing non-fiction on a larger stage. Early 20th-century entertainer Josephine Baker isn’t a complete unknown, but if Trotman puts the same effort and skill into her research as she puts into running her company, this is going to be a fascinating read. The cartoonist’s emotive, kinetic art style will be a cherry on top. Her pervious work on the porn anthology Smut Peddler and webcomic Templar, Arizona have proven that she has no qualms about portraying the human body in all it’s flaws and fascinating forms. She doesn’t shy away from the truth or the erotic, making her honestly an ideal fit to be the biographer of one of history’s most notable dancers. Caitlin Rosberg
  • anticipatedcomics17 nb04-covers Benjamin Marra Night Business
    Writer/Artist: Benjamin Marra
    Publisher: Fantagraphics
    Release Date: 2017

    Benjamin Marra continues his harrowing journey through nudity, violence and the American Dream in Night Business, a project started years ago and now seeing completion for publisher Fantagraphics. For previous proof of Marra’s magic, look no further than Terror Assaulter and American Blood to see one cartoonist take a dumpster fire of b-movie excess, disappear behind a curtain and re-emerge with an armful of funny, challenging comics. And like those previous pieces, Night Business is the antithesis of subtle. Strippers, serial killers and drugs converge under a color palette of neon vice, weaving an homage to ‘80s exploitation while dissecting its values and cultural significance. Sean Edgar
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