The 40 Most Anticipated Comics of 2018

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IceCreamMan.jpeg Ice Cream Man
Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Artist: Martin Morazzo
Publisher: Image Comics 
Release Date: January 17
It may not look like it, but Ice Cream Man may be the most unpredictable and unsettling comic on this list. Written by One Week in the Library W. Maxwell Prince with art by his Electric Sublime collaborator Martin Morazzo, Ice Cream Man is a Twilight Zone-like anthology loosely connected by the titular Ice Cream Man (and you should take the “Man” part with a grain of salt). Each issue introduces a new cast and a new tone, from addiction tragedy to a very productive, very poisonous spider. Prince is fast building an unusual resume in comics, and Morazzo’s style recalls the precise line work of greats like Frank Quitely. You’ll never look at ice-cream trucks the same way after this one. Steve Foxe


InfidelMostAnticipated.jpeg Infidel
Writer: Pornshak Pichetshote
Artist: Aaron Campbell
Publisher: Image Comics 
Release Date: March 14
It’s a good time to be a former Vertigo editor: founder Karen Berger is primed to launch her eponymous imprint at Dark Horse, Shelly Bond is digging deeper into Black Crown at IDW, Cliff Chiang continues to amaze on Paper Girls and now Pornshak Pichetshote joins the party with Infidel, a new horror series drawn by The Shadow and James Bond: Felix Leiter artist Aaron Campbell. Pichetshote’s writing debut updates the haunted house for the MAGA era, as a young Muslim woman and her multiracial neighbors move into a building stalked by spirits that feed off of xenophobia and racism. Like Days of Hate, Infidel pulls from the modern tumult to tell a thrilling genre story the way that only comics can, enhanced by Campbell’s shadowy style. Steve Foxe


IsThisGuyForReal.jpeg Is This Guy For Real?
Writer/Artist: Box Brown
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: February 7
Cartoonist Box Brown sure knows how to pick his subjects. Following on the heels of his Andre the Giant biography and his deep dive into the history of Tetris, Brown takes a look at the controversial, confusing, contradictory life of comedian Andy Kaufman. Best known for his role on Taxi, Kaufman excelled as an offbeat stand-up comedian and had a surprisingly successful stint in wrestling before his early death from cancer at age 35, but his various public personas rarely matched his private life. Brown, who employs an appealing simplified cartooning style throughout, takes care to explore why Kaufman constructed these personalities, and what they said about the man behind Latka Gravas and Tony Clifton. Steve Foxe


Motherlands.jpg Motherlands
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Rachael Stott
Publisher: Vertigo/ DC Comics 
Release Date: January 31
Despite the wellspring of Vertigo inspiration across the comics industry, from IDW’s Black Crown to many Image titles to DC’s own Young Animal imprint, the storied mature readers line has kept a modest title count in recent years. This month, The Spire auteur Simon Spurrier and Sex Criminals and The Wicked + The Divine contributor Rachael Stott bring us Motherlands, a six-issue mini-series set in a future awash with alternate realities, where the biggest celebrities are bounty hunters capable of tracking science criminals across different timelines and worlds. Protagonist Tab finds herself chasing a bounty so big she’ll need help from her greatest foil: her own mother, once the most feared bounty hunter in the business. With a mix of mother/daughter comedy and world-hopping action, Motherlands bodes well for Vertigo. Keep an eye out for Joshua Williamson and Riley Rossmo’s Deathbed too, joining Motherlands at Vertigo next month. Steve Foxe


MyFavoriteThingisMonsters2.jpg My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol. 2
Writer/Artist: Emil Ferris
Publisher: Fantagraphics 
Release Date: August 14
Possibly the most anticipated indie book of the year, the second half of Emil Ferris’s explosive, intense story that addresses social unrest in 1960s Chicago (with strong parallels to today) doesn’t drop until August, so that’s a long time to anticipate. Ferris’ ballpoint-heavy, lovingly cross-hatched drawings take time, both to draw and to look at, so it’ll probably be worth the wait, but still… Hillary Brown


NewMutantsDeadSouls.jpeg New Mutants: Dead Souls
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Adam Gorham
Publisher: Marvel Comics 
Release Date: March 14
For a seemingly endless period of darkness at the height of Disney/Fox contention over film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four, Marvel seemed to de-prioritize the merry mutants, much to the chagrin of a generation raised on the animated series and mutant melodrama. Those gloomy days seem to be behind us, and now the publisher is even capitalizing on some movie synergy. New Mutants: Dead Souls revives the fan-favorite underdogs as a team willing to confront paranormal threats—a clear connection to both the Bill Sienkiewicz era and the upcoming horror-inspired movie. Written by Phoenix Resurrection scribe Matthew Rosenberg and drawn by Rocket’s Adam Gorham, New Mutants: Dead Souls looks to be a love letter to the franchise’s first junior-varsity team and a much-welcomed (if temporary) expansion of the X-line. Also on the horizon: a Legion mini-series from Peter Milligan (no stranger to mutants or madness) and artist Wilfredo Torres, hitting shops January 24th.Steve Foxe


NowFanta2.jpeg Now 2 & 3
Writer/Artist: Various
Publisher: Fantagraphics 
Release Date: January 24/ May 31
This comics anthology, which was new in 2017 from Fantagraphics, is driven by Eric Reynolds, who put together Mome from 2005 to 2011. The first volume featured work by Eleanor Davis, Noah Van Sciver, Gabrielle Bell, Dash Shaw, Sammy Harkham, Tommi Parrish and Malachi Ward, among others. It was fresh and immediate, not too fussy or too carefully vetted but beautifully produced. Issues 2 and 3 are due out this month and in May, respectively, and promise more good stuff from around the world. Hillary Brown


OblivionSongMostAnticipated.jpeg Oblivion Song
Writer:   Robert Kirkman  
Artist: Lorenzo De Felici
Publisher: Skybound/ Image Comics 
Release Date: March 7
Paste had the pleasure of sitting down last October with Skybound founder and The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman to help announce Oblivion Song, his upcoming ongoing series with Italian artist Lorenzo De Felici. Kirkman doesn’t really do small releases these days, with Outcast continuing to haunt horror fans and Invincible racing toward it blockbuster end, and Oblivion Song is poised to make quite the impact when it drops this March. Set a decade after 300,000 residents of Philadelphia are teleported into a nightmarish alternate world, Oblivion Song follows a scientist who won’t give up on recovering the people lost in a flash. De Felici employs a highly fluid style reminiscent of Rumble’s James Harren, and a knack for memorable creature design. If Kirkman’s track record is any indication, Oblivion Song is in for a big 2018. Steve Foxe


PrinceAndDressmaker.jpeg The Prince & The Dressmaker
Writer/Artist: Jen Wang
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: February 14
Jen Wang wowed readers with her art for In Real Life with Cory Doctorow, and her latest release sees Wang handling both script and art for an identity-bending romance set in old-timey Paris. Prince Sebastian’s parents are seeking a bride for their son, but Sebastian is much more passionate about his secret life as Lady Crystallia, Paris’ favorite fashion icon. Sebastian lives his fabulous second life with the help of his dressmaker best friend Frances, who keeps his secret but longs for greatness beyond her silent success with Lady Crystallia. Wang delicately navigates questions of personal identity while spinning a charming love story and bringing to life a gorgeously decadent period in French fashion and culture. The Prince & The Dressmaker is a timeless fairy tale for the modern age. Steve Foxe


PrismStalker.jpg Prism Stalker
Writer/Artist: Sloane Leong
Publisher: Image Comics 
Release Date: March 7
There’s no lack of Magical Girl and Chosen One stories in comics at the moment, but most of them are targeted toward young adult or middle grade readers—all-ages books with styles and sensibilities to match. But these tropes have even more to offer in the context of work oriented toward adults, and Sloane Leong is the perfect person to remind readers of that potential. Leong contributed to the Image Comics fantasy series From Under Mountains, and it’s gratifying that creators like her continue to find space for superhero-free speculative fiction in the medium. Early teases of Prism Stalker often reference novelist Octavia Butler, and the plot sounds like it would fit right in on a shelf with Afrofuturist novels and speculative fiction written by other people of color. It’s a story rooted in family and technology and metaphors for colonialism that should prove confrontational and unflinching. Comics can always use more speculative fiction stories, especially those created by artists with new angles or perspectives to explore, and Leong’s strong record so far makes Prism Stalker an easy title to recommend. Caitlin Rosberg


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