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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media Launches Children Graphic Novel Imprint Etch in 2020

Etch

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media has announced Etch, a new line of graphic novels focused on young readers. The publisher is looking to release around 15 graphic novels a year.

The imprint is a little different than other publishers in that there isn’t a dedicated editorial team. Instead, they will acquire titles by editors from their existing children’s book imprints. HMH Books for Young Readers, Clarion, and Versify will see their graphic novel backlist shift to the Etch banner for future printings.

The Etch logo is by HMH senior designer Andrea Miller.

The line will launch in September 2020 with:

  • Dinomighty! by Greg Trine, illustrated by Aaron Blecha, “a zany caper featuring four dinosaur heroes for fans of Dog Man and The Bad Guys series.”
  • Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery by Renee Treml, a mystery story featuring the unlikely combination of a bird skeleton detective and his stuffed parrot sidekick.
  • Ichiro by Ryan Inzana, a revised paperback edition of the Eisner-nominated YA comic centering around a Japanese-American boy and his relationship with Japanese gods and mythological creatures.
  • Carmen Sandiego: The Chasing Paper Caper, the third in a series of graphic novels tying into the Netflix reboot of the classic animated series.

Future releases also announced include Timo the Adventurer by Jonathan Garnier, illustrated by Yohan Sacré (October 2020); Oh My Gods! by Stephanie Cooke and Insha Fitzpatrick, illustrated by Juliana Moon (January 2021); and Power Up by Sam Nisson, illustrated by Darnell Johnson (February 2021).

Preview: Power Up TPB

Power Up TPB

Publisher: BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Matt Cummings
Cover Artist: Matt Cummings
Price: $19.99

It has been foretold that four noble warriors of incredible strength would be gifted with cosmic abilities at a moment of planetary alignment…which, yeah, something definitely went wrong here. Amie is a disaffected twentysomething, Kevin is a washed-up athlete past his prime, Sandy’s a mother of two teenagers, and Silas…is a goldfish. Just a normal goldfish. Are we sure we read that prophecy right? Collects the complete limited series.

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Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d everyone get? What was everyone excited for? Let us know in the comments!

While you think about that, here’s some comic book news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Teen Vogue – 7 Comic Books with Badass LGBT Characters – Cool to see Teen Vogue covering comics more.

Comics Alliance – Hasbro Cinematic Universe Will Team G.I. Joe, Micronauts, and More – Transformers being included would make much more sense.

Popoptiq – The 10 Greatest Star Wars Comics on Marvel Unlimited – If you’re looking for some reads while you wait in line to get in.

Panels – Start ‘Em Early: Comics for Young Kids – Some solid suggestions.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

The Rainbow Hub – Batman #47

Comic Vine- Batman & Robin Eternal #11

The Rainbow Hub – Catwoman #47

Talking Comics – Insexts #1

Comic Vine – Klaus #2

The Rainbow Hub – Lumberjanes #21

The Rainbow Hub – Power Up #6

The Rainbow Hub – The Wicked + The Divine #17

Icv2 – Yo-Kai Watch Vol. 1 & 2

Preview: Power Up #6 (of 6)

Power Up #6 (of 6)

Imprint: BOOM! Box
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Matt Cummings

Final issue! Amie, Silas, Sandy, and Kevin face the biggest baddie yet!

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Preview: Power Up #5 (of 6)

Power Up #5 (of 6)

Imprint: BOOM! Box
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Matt Cummings

The Corners are four warriors who have been training since birth to receive the powers from the prophecy…the powers that went to Aimee and her woefully unprepared new friends instead!

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Preview: Power Up #4 (of 6)

Power Up #4 (of 6)

Imprint: BOOM! Box
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Matt Cummings

Derek and Sal mistakenly get Amie’s mail with some scary consequences.

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Preview: Power Up #3 (of 6)

Power Up #3 (of 6)

Imprint: BOOM! Box
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Matt Cummings

The team gets together at Sandy’s house to talk secret identities, cover stories, and costumes as they try and figure out what’s going on!

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BOOM! Studios in November 2015

KLAUS #1 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Dan Mora
Jackpot: Frazer Irving
BOOM! 10 Years Incentive Cover: Brian Stelfreeze
Incentive Cover: Chris Burnham

What’s to Love: Grant Morrison is one of the most prolific and best-selling writers in comics, earning a reputation for his ability to effectively revamp superheroes like Animal Man, Batman, and the X-Men. His creator-owned titles are also highly praised, including The Invisibles, Nameless, We3, and Joe the Barbarian because no one tells mythical stories better than him. In Klaus, Grant reimagines one of the biggest cultural myths in history, and we could not be more excited to pair him with one of our homegrown talents, Dan Mora (Hexed)!

What It Is: Set in a dark fantastic past of myth and magic, Klaus tells the story of how Santa Claus really came to be. Where did he begin? What was he like when he was young? And what happens when he faces his greatest challenge? Drawing on Santa Claus’ wilder roots in Viking lore and Siberian shamanism—taking in the creepier side of Christmas, and characters like the sinister Krampus—Klaus is “Santa Claus: Year One.”

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LAST SONS OF AMERICA #1 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Tonci Zonjic
BOOM! 10 Years Incentive Cover: Brian Stelfreeze
Incentive Cover: Matthew Dow Smith

What’s to Love: We were instantly taken with newcomer Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s inventive high concept story and mature characterization. Throw in a crime thriller element and Matthew Dow Smith’s moody art and Last Sons of America can be the perfect answer to the question, “What if Elmore Leonard wrote Children of Men?”

What It Is: When a biological terrorist attack makes it impossible for anyone in America to conceive children, adoption of kids from other counties explodes. Brothers Jackie and Julian are adoption agents based in Nicaragua. They usually do all their options through legal means, but they’re facing increasing competition from straight-up kidnappers. One desperate move from Jackie could put them in the cross-hairs of some very dangerous people.

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SIX-GUN GORILLA: PEN & INK #1

Retail Price: $14.99
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jeff Stokely
Cover Artist: Jeff Stokely

What’s to Love: Calling all process junkies! If you’re as much a fan of the behind-the-scenes process of illustration as you are of the finished product, you will love this in-depth look at the making of the critically acclaimed Six-Gun Gorilla.

What It Is: This next installment of the Pen & Ink series collects Six-Gun Gorilla issues #1-2 in an oversized, 11” x 17” format that features Jeff Stokely’s inks alongside new commentary and creative insights from Stokely and writer Simon Spurrier.

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PEANUTS: THE SNOOPY SPECIAL #1

Retail Price: $4.99
Author: Charles M. Schulz, Jason Cooper
Artist: Vicki Scott, Charles M. Schulz
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Charles M. Schulz
Incentive Cover: Charles M. Schulz

What’s to Love: With The Peanuts Movie set to debut this month, it’s the perfect time to recognize everyone’s favorite beagle in this Snoopy-centric special, featuring a new, original story.

What It Is: Celebrate the release of the new film with this one-shot Snoopy Special. Follow Snoopy, the World Famous Sergeant-Major of the Foreign Legion, on the mission of a lifetime to save his dear brother Spike, encountering adventure at every which corner of the neighborhood—from Lucy’s Psychiatric Booth to Schroeder’s piano.

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ROWANS RUIN #2 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Mike Perkins
Cover Artist: Mike Perkins

Synopsis: Katie begins to see a mutilated figure in the mirrors of Emily’s home.

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COGNETIC #2 (of 3)

Retail Price: $4.99
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Eryk Donovan
Cover Artist: Eryk Donovan

Synopsis: Annie is back to square one and starts amassing a crew of FBI agents to take out Blue.

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WILD’S END: THE ENEMY WITHIN #3 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: I.N.J. Culbard
Cover Artist: I.N.J. Culbard

Synopsis: Susan and Peter flee to warn the world about the aliens, Fawkes and Alph are working with the military, and Clive is captured by ministry men.

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SLEEPY HOLLOW: PROVIDENCE #4 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Eric Carrasco
Artist: Victor Santos
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Victor Santos
Incentive Cover: Robert Sammelin

Synopsis: The battle between The Wild Hunt and the Witnesses rages on, with the entire Hexenmeister community caught in the middle.

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WELCOME BACK #4 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
Cover Artist: Jonathan Brandon Sawyer

Synopsis: Tessa and Mali come face-to-face in search of something different from when they began.

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JOHN FLOOD #4 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Jorge Coelho
Cover Artist: Jorge Coelho

Synopsis: John’s first encounter with Tate doesn’t exactly end how he’d planned it.

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ARCADIA #7

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Alex Paknadel
Artist: Eric Scott Pfeiffer
Cover Artist: Eric Scott Pfeiffer

Synopsis: Lee Pepper attempts to escape the Boatmen in the real world, and in Arcadia, the Homesteaders discover that Giacomo might have unprecedented control over the simulation.

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ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK #12

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Maxim Simic
Cover Artists:
Main: Jason Copland
Incentive: Ibrahim Moustafa

Synopsis: Snake gets trapped with the former President in a live interview.

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THE WOODS #17

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Cover Artist: Michael Dialynas

Synopsis: New story arc! The results of the election turn the students against their allies, and Karen learns more about the Aboriginal people and their control over the power of the Woods.

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BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA #18

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Dan McDaid
Cover Artists:
Main: Joe Eisma
Incentive: Felipe Smith

Synopsis: To free Margo from mental enslavement, it’s time for Mr. Burton to ante up. In this game of poker, the Jack is wild!

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OVER THE GARDEN WALL #4 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Pat McHale
Artist: Jim Campbell
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Jim Campbell
Subscription Cover: Nick Cross
Incentive Cover: Levon Jihanian

Synopsis: Before the woodsman was busy chasing after the beast, he lived in the woods with his daughter. The day she disappeared was when the woodsman’s journey began.

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ADVENTURE TIME WITH FIONNA & CAKE: CARD WARS #5 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Jen Wang
Artist: Britt Wilson
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Jen Wang
Subscription Cover: Jessie Wong
Incentive Cover: Diana Huh

Synopsis: Cake has finally made it to the Floop Master, but will she be able avenge LSP? Can she defeat the Floop Master after neglecting Fionna for so long?

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REGULAR SHOW #29

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Mad Rupert
Artist: Laura Howell
Cover Artists:
Main: Fellipe Martins
Subscription: Christine Larsen

Synopsis: New story arc, and introducing new main series artist Laura Howell! Benson gets wind turbines for the park to save energy, but when Mordecai and Rigby turn them up super-fast to cut corners they send the park into the clouds!

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ADVENTURE TIME #46

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Chris Hastings
Artist: Zachary Sterling
Cover Artists:
Main: Missy Pena
Subscription: Vivi Ng

Synopsis: When one of Joshua’s old spells wears off, Finn and Jake find themselves facing an old childhood friend that neither of them can remember!

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TYSON HESSE’S DIESEL #3 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Tyson Hesse
Artist: Tyson Hesse
Cover Artist: Tyson Hesse

Synopsis: Diesel’s powers activate the mysterious flying engine, sending her into the trash-strewn expanse below the clouds known as The Wasteland.

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POWER UP #5 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Matt Cummings
Cover Artist: Matt Cummings

Synopsis: The Corners are four warriors who have been training since birth to receive the powers from the prophecy…the powers that went to Aimee and her woefully unprepared new friends instead!

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GIANT DAYS #8 (of 12)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: John Allison
Artist: Max Sarin
Cover Artist: Lissa Treiman

Synopsis: A brutal winter hits Sheffield, but things heat up when Esther has a fling with a faculty member! Daisy probably has a Friday Night Lights reference for this occasion…

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MUNCHKIN #11

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Tom Siddell
Artist: Ian McGinty
Cover Artist: Bridget Underwood

Synopsis: Spyke and Flower go kicking down doors, exploring dungeons and stealing loot!

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LUMBERJANES #20

Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh
Artist: Carolyn Nowak
Cover Artists:
Main: Carolyn Nowak
Incentive: Shannon May

Synopsis: It’s a mermaid war! April has made a real mess of things by trying to get her mer-pals back together, but can she make things better with the help of her friends?

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TOIL AND TROUBLE #3 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Author: Mairghread Scott
Artist: Kelly & Nichole Matthews
Cover Artist: Kyla Vanderklugt

Synopsis: Lady Macbeth enters stage left.

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AMERICATOWN #4 (of 8)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Bradford Winters & Larry J. Cohen
Artist: Daniel Izirrari
Cover Artist: Michael Choi

Synopsis: Owen and Tonto mobilize towards Derek, but Agent Arroyo is looking for him, too.

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HACKTIVIST VOL. 2 #5 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Marcus To
Cover Artist: Marcus To

Synopsis: Nate and Reggie confront some of the hackers on their search for the truth about The Tower.

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LANTERN CITY #7

Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Matthew Daley & Mairghread Scott
Artist: Carlos Magno
Cover Artist: Benjamin Carré

Synopsis: Rattled by the revelation that Killian is more dangerous than he’d realized, Sander ventures back into the Underground in search of his missing wife.

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DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES TP

Retail Price: $19.99
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Dan McDaid
Cover Artist: Jay Shaw

What’s to Love: Officially set in continuity of the new films, writer Michael Moreci (Burning Fields) and artist Dan McDaid (Mind the Gap) effectively bridge together events between Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, offering additional details and insight into the mindsets of apes Caesar and Koba, and human Malcolm.

What It Is: Two years following the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, humanity has fallen, giving way to the dawn of Caesar’s civilization. While the apes of the world find themselves unable to advance as a species, Caesar and Koba work tirelessly to find a way to unify them to join their cause. On the other side of the country, Malcolm must venture into the decaying Americas with his family to find a cure for the plague slowly killing his wife while world powers shift and civilizations simultaneously collapse and rise. Collects the entire six-issue miniseries.

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DEEP STATE VOL. 2 TP

Retail Price: $14.99
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artists: Ariela Kristantina
Cover Artist: Matt Taylor

Synopsis: At any given time, the U.S. government is running dozens of black-book operations, experiments that aren’t on any official record and are never acknowledged to exist. Control agents handle these operations when things go wrong, and ensure the government’s secrets stay just that—secret. Agents Harrow and Branch’s recent operations have them covering up the truth behind advanced military technology and the assassination of JFK. But while hiding answers from the public, the two partners are forced to confront the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other. Collects issues #5-8.

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ADVENTURE TIME VOL. 6 OGN: MASKED MAYHEM TP

Retail Price: $14.99
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Bridget Underwood
Cover Artist: Drew Green

Synopsis: BMO and Jake are getting ready for the biggest costume party ever, they have invites from everyone! As the party-hop they realize that each party has one thing in common, it has a prankster. Detective BMO is on the case to figure out what is going on with the help of Jake, his sidekick. Join them as they go across Ooo to find who the culprit is, while still enjoying some fun times with friends.

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UNCLE GRANDPA TP

Retail Price: $14.99
Writers: Kevin Burkhalter, David Degrand, Laura Howell, Yehudi Mercado, Scott Roberts, and more
Artists: Kevin Burkhalter, David Degrand, Laura Howell, Yehudi Mercado, Scott Roberts, and more
Cover Artist: Robb Mommaerts

What’s to Love: Adventure Time. Regular Show. The Amazing World of Gumball. Steven Universe. Can you tell we love Cartoon Network’s shows? We’re excited to welcome Uncle Grandpa to KaBOOM! It’s quirky, goofy, and oh-so-fun—a perfect formula for the four-color page. This MAD Magazine-style comic
features all manner of short strips, games, and more goofy things. If you’re a a fan of cartoonists like Don Martin, Gary Larson, and Tex Avery, you’ll enjoy Uncle Grandpa!

What It Is: Prepare yourself for Uncle Grandpa. He is everyone’s magical uncle and grandpa, and he’s here to help kids with their problems in surreal and wacky ways! Explore a collection of zany shorts and games starring Uncle Grandpa, Pizza Steve, Mr. Gus, and all the other crazy characters from the hit Cartoon Network show created by Peter Browngardt. Collects the complete miniseries, issues #1-4.

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THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL VOL. 1 OGN: FAIRY TALE TROUBLE

Retail Price: $14.99
Writers: Megan Brennan, Jeremy Lawson
Artists: Katy Farina, Jeremy Lawson
Cover Artist: Katy Farina

What’s to Love: The mixed-media look of The Amazing World of Gumball lends itself perfectly to comics, but now, we get to tell a full-length story, much like what it’d be like if you were watching a super-sized episode of the animated series!

What It Is: It’s a beautiful day for a Renaissance Faire, and the Watterson family is having a blast taking in ye olde fun and games…until a magician’s illusion turns into a real spell, and all of Elmore is cast into a fairy-tale world of quests, danger, and magical adventures! Can Wizard Darwin, Knight Anais, and Jester Gumball save Richard from his everlasting, turkey-leg-induced sleep, or will the citizens of Elmore remain trapped in the Middle Ages forever?

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MOUSE GUARD: LEGENDS OF THE GUARD VOL. 3 HC

Retail Price: $19.99
Author: David Petersen, Mark Buckingham, Skottie Young, Dustin Nguyen, Jake Parker, Ramon K. Perez, Becky Cloonan, and many more!
Artist: David Petersen, Mark Buckingham, Skottie Young, Dustin Nguyen, Jake Parker, Ramon K. Perez, Becky Cloonan, and many more!
Cover Artist: David Petersen

Synopsis: The third volume in the New York Times bestselling and Eisner Award-winning series, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume Three features tales written and illustrated by a collection of award-winning and critically acclaimed storytellers personally selected by series creator David Petersen. Once again, patrons at the June Alley Inn are challenged to tell the best Mouse Guard tale, with the winner getting their tab cleared!

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CYANIDE AND HAPPINESS: STAB FACTORY TP

Retail Price: $14.99
Writers: Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick
Artists: Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick
Cover Artists: Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick

What’s to Love: Cyanide & Happiness is one of the longest-running, most popular, humor comic strips on the web, easily earning millions of hits per week. With its crudely drawn art and snarky humor, Cyanide & Happiness has touched many a funny bone and is accessible to a legion of fans worldwide.

What It Is: Once again, creators Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, and Dave McElfatrick combine some of their best strips and a host of never-before-seen comics into a new, collected book. In the best, sickest tradition, Cyanide & Happiness’ simply drawn figures and the wildly inappropriate topics they cover—including cannibalism, murder, and incest—is most reminiscent of South Park, but offers a profane sensibility all its own. Includes a foreword by comedian Bo Burnham and Poetry Corner, a collection of demented rhymes.

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LUMBERJANES TO THE MAX EDITION VOL. 1 HC

Retail Price: $39.99
Authors: Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis
Artist: Brooke Allen

What’s to Love: We’re overwhelmed by the love, support, and enthusiasm from Lumberjumbies all over the world for this Eisner Award-winning series! Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson (Nimona), and Brooke Allen (A Home for Mr. Easter) have crafted a heartfelt series built on the power of friendship and positivity, and we’re thrilled to present the original eight-issue story arc in a deluxe hardcover for the first time.

What It Is: At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams! Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here. Includes Lumberjanes #1-8, a foreword by Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Sisters), the never-before collected Lumberjanes short from BOOM! Box 2014 Mix Tape, all of the Rad Mix Playlists, and more!

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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Justice League #43Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Nanjing: The Burning City HC (Dark Horse) – This is one of those weeks where I could have easily chosen 20 different comics to put on my picks. Narrowing it down to five was very difficult, but this book is absolutely on top. A graphic novel taking place in Nanjing during the Chinese occupation/attack during the second Chinese/Japanese war. The atrocities committed are staggering, and this graphic novel is a nice introduction that will hopefully get people more interested in this genocide and destruction.

Hip Hop Family Tree #1 (Fantagraphics) – If you missed it, the praised Fantagraphics graphic novel series is being released as monthly comics with extra material, so perfect for new readers and old readers like. The series is an amazing recounting of the rise of hip hop music.

Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare #1 (Comix Tribe) – I love Comix Tribe’s releases, though their release schedule can be a bit spotty at times. This new series, spinning out of The Red Ten, which is being released a week early, focuses on the supervillain the Oxymoron. Comix Tribe is a publisher that absolutely deserves more eyes on their releases.

Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess #2 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Jeremy Whitley’s Princeless has been both entertaining and destroying comic tropes and stereotypes at the same time. This new series, which spun out of the last volume, focuses on Raven as she builds a pirate crew to take on her brothers. This issue is amazing, and there’s one sequence in particular that’ll get you laughing and thinking.

Young Terrorists #1 (Black Mask Studios) – A fascinating read that I’m still digesting. It gets Black Mask Studios back to its political roots, taking on corporations, governments, really, society as a whole.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Justice League #43 (DC Comics) – The ending to the previous issue, with Batman taking on the role of Metron, is one of the big type of developments that Geoff Johns loves in his storytelling.  Where this story arc goes from here is anyone’s guess, but it is going to be something big.

Manifest Destiny #16 (Image Comics) – This series continues with the unexplained mysteries of America’s interior, as was seen by a different Lewis and Clark.  The revelations of the previous issue seem like they will have a big impact going forward.

Secret Wars: Secret Love #1 (Marvel) – Romance comics are an important part of the history of the medium of comics.  It is nice to see a romance inspired tie-in to Secret Wars, though it will be interesting to see exactly where they take it.

Silk #6 (Marvel) – There are still a few Marvel monthlies that are moving along somewhat unbothered by Secret Wars, and Silk is one of them.  This fun series never got a good chance to gain a decent fan base but continues to impress.

Van Helsing Vs. Dracula #1 (Zenescope) – Dracula is probably the most widely used villain in comics, not in terms of appearances, but in terms of how many companies have published stories with him.  Liesel Van Helsing is a steampunk heroine that has never made the connection with readers.  Putting the two together seems like it might work though.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess #2 (Action Lab Entertainment) –  Everyone loves Princeless, the feminist, funny, exciting all-ages fantasy comic staring women of color and a dragon. Raven the Pirate Princess is not just a spin-off series, it is the next step of maturation for the adventure/fantasy world Jeremy Whitley is building. While both series are all-ages this one is aimed at slightly older kids. It very effectively lampoons real world sexism in ways that I want to put on freaking flyers and hand out at conferences.

Just as important, it features young women flirting with each other. So you get pirate ships and also ‘shipping in one family-friendly, queer positive, comic book featuring mostly people of color.

Marvel, DC, take note.

Which brings us to….

Top Pick: Secret Wars: Secret Loves #1 (Marvel) – Jeremy Whitley, creator of the feminist all-ages fantasy comic dynamo that is Princeless is finally writing something for Marvel. It’s a romance story featuring Danny Rand and Misty Knight! If that wasn’t enough in this comic we get Kamalah Kahn and Robbie Reyes together. Marvel should probably publish a full time romance series again. Other then X-Men.

Black Canary #3 (DC Comics) – Last issue ended on a cliff hanger. Who’s Dinah’s ex in the covert-ops suit? And how does that mysterious kid play guitar like that? And when will someone buy me an Annie Wu commission? Her art here is killer.

Island #2 (Image Comics) – Bored of comics? Want something new? Buy this. All of the art is unlike any of the other comics art you have. Unless you read a lot of Brandon Graham stuff in which case the Brandon Graham stuff will be familiar. And by familiar I mean awesome.

Power-Up #2 (BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios) – Magical girls for everyone! Magical girls for construction workers with beards! For Mom’s in station wagons with irritable teenagers! For tiny gold fish! And for under-employed retail workers. Cute and heartfelt. Read the review I wrote for issue 1.

Secret Six #5 (DC Comics) – Gail Simone’s original run on Secret Six is one of my favorite comics of all time. It’s taken a while to get this new volume up and running properly. But the last issue marked a major upswing in the series. It’s harkening back to the twisted humor, over the top violence and drama between members of a found family of fucked-up people that made readers fall in love with the original series.

Wolf #2 (Image Comics) – Urban fantasy is a dime a dozen right now but Ales Kott’s new series Wolf stands out. The story is completely unpredictable. This series has a David Lynchian vibe I haven’t felt in anything else I read. It’s reminiscent in tone Mulholland Drive in particular. The series is genuinely creepy and a little confusing. But I love Mulholland Drive for those very reasons. So consider that praise for this book too.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Justice League #43 (DC Comics) – Forget Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, this has been the cinematic adventure of the year for me! I love how Johns has taken the old cliché of “Bat-God” and turned it literal. Awesome stuff. His reinterpretation of Darkseid and his Apokolips horde is fantastic.  I don’t see it slowing down. Waiting at the bus stop for the next Boom Tube!

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #4 (Marvel Comics) – Peter finally gets his daughter back and she fights by his side. I don’t think anything more needs to be said. Thwip this one up quick Webheads!

House of M #1 (Marvel Comics) – What’s better than one rule under Doom? Try Magneto. I am very glad they are revisiting this story. Was great when it was originally published. However what could Wanda wish away this time? How about hoping she utters the words “No More Reboots.”

Superman/ Wonder Woman #20 (DC Comics) – Continuing the Truth story, I’m eager to see what became of Lana Lang but if this month doesn’t turn it around, this might be it for me on this title. Big fan of Mahnke but not sure his art can save me on this. Hope I’m wrong.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #49 (IDW Publishing) – One more issue till the big one. This is where it hits the fan! Turtles, Shredder, Splinter, Bebop, Rocksteady, Metalhead, Karai. I am eagerly awaiting the showdown. Rumor is one of the Turtles may not survive..

Preview: Power Up #2 (of 6)

Power Up #2 (of 6)

Imprint: BOOM! Box
Author: Kate Leth
Artist: Matt Cummings

A traffic jam turns into a battlefield as Amie, Sandy, Kevin, and Silas fight together as a team for the first time!

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