Mad Ghost Productions presents the monstrous Geiger 80-Page Giant #1—which will include exciting stories from the Geiger universe by series creators Geoff Johns and Gary Frank alongside such guest talents as Bryan Hitch, Jay Faerber, Sterling Gates, Janet Harvey, Leon Hendrix III, Peter J. Tomasi, Pornsak Pichetshote, Staz Johnson, Joe Prado, Paul Pelletier, Sean Galloway, Peter Snejbjerg, Kelley Jones, and Megan Levens. This new chapter will showcase tales of Geiger’s allies and enemies and arrive from Image Comics this November.
First, in an extra-sized lead story, Geoff Johns and Bryan Hitch introduce the mysterious man known as Redcoat and reveal his bizarre ties to the American Revolution, the Unknown War, and Geiger himself.
Then, discover the secrets of the Warlords of Las Vegas—Bonnie Borden! Goldbeard! Mr. Karloff! And more!—in a series of tales written and drawn by some of the greatest writers and artists today.
Plus, readers will learn the special origin of Geiger’s favorite two-headed dog, Barney, and get a sneak peek at Johns and Frank’s new upcoming series: Junkyard Joe.
Geiger 80-Page Giant #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, November 24:
2020 definitely felt like a year where I embraced comics in all their different formats and genres from the convenient, satisfying graphic novella to the series of loosely connected and curated one shots and even the door stopper of an omnibus/hardcover or that charming webcomic that comes out one or twice a week on Instagram. This was partially due to the Covid-19 pandemic that shut down comics’ traditional direct market for a bit so I started reviewing webcomics, trade paperbacks, graphic novels and nonfiction even after this supply chain re-opened. I also co-hosted and edited two seasons of a podcast about indie comics where we basically read either a trade every week for discussion, and that definitely meant spending more time with that format. However, floppy fans should still be happy because I do have a traditional ongoing series on my list as well as some minis.
Without further ado, here are my favorite comics of 2020.
10. Marvels Snapshots (Marvel)
Curated by original Marvels writer Kurt Busiek and with cover art by original Marvels artist Alex Ross, Marvels Snapshots collects seven perspectives on on the “major” events of the Marvel Universe from the perspectives of ordinary people from The Golden Age of the 1940s to 2006’s Civil War. It’s cool to get a more character-driven and human POV on the ol’ corporate IP toy box from Alan Brennert and Jerry Ordway exploring Namor the Submariner’s PTSD to Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, and Benjamin Dewey showing the real reason behind Johnny Storm’s airhead celebrity act. There’s also Mark Russell and Ramon Perez’s take on the classic Captain America “Madbomb” storyline, Barbara Kesel’s and Staz Johnson’s sweet, Bronze Age-era romance between two first responders as the Avengers battle a threat against the city, and Saladin Ahmed and Ryan Kelly add nuance to the superhuman Civil War by showing how the Registration Act affects a Cape-Killer agent as well as a young elemental protector of Toledo, Ohio, who just wants to help his community and do things like purify water. However, the main reason Marvels Snapshots made my “favorite” list was Jay Edidin and Tom Reilly‘s character-defining work showing the pre-X-Men life of Cyclops as he struggles with orphan life, is inspired by heroes like Reed Richards, and lays the groundwork for the strategist, leader, and even revolutionary that appears in later comics.
Fangs is cartoonist Sarah Andersen’s entry into the Gothic romance genre and was a light, funny, and occasionally sexy series that got me through a difficult year. Simply put, it follows the relationship of a vampire named Elsie and a werewolf named Jimmy, both how they met and their life together. Andersen plays with vampire and werewolf fiction tropes and sets up humorous situations like a date night featuring a bloody rare steak and a glass of blood instead of wine, Jimmy having an unspoken animosity against mail carriers, and just generally working around things like lycanthropy every 28 days and an aversion to sunlight. As well as being hilarious and cute, Fangs shows Sarah Andersen leveling up as an artist as she works with deep blacks, different eye shapes and textures, and more detailed backgrounds to match the tone of her story while not skimping on the relatable content that made Sarah’s Scribbles an online phenomenon.
I really got into Vault Comics this year. (I retroactively make These Savage Shores my favorite comic of 2019.) As far as prose, I mainly read SF, and Vault nicely fills that niche in the comics landscape and features talented, idiosyncratic creative teams. Heavy is no exception as Max Bemis, Eryk Donovan, and Cris Peter tell the story of Bill, who was gunned down by some mobsters, and now is separated from his wife in a place called “The Wait” where he has to set right enough multiversal wrongs via violence to be reunited with her in Heaven. This series is a glorious grab bag of hyperviolence, psychological examinations of toxic masculinity, and moral philosophy. Heavy also has a filthy and non-heteronormative sense of humor. Donovan and Peter bring a high level of chaotic energy to the book’s visuals and are game for both tenderhearted flashbacks as well as brawls with literal cum monsters. In addition to all this, Bemis and Donovan aren’t afraid to play with and deconstruct their series’ premise, which is what makes Heavy my ongoing monthly comic.
Writer/artist Katie Skelly puts her own spin on the true crime genre inMaids, a highly stylized account of Christine and Lea Papin murdering their employers in France during the 1930s. Skelly’s linework and eye popping colors expertly convey the trauma and isolation that the Papins go through as they are at the beck and call of the family they work almost 24/7. Flashbacks add depth and context to Christine and Lea’s characters and provide fuel to the fire of the class warfare that they end up engaging in. Skelly’s simple, yet iconic approach character design really allowed me to connect with the Papins and empathize with them during the build-up from a new job to murder and mayhem. Maids is truly a showcase for a gifted cartoonist and not just a summary of historical events.
In her webcomic Grind Like A Girl, cartoonist Veronica Casson tells the story of growing up trans in 1990s New Jersey. The memoir recently came to a beautiful conclusion with Casson showing her first forays into New York, meeting other trans women, and finding a sense of community with them that was almost the polar opposite of her experiences in high school. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the evolution of Veronica Casson’s art style during different periods of her life from an almost Peanuts vibe for her childhood to using more flowing lines, bright colors, and ambitious panel layouts as an older teen and finally an adult. She also does a good job using the Instagram platform to give readers a true “guided view” experience and point out certain details before putting it all together in a single page so one can appreciate the comic at both a macro/micro levels. All in all, Grind Like A Girl is a personal and stylish coming of age memoir from Veronica Casson, and I look forward to seeing more of her work.
Thai/Italian cartoonist Elisa Macellari tells an unconventional World War II story in Papaya Salad, a recently translated history comic about her great uncle Sompong, who just wanted to see the world. However, he ended up serving with the Thai diplomatic corps in Italy, Germany, and Austria during World War II. Macellari uses a recipe for her great uncle’s favorite dish, papaya salad, to structure the comic, and her work has a warm, dreamlike quality to go with the reality of the places that Sampong visits and works at. Also, it’s very refreshing to get a non-American or British perspective on this time in history as Sampong grapples with the shifting status of Thailand during the war as well as the racism of American soldiers, who celebrate the atomic bomb and lump him and his colleagues with the Japanese officers, and are not shown in a very positive light. However, deep down, Papaya Salad is a love story filled with small human moments that make life worth living, like appetizing meals, jokes during dark times, and faith in something beyond ourselves. It’s a real showcase of the comics medium’s ability to tell stories from a unique point of view.
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (with colorist Jacob Phillips) are two creators whose work has graced my “favorite comics” list many times. And this time they really outdid themselves with the graphic novella Pulpabout the final days of Max Winters, a gunslinger-turned-Western dime novelist. It’s a character study peppered with flashbacks as Phillips and Phillips use changes in body posture and color palette to show Max getting older while his passion for resisting those who would exploit others is still intact. Basically, he can shoot and rob fascists just like he shot and robbed cattle barons back in the day. Brubaker and Phillips understand that genre fiction doesn’t exist in a vacuum and is informed by the historical context around it, which is what makes Pulp such a compelling read. If you like your explorations of the banality of evil and creeping specter of fascism with heists, gun battles, and plenty of introspection, then this is the comic for you.
Music is my next favorite interest after comics so My Riot was an easy pick for my favorite comics list. The book is a coming of age story filtered through 1990s riot girl music from writer Rick Spears and artist Emmett Helen. It follows the life of Valerie, who goes from doing ballet and living a fairly conservative suburban life to being the frontwoman and songwriter for a cult riot girl band. Much of this transformation happens through Helen’s art and colors as his palette comes to life just as Valerie does when she successfully calls out some audience members/her boyfriend for being sexist and patronizing. The comic itself also takes on a much more DIY quality with its layouts and storytelling design as well as how the characters look and act. My Riot is about the power of music to find one’s identify and true self and build a community like The Proper Ladies do throughout the book. Valerie’s arc is definitely empowering and relatable for any queer kid, who was forced to conform to way of life and thinking that wasn’t their own.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: slice of life is my all-time favorite comic book genre. So, I was overjoyed when writers Sina Grace and Omar Spahi, artist Jenny D. Fine, and colorist Mx. Struble announced that they were doing a monthly slice of life comic about a brother, sister, and their best friend/ex-boyfriend (respectively) set in San Francisco that also touched on the gay and indie music scene. And Getting It Together definitely has lifted up to my pre-release hype as Grace and Spahi have fleshed out a complex web of relationships and drama with gorgeous and occasionally hilarious art by Fine and Struble. There are gay and bisexual characters all over the book with different personalities and approaches to life, dating, and relationships, which is refreshing too. Grace, Spahi, and Fine also take some time away from the drama to let us know about the ensemble cast’s passions and struggles like indie musician Lauren’s lifelong love for songwriting even if her band has a joke name (Nipslip), or her ex-boyfriend Sam’s issues with mental health. I would definitely love to spend more than four issues with these folks.
My favorite comic of 2020 was The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott , a debut graphic novel by cartoonist Zoe Thorogood.The premise of the comic is that Billie is an artist who is going blind in two weeks, and she must come up with some paintings for her debut gallery show during that time period. The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott boasts an adorably idiosyncratic cast of characters that Thorogood lovingly brings to life with warm visuals and naturalistic dialogue as Billie goes from making art alone in her room to making connections with the people around her, especially Rachel, a passionate folk punk musician. The book also acts as a powerful advocate for the inspirational quality of art and the act of creation. Zoe Thorogood even creates “art within the art” and concludes the story with the different portraits that Billie painted throughout her travels. The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott was the hopeful comic that I needed in a dark year and one I will cherish for quite some time as I ooh and aah over Thorogood’s skill with everything from drawing different hair styles to crafting horrific dream sequences featuring eyeballs.
(W) Barbara Randall Kesel, Kurt Busiek (A) Staz Johnson (CA) Alex Ross Rated T+ In Shops: Nov 18, 2020 SRP: $4.99
The Marvel Snapshot tour through Marvel history takes a romantic – and destructive – turn during the Michelinie/Byrne/Pérez Avengers era! Take one rookie cop, add one new-to-the-city emergency medical technician, and make their meet-cute a devastating battle between the Avengers and a giant, rampaging robot! What comes next? Only Barbara Randall Kesel (Hawk & Dove, Ultragirl) and Staz Johnson (New X-Men, Robin) can tell you. Featuring Iron Man, the Beast, Wonder Man, Count Nefaria and more.
Starting next month and continuing through June, Marvels Snapshots will be a bi-monthly series consisting of eight standalone issues offering unusual viewpoints on some of your favorite Marvel heroes. Curated by industry legend Kurt Busiek with iconic painted covers by Alex Ross, this milestone series will feature new creative teams for each giant-sized story handpicked by Busiek himself! In May 2020, this unforgettable tour through Marvel history will showcase tales focusing on the Avengers and Spider-Man.
First up will be an Avengers story like none other by superstar writer Barbara Randall Kesel and acclaimed artist Staz Johnson. Set during the influential David Michelinie, John Byrne, and George Perez era of Avengers, Marvels Snapshots: Avengers will depict a romance that could only happen in the Marvel Universe when a rookie cop and new-to-the-city emergency medical technician meet amidst a devastating battle between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and a giant, rampaging robot!
Following that will be Marvels Snapshots: Spider-Man written and drawn by industry great, Howard Chaykin! This action-packed story will be told through the eyes of a lowlife criminal just trying to make a living in the super hero infested streets of New York City. See firsthand how hard life as a henchman can be when someone like Spider-Man lurks around every corner!
Month after month, prepare to be delighted by these marvelous tales told by a diverse group of creators from across the comic book industry. Don’t miss a single issue when Marvels Snapshots kicks off next month!
Written by LONNIE NADLER & ZAC THOMPSON
Art by KEN LASHLEY
Inks by RYAN WINN
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by SIMON BOWLAND
Cover A by FELIPE MASSAFERA
Cover B by DAVID MACK
Variant Cover by STAZ JOHNSON
Glass Variant Cover by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Pre-Order Edition by KEN LASHLEY
Blank Cover Also Available
NEW ONGOING SERIES! DISCOVER THE TRUE ORIGIN OF VALIANT’S MOST UNRELENTING HERO!
Before a weapon is deployed in battle, it must be designed, refined, field-tested. Bloodshot was no exception.
In the early days of the private military contractor Project Rising Spirit, the nanite-infused super-soldier who would one day become their most violent and valuable asset was a resource to be mined – and it was up to one enterprising employee, the Memory Weaver, to ensure he did what he was told. But memory is a tricky thing…and the man Bloodshot used to be won’t let go of his past so easily…
Celebrated writer Kevin Grevioux (New Warriors) teams up with the incomparable writing duo of Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson (The Dregs) and comics legend Ken Lashley (Black Panther) to open a door once closed and reveal answers to questions that Bloodshot himself would never think to ask!
Valiant has released a first lettered and colored look within the pages of Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1, the first issue of an unstoppable new series that will forever redefine the origins of Valiant’s most unrelenting hero!
On November 14th, superstar writer Kevin Grevioux joins the sensational creative team of Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson (Cable) and legendary artist Ken Lashley for a gripping exploration into the first steps of the walking weapon of war known as…BLOODSHOT!
Before a weapon is deployed in battle, it must be designed, refined, field-tested. Bloodshot was no exception. In the early days of the private military contractor Project Rising Spirit, the nanite-infused super-soldier who would one day become their most violent and valuable asset was a resource to be mined – and it was up to an enterprising team of scientists to ensure he did what he was told. But a memory is a tricky thing…and the man Bloodshot used to be won’t let go of his past so easily…
Featuring covers by Felipe Massafera, David Mack, Staz Johnson, and Doug Braithwaite!
Valiant has released a first look at Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1, the FIRST ISSUE of a PULSE-POUNDING NEW ONGOING SERIES by acclaimed writers Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson and legendary comic artist Ken Lashley – including a new cutting-edge innovation in comic publishing, the Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 Glass Cover Variant!
Following in the footsteps of Valiant’s ultra-successful run of Brushed Metal Variants, the Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1Glass Cover Variant will be printed via a special multi-colored process on a carefully devised pane of glass, with artwork by superstar creator Doug Braithwaite!
Retailers, take note: the Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 Glass Variant Covercan be obtained for every qualifying order of 250 copies of Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1. There is no limit per store. Orders will open in late August through Diamond Comics.
But that’s not all! Valiant has also announced the Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1-8 Pre-Order Edition Bundle – eight massively expanded issues packed with trade paperback-style extras and bonus content, plus exclusive covers by renowned artist Ken Lashley! This bundle can only be obtained by pre-ordering all eight issues with your local comic shop by the final order cut-off date of October 22nd, 2018– no more copies will be made available beyond that date and subsequent issues will not be offered in later solicitations!
Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 is outNovember 14th featuring covers by Felipe Massafera, David Mack, Staz Johnson, Doug Braithwaite, and Ken Lashley!
Writer(s): Steve Bryant
Artist Name(s): Yusuf Idris (art), Emily Elmer (colors)
Cover Artist: Steve Bryant (Cover A), Staz Johnson (Cover B), Brent Schoonover (Cover C)
32 pgs./ T / FC
ATHENA VOLTAIRE AND THE GOLDEN DAWN, part one. A new story arc begins as Athena travels to Portugal to retrieve a previously undiscovered DaVinci Codex. Of course, there are always other interested parties…
Writers: Carole Barrowman, John Barrowman
Artist: Neil Edwards
COVER A: BLAIR SHEDD
COVER B: WILL BROOKS – PHOTO
COVER C: NICK PERCIVAL
COVER D: STAZ JOHNSON
COVER E: SIMON MYERS
FC – 32pp – $3.99 – On sale: February 8, 2017
Gwen Cooper has been pulled away from her domestic bliss by the reappearance of Captain Jack Harkness, and his companions, the crew of the alien tech-filled ship the Ice Maiden. No sooner has Gwen rejoined the team, than they has to contend with jetski-riding ninjas, a mystery involoving an alien race known as the Navigators, the return of the roguish Captain John Hart, and the revelation that the current Lady of Torchwood House, Karina is far from what she seems. As we rejoin events in the midst of a stand-off, things are more than a little tense…