While it may not be exactly true, it seems like more comics than ever released in 2018. A number of new series started while plenty of existing series continued on, leaving most of us with not nearly enough time to read everything we would’ve liked to during this hectic year.
But I’ve been tracking the books I’ve missed out on, with an eye toward using holiday funds and vacation time to catch up on the most promising new series and one-shots of 2018. With surely a whole ‘nother batch of new series set to release in 2019, these are the comics I’m going to go back and make time for from last year.
5. A Walk Through Hell
I’ve been checking in on this series since covering its announcement, and the pages I’ve seen have me convinced that A Walk Through Hell is a good Garth Ennis comic.
Not every Ennis comic is for me, but I absolutely love the ones I love. With its X-Files adjacent premise, relevant-to-the-times (and *hopefully* subtle) commentary, and tight cuts between the past and the present, A Walk Through Hell seems like it’ll fit in the latter category. Additionally, Goran Sudžuka’s storytelling is on-point, conveying a claustrophobic foreboding that’s perfect for a supernatural, locked-warehouse mystery.
I’ve been waiting months for this series to come to trade, and I’m excited to finally begin investigating A Walk Through Hell‘s mysteries alongside Agents Shaw and McGregor.
4. The Seeds
I’ll be honest; I have no idea what The Seeds is actually about. I’ve even read an issue of the series, and I couldn’t tell you much more than its initial bonkers premise, which I’m going to just copy and paste here verbatim for fear of missing anything:
“The bees are swarming. What do they know that we don’t?
The rich have built walls around their wealth and scramble into escape rockets. The romantic and the ruthless cross over into the lawless wilds of Zone-B. A few cantankerous aliens have come to collect the last dregs of humanity’s essence for the celestial embryo bank. One of them falls in love.
Astra is an idealistic journalist who stumbles into the story of a lifetime, only to realize that if she reports it, she’ll destroy the last hope of a dying world. How far will she go to get her story?”
While that sounds both busy and depressing as all get-out, I know that David Aja (of Immortal Iron Fist fame) is killing it on this series, and I know that Ann Nocenti’s written a lot of comics I should have already read. I don’t plan to miss out on this one, which seems to be the standout book of former Vertigo head honcho Karen Berger’s new line at Dark Horse.
Fence has been running for awhile now, with its third volume set to drop in April 2019, but I became aware of it only late last year. Playing in the sports comic space typically reserved for manga, Fence was originally set to end before publishing its full twelve issues, but readers found the book’s tale of teen fencing rivalry so compelling that it’s now set to continue past issue twelve, as a series of graphic novels.
I heard of Fence on comic book podcast War Rocket Ajax, where host Chris Sims frequently talks up the book, and I’ve since read through the free preview available at BOOM! Studios website. The clean art and soap opera angst has me convinced that Fence should run as long as its creators want to keep making it; I’m ready to pick up volume one.
2. The Immortal Hulk
For the last several years, Al Ewing’s been steadily making a case that he might be Marvel’s best current writer, and 2018’s The Immortal Hulk is the most recent evidence as such. In the space of less than ten issues, Ewing has masterfully swerved Immortal Hulk through several horror sub-genres, while also keeping it part of the larger Marvel Universe.
Not to be outdone by Ewing’s writing, regular artist Joe Bennett is crafting cunning splashes and page turn reveals, and the book’s “fill-in” artists (a term I even hesitate to use here) have each turned in unique looks at the Hulk’s world and the destruction he leaves in his wake. And to literally top things off, the legendary Alex Ross has been turning in clever, striking covers that might rank as some of the best work of his career.
I know all this because I’ve been at least paging through the book each month it’s come out, and enjoying it each time. Issue seven’s cliffhanger, however, shocked me and convinced me I needed to hop on-board this series now. That’s why I plan to pick up The Immortal Hulk‘s first collected edition in early 2019, so I can jump on the monthly issues.
1. My Boyfriend Is a Bear
There’s a lot to be said for self-contained comics, and for buying books that you know your significant other will enjoy.
I know my wife and I will both love My Boyfriend Is a Bear, the story of a girl named Nora who ends a string of terrible relationships by settling down with an actual, factual bear. When we traveled to Portland earlier this year, Powell’s Books featured My Boyfriend prominently on their Oni Press anniversary display, and I got to score some comics connoisseur points by informing my wife that not only did I already know about this amazing looking book, but that I planned on purchasing it.
Artist Cat Farris gave a really good interview over at The Beat that should convince you to pick up the book if you’re somehow still on the fence. I’m slightly surprised I haven’t gotten to reading My Boyfriend sooner myself. It really looks delightful, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it makes a number of critics’ Best of 2018 lists.
What comics did you miss out on in 2018? Feel free to leave your own list below, as I’m hoping to find time to catch up on more than just five stories in 2019!
Until next year, may you find all the comics reading time you need.
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