The popularity of graphic novels and comics keeps on growing and 2013 is shaping up to be a good year for fans of them, old and new. Here is a guide to some of the most popular and highly anticipated.
Whether it’s purely for the escapism or the artistry that goes into each frame or even if you see them only as collectors items, Graphic Novels are bigger than ever. Each year, more and more of us and discovering the joys that await us within the pages of these novels that used to be reserved only for geeks. Well, that certainly isn’t the case anymore. From superheroes to Asian horror ,through to crime and apocalyptic situations, these days there is something for everyone and here are the some of Swide’s top wants:
Something that is worth your attention is the upcoming book of Alpha Girl that brings #1-5 together, completing the tale that kept us gripped in 2012. Ever wondered what would happen if a third rate cosmetics company accidentally creates a something that transforms the female population into man eating zombies? Well, Jean-Paul and Robert can cater for that, bringing, what they've called, the Vaginapocalypse to your front door with a mix of horror, femme fatale and humour. Looking for a role model in 2013 that feels like she's been pulled right out of the 80s? Alpha Girl is the best place to start. It will be available at the end of February through Image Comics.
The iconic superhero is celebrating his 75th birthday this year and DC Comics have got a treat lined up for the fans of the spandex wearing crime fighter. This will be a serious case of ‘is it the characters that sell the books or those that write them?’ as drafting in artist Jim Lee and Voodoo Heart’s writer Scott Snyder to work on a Superman book together, you can be sure it is going to sell. It is Snyder that has got everyone excited because his reincarnation of The Joker in the recent Batman comics has been regarded as the best Joker ever. As to what will be the outcome, we will be getting the first major preview on Free Comics Day May 4th, when some of the story will be published in the re-release of ‘The Last Son of Krypton’. Snyder has stated that, ‘it's a character piece for Clark - it's going to challenge him to his core. And it's definitely epic in scope, with huge action and drama - the biggest and most earth shaking action I've ever done.’
Due to its popularity as a webcomic, Julia Gfrorer’s ‘Black is the Colour’ is set to be printed in book form, this September by Fantagraphics. She has gained the respect of her peers thanks to the delicate drawings of her characters and uncomfortable images of sex that grate against the subtle horror and exploration of emotional agony. The upcoming print follows the story of two abandoned sailors, cast to sea in a lifeboat without provisions by the members of their ship, when the captain starts feeling the pressures of maintaining and feeding the whole crew. Hailed as her best work to date, this novel by Gforer has become somewhat of a cult read and fans and collectors alike can’t wait to get their hands on it.
Launched in January, the new Star Wars series has whipped those that have been following the Star Wars Universe into a frenzy. It has been said that it, ‘recaptures that childlike glee of those earliest memories’. This has all been thanks to the writing skills of Brian Wood, along with the graphic vision of Carlos D’anda, who have unlocked the 3-years that sit between the films ‘Episode lV: A New Hope’, immediately after the battle of Yavin, and ‘Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’. If you are new to the story of Star Wars but fancy a go, you honestly only need a little knowledge of the back-story. Brian Wood successfully introduces most of the iconic characters, leaving plenty of room for future issue development. For those that geek out every time they hear the words ‘Star Wars’, they’ll get a chance to enjoy unexplored situations and territories, raising questions and providing answers that deserve a little more explanation. This is an amazing return of the universe and something to keep us thoroughly entertained until the next film hits the cinemas in a future not so far away.
Having been held up in the pipeline for long enough, 2012 saw the news that many DC Comic fans had been longing to hear, that Grant Morrison’s concept of the Multiverse is to finally on its way. The Multiverse contains parallel worlds where DC heroes and villains get different twists and will be explored in stand-alone stories that will feature a rotating cast of DC all stars. The first issue has already been named as ‘Pax Americana’ and will be based on a new parallel of Earth. Sketches of the first issue have been doing the round and it is sage to say that they have sparked questions as to who will feature and which artists will feature. The artist of issue one has been confirmed as the legendary Frank Quitely but there is still no confirmed month of release so fans are literally on the edge of their seats to hear more about it all.
This serves as Tom Kaczynski’s first full book, containing 10 short stories that kilter on the edge bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social and environmental developments. This politically charged graphic novel takes the ideas of capitalism, communism and utopianism, making them more tangible than before and explores the ideas of a structured society and the individual. In particular it is the story ‘The New’ that was created for this book, set in an un-named megalopolis that is creaking up the pressure of explosive growth and the vision of an architect, who drafted in to help solve the problem. Sound like your kind of thing? You can purchase it from Fantagraphics.