If you'd asked me three months ago what my most anticipated graphic novel of 2014 was, I could've given you the answer without even having to think about it: Box Brown's Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, a comic book biography of one of the most famous professional wrestlers of all time. Admittedly, I'm right smack in the center of the target audience for that book, but there's so much about the man that's fascinating, and Brown's work as a Xeric Grant and Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist is top notch -- it's something I feel like I would've been interested in even if I was going into it cold, with no knowledge whatsoever of the world of professional wrestling.
The book isn't out until May, but the book's publisher, First Second, sent over a review copy and I couldn't wait to read it. It's the sort of book that I knocked out in one sitting, and it lived up to every hope I had for it. It's not just one of my favorite graphic novels of the year, but it's also one of my favorite comic biographies of all time.
Following the immense critical and commercial success of his two volume epic Boxers and Saints, Gene Luen Yang announced his next project for First Second, The Shadow Hero. Written by Yang and illustrated by Sonny Liew, The Shadow Hero is an origin story for The Green Turtle, a golden age pulp hero who first appeared in 1944′s Blazing Comics #1.
Created by cartoonist Chu F. Hing, The Green Turtle was the first ever Asian-American superhero, and one of the first characters to have an Asian-American creator. The Shadow Hero will be a revival for the character, as he stars in new stories for the first time in decades.
But before its release, Yang and Liew created a preview for the book, first published in the pages of the Shattered Anthology, which Tor.com has just released in full color.
The game is due out during the first quarter of this year (and that's already a third over). It mashes up Space Invaders and Galaga-style shooting with platforming for a major retro gaming experience. Check out a trailer after the jump.
I imagine there are some people whose introduction to Farel Dalrymple's art came in his recent collaboration with Brandon Graham on the critically praised Prophet. But hopefully that introduction has led them to track down some of his earlier work, as the Portland based cartoonist has been producing exceptional stories for more than a decade, from his creator-owned Pop Gun War to short stories in publications like Meathaus (co-founded by Dalrymple), Bizarro Comics, and various other anthologies.
And though he does an excellent job of illustrating scripts written by others -- Caper for Vertigo and the reimagined Omega The Unknown for Marvel come to mind -- Dalrymple's vivid imagination is best on display through solo work, writing, illustrating and lettering his own stories. As such, fans of the award winning cartoonist should be excited about the announcement of The Wrenchies, his upcoming YA graphic novel for First Second publishing, as well as the reveal of the books cover, and an early look at some interior art.
The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below.
Mark your calendars accordingly. A new trilogy of graphic novels by Faith Erin Hicks of The Adventures of Superhero Girl and Friends with Boys is going to kick off in 2016, and according to the far-in-advance press, it's going to be a grand, sweeping story.
The Nameless City will be in the vein of such works as Avatar: The Last Airbender, Bone, and Earthsea, according to publisher First Second Books. That's some big talk, but Hicks has the art to back it up.
Gene Luen Yang is on a heck of a roll lately. Hot off the heels of his two-volume graphic novel Boxers and Saints, Yang has just announced his next project: A graphic novel with artist Sonny Liew about the first-ever Asian-American superhero.
The new book, The Shadow Hero, offers up an origin story for that character, The Green Turtle, who first appeared way back in 1944's Blazing Comics #1.
The ink is barely dry on writer/artist Paul Pope's new all-ages graphic novel Battling Boy, but just like that, a prequel is on the way.
The Rise of Aurora West, which tells the story of one of Battling Boy's allies, the daughter of science hero Haggard West, is set for release in July 2014. Pope will have some help on the book this time. J.T. Petty will co-write it with him and it'll be drawn by artist David Rubin.
Paul Pope has cultivated a lot of street cred for his work outside of comics. He’s worked for Spin, Complex, Wired and GQ, designed clothing for DKNY and posters for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and he even deejays on the side. In Battling Boy, hisfirst original graphic novel since 2007, he reminds everyone that when he’s not working in fashion design, magazine illustration, or dropping dope-ass beats, he’s one of the most gifted comics creators on the planet, whose every pen-stroke deserves our rapt attention. The first of a two-volume story from First Second, Battling Boy combines superhero comics with pulp sci-fi and kaiju manga in a coming-of-age adventure about the son of a god, the daughter of a dead hero, and a city full of monsters.
Arguably the most anticipated comic of 2013, Paul Pope's Battling Boy finally arrived in stores today. The story of a dead hero, a 12-year-old demigod and a city full of monsters, Battling Boy represents Pope's return to creator owned comics, and is his first original graphic novel in six years. Its release is a big moment for First Second, and in a clever and effective bit of promotion, the publisher has spent the week leading up to today hyping the book with images featuring art from the story above quotes from comic creators, writers, and critics alike.
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