Yearender: The Most Promising New Comics Coming in 2016
It’s the end of the year! We made it through 2015, a year that brought all kinds of new, weird and brilliant comics into our lives. It’s been a huge year for the industry, with the arrival of several new publishers, multiple new digital publishing concepts, and a whole slew of creative talent pushing themselves into the spotlight. With so much going on during 2015, there’s one question you might have not thought about yet: what’s coming up in 2016?
So much. There are new graphic novels, new publishing lines, new digital initiatives; it’s all going on. And so, as we reach the Yearender, it’s time to look ahead, to see what comics’ future will bring.
2016 promises to be another great year for Raina Telgemeier. The biggest name in comics, period, returns with a new all-ages graphic novel that follows the huge success of Smile, Drama and Sisters. Ghosts is a work of fiction, rather than autobiography, and follows a young girl called Catrina as she moves to a new town. Published by Scholastic Graphix, this comes out sometime in autumn.
Dan Clowes has a new book out next year as well, called Patience. Fantagraphics has announced that this 180-page graphic novel is “a psychedelic science-fiction love story”. Patience will be published in March in full color, and will likely be the toast of the Eisners later in the year.
The most unlikely comic of the year is the revival of ROM: Space Knight over at IDW. I can’t claim to understand how any of this works out legally, but both ROM and the Micronauts will be showing their metallic faces at the publisher during the new year. It sounds interesting at least; we’ll have to see how it works in execution.
We’re still waiting on several of the books announced at the most recent Image Expo in summer of this year. Among them are Heartless, from Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay, and Throwaways, from Caitlin Kittredge and Steven Sanders. Ron Wimberley also has a huge year planned out, with Sunset Park, described as “a gentrification fable”, and Slave Punk: White Coal. You can read a little more about his projects as part of this interview with J.A. Micheline.
2016 will also see several Vertigo projects reappear at Image, interestingly enough. Jason Aaron and Cameron Stewart’s war story The Other Side is getting reprinted next year, while Peter Milligan and Leandro Fernandez’s The Discipline, previous solicited for Vertigo, has also tranferred to Image. Curious!
Koyama Press announced its 2016 lineup a few months ago, including comics from Patrick Kyle, Cathy G. Johnson and Aidan Koch. Perhaps the most anticipated of its books is Night Air, from Ben Sears. It’s a science fiction story for kids. Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter thinks we’ll see some of these titles debut at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May.
If it’s spring comic line-ups you’re after, then Peow has a truckload of new work for you to read in a fresh meadow, listening to the sound of newborn lambs. The team successfully funded its line-up through a Kickstarter campaign, with a uniquely-styled minicomic format proving a hit with readers. If you want to get an early look, this interview from a short while back should stand you in good stead!
The industry-changing Heavy Metal Magazine was bought by new owners a few years ago, and work has been quietly going on behind the scenes ever since. The only thing we’ve seen in recent years was the Hoax Hunters series, but 2016 should see a huge upswing in output, with Grant Morrison as editor-in-chief for the year. Patrick Reed’s interview with Morrison points to his ethos and inspirations.
Kodansha Comics also has some tricks up its sleeve, most notably in the form of Akiko Higashimura’s Princess Jellyfish. The much admired series will see print starting in March, continuing the adventures of the jellyfish-loving Tsukimi. That’s not all that Kodansha has planned, however! Magatsuki and Real Account launch in the new year, and Kodansha has announced that Noragami will be pushed up to a new monthly release schedule to account for fan demand. This actually started earlier this year, but we’ll see full publication of the volumes continue on through 2016.
After two years in ‘development hell’, Kyle Baker and Kevin McCarthy’s series Circuit Breakers is finally coming to print in 2016. Image will publish the story as a five-part miniseries, featuring manga-inspired artistic style from Baker, ever the chameleon. As Chris Sims noted earlier this month, the art draws heavily from Osamu Tezuka. This promises to be a highly energetic, fast-paced series from two top talents.
That’s just the start of what promises to be another amazing year in comics. As for what else we might see in 2016, well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Have a great year, everyone!