20 for 2013

Published On November 30, 2012 | By Zainab | Comics

I thought it would be nice to have a quick look at some of the fantastic comics we have coming our way next year. This is a list of books that I’m especially looking forward to, but as you can imagine, there’s a great number of goodness in store. This being comics, obviously a lot of future releases information isn’t readily available (apart from Fantagraphics who seem to be on the ball), particularly those published independently or via smaller publishing houses. The ones that are on here, are, as we all know, highly subject to change- from dates to cover art. I’m pretty pleased with the list I’ve compiled though: I think it’s a nice, diverse mix of stuff, and hopefully, there’ll be at least one book that piques your interest. So, enough ado- onwards:

The Massive volume 1 Black Pacific by Brian Wood, Garry Brown and Kristian Donaldson, Dark Horse , April 2013 Trade release. Set in a post- everything world, The Massive asks the question: what does it mean to be an environmentalist in a world already dead? The action follows Callum Israel, head of an ocean activist group as they search for their missing sister ship, the Massive, whilst coming to terms with ethics, economics and meaning in a new era.

Sumo by Thien Pham, First Second, January 2013 The story of Scott, a never good-enough football player, who takes up a job in a sumo training camp and decides to abandon his old life to become a sumo wrestler. Written and illustrated by Thien Pham, artist of Gene Luen Yang’s Level Up, the art in this looks fantastic and the setup a nice blend of humour and affirmation.

Gil Jordan: Ten Thousand Years in Hell by M. Tillieux translated by Jenna Allen, Fantagraphics, February 2013 The second of Fantagraphic’s English language translations of M. Tillieux’s series of ‘grown-up Tintin,’ private detective Gil Jordan and his hapless ex-convict assistant Crackerjack. Very pleased that Fantagraphics are continuing with these.

Genius by Steven T. Seagle and Teddi Kristiansen, First Second, July 2013 Seems like I’ve been following the progress of this one for a while, and with Seagle and Kristiansen on the case, I’m confident it’ll be worth the wait. A quantum physicist discover’s his father-in-law knew Einstein and talks of a huge, final secret he entrusted him. But just what is the secret and what are the implications of it’s revelation.

The Squirrel Machine by Hans Rickheit, Fantagraphics, May 2013 More weird and freaky stuff from Mr Rickheit: animal heads and children and flying dead-looking things, all beautifully illustrated. For some reason I like this kind of thing.

Uncle Bob by Darryl Cunnignham, Blank Slate Books, June 2013 I’m a big fan of Cunningham’s simple lines art style and this marks a departure from his informative ‘non-fiction’ work. It sounds like great fun, with Uncle Bob off on his jolly adventures meeting King Kong and all manner of monsters. I suspect they’ll all come out second to Uncle Bob.

Relish: my life in the kitchen by Lucy Knisley, First Second, April 2013 I only recently ‘discovered’ Lucy Knisley but I’m a fast admirer already. This full colour book  once again combines 2 of her talents: comics and food. Sold.

The Property by Rutu Modan, translated by Jessica Cohen, Drawn and Quarterly, June 2013 Anew Rutu Modan book is cause for celebration. This one’s about a girl travelling to Poland with her grandmother, who left the country before the second world war and has returned to reclaim her house, confiscated by the Nazis during the war.

Treasury of Mini-comics edited by Michael Dowers Fantagraphics June 2013 A spanking new anthology collecting the best mini comics around, from the early 70’s to present.This is a follow on from Newave: the underground mini-comix of the 1980’s, so material already covered there won’t be reproduced. I love mini comics, so this is a no-brainer.

The End by Anders Nilsen Fantagraphics April 2013 A new Anders Nilsen book, yes, but with a difference. Compiled of pages from his sketchbooks, it features a collection of strips produced after the death of his fiancee and the struggle and journey that followed.

Spirou and Fantasia 4: Valley of the Exiles by Janry and Tome, Cinebook, May 2013 I have an obsession with ligne claire, which is largely harmless. I blame Tintin. Cinebook are now releasing 2 Spirou books a year, with volume 4 due in May and number 5, The Marsupilami Thieves by Franquin, scheduled for later in the year. Hey, and there’s a Spirou movie coming out next year too (in French).

Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon, First Second, May 2013 I have quite possibly, the oddest quirks ever: one of them is a predilection for ducks in comics. Nope, no idea why. But if you know of any good ones, do recommend them (no Donald though, please). Odd Duck is the story of Theodora the duck and her new neighbour Chad and is illustrated by Sara Varon of Robot Dreams.

The Gigantic Beard that was Evil by Stephen Collins, Jonathan Cape, May 2013 The first book from Guardian comic artist Stephen Collins, about a bald man living an obsessively tidy life, who finds himself suddenly growing masses of hair which he cannot control or get rid of. A more thorough post on the book by Richard here.

Spera volume 2 written and edited by Josh Tierney, illustrated by Giannis Milogiannis, Timothy Weaver, Afu Chan and Kyla Vanderklugt, Archaia, February 2013 I’ve been won around by Josh Tierney’s Spera, the adventures of two princesses roaming kingdoms to find an elusive magical land. Spera is more about their interactions with their environment and their journey. I really think Tierney’s created something special and his alternative approach to narrative structure is something I’ve grown to admire. It helps that he’s rounded some of the most talented artists from around the globe to illustrate it- it’s one of the most gorgeous books I’ve seen.

One Trick Rip-Off/Deep Cuts by Paul Pope, Image, January 2013 The only Pope I’ve read is Batman: Year 100, which I’m looking to rectify with this collection of Pope’s work, both old and new.

Drowntown by Robbie Morrison and Jim Murray, Jonathan Cape, June 2013 Incredibly excited about this one- sci-fi comic set in a London flooded by rising sea levels, with the elite having escaped to the high rise buildings, while the commoners reside in submerged pubs and shops like fish in a tank.

Aesthetics: a memoir by Ivan Brunetti, Yale University Press, May 2013 Does what it says on the tin, folks. Includes previously unseen material, sketches, photos, book covers and charts Brunetti’s career trajectory via his comics and art.

Mouse Guard: The Black Axe by David Peterson, Archaia, April 2013 Peterson’s MouseGuard series is like Blacksad in terms of the amount of time taken to produce a comic with such stunning art. It is of course, worth waiting for. This volume continues the epic story of the mice community surviving amongst harsh climes, protected by specially trained and appointed mice-guards.

You’re All Just Jealous of my Jetpack by Tom Gauld, Drawn and Quarterly, January 2013 I think we can all agree Tom Gauld and his comics are awesome. Well Tom Gauld has a book of his awesome comics coming out, which I suspect many people will be buying.

Bad Machinery volume 1: The Case of the Team Spirit by John Allison, Oni Press, April 2013 The first volume of John Allison’s hugely popular webcomic Bad Machinery sees print, beginning with The Case of the Team Spirit. It’ll be great to have Allison’s work in print after reading it online for what seems like a very long time.

Phew! That was arduous. But very gratifying to see the amount of quality comics we’ve got look forward to next year. There’s many many books I’ve left of this list: the fourth volume of The Stuff of Legend will release next year (fingers crossed, once the current arc has wrapped) and I’m sure there’ll be a few Batman trades I’ll be picking up- certainly The Court of Owls volume 2. Blank Slate Books will release Jim Medway’s Playing Out, The Suitcase by Dan Berry and The Silver Darlings by Will Morris, all of which are much anticipated. There will most likely be a new Hellboy Library volume, and Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson are penning a new Beasts of Burden mini-series. Singapore publishers Epigram begin producing comics next year and their Spring catalogue looks very promising. There’s a mammoth 752 page House of Secrets omnibus also by Steven Seagle and Teddi Kristiansen that I’ve got my eye on. I believe Humanoids are releasing District 14 by Pierre Cabus and Romuald Reuitmann, an anthropomorphic mystery involving elephants and aliens which sounds ace. Fantagraphics reprint Herge’s Peppy and Virginny in Lapinoland and Bryan Lee O’Malley’s first post-Scott Pilgrim work, Seconds, is also due for release. And now I’m starting to make up books: I hope that Ian Edginton’s and Ian Culbard’s Brass Sun gets a trade version. All in all, it looks like we have another year of stellar comics ahead of us, which makes me very excited to get to January. But 3 assignments between now and then… We’d love to hear what comics you’re anticipating, so please fire away in the comments section.

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About The Author


Zainab Akhtar is a qualified librarian with a specialisation in building comics collections. She currently writes for Forbidden Planet and The Beat, and is a committee member for the British Comics Awards.’

4 Responses to 20 for 2013

  1. Adam Cadwell says:

    A great selection, and some tantalising covers! The Property especially, such depth and great colours.

  2. Zainab says:

    Thanks, Adam. There were so many great books to choose from, narrowing it down was difficult- but that’s a nice problem to have 🙂 Looking forward to next year.

  3. Reuben says:

    Woah! Love that Drowntown cover. Looks Like a must buy.
    Despite owning the material already I’m glad to see a Milligan & McCarthy collection and Image collecting all of Bob Fingerman’s Minimum Wage.

  4. Zainab says:

    Yep, it’s some great art. Not sure if it’s the finalised cover though. Really curious about Drowntown, will have to wait and see.