Brit Comics Rock – Graphic Novels Coming From UK Publishers in 2017
While December and early January tend to be where we run our Best of the Year series from guests and the blog crew, looking back (see here for our 2016 choices), later January is where we look forward with out annual Brit Comics Rock – a wee taster of some of the graphic novels coming from UK publishers in the year ahead. Of course it isn’t entirely comprehensive – many publishers have only the first part of the year’s schedules ironed out, some dates may be rough and subject to change later on (ain’t that always the case though, things happen, schedules change!) and I’m afraid some just didn’t get back to us with their schedules in time (which we don’t hold against them because we know everyone is busy and trying to juggle half a dozen tasks at any one time, sure we all know what that can be like!).
But we like to run this with what publishing schedules we have managed to garner, partly to give everyone at least a flavour of some of what’s coming from UK presses, partly because we love the fact that years ago, when we started the blog, this list would have been pretty short and these days it is far longer and delightfully diverse (new talent, much-loved veterans of the scene, foreign language creators being translated). And partly it is just a damned good excuse to wave the flag for our homegrown publishers – we love comics from all over, but naturally we have a soft spot for work coming from here, and it’s been terrific to see how the UK scene has grown in the last decade – and that’s something worth shouting about! Let’s have a peep:
Tony from Knockabout warns us that these dates are rough at the moment, but of course we’ll have more on them closer to publication times:
Scotland Yardie, by Bobby Joseph and Joseph Samuels (January)
With instituionalized racism at an all-time high, the Metropolitan Police embark on their yearly drive to recruit more ethnic people into the police force. With little or no success, they bring over Jamaica’s most-feared policeman — Scotland Yardie, a ganja smoking, no-nonsense bad boy cop who breaks all the rules to enforce his own harsh sense of justice. But what happens when cultures clash? Can the average criminal handle the street-wise Jamaican Lethal Weapon rolling through downtown Brixton? Will south London ever be the same again? (recently reviewed here on the blog)
Deserter’s Maseuqrade, by Chloé Cruchaudet (expected around May)
Paul and Louise love each other, Paul and Louise get married, but World War I escalates and separates them. Paul, who wants at all costs to escape the hell of the trenches, becomes a deserter and finds Louise in Paris. He is safe but condemned to remain hidden in a hotel room. To put an end to his clandestine existence, Paul imagines a solution: to change his identity. Now he’ll be known as … Suzanne. Between gender confusion and the trauma of war, the couple will arrive at a very unusual destiny. Inspired by real facts, Deserter’s Masquerade is the amazing story of Louise and her transvestite husband who both loved and were torn apart in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties.
Full colour 160 pages paperback with flaps. 25 x 19 cm. isbn 9780861662586 £16.99
Chloé Cruchaudet is a multi-award winning French cartoonist
Freak Brothers 50th Anniversary Souvenir, by Gilbert Shelton (expected August)
This will either be a comic or tabloid newspaper. Either way it will have Freak Brothers history and quite a few new strips. (and it is always a good thing to celebrate the work of a comics giant like Shelton)
Lost Girls, by Melinda Gebbie (expected October)
This will be a new edition, complete with a new cover and some thirty two new pages of art as well. 352 pages hardback. 30.5 x 23 cm. isbn 9780861662609
These titles are in the planning stage but there’s no fixed date quite yet:
John Ruskin – How to live, by Hunt Emerson and Kevin Jackson (date tbc)
A graphic novel of Victorian critic and philosopher John Ruskin’s treatises on Work, Money and Art
Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century, by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil (date tbc)
This is probably a goer again, having been previously dismissed but happily now seems to be back on the planning board..
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 4, by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
This will be serialised as six comics, but no start date is sorted as yet. Alan has the story in his head but has yet to write it, so it may not be until very late 2017. (again I’m pretty sure we – and probably every other comics site! – will be mentioning this one again when publication details are firmer)
Bible of Filth, by R. Crumb
This is still at the planning stage but is hopefully going to come together for publication late in the year. Some 360 pages leather bound with rounded corners on “Bible” paper. 18.5 x 13 cm.
Comic Book Slumber Party’s Deep Space Canine (launching January at Angoulême)
Avery Hill Publishing are delighted to announce they are joining forces with comics powerhouse Comic Book Slumber Party to publish Deep Space Canine – the next instalment of their British Comic Award nominated CBSP series. Life in space can be tough – and when you’re balancing a hydro-herb habit, mysterious intruders and an impending reunion, things get even tougher.
Luckily, Space Commander Greasy is not alone, and with the help of her best robot pal, Cybernetic Unit Normally for Troubleshooting, she (and her ship) might just get through the next 24 hours in one piece!
Edited by Hannah K. Chapman, with cover art from Katriona Chapman and contributions from Lucy Haslam, Lize Meddings, Honey Parast, Becca Tobin, Alice Urbino, Beth Wood and Jenn Woodall, Deep Space Canine explores strange new worlds, discovers wild new civilisations, and solves the age old problem – what to do when you’ve lost your best pair of knickers.
72 pages, full colour
Goatherded by Charlo Frade (launching May)
A boy. A strange planet. The urge to step out of the boundaries and explore. To fly. To ascend. But what happens after ascent? What happens when you land? And what happens when you find yourself in a place where your dreams are no-one’s but your own? Charlo Frade is an illustrator and writer born in Miami, Florida. In 2014 he received the Society of Illustrators Honors Award for Illustration.
Ghosts, Etc. by George Wylesol (May)
Ghosts, Etc. is a collection of strips from illustrator and designer George Wylesol. His work deals with environments, his “characters” are objects or abstract shapes. He has self-published various comics and zines including The Rabbit and Worthless, which are featured in this collection along with a new comic, Ghosts. George Wylesol is an illustrator/designer/writer from Philadelphia, living and working in Baltimore.
88 pages, full colour
Something City by Ellice Weaver (May)
Something City is an exploration of modern day living through representations of the lives of different groups of people in an imagined place. Segregated communities of young people, elders, fanatics, techies and the religious live side by side, interweaving and cohabiting in a city they build around themselves.
Beautifully composed establishing pages introduce us to each group before we’re taken through a short journey inside each of their worlds. Stunning artwork and wry, odd and moving stories come together to produce a book that is as much an inspired work of imagination as it is an examination of what is important, unique and also universal, about the cities we live in today.
76 pages, full colour
Cadet Anderson: Teenage Kyx, by Alan Grant, Carlos Ezquerra, Patrick Goddard, Steve Yeowell, Chris Blythe, Eva De La Cruz, Annie Parkhouse (January)
Judge Anderson’s adventures as a cadet Judge on the mean streets of Mega-City One, collected for the first time! When the psychically powerful 3-year-old Cassandra Anderson killed her abusive father, she was taken into the custody of Justice Department, who blocked the memories of her traumatic childhood. Inducted into the Psi-Division as a cadet, where the Judges use telepaths, empaths, precogs, and others with psychic abilities to aid the fight against crime, Anderson is thrown in the deep end as she faces up to the worst Mega-City One has to offer.
The Complete Scarlet Traces Volume 1 by Ian Edginton, D’Israeli (January)
The celebrated comic book sequel to H.G. Well’s The War of the Worlds in a brand-new omnibus edition, complete with an adaptation of the original novel. Beginning with a visionary adaptation of the seminal novel, the collection also includes the first of three stories set a decade after the Martian invasion.
Thrill Power Overload: Forty Years of 2000 AD, by David Bishop and Karl Stock (February)
The definitive history of the most influential British comic ever! Updated, expanded and revised for 2000 AD’s fortieth anniversary. From 2000 AD’s humble and rocky beginnings to its current position as the Galaxy’s Greatest comic, Thrill-Power Overload charts the incredible history of this ground-breaking comic. With exclusive interviews, hundreds of illustrations and rarely-seen artwork, former 2000 AD editor, David Bishop and journalist Karl Stock, guide the reader through four decades of action, adventure, excitement and the occasional editorial nightmare!
2000 AD’s Greatest: Celebrating 40 Years of Thrill-Power! By John Wagner, Alan Grant, Rob Williams, Steve MacManus, Kevin O’Neill, Pat Mills, Malcom Shaw, John Smith, Duncan Fegredo, Brian Bolland, Carlos Ezquerra, Dylan Teague, Kevin O’Neill, Colin Wilson, Steve Dillon, John Burns, Chris Weston etc. (February)
Judge Dredd: Every Empire Falls, by Michael Caroll (w), Paul Davidson, Colin MacNeil, Henry Flint, PJ Holden, Carlos Ezquerra, Chris Blythe, Adam Brown, Annie Parkhouse (February)
Following the decimation of Mega-City One during Chaos Day, Judges from other “friendly” Justice Departments have been brought in to strengthen the ranks and help maintain law and order on the streets. Among the newcomers is Fintan Joyce, son of a former Emerald Isle Judge, who teamed up with Judge Dredd in one of the most fondly remembered Judge Dredd stories. Exploiting Big Meg’s weakened state, several groups have risen up against the Judges. If things couldn’t get any worse, Dredd has fallen foul of Brit-Cit and they want him in prison or on a slab. Have the odds finally stacked up enough to spell the end of Mega-City One’s greatest lawman?
The Order: Die Mensch Machine, by Kek-W, John Burns, Annie Parkhouse, Ellie De Ville (March)
The Expendables meets H.P. Lovecraft as knights and robots take on a dark, hidden power in medieval Europe! In 13th-century Germany, while reading the papers of her dead father, young Anna Kohl uncovers a shocking secret — that defending Earth from an other-worldly menace is a secret cadre of warriors known only as The Order. Now she and her father’s rag-tag former comrades must do battle with the sinister forces of these eldritch creatures!
Kingdom: Aux Drift, by Dan Abnett, Richard Elson, Abigail Ryder, Simon Bowland and Ellie De Ville (March)
Genetically modified dog-soldier Gene the Hackman wages war against giant insects in a Mad Max future. In the far future, mankind has been all but destroyed and survivors are forced to hide from “Them” — giant insectile creatures that have taken over the world — with only savage genetically engineered dog-soldiers like Gene the Hackman to guard them. Having travelled the Earth without his pack, Gene now leads a band of mongrel “aux” warriors known as the Wild Bunch. They live alongside some human survivors in The Kingdom. But “Them” are growing in number and the Kingdom is getting harder to defend!
The Last American, by John Wagner & Alan Grant, Mick McMahon, Phil Felix (April)
Long out of print, this classic post-apocalypse tale by Wagner, Grant and the distinctive art of Mick McMahon, telling of a soldier cyrogenically preserved to be awakened decades after a nuclear war, is finally getting a new printing.
Summer Magic: The Complete Journal of Luke Kirby, by Alan McKenzie, John Ridgeway, Steve Parkhouse, Graham Higgins, Tim Perkins, Nick Abazis, Gina Hart, Tim Perkins, Annie Parkhouse, Ellie De Ville, Steve Potter, Gary Gilbert (May)
Predating Harry Potter these tales of a young boy magician have been asked for many times, now finally getting a collected edition.
Sláine: The Brutania Chronicles Book Three, by Pat Mills, Simon Davis, Ellie De Ville (May)
The latest tales of our favourite Celtic barbarian – kiss my axe!
The Complete Skizz, by Alan Moore & Jim Baikie, Jim Baikie, Tony Jacob (June)
Moore and Baikie’s popular riff on ET – with a Moore twist, naturally, is a fave from early 2000 AD and long overdue a new edition, so this should make a lot of readers happy. “Flippi-neck!”
Lawless: Welcome to Badrock, by Dan Abnett, Phil Winslade, Ellie De Ville (June)
Absalom: Under A False Flag, By Gordon Rennie, Tiernen Trevallion, Simon Bowland (July)
Always good to see the curmudgeonly Absalom return!
Anderson: The Deep End, by Alec Worley, Paul Davidson, Simon Bowland (July)
Based on the movie version of the Dreddverse, this will be published simultaneously in the US and UK and explores Anderson’s role more fully
Judge Dredd: Case Files 29, by John Wagner, John Wagner, Pat Mills, Alan Grant, Dan Abnett, Mark Millar, Robbie Morrison, Jim Alexander, Andrew Cartmel, John Smith, Alan Barnes, Paul Neal, Tony Skinner, John Burns, Jason Brashill, Cliff Robinson, Simon Jacob, Anthony Williams, Steve Yeowell, Carlos Ezquerra, Colin Macneil, Lee Sullivan, Ashley Sanders, Simon Davis, Paul Marshall, Tom Carney, Maya Gavin, Dean Ormston, Ray Bryant, Marc Wigmore (August)
Survival Geeks, by Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby, Neil Googe, Gary Caldwell, Annie Parkhouse, Ellie De Ville (September)
More adventures for the lost in space/time/dimensions house-sharing geeks.
Brink, by Dan Abnett, I.N.J. Culbard, Simon Bowland (September)
Humanity is now packed into orbiting habitats, but as we follow security agents we find there may be a bigger picture than just keeping law and order for what’s left of humanity.
The Complete Future Shocks, Volume 1, Various creators. (October)
Famously a launching pad for new talent, the Future Shocks are a perennial favourite of many a 2000 AD reader (and remains a great place for new writers and artists to try out)
Scarlet Traces Volume 2, by Ian Edginton, D’israeli, Annie Parkhouse (October)
More fantastic post War of the Worlds delights, a great series reprinted to go along with a new volume running in 2000 AD weekly
Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 30, various creators (November)
The excellent series collecting every Dredd in chronological order.
The Fall of Deadworld, By Kek-W, Dave Kendall, Annie Parkhouse), Ellie De Ville (December)
How the world of the Dark Judges came to be.
M.A.C.H.1 – The John Probe Mission Files, Various creators (December)
Classic early 2000 AD adventure
Map of Days, by Robert Hunter (January )
Richard can’t stop thinking about the clock. He lies in bed each night listening to its tick-tocking, to the pendulum’s heavy swing. Why does his grandfather open its old doors in secret and walk into the darkness beyond? One night, too inquisitive to sleep, Richard tiptoes from his bed, opens the cherry wood door of the grandfather clock, and steps inside. There he discovers the Face of the Earth, trapped by an eternal longing. Moved by its tale of ancient love, Richard winds back the clock, changing time forever…
Marx, Freud, Einstein: Heroes of the Mind, by Corrine Maier and Anne Simon (April)
Delve into the minds of three of the most important thinkers from the 19th and 20th centuries with this collected volume of graphic biographies, exploring the lives of the most controversial and outspoken figures in modern history.
Pantheon: The True Story of the Egyptian Deities, by Hamish Steele (April)
The most important myth in Ancient Egypt is faithfully retold in glorious colour! Horus, son of Isis, vows bloody revenge on his Uncle Set for the murder and usurpation of his Pharaoh father. Based on elements from several versions of the famous Osiris myth, Hamish Steele has resurrected this fantastic story in all its symbolic and humorous glory. Pantheon contains: incest, decapitation, suspicious salad, fighting hippos, flying cows, a boat race, resurrections, lots of scorpions and a golden willy.
Garbage Nights, by Jen Lee (March)
In a barren and ransacked backyard, a dog named Simon lives with his two best friends: a raccoon and a deer. The unlikely gang spend their days looting the desolate supermarket and waiting for the return of the hallowed ‘garbage night’ – but week after week, the bins remain empty. While scavenging one day, the trio meet Barnaby – another abandoned dog who is heading to the ‘other town’ where humans are still rumoured to live. Spurred on by the promise of food, the trio join up with Barnaby and set off into the unknown… With echoes of post-war, derelict places, Garbage Night explores how animals may internalize their changing environment and express their thoughts, fears and hopes.
How to Survive in the North, by Luke Healy (May)
Out now in paperback, Luke Healy’s debut graphic novel compellingly weaves together biographical narratives from the 1900s with a contemporary fictional story. Equal parts bleak and beautiful, this is a unique visual journey of love and loss that shows the strength it takes to survive in even the harshest conditions – whether that be struggling for survival in the Arctic or surviving a mid-life crisis in the present day.
Fantasy Sports No 3: the Green King, by Sam Bosma (June)
Blending magic, humour, Indiana Jones-style adventuring and sports, Sam Bosma’s award-winning series returns with this gripping third instalment! Wiz and Mug become separated after washing up on the shores of a gothic castle town, where a monstrous beast has taken over King’s lands and left the people to starve. Wiz breaks into the beast’s castle and finds herself thrown into a game of supernatural mini golf. Can she win the game and escape with her life? Meanwhile, Mug uncovers the sinister truth behind the Order of Mages…
Geis Volume 2: A Game Without Rules, by Alexis Deacon (October)
The struggle for power continues in Alexis Deacon’s supernatural medieval fantasy series. The contenders find themselves divided against their will and thrown into a mysterious game. When allies are turned against one another, who can be trusted?
Haddon Hall: When David Invented Bowie, by Néjib (February)
After releasing his first hit single David Bowie moved into Haddon Hall, a sprawling Victorian house in London’s suburbs, with his girlfriend Angie. Part commune, part creative hub, it was in this bohemian atmosphere that he wrote many of the songs for “Ziggy Stardust” and “Hunky Dory”. Tunisian born Néjib explores Bowie’s formative years in this evocatively original portrait of a young artist poised to create a musical revolution. A timely reminder of
Bowie’s creative genius and influence, coinciding with the first anniversary of his death.
Gauguin: The Other World by Fabrizio Dori (March)
Renowned for his paintings of Tahiti and Polynesia, Paul Gauguin abandoned his married life in Denmark to find liberation and inspiration in paradise. Fabrizio Dori vividly celebrates the life and work of the Post-Impressionist artist who is closely associated with Van Gogh, and whose reputation grew after his death. A series of essays contextualise his work. This is the latest in SelfMadeHero’s Art Master series, which also includes Dalí, Munch, Pablo, Vincent and Rembrandt.
Josephine Baker, by Catel Muller and José-Luis Bocquet (April)
Free-spirited and hedonistic, Josephine Baker was the darling of the Roaring Twenties. Her exotic and uninhibited dancing scandalised and impressed in equal measure. Muller and Bocquet capture Baker’s life in bohemian Paris, as well as the years that followed, during which she aided the French Resistance and adopted twelve children from different ethnic backgrounds. Written and drawn by the creators of the acclaimed Kiki de Montparnasse, this breezy biography of the pioneering dancer also features over 100 pages of supplementary background material.
Fun, by Paolo Bacilleri (April)
After exploring the origins of video games in Tetris: The Games People Play, now discover the birth of the crossword in the compelling FUN. Italian artist Paolo Bacilieri takes us from New York in 1913 to present-day Milan, exploring a beloved pastime whose history is filled with remarkable stories of intrigue and espionage.
Herman by Trade, by Chris W. Kim (May)
Herman is a seemingly unexceptional street cleaner, but he has a hidden talent: an ability to transform his appearance at will. When cult film director Mio calls an open audition for her next project, Herman sees a chance to perform. A captivating debut graphic novel from Toronto-based artist Chris W. Kim, addressing self-identity, creativity and the choices we make.
Outburst, by Pieter Coudyzer (May)
Introverted and bullied, Tom is the school nerd who finds it difficult to make friends. Often the victim of cruel tricks, he seeks solace in nature and the wild spaces of his imagination, until that wilderness breaks through and he undergoes a disturbing metamorphosis. Belgian animator Pieter Coudyzer offers up a darkly compelling modern fairy tale for his graphic novel debut.
The Facts of Life, by Paula Knight, (March)
In 1970s Northeast England, best friends Polly and April are sitting up a tree, swapping their hazy knowledge of the facts of life. They both expect to have families one day – it’s the normal script to
follow, isn’t it? Some years later, Polly is settled with Jack, her career has taken off and she feels torn over whether or not to try for a baby. Has she left it too late? Did she have any control over that choice? Should she wait until they fix the roof of their damp flat? After repeated miscarriage and chronic illness take their toll, Polly has to confront what family means in a society where ‘family’ usually means ‘children’. (you can read a recent review of The Facts of Life here on the blog)
A Thousand Coloured Castles, by Gareth Brookes (April)
Myriam is a woman who sees things a little differently from other people. Strange figures in garish costumes accompany her to the post office, wild exotic plants sprout from supermarket shelves and phantom walls rise up to block her path. Her husband Fred doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Whenever he looks there’s nothing there, and besides it’s no excuse for his breakfast not being ready on time.
But when Myriam sees a young boy shut up in the house next door, who is apparently being held captive, she is determined to investigate, much to her husband’s fury. Soon he brings in reinforcements – their daughter, Clare – who is concerned about her mother’s state of mind, and the state of her inheritance. Myriam’s only ally is her four-year-old grandson, Jack, who is more than happy to see things her way.
As I said at the start this isn’t a comprehensive list; some publishers hadn’t responded with their schedules by the time we had to post, but I think it still gives a decent flavour of some of the very varied works coming from UK presses this year. I’m sure we’ll be picking up on some of the book mentioned here as the year progresses – I’ve already got a couple of these lined up on my to-read list!