by Chet Anmashu
The Suited Racer: Volume 1
Release date: November, 2019 (Ongoing)
Let’s be real here, for real, for real: The Suited Racer has been blurring the lines of reality since 2016. Calling himself a “living, breathing, graphic novel” what sets him apart from his counterparts is that unlike anyone in the MCU or DC universes, he’s a real guy. Like, really real. His on-line antics like posting real life action shots, or trolling Russia with his “vigilante journalism” for the 2018 World Cup, have amassed a cult-following waiting to see what’s next. The Graphic Novel is set in a near dystopian future (year not specified), where propaganda and a totalitarian government rule “the people”, The Suited Racer uses social media and the internet to tip the scales. This guy exists in the real world, and remains anonymous. For real. You can pick up a copy of Volume 1, even get a cameo in your likeness, in his recently launched kickstarter here.
The Suited Racer’s graphic novel is live through kickstarter.
The Batman Who Laughs
Release date: December 12, 2018 (Ongoing)
Let’s be real here: Batman has seen some shit. He’s been openly traumatized by soap-opera levels of heartbreak and paranoia, but Scott Snyder’s The Batman Who Laughs is a genre-shattering take on an old paragon. Why? It’s a psychological rush that doesn’t quit, even when it knows it probably should have. Snyder and Jock’s follow-up to Dark Nights: Metal and the evil within staples The Batman Who Laughs to a clinically insane multiverse plot that forces Bruce Wayne to cope with the dark matter in his inner demons and fears. It’s jagged, visceral, and inherently horrifying, and while their depiction of The Joker is a corrosive nightmare that finds elegance in death, it’s a can’t-miss series due to its ability to stick out in a decade full of creative reinvention.
Buy Issue #1 here.
Release date: October 3, 2018 (Ongoing)
The first five issues of Blackbird have made good on two promises: making magic great again and using fine art to level you into a state of submission. The new Image Comics series from Sam Humphries (Nightwing, Harley Quinn) is a neo-noir fantasy drama in which a 20-something by the name of Nina Rodriguez is at ends to uncover a secret magic world that’s hidden under the glow of Los Angeles. The problem here is everyone thinks she’s crazy. What follows is a beautifully written tale that effortlessly balances supernatural themes with emotional realism, and chases it with Jen Bartel’s artistic ability to illustrate frames that make Blade Runner 2049 look like a student project. Every dose of color and inner monologue about paragons and bar creeps flicker with unlimited potential, making Blackbird the kind of everyday pull that can transcend genres (and stereotypes) with style.
Buy Issue #1 here.
Release date: January 29
Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau’s heart-melting diagram of baking and unexpected love is a dizzying piece of fiction. It’s a snapshot of a cute romance: It follows Ari, a high schooler who is dead set on moving to the big city with his ultra-hip band, only to be interposed by Hector, a down-to-earth college student who just moved to town to pack up his late grandmother’s home. The pair fall in love, hard, and do so amidst a sunset blue palette and a family bakery. Like any good summer fling, it’s pressed with the rush of emotions that come with immediate connections and how they intertwine with our hopes and dreams.
Buy it here.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Release date: January 9 (Ongoing)
Buffy Summers is back and she’s tired of all the bullshit: high school grades, her small-town routine, and the difficulties that come with making friends “when you are not honest about who you are.” But every single glimpse into her vulnerabilities is what makes her BOOM! Studios reimagining such a brilliant piece of graphic fiction. Writer Jordan Bellaire (Redlands) and artist Dan Mora (Hexed, Power Rangers) capture the voices of the beloved characters you remember and use their chemistry to expertly structure plot threads, pacing, and an endless reserve of eye candy. Every frame amplifies the source material without making Buffy and her big bads a tacky True Blood spinoff, and it sticks by a collective passion to use pop culture to shape our lives in immeasurable ways. As the BOOM! staff put it themselves: Jenny Calendar deserved better.
Buy Issue #1 here.