Except that this “done-in-one” list eventually became a behemoth of 16,000 words (most of them descriptive text, but still…)
I might do spotlights on specific publishers (especially now that I’ve got access to catalog PDFs), and I do want to feature specific titles which I think will be “book of the year” contenders. (Oh, man, wait to you see what Abrams has planned.)
So, here’s what caught my eye. Please comment below, and please feel free to mention titles I may have marginalized or overlooked. My tastes are eclectic, but there’s stuff which doesn’t interest me, or doesn’t evoke much of a response. I respect everyone who manages to publish something, but with some 400 graphic novel titles a month, I have to be selective.
CAVEAT: As I discovered while doing the publisher posts, that some titles have been canceled or postponed. The titles below, the information is subject to change. Some may already be out and on sale, some may be vaporous. All text is from the publishers.
Oh, and the advisory: I am employed as a bookseller. Nothing I say here or anywhere else online has any connection to my employer. I know my employer can take umbrage at any association people may make between my private and professional activities, so I’m careful to let sleeping Gambian Pouched Rats lie.
Neil Gaiman, Leslie Klinger
ISBN: 9781401233327, 1401233325
Author Bio: Neil Gaiman is the NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author of AMERICAN GODS and CORALINE. His other books include the novels ANANSI BOYS, NEVERWHERE and STARDUST (winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Awards as one of 2000’s top ten adult novels for young adults) and the short fiction collections M IS FOR MAGIC, FRAGILE THINGS and SMOKE AND MIRRORS. With Roger Avary, he is the screenwriter of the motion picture BEOWULF (Paramount, November 2007), direct by Robert Zemeckis. His illustrated novel STARDUST was released as a major motion picture Summer 2007 starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro. With Terry Pratchett, he is the author of the novel GOOD OMENS. He is also the author of the children’s books THE WOLVES IN THE WALLS and THE DAY I TRADED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH. Among his many awards are the Eisner, Hugo, the Nebula, the World Fantasy and the Bram Stoker. Originally from England, Gaiman now lives in the United States.
Summary: Meet the Endless, a family of immortals that govern all aspects of life and death throughout the universe. However, one of theirown lays captured—Dream, the Lord of Sleep. As Dream makes his escape and returns to his duties after 70 years of imprison-ment, he encounters countless characters from myth, legend and comics, from Lucifer himself to the tragic Greek hero Orpheusto the HELLBLAZER John Constantine.
New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo titleand one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyondlife and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.
Author Bio: David Finch began his comic book career at the age of 22 at Top Cow. There, he created Ascension and Aphrodite IX, both of which were top sellers in the business. In 2001, he made the move to Marvel. His 15 issue run on Ultimate X-Men saw sales of the comic jump 40%. On Avengers, David’s presence doubled sales with starting with his first issue. Eventually feeling the need for a change, David took on the monumental task of bringing a perennially low-selling, cancelled Moon Knight into the mainstream. His run on Moon Knight skyrocketed this title into the main Marvel universe and saw it sell over five times the all the title’s previous releases. Now, David is working with Jeph Loeb on Ultimatum. In addition to his comic career, David has also worked on video games, music, and film. He has worked with Zack Snyder, Guillermo del Toro, Clive Barker, and Michael J. Straczynski, among others. His artwork can currently be seen in stores nationwide on the CD cover for the band Disturbed.
Summary: Delving into the more supernatural and esoteric areas of Gotham City, the 6-part storyline explores the horrific murder of one ofBruce Wayne’s childhood friends…and the terrible ramifications the brutal crime has on Batman’s life.
Grant Morrison, JH Williams III
Trade paperback, $29.99
Author Bio: Grant Morrison has been working with DC Comics for more than 20 years, beginning his American career with acclaimed runs on ANIMAL MAN, DOOM PATROL and the ARKHAM ASYLUM graphic novel. Since then, he has written such best-selling series as JLA, BATMAN and New X-Men, as well as his creator-owned titles such as THE INVISIBLES, SEAGUY, THE FILTH and WE3. He has been hard at work expanding the DC Universe in titles ranging from the Eisner-Award winning titles SEVEN SOLDIERS and ALL STAR SUPERMAN to the weekly comic 52 to, most recently, the ground-breaking crossover FINAL CRISIS. In his secret identity, Morrison is a “counterculture” spokesperson, a musician, an award-winning playwright and a chaos magician. He lives and works between Los Angeles and his homes in Scotland.
Summary: SEVEN SOLDIERS is an epic tale of life, death, triumph and redemption that explores the nature of heroism and sacrifice. Featuring the first four of the seven soldiers: The Shining Knight, The Guardian, Zatanna and Klarion the Witch Boy. Independently, each of these characters is featured in a story that redefines their purpose in the DC Universe. But their stories also interweave with the others, telling a grander story of a devastating global threat to mankind. Together, these reluctant champions must work together to save the world from the insidious threat of the invading Sheeda warriors — without even meeting one another.
Collects SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY #0, THE GUARDIAN #1-4, KLARION #1-3, ZATANNA #1-3, and THE SHINING KNIGHT #1-4.
Stefano Caselli, Dan Slott
Author Bio: Dan Slott is an American comic book writer best known for The Amazing Spider-Man, Mighty Avengers, Arkham Asylum: Living Hell and She-Hulk. He is the current writer of the twice monthly The Amazing Spider-Man. Dan lives in New York City.
Summary: Start Webbing The News! New York City becomes Infested–and eight million people are plagued! Normal people are getting Spider-Powers! But not all of them realize that with great power must also come…you know the rest. Okay, sure we often say Peter Parker’s life will never be the same. But listen, pal, we’ve never been more serious. This will change everything for Pete, for Spidey…and possibly for YOU! Look at it this way…if EVERYONE’S a Spider-Man…then no one is. As the brilliantly fearsome Jackal rises from the past and begins organizing an army of spider-powered soldiers, how can the heroes of NYC hope to contain millons of wall-crawling New Yorkers? Plus: A dangerous new role for Venom. And, nearly 50 years in the making, the story which MUST BE READ: J. Jonah Jameson: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAYOR!
Summary: Acclaimed writer/artist John Byrne takes the web-slinger’s reigns and reinvents the Spider-Man mythos for the 21st century! Witness your favorite web-spinner’s earliest adventures as he faces off – for the first time – against the likes of Dr. Octopus, the Vulture, Sandman, the Green Goblin, the Lizard, Mysterio and Electro! Guest-starring Spidey’s supporting cast, the Fantastic Four and heroes from throughout the Marvel Universe, in a decidedly different take on Spider-Man’s formative years! Collecting SPIDER-MAN: CHAPTER ONE #0-12.
Art Baltazar, Mike Norton
Trade paperback, $12.99
Author Bio: Born in Chicago, Art Baltazar found his way early to comic book art and has been cartooning ever since he can recall, self-publishing in 1994 with such titles as The Cray-Baby Adventures, Gyro-Man, Captain Camel & the Space Chicken, Jimmy Dydo, Lunar Lizard, Meteor Mite and the famous Patrick the Wolf Boy. Art has also drawn coloring books for Warner Bros. and has a monthly comic strip in Disney Adventures Magazine called Gorilla Gorilla! Art also created an autobiographical graphic novel called The Big Amoeba for Platinum Studios. He lives outside of Chicago with his wife, Rose, and children Sonny, Gordon, and Audrey.
Summary: Don’t call them sidekicks!
The Justice League needs a covert team that could operate on the sly, so who better than experienced crime fighters Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad? Together with Superboy, recently rescued from the top-secret Project Cadmus, and the crush-worthy shape-shifting alien Miss Martian, these teens are ready to stop being sidekicks and start taking down their own villains—like League of Shadows and the Joker—all on their own. But Superboy may have a secret mission of his own to complete…destroying Superman!
Summary: Industry superstar Todd McFarlane’s blockbuster run barrels on! The Hobgoblin is back, out of control and more deranged than ever! Will even the demonic Ghost Rider be enough to help Spider-Man stop him? Then, Spidey takes a trip into the dark, lightless sewers under Manhattan to face Morbius the Living Vampire, which can mean only one thing: the return of the black costume! And finally, it’s a titanic two-part team-up with Marvel’s heavy hitters of the ’90s that takes the word “widescreen” literally as Spider-Man partners with X-Force to stop the rampaging Juggernaut! Collecting SPIDER-MAN (1990) #6-7, #13-14 and #16; and X-FORCE (1991) #4.
Andy Lanning, Jackson Guice
Trade paperback, $29.99
Author Bio: Dan Abnett lives and works in Maidstone, Kent. After graduating from Oxford, he worked for a while as an editor of comics and children’s books before turning to writing full time. In the dozen or so years since then, he has written for such a diverse range of characters – including Scooby Doo, Thunderbirds, Conan the Barbarian, the X-Men, Johnny Bravo, Batman, Rupert the Bear, Dr Who, Mr Men, The Terminator and Postman Pat – that he is now clinically bewildered. He created the popular series Sinister Dexter, which he continues to write, along with other strips, for 2000 AD, and has recently helped rejuvenate the Legion of Superheroes for DC Comics. His work for the Black Library, particularly the best-selling Gaunt’s Ghosts and Inquisitor Eisenhorn novels, is often cited as damning evidence of just who it was that let the galaxy burn.
Andy Lanning is a British comic book writer and inker. He has co-written (with Dan Abnett) such titles as THE LEGION, Forceworks, RESURRECTION MAN, and several space-themed comics for Marvel. His smooth inking style has been in much demand, and has been seen on various titles including WONDER WOMAN, Avengers, OTHERWORLD, THE LEGION, and Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.
Summary: Mitch Shelly can be killed, but every time he comes back, he has a different power—a new ability that sometimes is a blessing,sometimes a deadly curse.
His deaths and rebirths leave him disoriented at first, and With the help of a newfound friend, Mitch discovers bits of his past,although the origin of his powers remains a mystery—but one that won’t remain for long. Resurrection Man’s creators have set Body Doubles on his tail—a pair of ruthless female assassins named Bonny and Carmen. Also pursuing Mitch is a sociopathnamed Hooker, a test survivor like Mitch with one big difference—Hooker’s body is not repairing itself. Hooker wants thesecret to Mitch’s rejuvenation, and he’s willing to tear the Resurrection Man limb from limb to get it.
Gail Simone, J. Calafiore
Trade paperback, $16.99
Author Bio: A multiple award-winning, critically acclaimed writer of comics and animation, Gail Simone began writing as a columnist for comicbookresources.com, producing the comics parody column “You’ll All Be Sorry.” She has since had fan favorite runs on such books as WONDER WOMAN, SUPERMAN and the creator-owned WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY. She currently writes SECRET SIX and BIRDS OF PREY, and other special projects for DC Comics.
Summary: As a member of the Secret Six is determined to bring back a loved one from the Gates of Hell using a “Get Out of Hell Free”card stolen back in the first arc of the series. Meanwhile, Bane must face his inner demons and make some crucial decisions regarding his future with the Secret Six!
Darwyn Cooke, Ed Brubaker
Trade paperback, $29.99/$34.00 Can.
Author Bio: A one-time cartoonist, Ed Brubaker has been working as a writer since the early 90s, and in that time his work has won several awards and been translated into eleven languages around the world. He primarily works in comics, but has also written screenplays. He
currently resides in Seattle, Washington with his wife, Melanie, and many pets. His comic book works include SLEEPER, Captain America and GOTHAM CENTRAL.
Darwyn Cooke is an Eisner Award-winning cartoonist and animator. After several years as a magazine art director and graphic designer, Cooke started working in
animation, where his work could be seen on such shows as Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Men In Black: The Series. He is the creator of DC: THE NEW FRONTIER.
Summary: For years, Selina Kyle has prowled the skyline of Gotham City as its most famous thief, Catwoman. But when word spreads of Catwoman’s demise, Selina decides to leave the costumed world behind and continue her trade cloaked in the shadows. Unable to enjoy her newfound anonymity for too long though, Selina decides that she must return to her infamous persona. Donning a new costume and attitude, Catwoman returns to the streets and sets her sights on the serial killer that has been preying upon the streetwalkers she calls friends.
Robert Kirkman, Derec Aucoin
Trade paperback, $16.99
Summary: Meet Jubilation Lee: firework-wielding mutant, full-fledged X-Man, sidekick to Wolverine and future vampire! Seeking a fresh start in this pre-“Curse of the Mutants” tale penned by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, Jubilee enrolls in high school and becomes a peer counselor. But along with the cute boys and teenage angst come gangs, evil mutants and car thieves! Jubes has her work cut out for her! Collecting JUBILEE #1-6.
Ron Garney, John Byrne
Trade paperback, $34.99
Summary: Legendary creator John Byrne collaborates with a host of top-tier talent to deliver a Hulk saga unlike any other. Join the Green Goliath as he journeys to the American heartland – and into his own troubled past – and encounters friend and foe alike. Featuring Iron Man and the Avengers; a shape-shifting faux Wolverine; and Greenskin’s old sparring partner, the Thing! The Hulk may want to be left alone, but that ain’t gonna happen with this colossal cast of characters! Collecting HULK (1999) #1-11 and ANNUAL 1999.
Leo Fernandez, Greg Rucka, Darick Robertson
Trade paperback, $39.99
Summary: Waitresses, arms dealers, human traffickers, pregnant crime lords, bad dreams and feral female fighters can’t stop Wolverine from carving his way to victory in this razor-sharp series reboot by acclaimed novelist and comics scribe Greg Rucka (Whiteout, Queen & Country). And see Logan do what he does best against his archenemy, Sabretooth! Plus: the unsettling threats of Cry and Vapor! Guest-starring Nightcrawler! Collecting WOLVERINE (2003) #1-19.
Alex Maleev, Brian Michael Bendis
ISBN 13: 978-0-7851-5252-1
Trade Paper, $19.99
[Why do I even try…? I searched Marvel.com for this edition. I pulled up the series page, which lists all of the single issues and variants. I tried Google. NO LISTING. For this paperback, which is due in bookstores on January 18th, and no listing for the hardcover, which was published LAST JULY!! This, for one of Marvel’s biggest creators!
What’s that? I should check Icon’s official website?]
Geoff Johns, Scott Kolins
ISBN 13: 978-1-4012-3195-8
Trade Paper, $14.99
The Fastest Man Alive must solve the murder of one of his greatest villains and protect his other foes from an elusive killer in this hardcover pulled from THE FLASH #1-6 and THE FLASH SECRET FILES 2010!
Racing out of BLACKEST NIGHT, The Flash returns to his life in Central City – but when one of his Rogues Gallery of foes turns up murdered under mysterious circumstances, it’s up to The Fastest Man Alive to solve this bizarre crime and protect those who are targeted by the elusive killer.
Lex Luthor and the Kryptonite Caverns
J. E. Bright, Luciano Vecchio
ISBN 13: 978-1-4342-3795-8
Library Binding, $18.99
I’ve been writing for The Beat since July of 2010.
I’ve been reading comics since 1974, collecting since 1984, and spreading the graphic novel gospel since 1994.
I’m a bookseller, a librarian, an amateur scholar, a cool uncle, and a comics evangelist.
Ask me anything!