There is a lot happening in the world of comics — and there is not always time to cover it all but here’s a round-up of the stories we didn’t have time to cover in depth this week.
• Pantheon Random House will publish Our Colors by manga star Gengoroh Tagame in April. It’s an all-ages coming out story by the author of My Brother’s Husband, a surprise hit that has sold more than 42,000 copies of various editions. Anne Ishii does the translation.
Set in contemporary suburban Japan, OUR COLORS is the story of Sora Itoda: a sixteen-year-old aspiring painter who experiences his world in synesthetic hues of blues and reds, and is governed by the emotional turbulence of being a teenager. He wants to live honestly as a young gay man in high school, but that is still not acceptable in Japanese society. His best friend and childhood confidante is Nao, a young woman whom everyone thinks is (or should be) his girlfriend, and it would be the easiest thing to play along—she knows he is gay but knows, too, how difficult it is to live one’s truth in his situation.
Sora’s world changes forever when he meets Mr. Amamiya, a middle-aged gentleman who is the owner and proprietor of a local coffee shop, and who is completely, unapologetically out as a gay man. A mentorship and platonic friendship ensues, as Sora comes out to him and agrees to paint a mural in the shop, and Mr. Amamiya counsels him about how to deal with who he is. But it won’t be easy. Mr. Amamiya paid a high price for his freedom of identity, and when a figure from his past suddenly appears, the situation becomes a vivid example of just how complicated life can be.
Awaken – May 2022 for $17.99 USA / $21.99 CAN.
Piras, the capricious and spoiled son of a military hero, dreams of becoming an elite Knight for the Nova Empire. But one day, when he literally crashes into a mysterious woman on the street, his life is turned upside down. Saved from a monstrous creature by a group of “terrorists,” Piras is mesmerized by the strange new power that flows through him–only to learn that the Empire will hunt him down for it. Is this the end of his charmed life, and the start of a new quest for the truth behind the Nova Empire and the people it labels enemies? This supernatural action-mystery comic, heavily influenced by shonen manga, is written and drawn in full color by Chilean artist Koti Saavedra.
Never Satisfied – June 2022 for $17.99 USA / $21.99 CAN
In a seaside city flanked by towering statues, a diverse group of magicians live and work with their familiars–animal companions unique to themselves. To young magicians, there is one job coveted more than any: representative champion of their city. Lucy Marlowe is a non-binary apprentice out to prove themself to an apathetic master. The other apprentice magicians reach out to Lucy and each other, but as the competition heats up, it’s unclear if friendship can bloom when they are all pitted against each other. Can anybody truly understand anyone else? And at what cost does glory come? Championed as the Best New Webcomic of 2015 on Comics Alliance, this first graphic novel of the acclaimed full-color webcomic by American artist Taylor Robin is bringing its rich magic and character drama to bookstores across the globe.
Tiger, Tiger – July 2022 for $19.99 USA / $24.99 CAN
In this Eisner-nominated swashbuckling tale, the young lady Ludo–a pampered Victorian noble–dreams of romance and adventure. Spurred by a desire to explore, she steals her brother’s identity and sails across the world. While searching for love, adventure, and enough material to write a book about her favorite sea creatures, otherworldly mysteries await in the dark depths of the sea. Follow Finnish artist Petra Erika Nordlund’s thrilling and hilarious adventure, packed with sword fights, nasty villains, and the exploration of dangerous, uncharted lands!
The brand new epic from comic book legends J. Michael Straczynksi (The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor) and Steve Epting (Captain America: The Winter Soldier). An electromagnetic disturbance results in the sudden awakening of telepathic powers in a tenth of the Earth’s population. In the moments after the world comes to grip with this development, newly telepathic Boston police find themselves sent against a wrongly convicted prisoner who becomes a hero and leader of other telepaths trying to escape a world in which their powers will make them targets. Both are heroes of their own story, and the future may depend on whether or not trust can be found between them.
• Scout Comics has announced THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE BRAVE CAPTAIN SUAVE by Joseph Sieracki, Kelly Williams, Taylor Esposito and Andrea Lorenzo Molinari. Release date is “Coming Soon” for this modern day retelling of Don Quixiote. You can view an ashcan preview here.
Set in Cleveland, the series follows a homeless man who lost his job and then his family, driving him into a vagrant state of disillusionment and comic book fantasy. Yet his actions will leave readers questioning who is really crazy. Is it so insane to want to help people, or does the true madness lie with those who see suffering and choose to look the other way? The story loosely follows the satirical, metatextual plot of Cervantes’s classic.
First, in an extra-sized lead story, Geoff Johns and Bryan Hitch introduce the mysterious man known as Redcoat and reveal his bizarre ties to the American Revolution, the Unknown War, and Geiger himself.
Then, discover the secrets of the Warlords of Las Vegas—Bonnie Borden! Goldbeard! Mr. Karloff! And more!—in a series of tales written and drawn by some of the greatest writers and artists today.
Plus, readers will learn the special origin of Geiger’s favorite two-headed dog, Barney, and get a sneak peek at Johns and Frank’s new upcoming series: Junkyard Joe.
Geiger 80-Page Giant #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, November 24:
You had me at two-headed dog.
• Also coming from Image in November a team up between …. actor John Leguizamo and Todd McFarlane? It won’t be the first time; Leguizamo played the villain in the Spawn movie back in the day. McFarlane will provide a cover for the debut of PhenomX, a new superhero title from Leguizamo. The title was crowdfunded a while ago, and the otherwise all-Latinx team includes artist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez—author of the comic series La Boriqueña—as well as cover art by Jim Muñiz, José Marzán, Jr., and Juan Fernández.
PhenomX centers around the character, Max Gomez, who was wrongfully imprisoned and is desperate to regain his freedom. Max agrees to become a subject in an underground government experiment.
When the trial gives him phenomenal shape-shifting abilities, Gomez learns his new “freedom” requires surviving a superpowered war fought on the streets of NYC.
“In today’s world, it’s incredibly important to support Latin artists,” said Leguizamo. “There is a lack of Latin representation in Hollywood, and it’s important to showcase Latin superheroes.”
“John has been a multitalented artist for such a long time it was exciting to hear that he wanted to bring some of those talents into our comic industry and to help give a voice to a certain segment of society,” said McFarlane. “John is well regarded in the Latino entertainment world and we are both hoping that his character not only makes an impact here but across the globe, regardless of your background. Cool comic books should have a place everywhere.”