Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #206 by Drew Barth

Another One of These Years

It’s a new year and it’s time again to look forward to the multitude of work coming out that runs the gambit of short story collections, the minutia of history, and the good old weird shit that you and I come back to week after week.

 

Winter 2023

  • Black Cloak: A new Image series from Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren that combines elements of noir and science-fiction to give us a story about a murder investigation where our heroes need to find an answer before a city teeters into a full-blown war.
  • Tatsuki Fujimoto Before Chainsaw Man: 17-21: One of the two volumes of early short stories by Chainsaw Man mangaka, Tatsuki Fujimoto. This volume explores his earliest work and shows some of the seeds that would come to germinate further in his most famous work. 
  • Spy Superb: Matt Kindt returns with a short miniseries about a spy that doesn’t even know he’s a spy. It’s the perfect cover for espionage work—who would ever suspect someone who doesn’t even know they’re spying? 
  • Last On His Feet: A look at the 1910 “Battle of the Century” in which Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion, pummeled “great white hope” Jim Jeffries and the history that created, both inside and outside the ring. 

Spring 2023

  • Ephemera: A Memoir: Guiding us through a garden, a forest, and a greenhouse, Briana Loewinsohn offers us a look at her life as a woman and as the daughter of a parent with a mental illness. A graphic memoir told in dreamy paints, Ephemera might become one of the strongest autobiography in the medium. 
  • Phantom Road: Another new Image series coming this year, Jeff Lemire and Gabriel H. Walta give us the story of Dom, a long-haul trucker, and Birdie, someone Dom has picked up after a car crash, and their world after uncovering an artifact from the wreckage of said crash. 
  • The Neighbors: A new and horrific twist on moving to a new neighborhood, Jude Ellison S. Doyle, Letizia Cadonici, and Alessandro Santoro bring us a series about family, , neighbors, and the world outside your door being something much more gruesome than you may have anticipated. 
  • Tombs: Continuing the horror, Junji Ito has another story collection coming out this year that promises to keep us shitting our pants with stories that will warp mundane objects like windows and tongues into something just a grotesque as any of his previous work. 
  • Indigo Children: Curt Pires, Alex Diotto, Dee Cunniffe, and Rockwell White bring us a new sci-fi series centered on the mysterious reappearance of the Indigo Children after fifteen years and the journalist who tries to track them down after all this time. 
  • Unstoppable Doom Patrol: I’m a simple person. I see Chris Burnham’s art attached a Doom Patrol series written by Dennis Culver and open up my wallet. While there hasn’t been much announced about the series just yet outside of it spinning out of the DC’s upcoming Lazarus Planet event, it still promises the weird we’ve come to expect from this group of heroes. 
  • Nejishiki: Another volume from Drawn & Quarterly of Yoshiharu Tsugue’s influential manga. Tsugue was one of the leading figures in the counter-cultural manga of the 60s and this collection brings together some of his more iconic work from that period of his career. 
  • Dementia 21: The re-release of Shintaro Kago’s absurdist manga that centers on Yukie Sakai and her life after being hired as a home aide. What follows is a surreal satire featuring anything from superheroes, zombies, Santa, and mind-controlling dentures. 

Summer 2023

  • The Man in the McIntosh Suit: Rina Ayuyang’s tale of Bobot and his struggles in rural California in 1929—a manual laborer despite his law degree from the Philippines. But when circumstance brings him to San Francisco, we’re left with a noir tale that rivals cinema’s classics. 
  • Goes Like This: After so many years, we can finally have Jordan Crane’s short works in a single volume. The multi-genre spanning collection brings together his take on anything from weird westerns, science fiction, relationship drama, and the ephemeral nature of childhood, he shows why his stories needed to be collected for everyone to read. 
  • Shazam: Mark Waid and Dan Mora continue to define the DC Universe with their take on Billy Batson and what a magical adventure comic can look like. As with Doom Patrol, not much is known about this series, but it has the pedigree to be one of the strongest cape books of the year. 
  • Okinawa: A history of the island to the far south of Japan, Susumu Higa shows us the graphic history of war that has defined Okinawa—from its annexation by the Japanese Empire to it suffering the bulk of land battles in the Pacific War to its current hosting of the majority of US military bases currently. Higa explores all of this along with the people who remain there as their only home. 

Fall and Winter 2023

  • Roaming: The first graphic novel Jillian and Mariko Tamaki since 2014’s This One Summer, the duo bring us the story of three friends on a trip to New York in 2009. Their unexpected romance drives the story as the three explore as much of the city as they can before their spring break comes to a close. 
  • Green Lantern: Little is known about Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s new take on John Stewart outside of Johnson looking back to Stewart’s architect roots. While this story isn’t slated to release until near the end of 2023, this could become our best look at John Stewart in years. 

There are more than likely other series that are going to come out between print and just a couple months from now that should be on this list, but I’m still working in 2022. Times change. Some of these comics could be delayed or brought forward. Either way, there’s still some good stuff coming out this year and I hope it’s enough to distract from whatever else may happen this time. 

Get excited. Get living in boring times. 

_______

Drew Barth at Miami Book Fair in 2019.

Drew Barth (Episode 331, 485, & 510) resides in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida.