2018 in comics: Wonder Woman, Poochytown and goodbye Alan Moore

For graphic novel fans, this year is full of treats: more Batman and Spider-Man, rumours of a Ta-Nehisi Coates take on Captain America, some fresh faces – and big farewells to some old ones

When everything is terrible, there are always comics — and some doozies are set to come out in 2018. Which may very well be less terrible a year than 2017, not least because of all the good comics.

The comebacks

Mudbite (March). Photograph: Fantagraphics

The next 12 months promise the return of several luminaries who’ve been keeping a low profile. Sci-fi master Carla Speed McNeil, who has won every award in existence for her Finder series, has a new volume out, Finder: Chase the Lady (April, Dark Horse). Cartoonist Dave Cooper’s new book, Mudbite (March, Fantagraphics), is his first in years after leaving graphic novels to make a short film about Mudbite’s protagonist Eddy Table and some very interesting children’s television.


Canadian Ho Che Anderson finally has a new graphic novel: a sci-fi story called Godhead (February, Fantagraphics) about a corporation that invents a device for talking to God. No two Anderson works are alike – his bibliography contains erotica, a biography of Martin Luther King Jr, and a superhero miniseries – so Godhead will be another addition to his eclectic CV.

... and some big farewells

Promotion for the final instalment of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest (June). Photograph: Knockabout

When it comes to superheroes, there might be no better-loved writer than Northampton’s Alan Moore. Moore and artist Kevin O’Neill’s long-running series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is set to conclude with The Tempest (starts June, Topshelf and Knockabout). Set in the year 2996 in a shared universe of fictional heroes, League stars famous names from literature – Mr Hyde, Cthulhu, Dracula, James Bond many others in between. Moore has said The Tempest is his final comics story – not just of the series, but of his long and distinguished career. It sounds like a fun note to go out on.


Like Moore, the great Jim Woodring is leaving comics behind, but not before he finishes his life’s work: Frank, the wordless tale of a very strange anthropomorphic animal (cat? dog? bear?), who lives with his pets in a land that looks like a Salvador Dalí sculpture of St Basil’s Cathedral. Frank’s tale ends with Poochytown (July, Fantagraphics), in which Woodring promises “one of the most shocking acts ever depicted in the Frank canon”. When I spoke to Woodring in 2016, he said he felt Poochytown would amend errors he’d made in previous volumes of Frank. Given its weirdness, it’s anyone’s guess what that means.

Meanwhile, the sixth and final chapter in Johnny Ryan’s fabulously obscene cyborg-luchadores in hell opus Prison Pit (July, Fantagraphics) is due, as is the 26th and last volume of Garth Ennis’s War Stories series (January, Avatar).

DC and Marvel

Batman: Creature of the Night (February). Photograph: DC Comics

DC is bringing the Dakota superhero universe back to life in the spring, with several new series overseen by writer Reginald Hudlin. The most promising is Static Shock (TBC, Milestone), illustrated by Kyle Baker, an amazing talent whose background in cartoon animation suggests something stylish and upbeat. In the mainstream DC universe, Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon’s beautiful Batman story Creature of the Night (February, DC) will finish, with a collected edition soon to follow, and Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette’s oddball take on DC’s leading lady, Wonder Woman: Earth One, will get a second volume (August, DC).

Captain America #697

Marvel is reuniting the reliably fun Howard the Duck creative team, writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Joe Quinones, for another four-issue arc on The Spectacular Spider-Man (starts January). Mark Waid and Chris Samnee will continue their refreshingly old-fashioned run on Captain America (January), though there have been intriguing rumours that Black Panther writer and MacArthur genius Ta-Nehisi Coates will take over the book later in the year. Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov will finish their six-issue Punisher: Platoon miniseries (January and February), as good a comic about the Vietnam war as Marvel has published since its classic The ’Nam.

The reliable stalwarts

Sex Criminals #21

Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s excellent Injection series will get another chapter (TBC, Image); as will Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals (January, Image) – I’m sorry about the name too, but it’s possibly the funniest book on the market. And we’re set to get another crisp, extra-wide paperback edition of Berkeley Breathed’s beloved, not too political cartoon Bloom County – the volume is called Shenaniganary (September, IDW). Sammy Harkham’s art comics anthology Kramers Ergot also has a new edition out in April (Fantagraphics).

... and some rising stars

My Favourite Thing is Monsters 2
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (August). Photograph: Fantagraphics

Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (August, Fantagraphics) will conclude with a second phone-book-sized volume. The Chicago artist’s debut was 2017’s heaviest page-turner, and with the second volume, Ferris will bring together all the threads of the book’s copious, rich melodrama.

In contrast to Ferris’s warm maximalism, precise minimalist Nick Drnaso will publish Sabrina (May, Drawn & Quarterly), a follow-up to his remarkable first graphic novel Beverly. Set in quotidian suburban America, Beverly was a masterclass in slow-burn narrative, with each chapter quietly building on the previous to form a structure only visible from the end. In Sabrina he turns his jeweller’s eye to the aftermath of violence, in a tale about a US soldier suspected in the disappearance of a young woman.

The Prince and the Dressmaker

Preliminary images from Jen Wang’s The Prince and the Dressmaker (February, First Second) are enough to make me want to read it. Wang’s careful renderings of opulent 19th-century France provide an appropriately lush backdrop for the YA book’s drama. And, finally, the strange and wonderful illustrator Elise Gravel has a new book out, The Mushroom Fan Club (June, Drawn & Quarterly), about mushrooms. That’s all I’m giving you. You’ll read it and like it.


Sam Thielman

The GuardianTramp

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