Welcome, welcome, welcome, one and all! It is I, the great Comic Book Yeti, here to remind you of the comics you should be excited to read in 2020 by telling you about the comics I'm excited to read in 2020.
Let's get started.
1. Anything and Everything from the White Noise Collective
Alex Paknadel, Ram V, Ryan O'Sullivan and Dan Watters rocked the comic book world with their comics over the past few years, especially with their titles released through publisher, Vault Comics in 2018-2019.
This year, they're gearing up for more. To quote a Bleeding Cool article (which I have used for reference for a decent amount of this section, along with Twitter), Ram V has announced two music-themed projects: "a jazz noir horror original graphic novel slated for 2020, previews of a music-themed sci-fi book called Radio Apocalypse for White Noise Round 2 at Vault Comic."
With the success of his critically acclaimed series, These Savage Shores (with Sumit Kumar, Vittorio Astone & Aditya Bidikar from Vault Comics), and by the looks of the teaser images coming from artist Anand Radhakrishnan, whom Ram will be working with on one of these projects, we can't help but look forward to this series. And, if you've read Grafity's Wall by Ram V & Anand Radhakrishnan, you'll be looking forward to it, too. If you haven't read it, Dark Horse will be publishing it in North America this year, so make sure it's on your list.
Alex Paknadel has NOT ONE BUT TWO comics he's announced, BOTH to be published by VAULT, which is a proverbial dream come true. First, he'll be working with John Lê on "a manga-inspired project," GIGĀ, and also collaborating with fellow White Noise writer, Dan Watters, on a new series called "Earthcrosser." No word on what either will be about just yet, though Lê's work is visually stunning and evocative of classic, surreal sci-fi comics. Plus, anyone who's read their Assassin's Creed series knows Paknadel and Watters work some serious magic together.
Also, we've had Twitter confirmation that Paknadel and Diego Galindo will return with more KINO from Lion Forge's Catalyst Prime universe. KINO is a superhero story unlike any other, lending the hero at its center, Alistair Meath, a depth and nuance readers may not find in Big 2 offerings. Thus, this return is something to get excited about.
Earthcrosser isn't the only new project Dan Watters has announced for 2020. He and Caspar Wijngaard have a new series they've been teasing on Twitter for months. This will be the first time they've worked together since fan-favorite LIMBO was released 4 years ago. If you loved Wijngaard's clean lines and electric pinks and purples from Limbo, it looks from the teasers like they might make a reappearance in this new comic.
Also, we'll likely see more surreal, grindhouse goodness in the next arc of Coffin Bound, and we'll be kept waiting on the edge of our seats until that happens.
Last, though certainly not least, Ryan O'Sullivan has two projects to be published by Vault (last we heard, anyway). He's not very active on social media anymore and everyone's been pretty mum about these aforementioned series, but I'm hoping a return of Henry Henry himself is in the forecast.
Needless to say, these writers and their collaborators have raised the bar for comics over the years, disrupting the industry for the better. Part of that is their desire to walk away from the nostalgia that inspires too many creators, instead wanting to do something new and different that experiments with the medium. But also, it seems like every series they do is not only an impressive, instant classic, but it also helps them grow tremendously as creators.
So, if you think the last round of their work was impressive, just wait until you see what they bring this year.
2. Image Comics Headliners
As we all know, Image Comics is the heavy-hitter publisher for creator-owned comics, and several new series are set to impress and amaze. PROTECTOR is one of these amazing new series. It looks and sounds incredible, and is already earning some buzz in the industry.
Here's the solicit copy:
"From SIMON ROY (Prophet), Sideways Award-winning author DANIEL M. BENSEN (Junction), ARTYOM TRAKHANOV, JASON WORDIE (GOD COUNTRY), and HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU (Red Sonja) comes a sci-fi adventure equal parts Conan the Barbarian, Mad Max, and The Expanse.
Of all the tribes that dwell in the hot ruins of far-future North America, the Hudsoni reign supreme, but even they fear and obey the godlike Devas. When the Devas warn of an old-world demon in the conquered city of Shikka-Go, Hudsoni war chief First Knife decides to deal with the threat personally."
The second new series I predict will get a ton of positive attention is TARTARUS.
Here's the write-up:
"A new adventure series with all the sci-fi drama of Breaking Bad set in Mos Eisley! Promising young cadet Tilde is framed for crimes against the empire after discovering her mother was the ruthless warlord of the deadly colony Tartarus, a vital player in the galactic war. Now, Tilde’s only way home may be to reclaim her mother’s dark crown.#1 New York Times bestseller JOHNNIE CHRISTMAS (Alien 3) and artistic phenom JACK T. COLE (The Unsound) kick off this ongoing series with 44 big pages of story!"
While these two titles may not be from well-known, household names (yet), I have a feeling they are going to earn a lot of attention for their creative teams.
Which titles are YOU looking forward to? Comic Book Yeti contributor, Jason Jeffords, Jr., can't wait to check out MERCY.
Here's the rundown:
"When the placid mining village of Woodsburgh is disturbed by a series of brutal murders, the settlement is in turmoil. And as the first snow covers the chaos in a white blanket, a mysterious woman in black arrives, eliciting a totally different kind of unrest. But who is Lady Hellaine, really? And what’s her secret agenda? Acclaimed UNNATURAL creator MIRKA ANDOLFO presents a sensual Victorian gothic horror about otherness, damnation, redemption, and what it means to be a monster in a horror tale perfect for fans of Penny Dreadful, Crimson Peak, The Alienist, Parasol Protectorate, and Dark Shadows.Visit gotmercy.me for additional MERCY bonus content, including exclusive art, a live-action comic trailer, and supplemental story material."
Image is also set to premiere new titles from other well-established names in the industry, like BOG BODIES from Declan Shalvey, Gavin Fullerton, Rebecca Nalty, Clayton Cowles and Heather Antos.
We got a sneak peek at the first issue of this new OGN and, if you like suspenseful crime thrillers, we think you'll definitely be into Bog Bodies.
Bog Bodies hits stores in March. Here's the solicit copy:
"A cold, poignant story of crime, survival, and regret, Bog Bodies follows an Irish gangster on the run after a job gone wrong who encounters a young woman lost in the Dublin mountains. Injured and unarmed, the unlikely pair must try to evade their pursuers and survive the desolate bog that has served as burial grounds for unspeakable murder throughout history."
In between the established names and new talent is Darcy van Poelgeest, who broke into comics last year with one of the best books of 2019, LITTLE BIRD. This year, he and his collaborators (Ian Bertram, Matt Hollingsworth, Aditya Bidikar & Ben Didier) return with another new series that takes place in the same universe: PRECIOUS METAL...and that's about all we know about it.
We have even fewer details on his other series announced for a 2020 release, THE NATURE OF LIGHT. Heck, it could be the name of a new film he's working on, since he's also a filmmaker, but I do believe I read on Twitter that he has more comics planned for 2020 beyond Precious Metal.
That said, Little Bird truly was a masterpiece, so more from van Poelgeest, especially within the universe Little Bird established, is something to be thrilled about.
And let's not forget the long-anticipated Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss follow-up (more of a spiritual successor than a sequel, however) to 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, WHAT'S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE?, originally announced for a 2019 release. We still don't know much official info about this one, but we're going to cover the ashcan/issue #0 of the series right here at ComicBookYeti.com before the comic officially drops.
Finally, CROWDED, Vol. 2 (and maybe 3?) by Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, & Ted Brandt drops later this year! We'll be reviewing Volume 1 shortly before it comes out.
Here's what to expect:
"After escaping a televised attempt on their lives and blowing past two million bucks in their REAPR campaign, Charlie and Vita abandon Los Angeles for the desert paradise Las Vegas in search of answers. But between the human debris of Charlie's past and the well-kept secrets of Vita's old life, the only thing less likely than Charlie and Vita surviving their REAPR campaign is them surviving each other."
3. New and Returning Favorites from Vault Comics
If you're a regular visitor of my site or follow me on Twitter, you know I/we are big fans of the publisher and can probably guess that we'd be pretty excited about what they have in store for us this year.
Of the announced series (the ones I haven't already covered, anyway), we've got a few new ones to get ready for. The first is No One's Rose, by Emily Horn, Zac Thompson & Alberto Jiminez-Albuquerque. Here's the description:
"Centuries after the fall of the Anthropocene, the last vestiges of human civilization are housed in a massive domed city powered by renewable energy, known as The Green Zone. Inside lives teenager Tenn Gavrilo, a brilliant bio-engineer who could rebuild the planet. But there’s one problem: her resentful brother Seren is eager to dismantle the precarious utopia.
A gorgeous and green solar-punk world filled with strange biotechnology, harsh superstorms, and divisive ideologies-ideologies that will tear Tenn and Seren down to their roots as they fight for a better Earth."
We can also look forward to a return of the Vagrant Queen series with the same team as the first volume. This one is titled "Vagrant Queen: Planet Called Doom." It's supposed to be a good jumping-on point for those new to the series, even though it's a continuation of what the first arc set in motion. It drops later this month, and the TV series is also set to premiere this year!
For Free Comic Book Day, we'll get a taste of Brandon Sanderson's OGN, DARK ONE, created with Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing and Nathan Gooden.
Though it doesn't take place within the Cosmere universe, The Coppermind wiki claims there will also be a Dark One TV series, "a podcast and a pair of prequel novels" to go with it.
Big news indeed!
And, as if we haven't made it abundantly clear how jazzed we are for Finger Guns, we must once again reiterate that it's a truly imaginative and well-executed new series that you simply should not miss. Justin Richards, Val Halvorson, Rebecca Nalty, and Taylor Esposito delivered a powerful first issue, and I have high hopes the rest of the series continues to deliver on the quality brought by that premiere.
We'll also get new arcs for Resonant, Sera and the Royal Stars, Heathen, Money Shot, and The Plot, just in case keeping up with Wasted Space, Black Stars Above, Heist and Cult Classic Creature Feature still isn't enough Vault for you.
And again, don't forget about all those Vault releases from the White Noise writers!
Plus, it sounds like Vault might be making some more announcements over the next few weeks, and rumor has it that they might be renovating their pre-ordering system (formerly their BookIt system) and brand merchandise, if you're looking for even more excellent ways to spend your hard-earned cash.
I'm no fortune teller, but I think it's going to be a good year to be a Vault Comics fan.
4. The Slaughterhouse-Five Adaptation, Specifically
Ryan North recently announced on Twitter that he'd be adapting the Kurt Vonnegut classic for Boom! Studios, with
Albert Monteys and Ricard Zapala, to be released in September.
I think it'll adhere pretty closely to the source material, but as a longtime Vonnegut fan, I'm definitely looking forward to revisiting the story in a new medium.
5. New Titles and Arcs from Some of Our Favorite Creators
One of the smartest, most talented guys in indie comics, Rick Quinn's been impressing with innovative and visually-stunning one-shots like EARWORM (co-written with Milton Lawson, art by Martyn Lorbiecki &. letters from Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou) and SALT WATER (with Dana Obera) for years, now. And in 2020, we'll see (at least!) two new comics from him.
The first is SPIRIT DRIFTERS: A LIBRARIAN OF ELYSIA
with artist, Erik Whalen.
The first chapter of an ongoing story set in the fantasy world established by their Kickstarted collection of interlocking short stories, “Elysia” is the story of Vanessa, a young engineer living in a rural village who is thrust into the middle of a war between the technologically elite Imperial army and a diaspora of wizards (called “spirit drifters”) by a charismatic rogue who unlocks the magic library entrusted to Vanessa by her long-lost sister.
The other is CHAMELEONS (An Uncanny Valley Story) with talented artist, Martyn Lorbiecki, who often works in watercolor and has teamed up with Quinn on one-shots like The Ghost Butterfly in the past.
The second addition to their Uncanny Valley project (an ongoing anthology collecting short stories with shared thematic concerns which started with Earworm), “Chameleons” is about a family traveling across a deserted wasteland in search of the final sanctuary of humanity. They only have to avoid reigning destruction from the army of drones in the sky above to survive.
For more about Rick Quinn's comics, catch up on some "Quinn-tessential Reading" in this recent blog post that breaks down his works.
Dave Chisholm's an incredibly talented cartoonist, and I can say first-hand that CANOPUS from Scout Comics is going to be one of 2020's standout comics.
It's about a woman, stranded on a moon with no memory of how she got there, little memory of who she is, and very little idea of how she's going to escape and get home.
If you love psychological thrillers set in space, then boy howdy, strap in for a hell of a ride.
Here's the official description, if you're interested:
"Helen wakes up marooned on a lifeless alien planet 300 light years from Earth with no memories beyond a hazy sense of extinction-level urgency to return to Earth. Joined by her robot companion, she explores the planet to find materials necessary to repair her ship. However, circumstances are not as straightforward as they seem: along their perilous path, Helen's most painful memories return to her as monstrous manifestations hellbent on her destruction. In this mind-bending sci-fi adventure, Helen's story unfolds into both her past and her future."
Speaking of Milton Lawson & Dave Chisholm, the two are partnering up with colorist Fabian Cobos and letterer Damon Kane on a new 3-issue miniseries: THOMPSON HELLER: DETECTIVE INTERSTELLAR.
Here's the pitch:
"Thompson Heller is a private detective who travels the stars solving cases with a political/moral dimension. He is a rational, skeptical, nonviolent, courageous, hard-drinking smartass. Heller is known throughout the galaxy as a prominent atheist, but he's beginning to fall in love with a religious academic. The 3-issue miniseries sees Heller taking on three cases that serve as standalone adventures, with character arcs and relationships developing in each chapter."
Keep an eye out for Thompson Heller: Detective Interstellar in the June PREVIEWS catalog. We'll be reviewing the series soon, right here at ComicBookYeti.com!
Another (likely) thriller that's probably going to be fantastic is SOS by Rich Douek, Alex Cormack and Justin Birch, the same team that delivered the frigid Russian horror comic, ROAD OF BONES.
No word yet on what SOS's premise is, though from the title, cover image, and the teasers Douek has been tweeting, one might imagine a nautical themed horror thriller is highly likely.
Plus, if Road of Bones is any indicator, we know the storytelling will be tight and the suspense will be killer. In other words? Maybe 2020's the year you get on blood pressure medication, because Douek, Cormack and Birch aren't pulling any punches in their pursuit of making some of the best thrillers on shelves.
CJ Pendragon's long-awaited OGN, GRANNY GOLEM, kicks off this February on Kickstarter. In it, Pendragon explores the effect of divorce on the life of a young girl, who turns to a creature from Jewish mythology for support.
Pendragon pulls from her own experiences for this, making it a deeply personal and emotional comic.
Eastin DeVerna, writer of Samurai Grandpa with Shawn Daley on art, has a second volume of the series planned to premiere this year. No word yet on what it's about, and DeVerna is even more hush-hush about his one-shot and miniseries set to debut later this year, both from Source Point Press (though we do know he's partnering with illustrator, Kay Baird, for one of them). Needless to say, after Samurai Grandpa Volume 1, we're looking forward to seeing more from Eastin DeVerna.
We've also got hints of new series to come from breakout writer, Brian Wickman. Wickman wowed us with his comic Big White (with Vlad Legostaev & Rachel Deering) last year, and he apparently also impressed Scout Comics, who is set to publish a new series he's writing, called GRIT.
More info to come on this one as we get it.
Erica Schultz (who is one of our favorite people) is writing a children's comic with artist Omar Lozano, called "The Silver Spurs of Oz: A Graphic Novel (Far Out Classic Stories)."
Here are the deets:
"Braving the dusty trails of the Wild West, cowgirl Dorothy and her horse, Toto, are riding to see the wonderful Wiz Kid of Oz! The legendary entertainer is auditioning new acts for his Emerald Circus, and Dorothy and her friends Tinny, Crow, and Leo, hope they can impress him with their talents. But when Dorothy's lucky silver spurs are stolen by a wicked rival, will Dorothy be able to believe in her own grit and still perform her best? With Far Out Classic Stories, experience The Wonderful Wizard of Oz like never before in this twisted graphic novel retelling for kids."
For fans of World War II stories, Joseph Sieracki and Kelly Williams present a new OGN called "A Letter to Jo." Here's how the creators describe it:
"This unforgettable graphic novel presents the gripping firsthand account of a Polish-American machinegunner in World War II, adapted from a genuine letter home from the author’s own grandfather.
As Leonard fights on the frontlines of World War II, memories of Josephine and home help keep him alive. As Josephine contends with life, family, and work in Cleveland, letters from Leonard sustain her. But official censorship forces him to leave out much of the most significant action he sees.
Finally, with the war coming to an end, Leonard is able to tell his full story. In a quietly beautiful letter to Josephine, Leonard writes of the loneliness he felt, the camaraderie he experienced, and the terrible violence he witnessed.
Now, Josephine and Leonard’s grandson Joseph Sieracki has carefully researched the battles Leonard describes and expanded the letter into a moving tale of a young man’s fears and bravery far from home. Brought to heart-wrenching life by the paintbrushes of Kelly Williams (Creepy, Eerie), A Letter to Jo is at once a tender love story and harrowing battlefield memoir."
If you're looking for a bit of levity instead, you'll be excited to know Mashbone & Grifty, issue #4, 'Son of the Master,' is coming out this year!
"Tragedy turns to calamity when Mashbone and Grifty take an offer they can’t refuse from a major media mogul in an effort to grow their upstart detective agency. Dollar signs lead the simple-minded sleuths down a ruthless road of revenge and they quickly find themselves playing a dangerous game...with no extra lives!"
The guys at 5 Meats are the best people, and Mashbone & Grifty is hands down, the funniest comic book series I have ever read.
So TREAT YOSELF.
The new series, Re-Animator Incorporated, is a modern adaption of H. P. Lovecraft’s Herbert West: Reanimator.
Here's the scoop:
"What would you do to save a life?
In a desperate attempt to save his son, Herbert West and his colleague, Cain, successfully discover how to reanimate the dead, but at the cost of losing his son’s soul and opening the door to other realms.
Combining the classic horror story and twisting it with elements of sci-fi, Re-Animator Incorporated is written by Andy Perry, with art & lettering by Lyndon White.
Issue #1 is 64 pages with full color, coming to Kickstarter in the first half of 2020 (when the book is completed).
We're VERY excited to be the first to announce LINE OF FIRE, written and illustrated by the massively talented Sachi Ediriweera, with Warnia Sahadewa on colors. We can't say too much about it yet, but we'll report more details as they come in. Ediriweera states the comic should be ready by March.
Also, R:ILPERSONA Volume 3: The Instruments of Destruction is coming to Kickstarter this year.
We'll catch you up on the first two volumes before then, but this is an INCREDIBLE action-packed, manga-inspired series from The Starlight City Project and Skill3 Studio that's absolutely worth your time – especially if you're fans of manga and JRPGs in a science fiction setting.
Lane Lloyd and Maria Llovet are also creators we follow closely at Comic Book Yeti, and we're looking forward to more of GOD-PUNCHER from Lloyd and Llovet's LOUD OGN is also set to impress. Keep an eye out for these, indie comics fans!
Rosie Packwood has another chapter of BLINKER set to hit around April (hopefully a compiled print of the first 3 issues, we hear!) and then another chapter of THE INCREDIBLE BUN with Madius Comics by the end of 2020
David Taylor's noir one-shot, PROSPERITY, launches on Kickstarter at the end of January. WILD NATURE, his action thriller graphic novel, looks like it will launch in October/November this year too.
6. A Slew of Self-Published and Crowdfunded Comics
2020 will also bring several new series from up and coming creators and established ones, alike. I asked folks to let me know what they've got coming out this year, and here are some promising picks from those.
First is a new comic written by Dominic Archer called "A Boxer."
Here's the description:
"A young boxer on the path to title glory struggles with his identity as a gay man and the high-pressure world of combat sports.
A Boxer is a 100-page graphic novel that tells the story of Mike Shepherd, a British fighter trying to succeed in the hyper-masculine world of boxing, whilst struggling to manage his sexual identity.
The book is narrated by Mike’s partner and medical consultant, Jude who faces his own challenges as an openly gay man in the sport.
The story begins with Mike taking a silver medal at the Olympics. Despite being the better athlete, Mike loses the final bout as he fails to overcome his internal conflicts. His struggle intensifies as he turns professional, making the decision to keep his relationship with Jude a secret to ensure that he has equal opportunities in the international sport.
But when Mike’s first opponent makes a homophobic remark to Jude, his two warring identities are forced into conflict."
Mark Bertolini & Darryl Knickrehm have a new comic coming out from Action Lab Danger Zone, called "The Argus."
Here's more on that one:
"Time travel is real!
Scientific prodigy Randall Patton has had a breakthrough that allows travel through the timestream, which immediately led to the creation of The Argus, the temporal law enforcement organization that polices the time/space continuum.
After an accident renders one of the members of The Argus insane, he begins killing off the others – except they are all versions of Randall Patton from various points in his own life! Who can stop Randall but himself? In Shops Feb 26, 2020."
We'll see some new work from C. Thomas Anderson this year, more from The Rains of Ganymede, as well as in "Holger: The Last Viking."
Here's what the series's writer, Honors II, had to say about it. "[It's] about the remaining survivors of Viking culture. To the outside world, Vikings are no longer around. However, this is not the case. Holger and the rest of the Viking descendants are living in harmony on their land of peace known as, Frida. As king, he will face a lot of troubling situations to keep it this way."
Robert Duque announced new issues of Septembryo, a debuting new series called Preggers, and many more webcomics and projects.
We'll also get a whole bunch of new titles from Advent Comics and Ashcan Comics this year, so if you like reading indie comics from those small press publishers, it'll be a great year for you.
From Advent, we'll see WE THE PEOPLE, BLACKFIRE, LEGEND & THE VANGUARD, and more.
Ashcan's WAR PRIEST sounds particularly promising. It's a futuristic, sword & sorcery story with shogun popes, demons, and Judeo-Christian lore.
For kids, we'll also see THE ADVENTURES OF CTHULHU JR. AND DASTARDLY DIRK from Dirk Manning, Scoot McMahon, Sean Burres, & Leah Lederman.
7. Collected Editions of Comic Book Yeti Favorites
I've always been taught to close strong, and nothing's stronger than these complete, collected editions of comics we've covered in the past.
Let's start with a series I loved, THE SHOW, by Jed McPherson, Joseph Velasquez & Robert Ahmad. It's a gonzo reality show gone Black Mirror, fascinatingly portentous.
Alex Schumacher's MR. BUTTERCHIPS COLLECTION is a must-have for fans of his work, Defiling the Literati, or anyone who loves the social commentary Schumacher and his beleaguered cartoon monkey bring into their lives.
Issues #1-6 of BOSTON METAPHYSICAL SOCIETY get a collected edition set to hit later this year – great time to check out this fun series.
Jason Jeffords, Jr., also had a couple collections he was looking forward to:
"Plastic Man: Rubber Banded: This collection contains a Plastic Man run that I really enjoyed and planned on reading again soon. That makes it a perfect pick-up, and I’m hoping it gets more people to read this run. I’m honestly surprised this run is getting a reprint.
The Complete Witchblade, Volume 1: I have the two The Darkness: Compendiums, alas they are falling apart due to their age, size and binding. Witchblade also received two Compendiums but all the ones I’ve seen have gone the way my The Darkness: Compendiums are and it seriously needed a reprint. Luckily it looks like Top Cow is taking this reprint serious as they have Stjepan Sejic doing spine art."
8. Don't Forget the Manga!
Jason Jeffords, Jr., is highly anticipating two manga collections set for release later this year:
"Hellsing Deluxe, Volume 1: I never got the chance to completely read Hellsing back in the day. Hell, I never even finished the anime. Luckily, Dark Horse is giving it the same treatment that they’ve given Berserk with deluxe editions. Frankly, these deluxe editions are the best, most cost-effective way to read the series, so it’s worth checking out! Plus, the outside of the manga is all red, which looks amazing.
Soul Eater: The Perfect Edition 1: I did complete the anime for Soul Eater, but I never even touched the manga. That is until this year with the "Perfect Edition" release. Weirdly, it only includes one-and-a-half issues instead of just one or two. Alas, if I enjoy the first one I’ll keep collecting!"
Needless to say, there's a LOT to look forward to in 2020 – so much, you probably didn't even make it all the way to the end, did you? Better start catching up on that stack of comics on your bedside table now!