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.