Monday, December 22, 2008

The Six Best Comics of 2009?

I'm going to put up my own "Best Comics of 2008" list sometime before the new year, but before I do that I wanted to talk about what I am most looking forward to reading in 2009. These are just the ones that I know about -- I am sure that there are a ton of comics that aren't on my radar yet that will be great.

Here are six books due out in 2009 that I can't wait to see:

1) Paul Pope, Battling Boy (First Second)

I really, really enjoyed Paul Pope's Batman: Year 100, and his art just seems like it is becoming more and more confident. I have no idea what Battling Boy is about, but it looks like a blast. See an incredible-looking page here.

2) David Mazzucchelli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon, due out June 2)

This sucker has been brewing for a long, long time. And even now, they still haven't put up a cover image for it. But hey -- after what he did in Batman: Year One, David Mazzucchelli really can't do anything to mess up his legacy. According to Pantheon's web site, Asterios Polyp is "[t]he triumphant return of one of comics’ greatest talents, with an engrossing story of one man’s search for love, meaning, sanity, and perfect architectural proportions. An epic story long awaited, and well worth the wait." Can he deliver? Read more about it here.

3) Brandon Graham, King City 2 (unknown) and Multiple Warheads (Oni Press)

(click to enlarge)

Brandon Graham's stuff is unbelievably awesome, and like Pope, he seems to get better with each new page. I'm counting both of his projects as one book, because I'm not sure if King City 2 actually will come out in 2009. Apparently it's in the can, but I think the lid on the can may have been closed and the can spirited away to a deep dark basement vault -- we already were robbed of reading it this year when publisher Tokyopop slightly imploded and decided to sit on it. Hopefully that just means Graham can shop it around and get it onto the shelves through a different publisher. (To me, the fact that he started to post pages from it on his blog, and then stopped abruptly, implies either that he's got somebody interested, or Tokypop threatened him over it. I'm hoping it's the former.)

But we still have Multiple Warheads, his post-WWIII werewolf saga. That two-page spread above is from that, and it sounds like he'll be putting out several issues in 2009. How can you not buy them after seeing that picture? You must and you will.

4) Jeff Lemire, The Nobody (Vertigo, due out July 7)

I recently wrote about how much I loved Lemire's Essex County trilogy, and now he has moved to Vertigo for his next original graphic novel. Here is a sneak peek.

5) Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, untitled Batman project (DC)

(this is the variant cover to issue ten of
All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder)

Don't know much about this supposed ongoing monthly from Morrison and Quitely. (See here for the news being broken.) I didn't love Morrison's recent Batman stuff, but All Star Superman was the best superhero comic book of the decade.

6) Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, Incognito (Marvel/Icon, mini-series starting in January)

A story about an ex-super villain hiding out in the witness protection program, done by the guys who are kicking ass with Criminal? Yes, thanks. Looks fantastic. Here are the first nine pages. The question is, will it be more awesome than this?

What are you looking forward to reading in 2009?

***Edited to add: Here is my post on the Best Comics of 2008.

***Edited again to add:  And here is my post on the Best Comics of 2009 -- see if I predicted my favorites!


  1. Oh, snap, I'm totally fucking stoked for Battling Boy. And THB, if that ever manages to come out (2010, I think?). King City 2/Multiple Warhedz also; I love Brandon Graham. And Incognito will probably be good, but I see it as a diversion from Criminal. Hmm, what else? Is Seaguy 2: Slaves of Mickey Eye supposed to come out in 09? Maybe the Harvey Pekar/Nick Bertozzi Lenny Bruce biography? Acme Novelty Library #20, definitely. Casanova volume 3? Gilbert Hernandez's The Troublemakers. 20th Century Boys and Pluto. And many, many others, of course, probably including plenty of stuff that I had no idea about until it showed up on shelves. Gotta love comics.

  2. Yes! Great list. I hadn't heard about the Pekar/Bertozzi book - that sounds fantastic. Another book I am looking forward to is Hannah Berry's Britten & Brulightly. It's already out the U.K., and I think it's coming here in 2009. The few images I have seen from it look terrific, and I think some English reviewer named it as one of his favorite books of the year. Know anything about it?

  3. Aagh, Blogger lost my comment. I think I said that I'll have to keep an eye out for the Berry book, and that I don't know if the Lenny Bruce biography has even been officially announced yet, but I met Nick Bertozzi back in June of 2007, and he was about to start working on it, so I figure it should be coming out soon, or at least I hope so. Also, another book to look forward to is Eddie Campbell's Alec Omnibus, or whatever it's going to be called.

  4. OH WOW!! Sooo much awesome stuff to look forward to! Thank you!

  5. How can you forget about the Green Lantern? Hasn't he done enough for you?