2016 looks full of promise when it comes to the graphic novel department. With some brand spanking new series' on the horizon, it's the perfect time to delve into the medium. Not sure where to start? We've got some brilliant Illustrator tutorials and lessons in how to draw to help you along the way.
Here are our top picks of releases coming soon to a comic book store near you, all conveniently beginning with issue #1...
Leave it to Vertigo to wet our appetite with some good old fashioned horror. A classic Southern gothic tale, the comic is set in Kentucky with plenty of moonshine, monsters and guns inspired by writer Shawn Aldridge's rural upbringing.
"The Dark & Bloody is right in my wheelhouse, artistically," comments artist Scott Godlewski. "It's exciting to be working in the horror genre again and I think readers will really dig what we're doing,"
Hit men make great stories, right? This one's retired, but it won't be for long, after a list of his kills is leaked and he's forced back on the job. Writer Ed Brisson collaborated with the supremely talented newcomer Lisandro Estherren for the four-part noir series with BOOM! studios.
"For The Last Contract, I try to combine three elements that I love: gritty black and white, the organic lines and textures from the brushes, and the subtlety of grey wash tones," reveals Lisandro.
This might very well be the year of horror... following in the footsteps of current TV trends (heavy on horror and noir), comics creators are no fools to fashion.
The comic book dream team of Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay (who's cover image for their previous collaboration on Supreme: Blue Rose can be found, complete with full tutorial inside ImagineFX issue 117) are back for Heartless, a tale of a female musician from northern England who is starting to relive her past.
"It's like a horror comic, but I think it'll be a bit genre-defying," says Tula at Image Expo in San Francisco. "I hope it'll give people chills, but people can read into it a lot more – it's not like a normal narrative."
It's been over half a decade since Ghost World's elusive creator Daniel Clowes released a graphic novel – and apparently it's his most ambitious book yet.
The multiple Eisner award winner's new offering is described as "an indescribable psychedelic science-fiction love story, veering with uncanny precision from violent destruction to deeply personal tenderness in a way that is both quintessentially 'Clowesian' and utterly unique in the author's body of work."
05. Parisian White
The details are being kept under wraps at the moment, but in an interview with Paste magazine, DeConnick revealed the mood of the series, explaining "it's dark and it's tragic, but there's something about the strength of the human spirit that still makes it through."
06. Cry Havoc
Promising new creator-owned series from Image Comics, Cry Havoc, will be an on-going story of gold old fashioned horror. Blending werewolf folklore, military drama and horror/romance, the comic boasts stunning artwork from Ryan Kelly.
Writer, Simon Spurrier (Six Gun Gorilla, X-Force) has sculpted a landscape saturated in myth and legend, centered around a seemingly ordinary woman. In an interview with IGN, Spurrier comments: "I got to wondering how I could take all the stuff I love about myths and monsters and inject it into a timely, meaningful tale."
Bojack Horseman's production designer and producer, Lisa Hanawalt, isn't just an award-wining cartoonist, but a brilliantly funny writer to boot.
The illustrator has created a book, to be released this year, serving up hilarious musings of the pomposities of foodie subculture. From pop culture and relationships to the animal in all of us, Lisa has a comic doodle on everything.
08. Sunset Park
Announced last year, Ronald Wimberly's gothic vampire tale is set to expose the modern phenomenon of gentrification in New York. His creator run limited series will be published by Image comics.
After a cartoonist finds a collection of notes, journals, movies and other ephemera he finds boxed, abandoned in the studio he's recently rented.
Included amongst the boxes are what could be a copy of an old Warhol vampire film and what looks to be a journal belonging to Jean Michel Basquiat, leading him to consider whether Brooklyn’s gentrifiers are more than just economic vampires.
Van Jensen, known for his work on Green Lantern and The Flash, is bringing two new titles to Dark Horse this year.
First up is Cryptocracy, released this May. Jensen has teamed up with artist Pete Woods (of Action Comics) to bring every single conspiricy theory in history to light – via a deep exploration of the secret society behind them all.
From the 'alien' crash at Roswell to the Philidelphia experiment, learn the truth behind it all. And follow them now, after years of working in the shadows, controlling the fate of the world, while they are hunted.
10. Two Dead
The second of Van Jensen's creator-driven original series' to hit shelves this year, but for this one, you will have to wait until September.
A collaboration with legendary artist Nate Powell, this miniseries takes cues from Jensen's past as a crime reporter and is based on a true story. Based on the case of Police Chief O. N. Martin gunned down his lieutenant, Jack Deubler, who then killed himself. The comic looks to be a true noir epic.
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