Welcome to winter, comics fans! The snow (and ice) have already started up here in Canada so I’m getting ready to hibernate for the next five or six months. Basically I’m stockpiling books, comics, and snacks so I can leave my home as little as possible. I’ve started this process with not one, but two great new series from BOOM! that you’ll hear about in the featured comics section. There was also a bunch of exciting news this month, including an update on everyone’s favourite fictional basketball team, The Avant-Guards. And we’re wrapping up this month with some gorgeous covers, including a Steven Universe one that makes me crave my favourite Suzy Q doughnuts every time I see it.
Explore a New Planet with Space Bear
This June, BOOM! will be publishing a new wordless comic from award-winning artist Ethan Young. I’ve previously admired Young’s work on his comic Nanjing: The Burning City so this piece of news immediately caught my attention.
The titular space bear is an adventurous young astronaut named Pilgrim Finch. In the comic, he sets off a mission to collect samples of life but ends up crashing on a new planet, one with new challenges around every corner. But the things Pilgrim discovers on this new planet will teach him some valuable lessons about empathy and compassion, and ultimately force him to question the original objective of his mission.
This new comic sounds absolutely delightful and the perfect thing for parents and children to read together.
The Avant-Guards’ Adventures Continue in New Original Graphic Novel
I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every issue of Carly Usdin’s The Avant-Guards. Even though I was initially skeptical, having never been a basketball fan, I fell in love with this adorable band of misfits. I’ve looked forward to each new issue over the last few months and have missed it since I finished issue #8 back in September.
But thankfully it’s not over yet! This month BOOM! announced that there will be an Avant-Guards original graphic novel coming in September 2020. The story will pick up right after issue 8 and will follow the team as they fight for the championship and the future of the league itself.
I’m sad to see this delightful and super queer series come to an end but glad that the creators have this opportunity to fully wrap up their story. One thing is for certain – it’s going to be a long wait until next September!
Check out Wendy Browne’s review of the first volume.
Trailer for The Red Mother Released
Earlier this year, BOOM! announced a series: The Red Mother. This series will be written by Jeremy Haun (The Beauty) with art by Danny Luckert (Regression) and is about a young woman who begins to have unexplained, horrific visions after surviving a tragedy. This series is set to begin next month and a new trailer has been released:
I’ve been enjoying another BOOM! horror series, Something is Killing the Children, recently, which has made me ready to add a few more scary titles to my reading list.
b.b. free #1
Jim Campbell (letterer), Royal Dunlap (artist), Gabby Rivera (writer)
November 6, 2019
Over a hundred years ago the Plague That Ate Greed wiped out half of the population and split the United States into pieces. The Florida peninsula is now the Florida Islands and life in Gainesville’s Buttercup Swamp is all b.b. has ever known. But she’s fifteen now and ready to declare her freedom, start an underground radio show and strike off to explore the world outside her swamp. There’s only one problem, her overbearing father doesn’t want her to go. When b.b. finally has enough and rebels against him, she discovers everything she thought she knew may be a lie.
There is no shortage of post-apocalyptic comics out there but b.b.free is a fresh new take on the genre. b.b and her friend Chulita are charming and the worldbuilding Rivera accomplishes in a single issue is impressive. There are so many details slipped into almost every interaction, and the story flows smoothly between them. I can’t wait to learn more about b.b. and what’s waiting for her in the rest of the country. In addition to the story, the artwork in this comic is absolutely gorgeous. Dunlap has filled the pages with vibrant colours that give the comic a bright, slightly psychedelic feel. b.b. may live in a swamp but it’s the most electrifying swamp you’ll ever encounter.
This is a strong start to a series that I have high hopes for and I can’t wait to see what Rivera and Dunlap do with it.
Bolivar Eats New York: A Discovery Adventure
November 6, 2019
If you were a fan of 2017’s Bolivar then you’ll be happy to know Sybil and her dinosaur friend Bolivar are back for another adventure. In this installment, Sybil learns that the only food Bolivar eats is corned beef sandwiches, which means he’s missing out on all of the amazing food New York City has to offer. So she takes him on a tour of the five boroughs and introduces him to everything from Falafel to Dim Sum. And of course some New York pizza.
I can’t resist a food-related comic and this one is particularly delightful. The artwork is so detailed it feels like you’re right there alongside them on their travels. As a result, older readers will enjoy spotting some of their favourite foods and recalling the memories that accompany them. For younger readers, it introduces a world of new tastes and cuisines. And hopefully, it inspires all readers to go on some food adventures of their own.
Jim Campbell (letterer), Matt Kindt (writer), Chris O’Halloran (colourist), Matt Smith (artist)
November 13, 2019
Though Folklords and b.b. free are completely different comics, they complement each other nicely this month. Both feature younger characters going out to face the world for the first time, and that world is full of secrets and surprises that they could never predict. For b.b. it’s the fractured United States, forever changed by global warming. Ansel’s world, on the other hand, is one of magic and myth. Literally. He grew up in a fantasy world full of gnomes, trolls and magic. But now he’s setting out on his Quest, a right of passage all teenagers in his world embark on. For his Quest, he’s chosen to find the mysterious Folklords. It’s a dangerous choice, since looking for them is technically punishable by death. But he’s hoping they can explain the visions he’s been having lately. Visions of a world full of strange technology and men wearing suits, a world that sounds an awful lot like ours.
So often we see fantasy stories like The Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter with young children from our world discovering a magical one. Folklords follows a similar structure but flips the narrative, as Ansel’s everyday world is the magical one. It’s an intriguing start to the series and it hooks you in right away as you begin to wonder exactly who the folklords are and why there is so much secrecy surrounding them. My only complaint is the lack of significant female characters but hopefully, that will change as the series continues.
You can also read Adrienne Resha’s review of Folklords here.