We did it! We survived 2019! It’s felt like a particularly long year last year, especially since I spent the majority of it recovering from my ankle injury. I’m not taking any chances this year! I’m planning on staying inside as much as possible and attempting to put a dent in the ever-growing pile of books and comics beside my bed. I personally, can’t think of a better way to kick off 2020.
Instead of news this month I just wanted to take some time and shout out what I personally thought were some of the best BOOM! comics published in 2019.
Best of 2019
I had to kick off this list with The Avant Guards as this may be my favourite comic of 2019 overall. I am not a basketball fan in the slightest but I loved following this fledging team through all of their struggles and triumphs. Each character brought something extra to the ensemble and it was so unapologetically queer. The only downside is that it was a limited series so our time with these women was cut short. But at least we still have a new graphic novel to look forward to in 2020!
In this new series, a mysterious attack has wiped out the major cities of 19th century Japan, Korea and China, and the survivors have gathered together on a small island. It’s a premise that grabs you from the jump but it’s the characters that keep you coming back from more. Hana and Kenichi come from completely different backgrounds and were raised by very different people, but they share some common goals and they have to find a way to work together for the good of their people. This one was picked up as a full series so it’ll probably be popping up in the Pubwatch again this year!
I’ve enjoyed this series from the beginning and I’ve grown to love it even more with every issue. At the start, Daphne has just had a huge fight with her best friend, moved to a new city and been dumped by her boyfriend. She’s in a tough spot but she makes the bold decision to move into an old haunted mansion, filled with friendly (and not so friendly) ghosts. We meet her at her most shaken and vulnerable and as the story progresses we’ve really seen her come into her own. I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
I never see anyone talking about this comic and you all are missing out! Imagine a snow-covered, radioactive version of Montreal. Now picture that setting seen through the lens of a young girl trying to make a living as a snowmobile delivery driver. It is such a delightful slice of life comics and Flavie is such a complicated but loveable protagonist. All three volumes are out now so highly recommend binge-reading the entire series.
This is the newest comic on this list, with only two issues out so far, but it’s a real standout. The world Gabby Rivera is building feels like such a fresh new take on a dystopian story and Royal Dunlap’s artwork is simply gorgeous. I’ve flipped through the first issue more times then I can count because I just want to soak up as much of the colours and details as possible.
December Featured Comics
Lumberjanes: The Shape of Friendship
Jim Campbell (Letterer), polterink (Artist), Lilah Sturges (Writer)
November 20th, 2019
Even though I love the Lumberjanes I’ve somehow fallen behind on the main series. So whenever there is a one-shot issue or original graphic novel I always jump on it because it gives me a chance to check in with these fabulous characters and The Shape of Friendship was no exception.
In this new original graphic novel, Jo, Mal, Molly, April and Ripley are adventuring in the woods and they meet a group of magical creatures called Pookas. At first, they think they’ve found a new group of friends but it turns out the Pookas have been waiting for an opportunity to come out of hiding and the Lumberjanes have provided them with the perfect opportunity. They trap them in the cave, take on the Lumberjanes’ forms and head to Camp to take over.
This has all of the elements of a great Lumberjanes story: adventuring, creatures that are not what they seem, great artwork, and the team working together to solve whatever obstacle they come up against. It’s a light and cute graphic novel that existing fans will have fun with, and it would also be a good way for new readers to check out what the series is like to see if they want to read the main series as well.
The Red Mother #1
Ed Dukeshire (Letterer), Jeremy Haun (Writer), Danny Luckert (Artist)
December 11, 2019
This is a fairly straightforward first issue. In it, a young woman named Daisy and her boyfriend Luke are walking home from dinner when they’re attacked by an unknown assailant. Daisy manages to get away, losing her eye in the struggle. Upon waking in the hospital, she starts to withdraw from the world as she tries to cope with her trauma. But then things take an even stranger turn when she’s fitted for a prosthetic. She begins to have strange and disturbing visions that she can’t explain.
As I mentioned, this first issue is very straightforward, which can make it feel a little generic. It doesn’t provide a lot of details and everything is told in a very matter of fact way. However, I think the premise is intriguing and the detailed artwork really stands out, especially the use of the colour red, which gives the story a sinister feel. I’ll definitely be sticking around for issue two as I need to know more about where the visions are coming from and what it all means.
Something is Killing the Children #4
Werther Dell’Edera (Artist), Andworld Design (Letterer), Miquel Muerto (Colorist), James Tynion IV (Writer)
December 11, 2019
This is the second time Something is Killing the Children has appeared in one of my Pubwatches. I normally try not to have too many repeats but I am just enjoying this story so much. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, it takes place in a small town called Archer’s Peak, where a number of children have gone missing and the police are out of leads. Their only hope may be a mysterious stranger, Erica Slaughter, who has just arrived in town.
This story started out on such a creepy note and the creepiness has only intensified since the first issue. We’ve now been introduced to a few new characters and spent some more time with Erica. In this issue, we finally get a glimpse of her working as she tries to hunt down the monster and prevent even more children from being murdered. With every issue, the tensions continue to rise in the town and it’s only a matter of time until it all comes to a head.