I honestly cannot recall a week with more announcements of new titles. It must be everyone beating the holiday vortex, but whatever the reason, it’s bordering on spam, comic publishers! Come on now! Anyways, let’s get to the week that was in Comics Disassembled, my look at ten things I liked or didn’t like from the week of comics.
1. Alex Ross, Rolling Deep
This is an easy sell: next August, a graphic novel Alex Ross is writing and illustrating – the first he’s ever done! – is coming. It’s called Fantastic Four: Full Circle, and it’s also going to be released in a larger format to better emphasize Ross’ art (which is done in a slightly different but still incredible style than we are used to). It finds the Fantastic Four traveling into the Negative Zone, and by the sound of it, effectively dealing with an Annihilation Wave.
That’s it! That’s all I need to know.
That said, there is one tidbit in the announcement that, in its own way, is more interesting than this book being revealed (especially considering it seems as if it was moderately well known that it was coming already). That’s who is releasing it: MarvelArts. What is MarvelArts, you might be asking? A completely new entity that finds Marvel and Abrams ComicArts pairing up to make some graphic novel magic happen. That’s why this book is edited both by Tom Brevoort and Abrams ComicArts Charles Kochman (beyond the fact he’s a long-time collaborator of Ross).
That’s an interesting turn to me, as it’s the second time in the last two years in which Marvel has taken a look in the mirror and said, “You know what? This isn’t something we’re built for.” and formed a partnership to solve that put projects together. First it was Scholastic on the all-ages side. Now it’s Abrams ComicArts perhaps on the adult side. Similarly to the Scholastic move, they couldn’t ask for a much better partner, as Abrams ComicArts releases some tremendous titles, with this year’s Run Book One as just one example. They produce tremendous books and get them out to audiences who want them. This strikes me as smart, even if it is, once again, Marvel tacitly admitting that they are incapable of making graphic novels themselves, which strikes me as odd and perhaps a bad bit of business in the long term.
2. Free Comic Book Day Titles, Announced!
As you might know, Free Comic Book Day is moving back to its regularly scheduled date of the first Saturday of May next year, come hell or Omicron water. It’s an understandable decision as we move into this “just live it with it!” stage of the pandemic, and last year’s edition already proved that FCBD can be executed in a way that works for everyone at least to a degree. Now we also know the full-ish (I say ish because I am sure DC will participate, they’ll just do it through their own means once again, more than likely) slate of FCBD releases, and it’s a pretty promising mix!
Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino dropping a prologue to The Bone Orchard! Skybound/Comet releasing a Clementine comic from Tillie Walden! Marvel doing a bunch of different things, presumably in a way that was hashed out between Penguin Random House and Diamond ahead of time! A Dav Pilkey triple comic! Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters! Whatever Kaiju No. 8 is, a comic I now love without knowing anything about it! An issue #0 of the Best of 2000AD! That’s a lot of good looking comics.
We’ll see how it all breaks down in the end. I love Free Comic Book Day, and I could really go for one that feels normal to some degree. I’m not sure it will be this one, even if we try to make it feel that way. We’ll find out in May, but either way, I’m excited for a lot of those releases. Tillie Walden!