If the last few years have proved anything, it’s that comics and graphic novels are once again taking over the mainstream. 2016 is set to be no different – with more diverse content creators, characters and themes; the line up of new series, trades and graphic novels set to be released this year offer something for everyone.
Check out some of the most anticipated new series, trades and graphic novels of 2016:
Black Panther – Ta-Nehisi Coates & Brian Stelfreeze
Release Date: April 2016
A new era for the Black Panther starts here!
Written by MacArthur Genius and National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates (“Between the World and Me”) and illustrated by living legend Brian Stelfreeze, “A Nation Under Our Feet” is a story about dramatic upheaval in Wakanda and the Black Panther’s struggle to do right by his people as their ruler.
The indomitable will of Wakanda—the famed African nation known for its vast wealth, advanced technology, and warrior traditions—has long been reflected in the will of its monarchs, the Black Panthers.
But now the current Black Panther, T’Challa, finds that will tested by a superhuman terrorist group called the People that has sparked a violent uprising among the citizens of Wakanda. T’Challa knows the country must change to survive—the question is, will the Black Panther survive the change? via Marvel
Another Castle – Andrew Wheeler & Paulina Ganucheau
Release Date: March 2, 2016
When Princess Misty is captured by the evil Badlug, she quickly mounts an escape and is nearly out the door when she discovers that her disappearance would have terrible consequences. Because without a princess, the prince won’t come, and without the prince, the legendary sword that can kill Badlug also won’t come. And if Misty leaves, Badlug will be infuriated, and take it out on the citizens of Grimoire. It’s happened before, when Misty’s own mother died while she was Badlug’s prisoner, and he blew up his own castle. So Misty returns to captivity, and conspires with the citizens of the castle to bring a regime change to Grimoire. Together, they team up with the bumbling prince, get the sword, and free the kingdom. via Comic Book Resources
Twist – Joss Whedon
Release Date: TBA
It’s a Victorian thriller about a meek chambermaid who is fed to a dark horror — but instead of dying, she returns, with knowledge, power, and rage she can neither deny nor control. via ComicsAlliance
Cry Havoc – Simon Spurrier & Ryan Kelly
Release Date: January 27, 2016
BEHOLD THE MODERN MONSTROSITY. Fiends, fragility, and firepower in an all-new series, mixing the hard-boiled militaria of Jarhead with the dark folklore of Pan’s Labyrinth. via Image Comics
Kennel Block Blues – Ryan Ferrier & Daniel Bayliss
Release Date: February 3, 2016
Oliver is a good dog. A family dog. But without warning, he’s sentenced to Jackson Kennel, where he’s instantly placed on Death Row with the rest of his fellow inmates, awaiting a lethal appointment on The Table if salvation doesn’t come. He’ll need help escaping the Kennel, but when the stress of prison life builds, he starts escaping reality instead, imagining a fantasy world of cartoon friends. It’s time to break out…into a musical number? via Boom! Studios
Moon Knight – Jeff Lemire & Greg Smallwood
Release Date: April 2016
This series opens with Marc Spector in an insane asylum where he’s being told he’s never been Moon Knight, that Khonshu and his entire life as a super hero have been delusions brought on by his mental illness. via Marvel
X-Men: Apocalypse Wars – Crossover Event
Release Date: March – May, 2016
This spring crossover event will encompass several ongoing series, beginning with EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #8 and continuing in UNCANNY X-MEN #6 and ALL-NEW X-MEN #9.
Don’t miss out as the X-Men face the assault by Apocalypse and fight to survive on three different fronts, not just in the present, but the future as well! via Marvel
4001 AD : Valiant Crossover Event – Matt Kindt & Clayton Crain
Release Date: May 2016
Known for their ability to create accessible crossover events, Valiant is at it again with this summer’s event 4001 AD, providing yet another entry point into the world of Valiant comics.
Now, at the dawn of 4001 A.D., the latest Rai is about to inherit the dark truth behind the origin of his kind…and discover the sinister secret at the heart of Father’s existence. For New Japan to live, Earth must die…and as Rai challenges his former master for the first time in more than a millennium, the lone guardian of New Japan will be cast out of his own Father’s kingdom…
Exiled from the only realm he’s ever known, Rai now walks the ravaged world of 4001 A.D. in search of forgotten heroes like himself…on a mission to collect the last surviving legends of a broken planet…and to forge a rebellion with the power to bring the most advanced civilization in history crashing back down to Earth.
Earth must rise. Father must fall. Rai! Eternal Warrior! X-O Manowar! Bloodshot! Geomancer! Armstrong! And more! The war for the ultimate fate of humanity begins in 4001 A.D.! via Valiant Entertainment
Sunset Park – Ron Wimberly
Release Date: TBA
Something’s up in Sunset Park, and it ain’t just the rent. Are Brooklyn’s gentrifiers more than just economic vampires? A cartoonist draws a macabre story from a collection of notes, journals, movies and other ephemera he finds boxed, abandoned in the studio he’s recently rented along the latest frontline in gentrification’s relentless march over Brooklyn in SUNSET PARK. Among the boxed items are what could be a copy of an old Warhol vampire film and what looks to be a journal belonging to Jean Michel Basquiat. via Image Comics
Heartless – Warren Ellis & Tula Lotay
Release Date: TBA
A female musician returns to northern England, where her family owned a little cottage in the middle of a forest. She wrote her first album there, and she’s “going back to the countryside,” as musicians used to, to write her next one. But the forest doesn’t want her there. She’s returning to face her demons—one in particular—and put herself back together, but the forest remembers what she did, and the devil wants his due. via Image Comics
Trades & Graphic Novels
Wonder Woman: Earth One – Grant Morrison & Yanick Paquette
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Is she ready for the culture shock that awaits her in America? And is the world ready for this Wonder Woman? via DC Comics
World of Warcraft: Chronicle Vol. 1 – Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Journey through an age of myth and legend, long before the Horde and the Alliance. This definitive tome reveals untold stories about the birth of the cosmos, the rise of ancient empires, and the forces that shaped Azeroth. Featuring original art, this is the first in a multipart series exploring the rich lore of the Warcraft universe, from the distant past to the modern era. via Dark Horse
Paper Girls Vol. 1 – Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang
Release Date: April 13, 2016
In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 2-year old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smashhit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood. Collects PAPER GIRLS #1-5. via Image Comics
Zodiac Starforce: By the Power of Astra – Kevin Panetta & Paulina Ganucheau
Release Date: May 4, 2016
An elite group of teenage girls with magical powers have sworn to protect our planet against dark creatures . . . as long as they can get out of class! Known as the Zodiac Starforce, these high-school girls aren’t just combating math tests. They’re also battling monsters! But when an evil force infects leader Emma, she must work with her team to save herself—and the world—from the evil Diana and her mean-girl minions! Collects Zodiac Starforce #1–#4. via Dark Horse
Adulthood is a Myth – Sarah Andersen
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Do you love networking to advance your career? Is adulthood an exciting new challenge for which you feel fully prepared? Ugh. Please go away.These casually drawn, perfectly on-point comics by the hugely popular young Brooklyn-based artist Sarah Andersen are for the rest of us. They document the wasting of entire beautiful weekends on the internet, the unbearable agony of holding hands on the street with a gorgeous guy, and dreaming all day of getting home and back into pajamas. In other words, the horrors and awkwardnesses of young modern life. Oh and they are totally not autobiographical. At all. via Andrews McMeel Publishing
Patience – Daniel Clowes
Release Date: March 21, 2016
Patience is the first all new, original graphic novel from Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) in over a half-decade, and also the biggest and most ambitious book yet in a storied career that includes multiple Eisner and Harvey Awards, a PEN Award, and an Academy Award nomination.
Patience is 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. This 180-page, full-color story affords Clowes the opportunity to draw some of the most exuberant and breathtaking pages of his life, and to tell his most suspenseful, surprising and affecting story yet. via Fantagraphics
Something New – Lucy Knisley
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Lucy was another single girl in New York City, traversing the dating world and her own heartbreak, when her ex-boyrfriend John swings into town for a visit, with a special box hidden in his toiletry kit. This is a story about suddenly finding yourself completely ecstatic while also being completely at sea. Traversing the foreign world of wedding planning, Lucy and John will face family drama, gender stereotypes, and giant fluffy dresses on the way down the aisle. via Lucy Knisley
Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus – Chester Brown
Release Date: April 2016
The iconoclastic and bestselling cartoonist of Paying for It: A comic-strip memoir about being a john returns with a polemical interpretation of the Bible that will be one of the most controversial and talked-about graphic novels of 2016. Mary Wept over the Feet of Jesus is the retelling in comics form of nine biblical stories that present Chester Brown’s fascinating and startling thesis about biblical representations of prostitution. Brown weaves a connecting line between Bathsheba, Ruth, Rahab, Tamar, Mary of Bethany, and the Virgin Mother and reassesses the Christian moral code by examining the cultural implications of the Bible’s representations of sex work. via Drawn & Quarterly
Panther – Brecht Evens
Release Date: April 2016
Christine lives in a big house with her father and her cat, Lucy. When Lucy gets sick and dies, Christine is devastated. But alone in her room, something special happens: a panther pops out of her dresser drawer and begins to tell her stories of distant Pantherland, where he is the crown prince.
A shape-shifter who tells Christine anything she wants to hear, Panther begins taking over Christine’s life, alienating her from her other toys and friends. As Christine’s world spirals out of control, so does the world Panther has created for her. Panther is a chilling voyage into the shadowy corners of the human psyche. The Drawn & Quarterly edition of Panther is an extended “director’s cut,” featuring additional material not included in the original book. via Drawn & Quarterly
Dark Night: A True Batman Story – Paul Dini
Release Date: June 2016
An extremely personal story for Dini – and the first time he’s told it to the world – the book focuses on a night that he was assaulted and brutally beaten by strangers and left on the sidewalk. In this surprising original graphic novel, Batman is seen in a new light – not as the grim avenger of the night, but as a savior who helps a discouraged man recover from a brutal attack that left him unable to face the world. But despite how bleak his circumstances were, or perhaps because of it, Dini always imagined the Batman at his side, urging him along during his darkest moments. via DC Comics
Solutions & Other Problems – Allie Brosh
Release Date: October 2016
Allie Brosh, the “gut-bustingly funny” (NPR), award-winning, and #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Hyperbole and a Half, shares a new collection of autobiographical and illustrated essays. via Simon and Schuster
Hippopotamister – John Patrick Green
Release Date: May 2016
The zoo isn’t what it used to be. It’s run down, and Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he’ll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He’s a good employee, whether he’s a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself. via MacMillan Publishers
Those are just SOME of the amazing comics and graphic novels we can expect this year. I think 2016 is set to be one of the best years for accessible, diverse comics yet. Let me know in the comments if there’s a title you’re looking forward to picking up!