Love and Rockets to Wonder Woman: 20 comics and graphic novels to look forward to

Love and Rockets to Wonder Woman: 20 comics and graphic novels to look forward to

From the return of an underground classic to the rebirth of a superhero, here are some of the titles to pick up in late 2016 and early 2017

Exits by Daryl Seitchik (Koyama Press, September)
Seitchik follows up her Ignatz award-nominated Missy comics with a debut graphic novel focusing on mirror-store clerk Claire Kim, who hates herself and the world she lives in. Claire spends her days showing customers their reflections while dreaming about erasing her own: a wish that ends up coming true. ZA

Photograph: Drawn and Quarterly

Cheap Novelties by Ben Katchor (Drawn & Quarterly, September)
Subtitled The Pleasures of Urban Decay, this collection of one-page strips featuring real-estate photographer Julius Knipl was originally published in 1991. Twenty-five years on, its observations of what is lost as cityscapes evolve and shift due to gentrification and changing demographics are still fresh and relevant. DB

Equinoxes by Cyril Pedrosa (NBM, September)
The second of Pedrosas books to be given an English translation, Equinoxes promises to be another work of watercoloured gorgeousness. Divided into four sections (to correlate with each season), it follows several unconnected people who, as they seek equilibrium and meaning, begin to cross paths. ZA

Mooncop. Photograph: Drawn & Quarterly

Mooncop by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly, September)
Gauld will be no stranger to Guardian readers, with his cartoons appearing in the paper and online every Saturday. In Mooncop, he turns his deceptively simple style to a tale that is both heartwarming and sad; the story of the last policeman on the moon at a time when the novelty of the lunar lifestyle is fading for almost everyone else. DB

Photograph: Koyama Press

Cat Rackham by Steve Wolfhard (Koyama Press, September)
Wolfhards early, out-of-print Cat Rackham comics are collected here in one satisfyingly comprehensive volume. Although it fills him with existential dread, Rackham still gets out of bed every morning to somehow, yet again, find himself mired in trouble of the strangest kind. ZA

Fatherson by Richie Pope (Youth in Decline, September)
Popes career has been on a rising trajectory these past few years, as he established himself with layered, sophisticated narratives such as last years Newdini, and his superlative illustration work. This latest book, a touching and surreal narrative of fatherhood, looks set to further cement his reputation as a fine contemporary talent. ZA

Photograph: Self Made Hero

Dal by Baudoin (Self Made Hero, October)
Self Made Hero continues its trend of exemplary graphic biography with this piece on Salvador Dal by French creator Edmond Baudoin. The three-time Angoulme international comics festival award winner was commissioned by the Pompidou Centre to put together this look at the life and work of the surrealist extraordinaire. DB

Detail from the cover of Nightlights. Photograph: Nobrow

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez (Nobrow, October)
An impressive year for Nobrow looks set to continue with Alvarezs charming childrens story about fear and creativity: Every night, tiny stars appear out of the darkness in little Sandys bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning brings them back to life in the whimsical drawings that cover her room. Until somebody finds out. ZA

Photograph: Oni Press

Space Battle Lunchtime by Natalie Reiss (Oni Press, October)
GBBO and Masterchef fever makes its way to comics with a galactic twist. Amateur pastry chef Peony finds herself the sole earthling contestant in a popular TV cooking competition. Excited about the opportunity of a lifetime, doubts soon arise as Peony realises that the show shoots on location on a spaceship and her alien competitors dont play nice! Reiss brings the story to life with some joyfully expressive, colourful art. ZA

Detail from the cover of Rolling Blackouts. Photograph: Drawn & Quarterly

Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden (Drawn & Quarterly, October)
Continuing the grand tradition of graphic journalism most eminently practised by Joe Sacco, Sarah Gliddens remarkable Rolling Blackouts adds a new twist to the form. Glidden accompanies a team of journalists through Syria and Iraq and her muted watercolours record not only the lives of people in war zones but the way the media interacts with them. Highly recommended. DB

Photograph: Self Made Hero

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by MR James, Leah Moore and John Reppion (Self Made Hero, October)
Jamess ghost stories have been fertile ground for adaptions on TV and radio: now husband-and-wife writer team Moore and Reppion, along with four different artists, have brought four of Jamess most famous and well-loved spectral tales Canon Alberics Scrap-book, Lost Hearts, The Mezzotint and The Ash-tree to graphic novel form (and just in time for Halloween). DB

Liberty Annual 2016 (Image, November)
This yearly release from Image comics features a wealth of graphic talent telling the stories of true heroes who have made a difference in the world. Ordinary people who take a stand, suffragettes, campaigners and activists all get a look in from creators including Mary and Bryan Talbot, Paul Pope and Anina Bennett, with proceeds going to the censorship-busting Comic Book Legal Defence Fund. DB

Photograph: Cinebook

Clear Blue Tomorrows by Fabien Vehlmann, Ralph Meyer and Bruno Gazzotti (Cinebook, November)
Clear Blue Tomorrows provides an amusing dystopian set-up: engineer Nolan Ska travels back in time to prevent the ruling dictatorship made possible by the inventions of one FG Wilson. His plan? To encourage Wilsons first career of novelist. But the man who will eventually become a seemingly immortal despot turns out to be a poor author, and its up to Nolan to serve as his ghost writer. ZA

Sunny by Taiyo Matsumoto (Viz, November)
Taking its name from the dilapidated yellow Nissan Sunny used by the residents of a childrens care home as a refuge and play area, this is the sixth and final volume in Matsumotos melancholy, beautiful series. Each chapter serves as a story in itself, with Matsumotos art reinforcing the emotional current of the narrative: dreamlike, yet rooted in something tangibly real. ZA

Photograph: Image Comics

Paper Girls, Volume Two (Image, November)
Brian K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilsons homage to 1980s horror and sci-fi is a delight; think Stranger Things but with more girls and more aliens. Its probably not wise to leap into Vaughans convoluted plot with this second collection of the monthly comic, but youve still got time to catch up with book one before this is out. DB

Photograph: Image Comics

Rumble 3: Immortal Coil by James Harren and John Arcudi (Image, December)
Formerly a great warrior who has been reduced to a sorry, vestigial creature, Rathraq looks to avenge himself with the help of Bobby and Del, a couple of normal twentysomethings. The third instalment in what is an overlooked gem, this series is filled with wit, heart and fantastic art from Harren. A stellar example of how entertaining and impressive graphic storytelling can be. ZA

Detail from the cover of Harrow County volume 4. Photograph: Dark Horse

Harrow County Volume 4: Family Tree by Cullen Bunn (Dark Horse, February 2017)
Harrow County is one of the best and creepiest horror titles on the market, from writer Bunn and artist Tyler Crook. True southern gothic, its steeped in rural folklore and dark doings in the woods, with teenager Emmy discovering she is the carrier of a shadowy, witchy legacy, in a landscape haunted by creatures and myths both benign and alarming. DB

Photograph: DC Comics

Wonder Woman: Rebirth by Greg Rucka (DC, March 2017)
In her 75th year, Diana of Themyscira Wonder Woman to you and me gets the DC Rebirth treatment, a new project by the comics giant to reposition their classic characters in a bid to make some sense of their tangled continuity. Writer Rucka, with artists Nicola Scott and Liam Sharp, has been making Diana relevant for 2016 since summer in monthly comic form; the collected edition of this beautiful new series is out in spring. DB

Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong (D&Q, March 2017)
Drawn & Quarterly brings Korean cartoonist Yeon-Sik Hongs acclaimed tale of a young couple who leave the noise of the city in order to live off the land to English for the first time. Her characters soon discover that living remotely on a mountain-top comes with a unique set of obstacles, as they tend their crops, fight depression in the intense solitude, and tramp through snow on grocery runs. ZA

Detail from the cover of the forthcoming issue of Love and Rockets. Photograph: Supplied

Love and Rockets by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez (Fantagraphics, autumn)
Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez are the darlings of the independent comics scene thanks to their 35 years spent creating Love and Rockets. These anthologies are most famous for Jaimes punky Locas stories, featuring Maggie and Hopey, and Gilberts epic Heartbreak Soup, set in a remote South American village. After a few years being released in album form annually, theyre returning to regular magazine publication this autumn. DB

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