Every month I like to showcase the best graphic novel releases of the month, focusing on stories that those new to comics can dive into. For February I have highlighted 10 releases, both original graphic novels and collections, which are all a bit different from each other. Many different genres are represented including science fiction, noir, manga, biography, superhero, horror and fantasy.
If anything grabs your attention let me know in the comments below. I am always interesting what others are reading.
Trees Volume 1
10 years ago extraterrestrial life landed on Earth. They have done nothing since apart from stand where they landed, tall like trees. During that time the Earth has kept on going, but there is the underlying fear that something could happen. That’s until a research team uncovers that the trees might not be dormant after all and what they have been doing could be more horrible than anyone could imagine.
Trees Volume 1 collects the first 5 issues of this series and will be available from February 11th.
Seraphim 266613336 Wings
Written by Mamoru Oshii. Art by Satoshi Kon. Published by Dark Horse Comics.
Two of the world’s most acclaimed anime directors, Ghost in the Shell’s Mamoru Oshii and Perfect Blue’s Satoshi Kon, have teamed up to create this highly acclaimed manga. Seraphim 266613336 Wings tells the story of a future which has been devastated by the “Angel Plague.” This plague causes apocalyptic visions in victims and then eventually turns them into bone statues. This story follows a military backed cult and a young girl somehow connected to the plague as they attempt to stop it.
Seraphim 266613336 Wings is available from February 25th.
Written by Jason Starr. Art by Andrea Mutti. Published by Boom! Studios.
The Returning is a mash-up of horror, fantasy and mystery set in world where people who experience near-death experiences come back changed. They are increasingly paranoid and violent and because of these changed behaviours have been targeted by vigilantes seeking justice. This series follows Beth, a young girl whose life changes for the worse when she experiences a near-death experience.
The Returning collects all fours issues and is available from February 25th.
The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures
Written and art by Dave Stevens. Published by IDW Publishing.
The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures collects all of Dave Stevens Rocketeer stories from the 80s in one complete volume. If you are not familiar with the Rocketeer it’s a big-fun adventure series about a down-on-his-luck pilot, Cliff Secord, with a jetpack strapped to his back. Set during the late 1930s , Cliff encounters plenty of trouble in the form of government agents and German spies.
The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures is available from February 11th.
Secret Origins: Volume 1
Written and art by Various. Published by DC Comics.
Secret Origins tells is anthology series which tells the origin stories of some of DC greatest characters. In this first volume we have origin stories for Superman, Supergirl, Harley Quinn, Green Lantern, Batwoman, Batman, Aquaman, Green Arrow and others. If you are new to DC Comics this is a great way to get you familiar to the characters and maybe even be introduced to some you have never heard of before.
Secret Origins Volume 1 collects the first 5 issues and is available from February 11th.
Silent Hill Downpour: Anne’s Story
Written by Tom Waltz. Art by Tristan Jones. Published by IDW Publishing.
If you have played Silent Hill: Downpour you will want to read this collection to find out more about Anne’s tragic back story. Tristan Jones is the perfect candidate for this release with his scratchy and atmospheric art setting the mood perfectly for this horror story.
Silent Hill Downpour: Anne’s Story collects four issues and is available from February 18th.
Girl in Dior
Written and Art by Annie Goetzinger. Published by NBN Publishing.
This is a fictionalised biography of the French fashion designer Christian Dior told through the eyes of a young fashion journalist. Looking at some of the pages, Annie Goetzinger’s art is elegant through her use of watercolours which portrays the luxury and culture of this story perfectly. If you are interested in the history of fashion, especially of the luxurious variety, then you will certainly be engrossed in Girl in Dior.
Girl in Dior is available in February.
Storm Volume 1: Make it Rain
For a long time Storm has been one of the most popular X-Men characters – So it’s no wonder that she has received her own solo series. In this debut volume we see Storm take helping people, both human and mutant, into her own hands all over the world. Not simply fighting bad guys, this series sees her stopping natural disasters, solving crimes and generally helping those less fortunate. Along the way the Storm Volume 1 features plenty of character through the people she interacts with and her experiences.
Storm Volume 1: Make it Rain collects the first 5 issues and is available from February 18th.
The Fade Out Volume 1
The Fade Out is a noir series set in the dark places of post World War II Hollywood. The story begins with screenwriter Charlie waking up after a night of heavy drinking to find the actress of the movie he is writing dead. In this volume we begin to see him piece this what happens, while also exploring the sexism, violence and general grittiness of the era. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are a perfect team together so if you have ever been a fan of noir in any form you should read The Fade Out.
You can read a preview of issue #1 here.
The Fade Out Volume 1 collects the first 4 issues and is available from February 25th.
Written and art by Scott McCloud. Published by First Second Books.
Last, but not least, we have the highly anticipated graphic novel, The Scupltor by Scott McCloud. Taking him five years to create, The Sculptor is about an artist who makes a deal with Death which now allows him to create anything out of his barehands. But there is a catch. He now has only 200 days to live. This graphic novel chronicles his final 200 days as he tries to figure out what to create as well as finding love with such short time to live. Expect to have many themes explored including the power of imagination, ambition and affection.
The Sculptor is available from is available from February 11th.