Anthony’s independent comics picks for January 2019

Here’s my look at what non-DC/Marvel comics are coming out for January 2019.

Archie

A full list of solicitations is available here.

  • Archie Meets Batman ’66, on sale Jan. 9, $4

Boom! Studios

A full list of solicitations is available here.

  • The Avant-Guards #1, $4
  • Lumberjanes, vol. 11 TPB, $15
  • Lumberjanes #58, $4

IDW

A full list of solicitations is available here.

  • Marvel Action: Black Panther #1, $4
  • Atomic Robo and the Dawn of a New Era #3, $4
  • Star Trek vs. Transformers #5 (of 5), $4

Comments

“The Avant-Guards” is a new series from Boom about an all-women college’s basketball team. The solicitation bills the series as “‘Check Please!’ meets ‘Giant Days,'” which sounds promising.

Speaking of Boom, a new trade paperback of “Lumberjanes” is also out this month, along with the usual monthly comic.

IDW’s “Star Trek vs. Transformers” miniseries comes to a close this month. The publisher’s also releasing (on Marvel’s behalf) a Black Panther book for younger readers.

Archie’s here… for older readers?

Archie Meets Batman '66 #6
“Archie Meets Batman ’66” #6. Art by Michael Allred and Laura Allred.

Archie wraps up its crossover with Batman ’66 this month. The publisher’s also releasing a new horror-line miniseries this month, “Blossoms 666,” about one of the Blossom twins (Cheryl and Jason) supposedly being the Antichrist.

I do like how Archie’s modernized its line since the debut of Kevin Keller in 2010: “Life With Archie” was enjoyable; along with gay characters like Kevin existing, Jughead’s now openly asexual; Archie, Betty, and Veronica’s love triangle’s a bit more plausible; and Moose (from what I saw) isn’t a violent abusive thug who should be in juvenile hall.

Still, it feels like a lot of Archie’s recent efforts have been aimed at older readers. See: their horror line of books, plus all of their recent TV efforts (“Riverdale,” “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”). Archie still publishes new classic-style stories in their digests, but that’s about it.

Granted, the children’s comic market’s changed a lot over the past few decades. Archie’s gone from being the de facto kids comic publisher, during the 1990s and 2000s, to one of numerous kids comic publishers today. And the most popular kids books talked about these days don’t seem to include Archie: Raina Telgemeier; “Dog Man”; “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”; etc. For kids TV, the Disney Channel’s sitcoms also manage to replicate much of the tone and style of the Riverdale gang’s traditional antics (crushes/dating, school, etc.). Given all this, Archie’s catering to older readers might make some sense from a business standpoint?

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