The 35 Most Anticipated Comics of 2017

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Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Tula Lotay
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: Summer

In 2014, Supreme Blue Rose offered more than just another excellent Warren Ellis comic: it was a startling, revelatory introduction to artist Tula Lotay, whose haunting work made the plight of Diana Dane terrifying and gorgeous. Every page was a looker, whether Diana was struggling to get out of bed or encountering an Einstein-ish speedster named Doc Rocket, with art that was layered, vibrant, emotional and unlike anything else in comics. Fans would stand up and cheer for the return of Lotay in any form, but it's doubly good news that she's reunited with Ellis on a new (long-delayed) Image series called Heartless. The series unspools a horror story about a musician holing up in the Northern England woods at her family's cabin, where I'm sure nothing weird or witchy will happen. Mark Peters
Tula Lotay

Untitled Becky Cloonan/Tula Lotay Collaboration

Writers: Becky Cloonan, Tula Lotay
Artists: Becky Cloonan, Tula Lotay
Publisher: TBD
Release Date: 2017

Two of our favorite auteurs, Tula Lotay and Becky Cloonan, will join forces to jointly write and illustrate a comic expected around the chill of fall, and we couldn't be more elated. Both creators have honed careers conjuring ethereal, sensual beauty alongside mind-melt horror and sci-fi immensity, as seen in projects Supreme: Blue Rose (Lotay) and Demo (Cloonan). In recent years, Cloonan has also expanded her writing chops on brutal runs for her creator-owned cosmic horror venture Southern Cross alongside artist Andy Belanger at Image and the vigilante confection Punisher at Marvel with late legend Steve Dillon. According to Lotay, the "fantasy/horror/erotic" project concerns "a woman with sleep paralysis in the 17th Century at the height of the witch trails and the fear surrounding that." These are the voices destined to expand what comics are capable of and who will read them. Sean Edgar

The Sheriff of [???] Season 2

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads
Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics
Release Date: 2017

The Sheriff of Babylon was either the best comic of 2016 or almost the best, wowing critics and readers alike with a tale of political turmoil in Iraq after Saddam Hussein's fall. Writer Tom King proved his mastery of the 12-issue story (as on Omega Men and The Vision) while artist Mitch Gerads showed why he's one of the best artists in comics with an understated, documentarian style. Like all sequels to classics, this one is equally anticipated and feared: there is hope that sequel-itis might be avoided, since King presumably has a wealth of experience in Iraq from his stint as a CIA officer to draw for inspiration, and this team is now a proven quantity. Mark Peters
Mitch Gerads

Black Pearl

Writer/Artist: C. Spike Trotman
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: 2017

Iron Circus Comics proprietor Spike Trotman has earned a reputation for filling niches that otherwise languish, hosting hugely successful Kickstarters and delivering high-quality comics that in genres that mainstream publishers largely avoid. Though Black Pearl is far from her first comic, it is her first time making long-form content for another label, and her debut producing non-fiction on a larger stage. Early 20th-century entertainer Josephine Baker isn't a complete unknown, but if Trotman puts the same effort and skill into her research as she puts into running her company, this is going to be a fascinating read. The cartoonist's emotive, kinetic art style will be a cherry on top. Her pervious work on the porn anthology Smut Peddler and webcomic Templar, Arizona have proven that she has no qualms about portraying the human body in all it's flaws and fascinating forms. She doesn't shy away from the truth or the erotic, making her honestly an ideal fit to be the biographer of one of history's most notable dancers. Caitlin Rosberg
C. Spike Trotman

Night Business

Writer/Artist: Benjamin Marra
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Release Date: 2017

Benjamin Marra continues his harrowing journey through nudity, violence and the American Dream in Night Business, a project started years ago and now seeing completion for publisher Fantagraphics. For previous proof of Marra's magic, look no further than Terror Assaulter and American Blood to see one cartoonist take a dumpster fire of b-movie excess, disappear behind a curtain and re-emerge with an armful of funny, challenging comics. And like those previous pieces, Night Business is the antithesis of subtle. Strippers, serial killers and drugs converge under a color palette of neon vice, weaving an homage to '80s exploitation while dissecting its values and cultural significance. Sean Edgar
Benjamin Marra