Smash Pages’ favorite comics of 2018

See what the Smash Pages’ staff enjoyed reading this past year.

With 2018 winding down, Smash Pages’ contributors take a look back at some of their favorite comics of the year, from Hey Kiddo and Spectacular Spider-Man #310 to Wet Moon and The Secret Voice.

Brigid Alverson

Silver Spoon, by Hiromu Arakawa (Yen Press)
Arakawa is best known as the creator of Fullmetal Alchemist, but you couldn’t get any farther from that series than Silver Spoon, a comedy about a city boy who goes to agricultural school in rural Hokkaido. Yuugo Hachiken worked hard and did everything he was told, but he still didn’t get into an elite high school, so he takes what he thinks is the easy way out by going to a school that’s not academically focused—or so he thinks. In fact, the students at Ooezo Agricultural High School are very knowledgeable in their fields, but those fields are things like genetics and animal husbandry. The rubber really hits the road in the practical lessons, though, and Hachiken quickly realizes he is out of his depth when it comes to herding chickens, riding a horse, or fetching a stray calf. There’s a lot of city mouse-country mouse comedy in this series, but it’s also a fascinating look at where our food comes from (at least in Japan), and the different agricultural models espoused by different farmers. In fact, like Hachiken’s classmates, this book is very smart and sophisticated in addition to being endlessly entertaining.

Meal, by Blue Delliquanti and Soleil Ho (Iron Circus)
The idea of eating bugs may elicit an “Eeeww” from most people, but Delliquanti and Ho go beyond the ick factor in this romance about an insect cuisine enthusiast and a chef who wants to start a new restaurant based on the dishes of her youth—dishes that include ants, grasshoppers, and tarantulas. There’s a love story woven in there as well. Yarrow has just moved to a new city in hopes of getting a job in the kitchen of Chandra Flores, insect chef extraordinaire, who is about to launch a new restaurant. Milani, her neighbor, is friendly and helpful but the two have a little trouble making it click. At the same time, Chandra suspects that Yarrow is only into insect cuisine because it’s sensational, while to her, it’s part of her heritage. There’s a lot in this slim volume: Love, food, bugs, and bugs that are food, and the creators even include a couple of recipes at the end of the book.

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Thompson, Carnero blast off with ‘Captain Marvel’ this January

Carol Danvers returns to New York in a new series.

Marvel will kick off 2019 with the launch of a new Captain Marvel series, which lands just two months before the film of the same name debuts. Writer Kelly Thompson, who has been very prolific at the publisher in recent months, will work with artists Carmen Carnero and Tamra Bonvillain on the series.

This is Thompson’s second time to work on the character; she previously teamed with Kelly Sue DeConnick on Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps in 2015.

Amanda Conner provides the cover for the first issue:

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‘Uncanny X-Men’ returns with weekly event ‘Disassembled’

Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, Matthew Rosenberg, Mahmud Asrar, R.B. Silva, Yildiray Cinar, Pere Perez and Leinil Frances Yu will all contribute to the relaunched title’s first storyline.

Marvel has announced the creative team for the upcoming reboot of Uncanny X-Men, and it’s a roster of talent that may outnumber the typical X-Men team.

Taking a queue from Brian Michael Bendis’ opening Avengers arc back in 2004, “Disassembled” will be a 10-part weekly storyline that Marvel calls an “epic tale of mystery and tragic disappearance.” Writers Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson and Matthew Rosenberg will combine into a Voltron-like writing machine, while artists Mahmud Asrar, R.B. Silva, Yildiray Cinar and Pere Perez will bring it to life on the page. All of these creators are currently working on other projects featuring the merry Marvel mutants. Leinil Frances Yu will provide covers.

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Marvel debuts a new digital ‘Jessica Jones’ series by Thompson + de Lulis

Check out comiXology to purchase and download the first double-sized issue.

Following a not-so-cryptic teaser earlier this week, Marvel has debuted a new Jessica Jones digital series on comiXology.

Kelly Thompson and Mattia de Lulis team up to tell the tale of a cold case from Jones’ past — one she screwed up in typical Jessica Jones fashion. When her client winds up dead, Jones ends up as the chief suspect.

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Ghostbusters 2016 team is back in new comic adventures

Kelly Thompson and Corin Howell reunites Gilbert, Yates, Tolan and Holtzmann in ‘Ghostbusters: Answer the Call’

‘Ghostbusters: Answer the Call’ #1 with art by Valentina Pinto. (IDW Publishing)

In an exclusive to the LA Times, IDW Publishing announced a new Ghostbusters comic, this time featuring the team from the 2016 Paul Feig-directed film.

Ghostbusters: Answer the Call will be a five-issue mini-series written by Kelly Thompson (Hawkeye) and drawn by artist Corin Howell (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers).  In keeping with the theme of a female-centric team, cover artists include Valentina Pinto (Strawberry Shortcake), Emma Vieceli (Manga Shakespeare, Adventures of Supergirl), and Elsa Charretier (Love Is Love).

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Comics Lowdown: ‘Jem and the Holograms’ wraps, Alex Hallatt on World Oceans Day

Plus: La Borinqueña, Gemini Comix, ‘Fu Jitsu,’ San Jose comic shops and more.

The End of Jem? Jem and the Holograms comes to an end with issue 26, but writer Kelly Thompson and artist Gisèle Lagacé still have a lot to say, and a new Jem/Misfits crossover series, Infinite, will be launching at the end of this month. At CBR, Thompson and Lagacé talk about what it’s been like working on the critically acclaimed series, and what we can expect in the future.

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