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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‘Calamity Kate’ hunts monsters in March

New miniseries by Magdalene Visaggio, Corin Howell, Valentina Pinto and Zakk Saam debuts from Dark Horse Comics next year.

Magdalene Visaggio, Corin Howell, Valentina Pinto and Zakk Saam are headed for calamity — Calamity Kate, that is, a new miniseries from Dark Horse Comics.

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comiXology adds seven titles to their ‘Originals’ line

New titles by Sam Humphries, Kel McDonald, Tyler Crook, Tim Seeley, Mike Norton and more join the growing line.

In June comiXology released four new titles as part of their comiXology Originals line, as they expanded the program to include creator-owned titles and a print-on-demand option. Today in San Diego, a dapper Chip Mosher, comiXology’s head of content, announced seven new titles coming to the line, four of which are available now.

“When we debuted the first wave of creator owned comiXology Original titles, we launched all five issues of the Superfreaks series in one day so readers could binge read the series at once. No one had ever done that before, and that’s just the tip of what we have planned,” said comiXology’s Head of Content Chip Mosher. “Today we are making history again with Goliath Girls, which is releasing simultaneously in English and Japanese. Going forward we’ll continue to push the envelope with new ways to connect with readers. It’s great to be able to offer the over 100 million Prime members worldwide the opportunity to experience these great books.”

The four book now available on their site include:

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Visaggio + Liew bring ‘Eternity Girl’ to Young Animal

Six-issue miniseries starts in March.

The Young Animal line’s cast of curious characters is getting a new friend: Eternity Girl. Kim & Kim writer Magdalene Visaggio and Eisner winner Sonny Liew (The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye) will tell the story of Caroline Sharp, a former secret agent who can’t die — so she decides to destroy the universe.

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