Can’t Wait for Comics | Gene Yang + LeUyen Pham tell a ‘Lunar New Year Love Story’

Check out new comics and graphic novels arriving this week by Gene Luen Yang, LeUyen Pham, Chris Gooch, Jarrett Williams, Al Ewing, Luciano Vecchio, Paul Grist, Louise Simonson, June Brigman and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital.

I’ve pulled out some of the highlights below, but for the complete list of everything you might find at your local comic shop and on digital this week, you’ll want to check out one or more of the following:

As a reminder, things can change and what you find on the above lists may differ from what’s actually arriving in your local shop. So always check with your comics retailer for the final word on availability.

Lunar New Year Love Story (First Second, $17.99): American Born Chinese creator Gene Luen Yang returns with a new graphic novel to kick off the year — the Lunar New Year, to be specific. He’s teamed up with LeUyen Pham, the Caldecott Honor-winning children’s author and illustrator of Bear Came Along and many other titles. Together they’ve created a rom-com about “fate, family, forgiveness and lion dancing,” as a woman who gave up on love because she thinks her family is cursed is handed a paper heart by a lion dancer at a Lunar New Year performance.

The Girl Who Sang: A Holocaust Memoir of Hope and Survival (Roaring Brook Press, $17.99): Estelle Nadel, Sammy Savos and Bethany Strout present the story of Enia, a young Jewish girl whose life changes when the Nazi regime invades her native Poland.

In Utero (Top Shelf, $24.99): Australian creator Chris Gooch, whose previous work includes BottledDeep Breaths and Under-Earth, returns with a new graphic novel this week that’s about two girls trapped in an old shopping mall with two monsters engaging in a “cataclysmic battle.” The story is based on a thesis Gooch wrote for a creative writing class back in 2000.

Hip-Hop: The Beat of America (First Second, $12.99): The latest in First Second’s line of history graphic novels looks at the musical art form known as hip-hop. It’s by Jarrett Williams, who has been working for DC lately but I’ll always have a place in my heart for his stellar Super Pro K.O. This first volume focuses on hip-hop’s early pioneers, framed as an “old school” father revealing its history to his hip-hop superfan daughter.

Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis (Dark Horse, $24.99): While imprisoned at the Terezín concentration camp in Czechoslovakia by Hitler’s Nazi regime in 1943, Peter Kien and Viktor Ullmann wrote Der Kaiser von Atlantis, or The Emperor of Atlantis, a one-act opera that they never got to see performed. Now Dark Horse’s Berger Books has adapted the story into a graphic novel by Electronic Frontier Foundation Director of Investigations Dave Maass and artist Patrick Lay. The story itself is one that combines mythology and elements of the supernatural.

Smoking Kills (Fantagraphics, $30): Flemish creator Thijs Desmet wrote and drew this graphic novel about a ghost and a skeleton exploring “the meaning of life in the land of the dead.”

DC Power: A Celebration (DC, $19.99): Prior to the release of their annual Black History Month anthology, which arrives next week, DC collects last year’s anthology, the recent Cyborg #1 and several BHM variant covers they’ve done over the years into this hardcover.

ROM: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus (Marvel, $125): If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how in the world Marvel didn’t simply title this “Romnibus.” Missed opportunity … but anyway, this collects Rom #1-29, as well as Power Man and Iron Fist #73, into one massive volume — which I believe is the first time this title has ever been collected. It features the work of Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema, Greg LaRocque, Frank Miller and more.

In Hell We Fight Vol. 1 (Image, $14.99): I’m a big fan of this Image series written by John Layman of Chew fame and drawn by the wonderfully dynamic artist Jok. It’s about a group of kids condemned to Hell who decide to hijack a demon lord’s delivery truck to help save a new friend. It’s literally a road trip from Hell.

Resurrection of Magneto #1 (Marvel, $5.99): With the Krakoa era over, Storm has to find another way to bring the X-Men’s greatest villain-turned-ally back to life. Al Ewing and Luciano Vecchio present the rise and return of the Master of Magnetism as part of the Fall of House of X storyline.

Star Trek: Defiant Annual (IDW, $5.99): Fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation should appreciate this story by Christopher Cantwell and Ramon Rosanas, which details Commander Sela’s trip back in time to meet the last person she ever wanted to see again — her mother, Tasha Yar.

Ghost Machine One-Shot (Image, $4.99): This one-shot officially kicks off Ghost Machine, the collective of writers and artists led by Geoff Jhns that was announced at New York Comic-Con last fall. This anthology introduces and re-introduces several of their upcoming comics by Geoff Johns, Peter J. Tomasi, Brad Meltzer, Lamont Magee, Maytal Zchut, Bryan Hitch, Jason Fabok, Francis Manapul and more.

Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances #1 (Marvel, $5.99): The 2018 novel by Timothy Zahn comes to comics, courtesy of Jody Houser, Andrea Di Vito, Pat Olliffe and more. The novel detailed a mission undertaken by Thrawn and his new acquaintance Darth Vader, while also featuring flashbacks to the Clone Wars featuring Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala.

Deer Editor #1 (Mad Cave, $4.99): This comic may have already arrived at your local comic shop, depending on who their distributor is. But I thought I’d highlight it here because it appears on Diamond’s list for the week, and, having already read it, I wanted to add that it’s not to be missed. Ryan Lindsay and Sami Kivela have created a really great character in Deer Editor, a hard-nosed journalist trying to solve a politically motivated murder, and the first issue will leave you wanting more.

Dungeons & Dragons Saturday Morning Adventures Vol. 2 #1 (IDW, $3.99): David Booher and George Kambadais are back for another round of D&D adventures inspired by the 1980s cartoon, as the teen adventurers try to save their mentor, Dungeon Master, who has a mysterious ailment.

Smash! #1 (Rebellion, $7.99): Look, I would have listed this one here for the title alone, but even better? It’s by Paul Grist and Tom Foster, and it resurrects a lot of British comic characters like Jane Bond and the Steel Claw, as they attempt to stop the King of Crooks from stealing a demon-possessed statue.

Titans Beast World Tour: Star City (DC, $5.99): As DC’s Beast World continues this week, the publisher releases another anthology of stories that tie into the bigger conflict starring Green Arrow and his family. This includes stories by Joshua Williamson, Ryan Parrott, Robert Venditti, Jamal Campbell, Roger Cruz, Gavin Guidry and more.

Power Pack: Into the Storm #1 (Marvel, $3.99): Louise Simonson and June Brigman, the creators of Marvel’s Power Pack, will return to the characters for a story set during their original run that also features Storm, the Snarks, Franklin Richards and more.

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