Can’t Wait for Comics | Frank Miller Presents launches its inaugural titles

‘Ronin II’ debuts this week, along with new titles by Jason Aaron, Alexandre Tefenkgi, Tradd Moore, Brandon Easton, Hendry Prasetya, Jacob Norris, Jay Hosler 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.

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2023 Free Comic Book Day gold titles include Spider-Man, Fishflies, Dog Man and more

The first 13 titles include selections from Marvel, BOOM!, IDW, Image, Dark Horse and more.

Diamond has announced the first round of Free Comic Book Day titles for 2023. The “gold sponsor” titles for next year will include comics from Marvel, Dark Horse, AfterShock, Image, VIZ, Kodansha, Archie, BOOM!, Graphix, IDW, Titan and Dynamite, for a total of 13 titles, as Marvel will have two gold level books.

“This year’s lineup of titles has something for every kind of comic fan,” said Ashton Greenwood, Free Comic Book Day spokesperson. “We’re looking forward to another great year celebrating comic books and comic book shops, and we think this year’s lineup gives fans a lot to be excited about!”

The rest of the batch — otherwise known as the silver sponsor titles — will be announced later this week. Free Comic Book Day is scheduled for May 6, 2023.

Here’s a look at each gold-level title:

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Marvel gets in on Disney’s ‘100 Years of Wonder’ fun

Marvel will release a series of variant covers featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other characters as Marvel heroes.

For the past few years it’s felt like you’ve been more likely to find Mickey Mouse on the covers of comics published by other comics companies besides the one Disney actually owns, but that will change next year.

As a part of Disney’s “100 Years of Wonder” event, Marvel will publish a series of variant covers featuring Mickey Mouse and company, starting with Amazing Spider-Man #17 in January. 100 Years of Wonder celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company.

The covers mash-up Mickey and his pals with classic Marvel covers, including classic issues of Avengers, Fantastic Four and Hulk, with a fun What If? twist on each of them:

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What Are You Reading? | A whole lotta Moon Knight

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately, from Noah Van Sciver, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Si Spurrier and more.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately. Today’s reviews include a whole lot of Moon Knight, plus Amazing Spider-Man, Brubaker and Phillips’ Reckless and much more.

Let us know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments or on social media.

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‘Amazing Fantasy’ #1000 celebrates 60 years of Spidey

Neil Gaiman, Kurt Busiek, Dan Slott, Ho Che Anderson, Rainbow Rowell and more contribute stories to the anthology one-shot.

For the 60th anniversary of Spider-Man, Marvel will return him to his roots with a new issue of Amazing Fantasy featuring stories by Neil Gaiman, Kurt Busiek, Dan Slott, Jim Cheung, Olivier Coipel and more.

Amazing Fantasy #1000, which takes its name from the comic where Spider-Man first debuted, Amazing Fantasy #15, will be a giant-sized anthology one-shot. The stories will “explores the past and future of Amazing Spider-Man storytelling in tales that leave a profound impact on the Spider-Man mythos and showcase why Spidey is one of the most beloved heroes in history,” according to Marvel.com.

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Marvel will preview Wells/Romita Jr.’s ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ on Free Comic Book Day

Following the release of a new ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1 in April, Marvel will showcase the new creative team’s work with a free issue in May.

Marvel has announced more details and revealed covers for two of their three Free Comic Book Day titles for 2022.

Last year’s Spider-Man/Venom FCBD title previewed the “Beyond” era of Amazing Spider-Man, where Ben Reilly and the Beyond Corporation took over the Spider-Man name from Peter Parker and Marvel re-introduced a “writer’s room” approach to the comic. With the Beyond era wrapping up soon, Zeb Wells — one of several writers currently writing the title — will team with the legendary John Romita Jr. for a relaunch of Amazing Spider-Man. And Marvel will offer a preview of their run in this year’s Spider-Man/Venom FCBD title.

In addition, like last year, Marvel will preview the work Al Ewing, Ram V and Bryan Hitch are doing on Venom. Here’s a look at the main cover by Romita Jr. and the variant cover for the FCBD issue by Jonboy Meyers. Is this the first time we’ve seen a variant cover on a Free Comic Book Day title? I can’t recall that being a thing before.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | Things get spooky in this week’s new releases

New comics arrive this week from Steve Orlando, Cian Tormey, John McCrea, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Christopher Sebela and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital this week. And this week things get spookier than normal as your favorite comic companies start releasing all sorts of horror and Halloween-themed comics. I’ve even got previews of a couple of them.

Check out a few highlights below, or visit Diamond’s website for this week’s almost complete list of new comics arriving in stores. You can visit Lunar Distribution’s home page to see DC’s releases, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

I should also add that the list of what is actually arriving at your local shop can vary from what’s on anyone’s official website for a myriad of reasons — so always check with your comics retailer for the final word on availability.

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Mail Call | Tynion offers first ‘Blue Book’ for free

Check out news and updates from Marvel, Dark Horse, Top Shelf, Image Comics and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of cool things we’ve received in our mailboxes recently from comics publishers, creators and more. Hit the links for more information.

James Tynion IV was one of the first creators out of the gate with his plans for his premium Substack newsletter subscription, announcing a new comic called Blue Book with artist Michael Avon Oeming that he planned to share with paid subscribers.

But even if you aren’t a paid subscriber, you can still check out the first one, which he posted for free a couple days ago.

Blue Book is a passion project for myself and Michael Avon Oeming,” Tynion wrote. “We share a lifelong fascination with UFOs and a lifelong frustration with how those stories have been adapted into other media. There is a strangeness in the original accounts of UFO sightings that usually gets swept aside, but Michael and I want to lean into the strangeness. These are human stories of ordinary people who brush against the unknown and must grapple with what they see there. There is a deeper truth, whether you believe in the accounts or not, that lies in the many ways people tell these stories.”

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Mail Call | Jim Mahfood’s ‘Grrl Scouts’ returns in November

Check out news, previews and announcements from Marvel, Image, IDW, BOOM! Studios and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

Image Comics has announced a new six-issue Grrl Scouts miniseries from creator Jim Mahfood, titled Grrl Scouts: Stone Ghost. The first issue will arrive in November.

“I’m extremely excited about this new Grrl Scouts series and I think fans and new readers alike will be very entertained and definitely get a lot of bang for their buck with this one,” said Mahfood. “I’m introducing an entire new cast of characters, expanding on the mythology of the Grrl Scouts, and handling every aspect of the production of the book: writing, drawing, coloring, and lettering, to make this a very unique experience! This series is for fans and collectors alike who are looking for something different and off-beat when they’re staring at that wall of new releases in the comic shop.”

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Marvel announces ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ art team

Multiple artists will work with the recently announced group of writers on the thrice-monthly title.

Following the announcement about the new group of Amazing Spider-Man writers, Marvel has announced the artists they’ll be collaborating with on the adventures of Ben Reilly, who will take over as Spider-Man in what’s being called the “Beyond” era.

Patrick Gleason, who was already announced as a writer, will be the “bedrock” of the art teamaccording to Marvel, as he’ll be leading the design and doing the art on the oversized Amazing Spider-Man #75. He’ll be joined by Sara Pichelli, the co-creator of Miles Morales as well as Michael Dowling (Black Cat). Legendary artist Arthur Adams will provide covers.

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‘Amazing Spider-Man’ returns to a ‘writer’s room’ approach in October

Zeb Wells, Kelly Thompson, Saladin Ahmed, Cody Ziglar and Patrick Gleason will tell stories starring a different Spider-Man — Ben Reilly.

With Nick Spencer set to wrap up his run on Amazing Spider-Man this fall, Marvel has announced his replacement — well, make that replacements.

Marvel has announced five creators will take over the thrice-monthly title in October — Zeb Wells, Kelly Thompson, Saladin Ahmed, Cody Ziglar and Patrick Gleason.

“When Zeb Wells started building this story it became apparent that it needed a narrative velocity and a team of the best of the best to make it happen,” Editor Nick Lowe said. “So we gathered some of the greatest writers and artists in comics to join us and the story got even better and bigger and more surprising.”

Spider-fans are likely familiar with Wells, who was part of the Spider-Man “Brand New Day” era that saw several writers take over the title following the retconning of Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s marriage. Thompson and Ahmed have been writing various Marvel titles for awhile, while Ziglar is currently working on the She-Hulk TV series for Disney+. He also wrote the Siege Society one-shot as part of the Heroes Reborn event. And while Gleason is known more for his art, it sounds like he’ll be writing Amazing as well.

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Mail Call | Scout Comics combines trading cards + digital comics with Comic Tags

Check out news and announcements from Marvel, Image, First Second, Dark Horse and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

Scout Comics has announced a new digital publishing initiative called Comic Tags, which they describe as “a  way to both distribute and collect digital comic books that addresses some of the biggest problems that comic publishers and comic collectors face.”

These comic/trading card hybrids are limited edition collectible cards, but the kicker is that each of them comes with a scratch-off code to download a PDF copy of the graphic novel featured on the card.

“They’re attached to hangable backers that open, close, and look like a mini-comic book,” the press release reads. “These backers have interiors that are pulled right from the comic, giving you a glimpse at what you’re getting and a fun art piece to hang on to along with the collectible card.”

Don Handfield, a member of the Scout Comics board of directors, said, “I always felt like digital sales for comics were not near the numbers they should be. Digital comics should be for comic publishers what the CD was for the music labels or DVDs were for film studios. But digital comic sales account for less than 8-9% of overall sales industry wide. I think this is because collectors want something they can touch and feel. Collectors want to collect.”

You can find more information on them at the Comic Tags website. Scout Comics is selling several of them for $6.99 each, for titles like Mindbender, The Source, Solar Flare and more.

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