What We’re Looking Forward To in 2011: Comics

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We don’t know a lot yet about the comic books due to appear next year–the mainstream publishers tend to play their cards close to the chest until a couple of months before release dates–but a lot of 2011′s big graphic novels have already been announced. Here are some of the ones we’re most excited about.

Takio – Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming have been collaborating on Powers for a decade; that series will apparently now alternate storylines with this new all-ages project about a pair of superpowered sisters, co-created with Bendis’s daughter. It launches with a hardcover graphic novel. (Icon, February)

Finder: Voice – It’s been a few years since the last print volume of Carla Speed McNeil’s gorgeous, head-spinning “aboriginal SF” series Finder. In the meantime, though, she’s serialized a couple of books’ worth as rough pencils online; this one will be published around the same time as an omnibus collection of the first four Finder books (to which, full disclosure, I wrote an introduction). (Dark Horse, March)

Love from the Shadows – The new installment of Gilbert Hernandez’s “Fritz series”–adaptations of imaginary B-movies starring his character Fritz Martinez from Love and Rockets–is the most twisted, perverse book he’s ever created, which is saying something. It’s lurid, hypersexual, violent, incredibly disturbing, and totally fun. (Fantagraphics, April)

Mister Wonderful – If Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron and Ghost World were “the early, funny ones,” Daniel Clowes’ story of a blind date gone horribly wrong, except actually sort of right, is his Broadway Danny Rose–brief and lightweight, but put together with tremendous craft. Originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine, it’s expanded here. (Pantheon, April)

Fear Itself – So now we know what those “fear” teasers Marvel was posting recently were about: their next big summer crossover event, built around this seven-issue miniseries by Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen (with the inevitable tie-ins and spinoffs). It will apparently have a political dimension–we’d expect no less of Fraction. (Marvel, April)

(More on TIME.com: In Which I Chat with Matt Fraction About Iron Man, Avatar and Watchmen)

Paying For It – Louis Riel and Ed the Happy Clown creator Chester Brown’s previous autobiographical comics (including I Never Liked You and The Playboy) don’t hold anything back, and apparently neither does this long-in-the-works volume, about his sexual history and experiences as a john. (Drawn & Quarterly, May)

Supergods – Not actually comics: a book of essays by master mainstream comics writer Grant Morrison (Batman & Robin, New X-Men) about the superhero genre and its traditions. Morrison’s a smart guy with a lot of interesting ideas; it’ll be interesting to see how he channels the frantic, allusive tone of his comics into prose. (Spiegel & Grau, July)

(More on TIME.com: Exclusive Interview: Grant Morrison on Batman Times Three)

The Armed Garden and Other Stories – The French cartoonist David B. is one of our favorites–his autobiographical book Epileptic is particularly fantastic. Some of these chilling, dream-logic-driven stories, inspired by folklore, were previously published in English in Mome; they’re gorgeous work, and unlike anything else in contemporary comics. (Fantagraphics, August)

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