December is here, and you know what that means? It’s time to throw on some cozy clothes, prepare a warm beverage, and read until we can’t keep our eyes open anymore! All jokes aside, that’s one of the reasons why I love December so much. It provides a collective opportunity for people to take their time and do something they love. In my case, and most likely yours too, that’s reading as much as I can. Because it’s also the end of the year, I look for shorter reads that I can devour easily. Enter comics and graphic novels. They’re perfect for this time of year (or any, really). They also offer a wide variety of stories, so you can easily find a graphic novel you like! That being said, it’s always fun to read the very latest releases. Which is why today we’re looking at new manga, graphic novels, and comics released in December.
There’s a bit of everything on this list. Mostly first volumes, but a couple of these graphic novels continue stories that have already begun. No volume is higher than #2 though. There are also heroes, monsters, warriors, detectives, and plenty of regular people. So anyone can find a story they like within these new releases!
But without further ado, let’s look at some of the new comics released in December.
We’re kicking things off with a sweet and romantic manga! Rainbow Days kicks off a new series inspired by the titular anime. The story follows four high school friends named Natsuki, Tomoya, Keiichi, and Tsuyoshi as they support each other through the ups and downs of life. More specifically, this volume follows Natsuki and his Christmas plans — which might help him catch up with his friends in the relationship department. Of course, things don’t go as planned, but Natsuki might still end up in love by the end of the night.
This graphic novel will most likely look familiar to some of you — and that’s because the Unfamiliar Tapas webcomic is being traditionally published! For those of you who don’t know this whimsical and magical story, it follows a young kitchen witch named Planchette. She moves into a new home, only to find that it’s haunted. The ghosts won’t leave easily, so Planchette decides to help them with their unfinished business.
Did you know Enola Holmes also has a series of graphic novels? Well, volume 2 is finally out this December! This graphic novel encompasses three of Enola’s cases, which are somehow tied to Sherlock and the question of what happened to their mother. These mysteries are The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline, and the new The Case of Baker Street Station. Because it adapts two of Nancy Springer’s individual novels (plus a new story), it’s safe to say that this graphic novel can be read as a standalone!
The next comic released in December is an exciting coming-of-age story with elements of sci-fi and mystery! The story follows a high schooler named Javi and his group of friends. They have a very simple mission: to climb up the social ladder by throwing the greatest party of the year. Of course things go horribly wrong, which is the starting point for an intriguing mystery reminiscent of Lost.
Moving on to one of the few entries on this list that isn’t a first volume. Monstress Book Two is finally hitting the shelves! This graphic novel collects volumes 4–6 (issues #19–35) of the popular fantasy series — making this deluxe edition absolutely worth it for fans of Monstress. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, these comics follow a girl named Maika. She’s trying to learn more about her past, as well as understand the strange eldritch creature that lives under her skin. Add to the mix a steampunk look and some horror-fantasy vibes, and you have one of the most exciting and unique comics you’ll ever read!
The original Afro Samurai manga went out of print years ago. But the cult classic is being rereleased and the first volume hits the shelves this month! The story is set in a feudal, futuristic Japan, in a world in which samurai constantly fight to be #1. Afro Samurai’s father is killed in one of these battles, and our protagonist vows revenge. But will he stay alive long enough to fulfill his promise?
The first issue of Monica Rambeau’s new comic is out this month! Monica Rambeau: Photon follows the titular superhero on a specific mission. The hero has to make a cosmic delivery on behalf of S.W.O.R.D. But of course things go sideways, and Rambeau has to balance her new adventure with some good old fashioned family drama. Photon’s adventure will take her on quite the journey, meeting other well known Marvel characters like your favorite neighborhood Spider-Man and a certain Sorcerer Supreme!
Okay so technically, this last graphic novel is #13 in a series. But it can be read as a standalone, so of course I had to include it! Adapted from a classic BSC novel, the story follows Mary Anne after she throws away a weird chain letter she got in the mail. She and the other BSC members have had a string of bad luck since that, and with Halloween approaching who knows what kind of mysterious things might happen to them. Everything changes again when Mary Anne receives another letter, this one with a bad-luck charm and a note that says she needs to wear it — or else.
Missed last month’s releases? We got you covered! You’ll also find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.
You can also take a dive into our comic/graphic novel archives for all kinds of lists, quizzes and essays.