Happy New Comic Book Day! Let us celebrate by checking in with the best eleven new issue #1s and graphic novels launching this week. Typically the focus is indie comics that don’t get a lot of attention despite thoroughly deserving it, but we also throw in some mainstream content if it’s worth a mention. NOTE: You can find the digital only comics on  Comixology.

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Arguably the biggest independent release this week is Motor Crush #1 published by Image Comics and handled by the award-winning Batgirl of Burnside team. Motor Crush is the story of Domino Swift who by day, competes for fame and fortune in a worldwide motorcycle racing league. By night, she cracks heads of rival gangs in brutal bike wars to gain possession of a rare, valuable contraband: an engine-boosting “machine narcotic” known as Crush. The first issue is oversized for your reading pleasure.

After the death of his mother, Christian moves in with his father to the quiet coastal town of Shell Bay. Upon being bullied by kids at his new school, he’s quickly befriended by the group of “weird” kids. But what Christian doesn’t know is that their playful occult shenanigans may be rituals that damn his soul. Find out more in The Circle #1. In The Tangled Ghost, two girls who aren’t quite friends yet spend a night clomping around in the countryside drinking strawberry vodka and arguing about ghosts.

Mixtape #1 is a collection of work by Jamaica Dyer under her label Jamdye that includes a sketchbook of life drawings, pop culture and paper dolls, a look at art process and travel. It’s a watercolour autobiography of daily life and quiet moments – a ‘mixtape’ of all of the above. Another type of mixtape is the annual released by Boom! Box. Boom! Box 2016 Mix Tape is a collection of short comics that embody the weird Boom! Box aesthetic. This year, Boom! explores music through storytelling. These are stories about being in a band, the first time at a certain venue, and even a puzzle quest revolving around a music festival.

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Indie Comics #3 is a monthly double-sized adventure anthology released by Caliber Comics. This time round, It’s street magic versus zombies in Gary Scott Beatty’s “To Hell!” Paul Bradford’s mobs battle for territory in “Hostile Takeover!” Pulp covers are the inspiration for Gary Scott Beatty’s future fiction “Captain!” Rick Bonn’s savage caveman “Rohrr!” and Terry Cronin’s “Flame of Faith” epics conclude! Plus, a treasure hunting soldier runs into more than he bargained for in “Horde,” and a Puritan faces the rope in “Accused!” Seven stories, across 51 pages all for $2.99 US.

Lord is not a graphic novel about the pop sensation from New Zealand; It’s about a girl sent to a strict summer school on a remote island. Once there, she begins to realise that things are not what they seem and uncovers a dark secret involving strange rituals. Lord fears for her safety and realises her only option is to escape. In Heartthrob Vol. 1, Callie was born with a bad heart. A heart transplant saved her, but Callie’s still stuck in her dead end life. Callie falls for a thief named Mercer who reveals himself as her heart donor. Somehow alive, Mercer teaches Callie his criminal ways and kicks off a nationwide crime spree. Hunted by the FBI and popping heart meds to stay alive, Callie will find out that nothing’s as scary as two people in love with nothing to lose.

In Echoes, troubled pilot Fred Martin is caught in a strange storm and loses control of his aircraft. Martin awakens unharmed, only to discover that he is thirty years in the past with the incredible opportunity to right the wrong that ruined his future. But to prevent murder, will he commit murder? Described as a ghost story in space, The Disciples Vol. 1 is about a group of bounty hunters who travel to Ganymede to rescue a senator’s daughter from a mysterious religious cult. Things go terribly wrong from here on out. Our final comic for the week is Tiki Surf Witches Want Blood, published by the aptly named Sex and Monsters. The witches spend their summers worshiping dark island gods, tormenting souls, bleaching decorative bones and surfing! Featuring gratuitous island nudity, scenes of intense pagan horror, and ten tiki cocktail recipes, it’s a digital must have, especially when its 42 pages for only $1.99 US.

That’s our pick of the week. What are you reading? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below.

Michael Vane is a freelance journalist and co-editor of PN2. He’s on Twitter @DrVane

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