Caper #1

Written by Judd Winick
Art by Farel Dalrymple
32 pages, color
Published by DC Comics

Sometimes it’s nice to have a common point of reference. When you find people that are like you—especially when there aren’t necessarily tons of others around you that fall into the same category as yourself—it’s nice to be able to surround yourself with those similar. I’m not advocating segregation, or saying that a ghetto is a positive thing, but none the less, sometimes it’s nice to have a common point of reference. So when I heard about Judd Winick’s new 12-issue limited-series Caper and how the first of its three crime adventure stories (all connected through a family line) was about a Jewish-run organized crime group, my immediate thought was, “That makes sense to me.”

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Daily Delirium

By Miguelanxo Prado
192 pages, color
Published by NBM

When Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Endless Nights graphic novel hit stores earlier this year, there were a lot readers who were unfamiliar with some of the artists that Gaiman chose to illustrate his stories. I remember hearing one person say, “Who’s this Miguelanxo Prado guy?” and have someone else tell him in confidence, “A new artist, but he’s really good.” Well, he might not be new, but he definitely is good—as his screwball Daily Delirium certainly illustrates.

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Planetes Vol. 1

By Makoto Yukimura
244 pages, black and white
Published by TokyoPop

Most comics about outer space focus on the big concepts; gigantic space ships zooming through the void, or alien invasions of Earth. Maybe that’s why Makoto Yukimura’s Planetes is so instantly appealing. It’s science-fiction, yes, and it’s very much about outer space… but Planetes‘s focus on quieter, character-based storylines makes it instantly stand out as something much more interesting.

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Iron Wok Jan! Vol. 6

By Shinji Saijyo
208 pages, black and white
Published by ComicsOne

When I reviewed the first volume of Iron Wok Jan! back in January, I enjoyed the book a great deal. There’s nothing worse than a series you loved going horribly wrong, though, so I figured that it was time to make sure that all my readers knew that in fact, Iron Wok Jan! has not gone horribly wrong. In fact, it’s even better than ever.

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Little Vampire Does Kung Fu!

By Joann Sfar
32 pages, color
Published by Simon & Schuster

It wasn’t until I read NBM’s publishing of Dungeon that I first encountered Joann Sfar’s creativity. Sfar was working together with Lewis Trondheim on the project, though, so I really hadn’t seem a solo work by Sfar at all. Thankfully, someone at Simon & Schuster seems to have discovered Sfar since we’re now getting his Petit Vampire series brought into English in the form of Little Vampire. This is one bloodsucker you’ll want in your home.

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Yukiko’s Spinach

By Frédéric Boilet
144 pages, black and white
Published by Fanfare/Ponent Mon

When do people fall in love? Is it slowly and over time, or is it quickly and without warning? More importantly, can both occur to someone at the same time? Frédéric Boilet’s Yukiko’s Spinach seems to wonder that very question, even as the narrator seems already sure of its answer…

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Lord Takeyama

Written by Shane L. Amaya
Art by Bruno D’Angelo
48 pages, black and white
Published by Terra Major

What is it about the samurai era of Japan that entrances so many people? Maybe it’s the code of honor that was famously practiced during that time. Maybe it’s the weapons and battles of the time period, so similar yet different from our own. Maybe it’s the myths and legends of Japan that often go hand-in-hand with this earlier time. In the case of Lord Takeyama, writer Shane L. Amaya doesn’t seem to take any chances and uses all three to great effect.

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A Sort of Homecoming #1

Written by Damon Hurd
Art by Pedro Camello
24 pages, black and white
Published by Alternative Comics

The experiences of our childhood are always interesting when filtered through the perception of adulthood. Things often fall into place, or simply gain new meaning. In reading Damon Hurd and Pedro Camello’s A Sort of Homecoming one can’t help but reflect on your own past even as the central character does the same with his—with hopefully more cheery results.

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Queen & Country #18

Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Carla Speed McNeil
32 pages, black and white
Published by Oni Press

“You ain’t seen nothing, yet.” There are times where that feels like the catchphrase of Queen & Country from Oni Press. You can almost see creator Greg Rucka sitting at his keyboard with a big grin on his face as he writes each new storyline, raising the stakes and increasing the intensity. And just when the reader thinks they can stop and catch their breath… Rucka proves them wrong. This is the way a spy thriller should be, after all.

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Gyo Vol. 1

By Junji Ito
200 pages, black and white
Published by Viz

Junji Ito is Japan’s master of horror comics, but it’s only recently that his work has appeared in English in the forms of Tomie and Uzumaki. With each new work that’s translated, Ito’s powers of terror and suspense grow stronger. What’s surprising about his new work Gyo is not that it’s as scary as ever, but that as the next major work after Uzumaki, Gyo is almost a deliberate reversal of what he did in Uzumaki.

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