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Milkman Murders #1

Written by Joe Casey
Art by Steve Parkhouse
32 pages, color
Published by Dark Horse

There’s nothing quite so terrifying as the realization that the world you imagine yourself in and the world you are actually in bear almost no resemblance to each other. That’s what Barbara Vale seems to be discovering in Joe Casey and Steve Parkhouse’s The Milkman Murders, and by the time I was done reading the first issue, I can see why Dark Horse has been so proud of this upcoming mini-series.

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Prince of Tennis Vol. 1

By Takeshi Konomi
192 pages, black and white
Published by Viz

As the number of comics brought over from Japan and other parts of Asia increases, it’s fun to see genre staples of those countries begin their infiltration into the English language publishing world. Take sports comics, for example. With books like Slam Dunk, Harlem Beat, and Girl Got Game, we’re slowly getting more options of sports comics to read. One of Viz’s new releases, The Prince of Tennis, is an entry into that genre—but in many ways, it actually reminds me more of a certain comic about cooking…

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Blue Monday: Painted Moon #1

By Chynna Clugston-Major
32 pages, black and white
Published by Oni Press

One of the most frustrating things about a long-running serial is when the characters don’t change. Sure, they might get a new outfit here and there, but there’s no character growth, no maturing over time. I think that’s why I was so enchanted by the first issue of Blue Monday: Painted Moon; as Chynna Clugston-Major’s teenagers get older, we’re seeing that with age is coming wisdom. Well, a tiny bit of wisdom at any rate.

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David and Goliath #1

Written by Jay Ju
Pencilled by Leonel Castellani
Inked by Daniel Griffo
32 pages, color
Published by Image Comics

Every time I turn around these days, there seems to be another comic that looks like someone’s been stealing animation cells and sending them to a printer to assemble as a comic. That’s usually a good thing, mind you, especially when you end up with books that look like David and Goliath #1.

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Grendel: The Devil Inside

Written by Matt Wagner
Art by Bernie Mireault
88 pages, color
Published by Dark Horse Comics

It makes me really happy to see Dark Horse reprinting and collecting the original 40-issue Grendel series published by Comico back in the late ’80s. It’s here that I first discovered Matt Wagner’s tales of loss and revenge, and really understood what a powerful writer he was. What I wasn’t expecting was the nature of Grendel: The Devil Inside… but then again, I think that was true of almost everyone reading the book. In many ways, this volume of Grendel defines the term “curveball”.

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Enginehead #1-2

Written by Joe Kelly
Art by Ted McKeever
32 pages, color
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics

I’ll be the first to admit that I love Ted McKeever’s art. I’ve got a bit of a blind spot to it, making me pick up books I might never have glanced at otherwise. And yes, that means it’s time to tell the truth: there’s no other reason that I would have read Enginehead #1-2. What I found, though, that’s another story entirely.

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Adapted by Wing Shing Ma
128 pages, color
Published by ComicsOne

I have a confession to make. About a year or so ago, a copy of the movie Hero fell into my hands. I’m not going to say how it got there, but let’s just say that it did. By the time I was done watching it, all I could think is, “Why the heck hasn’t Miramax released this in the United States, instead of just sitting on the rights for quite some time now?” Well, it seems that Quentin Tarantino has resurrected it from movie limbo and people who saw Kill Bill Vol. 2 may have even seen the trailer for the movie. But if you haven’t, let me tell you right now that it’s utterly gorgeous… and that comic creator Wing Shing Ma has replicated that look and feel in his adaptation of Hero.

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Sensual Phrase Vol. 1

By Mayu Shinjo
192 pages, black and white
Published by Viz

Maybe it’s just me, but a lot of shjo books imported from Japan seem to be awfully similar. It’s the trappings of romance-influenced stories, I guess, always rising to the surface. A couple meets each other, there’s a strong connection, but there’s always something keeping them apart. What initially impressed me so much about Sensual Phrase, I think, is the fact that creator Mayu Shinjo was not only able to make the typical barriers preventing an immediate happy ending (and very short story) logical, but that this had one of the most realistic depictions of attraction I’d read in comics for a while.

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By Jens Harder
144 pages, two-color
Published by éditions de l’An 2, distributed in North America by NBM

Every now and then, something ends up in my hands with which I’m completely entranced. The reason for being entranced can be one of many—a neat cover, a flip through the interior revealing something “wow” worthy, or even a good title. Sometimes the book ends up exceeding my expectations, other times it can’t come even close. So when I ended up with Jens Harder’s Leviathan, the immediate question was, “Which will it be?”

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NYC Mech #1

Written by Ivan Brandon and Miles Gunter
Art by Andy MacDonald
32 pages, color
Published by Image Comics

Who doesn’t love robots? Well, people who are afraid of robots, I suppose. But robots are still very much a source of interest and inspiration in this day and age, as ideas that were once considered fiction are rapidly becoming reality. Maybe that’s part of the genesis of NYC Mech, a new series from Image Comics. Because if you look at the world of NYC Mech, the idea of robots replacing humans seems to have definitely arrived.

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