Birth of a Nation

Written by Aaron McGruder and Reginald Hudlin
Art by Kyle Baker
144 pages, color
Published by Crown Publishers

I absolutely love Aaron McGruder’s comic strip The Boondocks. When I heard that McGruder was co-writing a graphic novel with Reginald Hudlin (screenwriter for the movie House Party), I was excited. When I heard that Kyle Baker (Why I Hate Saturn, The Cowboy Wally Show) was illustrating it, I was ecstatic. And when I got my hands on the book, well… good times were definitely here. It’s tough for something to live up to high expectations, but it’s even harder for it to exceed them. And that is exactly what Birth of a Nation did.

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Bleach Vol. 1

By Tite Kubo
200 pages, black and white
Published by Viz

Sometimes it takes the silliest things to get me to pick up a comic. Take Bleach Vol. 1, by Tite Kubo. In this case, it was a combination of the sharp figure drawing on the front surrounded by pure white and… the title. It just sounded cool to me. What can I say? Sometimes a book really can get sold on the cover and the title. Of course, what’s inside, that’s an entirely different story.

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Shi: Ju-Nen #1

By Billy Tucci
32 pages, color
Published by Dark Horse Comics

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since Shi first appeared in comic stores. Debuting in a time period when warrior women comics seemed to be appearing left and right, Shi was an instant success… which meant that I was never able to find a copy unless I was willing to pay a small fortune. (I wasn’t willing to do so, I might add.) I was certainly curious about the book, though, and now that Billy Tucci has returned with Shi: Ju-Nen from Dark Horse, I figured this would be a good a chance as any to see what all the fuss was about.

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Tupelo #1

Written by Matt DeGennaro
Art by Phil Elliott
32 pages, black and white
Published by Slave Labor Graphics

Every now and then, strange comics show up in my mailbox. There’s something great about it, to be honest. You open up an envelope, find a book you’ve never heard of before, sit down to read it, and discover that it’s absolutely fantastic. In the case of Tupelo from Slave Labor Graphics, that’s exactly what happened.

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Fierce #1

Written by Jeremy Love
Penciled by Robert Love
Inked by Jeff Wasson
32 pages, color
Published by Dark Horse Comics

I’ll admit that most of the initial titles out of Dark Horse’s Rocket Comics line failed to really grab me. Aside from Crush, those books just didn’t seem to really click. With the arrival of Fierce, though, I was intrigued. I’ve known of Jeremy and Robert Love for some time now and the chance to finally see the two of them create a comic together sounded too tempting to pass by.

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