First Trade: Comic Reviews for Booksellers - June 2019

DBD introduces a new graphic novel review series by bookseller Bianca Walters. Every month, Bianca will provide reviews of three graphic novels, providing information on suitable audiences for each title, artistic comparisons, and sell-through suggestions.

Die Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker
CONTRIBUTORSKieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
ON SALE: 06/11/19
GENRE: Fantasy

In 1991, a group of friends are Jumanji’d into a diabolical D&D campaign. Six leave, five return. Decades later, they re-enter the world they played in and escaped from as kids.

Through the treacherous land, they grapple not only with surviving this endeavor but facing the trauma of the past. Along the way, author Gillen’s characters delve into the creation of fantasy alongside horror in World War 1. 

FOR FANS OF: LOTR/Game of Thrones, Gillen’s series from Avatar Press, Uber.  Fans of Rat Queens will likely be into this, but it is much darker.   

ART: Very much in the style of the D&D artistic canon (which is huge and varied, but for fans illicit a recognition somewhere between the cheekbones and the dragons) 

SELL IT: To the fantasy gamer/reader who is down for a “goth Jumanji.”


Midnight Radio
CONTRIBUTORSIolanda Zanfardino
ON SALE: 06/04/19

Stories of people finding a path back to themselves. All mysteries, the stories are from the space between a rock and institutions built to use and dispose of individuality.  

Steph is too frustrated with the world around them to speak, but is “seen” by their many instagram followers daily. Seika must help catch a group of art forgers to avoid being deported. Joanne struggles with PTSD and homophobic family members. Mike crosses picket lines to work at a corporation that sells dangerous diet pills to kids. 

FOR FANS OF: Short stories about queer people, anti capitalist sentiment.   

ART: Color indicates which story is being told, which is both helpful and gorgeous. The graceful linework is a shade of the stories’ given color, giving the book a bright, singular look. 

SELL IT: In the hands of the right bookseller, this could work for anybody as the Book to Buy During Pride Month.

CONTRIBUTORSJoe Casey, Ian MacEwan
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
ON SALE: 05/21/19
GENRESupernatural Mystery

Chicago, 1975. Pamela Evans is the best cabbie on the night shift. Prefect Patterson spins on the radio all night as she drives her fares through shadows teeming with supernatural foes. With her tire iron they are dismissed, little disturbance to her fares.    

But who is she? Why does her tire iron glow? What song is Prefect gonna play next? Joe Casey’s knack for making propulsive stories is present, but it’s the 70’s style of MCMLXXV (it’s the Roman numeral for 1975. I had to google it, whoops) that makes this book a potential favorite.  

FOR FANS OF: Abbott by Saladin Ahmed, Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor, Redlands by Jordie Bellaire.   

ART: Somewhere between Piskor and Bitter Root’s Sanford Greene.

SELL IT: Readers that dig the 70’s aesthetic but don’t want to read something written in the 70’s.



Bianca is a bookseller, a polite troublemaker, an eventual time traveller, and a graphic novel evangelist. Bianca and their two cats are from Berwyn, IL, and they currently work at The Book Table in Oak Park. Read more of their reviews here: or catch them on the Twitter @catscomicsclops