First Trade: Comic Reviews for Booksellers - August 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.

Heathen Volume 2
CONTRIBUTORSNatasha Alterici
PUBLISHER: Vault Comics
ON SALE: 08/13/19

In the long-awaited second volume Heathen, Aydis takes to the sea. Looking for a crew brave enough to venture the cold waters of the Northern Sea, she finds a ship crewed by queer sailors of color and hires them to sail for Heimdall, the place where a mortal can find a bridge to the Gods. In need of guidance into a magical realm, she also hires three mermaids (they really like apples, it turns out, but can’t really pick them for obvious reasons.) 

The rest of the cast returns as well; Brynhild visits her (favorite?) ex, Freyja and her lovers do their best to help Aydis in defying Odin, and Saga makes some very old friends.  

FOR FANS OF: Norse Mythology! Queeroes! The movement to reclaim history and mythology for all people!   

ART: Painted, stylized Viking aesthetic. Simple backgrounds embolden dreamy characters.   

SELL IT: It’s hard to imagine a person who wouldn’t love Heathen, but I had luck putting the first volume on display next to Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

Moth & Whisper Volume 1
CONTRIBUTORSTed Anderson, Jen Hickman
PUBLISHER: AfterShock Comics
ON SALE: 04/30/19
GENRECyberpunk Thriller, Surveillance Noir, YA

The two greatest thieves in history, Moth and Whisper, have been playing their clients against the other for years. Thought to be arch nemeses, they actually are married, using each other’s career to jack up prices and control the underworld.

Set in a (near) dystopian future where cameras are everywhere, corporations tracking everyone from the day they’re born. Privacy is a commodity available only to the very wealthy. Moth and Whisper have a child, Niki, and manage to keep them off the grid. The identities their parents acquired for them, as well as a disguise applying mech suit called Weaver are what Niki leans on when their parents go missing.    

FOR FANS OF: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag, dystopian action, spy thrillers. 

ART: Noir feel but with a really tight set of color palettes, really nails the green tint hacker look but deviates successfully every issue.       

SELL IT: To anybody who grins at the phrase “genderqueer super-thief."

Mars Attack
CONTRIBUTORSKyle Starks, Chris Schweizer
PUBLISHER: Dynamite Entertainment
ON SALE08/06/19

Spencer Carbutt visits his father, Major Carbutt, at the nursing home to borrow money because he’s lost another job. There they find out that the world is under siege by Martians that look “like angry testes, with eyes.” who have already taken out most of the military. Opting out of the nursing home’s gracious offer of euthenasia, they head into the flaming world to dodge laser cannons and argue. This story from the day that Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks took place begins really ordinary but ends up being a campy wild ride because - it's the Martian apocalypse! 

FOR FANS OF: The original movie, and the camp sci-fi/horror movie tradition in general. Murder Falcon by Daniel Warren Johnson. 

ART: Cartoony, bold colors and a thoughtful extrapolation of the movie’s Martian damage. 

SELL IT: To folks nostalgic for the pre-remakes Burton age.



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