First Trade: Comic Reviews for Booksellers - November 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.

These Savage Shores
PUBLISHER: Vault Comics
ON SALE: 11/12/19
GENREHorror, Historical Fiction

Romance, punctuated with paranormal violence, on a bed of history and myth. This comic is very close to perfect vampire content, if not the definition of it.  

Bishan has watched time unfold as advisor and protector to king after king; he is an ageless monster, an old god. The current king is only a boy, and Bishan must guide him through old rivalries and new threats. Calicut is facing the ever growing East India Company, looking to secure the lands that make up the Silk Road. Alan Pierrefront is a pale, noble vampire on the run from a demon hunter after being caught bloody faced, making a meal of a well bred young maiden. He’s made it to the shores, his proposed refuge, but has his hunter followed? 

FOR FANS OF: Everything Anne Rice, Sleepless by Sarah Vaughn, Manifest Destiny by Chris Dingess, Carnival Row (tv series, 2019.) 

ART: Consistent, dynamic use of the nine panel layout. There is a specific vintage to this style.

SELL IT: To vampire geeks but also more discerning genre prose readers. Its romantic and violent, with history to chew on.

She Said Destroy
CONTRIBUTORSJoe Corallo, Liana Kangas
PUBLISHER: Vault Comics
ON SALE: 12/03/19
GENREFantasy, Science Fiction

Brigid, God of the Sun has set out to become the only god, casting her once large family of divine beings into darkness to be forgotten. She has succeeded with all but one.

The Morrigan, Queen of the Fairies is remembered and served by the people of Fey. Winona is the strongest warrior among them, beloved by the fairies, and when they are sent to ask The Morrigan what the people of Fey should do, the message is short and clear. She said, “Destroy.”

FOR FANS OF: Saga by Brian K Vaughan, Star Wars, Wicked + Divine, Space Operas starring Old Gods. 

ART: Jewel tones & excellent hair cuts.  

SELL IT: Sci-fi nerds who also read Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, but also the casuals that loved Saga and want more of that.

Excellence Volume 1
CONTRIBUTORSBrandon Thomas, Khary Randolph, Emilio Lopez
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
ON SALE11/26/19

Is magic really power if that power is conditional? What is power if it isn’t paired with freedom? Who “deserves” magic? Brandon Thomas plays with these questions and more in Excellence, following three men in a world that looks very save for the wands. 

Magic is active in people of color, but using it for anything besides guiding white people will result in being stripped of their magic and imprisonment. The story is told from the perspective of Spencer Dales, son of Raymond Dales, a powerful magician higher up in Aegis, the company responsible for connecting “wards” and magicians - and enforcing the rules.  

Every element of world building in this work is a fantastical representation of a real-life question or conflict, a lot of them tropes, some of them new angles, all magically rendered into a clear but intricate discussion. 

FOR FANS OF: Old Guard v. Young Radical narrative, Superheroic aesthetics, hip hop sensibility, Mark Millar’s The Magic Order.  

ART: Crispy lines and constant movement, rich colors and smooth design.  

SELL IT: To Marvel shoppers, young adults.



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