First Trade: Comic Reviews for Booksellers - April 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.

Snap Flash Hustle
CONTRIBUTORS: Patrick Shand, Emily Pearson
ISBN: 9781628752335
ON SALE: 05/21/19
GENRE: Crime Drama

Haley Mori is a model, but she’s never been able to make ends meet on her own that way. She finds a particularly popular hashtag, #SnapFlashHustle, and posts a picture that prompts a new photographer to set up a shoot with her right away. What seems like lucky break for Haley turns upside down (like, hung from her ankles off the side of a building upside down) when the photographer pulls out a suitcase full of drugs. Too broke to be anything but fearless, Haley turns this wild situation into a job opportunity.  The ensemble that forms in this arc has potential for volumes of action and intrigue, but their reasons and personalities are unique and human.

FOR FANS OF: Sugar & Spice (2001 movie)

ART: Softer lines, a warmth in the coloring throughout. The sunset dreaminess of the art lends to the duplicity of the operation, and characters that look like ornaments but work like horses. The fashion speaks as much as said characters. Coral (underboss and model) wears a light pink suit in issue 2 to act on her ambitions in front of some higher-ups and it sums up the series in one look: danger in a picture-perfect, distractingly hot package.  

SELL IT: To those who fantasize about instagram models in creative but not sexy ways.

Survival Fetish
CONTRIBUTORS: Patrick Kindlon, Antonio Fuso
ISBN: 9781628752212
ON SALE: 5/21/19
GENRE: Speculative Fiction, Thriller

Saheer is really, really good at running. Weaving through post-U.S. downtown  Honolulu, dodging sniper bullets that rain from towers belonging to various organizations with communist/anarchist names and too many guns.

The arc moves in a cinematic way, specifically the kind of movie where time disconnects from reality: you’ve been sitting still for an hour but you feel like you’ve been running through a treacherous alley for 20 minutes.  

FOR FANS OF: Miles Morales, DMZ, and Mad Max (especially the Black & Chrome version of Fury Road)    

ART: Heavy contrast grayscale that, paired with the wise/detached observations from the narrator-protagonist, feels like Yvan Alagbe’s work blended and applied with American comic design.

SELL IT: To those in search of a thrilling self contained series

CONTRIBUTORS: Sam Humphries, Jen Bartel
ISBN: 9781534312593
ON SALE: 05/14/19
GENRE: Fantasy, Drama

On the night of the Verdugo Earthquake, Nina and her sister Marisa are saved by a great glowing blue lion. When the creature commands that all present “forget,” all but Nina magically comply. Other than some internet forums that whisper about paragons, glamorous people who practice hidden magic, Nina is alone in her belief.    

A decade later she’s living on her sister Marisa’s couch, bartending and abusing painkillers. Strange things start happening. Sharpie, the cat who disappeared the night of the earthquake, returns sporting a third eye. She spots a paragon symbol on a wall in the alley behind her bar. A black dog keeps appearing. When Marisa goes missing, Nina must confront these happenings and her memories to find her sister.

Blackbird is set in a stylish, over the top magical universe that I am anxious to return to and Nina is the right complicated, relatable protagonist to follow down the rabbit hole.  

FOR FANS OF: Wicked + Divine in an aesthetic way, but the way the magic works and

ART: Electric, engaging, clean.

SELL IT: To sneaker enthusiasts, occultists wearing colors other than black, and anyone who misses the West Coast.



Bianca is a bookseller, a polite troublemaker, an eventual time traveller, and a graphic novel evangelist. She and her two cats are from Berwyn, IL and she currently works at The Book Table in Oak Park. Read more of her reviews are here: or catch her on the interwebs @beewaltz.