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March 1, 2008

The new Diamond Previews (March, 2008) is out, and i beseech you all to turn your attention to page 203. Under the AdHouse Books banner, please note the title Skyscrapers of the Midwest, by one Josh Cotter. Twisted as a mo-fo, Cotter's comics get under your skin, in the best way. This is a hardcover priced at a mere $20. BUY THIS BOOK. Advance order it from your favorite local retailer. If they can't or won't, then go to the AdHouse website to fulfill your jones.

• In the better-late-than-never department, i finally tore myself away from Season Three of Deadwood, and dipped into the ever-growing pile of comics on my office coffee-table, and read Papercutter #5 & 6, from Tugboat Press. Greg Means continues his great anthology in fine fine form.

Issue Five sports a sweet cover by the new Kaz (Strzepek), who also leads off in between the covers, with a B-side from his Mourning Star saga. Next up, a tasty slice of pure Liz Prince goodness. Then Bwana Spoons wraps up with a zany strip with an appearance by the heavy metal studs in the band Soft Crusher including Steven the Bat on smashing thunder on the drums. (Images below are different color ways for Bwana's super kick-ass Steven the Bat vinyl.)

Issue Six sports a terrific cover by the always-improving Alec Longstreth. His lead off strip, "Summer Stock," is i think his best work to date. Ken Dahl (come on, is "Ken Doll" his real name?) throws down with another stellar performance. (His Monsters comic book is one of t he most disturbing yet riveting comics i've read in years.) Finally, Julia (Fart Party) Wertz and Laura Park provide a sweet coming-of-age story called "Public Hair." Both of the crazy chicas have bucketloads of talent.

As with all issues of Papercutter, the inside covers feature sublime artwork by our very own webmaster Nate Beaty.

I think one could safely make the argument that Papercutter is the vanguard of indy comics, and that across the board, we'll be seeing lots more of every single contributing artist involved.

Greg Means, you are my hero.

• Jeremy Tinder has been a busy lad lately. Besides featuring little ol' me a guest in one of his classes (via my first video-conference interview), he's got a solo show up at Rotofugi, and interview at The New Yinzer, and a boss painting in the recent Stan Lee Tribute show.

• Picked up Kyle Baker's new The Bakers graphic novel, "Babies & Kittens, and as per usual, does not disappoint. Baker is one of the very rare cartoonists who's entire (creator-owned) oeuvre to date is entirely and completely recommended. Maybe i'm a little biased, being the dad of a 3-year old boy, but these continuing adventures of the Baker Family on one hand, nail the nuances of parenting, while at the same time regaling over-the-top tales that no parent could imagine in their wildest nightmare — a classic Looney Tunes madcap day-in-the-life. Brilliant!