This is a good week. In case you stumbled in here by accident (and who knows how that would have happened, I’m only famous to about 15 people on the internet and they’re already reading this), my name is Justin Giampaoli and I’ve been blogging at this site since 2005, writing about comics elsewhere since 2002. One of my favorite books, ever, is called DMZ and is written by a writer/artist named Brian Wood. I happen to think he’s an extremely big deal, absolutely influential to our generation of creators. I liked it so much that LIVE FROM THE DMZ was created. The final collected edition of that book is out this Wednesday. I wrote the 1,500 word introduction for it as a freelance work-for-hire project at DC Comics/Vertigo. You should buy it. DMZ Volume 12: The Five Nations of New York (DC/Vertigo). If you miss this little advert, well, there’s going to be a whole separate post on it in just a few minutes. Total. Media. Blitz. Let’s see… I’ll also be checking out Worlds’ Finest #2 (DC) because even though I’m juuust about done with Corporate Shared Universe Cape Comics, I have a nostalgic soft spot for the art of George Perez, so I’m giving this title a couple issues to do something. I want to be clear that I WILL NOT be purchasing Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 (DC) based solely on the principle of creator rights, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to flip through it at the LCS. It *is* Darwyn Cooke after all. I will be picking up Secret #2 (Image), which is a great new book from Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim. It stands as one of his better creator owned works, and there have been plenty of good ones, all about espionage and corporate security (my day job), with a raw edge to the writing that basically melds the real world elements to his outlandish fictional hooks, which are exactly the types of stories I enjoy from Hickman. Popeye #2 (IDW) is also out! This might seem like an odd choice for me at first glance. I don’t care much about Popeye, and outside of Locke & Key, I’m not really into any IDW books right now. I didn’t buy the first issue of this new series. However, you slap Tom Neely’s name on anything, and it’s an instant buy. Lastly, let’s bring this thing home with Wasteland #38 (Oni Press), which in some ways is an oddly appropriate bookend to the pinch-me-I'm-dreaming DMZ madness I gushed about up top. I picked up Wasteland #1 at San Diego Comic Con in 2006 and still have that signed copy from writer Antony Johnston, artist Christopher Mitten, and cover artist Ben Templesmith. I instantly fell in love with this book. I hyped it and hyped it hard and it just so happened that I landed my first pull quote on Wasteland #6 back in 2007. You always remember your first, and I used to joke sometimes that Thirteen Minutes was the house that Wasteland built. I never could have imagined that innocuous little thrill would keep me going and lead to so many other great things.